Over the past three weeks I've performed 120 phone calls with in-person and online personal trainers around the world.

"How do I get a new personal training client?" was the most common question I got.

My answer to nearly everybody was the same. And it's what I'm going to share with you right now.

Your initial reaction to reading this will be to think it's way too simple. It is simple. People make marketing so difficult these days. I don't get it.

You're not trying to sell to hundreds or thousands. Heck, you're not even trying to get a dozen clients. You're trying to get a few. Or just one. And for that, I want you to follow this system.

Here's how to get a new client today using nothing but free software and a little bit of hustle.

The System for In-Person or Online Trainers to Get a New Personal Training Client Today

First: Identify your ideal client. Be as specific as possible.

On a piece of paper write:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Goal (be specific)
  • Any potential limitations (if applicable)

This is called your client avatar, or ideal client. Here's two examples:

20- to 30-year-old guy who wants to lose a bit of fat and put on five to 10 pounds of muscle with no serious injuries.

45- to 55-year-old female who wants to lose no more than 10 pounds of fat but feels like she's tried everything and nothing seems to work.

Armed with this information, you'll run through the system. Here it is step-by-step:

1. Create a Google form

Your form will have a description and four to five entries:

  1. Description: This will be similar to your posting about the form in step 2. The basic format is "I'm looking for {X number} of {gender} age {age range} who live in {your location} and are looking to {goal}. If this is you, please fill out the form below. All eligible applications will be contacted by phone."
  2. Gender
  3. Age
  4. How committed are you to achieve {goal}
  5. Do you live within 20 minutes of {your location} (this is optional)
  6. Phone number

Here's how the form would look. Click to see it live.

Click "send form" in the top right and copy the link to your form. Keep it some place handy. You'll need it in a bit.

Click the blue "send form" button at the top right of your screen and then select "short url" to get a direct link to your form.

2. Enable notifications

This way you'll be emailed whenever a user submits to your form. To set up the notification you'll have to go to your Google Drive and click on the form responses:

If you don't know how to access your Google drive, click here.

Next click "tools" at the top and select "notifications." You'll see a window pop up with an option to have the system email you when a user submits.

3. Promote your form on Facebook or Instagram

On Instagram change your description link to your form's link and upload a pic saying that you're taking on clients (specific to the type) and use the script below directing people to click the link.

On Facebook you'll share a status update with the script below that links to your form.

Here's your script:

***I'm looking for 5 {gender} age {age range} looking to {goal} that live in {location}.***

I am looking for {gender} who want to:

-{benefit 1}
-{benefit 2}
-{benefit 3}

Spots are extremely limited and I'm only looking for 5 who are ready to make a change today. To apply, fill out the form and I'll be in touch if you meet the requirements:

--> {link to your Google form}

The benefits will vary but they should dig deeper into the emotional reasons for your clients goals. Some examples might be: build confidence, feel sexier, have shirt hang better, get bigger arms, etc.


Update: Here's the system implemented minutes after reading this article by Mike Gorski.

Hey friends in the Madison area, after the awesome success of my 8 Week Strength Beach Body Group, I am starting a new...

Posted by Mike Gorski: Trainer & Dietitian on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A few hours after this went live.
A few hours after this went live.

Another by Sean Armstrong.

***I'm Looking For 5 Females Aged 23-28 Looking to Lose 1-2 Stone That Live In Newcastle.***I am looking for females...

Posted by Armstrong Fitness on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

And another by Nate Palmer on Instagram.

A few hours after this article went live.

4. Call them right away

Ideally you'll call people within 20 minutes of them filling out your form. I don't care what you're doing. Strike it while it's hot.

Go through the same process that you would on a sales call. Attempt to sell them on an introductory package on the phone. Most likely you'll schedule a time for them to see you in the gym.

Read this for more info on selling (click to open in a new window and read after):

--> Selling Personal Training in 5 Steps

5. The money is in the follow-up

One of 3 things will happen when you call them:

  1. They answer. It's a great call. You sell / book them in. They show up. You dance a happy dance.
  2. They answer and book in or don't book in and don't show up for a session.
  3. They don't answer. You leave a message.

Follow up. If you leave a message and they don't call back within two days, call again. If they don't book in or book in and don't show up, follow up in a weeks time.

Moving forward, call them once a week for the first month and once a month until they become a client or tell you to stop calling.

Most won't do this. If you want to be a successful trainer, you cannot be scared to follow up.

A story:

Years back a client came into our gym for a tour. Big Italian dude. Owned a sanitation company. Busy guy. I'll call him Gus.

Gus said that he'd be in the following week to sign up. He never showed up. Two and a half years went by and Gus got an email or phone call on the second Tuesday of every month.

Sometimes he didn't answer. Other times he said he was busy. Sometimes he even said that he'd be in the next day and didn't show up. One day, two and a half years after we first met Gus he showed up in the gym unannounced, credit card in hand. He bought 50 sessions, $4,500, and started training 4x/wk the next day.

Gus thanked us for following up with him.

-Follow up. Don't miss out on a Gus. This story is true.