I have relocated a few times while looking to find the place where I wanted to settle. I actually found that place here in Hawaii years ago, but had to relocate away for family reasons and now have moved back hopefully to stay.
Everytime I relocated, I found a job of any kind that I was willing to do. We need to eat and pay the rent/mortgage, ect. And I started working on getting my fitness business rolling as well. Yeah, it can be pain, but so can using up your savings to stay afloat while building your business.
The income also helped pay for advertising and business cards, etc. I was never worried because I have faith in my knowledge and abilities. I have started/restarted my own business now 6 times. It was always an adventure and always worth it.
Kimberly provided you with some excellent ideas! Here’s how I went about doing the same…
I think the hardest part to starting a business and building a client base, is getting started, getting that first client and having the confidence that you know what you’re doing.
I started by training friends. I had a few friends that wanted to drop a few pounds and I needed to gain some experience. So for a few sessions I trained them for free. After 4 weeks of training, I started charging them. They stayed on as clients for 2 years (till I moved) and referred me to several other clients who did the same. Before I moved I asked them for testimonials. Those testimonials help me get clients each time I move (my husband is military so we move every 2-3 years and I have to gain a new client base).
I also voluteer coaching a youth running club. A lot of the parents then hire me on as a trainer since they see how much fun their children have with me and I get some free advertising.
Marlan gave some great ideas, but I wasn’t sure if you are working in a gym or independently (in-home or studio)?
If you are working for a gym, you do have to make sure you adhere to non-compete or other employment agreements…
That said, if you are out there looking to build a book of personal clients, here are the top 3 ways I built my book & business ($100k+/yr).
1. Networking. At least 1 a week you need to get out there, “boots on the ground” and meet up with your “target market”. So if you want to work with new moms, then you should attend new mom’s class and offer to do a FREE fitness or nutrition class. If you want to work with over 30 professionals, then go to after work mixers where professionals network and take your business cards etc. A good place to find events to attend or even start your own group is meetup.com.
2. Ask for the sale! If you have a blog, facebook fan page, or other social connecting site…let folks know you are available. On my blog, I have a tab that says “training options” or what works also is a “hire me” tab. On that page you are letting them know that you are looking to take on new clients, what your rates are, and who your ideal clients are.
3. Use social media to the fullest. Also if you are blogging, what are you blogging about? And who is reading your blog? If no one is reading your blog or finding your posts interesting, then you won’t get any leads to go there and see your “hire me” tab. You can have a “pop-up” that offers a free fitness report or sign-up for a free session/consult. I use pop-up domination. Visit my blog for examples http://www.livinthefitlife.com/
On your facebook fan page, you should be giving fitness advice, tips, uploading videos (get a youtube account & do free videos) and asking potential clients what they need help with the most. Increasing engagement on your social networking sites will get you seen on other folks facebook automatically due to how facebook has changed their system. Visit my facebook fan page for example http://www.facebook.com/pages/DCs-Toughest-Trainer/167876343733
Another BONUS client getting tool…buy a black t-shirt with “personal trainer” on the back or the name of your business with phone number. When I wear my “trainer shirt” to Starbucks or any stores I know my target audience hangs out (run stores, specialty stores) I always get asked, “are you a trainer” Why of course 🙂
Hope this helps your business!