Now more than ever it’s important to make your clients feel like they’re actual human beings—not just another number. Human interaction is severely limited as we’re all stuck inside because of the COVID-19 shutdown. We don’t see our work friends. We definitely don’t get to go to the gym. And because your clients are active people like you who are invested in their health and wellbeing, they’re feeling the weight of this just as much as you are.
You have a responsibility to keep up with your clients even if you’re not keeping up your regular in-person sessions with them. And when we’re all self-quarantining, a simple text from your trainer can go a long way. Keeping a strong relationship with your clients isn’t just about securing future income from them. It’s about setting them on a right path for them to feel confident and supported during their health and fitness journey. The more they know you’re behind them, the better they will do in the long run. Here are five things you should do to keep a solid connection with your clients from afar.
Call or Text Them on a Consistent Basis
Pick one day a week to text each client and stick to it. Set a reminder on your phone, do whatever you have to do to remember that Monday is the day you always text them to remind them to have a strong week and that you’re just a phone call away if they need you. Everyone stuck at home right now has had their routine and normal schedule completely ripped away from them, so having a consistent check-in to keep them accountable every week is going to help them keep up their good habits and encourage them to maintain a normal schedule.
Some clients prefer a phone call over a text (especially the older clientele you might have), so find out what they prefer and make it the norm. You want to send the message that you’re there to support them, even if you aren’t able to see them in person. Ask them questions: How are they feeling? What kind of assistance do they need? What habits are you having a hard time keeping up with? When they know you’re going to text or call at the same time each week, they’ll probably come prepared with some questions.
Send Out a Weekly Newsletter to All Your Clients
This is the best way to keep everyone updated at once. If you don’t have an email list of clients and prospective clients, now is the time to create one. Each week send out a big update on what you’ve been up to (clients love to get inspired by your healthy lifestyle), ways for them to stay healthy and fit, etc. Make each week a different theme, like mobility, healthy cooking for the family, bodyweight workouts, or sleep hygiene.
Your clients are always looking to you for tips and suggestions, so don’t let them down because they need you now more than ever. They’re stuck at home all day, probably sitting in the middle of a ton of temptations—social media, endless snacks, Netflix, video games—without much motivation to work out and stay mobile. Your weekly newsletter could be the kick in the butt to do what needs to be done, rather than sit around in boredom. Keep it fun and interesting, and share tips you wish you had known before you became a fitness professional.
Post Regularly on Your Social Media Pages
Again, your clients look to you for inspiration and positivity. And in these strange times when coronavirus is causing a bit of a panic, it couldn’t hurt to share some light on your social media pages. Do a live video on your Instagram to talk about your favorite homemade snacks. Do a live workout on Zoom and invite all your clients to join in. Do an AMA (ask me anything) thread on Twitter and share more about your professional history and your personal life. Post more cute pictures of your dog. Do whatever it takes to connect more with the people who follow you. You can still keep in touch with everyone even while you’re social distancing.
Send Videos Back and Forth to Each Other
If you’re supplying online programming for your clients, you should already be sending them videos regularly so they know what you expect from them and how to execute the movements correctly. But now that there is zero human contact, you want to make sure you and your clients are sending videos often and effectively. It might be time to request more check-in videos from your clients. Have them send you more clips of their jump squats or their planks. Send them back notes to work on. Keep the communication going as often as possible. Send them videos of new exercises to try. Be creative! Even sending a video check-in (where you just talk into the camera and give them words of encouragement) is a nice touch while everyone is stuck at home.
Create an Online Community For Your Clients to Keep Each Other Accountable
Facebook is a great place for this. Even better than your clients looking to you for accountability and inspiration is your clients also looking to each other for the same thing. Create a group or forum where your clients can ask each other questions, hold each other accountable, and post messages of inspiration regularly. Get a thread of conversation started and encourage everyone to comment with questions or comments, and before you know it you’ll have a strong online community of fitness enthusiasts who are doing their best to stay healthy during this COVID quarantine.
Ultimately, you’re here to support your clients and make sure they succeed—even when they’re stuck at home. Reach out often, keep the lines of communication often, and continually give them tips to stay strong and healthy.