Do you want to give your personal training clients gifts this holiday? Allow me to rephrase…do you want to retain your clients into the new year? What about attracting new clients?

People have no shortage of options when it comes to hiring a personal trainer. Professional trainers give gifts to their clients during the holidays.  Set yourself apart from the crowd this year and feel good about giving back to the people who support your living.

You don’t have to pick out an individual gift for each client or spend a ton of money to give meaningful gifts. In fact, you can give gifts that give back to your business in more than one way…

Here are two effective ways to show appreciation to your clients without spending any money, that also have the potential to bring in new business.

Trade and Network

Find another professional in the health field, such as a nutritionist, massage therapist, yoga instructor or pilates teacher and trade services with them.  Provide each other a free session and then expand that to your clientele.

This takes effort and time, but pays off in multiple ways.  You build a referral network, bring in potential new clients and gift your current clients all with this one action.  The way this works is you trade 30 or 60-minute sessions with the person of your choosing.

The gift is presented as a printed certificate. You can create them yourself or online with companies like Vista Print.  Put your contact information, what the client receives, and an expiration date on them.  Trade those for the other person’s certificates.

Choose someone professional and effective.  You could trade with a few different people and let your clients choose from which service they want to receive (massage, nutrition, yoga, pilates).  Or have them pick out of a hat as a grab bag.  It’s fun!

This is all about collaboration not competition.

Bonus Service and Exposure

Choose a few empty time slots in your schedule and organize small group workouts (3-5 people).  This can be during or after the holidays. Allow your clients to sign up for one of the time slots as their gift. This will be a fun bonus workout session for your clients during a time that it’s needed and an opportunity for them to mingle with each other.

Community support is a major psychological factor for adherence to fitness (to keep them coming to the gym).  On this note, you could also tell clients to bring a friend, so you can meet the people who support them and expose your services to a new audience.

Material Gift Ideas

When it comes to handing your client something they can hold in their hand or utilize for a healthier lifestyle, there are more than enough appropriate options in the health and fitness sphere. You can offer these gifts as referral gifts as well if you are considering that as an avenue to boost your business.

Two-Month Subscription to Fitness Website

Help clients stay fit on their own with this referral awesome gift. There are a variety of websites that offer both free and paid workout videos that can be streamed online, making it easier for clients to work out in a pinch. Consider whether your client would prefer yoga, HIIT, aerobic or strength workouts, and then start researching to find an affordable, yet high-quality subscription service.


At-Home Workout Kit

Two of the most common complaints I hear from clients is that they don’t have time to workout and they don’t feel comfortable going to the gym. Make their lives a little easier with a personally-made “at-home workout kit.”

In it, you can include a variety of inexpensive items that are easy to tuck away when the workout is done. You can even throw in some healthy food or cooking items. Here are a few items that would be perfect for this gift basket:
Foam roller
Jump rope
Resistance bands
Ankle weights
Protein powder
Protein shaker
Yoga mat

Pair this with a 1-month workout subscription (instead of two) to create the ultimate gift.

Wireless Headphones

Many people are more motivated to workout when listening to music, but standard headphones get in the way of dumbbells and weight machines, not to mention they’re next to impossible to use during aerobic movements like burpees. Help clients stay motivated no matter what exercise they’re doing with wireless headphones.

Fitness Tracker

This is one of the most popular up-and-coming fitness trends and it’s one your clients are likely interested in. Fitness trackers make it easy for them to stay on track with their goals while learning more about what works for them and what doesn’t. Luckily, with fitness trackers growing in popularity, there are many brands that offer a variety of affordable options.

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Food Subscription Box

Subscription boxes, like fitness trackers, have grown in popularity quickly over the last few years. As such, your clients may be dying to try one, but don’t want to splurge on the cost.

Treat them with a subscription for referring a new client to you. Not only will this be fun for your client, but it will help them stay on track with eating at home—if you have a client who admits to never cooking, but wants to get better at it, this is the perfect referral gift.
Consider all different types of boxes before making your decision.

For example:

Blue Apron for Fusion is good for full meals.
Munchpak is perfect for people who love to snack.
Raw Spice Bar is a great fit for someone who already cooks a lot.

Look at all your options, and consider what you know about your client, before purchasing the subscription.
Use these fun ideas as a way to encourage clients to refer you to their friends and family. They’ll run out the door to find you new clients when they know they’ll be getting a great gift in return.

Pick an idea and start planning.  Happy Holidays!

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Beverly Hosford

Beverly Hosford, MA teaches anatomy and body awareness using a skeleton named Andy, balloons, play-doh, ribbons, guided visualizations, and corrective exercises. She is an instructor, author, and a business coach for fitness professionals. Learn how to help your clients sleep better with in Bev’s NFPT Sleep Coach Program and dive deeper into anatomy in her NFPT Fundamentals of Anatomy Course.