How to use auto-messaging to automate paperwork

If you’re running a professional fitness studio or gym, you’ve to maintain an endless record of client communication through paperwork or excel-sheets. Right from sign-up forms, agreements to invoices, your back-office will always be stacked with papers that need to be either filed or computerised.


But here’s the thing about paperwork:

While it might seem like a part-and-parcel of being a successful personal trainer that can’t be eliminated, paper-work doesn’t have to be so hard.

You can actually make the entire process more efficient, so that it works for you, instead of working against you.

In fact, you’re losing thousands of dollars every year, just because you’re not investing in a system that can do the paper-lifting for you.

Don’t believe me?

Let me explain.

An average fitness trainer charges $55/hour and trains 20-25 clients per week. Now, any qualified trainer has to spend at least 15 minutes/client/week on maintaining their documentation, be it sending invoices, progress reports or assessments.

When billed, this time slippage accounts to $343.75/week, which cumulatively becomes a net monthly loss of $1376/month, which further becomes an unrealized loss of $16,512/year.


Isn’t that too much of an unrealized loss for not streamlining the documentation process?

Now, what if we told you... you can actually stop the slippages, and convert the operational gap into surplus business revenue?

In this tutorial, we're going to show you how you can use TrainerFu to automate all the paperwork involved in offering personal training services to your clients. 

From sending initial client questionnaires to recurring monthly invoices, all documentation processes involved in running your fitness business can be automated using TrainerFu.

1. Client Questionnaire [Frequency: One-time, after onboarding]


The first document that you need to send to a client after you sign them up for your personal training services, is the client questionnaire. 

For a typical gym or studio, this can be a paper-form that contains all the important questions required to create a personalized workout plan.

For example,

- What's your weight, height, or fat-percentage? (Physical attributes)
- Are you experiencing any stress at work? Or have any ongoing issues in your personal life? (Mental attributes)
- Do you suffer from any serious medical conditions? (Medical attributes)

The conventional strategy that most personal trainers adapt is to stack up all these paper-forms, study them in their spare-time, and then use the shared client questionnaire to create personalized workout plans.

While the process works just fine for personal trainers who have to train only a handful of clients, the paperwork becomes a huge pain, when you want to scale your business to hundreds of clients.

Using TrainerFu auto-messaging, you can make the process of gathering client information efficient and fully-automated.

All you need to is create an online version of the client questionnaire using tools like Google Forms or TypeForm, and then integrate the form link with the auto-messaging setup. 

Here's how you can configure an auto-message for capturing initial assessment information (fully-automated): 

Trigger: 4 hours after account creation

Message:

Hey $firstname,

Thanks for signing up for my [[4-Week Fat Loss Program - Premium Membership]]!

It’s awesome to have you onboard.

Now, before we start training together, $firstname, I’d like to know a few details, so that I can create a much more personalised workout plan for you. 

Here's the link to the detailed questionnaire: <Form Link>

I have put all the prerequisite questions required for creating a personalised workout plan in the above online form.

Since we start training tomorrow, it would be great if you could fill this up before that.

That way, I can cross-check the plan that I’ve assigned you, and make some on-the-fly adjustments, if necessary.

Sounds good?

If you’ve any questions, feel free to shoot them, here.

👉🏻Pro-tip: The above message will be automatically sent to all clients, four hours after they create an account on TrainerFu. If you want to send the client questionnaire only to paying clients, you can set the Trigger as "4 Hours After Joining Paid Clients Group". 

2. Workout Sheets [Frequency: One-time, after onboarding]


After the initial client questionnaire, the next documentation process is the workout plan, itself. 

Most trainers share the workout plan with their clients over email, spreadsheet or even paper-forms.

While it's convenient to share workout plans through these channels as they're easily accessible, the problem with using these channels is that they are inherently unscalable.

If you want to train hundreds of clients, you've to build a system that does all the hard work for you, instead of creating an inefficient system that doesn't scale.

And that's exactly what auto-messaging does.

By linking auto-messages with plan templates and packages, you can automate the whole process of sending workout plans to your clients.

For example, if a client signed up for Fat Loss Training Program, you can create a training package that automatically links them with the  "Fat Loss" group, and instantly assigns them an initial workout plan, based on the selected plan template. 


To know more about the setup process, read our guide on how to set up training packages on TrainerFu

Once you've set up an automated training package, you can set up an auto-messaging template that looks something like this: 

Trigger: 4 hours after assigning group

Message: 

Alright $firstname, 

So, just a quick heads-up from my side. 

I’ve assigned you a workout plan for the current week. 

You should be able to view the assigned exercises by navigating to: Plan -> Day. 

Each exercise will have parameters like sets, reps, weight, etc. assigned to it. 

