We’re slowly getting back into the swing of things and it’s a relief. If you train at a gym, your gym owner has probably laid out a reopening plan by now. If you own a gym, hopefully you’ve been able to open your doors again. And if you’ve been able to go back to your gym as usual already, you’re one of the lucky ones!
There are a lot of things to consider as we transition back into normalcy again. For many of us, that means figuring out a way to juggle all our responsibilities without losing track of what’s on our plate. If you’re a trainer who has accrued a lot of remote clients during quarantine, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to manage training in person again with all the new online work you have on your plate. This is not to be taken lightly. The one who suffers most from a coach who has taken on too many responsibilities is the client—and you don’t want to make them pay the price for your blunders.
That brings us to the million dollar question: how do you manage both your remote and in-person clients so that you give sufficient attention to both? Now that work is picking up again and your client list might be growing, now’s the time to learn how to juggle everything. These five tips will help you along the way.
Plan Ahead of Time
A common mistake in any field is waking up in the morning and figuring out what your day is going to look like over morning coffee. Sound familiar? Well, you can kiss those days goodbye. The only way to get all your ducks in a row is to plan ahead. Figure out which days you’re going to train all your in-personal clients. We don’t recommend scattering them all throughout the week. That’s not a smart use of your time. Instead, choose a few days each week that are dedicated to training in-person clients.
The other side of that is planning out the days where you do all the programming for your online clients and line up all your remote work. Once you have everything planned out for the next few weeks, you can rest easy that your schedule is done and you don’t have to worry about it every morning when you wake up.
Compartmentalize Your Time Wisely
Another branch of planning ahead of time is learning how to compartmentalize your schedule on the micro level. In other words, you know that every Wednesday and Thursday you’re training your in-person clients. And you know what hours they’re coming in for the day. But you likely have a few free hours during your day to eat, workout, tweak programming, post marketing material on social media, etc. Don’t let those go to waste.
The best way to manage all those small tasks of each day is to block off each half hour. Commit to working on something for 25 minutes straight, then take 5 minutes of a break to shake it off, grab some tea, and allow your mind to shift gears. The next 25 minutes can be devoted to something else.
Here’s an example. If you have 90 free minutes in the morning before your first client, you can spend the first 25 minutes finishing up programming and tweaking their upcoming workouts. Take 5 minutes off, then spend the next 25 minutes making yourself breakfast. Take another 5 minutes off to scroll through Instagram or whatever, then spend the last 25 minutes putting together marketing material for your social media.
When you compartmentalize your time like this, it’s become much easier to use your time wisely and efficiently. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you that your 25 minutes is up. This helps you shift gears instead of getting stuck in the same topic for hours at a time.
Hold Open Office Hours
You want your clients to be able to express their concerns and ask questions on a regular basis. But it’s not very time efficient for you to respond to clients’ text and calls every other hour when you’re in the middle of a workflow. The distractions will end up driving you crazy and make you inefficient.
However, your clients need to communicate with you. So rather than just telling them to text you or call you whenever they want, tell them about your “open office hours.” These are the hours set aside each week where your phone is open for calls and text. They can reach you within these hours to ask questions about programming, express concerns with their diet, or simply share some challenges they’re going through.
Depending on how many clients you have on your roster, you can have these office hours once or twice a week—or more if needed. It all depends on how many clients you have and how often you want to make yourself available to them. When you go out of your way to make open office hours like this, your clients will clearly see that you care about their wellbeing and that they won’t be forgotten no matter how busy you get.
Keep Your Weekly Newsletter Going
One of the best ways to keep your clients included in your work and your life is to continue sending out your weekly newsletter. This can be sent to both your in-person and remote clients—two birds with one stone. Take some time each week to put together insider health and fitness tips so they feel like they have some extra material to keep them going throughout the week. These small gestures will show that you care about their health and you’re committed to seeing them succeed.
Create an Online Community For Your Clients
The more like-minded people your clients are surrounded by, the better. Create a Facebook page or private group for all your clients to share updates, give encouragement, ask questions, etc. Not only is this a place for you to be active and respond to, but it’s also a place for your clients to interact with each other. Eventually you’ll get to the point where your more seasoned clients can help you answer questions from the beginners. The reciprocity and open communication will be a breath of fresh air for both in-person and remote clients.
Clients are much more likely to stick with you if you’ve given them a strong community to be a part of. So in the moments that you’re unavailable, they still have someone to turn to, hold them accountable, and lift them up when they’re in need.