Stephen had some awesome suggestions! I am also an independent contractor at a local gym. My experience thusfar has been that it’s best to get to know the regulars. Take time to socialize and carry on worthy conversations that don’t always relate to fitness. Just to reiterate…
If you see someone in the gym with improper form, try going up to the potential client and simply say “Hi! My name is Dan, I’m a personal trainer here, would you like a tip on how to get the best out of *this exercise?*.. (having a shirt and a name tag would be helpful)”….
I’ve found that by simply using that line you earn a lot of repsect with fellow gym members and potential clients. You don’t even have to say that you’re a trainer right off, you can do it afterwards and let them know they can ask you if they have any other questions. More often than not, you’ll get at least one follow-up question.
Always remember that everyone in the gym is watching everyone else! By speaking loud but not screaming, you are not only focusing on answering a potential client’s question, but you are advertising your expertise, and others may come up to you and say “oh hey I heard you talking to so and so.. I have a question for you.”… That kind of thing leads to clients!
Also, consider putting a book out that has your picture and your information in it. The one that I have at the gym gets looked at often. It has three pages in it. One page is a general about me page with my certs and education, experience etc., what you get when you train with me (personalized book etc), and the other page has my very low prices along with session packages that are available. The other page is a sign up sheet for my newsletter through IDEA. *wink wink*
In this economy, people aren’t looking to spend a fortune on training, so making your sessions affordable and cheaper than other trainers in town will pay off in the end. I know that the gym takes a cut of what you get, but you’ll make up for it in volume. Keeping those clients *I’m not comfortable with more than 12 for quality assurance purposes* is how you can keep a steady paycheck along with your other obligations and doing some other auxillary services for the gym every once in a while (assessments, corporate promos, etc).
Hope that was of some benefit!
Stephen had some excellent advice. Another thing to try is to have some shirts made that leave no doubt that you are a personal trainer. And wear those wherever you go. You’d be surprised how many people will ask you about it. You may be the first ‘live’ personal trainer they ever encountered. It can generate a conversation and – who knows? Just make sure you have a business card or brochure handy.
Best of luck.
Good. You’re diversifying your range.
If you want more clients at the gym: If you haven’t got business cards yet then make some. They don’t have to be fancy just good contact information. Every time you talk with a potential client (anyone who asks questions you can answer as a professional) make sure they receive one. Promote your profile here, I have numerous ones out there but this really is the most legit looking one, and you can really flesh it out. Hold pow-wows (with novice gym goers or just friends) at the gym you train at. When people see you training they pay attention to the exercises; when they see you teaching they start analyzing your knowledge as an expert. You have got to get publicity and that means getting your self out there in front of the masses. Local TV station are good places to make appearances (do a small segment on debunking fitness myths or something else entry level and cap it off with one advanced scientific principle: i.e. enhancing metabolism to enact athletic developement) and situate yourself as a local celebrity.
If you want more in home clients: Do demonstrations. Do them at crowded events near your training radius for maximum exposure. Again, don’t just show people things, teach them. Have pamphlets on hand that promote your services as an in home trainer and make certain you have developed a complete business model (don’t get caught unable to answer questions about your own business!)
I am never really short of clientele because of the exposure I create for myself but it takes some dedication at first to be recognized. Oh, and create a brand that is totally based on your style and never let anyone know you NEED clientele, just that your looking to expand your clientele. Fake it till you make it; if you appear to be a success then you must be… right? Give ’em quality and word of mouth will accumulate into testimonials for advertising.
It would help if I knew your current situation. Do you work at a gym? Studio? With in home clients? Comment back on this and I’ll try to help. That information really tweaks the dynamic a little. No sense in spraying a shotgun at everyone and hoping, when you can actually get your potentials together in a group and point your shotgun at that.