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Paramount PULSE system
As a personal trainer, you know that one-on-one training and interaction with a client is what sets you apart from your peers. Scaling your business depends on your ability to develop successful interpersonal relationships with as many clients as possible. But you still need to maintain that one-on-one connection. After all, “personal" is right there in the name.
But did you know that you can retain that level of personalized care while reducing your working hours, taking on more clients and delivering a more well-rounded client experience?
Sound too good to be true? It isn't. There's a wealth of personal trainer software on the market that can help you grow your business by working smarter, not harder.
We've created this guide to help you understand the different tools available to you as well as how personal trainer software can offer you a competitive advantage in the industry.
Here's what we'll cover:
What Is Personal Trainer Software?
Personal trainer software helps health and fitness instructors connect and collaborate with clients. These tools help trainers bridge the gap between in-person sessions and online services. This enables trainers to market themselves to a larger group of consumers while maintaining a high degree of personalized care.
These tools can automate these critical aspects of a personal trainer's business:
- Client relationship management: Streamline client sign-up and profile creation; provide standardized fitness assessments; allow clients to easily view your availability and schedule sessions; schedule automatic alerts for yourself and clients about upcoming workouts and upcoming or missed payments; offer clients file storage, a client-facing dashboard and/or mobile app; and, enable easy payment processing.
- Client engagement: Design customized workouts for clients; send clients exercise videos and training protocols and then track their check-ins and results; help clients set fitness goals and track progress photos, workouts, nutrition and fitness targets; acknowledge and reward clients for achieving goals and/or personal bests; and, engage clients through personalized messages and reminders.
- Business growth and marketing: Integrate your personal trainer software with your business page or website, customize your client-facing mobile app with your logo; create personalized, branded content for clients including workout videos, messages, invoices etc.; studio/gym management allows you to manage multiple locations and/or trainers; maintain a profile on an online trainer database and market your services; and, link your social media account.
Additionally, these tools can benefit both trainers and clients. They help trainers manage their time and easily collaborate with clients. Most also include a client-facing app, profile and/or dashboard so clients can track their progress and easily schedule in-person or online sessions and pay trainers for their services.
Common Features of Personal Trainer Software
You'll likely find some or all of the following capabilities in the personal trainer tools you're evaluating:
Common Personal Trainer Software Capabilities
|Online database (of trainers and services)||Join online communities and databases to market yourself and your services to prospective clients. Create a profile and list your certifications and any characteristics that define your outlook on training to help set the stage for your trainer-client relationship.|
|Schedule/calendar for booking in-person sessions||List your availability for one-on-one training, group sessions, weekend bootcamps and/or online services so clients can book workouts with you through their app.|
|List of online services||Can include online training, workouts, nutrition or meal planning—any and all services you can provide online for clients. Work with them to set fitness goals and a fitness plan to achieve their goals, assign workouts and track their progress toward those goals. Can connect with client wearable devices as well.|
|Messaging/ notifications||From trainer to client: workout reminders, words of encouragement, option to send group texts that look like personalized messages. Notifications/alerts to the trainer about client progress (i.e., successfully completing a workout, missing a day etc.)|
|Client contact management||Store contact info, perform client assessments (calculate client fitness & measurements, i.e., body fat index, active vs. inactive lifestyle etc.), set fitness goals, monitor progress. View individual client information, oversee all client activity from a high-level overview, schedule weekly summary emails to keep you up to date on client activities.|
|Client-facing app/dashboard||Clients can create a profile, set fitness goals and track their progress and stats. Can view trainer schedule/calendar, book sessions and pay for services all from the client portal.|
|Payment processing||Integrations with Stripe, Paypal and other payment processors so you can accept payment via credit card and ACH transfer.|
|Custom forms builder||Access to templates and custom forms builder to you can standardize data entry and collection for client sign up, initial consultation, informed consent, lifestyle and fitness analysis.|
What Type of Buyer Are You?
In-person trainer, online or a hybrid. Do you offer only in-person training? Are you certified for online training? Or, do you offer clients a hybrid model, with both in-person and online sessions? Although personal training has traditionally been confined to clients within your geographic area, technological advances are helping fitness instructors reach clients anywhere in the world. Look for personal training software that supports your business model. For example:
- Do you want to market your in-person training? Look for personal trainer tools that partner with or offer access to an online database where prospective clients can look up fitness instructors within their geographic area.
- Or, are you a hybrid or fully online trainer? Look for tools that enable you to upload and store workout videos and training programs to ease collaboration with clients.
Self-employed personal trainer. If you're self-employed, you have to manage your own marketing and business development. Look for an online database where you can list your services, costs and trainer philosophy. Integration with your personal website is key so you can list client reviews and enable clients to sign up and create a profile straight from your page. Also, consider the marketing automation capabilities you'll need and discuss these needs with vendors.
Personal trainer partnering with a gym or employed through a gym. If you partner with a gym, you likely pay a commission or a fee for use of their facilities. You'll need to consider this additional expense when considering what to charge clients, how to collect payments from clients and monitor the percentage you'll pay to the gym. If you're employed through the gym, there may or may not be limitations placed on the tools you use. For example, if the gym uses their own client management tools, look for software that integrates for easy tracking and data transfer.
Benefits of Personal Trainer Software
To understand the benefits of personal trainer software, consider the physical limitations of traditional, one-on-one, in-person training:
- Trainer and client have to be in the same geographic location.
- Only so many hours in the day (hard to increase number of clients and scale your business).
- Getting sick or injured means you can't work so you don't get paid.
- If you partner with or are employed through a gym, you have to share commissions/payments and operate under gym hours and rules.
- Can be highly impacted by economy—if clients have enough money/time to meet with and pay for a trainer.
Now, consider how online personal training and training software can benefit your business:
- Can reach clients outside your city and time zone.
- You are no longer bound by the hours in the day, allowing you to train as many clients as you'd like. In other words, where you previously may have maxed out at 10 clients a day for a one-hour session each, you can now design a workout regime, upload and assign training videos, allowing clients to work out in their own time.
- If you don't have to meet in-person with clients, getting sick or injured no longer means you are out of work. By maintaining a library of workout videos, you can pull from a pre-recorded set of workouts and assign those as needed to clients.
- You no longer have to partner with or be employed through a gym, unless you want to. Personal training software gives you more options. Now, instead of paying a commission to use gym facilities, maybe you pay a smaller fee for marketing in their newsletter.
- Online training and personal trainer software allows you to reach people in their homes who may or may not have the time or money to pay for a gym membership or meet with a trainer during “normal" business hours.
Market Trends to Understand
When evaluating personal trainer software, keep the following market trends in mind:
- The personal training industry is an estimated $9 billion dollar industry, with an annual growth of 3.2 percent (steady growth due to rising demand for personalized weight-loss services and workout programs).
- National Strength and Conditioning Association notes that in the coming years, the personal training industry will place a higher emphasis on education (e.g., a kinesiology degree in addition to a speciality certification), personal training technology and a hybrid-training model (in this case, combining one-on-one training and group sessions).