How to Get Personal Training Clients for Cheap

Where are you going to spend your money this month: advertising or rent?

That’s a tough question, isn’t it? Makes your stomach sink… but I’m guessing you probably have asked yourself this question or similar questions in the past.100 dollar puzzle 3

Hey, I’ve been there, I know what it’s like. I remember sitting on my dingy old bed, just sweating and wishing I could find a cheap way to get more clients…

Well let me tell you what I discovered and show you how to implement it in your own business.

See, I, like many struggling personal trainers, used to think that good advertising required a ton of cash. I thought I needed billboards, magazine ads, TV commercials, and all that other flashy stuff.

However, once I discovered the REAL way to get personal training clients in the 21st century, I swore off traditional advertising for good.


Because the method I’m about to describe for you is so much cheaper than traditional advertising and comes with so many more new clients that now I just see traditional ads as a waste.

And it starts with one very simple insight:

Your cheapest and best source of new clients is always your current clients.

Client Retention


You want to know how to get personal training clients? The first step is to keep the ones you have.

Question: how long should the average personal training client stay with their trainer?

Now, as a fitness expert, your first thought is probably “forever,” since health and fitness take lifelong effort and always benefit from good coaching.

However, as a business owner, you’re probably happy to get people sticking around for six months to a year… if that.

And you tell yourself that this is natural. You tell yourself people are either too lazy to stick to their programs or they just want to hit their fitness goal and leave.Calendar

But what if I told you I know many trainers who have clients stick around for 3-4 YEARS?

And what if I told you some of those clients even form lifelong commitments to their trainers? (Not talking about marriage here, although that does happen too.)

Doesn’t that surprise you? Maybe you’re curious about what those trainers are doing differently. And maybe you’re thinking it’d be great to have clients that train with you and pay for you for years on end…

The thing is, I don’t think those trainers are doing anything unusual. In fact, I think they’re just doing a great job at what all trainers should be doing.

Yes, these trainers deliver amazing, fast, long-lasting fitness results. I’m sure you do too.

However, and this is the crucial part, these trainers form amazing relationships with their clients.

The truth about a lot of those 3-4 or lifelong clients is that by this point they could probably afford to handle their fitness on their own. After that much training, the sheer muscle memory should be enough to keep them on track.

So why do they stay?

Because they feel a personal connection with their trainers.

And here’s how you can develop that kind of connection with your own clients:

  • Hold two client appreciation parties each year where they can bring friends and family to relax and have a good time.
  • Take each client personally out to lunch and thank them for trusting you with their health and fitness.
  • Show appreciation, enthusiasm and gratitude every second you interact with your clients and train your staff to do the same.
  • Invite to them to bonus seminars, healthy grocery store tours, and nutrition workshops.
  • Keep giving them amazing results faster than they expect you to.

If you follow those steps carefully, you’ll get clients who not only stick around longer, but also can’t stop talking about you to their friends and family.

Which brings me back to my main point: how to get personal training clients from the clients you have already.



How cool would it be to have your existing clients serve as your own personal sales army?

Whispers and secretsTalk about cheap advertising – just get the people who are PAYING YOU to also sell for you…

And when you have the right referral generating strategies in place, that’s exactly what happens.

Like I just said, the first step in any referral generating strategy is to overdeliver on your promises and become the trainer your clients LOVE to talk about.

And on top of that, you should make referrals a condition of doing business with you.

Every time you bring on a new client, take a moment to explain to them that you like to invest as much of your budget as possible into offering better training and affordable prices to your clients. Then explain that’s why you don’t bother “wasting” money on traditional advertising and tell them that referrals are what keeps your business running.

Obviously, they won’t start referring you until they see results, but it’s never too early to start conditioning them. There’s no better conditioning than framing their future referrals as part of a cooperative relationship, something THEY do to help YOU because YOU HELP THEM.

Another great strategy is a referral contest. Offer a nice reward, such as a restaurant gift card or free bonus sessions, to whichever client can get you the most referrals. Then, once you wrap up the contest, announce the winner and their prize to the rest of your clients so they’ll be motivated to refer more next time.

And by the way, don’t think you ever have to be hands-off about referrals. Write out a referral script your clients can use with their friends and family so they don’t feel awkward about pitching to them.

Anything you can do to make the referral process faster and easier is a good idea.

Working the Email List


You’ve been keeping an email list for all your clients, right? Past clients, current clients, even prospects? (Say yes.)

Now I’m willing to bet you aren’t using that list to its full potential, which means you’re missing out on some really easy new clients.

This is also related to retention, by the way. If you’re wondering about how to find personal training clients, you need to first make sure you’re getting the most out of the clients and leads you already have.

Take a look at this list of low or zero cost strategies you can use to get more profits and clients out of your email list:

  • Keep educating and entertaining your list by sending them awesome, relevant newsletters.
  • Offer upsells to your list (in the form of bonus sessions, nutritional workshops, books, info products, etc.)
  • Identify your lapsed former clients and reactivate them by massively following up with them.
  • Show your list to other businesses marketing to your demographic and offer to cross promote.
  • Add contacts from local news organizations to your list so that they receive your newsletters and offers (since they’re always looking for news items, you can actually get a ton of press this way.)

Are you doing everything on that list?

These are easy leads, man! Make sure you’re getting them!

When I see business owners who barely engage with their email lists it makes my head spin. Okay, maybe you can get away with that if you’re Apple or Starbucks and your name is already everywhere, but small businesses have no excuse for ignoring their lists.

Do you have any idea how careful and suspicious people are about their email addresses nowadays? Do you think that if someone actually bothers to give you their email directly they haven’t taken a second to think that through?

If you have a prospect’s email, THAT MEANS THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

And hey, if you want get more people on your email list, watch this video:

And if you ever need more tips on how to get personal training clients, keep an eye on this blog.

Committed to your success,