All you need to do is tick the exercises as you complete them. 

Simple, right? 

Let me know if you’re able to view it from your end.

👉🏻Pro-tip: To streamline the process of assigning workout plans to clients with different goals, we highly recommend creating varied plan templates, and then creating different training packages that link to those templates. With such a setup, you'll be able to deliver instant, one-click personal training to hundreds of clients, at scale.  

3. Agreements [Frequency: One-time, after onboarding]


After workout plans and client questionnaire, the next important documentation is personal training agreements. 

Instead of manually printing a hard copy for every client, you can actually create a PDF version of the contract, host it on Google Drive or Dropbox, and share the link with your clients.

Your clients can download the agreement, sign it from their computer, and send the contract back to you. 

In case you don't have an agreement template with you, you can use this template from NSCA

Of course, you'll need to rewrite it and make it more specific to your business. In case you're not sure about how to put the legal causes, we recommend that you consult a lawyer to create a personal training agreement for you.  

After you've narrowed down on the ideal template, upload it on Google Drive or Dropbox, and check the option "Share publicly" to get the direct link. 

Once you have the link, you can setup this auto-messaging template to automate the e-signing process:

Trigger: 1 day after account creation at 8:00 AM

Message:

Hey $firstname,

Good morning!

How are you doing?

I need you to complete a small task for me, today.

Now, I know this might seem boring and unnecessary, but we'll need to do a little bit of paper-work, before we start training.

The good thing is it will take only 5 minutes. 

Have a look at this agreement that I have drafted for you: <Link>

It's important that you go through the document, read through the clauses, and e-Sign it from your end.

You can either print on paper and sign it physically, or you can even sign it digitally through your computer, whichever works best for you.

Just send the scanned copy on my email, when you're done: <Email_id> 

Let me know if you've questions. 

👉🏻Pro-tip: To make the signing process streamlined and fully-automated, you can use e-Signing tools, like, HelloSign or DocuSign. They eliminate the need to print or scan agreement copies and even give the flexibility to allow clients to sign from their smartphone. 

4. Sign up Forms [Frequency: One-time, after onboarding]


If you're offering other training services in parallel to your personal training (like nutrition planning, online bootcamps, yoga classes, etc.), you might have to share additional signup forms with your clients to confirm their participation.

Likewise, you might also use signup forms to capture detailed customer information, when they join your studio or gym.

This is different than a client questionnaire, as signup forms focus on logging customer information for CRM purposes, and might not be used for creating workout plans. 

Instead of using physical forms to accumulate client information, you can make the signup process completely automated using tools, like, Google Forms and TypeForm

For instance, here's how you can setup the auto-messaging template to automate the registration process:

Trigger: 30 minutes after account creation

Message:

Hey $firstname,

Welcome to TrainerFu Gym. 

As you might already know, my name is John, and I’m the head coach at TrainerFu Gym. 

For the next few weeks, we’re going to be working together towards helping you achieve a higher level of fitness. 

But, before we begin, I’d like need to know you better. :-)

Would also be great if you could fill this registration form: <form-link> 

This would complete our signup process, and we can start training ASAP.  

Looking forward to breaking some ice, $firstname. :)

👉🏻Pro-tip: If you're using Google Forms, you can link up your form with Google Sheets, so that all client information is logged in a single sheet. In case you're using tools like TypeForm, you can use Zapier to aggregate multiple data-sources and maintain all the information in a single place. Read this guide to know more about how to automate a signup process using online forms

5. Feedback Forms [One-time/recurring]


When a client completes a training program or decides to drop out of an existing plan, it's a common business practice to capture client feedback.

Usually, the feedback forms are printed out on paper, and trainers ask their clients to fill them up using a pen or pencil.

Now, even though this strategy might be convenient to adopt, it adds-on to more paper-work. 

You not only have to maintain a stack of feedback forms, but it also becomes a huge hassle to aggregate customer feedback, and understand how your clients feel on a month-to-month basis.

But using TrainerFu in collaboration with tools, like, SurveyMonkey, TypeForm or even Google Forms, you can eliminate all paperwork and streamline the process of capturing customer feedback.

Here's how you can set up an auto-message for collecting feedback (automatically!):

Trigger: After the 25th workout at 7 PM in the evening

Message:

Hey $firstname 

Did you know that it's been almost a month since we started training?

Oh, how time flies!

So, now that we have trained so long... 

I wanted to know your feedback on the training so far.

- Is the workout plan working for you?

Do you feel closer to your end-fitness goal?

- Do you have any concerns/suggestions that you've not got the chance to share, so far? 

It would be great if you could answer these questions and more by clicking on this feedback form link: <Link>

Why?

The online form logs all feedback anonymously, which means you can be more honest with your feedback! :)  

P.S: You can always reach out to me to discuss any personal suggestions/concerns.

