Look, we get it. Coronavirus is changing how we interact with people, limiting how we do the things we love. As a movement professional, you probably would rather train your clients in-person. However, it may be time to adjust your approach to personal training and coaching.

Remote personal training is an exciting new field that gives you and your clients more flexibility on when and where you work. In this article, Gray Institute suggests ways you can set your personal training business up for success during this difficult time.

1) Start With a Strong Foundation and Build a Business Plan

When you’re starting a new business or branching into a new field, it’s a good idea to start with a strong foundation. Before you open up shop or start offering remote training services, you should do the following:

  • Name your business, making sure that it doesn’t violate anyone else’s intellectual property rights
  • Choose a legal business structure, like a sole proprietorship or limited liability company (LLC) for your training business
  • If necessary, register your business with the state and obtain the necessary licenses
  • Set prices or rates for your services
  • Identify the tools you’ll need, which may include exercise equipment, a camera, microphone, and resources like the Gray Institute App
  • Create systems to track your business’ expenses, income, and other accounting information

If you need help, we suggest using resources from the Small Business Administration.

Next, you’ll want to decide who your target audience is for your services. You may decide to serve a general population. However, depending on your experience, background, and other factors, you may decide to serve a specific demographic, such as those interested in active aging or a certain sport (like golf). Understanding your target audience will be essential as you start to market your services.

2) Connect With Your Ideal Clients and Referral Sources

Now that you have the basics covered, like a business name and the necessary licenses, you’ll need to connect with clients and network with other movement professionals. While COVID-19 may limit your in-person options, digital marketing and networking is a powerful tool for personal trainers.

Right now, people are very concerned about their health and wellness, and they’re looking for ways to stay active. As you build your remote personal training business, you need to take advantage of this, educating people about your services, approach, and the importance of holistic, client-focused training. To do this, you’ll need a website and engaging social media profiles.

Build your marketing plan around your target audience. Understand which digital channels they use most often, as well as their most common needs and questions. For example, young athletes are likely going to have very different online habits and preferences than someone recovering from a knee replacement. Make sure you’re creating content that will speak directly to your core audience!

Website Marketing Fundamentals

You don’t need a flashy website to connect with potential clients, but it does need some essential elements. Make sure your website has:

  • A domain name that clearly identifies your business, like www.grayinstitute.com
  • A homepage that explains your services and approach to remote physical training
  • A biography or bio page that highlights your experience and credentials
  • Simple ways for potential clients to sign up for your services or request more information
  • Contact information, such as your email address and phone number

You can also publish blogs, videos, and other content that encourages readers to connect with you. However, it’s okay to build this library over time. For example, you may decide to create and post one blog article each week.

Lastly, make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices, as 70% of all internet traffic now comes from mobile phones.

Social Media Marketing Fundamentals

Most consumers are active on social media. In fact, the average person spends more than two hours on social media every day, which means you need to have a presence there, too.

At the very least, you should have a Facebook and Instagram account and post regularly, at least 2-3 times per month and no more than twice per day. Depending on your target market, you should also consider marketing on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

The key to great social media engagement and performance is creating useful content. Remember, social media is one of the best channels for building brand awareness, driving engagement, and generating great prospects who become loyal clients. These are promotional channels, not sales channels. So, you need to post and share photos, blogs, infographics, videos, and inspirational messages that will persuade your followers to like, comment, and click through to your website.

While we’re on the topic, be sure to link to all of your social media profiles on your new website. For example, when you create content (like videos or blogs), promote them on social media!

Don’t Ignore Your Potential Referral Sources

At Gray Institute, we know the power of community. Other movement professionals can help you connect with your ideal clients and provide valuable advice and insight as you start your remote training business. Don’t be afraid to reach out and build your professional network.

Our mobile app can help you connect with like-minded movement professionals. It includes a vibrant forum where you can ask other trainers, physical therapists, and coaches for advice and information. Whether you need advice about Applied Functional Science®, operating your business, or creative ways to reach your ideal clients, your online peers should have helpful suggestions.

These conversations can also help build your brand awareness. As movement professionals get to know you, either on the Gray Institute App or on other forums, they’ll be more likely to think of you as their go-to remote training expert and send you referrals!

RELATED: Online Forums Can Help Movement Professionals Grow

3) Create Personalize Workouts With the Gray Institute App

Emerging technologies are making remote personal training easier than ever, giving you greater flexibility with less travel and the chance to work with more clients. Our app includes an exciting Remote Trainer function, which can help you build customized workouts, send them directly to your clients, and track their performance.

Here’s an example of how a remote training program might work:

Schedule an Initial Phone or Video Consultation

During your first client discussion, you should determine the trainee’s health and fitness goals, their exercise background, and medical conditions they might have, and their workout and nutritional preferences. You can use our Remote Trainer’s 3DMAPs-based assessment tools to dig deeper into their performance.

Develop a Digital Fitness Plan

Using our Remote Trainer function and your answers from the questions you ask during the initial consultation, build a fun, exciting, and effective digital fitness plan that will work for your trainee’s fitness level, physical limitations, and at-home environment.

  • Deliver a one-of-a-kind workout: You can choose from countless exercises in our library, building customized workouts for each of your clients. You can also build templated workouts for common issues, saving you time. All of your workout plans can include branded elements, like your logo.
  • Use videos and video conferencing to connect with clients: Deepen your clients’ experience with one-on-one or group training sessions using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other video conferencing technology.
  • Follow up in between workouts: Make sure to reach out to your clients via text, email, phone, or video conferencing to gauge their progress and keep them moving toward their fitness goals. This is a great chance to discuss their biggest challenges and offer expert advice on how to improve.

4) Learn How the Human Body Really Moves With Gray Institute

The most important part of any new business is establishing trust with your clientele. The best way to build that confidence is by showcasing your credentials. When it comes to personal training, there’s no better endorsement than a certification, specialization, or fellowship from Gray Institute.

Dr. Gary Gray and our leadership team have revolutionized our industry, applying physical, biological, and behavioral sciences to the study of human movement. Applied Functional Science (AFS) is the culmination of decades of innovation and research. Rather than focusing on theory, we explain the truths of human movement and how you can improve your clients’ performance and wellbeing.

We have advanced courses for personal trainers of all disciplines, including:

  • Certification in Applied Functional Science® (CAFS): Learn how to assess, treat, and train clients using the truths of AFS in this online or live course
  • 3DMAPS®: Improve your assessments and movement screens with our innovative, functional approach, either in-person or online
  • Functional Golf System: Leverage golf-specific movements to improve athletes’ performance and reduce their risk of injury, available as both an in-person event and an online program
  • Chain Reaction®: A two-day live event that helps you understand how seemingly unrelated movements and structures can impact human movement and performance
  • GIFT: A life-changing 40-week mentorship that will transform how you see, evaluate, and approach human movement

These courses will give you the tools you need to create engaging and effective training programs for clients of every size, age, and ability.

Gray Institute: Taking Personal Trainers and Coaches to the Next Level

At Gray Institute, we have everything you need to take your movement training career to the next level. Please contact us to learn how Gray Institute can help you launch or grow your business. You can also explore our courses and the Gray Institute App!

Reach out today to get started!

References: GlobalWebIndex’s flagship report on the latest trends in social media. (2018). GlobalWebIndex. Retrieved from https://www.globalwebindex.com/hubfs/Downloads/Social-H2-2018-report.pdf Schwartz, A. (2017, Nov. 6). 70% of internet traffic comes from mobile phones. CIO Dive. Retrieved from https://www.ciodive.com/news/70-of-internet-traffic-comes-from-mobile-phones/510120/