The first thing that we should do before embarking on this article is to define what we mean by “effortless”. Personal training is a highly competitive job, which only the very best will succeed at. But, just the fact that you have read this far on an article about growing your business shows that you could potentially have the commitment required.
Our definition of effortless would be tasks that you can complete that once you have done the work, will yield excellent results without you having to stress out, and work 14 hour days. Tasks that can be enjoyable to do, so it doesn’t seem like you’re working. Little things that when done consistently will eventually lead to long term success. None of them require zero effort, but once you have started doing them week in, week out, you will see the rewards.
Every personal trainer starts out with the same advice, walk the gym floor looking for people willing to sign up for a free session. Most trainers hate this with a passion, and will try anything to avoid doing it. After they have around 10 clients, most trainers never walk the floor again. But the truth is that walking the floor is the absolute best way to get new clients that you could possibly ask for!
You are in a room filled with men and women who want to lose weight, are prepared to invest time and money into this (most gym memberships are around £20-50 per month), and need help. This is a marketer’s dream scenario. All you need is 1) Confidence, 2) A plan, and 3) Some free time. If you are struggling for clients then you have all the time in the world!
Get yourself some decent business cards, make sure that your phone is fully charged (and on silent) and set yourself a task of 10 sign ups within 2 hours. Create a small script that you can follow, but when possible try to find a natural conversation pattern. If you talk to 20 people on a Monday then you will probably walk away with 10 trial sessions booked. That’s a low estimate.
Now go train those 10 people, give them a damn good 30 minute session and then sit them down and prepare your sales talk. Ask them how they felt, ask them whether they had fun? Ask them if they thought that training with you would get them better results? Hopefully they should answer all three questions with yes. Then show them your three price options, and book in your first real session (payment in advance).
Hopefully out of those 10 people you will have got yourself 1-5 new clients (the more experienced you become, the more clients you will be able to convert). So you’ve talked to 20 people, and got 5 new clients. That leaves 15 people who you didn’t sign up. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THESE PEOPLE.
Keep all the information for the people who you gave a trial session to, and after 3 months invite them for another trial session. Also, remember the faces of all the people who didn’t want to take up the free session. Say hi to them every time they are in the gym, ask them how they are doing, make friends with them. You’ll be the first one that they think of if they ever change their mind about training.
So after 2 hours on a Monday you have got yourself 5 new clients, imagine what would happen if you also did this on a Tuesday, and a Wednesday, and every day for a month! Are you telling me that you wouldn’t end up with a full calendar of clients? Walking the floor is the greatest client getting technique of all time, and you need to be doing it.
Whenever you get a new client, make sure that you have their email address, phone number, and home address. If you want to be super friendly then add them on social media too. Very few clients will stay with you forever, and there will come a time when you are no longer training them.
Well guess what? That doesn’t mean that you can never train them again! Contact them once per month, send them a postcard, just ask them how they are doing, or if you want to be more direct offer them a free session. What have you got to lose? You will be amazed at how many clients will come back to you if you try this technique. Also, the ones who do? Were usually the best clients anyway!
Create a spreadsheet on excel, and put in all of your client’s information (birthdays are a great one) and schedule calls/texts/emails etc ... It can take just 10 minutes out of your day, but could be worth a lot of money.
One thing that personal trainers who don’t have a lot of clients DO have, is time. If you’re personal training for just 6 hours per week, then there are 34 hours that you could be spending on social media building up a following. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are wasting your time, that advice is out of date. Get on Instagram, get a facebook page, get a twitter handle, create interesting content, create a tribe, think of ways to transform that tribe into paying clients.
Start local, and offer your clients a free session as a prize. All those people you meet at the gym? Add them, all of those ex clients? Add them, get photos and videos of your current clients (with their permission of course), and put them up on social media. Get them to tag their friends for a free session. You have the time to do this so do it.
Build your knowledge, read journal articles, follow the greatest names in fitness, and get yourself on every course that you can afford. But don’t limit your knowledge to just fitness and nutrition. Learn how to effectively build a business. Learn how to market, learn how to manage your business, learn about the art of selling, and how to plan for success.