I certainly think you’ve chosen an awesome profession. Although getting started can be daunting, the job statisfaction tends to be incredibly high. Helping people to better their lives through better fitness never gets old!
If you are certified through an agency or school with a strong reputation, that would help. Certification organizations like the NASM have trainer locater services that kind of do some marketing for you. (IDEA has it’s own called FitnessConnect.) I think I’ve seen books through IDEA that have a lot of forms you can just copy and use yourself. Be aware that different states may have different laws and rules and make sure your wording fits those expectations. There are also many seminars and conference session offerings that assist with all aspects of setting up a fitness business. Though some of these can be quire expensive, they are probably worth it in the long run. Just be sure they are endorsed by an organization like IDEA or IHRSA (International Health and Racquet Sports Association.) IHRSA is also a great resource for fitness business advice.
A couple of ideas to get your name out there:
1. Have your car wrapped; you know, with those cool, usually colorful and attractive “skins” that act as moving billboards. Or if that’s too costly, consider adding a professional-looking placard or stencils to the side and back of your car. Be sure to include easy-to-remember contact info so potential clients can follow up.
2. Enlist one of the mass mailing companies that specialize in fitness postcards. I’ve seen some really great eye-catching mailers that you can add your business info to. If that’s too much money, then you could print up some of your own at Kinkos and distribute them in a neighborhood you’d like to target.
3. A lot of trainers offer a comp session or mini-session (you can add that to the mailers) so people can see how they work and spread the word, even if they don’t sign up themselves.
4. If you’re just starting out, it may be hard to specialize, but think about what kind of workout you’re best at and approach those with the same interests. There also may be a certain type of person you gravitate toward that you might have a natural repoire with such as teens or older adults.
5. Don’t forget the “Social Media” option. You can use your own Facebook page or create one for the business. I think they offer advertising now as well.
Ultimately, the best way to get clients, I believe, is still word of mouth. If people like your services, they will tell their friends about you. You can always offer some sort of reward to those who send referrals your way as a thank you and incentive to talk you up some more!
Well, hope this helps at least a bit. I’m sure the folks at IDEA can give you tons of good options to learn more about the Business of Personal Training. After all, that’s what they specialize in!
All the best to you.
NASM CPT, IDEA Elite PFT
Gray Institute for Functional Training 2011 GIFT Fellow