It seems to be a common sight these days -- a person has a phone in hand, an iPad and computer nearby... multitasking to the nth degree. To say society is fast-paced is an understatement. We are "plugged in" 24-7. Despite this infinite stream of connectivity to others, many are not maximizing the most valuable pieces of technology interaction. This could not be truer in the health and fitness industry where proper utilization of technology has the opportunity to not just grow one's business but more importantly, to enhance the value of one's services.

Providing successful fitness programming is not just a matter of dumbbells and crunches. When we talk about providing a meaningful service to our clients that produces tangible outcomes while still allowing for business growth, personal trainers and coaches know it comes down to much, much more.

Technology, when used effectively, can provide more effective client contact and allow for scalability in an industry that has significant time constraints. If you train a client for one hour, your time is limited to that one client -- and so is your income. While there is no true replacement for one-on-one time, I am a strong believer in the power of technology that connects you to your clients.

As you continue to grow in the industry, explore implanting the following technology that will allow you to create better client accountability and feedback while expanding and growing your business to reach a much larger audience (including the ever -elusive corporate market):

Online/Mobile Coaching Communication Systems
Applications that allow you to truly coach your clients when they are not with you are one of the biggest opportunities available to expand your reach. Training clients involves much more than just providing a workout. The days of paper logs, spreadsheets and phone calls have been replaced with robust tools that help you better track and communicate with your client so that you can help them succeed.

1. On an individual level -- We know most individuals cannot afford to see you daily, but if they could they would! If you can provide the opportunity to coach outside of the gym you have not only enhanced your impact on the client, you have created a new revenue stream. Furthermore, you open the door for individuals who cannot afford one-on-one time to have the opportunity to receive your expert guidance. These systems also enhance monitoring and progress tracking so that you are truly with your client every step of the way. I've increased my client reach tenfold by using online coaching systems.

2. On a population/group level -- Online coaching technology allows you to better interact with groups of individuals and run group-based programming. Group programming in essence scales your time, but online technology can scale it even more by allowing you to interact and monitor via the web. Whether you are running a weight loss program or a 5K training group, technology can enhance your group training. What’s more, this same technology you use for groups can be expanded to corporations looking to run wellness programs. There is a fundamental need for more individualized programming in the corporate market. Technology can help you scale this often large task.

Often trainers find success with free applications like myfitnesspal. However, if you are looking to truly customize what you are doing, tools like PTontheNet and The Gray Institute allow you to custom build and prescribe exercise routines to your clients. If you want to go even further with client/coach interaction and include nutrition and group/corporate programming in addition to exercise prescription, systems like 411Fit may be a good fit.

Social Networks 
Twitter, Facebook and blogging are each unique and each very real ways to grow your business and scale your time. In the wellness and fitness industry, constant communication is fundamental -- not just for your clients but for your personal brand.

1. Providing your expert advice -- When you provide unique insight, people will listen. Whether it is a tweet, a Facebook post or a blog, make sure you are pushing out information that allows you to showcase your value. These mediums are not just advertising who you are; they are helping the industry grow.

2. Keeping your clients in the "know" -- When you keep your social media outlets up to date, your clients are that much more in-tune with you and your business. It is a great way for you to keep participation and client retention high.

Webinars and web-based conferencing 
There is nothing I love more than a well-run conference. Only problem is, it's hard to attend all the great ones in the country on a budget! Technology has allowed us to break down this road block. By utilizing web-based conferencing and video systems, you can reach thousands of people with the click of a button. In essence, this form of technology marries the two technologies mentioned above: The ability to scale interaction on a more personal level and the opportunity to grow your brand. Web conferencing also puts a very personal touch on your services by allowing individuals to hear your voice and potentially see your face. Creating relationships with your clients is a process of personal contact, and this piece cannot be ignored!

I have found great success with using Skype for video chats and group calls. This free application is very user-friendly and 100% web-based, so it is portable! I have participated in several webinars via GoToWebinar as well. If you are chatting primarily with your clients only, Google's application can keep communication very organized for you.

While the technologies above have the ability to create more meaningful client-trainer relationships and grow your reach, don't forget the biggest asset you have -- YOU. Make sure that all of the tools above work to create a better platform for YOU to bring your value to your clients, peers and industry.

Briana Boehmer is the co-developer of Salus Inc., a company focused on highly individualized corporate programming. She is also a director of 411Fit, an online software service solution that provides innovative web-based tools for corporations, coaches and individuals pertaining to health and wellness management. She has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a nationally certified personal trainer with NASM, and has been working in the health, wellness, and coaching field for the past 12 years. Learn more about 411Fit at


How much of your time would you estimate you spend growing your business?