Do you ever wonder how you can support your clients AND have enough time for everything else? It’s a tough one because we want to help as many people as possible (and get paid for our time) but we know that people making big changes in their lives need consistent support. We’re going to look at ways to support clients while creating boundaries that respect both your clients’ needs and your own.
First, think back to the last change that you made in your life that was difficult. How did you finally reach your goal? Did you have support? What kind of support helped you most?
If you want clients to be successful, you’ll need to offer them some type of support, and there are many different ways you can do this. The problem is, supporting clients one-on-one is difficult to scale and monetize. Here are some ways you can keep your clients accountable without constant contact.
#1. Start slowly
Setting small, bite-sized goals are generally easier for clients to get on board with. This also helps them to see progress before reaching their big goal and can help with keeping them motivated. Another reason to start small is that it can help reduce the number of questions and panicked emails that you’re likely to get from an overwhelmed client.
Take it a step further and get your clients to write down their goals for the next session and what actionable steps they will take to reach these goals. The more you can make an idea tangible, the easier it will be to stay committed to reaching that goal.
#2. Check-in Sessions
Check-in (follow-up) sessions are another great way to keep clients accountable and get paid for your time. Setting up their next session at the end of their current session is a simple way of making sure they don’t forget to book again. Let’s face it, life happens and you’re busy too.
Check-in sessions are great whether you’re working with clients one-on-one or in groups. There’s a set time, they know they’ll need report their progress to you and you’re not working for free. Each client is different, so gauge how frequently clients need to check in and reduce the intervals between sessions for clients who need more support and push check-in sessions back for clients who need less support.
Take it a step further and use a progress worksheet between sessions to track client progress. This will help keep clients aware of where they are in their health journey and maintain ownership of their results. This will also help you evaluate if the small goals are still too big or if they aren’t challenging enough. This is really easy to do and can be used for both one-on-one clients and groups.
Here are some ideas of questions you can ask in your Progress Worksheet:
- How have you been feeling since our last session?
- What changes have you noticed?
- What have been your challenges? Did something change?
- What wins have you celebrated? How did it feel?
- On a scale of 1-10, rate the effort you’ve made since our last session.
- Moving forward, what would help you be more successful in implementing changes?
- What are your goals for next session?
- On a scale of 1-10, rate your commitment level moving forward.
#3. Be Prepared for FAQs
You likely get the same questions over and over again, and that’s ok. What’s not ok, is wasting your time writing out the answers to the same questions time and time again.
You know what theses questions are. Be prepared by writing articles about these topics for your blog or even for a client resource page. You can also create a client manual, a getting started handout or an ebook with all this information. Imagine how much time and frustration this would save you and your client!
Take it a step further and use bite-sized pieces of this content as quick tips for your social media channels or as support in your private Facebook groups.
#4. Email Support
If you want to offer clients email (or other) support between sessions, be sure to create boundaries. Unless a client is spending a good chunk of change on your program, you’re likely not getting paid for the time required to answer questions outside of sessions. Be very clear with clients about how often they can email you, how many questions they can ask and how soon they can expect a response. People like structure and knowing what they can expect. The important piece here is to stick to whatever rules you’ve set up!
Take it a step further and block off time in your calendar to answer emails on specific days at specific times. This will help you stay focused and to the point when responding to questions.
Tracking is a powerful tool for clients to show them the direct correlation between the behavior they are tracking and how that makes them feel. Ask clients to keep track of key activities and behaviors between sessions so they aren’t relying solely on their memory.
It’s tough when a client comes in and says something like “I’ve been feeling really tired lately.” and you respond by asking how/what they’ve been eating. You can’t do much with “I’ve been eating really clean” or “I’ve been mostly following your recommendations.” How are you supposed to help with that lack of information?
Once your client is journaling, you can review their entries in your session and make adjustments to their plan accordingly.
Take it a step further by offering feedback on journals between sessions for an additional cost. If clients are tracking on paper, they can send their journal via email between sessions or set up a Google doc and go in to take notes in the Google doc. You can also use apps that will allow clients to track from their phone and allow you to make comments on their entries in real-time.
The above recommendations don’t require you to be in daily contact with your clients though they do keep you on the forefront of your clients’ minds. Whatever strategy you use to keep clients accountable, create a system around it and be consistent. Clients just need to be reminded that you’re there for them and with them.
What are your best strategies for supporting your clients and supporting yourself while you do it? Share below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathalie Garcia is the Co-Founder of Practice Better, a Practice Management Platform that allows Health & Wellness Professionals to automate their workflow so they can spend less time on administrative tasks and more time helping clients reach their health goals. www.practicebetter.io