Q & A

How to Build Your Personal Training Client Base

Premier Global NASM
Premier Global NASM

Charlotte Tooth is back with more tips and compelling personal training advice. Within this video, she will offer some tips on building your personal training client base.

It doesn't matter if you are a personal trainer or a virtual coach, building clients will help you maintain financial security and will grow your brand overall.

Gaining strong clients on a consistent basis will always be a good thing for your personal training practice! 

Let Charlotte show you how. 

Video And transcript


Hello, Premier Global and happy Friday. My name is Charlotte Tooth. Today I'm going to take you through a session on how to build your client base. So whether you are a brand new personal trainer, or whether you've been training for years, this is a session purely to help you on how to build your client base.

Let's first of all cover why you would want to build your client base. Well, first of all, you can help more people. This means you have more reach and you can assist more people in their journey to health and wellness.

Charlotte Tooth (00:30):

Having a bigger client base will also make you more financially secure, which is super helpful for those of you that are doing this particularly as a second job. Having a bigger client base will also help you with your reputation. People will start to know who you are, what you do and what you're good at. Then of course, the more people you train, the more you understand how to train different types of people, whether this be male, female, whether this be somebody who is coming back from an injury or an athlete.

Charlotte Tooth (00:57):

Now I know you think I'm going to stand here today and tell you all the best tips and tricks on how to get clients, but actually the most important thing you can do before you build your client base is to work out who you are. Now, that sounds like a silly question, but actually it really, really matters in terms of marketing yourself and getting yourself out there to people.

So people like people and people like to understand people's backstories and know where they came from. So if you can really define who you are, why you do what you do, why you think personal training is important, this will make you more palatable as a trainer when clients come along and they're looking for a type of trainer.

Charlotte Tooth (01:32):

So for example, I started personal training after seeing quite a lot of illness in my family, actually, and I wanted to help people lose weight, but also to enjoy exercise as well. So this came from a personal reason, but it's actually helped me to drive myself into the personal training business and also gives me the drive to help people to get better and to lose weight and to enjoy training.

Ask yourself what type of training you specialize in. It is so, so important that you are honest about what you're good at and what you're qualified in because this will lead to happy customers, people coming back, people referring you. If you say you're something and then you're not and you can not deliver that promise, that is more of a problem for your business.

Charlotte Tooth (02:15):

You need to provide a solution to somebody's problem. So the problem might be I need to get more mobile because I'm feeling really stiff and I'm feeling like an old woman. Great. You can help them with their mobility. The problem might be I need to lose weight. I've put on weight over lockdown and I need somebody to help me lose a bit of weight and guide me through the process. Maybe it's as simple as I need help with my technique. When I start to exercise, I always end up aching and hurting in all the wrong places. I need some guidance. Great. You can help them.

Charlotte Tooth (02:46):

This word gets thrown around a lot, but really try to be as authentic as you can. Try not to just latch onto the current trends and say that you're something that you're not because people will see through it straight away. Humans have this incredible sense of whether someone's being true to themselves or not. So do figure out why do you love personal training, what are your beliefs, what are you great at and how can you help people.

Charlotte Tooth (03:13):

Now, you might be thinking, "Charlotte, I know that. Okay. So how do I get my clients?" That's great. Put that down on paper, write all the things, who, what, why, where, how, when, all the reasons why you do personal training. Keep that stuck up somewhere. That's going to help you with every choice that you make going forward, including your marketing, your social skills when you chat to clients, what you offer to people. This is going to help hugely in the future.

Charlotte Tooth (03:37):

So before we go into the actual how of doing it, where are we going to find these clients? Please remember your basic social skills. So body language. When you chat to somebody, are you open? Are your eyes sort of alive?

Are you facing towards them with an open energy or are you kind of turning away, chin down, sitting into one hip? Yeah. So just be aware of what your body language gives off because people read that very, very quickly. Just make sure you're self-scanning and check that you are giving off a good energy because when people feel valued, they are more likely to trust you and they are more likely to invest in you.

Charlotte Tooth (04:14):

So there's a really nice thing called mirroring. So when somebody is facing toward you and perhaps they decide to sit down, you could sit down with them and just mirror them. Mirroring can be a really great way to help someone feel at ease and make them feel more comfortable in your presence.

Charlotte Tooth (04:31):

So consider your voice quality when you chat to people. Please make sure that you're not overbearing and you're not talking in their face really loud, but at the same time, you're not so quiet that you can't be heard and people perhaps think that you don't quite know what you're talking about. Just having a strong, clear, energetic voice is so, so helpful for getting clients.

I know this sounds ridiculous, but people will always associate that quieter voice with someone who's unsure, or the loud voice with someone who's a little bit obnoxious. So just be careful about that as well. I did a lot of this in my training as a dancer and an actor. We do a lot of voice work, but really, really takes some time to record yourself back, listen to your voice and see how you sound when you talk to people.

