The world of personal training is evolving at a rapid rate. Progressions to the industry over the last 10 years or so have arguably been greater than any other business sector. Not least when it comes to client management.
In today’s climate, embracing technology is non-negotiable. Clients demand the best service available, and the latest digital systems are your ticket to providing it. And if you’re not, you can bet your last dollar that your competitors are. Losing potential customers due to ignorance would be an absolute nightmare. This is why specialist PT software is an absolute must-have addition to your arsenal and why we've written a PT Portal Review.
But with so many options on the market, sifting through the various solutions can be very strenuous. Sadly, it’s not a task that can be taken lightly due to the immense impact your selection will have on the growth of your business. At a glance, most software packages look the same. Don’t be fooled, though, those subtle variances could make all the difference to your company’s future.
PT Portal markets itself as the smart software and App for personal trainers. I signed up to see whether their package delivers on that promise. Here’s everything you need to know.
Note: My Personal Trainer Website does NOT affiliate with third party sites. This is a genuine PT Portal review aimed to provide our readers with honest insight.
PT Portal Features
The fundamental mission statement of PT Portal is nothing new. The software and App are essentially a package that allows personal trainers to manage their schedules and keep clients happy.
PT Portal boasts a number of features to help achieve this, including:
From a business perspective, the purpose of any service upgrade is to boost your earnings. The easiest way to achieve that is by operating with a busy schedule, which is why good organisation is key. To its credit, PT Portal makes it very easy to book sessions.
Not only can you book clients in, but they can also access your rota to see when you're available. Perhaps the biggest threat to your profits is the possibility of cancellations. However, Pro members can post special discounts with late booking features to ensure that time doesn’t get wasted. This could be a great tool for filling those slots. Pretty cool.
Integration between App and browser makes it easier to stay in control too. Clients can use their phone and you can catch up on the nearest desktop computer.
Choosing to work with a PT is a huge decision for your clients, and they deserve the best results. As a great trainer, you don’t just need to give them the tools and knowledge, you need to give them the motivation too. That’s where the goal-setting and workout management comes into play.
In this area, PT Portal doesn’t do anything that any other personal trainer software does. But it does present those features in an agreeable manner. For the trainer, it’s a great way to monitor progress and restructure training regimes accordingly. For the client, seeing progress in an easily digested format can make all the difference to motivation.
Those features make it easier for client and trainer to stay on the same page. Meanwhile, individual profiles are particularly useful when handling multiple customers. Groundbreaking? No. Useful? Most definitely.
Free & Paid Subscription
No two personal trainers are the same, and a little versatility goes a long way when choosing management software. Unlike some services that overcomplicate things with too many options, PT Portal can be broken into two clear sections.
The standard package is free and includes everything needed to get your business up and running in the digital arena. Arguably the standout feature of this package, compared to other products on the market, is that it boasts an unlimited list of clients. It’s not uncommon to see free packages to limit this number to just a handful, so this aspect comes as a very pleasant surprise.
That’s not to suggest that the paid option doesn’t offer more. In addition to the last minute booking mentioned above, Pro members can also use block bookings. Meanwhile, the addition of automated SMS systems can be hugely beneficial. For trainers looking to claw back valuable time, the £15 monthly fee is more than affordable too.
Extra Earning Revenues
As an entrepreneur, maximising profits is top of your business agenda. With this in mind, any opportunity to create additional streams of income are gladly accepted. On the other hand, your time is precious, and you won’t want to step away from the core functions of your business. With the PT Portal, there is a great solution.
If you choose to, it’s possible to sell fitness products on behalf of the PT Portal platform. Essentially, it works like a referral scheme where you can earn commissions of up to 50% (30% for free membership plans) with very little work. Clients see the adverts placed on your App, buy, and then receive their goods from PT Portal. Meanwhile, you sit back and enjoy the additional profit.
