Hi! I’m Tiffani. I’m a Product Education Specialist at Trainerize, and I’m also an independent personal trainer. One thing you should know about me? I’m a strong believer in unwavering top-quality service and staying true to myself. Second thing? I get all of my clients through referrals.
Over time, as you provide great service, word gets out and the clients you want will come to you. I would love to be Instagram famous one day (hello, free Nike gear!) but my favourite clients will always be the ones that are referred to me. It’s SO rewarding to be recommended by your clients—focus on being the best trainer you can be and everything else falls into place.
Another thing you should know about my business: video call appointments have been an absolute gamechanger.
I made the switch from in person to online training many years ago. My biggest concern at the time (and the one thing I would occasionally miss after I first transitioned my business) was the face-to-face connection.
You know, making jokes, chatting between sets, engaging with my clients.
For me, virtual coaching, through video call appointments, solves that issue. I can drive accountability and spark motivation through video, just like I did in person. In the beginning, I was afraid of losing out on business by going online. In reality, video call appointments had the opposite effect for my business.
Here’s my step-by-step approach to video coaching services. I’m sharing how I increased my income by over $600 per month with each new client added—and how you can do the same.
Step 1: Offer a free video consultation & a free trial
Wow them with an amazing first impression!
When new clients start with me, I give them two things, right off the bat: an initial consultation call and a free two-week trial. Before video calls were available in Trainerize, I would call my clients over the phone or send them a Zoom link. But neither were perfect options. Now, with video call sessions, my clients can join seamlessly from their calendar and I can get to know them so much better by not only talking to them, but seeing their faces!
Pro tip: Always start with a video call. That human connection is a personal touch—and I find video builds trust right away.
Most importantly though, I am truly able to get to know my client. I love seeing that look on their faces and hearing their tone of voice when they find out what they’re getting themselves into! After the video call, I create a personalized trial experience that I’m sure will wow them:
Step 2: Set up a service package customized to their needs and commitment level
Win them over with a package just for them
Trust me: the initial video call, coupled with two week of free training—it works wonders! Then, I build out a training plan that will be ideal for them.
Pro tip: when you’re converting free trials over to paying customers, monitor your clients’ engagement levels to identify what type of package is best for them.
A client willing to put in the work is also willing to invest a little more in their health and wellness, so based on that, I can offer a customized package that I know will work for them. Low engagement often continues when they end up paying (or they don’t end up paying at all). I offer these clients a lower-priced introductory package that starts them off with habit training and daily stretches.
Don’t underestimate these lower-priced packages, either! Some of my most long standing clients started with a lower-priced package. When you nurture these clients, they’ll grow over time.
The idea is to set yourself up for a situation where there is no chance of them not signing up! Here’s an example of when that’s really worked out for me.
I received this message after I had given the client a two-week trial with two sample workouts and two free video calls (the initial consult and a 30-minute personal training session). The client purchased a monthly package starting the next week! And called me generous! They were so impressed with the value they were getting and how much I cared for them that they were convinced they got a really good deal.
And just a note on the ROI here: it cost me 50 cents to do a 30 minute video consultation call with my client… and he signed off on a $500 recurring monthly package. In this situation, I see the video call feature as a sales tool, helping me convert a client.
Step 3: Set up 1-on-1 virtual personal training sessions through video
Keep clients motivated
Whether it’s a new client or a client that has been training with me for some time, video calls are my secret advantage when it comes to client retention and of course, boosting revenue!
Pro tip: Offer video call appointments to the clients that makes sense. I don’t recommend to all clients that they go with personal training through video. It depends on their goals, commitment level and budget.
The subscription package mentioned above included multiple offerings—biweekly workouts, daily habits, and ongoing nutrition guidance—plus four live video call appointments per month. This was valued at $500 per month ($75 per live session, $200 for the rest).
For the clients that have the commitment and the budget necessarily for live sessions, they always have a great experience and see results faster—plus, they get the full experience of working with a trainer—just virtually! Here’s an example of when a virtual training session really worked out for both me and the client.
For this client, I designed a workout that I knew would challenge her and leave her sore the next day—but not so challenging that she would be afraid to train this way again.
Another ROI check: It cost me $1 for a one hour video personal training session. The client ended up committing to two virtual workouts a week at $75/session, which works out to $600 per month in revenue for me. Plus, soon we are going to add habits and additional workouts to her plan. In this situation, video calls are a service tool—enabling you to provide more training options to your clients.
Step 4: Enjoy the added benefits of video coaching
Scheduled appointments, added accountability
Do you ever notice how clients might skip a workout that’s scheduled in their calendar if they’re stressed or busy? With a video personal training session, they show up. And once they do, I can tailor their workout to how they’re feeling. I can push them to work harder if they’re looking strong and energized, and I can also provide them with something with lower impact or lower intensity if they seem to be having an off day. The client still ends up getting a workout and they leave the session feeling satisfied.
Pro tip: My little trick is to end with a stretch that feels so good. That’s what they’ll remember from the session.
Another added bonus of the scheduled sessions? Building a routine for their fitness. A client told me at the height of COVID-19, “Tiff, these morning workouts are the only thing that have kept me sane these past few months.” I think this has been particularly important during the pandemic—clients feel better with a schedule and when they’re working towards their goals.
Step 5: Keep improving and developing your virtual training offering
So what are you waiting for?
Video is a great medium to build a meaningful relationship with your clients and to motivate them and help find success on their fitness journey. It’s also a great way to upsell your clients into more comprehensive online training packages!
If you’re thinking of trying out virtual training sessions, try the steps I’ve outlined here—offer a free consultation, get them on a free trial, and offer video calls when the time is right!
If you’re looking for that first client, start with the people you know—friends and family! At the very least, you’ll get some testimonials and some practice using the app. And if you want to convert your current clients to personal training sessions through video, why not offer one free complimentary session? I’ve never not had a client sign up for video calls after one free workout through video with me. So try it!
In my experience, if you deliver, they will want more! And when they want more, you’ll earn more. It’s a win-win! My clients are happy, and I’m happy.