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)!
Matthew has some good points.
People will not run up to you just because you say that you are a personal trainer. But they will watch you even if you are not directly interacting with them. Chances are that you will be ask to assist people with their workouts, and that will be an opportunity for you to present yourself. I often see that trainers make a real display of themselves and talking incessantly in an effort to impress with their knowledge.. And while our job is to educate, it is not to pontificate. Take an interest in anybody you interact with and ask about their goals and what they are trying to accomplish.
I assume that there will be other trainers, and you will be in competition with them. Resist the temptation to criticize them even when egged on by somebody to do so. I saw enough in a gym that I would not do but my standard answer has been that I do not know the client and his goals and thus cannot comment on what I observe there.
Keep in mind that somebody is always watching you. I have gotten clients through referrals from people who I did not even know but who were gym members and recommended me.
Getting that first client is not easy. Yes, you may ask a friend to be your ‘client’. Just remember all the time that you need to display a professional relationship when you train him.
You are in for a wonderful career. I wish you good luck.