Technology and the Internet provide a variety of opportunities for fitness entrepreneurs. The web can be a great resource for increasing market awareness in order to promote yourself, your business and increase profitability through product and service sales. From online training programs like that allow you to train hundreds of clients at a time; MindBody a complete business platform; Constant Contact a comprehensive Internet marketing solution; GoDaddy with website answers; to free resources like Groupon, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Wordpress, SurveyMonkey, and others popping up every day. For many fitness professionals, the web is an incredibly underutilized resource limiting their full revenue potential.

    Online platforms allow you to collect insurmountable data, build your customer base, and stay connected to clients, while never leaving the comfort of your office. Social media sites have taken on a life of their own and allow you to stay ahead of the game. Some ideas for using these sites include creating blogs with proper exercise and dietary tips, posting articles, uploading exercise pictures or videos, and offering online presentations. A simple search on how to build your business via the web can produce many ideas and resources.

    Technology and the web, however, also have a downside. Be cautious not to bombard your customer or potential customer with information overload. Always have an objective and establish yourself as a reliable expert by backing up the information you provide with credible studies or testimonials. While you don't want to overload your client, it is important that you consistently add new information in order to keep enthusiasts coming back.

    Here are some important things to remember when using any technology or online resource to promote your business or connect with clients:

    - Don't start something if you are not going to sustain it
    - Maintain a consistent brand, theme and message
    - Make your messages simple and easy to remember
    - Make it visually stimulating with pictures, colors, and videos

    Technology is also helpful for building your business. It can be a lead generator for sales and allow you to build a rapport with individuals that you may have never had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Over time your followers will come to trust you because of the information you provide. Regardless of the technology medium you choose, the key is to let them rely on you as their 'personal' fitness resource.

    Tammy Polenz, CPT, has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 1991 as a personal trainer, club manager, corporate wellness consultant, and gym owner and designer. She is the author of Think Fit 2 Be Fit, founder of Vedas Fitness in Cleveland, and Wellness Director for Cleveland Hopkins Airport and has been featured in numerous fitness magazines and media. Learn more about Tammy at