Ted Vickey by Ted Vickey

The health and fitness industry continues to become more technologically advanced, with a steady stream of new apps, wearables and websites that promise to change the core of your business. But given how fast these new technologies come to market, it can be difficult to know which ones are the most useful for helping your clients achieve their goals. To maximize your use of technology in your dealings with health and fitness clients, be sure to avoid the following three mistakes.

Mistake #1 - Believing that technology can replace the personal human touch.

Technology can be great when used effectively, but it never should replace the human touch. The advancement of technology has removed the four physical walls of a gym, and trainers and coaches are using this to their advantage by training clients across town, across state lines, even into different countries. Being in the same room with your client may no longer be a requirement for training or coaching, but the most effective trainers and coaches keep the “personal” touch in their relationships with their clients. And it’s important to realize that there will always be individuals who simply don’t want technology to be a part of their journey to better health. That’s a perfectly legitimate choice, so don’t spend your time and effort trying to convince them otherwise. A better course of action is to determine how your use of technology can enhance your work as a trainer or coach, and don’t forget to always give your clients the option to contact you and make it easy for them to do so.

Mistake #2 - Focusing on just one platform rather than being agnostic.

If you only focus on the technology that you personally use, you are, in effect, in effect ignoring a large potential market. The current market share for mobile devices in the United States might surprise you, with android comprising 55% of the market, followed by Apple at 44%. Health and fitness professionals that only target those who use an Apple device are limiting their potential market by a majority of smartphone users in the U.S. Rather, look for apps, wearables or technologies that can work across any platform. By doing so, you will not limit your potential client base and will instead have the ability to reach those that may need your expertise. This doesn’t mean that you personally need to own or understand both Apple and Android platforms—the apps and wearables will do that for you.

Mistake #3 - Failing to embrace the full potential of technology.

You will spend plenty of time and effort learning whatever technology you decide to use. First, look at how the technology can help increase your productivity and enhance your effectiveness as a health and fitness professional. Then examine the technology from your clients’ perspectives. If they don’t understand the benefits of using a technology, or simply can’t figure out how to use it, then the technology may become a hindrance rather than a help in their efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember that not every solution will “fit” with every client. Technology is not a solution, but rather a tool that you can use in helping your clients along their path toward better health.

Before jumping right in and using any piece of technology for your business, take some time to identify your business goals and objectives, try out a variety of possible solutions and then create a long-term strategy. Both you and your clients will see the rewards of your technology success.

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