How Do I Get More Clients as a Personal Trainer?

by Seth
(Providence, RI, USA)

Personal Training Clients

Hi, I've been training for a few months now and have gotten 3 clients so far. I thought I'd have more by now and don't know what to do differently to get more clients faster.

Epicenter Training Insight

Hi, Seth!

Congrats on your success so far, and thanks for submitting your question.

You hadn't specified the type of training environment you're in, whether you're working as an employee at a gym or training independently, and if your services are online, in-person, or a combination of both.

I'll provide some general recommendations that could be helpful, though be on the lookout for more answers as others add their comments, too.


I started my personal training career as an employee in a big box gym. Besides being fortunate to have incredible mentors from the outset, here are 3 things I focused on then, and that still apply today for employed personal trainers:

  1. Become the Mayor - For the time that you're on shift, if you are, be visible and on the move. It's easy to blend into the walls or set yourself away in an office, but it won't do you or your prospective clients any good. The more familiar of a face yours becomes, the more conversations you'll have with your gym's members. Not every convo has to be sales-focused. Be approachable, kind, and genuinely helpful, and word will spread that you're the person to go to for x, y, or z. Beyond that, by being available, you'll likely find yourself in the right place at the right time, more often than not. Where that's been the case for me, I've found myself, on several occasions, to be introduced to new members excited to begin their personal training journeys.

  2. Develop Your Sales and Communication Skills - As soon as I'd closed the book on my undergraduate degree in Physical Education, I began reading different kinds of books; mostly sales books. I realized I had great technical knowledge in anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, and advanced metabolism, but my clients didn't really care to know all the intensive details. They wanted the complex info put into simpler terms. And, more than that, they wanted someone who cared, and who could help them get results. Greatness in sales isn't a manipulation of someone's decision-making; it's intelligent conversation to help someone explore their options, while detaching yourself from the outcome.

  3. Create a Buzz - I remember putting my marketing hat on in that 1st personal training job of mine, giving my clients t-shirts with my last name across the front in capital letters, and selling the rest of the BOHMILLER shirts to members and co-workers who wanted in on the fun. I can't tell you how many clients I got as a result. Maybe none. But, it was FUN and a great conversation starter. Plus, it was wild to see those shirts still out and about around town, even years later. Find something unique that will help you to stand out, though be sure to be mindful of your responsibilities to your employer.

Battle Rope Workout


Here are a few things that can help independent personal trainers to grow their client base:

  1. Inform. Interact. Inspire. - When I'd owned a small group training studio in the early 2010s, I was hyperactive on Twitter (now X). I'd look for conversations that people were having where the topics were things like fitness, core exercise, and personal training. And, where I thought I could lend to the quality of the conversations, I added my 2 cents. Where it made good sense, I'd follow up in direct messages to learn more and to invite those conversation participants into the studio for a 1st class or initial consultation. I was even fortunate to have local radio and TV personalities become valued clients of mine. Twitter and other social media are a bit more crowded today, though it's still possible to do similarly and to have positive outcomes. Whichever social media platform you use, or prioritize, the most important thing is to create a harmony of informing your audience with your educational posts, interacting with them by answering responses, and by commenting on their posts, and inspiring your audience with authentic success stories and your why for doing what you do.

  2. Specialize and Host Special Events - I remember when a client challenged me to enroll in my very 1st obstacle race. I signed up, created a team of friends and clients, and ended up traveling the U.S. nearly every weekend for the next 5 years to race recreationally and competitively. I was hooked, and I wanted everyone else to be, too. And, since I almost always attached the support of different charitable organizations to my racing, there was an excellent opportunity to make more meaningful impact by hosting charity events at my studio. We'd host a workout, choose a charitable organization to support, and the fee for the event would become the fundraising donation. After the fundraising workout, conversation would turn to racing and training, so our teams and the studio's clients grew. Find something you and/or your clients are passionate about, and I'm certain you can do similar with great success.

  3. Be Consistent - I've often joked with friends that my superpower is that I'm patient (or stubborn) enough to keep showing up consistently. I'm not afraid of failure, rejection, or the inevitable challenges to be faced in personal training or entrepreneurship. And, given my endurance racing background, I like to think I'm physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the long haul, no matter the activity or industry. Just like you might tell your clients, "the more you show up, the more good things happen."


Congrats, again, on being part of this great profession, and on making a difference in the lives of your 1st few clients. The sky's the limit! Be sure to check out our How to Become a Trainer section for more like this!

Yours in fitness,

David Bohmiller
Co-founder, Epicenter Training

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Think In Terms of Sets and Reps
by: Annie

Just like you prescribe sets and reps to your clients in their programs, do the same for yourself in terms of outreach. That can be like # of emails or direct messages to send a day. Having formal structure definitely helps!

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