15 Things to do When You Don’t Have Enough Personal Training Clients

You’re sitting in the gym twiddling your thumbs thinking about how life would be better if you had more clients.

“If only I could be busier, things would be so much better. I’d have more money, I’d be able to buy that thing I’ve wanted for ages and I’d be living my life with less stress”

Not having enough clients is a rubbish place to be, but it is a place that many trainers find themselves in, especially early on in their careers.

Where is Your “Leak” Occurring?

I’ll get to the lead generation strategies in a second, but for many a personal training business, the problem is not generating more leads, it’s something else.

If you keep getting consultations but nobody is signing up, learning how to improve your consultation and sales process should be part of your focus.

If you keep signing people up but they only stay for a block of sessions or a couple of months, working on your overall service and retention rates would be worth putting time into.

Instead of just thinking “I need more leads!”, start by thinking about what part of your client bucket is leaking. Is it lead generation? Turning leads into sales? Or keeping those sales over the long term?

Read our blog on the personal trainers guide to retention here

Side Note: Try different strategies and when you find what works, keep using it. You want to think of lead generation not as a light switch that goes on and off, but as a dimmer that is turned down at busier times and up at quieter times.

1. Put Out a Good Quality Piece of Social Media Content

Tell the world why you love being a personal trainer.

Take a video or picture of one of your clients doing something cool (like setting a PB or mastering an exercise they’ve always struggled with).

Create an image on Canva for Instagram that solves a problem that your clients have.

2. Make a List of Things That Have Worked For You in The Past

How did you get your current list of clients?

When was the last time you did any of that stuff?

If it’s been a while since you’ve done anything like what worked previously, there is no reason why you can’t rinse and repeat.

3. Watch a Course, Read a Book or do a Google Search

Sometimes part of the problem is how caught up you are in your thoughts. Try taking some time to read a book, watch an online course, attend a seminar or do a Google search of the thing you’re struggling with.

What will often happen is you’ll find some little nuggets of information or the space to think will give your brain some time to solve the problem you’re having.

4. Support The Hell Out of Your Current Clients

Write down all your current clients.

Are you doing everything you can to help them get to their goals? Could you create a document, write them an email, send them a thank you card or walk into each of their next sessions with the goal of delivering the best PT session possible?

Chances are you’ll be thinking you could do at least one of those things a bit better.

5. Speak to a Family Member, Colleague, Friend or Mentor

Do you have any industry friends you could turn to? Any good friends who always offer good advice? A grandparent who always seems to know what to do?

Try sending them a message or giving them a call and talking through your situation.

6. Consider Training Some People for a Free Trial Period

Is there anyone you know would who would be great to train but they just haven’t taken that step?

How about offering them a month of free PT to try out what it is you offer?

7. Put out a Social Media Advert

Using something simple like our Facebook ad example download, try putting out an advert to warm audiences (people who have engaged with your stuff). Create an offer or call to action that people won’t want to resist and make it easy for them to come in and trial what you offer.

8. Contact All Your Old Leads And Previous Clients

Send all the leads you’ve ever had contact with and all ex-clients a message or email and ask how they’re getting on and if they need any help.

Chances are, there’ll be at least one person who could do with some guidance and it may end up being someone who is interested in signing up.

9. Ask Your Current Clients For a Referral

One of the most effective ways to grow your business is through word of mouth. Although we want this to happen organically, sometimes we need to let clients know we have space.

Check out this episode of the LTB Podcast on referrals for more ideas

At the end of your next PT session, try saying something along the lines of –

“Thanks for a great session, Sandra! As you may know, I spend most of my time training clients and learning how to become a better trainer. This means I don’t spend as much time as I should on marketing. I currently have a few slots open and was wondering if you knew anyone who could benefit from working with a Personal Trainer? Here is a 7-day trial gift voucher for that person”

10. Try Something Different

What about running a seminar on nutrition myths? Or a technique session on squats and deadlifts?

If you’ve had an idea you’ve wanted to try for a while, put the wheels into motion for trying that thing out.

11. Set Yourself a Goal of Speaking to X Number of New People

Personal training is about creating relationships, showing your expertise and becoming known to enough people that they seek you out for help.

Try setting yourself a goal of speaking to one new member every single time you go into your gym.

12. Local Business Collaboration

Are there any local businesses you could set up a collaboration with?

Physiotherapists, chiropractors, coffee shops, health food stores, hairdressers, barbers – these are all businesses who have customers similar to most personal trainers.

Try getting in touch with one, offering them some kind of value (like some free training for staff or buying a bunch of gift vouchers for your clients) or just get in there and start using their service and develop a relationship. Every single business owner appreciates people paying them money.

13. Run a Competition

Competitions can be effective ways to generate leads quickly.

If you’re in a commercial gym you could set up a table and run a guess the calories competition.

If you’re in a private facility you could run it online for likes, shares and comments.

Try giving something notable away like 6 weeks of free PT. Then second place could be that every person who entered gets a week free trial of your service.

14. Use Testimonials

Do you have any clients who just love what you do and would make for a great testimonial?

You could interview them and use video or get them to fill a testimonial form.

Consider asking questions that will make someone reading think “that could be me. I want that!”

Testimonial question examples:
  • What was the problem you were having before you discovered us?
  • Tell us what the frustration felt like as you were trying to solve that problem?
  • Was there anything different about us?
  • Take us to the moment when you realised we were helping you solve that problem?
  • Tell us what life looks like now that your problem is solved or being solved?

Credit to Matt Murphy from one of LTB’s trusted partners, Internet Fit Pro, for those questions.

Once you have some quote-worthy answers, create a social media post with a nice image of the client. It doesn’t need to be a side by side transformation picture and quite often, this can portray the wrong image of your business. A simple picture of the client smiling and enjoying life is ideal.

Whatever it is you pick from this list that fits your situation, try to take one or two things and action them. Take a step forward and aim to create momentum. Unfortunately, generating leads isn’t as clicking your fingers, but by focussing on a few of the right ideas, you’ll have a much greater chance of getting more clients.

Learn More About LTB

If you’re interested in generating more leads, our marketing course, game of leads download and 25 non-social media lead generation methods download will help. You can check them by clicking on the links if you’re a member or by signing up here for our 2-week trial.