Online coaching is the future for all fitness professionals. To stay competitive in the personal training market, you have to use competitive methods for getting new clients and managing your current clients. Going virtual will do absolutely nothing but expand your business and help you reach exponentially more clients. The best part is, that when you go virtual, your number of clients will stay right in line with how easily you can manage your clients.
It may seem a little daunting to be able to take on so many more clients. However, through means of automation for all of the tedious administrative tasks, it takes much less time managing your clients. Here are five methods for improving online coaching that will help your business grow wildly.
Get an app for client management
Client management can be a huge pain and really overwhelming if you have a bunch of information on clients in a bunch of different places. You should have a system in place to onboard clients consistently and regularly. This leads to better organization in the long run.
With client management apps, like FitSW, you can do this very easily! Instead of having a paper trail with physical copies of client onboarding forms, you can have all forms for clients saved in an online profile. This saves you the stress of misplacing any important forms and violating a client’s privacy. By this, I mean losing a paper with a client’s confidential information regarding their health status. That would be a nightmare! I can safely bet you don’t have a PR team to help you recover from that crisis.
Read a review of FitSW here!
When using a client management app, you can save all of the information you need on your client at your fingertips. Also, that information can be easily updated and tracked over time. Tracking progress is everything for personal trainers, so why not be able to easily upload information as soon as you get it. No need to track down all those pesky files buried in your computer. I’m sure your hard drive will thank you!
You are probably already doing everything online anyway, but not in a concise way that saves you time. As the saying goes, time is money, and time is the most important part of training. Have more time to connect with your clients instead of managing them. This will help your clients get the results they want quicker and create a better overall experience for them.
This good experience with you is what clients will share about when they recommend you to their friends and family.
Automate your online coaching workflows
Automating your workflows is the most important benefit of online coaching. This is also the most important benefit of using client management software. On average, you spend 18 to 20 minutes just looking for files on your computer. Think about how many clients you have now and want to have in the future.
Let’s run through the steps of automating onboarding a new client in FitSW.
- Open up your app on any device and navigate to the client dashboard.
- Click ‘Add Client’ in the top left corner of the web app dashboard. In the top right corner of the iOS device, you’ll find a blue plus. In the Android app, you will find the blue plus button in the bottom right corner of your client dashboard.
- Now, just fill in the according information from your client. When you first create a client, there will be an option to send them an automated onboarding email. Therefore, all the information they need to finish getting set up is available to them instantly.
- All you need to do is collect their signed documents back from them over email and upload them to their FitSW profile.
With a quick search for online document signing tools, you can find options for automating your document signing process. With e-signing software, you can ensure that the data entered is valid. You and the client get automated email reminders to sign and submit, and there is no paper trail. Many software will also give you the ability to create reusable templates for all of your forms. That cuts the time it takes to build your forms from scratch!
These days, there is a tool for everything on the internet. You may have to pay a small subscription fee for some. That is the investment you will eventually have to make to give yourself more time and time is extremely valuable. Plus, work is significantly less stressful without completing tedious tasks every day.
Although, automation does not end with just setting up clients. You can automate your entire communication workflow by creating an automated email campaign. FitSW automates email updates about in-app events like the creation of new tasks, workouts, programs, and nutrition plans for clients. It also automates emails to you about the completion of these items. That speeds up communication significantly!
However, besides that, you can create an automated email system for other updates about your online coaching business through other email marketing tools like MailChimp.
Online coaching means that you will be delivering workouts and instruction virtually. Make sure that your workflow for creating and assigning new workouts is a quick and efficient process with automation. This is also another check on the list that FitSW can help you with for your online coaching.
Create workouts, nutrition plans, programs, and tasks and save them forever in your library. Easily copy workouts and assign them to clients as needed. Best of all, you can customize the metrics you want to keep track of on your client and quickly update progress. All progress data is automatically placed into graphs and charts for you to view. That will save you an immense amount of time in the long run. You will save time on creating graphs and finding all of the according files for each client.
How to improve your live classes
If you are an online coach, then I assume that you already know the importance of hosting live classes regularly. You really want to make sure that they are effective in a few different ways.
Light and sound quality must be good enough that your clients can clearly hear everything you’re saying and clearly see everything you are doing. In order to represent an effective form, they must be able to clearly see your body movements. It goes without saying, but they need to be able to clearly understand your instructions and corrections throughout the class.
In the FitSW app, you can have a live chat stream to accommodate anybody without a speaker or with a hearing impairment. Other video chat platforms offer this, but FitSW integrates the live class feature with the rest of the app.