Have a great day!

- John 

👉🏻Pro-tip: Instead of asking for feedback when a client stops training from you, it would be much better, if you could set up an auto-message that gets sent to clients every month. It'll not only help you get a pulse on your business, but it'll also increase customer retention and business revenue. 

6. Event Invites [Recurring]


A lot of fitness trainers organize different events in their gym or studio to build up client engagement. 

From Zumba sessions to meditation sessions, a lot of activities are planned on a weekly or monthly basis. 

If you already have a calendar of these pre-planned events, you can create a messaging schedule to automatically remind clients to signup for the event.

To implement this automated setup, you'll first need to create an event invite using Google Forms or configure a TrainerFu package with one-time or monthly payment. 

Here's a guide that will walk you through the entire process.  

Once you have the event-link, you can use the below auto-messaging template to send event invites: 

Trigger: 7 Days After Joining the Paid Clients Group at 8:00 AM in the morning

Message:

Hey $firstname,

Just wanted to let you know that I organise a group training bootcamp every Saturday, where I teach my clients advanced workout techniques for building endurance and stamina.

The fees for attending the 1-hour bootcamp are as low as $9/session for TrainerFu gym members ($19/session for non-members). 

If you would be interested in joining, just fill this form: <link>. 

You can even share the form with your friends, who might be interested in joining.

My personal suggestion is that you join us for the session, as it will help you boost your workout performance, and bring you closer to achieving your individual fitness goal. 

Alright, I'll leave up to you to decide.

Have a great day!

👉🏻Pro-tip: You can even create a fitness event on popular platforms, like, EventBrite, and integrate it with TrainerFu using Zapier. You can read more about integration possibilities, here.  

7. Upgrade Plan Form [Recurring]


When you're training clients on a regular basis, you build strong relationships.   

And as the trust develops, it becomes easier to upsell services or plans. 

But there are major challenges that personal trainers face when it comes to upgrades: 

a) They aren't able to personalize their offer and send it to their online or in-person clients

b) They aren't able to establish an upgrade-process that's triggered at the right moment, in order to maximize the probability of conversion.

With TrainerFu auto-messaging, you can establish a workflow that prompts clients to upgrade at just the right point, automatically. 

For example, as you can see below, we have configured an auto-messaging template that gets triggered, 4 hours after clients complete their 25 workouts. 

Trigger: 4 hours after logging 25 workouts at 8:00 AM in the morning

Message:

Hi $firstname, 

How are you doing, today? 

Just wanted to let you know about new packages that I’ve started offering: 

<Package 1> - <Price> 

<Package 2> - <Price> 

<Package 3> - <Price> 

Since you’re one of my best clients $firstname, I’ll be happy to give you a flat 20% discount. 

If you're ready to upgrade, you can go ahead and upgrade by clicking on this link: <>

If you'd like to have a consultation before we go ahead, let's setup a meeting, and discuss how we can take things forward. 

Thoughts?

👉🏻Pro-tip: You can create different links for signing up for different training plans using TrainerFu packages. However, if you want to share a single link for upgrading to multiple plans, you'll have to create a landing page that's linked with multiple training plans. 

8. Invoices [Recurring]


For any studio or gym, the recurring documentation process has to be monthly invoices.

If you're training 25-30 in-person clients per month, you're generating more than 350 invoices per year. And if you're training 50-100 online clients, you are generating more than 1200 invoices per month.

Considering that an average trainer spends at least 5-10 minutes to create and share an invoice, it effectively means that you're wasting more than 200 productive hours in collecting payments.  

With TrainerFu auto-messaging, you can cut down on this time-investment, and automatically notify clients when they have to pay for an invoice. 

Here's how you can set up an auto-message for sending invoices:

Trigger: 30 minutes After Joining Paid Group

Message:

Hey $firstname,

Thank you so much for your prompt payment. 

It's always a pleasure to have understanding clients like you. 

Let me know how you wish to receive the invoice?

I can either send you a copy over email or even attach it here, whatever works best.

👉🏻Pro-tip: Instead of using auto-messaging to send a payment confirmation message, you can use TrainerFu's Zapier integration to completely automate payment & invoicing for your business. However, in order to achieve full-automation, you'll have to use accounting software like Zoho Books or Quick Books, and collect payments through Stripe or PayPal. 

You can know more about how invoicing and payment integration apps that integrate with Zapier, here

Want to implement a custom-documentation use-case?

While we have the discussed the four most popular use-cases, you can actually go ahead and streamline all your business processes using auto-messaging.

If you’d like to discuss or implement any specific documentation use-case, we’d love to help you with that. Just drop an email to: support@trainerfu.com, and we’ll take it from there.


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