The ways you can get more personal training clients

Retaining clients is a challenge for even the most seasoned personal trainer. However great a service you provide, the fact is that clients will leave, for a variety of personal reasons. This means that you will almost always need to be on the lookout for new clients, while doing what you can to retain the ones you have.


Use social media wisely

You need to market yourself and your brand effectively on social media. Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter to an extent, can be good platforms for reaching your audience of prospective clients.

When it comes to posting, you must find a good balance of informative, useful content and marketing. If all you do is sell yourself, people will skip your posts or unfollow you. A content-rich presence will build your credibility, making your followers more likely to respond positively to occasional marketing and special offers you post.

Of course, there are thousands of personal trainers on social media, so to make yourself stand out online – as in real life – it can be beneficial to find your niche market. By doing so, you can become the expert in a field rather than competing with the masses as a non-specific general fitness provider.


Be personable

Being a good trainer is one thing, but being someone that clients feel comfortable and relaxed around is another. This common sense ‘technique’ works for both attracting and retaining clients.

Take an interest in your clients’ lives, ask them open-ended questions during their warm up and listen attentively. Relating to clients on a personal level is critical to retaining them. Most people are naturally resistant to change, especially if they have no impetus to disrupt things. If your client likes you, therefore, they are less likely to change trainers or gyms.

When it comes to gaining new clients, a friendly introduction and quick chat with a gym member costs you nothing but two minutes of your day. This simple action means that you will be the first trainer to come to mind when they decide the time is right for them to start one-on-one training.


Inspire word of mouth referrals

Once you have obtained a client, your best form of marketing comes from them spreading the word about you.

Good service will always be spoken about. Whether your clients tell their family or colleagues about you, give you props on their social media when they achieve a new PB, or sing your praises while grabbing a coffee with friends, positive word of mouth is still the most effective form of new client leads for most personal trainers.


Incentivise clients

Invest in some merchandise with your branding, contact details and social media accounts on it, and give it to your family, friends and clients to wear. ‘Bring a friend for free’ passes or $5 bootcamp vouchers can motivate prospective clients to experience your awesome training with minimal outlay or commitment. From here, you use your rapport building skills to make them want to come back for more – paid – sessions with you.


Drive results!

As a personal trainer, your KPI’s are easily quantifiable and should be measured regularly to positively reinforce to your clients that the work they are doing with you is getting them closer to their goals.

Whether your client’s goal is weight loss, strength and hypertrophy, or aerobic fitness gains, ensure you have a system in place to regularly measure their progress. By having facts and figures to hand, you can objectively prove your client’s progress to them – which will back up the subjective improvements they are undoubtedly seeing and feeling as a result of training with you.

How to motivate your personal training clients

Motivation to keep training does not come easy to all of us. If you’re thinking about a career as a
Personal Trainer, or are one already, it’s your job to inspire clients through positive reinforcement and smart training methods.

Putting fire in the belly of a particularly stubborn or unmotivated client can be a difficult, but not impossible task. Here are nine strategies to help you motivate even the most apathetic of clients.

1. Understand their motivation

Before you start training a client you need to find out exactly what it is that is motivating them to train with you – their ‘why’. Whether they simply want to get fit, shed a few kilos in the lead up to their wedding, or are training for a strenuous upcoming marathon, the training routine you design for them must match their ultimate motivation.
People often find their drive when working towards something they really want. By understanding what their end goal is, and what they hope to achieve, you’ll be better equipped to motivate them by regularly reminding them of their ‘why’.

2. Set short-term goals

Working towards their long-term goal can be an arduous process for clients if you don’t help to make the journey fun. Real progress and results take time; your client won’t magically become ripped or drop several dress sizes overnight. By setting short-term weekly goals, you can keep training exciting, and rewarding. For example, ask your client to run one extra minute on the treadmill each week to improve their endurance. Short term goals also make the end goal feel more achievable.

3. Help to set incentives

It’s not all work and no play when it comes to working out. If your client is working hard and achieving goals, but failing to reward themself, their motivation levels can be impacted. When considering your client’s goals, chat to them about their incentives. Ask them to think about how they will reward themselves when they reach certain goals. The right type of reward is important when determining goals. If a client is trying to lose weight, for example, perhaps avoid food rewards. Instead, they may choose an experience like a trip to a day spa or to purchase some new activewear.

4. Track progress

Personal trainers must monitor their client’s progress. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t manage what you don’t measure’. Tracking progress for fat loss clients can include gauging body fat percentages or recording weight. For all clients it should be training focused, and include measurements pertaining to changes in strength, flexibility, stability, movement and cardio capabilities.