Make sure that the equipment you require in your workouts is accessible for the clients. It is helpful to share resources beforehand where clients can go to find the equipment they might need if they do not have it. Make sure this equipment is affordable for your clients as well. If you require equipment that is pricier and maybe not available to rent, then make sure it will be used often and will be valuable to the client. Otherwise, you might lose some interest in your live classes.
Take a screen recording of all of your live streams to look back on for your own improvements and your clients’. If you have ever played a competitive sport, then I imagine that you probably had film review days. These days were helpful so you could watch as a team and critique your movements and actions throughout a game.
To fully understand what you are doing wrong (or right) in an action, you have to be able to look outside yourself with an omniscient perspective. Therefore, recording your live streams will help you to understand what you need to address to improve your instruction. You will also have a better understanding of what you need to address with your clients. You might pick up on something that you missed your client doing during the stream.
Be consisent on all social media
With online coaching, you need to be on top of every virtual aspect of your business. Social media is one of the most important! Luckily, endless amounts of tools exist for managing your social media content. All of these tools can automate your social media posts for you in the background so that you can maintain a consistent presence and not have to worry about a thing. Doing this takes a bit of time from you upfront, but you can also add and schedule posts as you create them for future use.
Buffer is a really helpful social media management tool with a free plan that fits very well into personal training businesses’ needs. Their forever free plan allows one manager for up to three social media accounts and 10 posts scheduled at a time.
Hootsuite has the same functions as Buffer, but they allow you to have up to 30 scheduled posts on the free plan and 3 social channels.
Unique content with images of people that represent your targeted demographic is the most successful. Reposting content is not always a bad thing though. This can be helpful when you want to hop on a new trend before you make your unique content for that trend. People like familiarity just as much as they like new ideas and experiences.
Make yourself available to anyone, anywhere
As stated earlier in the article, when you go virtual, you have a significantly higher opportunity of adding new clients. You can reach clients of all types anywhere around the world. Obviously, you do not want to onboard clients who speak a language you’re not familiar with. However, you can reach people in so many more new ways within your capabilities of communication and coordination.
An example of this would be a trainer who uses FitSW by the name of Chris McKenzie. He was a personal trainer for many years and saw his business flourish when he went completely virtual. Read the article on his fitness journey here. Online coaching opens a lot of doors personal trainers and coaches could have never dreamed of 10 years ago.
There are too many ways to market our online coaching for me to cover in this blog, but lets briefly go over the key factors to attracting clients from all over.
- Web Presence: A good web presence attracts customers through browser searches. When clients make it to your landing page, it helps to have a good establishment of your credibility as a personal trainer. Different website builders allow you to utilize nice, free themes that make your site navigable and user friendly. Also, FitSW will host a website for you where you can sell your coaching services. The website integrates with the rest of the app and the Stripe payment system to automate the process of reaching clients and making sales.
- SEO: The most important factor in browser searches. Using keywords and tags for your site and web content will help you rank higher for searches. This is not exactly cut and dry and easy to convey in a couple of sentences because of its level of importance. Just make sure to do some research on what people are searching to find online personal trainers and adjust your strategy to attract clients from those keyword searches. Here is a list of tools from Moz, an SEO optimization beast, to help you do research for SEO
- Hashtags: Using hashtags on social media helps to gain attraction to your social media posts. having a link to your site in your blog and referring to that link in your posts will lead to more site clicks and help your conversion rate. Stay active with people you follow and your followers to stay in the loop with their discourse and interests.
- LinkedIn: This professional social media tool is wonderful for making connections you never knew you needed! In fact, many personal trainers use this as a tool for connecting with other fitness professionals to get insights on tools and trends. You can also share about your business on this site to find new clients. Target professionals who might need help taking the time out of their day to focus on their physical and mental well being. Keep your goals for marketing on this site clear and oriented and you will find success.
If you look hard enough and set your goals consistently high for yourself then you will always have reasons to improve. Take these tips and run with them as necessary to your online coaching. If you have not already verged into the virtual world, then I would highly suggest doing so.
FitSW gives you the tools you will need to stay competitive and successful. Paired with third-party tools for automation and efficiency, you will see your business grow tremendously! Check out our eBook on how to become an online personal trainer for a more detailed guide on how to start out in the online market. For general tips on starting an online coaching business.
If you want more tips and tricks on other aspects of personal training and such, check out the rest of our blog. Leave a comment below with any feedback and share your own success tips for coaching online!