Client Onboarding for Online Personal Trainers.

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If you are an online personal trainer, then client on boarding should be a core focus in terms of your business processes. In today’s day and age, if the digital experience is not as seamless as possible, it may cause havoc in the beginnings of the relationship you are developing between yourself and the client. In this article, we will go over client onboarding for online personal trainers.

What’s included in Client Onboarding for Online Personal Trainers?

When you think of client onboarding for online personal trainers, you want to put yourself in the clients shoes. What would you expect if you were a client? Additionally, ask yourself; what tools do you use and how do you manage the client relationship after the point of onboarding? Do you use an app like FitSW to deliver programs? How will you go about scheduling initial consultations with new clients?

I know, a lot of questions and so little answers.

An example onboarding process

Client onboarding typically happens after they have made a purchase. As a result, purchases are typically the trigger point for all onboarding materials sent to the client.

As the trainer, ask yourself what information you need from the client. This is where you can get started.

After a customer makes a purchase, its typical practice to use an email automation tool that sends a welcome email to them thanking them for becoming a client and providing information on next steps.

Tools to use for welcome emails

These are all great tools to use for email automation. With each tool, you can use forms on your website to trigger automated emails to get sent out. For example, as we spoke about above, when someone purchases something on your site, the purchase form they fill out can be used to trigger the welcome email.

Here’s an example welcome email:

” Hey {INSERT CLIENT NAME},

Thank you for choosing me as your personal trainer! I look forward to sitting down with you to learn more about what your goals and motivations are.

However, we have some paperwork we have to complete before we can get started. This is paperwork I have ALL clients complete before pushing forward with training. You should be receiving an email here shortly with the following attached:

  • Client-Trainer contract – This is put in place to ensure the best interests of all parties are preserved. Please sign this after reading it thoroughly.
  • Liability release waiver – This is a waiver that waves me as liable to any possible injuries you you might suffer from intense physical exercise. Although they are very rare, I still take this as a precautionary step. Please sign this after reading it thoroughly.
  • PAR-Q questionnaire – a PAR-Q form is a quick and simple form that gives me information on your things like medical history, day-to-day lifestyle, and a couple other key pieces of information that help me do a better job as a trainer. Please take the time to fill this out with up-to-date, accurate information.
  • links to scheduling our first phone call – Just simply click the link and select a time that works for you for us to have chat about what our next steps are.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me at:

  • {INSERT YOUR EMAIL}
  • {INSERT YOUR PHONE NUMBER}

I look forward to speaking with you!

Best Regards,

{INSERT YOUR NAME}”

About the email template

In the email template, each section where you see “{INSERT}” – these actually represent real variables you can insert into the body of your email. Essentially what happens is, the service you use (Mailchimp, Hubspot, etc…) collects the information of people who are submitting forms on your page and stores them in a data base.

Then, when an email gets sent, it replaces the variable for the information the customer provided OR information you have defined. For example, your name and contact information.

You may be asking; “Okay, but why can’t I just type that stuff out?”. Thats a great question. You can if that is your preference. However, many of these email automation services not only provide these variables, but also email templates already typed out.

This way, you can simply go create an audience and select an email automation template to customize to your messaging, business, and brand. It makes the whole process extremely east and fast to set up.

What comes after the welcome email?

After the welcome email, typically you send two different types of emails:

  • Informative emails – give your new clients a glance at your process. This should inform them of how you are building their program, how you deliver it, how you track their progress, and how they can provide feedback on workouts/exercises.
  • Administrative emails – These are emails as we have mentioned above in our example welcome email template. They include emails containing contracts, waivers, PAR-Q forms, and any additional forms you have clients fill out.

Usually, these emails are two separate emails. This is recommended to keep things organized and to help prevent overwhelming people with a lot of information. One email will contain links or attachments to contracts, waivers, and forms you are having people fill out. The other email should include a brief run down on how your deliver programs and other materials included in the session, package, or membership clients have purchased.

While you may cover this stuff in a phone call, it’s still nice to include it in an email. This way clients have a hard copy of everything as well, for their own record keeping.

Setting Expectations – Onboarding beyond formal business emails

Setting expectations for during client onboarding for online personal trainers is a must. While some of the stuff we talk about in this section could take the form of an email, really the goal here is to make sure you are setting the client expectations properly.

This stuff might have been briefly covered in a previous section, but you want to make sure no stone goes un-turned. Additionally, this type of onboarding is something you might want to consider holding out on until all paperwork is squared away. This way, there isn’t too much on the clients mind.

Here, you want to cover stuff like:

  • What are your expectations of the client? What if they miss a bunch of sessions with no notice? How do you hold them accountable beyond charging them for the session?
  • How do clients hold you accountable on the deliverables you owe them?
  • How do you reward hard work?

This is all stuff you can cover in an email or phone call – it’s up to your preference. However, the important thing is that:

  • It gets covered.
  • And it gets covered at the right time.

Generally speaking, if you covered everything we have mentioned so far, you have done an excellent job of onboarding clients.

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