Hi, I’ve been a lurker here for a while, it’s a great community with lots of useful insights and I eventually joined to ask a question!
I’m really confused on how one should build a client base, starting from scratch, working in a commercial gym, assuming you have to build your own client base without any help from the gym itself.
A lot of advices and suggestions I see take for granted you have already a base to start from, but what if your completely new to the world of personal training?
What are your best advices for a new trainer looking to build a client base relatively fast? Should I approach everyone and give free sessions? Should I ever try to sell my services or just be nice, help people and try to build relationship and trust hoping someone will eventually request personal training?
To sum it up: please, share your knowledge on, going back, everything you would do in the first weeks in a gym setting. I’m very very confused (and… terrified)!
Thank you for all your answers!
Lot of great advices here.
I was a bit worried because in every bodybuilding community there’s a lot of pessimism regarding this carreer.
Everyone says “Don’t do it”, but I can’t honestly picture myself doing anything else: fitness is and will always be my passion.
Why can’t I follow my dreams and what inspires me?
Yes, I know building a client base will be hard.
Yes, I know I will probably struggle in the first times.
Yes, I know the market is oversaturated.
Fortunately, there is a community like this, with PASSIONATE Personal Trainers, Fitness Instructors etc. who made it and gives me some hope.
A big THANK YOU for this.
Every other input is much appreciated, thanks again!
What were you hired to do?
Do you have a role at the gym?
I would wear a shirt that says personal trainer on it or a name tag, and if you are able, I would approach people in a non pressure manner and ask them is they need assistance or if you could show them another way of doing a particular exercise.
I would not offer anything for free, it cheapens your services.
Does your gym have a process in place for giving out the names and phone numbers of new members to trainers so that they can call and offer a “first workout” to these members? Giving a first workout to a new member is a good way to meet them, find out their goals, introduce them to the gym, and sell your services. Some gyms have specific scripts. Others just give access to new members.
Here’s another thing that works quite well. Do you have group exercise? Get to know the group-ex staff. Ask them if they will introduce you at the beginning of their class. That puts your name and face in front of an entire group all at once. As a group-ex instructor and a personal trainer with an established client base, this is something that I do for new trainers who start at our gym, IF I trust them. If I meet a new trainer and I would trust my regular members with them, I’ll introduce them in class and say that if they have fitness questions they should talk to New Trainer.
Hi Patrick. In the words of Green Bay quarterback “R-E-L-A-X.” You’ll be fine. Take your time, approach people within your comfort zone (meaning don’t try to force yourself onto unsuspecting gym goers). Strike up ‘friendly’ conversations, not necessarily professional ones. If people recognize you at the gym as one of the trainers, no real need to beat them over the head with that fact. Show genuine interest in each person you meet. Ask questions, and actually listen to their answers. Be engaging, be friendly, be helpful and ‘they will come.’ Have fun with it!
You have gotten some good advice from the others! I would like to add that building a client base can take time. So, in addition to the actual tasks you want to accomplish to attract clients–also focus on how you present yourself. Always be professional (how you dress and act), offer to help someone if you see that they are in need, be friendly, smile, greet people in the gym, and just be genuine. Karin is correct–someone is always watching you! I have also gotten clients by having others watch me train, only to have them come up to me to request sessions.
Others will notice your passion for helping others and you will attract a client base. You will also build your client base through referrals. But, be patient! One of the most important things I’ve learned in this business is to have patience!
Best of luck to you!