It just takes one client that likes what you do… but what I do is offer free sessions for referrals. Because the gym I work at offers package deals I tell my clients to get a friend to buy a package with me and I will give them two free sessions in return, I eat some money but it keeps new clients coming and current clients willing to market for you. It is okay to sacrifice a couple of bucks for a good payout at the end. I do all kinds of stuff like that… Free Friday, a random friday out of the month give a free session to one of your clients. Get creative, the more creative you are the more the town will talk and news travels fast in small towns.
Target word of mouth then and offer some free classes or sessions. Once you hook some clients word will spread. Also do some speaking engagements like a presentation on training the core to reduce back pain or eating for busy people. Anything that will get them used to you as a fitness professional…when somebody in your town thinks of fitness it should be your face that comes to mind.
One more option you can look into, is donating some of your services for a silent auction benefiting a local fundraising event. People will notice your charitable spirit and it’s a great opportunity for you to advertise your business for free. This actually works great in smaller communities and towns where the word gets spread fast.