When it comes to managing your personal training business there many variables you need to manage. The largest variable by far is managing your clients in an effective way. Typically, using software to manage clients was seen as a tool in the online personal training space. However, trends in the industry show this isn’t true, in fact, if you’re an in-person personal trainer, you should use online personal training software.
As of right now, the standard for client management as a personal trainer is using an abundance of software to manage everything from client communication to building and delivering fitness and nutrition programs.
Often times this involves building programs in Excel or Word and delivering them over email or printing them out. Some trainers still use paper and clipboards for this. Tracking client progress is oftentimes done by hand and entered into excel to generate graphs. This paired with viewing past programs in order to build new programs is a recipe of major time management challenges.
Many trainers don’t know that you can use an online personal training software that does all of this for you for the price of your Microsoft Office subscription each month. Or cheaper if you use the business version of Microsoft Office.
Software dedicated to personal trainers is a new industry, as such, many are unaware of the benefits. So here are our top 8 reasons why you should be using an online personal training software:
1. Client Management Simplified
When it comes to client management, there are many variables that come into play. For many, the primary variables seem to be:
- Storing client information necessary for building truly personalized programs. Client information comes in the form of:
- Assessments, PAR-Q forms, client goals, client preferences, client progress data, and liability waivers.
- Creation and Delivery of fitness and nutrition programs
- Communication with clients
- General Scheduling
- Managing client payments
- The client purchases experience
- Client engagement and retention
When using traditional workflows, oftentimes that would entail creating a folder on your desktop under the client’s name. Then you’d house all of the paperwork, pictures, and data for that client all in that folder. To avoid confusion, you would then have to use Folder Colorizer for Mac to mark your clients’ folders with a different color.
Then the longer you train with the same client, the more paperwork you create and store, the more organized you have to be, and the more information you have to view.
An online personal training software takes care of all of that for you. From scheduling to billing and payment management, creating workouts, and tracking client progress, it’s all done in the app.
2. Streamlined Creation and Delivery of Fitness/Nutrition Programs
When it comes to creating and delivering programs in Microsoft Word or Excel, there are many issues that can come up. To really get to the bottom of it, you have to ask yourself questions from the clients perspective.
Delivering Programs for Online Trainers
When you create a fitness program and deliver it over email, what is the client experience as a result? Let’s analyze this situation assuming there’s no trainer there with the client like most online and hybrid trainers.
Think, most people go to workout with two or three things in hand: their phone, headphones, a water bottle, and maybe a jacket depending on the season.
Issues with Excel and Word
When you deliver a program through email that’s made in Excel or Word, most people will download that to their phone. No big deal right? Ehh, maybe. Excel and Word typically aren’t the most mobile friendly. Most of the time Excel or Google Sheets don’t want to download to your phone and when they do they are finicky and not the best.
Since people know this already or experience it first hand, they might just print it out and take it with them to the gym or take a picture of it.
If they print it out, then they now have their phone, headphones, a water bottle, and now a piece of paper. They might even have a pen they use to take notes. So they have all of these things to worry about, but what if they aren’t exactly the most experienced with fitness?
Now they are having to keep track of all of these things while learning their way around the gym. Keep in mind some people might even be uncomfortable with their first experiences in the gym.
Not only that, but if they want to document their progress throughout the workout, they don’t really have very many options to do so besides using a notes app. Then if you want access to their workout progress you have to ask them to enter it into another excel sheet while at home on the desktop, email you their results, or screenshot the results in their notes app and then send you the screenshot. That’s TEDIOUS.
Delivering Programs with an Online Training Software
This is where online personal training software comes in.
In FitSW for example, you have client profiles you can create. Depending on your preferences you can create a client account in the software. Upon creation of their account, they get an email notifying them of the account creation and are invited to download the app(iOS or Android) and login.
Once they have logged in, they will see the workouts they have been assigned in an easy-to-use format all ready to go on their phone. They also are given the ability to enter the results of the workout while working out. Not to mention you can include demo videos for exercises in the FitSW app as well, so there’s another level added of convenience.
This is all nice and all, but the main point is online training software helps eliminate variables and distractions for clients so they can focus more on working out and offers options for them to automatically track progress.
Delivering Programs for In-Person Trainers
Much of the same logic applies here as well. Although some trainers might prefer clients don’t download the app since they (the trainer) will be with the client anyway.
However, when using an app that documents workouts effectively, it reduces distraction for the trainer as well. Not just while they are training clients but also while creating workouts.