Is your client lifting heavier weights compared to last week? Are they able to maintain a faster speed for cross trainer intervals? Record this information in your client’s profile so that you can both see at a glance where improvements are occurring. There are numerous apps and software available to help PTs manage their clients progress.

5. Frequently change programs

The body is believed to plateau after six weeks of vigorously undergoing the same program or training style. For this reason, it’s very important that personal trainers change every client’s program every four to six weeks. This not only ensures that clients continue to make fitness gains, it also makes their sessions more enjoyable and prevents them from getting bored with the same old routine.

6. Communicate

You don’t need to be best friends with your clients, but you should be friendly, patient and understanding. Talking to them about everyday life and their interests is part of building a professional relationship. Your clients need to feel comfortable enough to trust you. But being friendly doesn’t mean going soft on training – you need to remain firm and professional in your exercise prescription so that your clients can achieve their goals.

Whether you have a separate business phone or use your personal one, you can give your clients your phone number so that they can contact you whenever in doubt of their progress. Exchanging numbers also gives you the opportunity to send inspirational messages or quotes to boost their morale and show them that you are as committed as they are to achieving their fitness goals.

7. Reassess over time

Plenty of clients start out their workouts and programs with a goal in mind. However, things change. Your client, upon starting their regime, may have wanted to lose 30kg, but as time went on they may have decided they don’t want to lose that much weight and would rather work on increasing their strength. Changes like this can result in them no longer being motivated by their original goals. Setting time aside every so often to regroup and go over the client’s goals is a great way to ensure you’re both on track with their needs.

8. Remind them of their progress

Your client might be feeling down that they put a kilo on. They may be feeling demoralised after failing to lift as much weight or complete as many reps as last week. The fact is, this happens. While it may be a small step back, they have previously taken ten steps forwards.

In such instances, remind your clients of where they began and how far they have come. When improvements are incremental, it’s all too easy to lose sight of just how much has changed. As their trainer, you need to give them a friendly reminder of their achievements and to reassure them that their disappointing week is merely a glitch, and certainly not irreversible. So they put on a little weight? They’ve already lost 15 kilos. They didn’t do enough reps? Remember when you couldn’t do even one? Simple reminders like this are perfect.

Showing your client photos and videos of them that you took earlier on in their training journey can also help bring things into focus. By asking them to look at these, you will enable them to appreciate the hard work they’ve put in so far and remind them that they have the willpower and determination to continue making advances with their training.

9. Do YOUR best

If you come to the gym or meet with a client and you’re feeling down or unmotivated, soon enough your client will feel the same way.

You’re only human, so there will be days when, for whatever reason, you aren’t in the mood for training clients. It may sound harsh, but the fact is, your personal issues are not your client’s problem and they are paying you to be on your game.

If you’re having troubles outside of work, try to ‘put them in a box’ until you can deal with them later. If you really feel unable to deliver a high quality session, it is better to postpone the appointment.
When you are working with clients, you need to have positive energy and be entirely focused on them and their workout. You’ll find that by doing so you will actually lift your own mood which will help you get through the day.


To learn how to help people reach their training goals safely and effectively, click here to check out the AIF’s 'Master Trainer Plus+ ProgramTM course which includes dual qualifications in Personal Training (Cert IV in Fitness) and Fitness Coach (Cert III in Fitness).

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Technology that can help you grow your business

Growing your business as a personal trainer has become easier in recent years, with the creation of incredible technology and online platforms designed specifically to help you succeed.

At the Australian Institute of Fitness, we partner with companies who can make our graduates’ lives easier, helping them get the foot up they need to really excel in the fitness industry.

So, allow us to introduce you to five of our tech-focused industry partners with the goods to help you become the most successful PT you can be!


Ezypay is an automated subscription billing service, transforming the way that AIF’s graduates go on to control and collect their client’s payments and fees, and relieving them of the manual administration duties involved in client sign-ups and late payment collections.

Users of the Ezypay platform are able to easily create bespoke payment plans for clients by setting direct debit instructions, such as frequency of payments, amounts to be collected and payment methods. The platform also enables paperless direct debits, as well as automatic failed payment handling and electronic payment reminders, helping PT’s get paid faster and maximise their cash flow.

Learn more about Ezypay here.


GoXpro strive to provide Personal Trainers with the best PT platform available, so that they can stand out in a crowded market.

