4 Client Problems Fitness Coaches Face (& How to Fix Them)
If you're a fitness coach, you probably LOVE helping people look and feel their best. That's why you got started, isn't it?
But as you grow your client base and get your name out there more, you might be running into a few issues that make you wonder if you really like this line of work. Or, if you're new to this, you might be wondering what you don't know.
Either way, we're glad you're here. At The Contract Shop®, we actually create contract templates that have been time-tested and run through the proverbial wringer with thousands of other entrepreneurs. This makes it easy for us to see the most common pain points that fitness coaches like you experience. Today, we're sharing some of the most common client problems that fitness coaches face. Plus, you'll get tactical advice to help you stop encountering those same issues over and over again!
Any type of coach knows that, sometimes, clients will schedule calls or in-person visits. You'll wait and wait and wait, but they never show. You hope there hasn't been some horrible accident, but it turns out they "just forgot." This is where a contract clause about cancellations and no-shows can come in super handy.
Clients who don't know what's included
Clients who say things like, "I'm not sure I can ask you this" or "Can I reschedule this appointment?" or "Are we going to go over XYZ?" are a clear sign that your scope isn't clear enough. When you create packages or start selling your fitness coaching services, this is going to happen. It's just the nature of the beast; you can't see every question that will come up and you're learning in real time what your clients want.
As you get clearer on what's included and what's NOT included, or what rules they need to really know, update the scope of your contracts. You should also update any promotional materials like sales pages or emails promoting your services to reflect these new inclusions and exclusions.
Tons of questions
Do you have clients who ask a ton of questions, even after you've shown them their exercise or nutrition plan? You might consider creating an FAQ portal or PDF guide for new clients, and gently remind them to refer to that before asking more questions.
If clients are asking questions outside of your scope, or you feel they're trying to take advantage of your expertise without paying for it, you can refer them back to the scope of your contract.
You may have a client who downright refuses to pay their next bill, or whose credit card bounces, or who asks for a discount on your next session. Of course, we're going to tell you to have a payment clause in your invoice that not only says how MUCH you charge, but explains how quickly you expect to be paid, how, and what happens if those terms aren't met.
That could include termination of services, interest, etc. However, there's another element that goes into this: knowing your ideal clients. If you're just accepting anyone who wants your fitness coaching services, you're probably going to run into the curmudgeons who don't want to pay your prices. If you book your ideal clients, however, you'll see that you can really avoid a lot of the drama.
As a healthcare, fitness, or nutrition professional, there are a lot nuances to what you do. Things like meal plans or dietary restrictions, at-home workouts, supplements, and so on. You probably know by now that clients will do what they want — and sometimes that goes against what you've suggested or recommended.
Because of that, you want to really protect yourself from any liability from people following your professional instructions improperly. This is where an LLC (limited liability company)can come in handy, as well as a liability waiver to include in your contract.
Confusion on next steps
How many times have you worked with someone and come to the end of their session package or month arrangement with you... and realized they weren't actually going to do anything with the coaching you've provided? This happens a lot, simply because people don't know what to do.
You can have a post-coaching guide that can help clients take the next steps or continue care at home themselves, and that also offers next steps. We'd always recommend including how they can work with you again. When you give them something to do and act on when they're "done" working with you, they'll feel taken care of and remember you when they fall off the wagon or don't keep up on their fitness goals.
This is a great client experience, and increases your retention, returns, AND referrals. You can also make sure that your contract is super clear about the end of the relationship, and what clients will be expected to take care of themselves.
Keeping your coaching clients on track
We know that it can take a little bit of work to get things running smoothly for your fitness coaching business, but there's one element of all of this that we can help you fix — and fast.
With our time-tested and fitness coach-approved coaching contract, The Contract Shop®can help you customize a new contract for each new client's needs — in just minutes (instead of days or weeks). It's also got all of the elements you need to protect your time, your money, and your scope, so you and your client are happy.
Whether you're dealing with these problems right now or want to prevent them as you grow, just know that you don't have to keep dealing with the same issues over and over again. These small tweaks to your business and contract can help prevent all that stress you might feel while trying to build a business and do work you love.