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.