Online personal training is a great way to grow your business and increase your income. But how do you keep your clients motivated as an online personal trainer?

In real life, many trainers know how hard it is to keep up with each client and make sure they’re achieving their goals and sticking to the plan. Keeping clients motivated when you never train them face to face in a gym environment is a different game, but totally doable with a little thought.

Here’s a handy selection of tips that will help you keep your online training clients motivated.

Set long and short term goals

Clients will typically have a goal in mind when they start training with you. Most of the time this will be as broad as “I want to get fit”, “I want to lose weight”, or just “I want to feel good”. That’s great and everything, but you know you need measurable goals that your clients can work towards. Besides, these things don’t happen overnight. Being healthy is, genuinely, quite hard for a lot of people. Cake is delicious. Life is busy. Work is tiring.

In order to keep clients motivated try setting short term goals using the SMART method. Keep things specific, measurable and on a deadline. Using personal trainer software like TrainerSync can help your clients set up and track goals over time.

Create challenges, offer rewards

Challenges can be small, 2 minute tasks. They don’t have to be six week long epic fat blasting super sessions. Things which might seem trivial to you could be incredibly daunting for your clients. I’ll say it again – being healthy is hard for a good chunk of the population.

Do you have a client who never logs their meals? Set them up with a free personal training session if they record every meal, every day, for two weeks.

Is a new client struggling with push ups? Let them know there’s a gift certificate waiting for them once they hit 10 perfect pushups.

If you’re training groups, throw in a little friendly competition and watch them sweat. Who can complete the most reps? Who can complete the most rounds? Winner gets a cool t-shirt you’ve had made up for your MVPs.

Have you run challenges for your clients? What sort of rewards did you offer?

Provide an online forum where your clients can motivate each other

Facebook isn’t just for holiday photos and political debates. When used properly it’s a great tool for motivating and supporting your clients.

Facebook Groups let you set up private forums where your clients can hang out, ask questions, and support one another. Setting up a Group is quick and easy, and you can change the privacy settings so only the clients you invite will know it exists.

You might want to create a group for all of your clients to engage in, or create several smaller groups for specific clients, say, one for your Sunday Bootcamp, one for your Weight Loss group, and so on. Splitting up groups by topic not only makes things easy to manage, but also keeps the group members super focused on their specific goals.

Track progress with photos

Similar to goals, progress photos helps clients see just how far they’ve come. They might get discouraged, but show them a photo from six weeks ago next to one taken today and they’ll get a boost.

Connect on social media

Social media isn’t just about connecting with your friends. Being a personal trainer is, well, personal, and you should aim to connect with your clients.

I’m not suggesting you spend all of your free time online, but it’s important to interact where your clients are. Offering daily tips and motivational quotes are great ways to keep your clients engaged when they’re not training. Maybe you have a story about your workout today that would resonate with your clients.

Maybe you ate a Big Mac and you want to let your clients know that, hey, Big Macs are delicious every now and then.

Facebook and Instagram are also great places to praise your clients. Spend a minute writing a nice message, praising their accomplishments and letting them know how proud you are of their hard work. They’ll share your post with their friends, get a load of likes, and keep feeding the motivational train.