Here are 3 of those key elements:
1) They offer coaching, accountability and support.
If you have a big name and a huge following you can get away with offering a training program and a meal plan then sending your clients on their way. Not many of your clients will do well on this but enough to create some good testimonials and keep the marketing and PR machine moving forward.
If, on the other hand you actually care about your results or you have a slightly smaller following then you must be there to coach and support your clients.
The really successful trainers in PT Distinction give their clients training programs, along with video lessons on good eating and lifestyle habits. They then set up tracking for these habits and any other variables they wish their clients to monitor. Some offer meal plans and/ or recipes on top of this but those things are an addition to the service rather than a core element.
They then schedule regular communication to encourage their clients and help them stay on track. Common methods for delivering this added communication are app message, text message, Facebook group, WhatsApp or phone calls.
Bare in mind though, many online clients have busy lives so the shorter and more succinct support methods are often the best. Phone calls in training packages can be good to offer but are often overrated by trainers.
2) They automate the features that can be automated without taking away from their overall service.
Many tasks even in completely bespoke online coaching can be scheduled and automated. By setting up these tasks to just happen trainers can focus on adding more for each client, helping them more and enjoying a little family time while coaching a lot of clients.
Things like regular measurements, assessments, motivational texts, educational videos, educational emails, delivery of questionnaires, sending of welcome packs, drip feeding of recipes and more can be set up once and automated without taking away from the service you offer.
Each client can still have personal assessment reviews and bespoke training programs created along with food diary analysis and specific habit creation to provide a very bespoke service.
By doing it this way trainers don't waste time on the repeatable tasks involved with setting up each client and instead spend their hours providing the things that add true value to each individual.
Here's how you can automate those “every client tasks” on PT Distinction and give them to each client in seconds
3) They work hard, put their clients first but also consider themselves.
Some successful online personal trainers work very, very hard. They manage to get 50-150 online clients and spend every second of every day texting then all, answering questions, creating programs, creating meal plans and getting burned out. The smart ones do everything they can for their clients and help them with everything they need but ensure that they look after themselves and their family time as well.
Setting up systems is important if you want to be very successful online. Setting up some clear boundaries can also be beneficial to you and to your clients as well.
Define the relationship at the start and mange expectations. For example make it clear you will send them motivational messages and keep them accountable to their goals every day but you will only answer emails on a Monday and Thursday afternoon. If you include phone calls in your packages get a scheduler such as Calendly and set your availability for the times you wish to speak to people and at 15 or 20 minutes appointments only. This gives plenty of time to get everything discussed but if you set 60 minute appointments clients will always fill that 60 minutes.
If you do want to offer unlimited communication do it in text, in app message or a Facebook group. This tends to keep questions short and concise and the expectation is of short coincide answers. Unlimited email communication or phone calls will take up hours of your time every single day if you go beyond 50 clients.