As a personal trainer your job is to help your clients achieve their health and fitness goals, but have you ever had a client who texts you when they sit down at a restaurant and absolutely needs you to calculate the macros of every meal on the menu? Or a client who emails you at 6am because they’re about to go for a run and aren’t sure if they absolutely need to have one or two scoops in their protein shake?

What happens when you don’t answer them immediately? What happens when you do answer immediately?

Neither approach is ideal. Don’t reply and your clients become disheartened. Reply straight away and you’re no longer in control of your own business.

When you take your personal training business online these emails aren’t going to disappear. They’re going to multiply. You need to set up some systems, establish some rules to help you manage your workload so you can spend less time in front of your computer and more time doing what you love, whether that’s having dinner with the kids or squeezing in some precious gym time for yourself.

We’ve talked about time management before, but because it’s such an important topic, and one so many of us find difficult, we wanted to cover it again.

Create an FAQ page

You’ve seen them before. We’ve got one. You need one.

A Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQ, page helps your clients find the answers they need without having to email you.

When you sign up a new client direct them to your FAQ page and make sure they know to check that before emailing you any questions. This saves you time, it saves them time, and it means any emails that come through should be worth your time.

Don’t give out your phone number

This is an easy rule.

Don’t give out your phone number unless you want people to call you.

You can tell them to text, or WhatsApp, but you know they’ll call. The say they won’t, but they will. A lot.

If you run a face to face business and take bookings over the phone then a phone is essential. But if you’re training 50+ clients online keep it simple, choose email, and keep your phone number for your friends, family, and in person clients.

Create a Facebook Group

Another great time saving method is crowdsourcing. You’re one person. Or maybe you’re part of a small team.

Creating a Facebook Group is a great way to build a community around your business. You want to get as many of your clients into this group as possible so they can start interacting, connecting, and motivating each other to achieve their fitness goals.

But Groups offer great time saving potential. You can’t be available all the time but having a community of engaged clients means if anyone asks a questions there’s a very good chance another client step up and answer for you.

You’ll want to keep an eye on any fitness advice to make sure it’s accurate but Groups are a great way to offer additional support for your online personal training clients.

Set your working hours

Online personal training lets you work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Which is awesome. Catch up on some admin in the gym staff room, check your client’s progress while you’re brushing your teeth, put together a new bootcamp offer while you’re on the bus.

The freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere is the dream, right?

Being able to structure your day around your own lifestyle is one of the biggest benefits of online personal training, but not having dedicated working hours can often lead to burn out, so it’s important to set some restrictions for yourself and your clients.

You don’t have to work 9-5, but if you often find yourself replying to client emails at 2am maybe it’s time to think about protecting your time, setting expectations, and making sure your clients understand that. You’re not going to call them up at midnight and demand they fix your sink, or wash your car, fix your cable. Whatever their job is, they have working hours that their customers respect, and so should you.

I don’t work between 5 and 8pm. If emails come in, they get ignored. If my phone rings, it goes to voicemail. Why? Because I cook dinner before my girlfriend gets home, then we sit down and enjoy each other’s company at the end of her working day. That leaves 21 hours for me to be productive, which is plenty of time to get stuff don’t, get a hearty night’s sleep, and avoid feeling burnt out.