Articles/Writing, Fitness Business and Marketing

Making your life easier with on-line tools

 

In this article we are going to look at how you the personal trainer can make your life easier, more productive but most of all save yourself some time that you could spend on other things!  To do this we are going to look at a number on-line tools and apps you can use to great effect to make you more efficient and productive!

Social Media – The modern world revolves around social media and keeping you and your business plugged in to services such as Twitter, Instagram, and the almighty Facebook.  Social media has fast become a vital part of any personal trainers marketing strategy.  One of the hardest elements of using social media is keeping updated with the constant flow of information.

There are a number of tools that can help you by pulling all these social feeds under one roof.   I have used these kinds of social management tools to great effect over the years.  These tools generally allows you to view all you various feeds, reply to posts/messages, and schedule posts to be sent out at a specified time.  This kind of service can save you huge amounts of time over logging into each service separately multiple times per day.

There are many of these kinds of services that range in price and also features; some of these include Hootsuite, Sendible, and Sprout.

Programming/Client Management – As a fitness professional much of your time away from teaching will be spent planning and recording what your clients have achieved and what you would like them to do.   There are some great tools that allow you to record exercise plans on-line and some even allow clients to upload the results of workouts you have programmed for them to do on their own.

Additionally many of these have feature to help you keep track of sales and numbers of sessions used/left.  This kind of information can make life so much more simple allowing the trainer to be alerted as sessions run low and some packages even send out e-mails to the client to inform them of the fact they are coming to the end of their package and they can then log in to the service and pay for additional sessions.

I have been using these types of software for a number of years and they really have saved me hours of time and made me much more organised.  Some of the leaders in this area are PT Dock, Real Life Health and Trainerize.

Food Diaries – As we all know keeping track of what clients have eaten is a vital part of helping clients towards any weight loss effort.  The old paper and pen method has gone out of the widow in favour of mainly phone based apps.  These apps enable clients to easily and conveniently track their diet.  There are a range of apps out there but the industry leader is one called My Fitness Pal.  This app has some great features, most importantly it is very simple to use with a small amount of coaching.   It has most foods stored in its extensive database, it remembers you favourite meals, and even allows you to simply scan the barcodes of the food you eat.

Targets can be set that give the client a desired calorie intake per day, and gives the client a running total of what they have eaten making it so much easier to stay on target.  The app also generates some great graphical breakdowns of overall food intake, by macronutrient allowing both you the trainer and the client to easily see the make up of their meals.

To make tracking clients food easier the client can add you as a ‘friend’ allowing you to view their food diary.  You can check in anytime of day or night, so helping you and the client to stay on top of the food they are eating.

E-Mail – One of the best ways to keep in contact with existing clients and leads is to keep in regular contact via e-mail.  There are some great packages such as Aweber, Constant Contact and Mail Chimp that allow you to send out e-mails at a designated time to different sections of your list.  This kind of service really is a must as it can really streamline your e-mail marketing strategy, keeping you well connected to your clients.

These packages have some additional handy features such as the ability to embed an e-mail capture form on your website allowing you to build your list, set up a series of e-mails to be sent out on sign up, and design graphical newsletters.

Reading –  Keeping updated with the latest research in the world of fitness can be a hard task.  One of the key sources of information are blogs written by industry experts, there is a great tool called Feedly that allows you to list all of your favourite blogs and then be able to read them at your convenience from the Feedly app.  This saves loads of time over the alternative of logging onto each site individually to catch up on the latest posts.

I hope that the tools discussed above help you to achieve more in your time and makes you a more efficient fitness professional.  At the end of the day we want to do the job we started out to do…. Get people fit and active, all these tools in my opinion make you more time efficient leaving you more time to do the things you love to do!

Tom has been involved in the fitness industry for nearly 20 years. He is a specialist in rehabilitation, exercise referral and helping other fitness professionals to improve their business. He is also involved with course development, teaching, assessing and IQA of a range of training courses. He is always willing to meet other professionals so please do contact him via social media with any questions or just to say hello.

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