Make sure that people can see from a distance that you are a personal trainer. Never leave the home without a shirt that clearly indicates that you are a personal trainer. It is amazing how many people will start talking to you. Even if people are just trying to smooch off some training tips, they may talk to somebody else about you and establish a connection for you.
And always have a business card handy.
All great answers, I have tried everything said above. I also looked up every classified type website on the internet that allows you to list your service for free. If you do in-home training you can deliver flyers to junk mail boxes at peoples homes, its a good way to get your brand into their home, and you can probably get about 1,000 black and white flyers printed for around $50.
I agree that IDEA Fitness connect has been a great way to get inquiries from new clients. I also periodically do free fitness talks at the club where I work and write a fitness tip each month for their newsletter. I include a short bio at the end, and find that those two things help to highlight my expertise and interest in helping people get moving.
Participate in local company health fairs. As a fitness professional participating in these fairs you have a great opportunity to present your services, engage potential clients in conversation, offer a free service (such as body fat analysis), and build some relationships. I’ve participated in a number of health fairs, and even if I walk away from one without obtaining any immediate clients, I have opened doors to possibilities of getting new clients.