If you’re a personal trainer I’m sure you know what it’s like to have an inbox overflowing with emails from clients.
Old clients who don’t pay you anymore asking you to critique their new workout plan. New clients scared to eat bread because they think wheat will destroy them their hard work. Current clients who forgot when their next session is. And potential clients who have 100 questions about your service but no intention of hiring you.
Sure, it’s great to have clients who trust you with their health and fitness, but as your business grows this can start to become overwhelming, especially if you’re flying solo. Work can start to bleed into your personal time, and that’s what you’re trying to avoid by taking your personal training business online.
You want to help your clients and you want them to be comfortable asking for help and guidance, but it’s important to find a balance between being accommodating and protecting your own time. We’ve put together a few handy tips to help you stay on top of your email.
Only answer email on specific days of the week or times of the day
Email continues to be a huge time sink for all businesses, whatever industry you’re in. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Choose one or two days per week and make these your Email Days. Find a time in your week when you can dedicate several hours to only answering emails from existing clients, and make sure your clients are aware of this when they start training with you.
Tell your clients that they can email you as many questions as they like, but you’ll only be responding on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10am.
If you provide a high value package you might offer a 24 hour response time to your clients. If that’s the case, schedule one hour a day to Gold Package client emails. Keep it consistent and schedule your time relentlessly. Trying to answer emails as soon as they arrive will just lead to burn out and you won’t be able to effectively provide the high quality service your clients are paying for.
Create an auto responder
Just because you’re not replying to emails immediately doesn’t mean you should ignore them all day. That’s just rude.
Auto-responders are emails that automatically reply to incoming emails saving you time. Try this simple template to keep your clients updated:
“Thanks for your email. It’s been received, and I’ll be getting back to you within 24 hours.”
Use a different email address for existing clients and potential new clients
Another simple tip is to set up a unique business email address and only use that for your existing clients.
If you use firstname.lastname@example.org as your main business email address, don’t use it for your online clients. Use email@example.com.
If you offer multiple packages why not use gold@, silver@, and firstname.lastname@example.org for each batch of clients? That way you know exactly what inbox you need to dive into to at what time.
And if you’re only checking your email once a week you don’t even need to set it up on your phone. That’s just an unnecessary distraction.
Reduce stress. Increase productivity. It’s a win for everyone.
Create template responses
Answering the same questions over and over can get boring fast. Every time you respond to an email, copy and paste your reply into a text document and stick it in Dropbox.
Next time a client emails you with a similar question just head over to your pre-written response, copy and paste it into an email, personalise it a bit, and hit reply.
Think about it once. Write it once. Move on to the next task.
We like to use Evernote rather than Word and Dropbox. It keeps everything neat and tidy and you can tag your responses for quick and easy access.