It seems like a dream come true for a lot of PT's but I've spoken to and worked closesly with similar systems like Gymbag.co and selling supplements isn't that easy. Plus, when you start recommending products because you get paid to do so, you risk losing credibility.
PT Portal Weaknesses
First impressions count for a lot and the PT Portal platform does paint a positive picture. However, it’s not perfect from top to bottom, and understanding those weaknesses is vital.
PT Portal Website
PT Portal offer clients a free website to list thier services and have clients book and pay for sessions. Sounds great but in reality, the website won't do much in terms of generating new leads.
The goal of a fitness website is to enable clients to find you via Google or from paid ads and PT Portal is a client management system. It just doesn't bring to the table what is needed for a personal trainer website to succeed and I don't think you'd get many clients from it.
The front end looks good (see image below) but the abck end offers no useful marketing features like the ability to search engine optimise your website or add a blog.
PT Portal should just call it what it is, a client mangement system (CMS). That way, they don't list a pretty crappy website as a main feature but instead, list a much better than average CMS.
The other main issue with the PT Portal App is the blandness. It does what it needs to, and is designed to make information digested. Nonetheless, it would be great to add a few personal touches.
Aside from the personal profiles, it feels very generic. Clearly, function takes precedent over look. But a cool looking platform would have a far greater impact on clients, and could encourage future bookings. Even the included website domains carry pretty standard formats. This does have positives, but the option to be a little more creative would be appreciated.
Exercise & Workouts
This feature isn't clear from the PT Portal Features page. It's labelled as a workoout manager but it's really just a really terrible list of exercises. I personally would not be happy to show a client this and the fact there are no videos doesn't help either.
It seems they're trying to head out of the client management service and into the online personal training software arena but aren't quite there yet and the overall quality of this feature puts a downer on the other great features which we'll talk about next.
PT Portal Strengths
While the PT Portal package does have room for slight improvement, there’s no question that the good outweighs the bad. There’s a lot to like about the software, especially for trainers that are new to the concept of going digital.
Here are some of the main reasons to love the package:
As a business owner, your main focus is to make money. The payment management facilities on PT Portal are particularly pleasing. Not only do they allow you to track payments, but you can also accept client payments directly through the App.
Ultimately, getting paid is job one. This makes it far easier to do just that, and I couldn’t applaud PT Portal enough for making this process so easy. However, this is only available to Pro members.
Once you’re up and running, there’s a good chance that using the platform will become second nature. During those early stages, though, a helping hand would be very beneficial. PT Portal have done a great job of onboarding clients with a handy list of to-do's. Their support portal is also very comprehensive with FAQ's and how to videos.
Text Message Reminders
When I ran my own PT business I used to text message my clients every day they had a session with me. Whenever I went on holiday or took some time off, I gave my clients to one of my trainers, Dom. Dom didn't send text messages like I did and my clients complained about not recieving them when I returned.
Such a small thing but my clients loved getting them. The PT Portal app does this for you.
As a personal trainer client management software, I think gut feelings tend to be pretty accurate. Even before downloading the App, I was of the opinion that PT Portal would be a decent system. In particular, I thought it looked like an attractive solution for those just taking those first steps into the digital world. Having tested the platform, my opinion still stands.
The ‘standard’ free package is one of the best free options on the market. Of course, there are fewer features than offered by the paid service. However, there is more than enough to help you make that transition into the world of digital management.
With PT Portal, you can quickly book sessions, set goals and monitor the progress of your clients. Ultimately, this will allow you to provide a more personalised service built to see customers achieve even greater gains. The communication links are perhaps a little lacking until you upgrade to Pro, but there are always ways around this. After all, you’ll already have the contact details of your clients on your smartphone.
My advice for anyone seriously considering PT Portal is simple: start with the standard and see how things go. If you find yourself needing the block booking and other features further down the line, you can always make an upgrade.
If you liked this PT Portal review or you use PT Portal, hit me up in the comments to let me know how you're getting on with the software!