In goXpro you’ll find features for the creation of made-to-measure programs that will organically pull potential clients away from generic workouts. You’ll also be able to show a clear point of difference with individualised client assessments for fitness, muscle biomechanics, body composition and posture. These individualised client assessments have been shown to improve client retention by up to 5x the Australian fitness industry average.

From a fitness business point of view, goXpro has all the features you need to manage your clients, your time and your services. Getting paid is also easy with goXpro; you can choose to invoice clients, take cash and card payments or automatically direct debit your clients with the integration of Ezypay, our industry partner highlighted above.

Learn more about goXpro here.

It is incredibly important for us to connect our Warriors with the greatest career opportunities, but also with initiatives and platforms that will help them to succeed as they move through their career in the fitness industry. Our Warriors receive special offers and discounts from our many Industry Partners, so be sure to check out our Industry Partner page here.

If you’re not already a Personal Trainer, check out our Master Trainer Program™ and take the first step to reaching your best potential.

How to get the most of client relationships

As a personal trainer, communicating effectively with your clients is one way to ensure retention and that your clients are getting the most out of their program. In the fitness industry, there are generally four different types of clients that a personal trainer will encounter;

  • New clients
  • Loyal clients
  • Unmotivated clients
  • Clients that are leaving

Using the following advice, you can strengthen your client relationships and become a better trainer by learning to communicate effectively based on the types of clients you have.


New clients

Establishing a connection should be the main goal for personal trainers when communicating with new clients. Asking them plenty of questions to gain a better understanding of their personal goals is one way to gain a deeper connection and have a new client feel comfortable and confident with you as a trainer.

Aside from face-to-face interaction, you can also use technology to help aid in communicating with a new client. Keep them up-to-date and focused on their goals with weekly e-newsletters, ask about their progress via email or SMS, and encourage them to follow your social media page or online community to make them feel part of your circle. Be consistent in your communications and remember to call the client the day before your session. This serves as a reminder for your client, and it also builds rapport.


Train every client the
same way

Retaining your current loyal client base is important as it’s a cheaper and easier alternative to attracting new clients, and you need to effectively communicate with them to achieve this. Keep your loyal clients motivated by offering rewards and discounts for their ongoing commitment. For example, you can offer a free week of personal training sessions as a reward for consistency. You can also cultivate a more human connection and boost their confidence by giving them a ‘shout out’ on social media.

You can ask your loyal clients for feedback on ways they think you can improve. By listening to their needs and taking on their constructive feedback, you’re improving yourself as a trainer while forming a deeper bond with your clients. Clients who are happy with your training and feel like you’re genuinely invested in them and their goals are more likely to refer their friends and family to you, driving up more business.


Unmotivated clients

Encouraging clients who’ve become unmotivated or who struggle with getting to the gym requires positive, ongoing and motivational communication. When communicating with unmotivated clients, make sure you keep a positive attitude and focus on boosting their self-esteem. You can do this by pointing out their successes or achievements.

For example, mention how they’ve exceeded their personal best since the previous week, or that they’ve perfected their planking or push-up form.

You can help them set small, attainable goals to make it easier for them to stay focused. In addition, personalise their programs and try giving them small fitness challenges to complete and present to you once they’ve finished.

Again, technology and social media can be a really great tool to help encourage clients. Send them daily motivational emails, prompts, or links to short yet effective workouts to complete at home or in the gym. Get your clients to track their progress using a fitness app; that way they can visibly see how far they’ve come which will give them more motivation to continue their training.


Clients that are leaving

Managing clients who are leaving, or considering leaving, requires understanding as well as open communication. Be mindful that some clients might not be in a financial or personal position to commit to training. If they’re open to picking it back up later down the track, ensure you give them your contact details and let them know they can sign up again at any time.

In addition, make sure you ask leaving customers for feedback. You can do this face-to-face, over the phone, or by having them fill out a feedback form. In some cases, you can offer your leaving clients a solution.

If they’re finding it hard to keep payments going, offer a specialised payment plan or a package deal to help them save. Putting the client and their needs first should be your main priority when it comes to customer retention and satisfaction.

Learn how to communicate effectively as a personal trainer

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The Australian Institute of Fitness courses will help you learn how to manage client relationships and more as a personal trainer. You can choose from:

Master Trainer

SIS40221 Certificate IV
In Fitness

Personal Trainer

SIS40221 Certificate IV
In Fitness

Fitness Coach

SIS30321 Certificate III
In Fitness

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