Whether you’re in the business of online personal training or if you run a fitness studio, you’ve likely spent a lot of time thinking about the best ways to attract new clients (incredible branding, high-value pricing, compelling offers—hello, Black Friday and New Year promos!). Have you stopped and thought about what you can do to improve the onboarding experience, though?
Having a well-planned onboarding system helps you to ensure new clients receive proper attention and support right from the beginning. This, in turn, can increase the likelihood that they’ll stick with you long-term.
Read on to learn more about the importance of good onboarding practices for new fitness clients. Plus: how to improve your onboarding process and set your new clients up for success.
Why Does Onboarding Matter?
Onboarding is an essential part of making sure clients have a positive experience working with you. It’s not just about kicking things off, though. Prioritizing best practices for onboarding fitness clients will also:
- Prevent miscommunication between client and trainer
- Prevent clients from getting overwhelmed
- Increase client engagement and get them excited about what’s to come
- Clarify expectations for both clients and trainers
- Save time by collecting essential client information right from the start
When your clients have a positive onboarding experience, they’re more likely to have a positive training experience, too. This will increase the likelihood that they’ll remain clients of yours for a long time. There’s also a better chance that they’ll be inclined to recommend you and your training services to others.
How to Improve Your Onboarding Process
Okay, you can see why you need to prioritize onboarding. Where do you begin, though? How can you improve your process so that it’s streamlined and gives new clients everything they need?
Ready to level up the onboarding for your fitness business? Here are some of the most important steps to take:
As a personal trainer or fitness studio owner, you already wear a lot of different hats.
When you run a business, it’s up to you to keep track of everything, from marketing materials to client feedback forms. If you can find a way to automate your onboarding process, you’ll be able to provide new clients with a positive experience without adding too much more to your already-lengthy to-do list.
Some steps you can take to automate your onboarding process might include drafting a welcome email that sends automatically to all new clients as soon as they sign up to work with you. You might record an introductory video that you send them, too. That way, they can get to know you better and learn about what to expect from your training in a format that feels more personal.
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Your onboarding process ought to include an opportunity for the client to provide you with important information, too. The more you know about your new clients, the easier it’ll be for you to create plans that are tailored to their goals and help them see results.
Make sure your client receives a questionnaire to fill out as soon as they sign up for training. The following are some specific topics you might want to cover:
- History with exercise and personal training
- Specific health and fitness goals
- Health conditions and past/current injuries
- Work and personal life (the type of work they do, the number of hours they spend in the office, their hobbies…)
It’s a good idea to ask about availability in the questionnaire, too. Find out how many days a week they can commit to exercising, how long they can exercise each day, and how motivated they are.
Onboarding gives you a chance to start building relationships and increase their trust in you. It’ll also give you an opportunity to learn about your clients and clarify what they can expect from you! The better your relationship is with those who hire you, the more likely they are to continue working with you.
There are lots of ways you can start building a positive relationship, from sharing a little about your own experience to reviewing the client’s questionnaire with them and diving deeper into some of their responses. These practices help you to get to know them better (and vice versa) and provide them with an opportunity to open up to you and develop a sense of trust.
Offer a Welcome Package
Some professionals in the fitness industry see great success when they include some kind of welcome package as part of their onboarding process.
Your welcome package doesn’t have to be super lavish or expensive. Giving your clients some resources to learn more about your services and get excited about training with you can make a big difference, though.
If you have tools like a recipe eBook or downloadable fitness journal, consider sending those to your new clients when they sign up.
Create a Sense of Community
Being part of a group can help to increase some people’s motivation and help them continue pushing toward their health and fitness goals.
Consider creating some kind of online community for your clients and adding new people to it when they sign up for your training services. This gives them a chance to connect with others who have similar goals and feel as though they belong to something bigger than themselves.
Now that you know more about the importance of onboarding fitness clients, as well as what you can do to improve your current onboarding process, it’s time to get to work. Keep these tips in mind as you start refining your approach to onboarding personal training clients.