5 Best iPhone Apps for Personal Trainers Trainerize vs Buffer vs Xero Accounting & Invoices ... and 2 more
Edited by Jasmin, Eng, Maria Quinney
The job of a personal trainer can be highly rewarding; you're helping people get into shape and feeling better about themselves every day. As with any career that focuses on helping individuals, there are a ton of details to constantly keep track of. Freelance personal trainers and those that own their own companies are kept especially busy with managing appointments, tracking clients' progress, creating new exercise routines and meal plans, and staying on top of business growth and income.
As the rest of the world goes digital, so too does the world of personal training. And, luckily, there are dozens of iPhone apps out there to help you maintain and even expand your business. Below you'll find details on the top 5 apps that can help you with everything from scheduling and communication with clients, providing classes online, taking payment and managing finances, and producing a superior social media marketing strategy to help you get noticed.
Method 1: Trainerize
- 1How it Works. Trainerize is an app that helps personal trainers connect with their clients, anywhere in the world. Whether you're training a client exclusively online, in-person or both this app makes it easy to run a paperless business.Advertisement
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. There is a basic free version that gives you your own site and the ability to deliver workouts online, but it only allows for one client. For $18 a month (the Pro version) you'll get all the features of the free version, plans for 2-15 clients, access to custom branding, and more. There's also a Studio version available at $54 per month, which allows for up to 200 clients and allows you to custom brand the mobile app. This review will focus on the Pro version.Advertisement
- Create and send personalized training plans and workouts that contain helpful photos and videos.
- Keep clients on a routine even when they can't check-in with you for a long period of time by sending them custom exercise plans for whatever their schedule permits.
- Schedule workouts, check-in clients, and keep track of their progress.
- Add new or edit existing clients' contact info and important measurements in your client database.
- Message in real-time with clients.
- Upload progress photos to motivate clients.
- Deliver meal plans to clients in PDF format. There's also in-app access to professional meal plans for trainers who don't create their own.
- Integrated with several useful services like Skype, PayPal, YouTube, and more.
- Clients have access to everything you provide for them at no added cost.
- 24-hour in-app support.
- 30-day trial periods for all levels.
- The monthly fee may be a barrier to personal trainers just starting out who don't currently have clients.
- Heavily focused on strength training, so the functionality for cardio and endurance workouts are limited.
- 5Verdict. By affording such flexibility on where and when clients can be trained, Trainerize is ideal for personal trainers looking to expand their business globally. Clients with busy schedules will love the fact that they can train almost anywhere and are more likely to continue with their programs. Download here.
Method 2: Buffer
- 1How it Works. Buffer is a marketing tool for social media that helps you effectively share posts on nearly every popular platform, without needing to check in several times a day.Advertisement
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. The free version allows you to connect up to 4 social media accounts (1 per platform) and setup 10 scheduled posts per account. The Awesome Plan is $9.99 (USD) per month, connects up to 10 accounts, and allows for 100 scheduled posts. The Small Business Plan is $99.99 (USD) per month, connects up to 25 accounts, allows for 2000 scheduled posts, and more.
- Share and schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Schedules your content during peak hours for each social media platform to make sure you get the most views possible. You can also customize the time you wish your posting to be sent.
- Supports uploads of videos and GIFs.
- Share posts on multiple platforms at once; make the posts the same or customize them for each platform.
- Individual posts can be shared multiple times per day.
- Optional browser extension to help you save interesting articles or photos you find on the web and want to post later.
- Though you can only create 10 scheduled posts at a time, there are no limits on daily, monthly, or yearly posts in the free version.
- Edit or delete scheduled posts and any time before they're set to publish.
- 7-14 day trials are available for all paid plans.
- Pinterest is not available in the free version.
- Social analytics (Likes, Mentions, Repins, Clicks, Retweets, Shares, and more) are only provided in the $99/per month version and up.
- 5Verdict. Even the best personal trainers need to have a solid marketing strategy. Sharing through social media is one of the easiest, and cheapest, forms of advertising. People use these platforms to find and research just about everything, so why not take advantage of that existing audience and most out of each post? Download here.
Method 3: Xero Accounting & Invoices
- 1How it Works. Xero helps take the stress out of accounting for freelance personal trainers. The app lets you send invoices, record receipts, and create expense claims and reports no matter where you're training schedule brings you.
- View bank, credit card, and PayPal balance all in one glance.
- Quick bank statement reconciliation, and alerts when bank transactions have been updated.
- Track expense claims and outstanding invoices all in one place.
- On the spot creation, approval, and delivery of invoices.
- Upload receipt photos.
- Provides a database for client contact info so you can get in touch with them in-app.
- Your info is always safe; the app uses the same data encryption as Internet banking.
- Integration with over 500 apps.
- Regularly updated.
- Customer support is only provided via email.
Method 4: Square Point of Sale
- 1How it Works. Square is the free point of sales app that works in-person and online, making it easy for you to obtain payment from clients wherever they might be.
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. The app is free to use but, as with any payment provider, they take a percentage of every transaction: 2.65% for swipes, 3.4% + .15¢ for keyed in payments, and 2.9% + .30¢ for payments made online.
- Accepts all major credit cards.
- Keeps transactions quick and paperless by sending receipts via email or text message; though you have the option to connect to a receipt printer if you're not freelancing.
- Customers can pay, tip, and sign all on your iPhone.
- Easily apply discounts or issue refunds.
- Deposits funds into your bank account in 1-2 days.
- Works in sync with the Square Dashboard app, which gives you sales data, analytics, and tools to help you improve your business.
- Upon sign up you'll receive the card-reading hardware for free.
- Aside from the per transaction fee, there are no other hidden costs, sign up or monthly fees.
- Integration with Xero.
- Very regularly updated.
- No option to pay with debit cards; there is a workaround where clients can pay by Visa Debit when you send them an invoice (the pricing for which can be found above.)
- Free hardware only supports magstripe cards. A one-time fee of $29 is required to obtain hardware that supports chipped credit cards.
- 5Verdict. Though the Trainerize app offers payment through PayPal, you need a third party app like Square to take credit card payments. This makes Square a great add-on for freelancers, but it's also ideal (and perhaps more cost effective) for those running a fitness center. Their compact card-reader hardware is much easier to transport and manage than what's offered by most competitors. Download here.
Method 5: MINDBODY
- 1How it Works. An appointment scheduling app that helps personal trainers stay in contact with their business and clients on the go.
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. The app is free to download but you must sign up at a monthly rate of your choosing. The most popular plans are the Starter Plan at $75/month and the Pro Plan at $125/month. Both of these options get your business listed in the MINDBODY directory, as well as offering the basic features of scheduling and POS functions.
- Easily add, edit, and reschedule appointments and classes. Change class teachers when necessary.
- Clients can book appointments and classes, too.
- Keep tabs on staff availability.
- Manage client information such as contact details, payment, and visit history.
- Manage waitlists for classes.
- Sign clients in for appointments or classes.
- Process multiple types of payments including credit card, cash, gift card, and checks. Provides receipts via email.
- View daily sales reports.
- Stores client signature and liability waivers.
- Price points might be a bit high for new businesses.
- The app can be cluttered and difficult to use because of the many features it offers.
- 5Verdict. MINDBODY is similar to Trainerize but built with larger businesses in mind, making it ideal for personal trainers who own or co-own, fitness and wellness facilities. Its prices are higher (yet competitive) than apps meant for freelancers but offers the ability to schedule multiple classes, staff, and share responsibilities with other trainers. Download here.