You’ve gotten good answers & I agree that referrals are the best source. But if you’re doing in-home training (which it looks like based on your profile), developing a good relationship with your local fitness equipment store manager (and sales people) can turn into a nice pipeline of potential clients also. I’ve done pretty well with that in the past. One hand washes the other! Good luck Michael.
Word of mouth is huge in this business. If you are good at what you do, chances are people will be happy to talk about it and promote your work to their peers. Pounding the concrete and social media sources are also a good way to go, as it is a good mix of quick easy access marketing as well as a chance to meet and greet people so they know your face.
I give (free of charge) a t-shirt with a phrase on the front to catch peoples attention and my business info on the back to create awareness of my business. People will see this standing in line at the market, the bank, the DMV, etc. I get a call or two every week or so from the shirts. And I pick up about 10% of these folks as clients. I do a lot of work intended to get clients to be self sufficient, so I can’t speak to client retention. Most of my clients then refer me clients and come back to me if they have a new goal or issue to address or if they have fallen off the fitness trail and need help getting back in to the swing.
I have gotten many clients through Fitness Connect
Make sure your page is 100% complete -this includes client testimonials
Also you may want to further your career by becoming a Health Coach. Or possibly add a specialty certification through ACE to broaden your potential
I suggest joining local groups in your town such as the Chamber of Commerce. Join in on Health Fairs locally.Leave your cards/flyers at businesses in town.
Attend IDEA conferences
I have not gotten any clients from Thumbtack or Craigslist
My base comes from word of mouth and Fitness Connect
I suggest an ACE certification , you will then be listed on ACE’s site also.