How to get leads and clients as an online trainer

We’re going to take you through how to get leads and clients to help grow your business as an online trainer.

We’re going to start with leads, because these are the life force of your business, and without them there are no profits. So, if you want to grow your online fitness business, the conversation has to start here.

Leads and Prospects

A lead is somebody who has expressed interest in your business, but is not yet ready to buy something. Online, that could be someone who has exchanged a piece of contact information in return for something. Perhaps they’ve followed you on social media, or they’ve put in their email address into your opt-in form.

A prospect is someone who’s a bit closer to a buying decision than a lead. For example, they might have inquired about, or applied for, one of your programmes.  

The question to answer is, why is somebody approaching you at all?

You don’t need to over-complicate the answer: it’s usually to do with self-interest.  If someone has a problem, they want a specific result, and they might see what you can offer and see you as the person who could help you achieve the result they need.

Closing a sale

Think about walking past a new sandwich shop: you might ignore it a couple of times, but then one day you might walk past the window have a quick look at the menu. Now you’re a lead.

The next day, you might be a bit hungry, so you step in and see a chicken pesto ciabatta that catches your eye. Now you’re a prospect; you know that they can solve your problem. The girl behind the counter might see you eyeing up that ciabatta and let you know that it’s 50 pence off today. And just like that, you get your delicious sandwich and she’s closed a sale.

Photo from Andrea Piacquadio

Why are leads so important?

An offline personal trainer might have a similar experience of closing sales as the guy in the sandwich shop, where people come to you. When you’re working with people face-to-face, it’s much easier to close a deal if you can approach people to offer them a taster session, or sell them a block of five sessions. Personal trainers sometimes forget that the gym has already done a lot of the legwork for you, because people who are already signed up for a monthly membership are already pretty warm – they’re already leads. Add to this the fact that you’ve got the words ‘Personal Trainer’ written on your back and big biceps, and it makes it quite easy for someone to approach you.

A photo of a personal trainer at the gym
Photo from Annushka-Ahuja

There’s implied credibility that you must already be someone who knows what they’re talking about, otherwise the gym wouldn’t have hired you.

When personal trainers move online, they often find it difficult to see why they’re struggling to get leads when they were doing so well offline.

The difference is that you’re no longer on the gym floor, but on someone’s news feed, sandwiched somewhere between photos from a friend’s wedding and a video of a cat eating broccoli and then throwing up. It’s harder to get noticed here, because what you have to say is less relevant than it was in an environment like the gym, where your input is welcome and sought-out. On the Facebook feed, there are all sorts of things going on at any given time, so if you’re not careful you can be seen as a pest that’s scrambling for attention. This is why you can’t rush a sale in online coaching; you need to offer something valuable, and people need to see you as somebody who can solve their problem.

The best way to do this is you attract attention to your business by offering something free in return for some contact details. The massive advantage of doing this online is that you can create a standardised customer journey that’s the same every time, and you can then optimize the bits that work best over time using an automation-nurture sequence. By taking people through this, it presents them with your best content over time. This allows you to build trust and credibility, and then signing up for your coaching program becomes the logical next step.

Find out more about how we generate leads

We have a mechanism that we’ve used to build our own fitness business, which has helped hundreds of other trainers do the same thing. This mechanism converts consistently, gives away enough information without overwhelming people, and can be scaled beyond your social media following with ads that pay for themselves.

“I’ve been working with Johnny and Yusef to build my business and improve the brand. I’d built the business up to a good point, but it probably wasn’t where I felt that it could be, and after talking to them I quickly realised that they had the tools I needed to get to that next level. They’ve helped me improve my monthly income and they’ve helped me put systems in place. They’ve  massively improved my efficiency and the overall business is much better thanks to them.”

Ross Mackenley, Founder of Aesthetically Trained, online coaching business for men

If you want to find out more about an automated way to generate leads, create your standardises customer journey and sell people onto your programme consistently, Jonny walks you through all of this in our free online training, and you can access this here.  

If you’d like to have a chat about how we could help you grow your online business, you can book in a call with us here.

free video guide: ⬇️

The EXACT process we used to build PropaneFitness to 15k/month: