In this article, you’ll learn how to actually manage your online personal training clients, including tasks and processes to help keep things streamlined and avoid overwhelm.
We know that the success of our online fitness business is down to the results that we provide our clients.
Achieving incredible results with your online clients is very different to offline personal training. It’s not just about showing up to each session and taking them through a workout.
You’ve got to be organized and prepared.
This becomes even more important as your online coaching begins to grow, as more clients bring extra responsibility and day-to-day tasks.
Yet this article isn’t just for those trainers with online clients already, because I hear from some trainers that one of their biggest fears of going online is that they lack the confidence of how to actually coach people online.
I totally get that too, as it’s certainly not something we are taught through the typical personal trainer qualifications or courses.
It’s also an area that many aspiring online trainers procrastinate over, such as designing their online program or trailing a million coaching tools to find the perfect one.
If any of this sounds familiar then this article is for you.
Strategy 1 – Use online personal training software
This is what actually delivers your online personal training program to your online clients.
Although it is not an essential piece of software to use, they offer the ability to use their inbuilt coaching tools (and possible programs) that can save you a lot of time.
If you’re unsure of what to create for your online personal training clients, then done-for-you software can remove this headache while streamlining your coaching process, for both you and your client.
My go-to recommendation for an all-round online personal training software is TrainerPulse. Trainer Pulse is the most complete software package I’ve used for online coaching.
It's beautifully designed and has great options for online trainers that you just don't see with other platforms. I recommend it to all of my Masterclass members.
If your coaching program is focused on nutrition & lifestyle habit changes (habitual coaching) then it is also worth checking our MyCoach as your preferred online personal training software.
Strategy 2 - Automate your onboarding
Onboarding is an essential piece of the client lifecycle to get right.
It’s those all-important first impressions that can significantly improve your client adherence and retention from the word go with new clients.
Onboarding clients is all about ensuring your clients get the right information from the very beginning to help them get started with your program. It should provide them with a quick-win too.
To ensure you do this quickly and effectively with every client, you should automate this process so that you never delay at getting new clients up and running.
Although many online personal training software can help you onboard new clients, you should also use an email marketing service provider to harness the power of an automated email welcome sequence.
You should create 1-5 welcome emails that provide new clients any important information that they should do or need to do for your online program.
Here’s a quick example:
Email 1: Welcome email (including a link to members area or Facebook group)
Email 2: Link to consultation or getting started guide
Email 3: FAQ’s and what to expect
Strategy 3 - Create a client process
Successful online fitness businesses live and die by their daily processes.
If you truly want to grow or scale your online fitness business, then you should be creating processes for everything that you do daily too.
If you do it more than once, then document it and create a checklist of tasks that need to be completed for it. A free tool like Asana is perfect for this.
Here are some examples of client processes you should create:
#1 Document everything a new client needs after they sign up
#2 Document everything you need to do for a new client
#3 Document your on-going daily/weekly/monthly tasks that you need to do for clients
Once you have these processes in place then all you need to do is follow them.
This ensures you never miss anything important and puts you in the perfect position to even pass these tasks on to someone else too.
Strategy 4 - Client communication
You should make it as simple as possible for clients to be able to communicate with you.
This means having multiple ways to connect and contact you online.
The most obvious communication channel is email, and this is still preferred by many, as it keeps that personal touch. It’s also a platform that everyone knows how to use.
Your online personal training software may also have a chat or communication function, and this is worth using too.
Most advanced features could be on-site chat software like Intercom.io, if your online coaching program is focused around a 1: many coaching model or membership site.
You can also harness the power of social media channels like a Facebook group. These are ideal for chatting with your clients but to also leverage your communication as it can be seen by every member of the group. Again, if you’re program is a 1: many type program, then this is a good option for you.
Strategy 5 - Feedback & testimonials
You must be collecting testimonials from your most engaged online clients.
Not only do they help you get vital feedback on your program, but you can harness them for your marketing too.
Testimonials, especially before and after pictures, are intoxicating in the fitness industry. They are the most effective way to showcase your results.
To do this effectively you should have a system in place for outreach and collection of testimonials. Build this into your client processes from strategy 3 and you’ll never forget to collect this information.
You can use tools like Survey Monkey or Thrive Ovation (for WordPress sites) to create feedback forms that you can send to your clients.
Be sure to also have permission for sharing any sensitive information.
Showcase your best testimonials everywhere that you can, including your website and social media channel. Be sure to also include a link to your coaching or program every time you share them – they are that effective!
If you need more help improving your social media then be sure to check out our article "8 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an Online Fitness Business."
Strategy 6 - Client payments
These tools can make the sign-up process easy while also offering you important features such as recurring billing.
You do not want to invoice your clients every month and asking them to pay you. Use one of these automated billing software to do this for you.
It’s important to also document and track your monthly online income.
A simple spreadsheet containing a list of your clients and their payment history each month is sufficient. This means you can get paid for the great work you are doing.
To make this process easier, some payment processors, like Paypal, also have inbuilt failed payment processing. This means this will regularly try to collect any outstanding or failed charges from your clients. This feature alone can significantly improve your income as failed payments are common online.
Alternative software to help you do this is Stunning.co, and this integrates nicely with Stripe.
Be sure to have some form of failed billing process in place and set the best options that suit you and your online clients.
If you need more help pricing your online personal training then be sure to check out our article "The Complete Guide to Pricing Like a Pro".
Let's build your online fitness business together
If you're a health and fitness pro who would like to learn more about creating a successful, meaningful online fitness business, check out The Exceed Masterclass.
The Exceed Masterclass is your essential resource for the training, advice and support you need on how to become an online personal trainer.
You'll receive proven, practical training to help you reach more people and create more impact online.