Using a workout builder to build workouts can you help you more efficiently build fitness programs. Especially since is tracks progress data for you which gives you more power to make data based decisions.
3. Communication With Clients
Most of the time, trainers will rely on email and text messaging to communicate with clients. Sounds simple enough. But what about sending reminders for upcoming events or updates?
That, again, is a manual process. You’d have to review all of the workouts you have with your clients and schedule emails to be sent out completely manually. Either that or you use an email management service such as Mailchimp to get it done but you would have to use a paid version for it to be worth it.
Personal training software gives you the chance to automate client reminders which has been seen as effective when it comes to increasing client compliance to fitness programs.
4. General Scheduling
When it comes to scheduling, having a clear schedule is a must for personal trainers. But often times clients will go different routes when it comes to requesting time on a trainers schedule. Some clients will text and ask, some will email you to schedule a session, and some will go through the gym you work at to schedule time with you.
Most online personal training software will come with a scheduler option where clients can go and request time giving trainers the ability to approve and deny requests. This also gives trainers the ability to block time off so clients know when they can request time.
5. Managing Client Payments & Client Purchase Experience
Most trainers resort to using payment services such as PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, or accepting checks. Honestly, these are all pretty good options and the qualm here doesn’t really involve the usability of those apps.
Really it has everything to do with the client purchase experience. If clients are making payments in a different platform then they are receiving their services, then it can make the whole process feel “disconnected”.
Let’s put this in perspective.
Let’s say you want some Taco Bell so you go on over to your local Taco Bell, look through the menu, and purchase a couple cheesy burritos and a Baja Blast. But then they tell you have to walk across the street to pick up your burritos. So you walk across the street to get your burritos and you’re walking back to your car which is in the other parking lot because you didn’t anticipate having to work for your burritos and a dog jumps out from behind a dumpster and steals all of your burritos. Then as your chasing the dog, you step in a pothole, fall, and spill your Baja Blast.
Okay, I got a little carried away there but there are some lessons we can pull away from the Taco Bell example. One, there’s no reason to make things harder then they need to be. Using an online personal training software can help you offer payments in the same platform you offer your services. Creating a more cohesive experience.
But, lets go back to the burrito stealing dog for a second. Although we don’t expect dogs to be stealing payments, there are scams that happen on the internet and people do worry about them. Using a disconnected process like having people pay you through Venmo before delivering their program can leave them feeling skeptical. Offering a streamlined purchasing experience removes the skepticism.
Providing clients the quick ability to make a secure payment and see the service provided in the same platform creates a more connected feeling and might even lead to more sales. Especially since you can create “packages” and “subscriptions” clients can purchase in FitSW with an automated and secure billing process.
6. Client Engagement and Retention
As mentioned before, using a software for personal training gives you the ability to send automated messages. These messages help keep clients engaged with the workouts you give them. Not only that, but because it also provides a streamlined process, it helps improve the overall experience for clients.
Not to mention, since the app displays client progress in graphs and charts, it adds a very real aspect that clients can reference to stay motivated. As with anything, we know that fitness change can take time and since we spend everyday in our bodies (at least I hope so) it’s hard for us to observe small changes over time. Using graphs to show clients how far they have come truly can keep them motivated.
7. Client Forms
Aside from fitness programs, there are other forms you will have to manage as well, such as, liability wavers, PAR-Q forms, and other forms you might find necessary.
Sure you can load all of those to a file on your computer but mistakes happen sometimes and it’s easy to load a file to the wrong folder, delete it, or lose it somehow.
With client profiles, you can upload your contract with the client and a liability waiver if needed. No need to upload a PAR-Q form as that’s a built in feature of FitSW.
8. Modern Tech Trends Support Online Personal Training Software
With modern trends in tech, a lot of people are using wearable tech that tracks fitness activity, such as, Apple watches and Fitbits. One thing that online personal training software lets you do is provide integrations with the apps offered through Apple watches and Fitbits.
If there’s one thing we know about technology trends, it’s that technology is becoming an evermore present aspect of our daily lives. With that being said, there are loads of studies that show we can use emerging tech to support our lifestyles.
Many people use free and cheap apps to help do things like get their steps in throughout the day and eat healthier meals.
Offering your personal training services through a software helps you create a more personal experience, especially if they use wearable tech.
As more tech trends emerge, it will help if you get ahead of the curve now through offering your service on a software as our daily lives will more likely start to revolve more around tech as time goes on.