Charlotte Tooth (05:18):

The most important social skill of all is listening. Please make sure that you're not the type of person that just talks over other people, that doesn't process the information that they're giving you, and constantly almost ends their sentence for them. You want to close your mouth, look, listen, be aware, and then only when they've finished their train of thought then do you interject and talk back. Yes, clients love to feel listened to. They want to come to you because they have a problem. If they can't even get those words out, then you're going to have an issue. You won't be able to help the client if you can't listen.

Charlotte Tooth (05:52):

Really, really important is the ability to ask clear, concise questions. So a good example is, tell me how I can help you with personal training. A bad example is, can you tell me why you want to do personal training, how I can help you and have you done PT before? Because I've just gone and asked three things. They're only going to remember the last thing that I asked them. Then it's quite overwhelming to have three questions at once. Clear, concise questions, but also asking them about themselves as well.

Charlotte Tooth (06:21):

So you get to know them as a person because when you get to know someone's personality, this will hugely affect the way you train them, the program, but also how you deal with them when they're having issues as well. So issues with adherence, issues with turning up, issues with not being able to do the exercise, right? So this personality that they present to you will give you indications as to how you can work with them best to get the most out of their training.

Charlotte Tooth (06:49):

So personally, I've had a huge amount of success teaching group classes in and around London. I actually really enjoy teaching group classes, but from group classes, you get to meet a lot of people and then you can train them from there. People get to know who you are. It's a safe space. It's a nice way in. If someone wants to take you on for the first time as a personal trainer and they'd never met you before, that is a bit of a big step and not many people do it. If they know you via a group class, they are more likely to invest in you going forward.

Charlotte Tooth (07:18):

You can also attend classes as well. So go to classes out and about, go to your local gym, get to know people and just get chatting. It's not that you should go up to people and go, "Hey, I'm a personal trainer [inaudible 00:07:29]," straight away. But just be inquisitive. Get to know people. This will really help your reach, and yes, that person might not need personal training, but they might have a friend that has an injury or an uncle that's just come back from a knee operation. You never know where you might meet people. So be inquisitive, ask questions, get to know people.

Charlotte Tooth (07:47):

Obviously, there's social media. Social media is great. Just make sure you're doing a good job of telling people who you are, what you do and getting your face out there. People like people, like I said earlier on, and it's really important that you tell people how you can help them or how you can solve the problem that they are having. Then of course, once you get your first client, there's word of mouth. So you can actually say to your first client, "If you refer another person, you'll get 10% discount on your next four sessions." So word of mouth is a great one. Word of mouth is good because people trust people that they know. So it's a really nice way to sort of start a chain reaction of clients.

Charlotte Tooth (08:25):

You've got your traditional marketing as well. So you've got like adverts in the paper. You've got leaflets, you've got posters, you've got email marketing. All of this definitely works. I just personally find that I have not had much luck from those. Most of my marketing has come from social media and from teaching classes.

Charlotte Tooth (08:43):

A really good one that I sometimes use is training in public spaces. So I'll go to the local park and just start training myself. Sometimes people will come up to me and say, "What is it that you're using there?' Or, "How are you doing that? How does that work?" It's a really nice way for people to kind of organically come through the door. When they start asking you questions, you can explain and then they'll suddenly ask you, "Why do you know this? What is it that you do?" Then suddenly, it's a natural progression and natural conversation. It doesn't feel like you've forced yourself upon them. It's a really great way to get clients.

Charlotte Tooth (09:16):

To summarize, number one, please remember, it is so important to be authentic to ask yourself why it is you do what you do. Number two is just to remember your social skills. Be a good person, be a good listener, and you'll be surprised how far that can take you. Number three is keep that authenticity going no matter what your type of marketing is, whether it be social media, word of mouth, training in a space on your own, whatever it might be, stay authentic to your values as to why you became a personal trainer in the first place. Number four is just believing in the power of getting your clients either via face-to-face, so out in the park, wherever it may be or online. If you believe in what you do, you keep that authenticity going and you think, "Yes, I'm going to get my first client today," it will happen.

Charlotte Tooth (10:02):

Number five, my final tip today, which I haven't mentioned just yet is when you get your first client, look after them. Do a really, really great job because that first client is the first client that will tell all their friends, all their family, all their work friends about what you're doing with them. They are the first person to open doors for you. Thank you so much for joining me on this session on how to build your client base. If you have any friends that might benefit from this video, please tag them below or forward it to them. Like and share away wherever you can. My name is Charlotte_Tooth. If you have any questions, of course just drop them below and I will see you all again in two weeks time. Have a fantastic Friday.

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Premier Global NASM

Premier Global NASM