When was the last time that you went anywhere without your phone?
As a personal trainer, you need to be in your clients’ pockets. The smart phone is a powerful business tool to help you engage, interact with, and educate your clients.
Knowing how to leverage the power of a smart phone can help you communicate and build relationships with new and potential clients before they even leave the gym after their first session with you.
I’m going to show you how to use the top six personal trainer apps and tools to leverage the power of a smart phone.
Every personal trainer lives and dies by their calendar, and most of us already use our smart phones to schedule client sessions.
Is your client training for a half-marathon? Make a note of the race date, and, as it approaches, ask how they are feeling about their race prep and design a workout accordingly. Send them a text message the morning of the race cheering them on.
If you’re training a bride or groom, make note of significant milestones in the lead up to the wedding day—dress or tuxedo fittings, destination bachelor or bachelorette parties, etc.—and customize your workouts and motivation accordingly.
You can also use it to manage your business. Set a calendar reminder to go off one week before a client’s training package is set to expire. This way you can renew the client without any break in training.
It takes less than a minute to send an encouraging note or reminder and costs virtually nothing, but it makes a big impression on clients. Personalized communication shows that you are listening to their specific needs and delivering great service.
Setting reminders in your calendar makes for a more efficient business. When your phone beeps, send a message. You never have to worry about missing a date again.
An app to add text captions to photos. Choose high quality backgrounds or use your own photos. Allows customization of font size, color, and alignment.
In a few clicks, you can now send powerful images and education tools like recipes, workouts, and fitness tips that your clients can save to their phone and access 24/7.
Here’s a typical scenario:
While training a new female client, she mentions that her current breakfast leaves her hungry and prone to cravings later in the day.
You suggest she start eating more protein at breakfast, ditch the cereal with skim milk and swap it out for a green protein smoothie or eggs and vegetables.
“Sure I can do that!” she says, “Do you have any recipes or ideas?”
“Absolutely. I can text you my favorite green smoothie recipe right now.”
Before she even walks out of the gym, she has all the information she needs to build a better breakfast habit, right in the palm of her hand:
Designed in Instaquote
You can also create and share workouts for your clients, and produce professional marketing images for workshops, events, and boot camps.
Designed in Instaquote
Do you get questions like this from your clients?
“What kind of protein powder do you like? What kind of protein bars should I get? What brand of almond milk tastes best? What pre-workout supplement do you like?”
Many clients ask their personal trainers for product recommendations, but by the time they walk into the supplement shop or the grocery store, it’s easy to forget, get confused, or overwhelmed.
Snap, save, and share photos of your go-to products for living a healthy lifestyle.
A design app for adding text and artwork to photos. Allows greater flexibility for text placement over photos.
Posting quotes and photos on social media is great, but posting quotes and photos that clearly promote you and your business is even better.
Over is a very user-friendly app that I frequently use to “brand” images before sharing them.
Use Over to add your name, company name, or hashtag to a photo (almost like a watermark) before sharing it on social media.
Many people scroll through their feed without reading the comments and captions under a photo, so putting your name on the image itself guarantees that everyone knows it’s your product or content.
Now, every time the image is seen, shared, or liked, you get more eyes on your name, increasing brand awareness and name ID.
Designed using Over
5. Pic Stitch
A photo collage app that allows you to combine multiple photos.
My clients love seeing their results, but many times, the mirror, scale, and tape measure don’t do their hard work justice. Seeing side-by-side, before-and-after photos can be an extremely motivating force for clients to keep moving forward.
Recommend this app to your clients for before/after photos and side-by-side comparisons to track muscle gain and definition.
A word of advice: Know your clients, and accept that before/after photos may not be an appropriate tool for everyone. The last thing you want to do as a trainer is feed into a clients’ negative body image by encouraging comparisons that may result in unhealthy behaviors.
An app to help track goals.
A great app you can recommend to clients who are trying to start new habits and find that daily tracking motivates them.
Users can create calendars for each goal, then share them on Twitter and Facebook. Whether your client is trying to trying to drink more water, doing an elimination diet to test for a food allergy, or trying to exercise every day, Streaks can help them track how long they’ve maintained their goal.
A sample Streaks calendar
A Word on Boundaries
Keep all interactions – via phone, text, or email – professional, and resist the urge to hit “reply” as soon as you receive a message.
This takes some discipline, but failing to set boundaries can result in awkward or uncomfortable scenarios with you on the receiving end of endless or inappropriate text messages.
Engaging in client communication “open season”—instant responses—may also lead to burnout, as you start to feel like you’re on call 24/7.
As Jonathan Goodman advises in Ignite the Fire, establish phone-free zones, like social situations, your bedroom, or your dining room table, and set aside hours each day when you respond to client messages.
Remember: you set the tone and train your clients on how to treat you.
By harnessing the power of smart phones, you can keep your clients more engaged, add value to their lives, and promote your brand and services online with rich content.