The most effective is Word of Mouth followed by great online content.
A client testimonial is much stronger than anything that you (or anyone you hire) can write. This person has experienced your work and can testify as to quality of your instruction.
Online content is great not just to improve your SEO marketing but also to show to prospective clients and existing clients that you know your stuff, that you are more than a trainer but a valuable resource. If you don’t have a blog, start one now in 2015 and write one blog (with at least 500-1000 words) article a month. Your blog, website, and IDEAfit page is your online mouthpiece working for you when you are busy working with your clients or cannot be near your computer. Your online presence has to be uniform across the board. My website blog www.pinpointservices.biz blog matches all of my other blogs and they all say through my words, “yeah, she is knowledgeable and resourceful.”
Hope this helps.
Denise is right on the spot. Word-of-mouth is still the most effective marketing strategy but you can help that along with online content and also social media. I have several places where people can find me; here at IDEA, but also my own website and a blog separate from IDEA even though identical in content. All those give me a forum to present myself from many angles so that people who may have heard about me can form their own opinion.
Denise and Karin already gave great advice.
I don’t currently have a website, but I have an active facebook fan page (separate from my personal page) with content that’s targeted towards the types of clients I wish to attract. I don’t get a lot of brand new leads from it, BUT I send potential clients there so they can get a feel for my training, and I use it to communicate my class schedule and build community with existing clients.
But the most effective thing for me has been word of mouth. A client likes my training, they bring me a new client, and I give the existing referring client two free small-group classes and in some cases one free personal training session.
Word of mouth has been one of the most effective marketing tools for me though out the years. IDEA has also provided me some good leads through my profile. I do have a website and it has also worked very well for me because people can go there and get more information about me and my services. Posting on Craigslist is another free way of market your business. Facebook is also great to connect with others, but I still think the best way of marketing your services is by joining networking groups where you can meet people with connections.