How to Get Online Personal Training Clients

Want to know how to get online Personal Training clients?

You’ve achieved your certification. You’ve built (or are building) your online business and presence. But now comes the seemingly tough part, client attraction and recruitment. It is important to keep in mind that there is no one specific “formula” to apply when it comes to building your client list. Client acquisition is about three broad concepts: finessing the foundational principle, answering necessary questions about your audience, and action. Let me break this down.

The Foundational Principle

Rapport. The art of cultivating and nourishing connections with those you serve. Rapport is all about building a mutually trusting relationship based on unconditional positive regard. Personal training is not just named because it happens (generally) one- on-one. Personal training is personal in that you create connections with your clients. This is what turns paying clients into staying clients and what elevates the client experience from something traditionally seen as transactional to something that is relational.

All of this means one thing: Invest in your clients. They are investing in you as much as they are in the services you provide.

The Necessary Questions

This is where many new professionals get hung up – taking action before they know
how they want to recruit as clients. Before you identify your client recruitment steps, be
sure you know your target market. This four-question sequence will help you do just
that. Use these questions to take a deeper dive into who your audience is.

  • Start with who your ideal client is. Be clear and specific.

a. Gender

b. Age Group

c. Context of their reality. What’s happening in their life? Do they work from home? Do they take care of small children? What outside responsibilities do they have? What is their partner or marital status?

d. Describe their hobbies

e. What social media networks do they tend to use, if any? Where do they hangout?

  • Describe what your ideal client hopes to achieve or gain by working with you. What are the two most likely objectives for this group/market?
  • What is your ideal client’s pain point? What problem can you help them solve? For example: Be pain free in X days or improve your energy in X weeks.
  • Brainstorm ways you can best connect with this audience.


Once you know your target market, you will have an idea of where they hang out, how they tend to obtain their information, and what, if any, social media sites they frequent or favor. Regardless of those factors, however, there are some effective ways to recruit clients through these avenues.

Get involved in your community. Your community is a rich source of prospective clients. Examine what opportunities exist for you to volunteer, sponsor a youth sports team, engage in business after hours or meet and greet events, join a non-profit board, etc. Don’t be afraid to get your name out there and introduce yourself to new people.

Create referral reciprocity. It is common practice to ask existing clients to refer prospective clients to you. Also, your existing client list will include professionals in your community. Refer those clients to others. This creates referral reciprocity.

Co-market. Two heads are better than one. When you can combine services and co- market those services, you both win. For example, partner with a functional nutrition expert to host a virtual workshop.

Offer special pricing deals. Clients are always in search of the best price or a lightning deal. Strategically offer unique pricing options. This might include a 50% off a single session coupon, discounts on buddy training sessions, or “buy 10 get 2 free”. The holidays are a great time to leverage the power of special offers.

Write, speak, teach. Share your expertise often and in a variety of ways. The blog world is rich and thriving as is the podcast and presenting worlds. Consider applying to present at a conference or ask to be a guest on a popular health and fitness podcast. Hosting “lunch and learns” for local businesses is also a great way to recruit new clients to your services. All these events can be held virtually and provide opportunity for you to showcase your virtual services.

Master these three broad concepts and you are well on your way to having a full client roster with a waitlist.
This is how to get online Personal Training clients.

About the Author

Dr. Erin Nitschke is a certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, college professor, fitness blogger, mother, and passionate fitness professional with over 20 yrs experience in fitness industry 

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PS: At Fitness Education Online, we have a CEU course for Personal Trainers all around this topic “Online Essentials: Start Training Clients Online”. Feel free to check it out!

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