Are you using a health coach intake form for your coaching business?
When it comes to client intake, many top health coaches use intake forms to streamline their onboarding process and gain insight into their client's backgrounds before beginning formal coaching sessions.
There are now over 130,000 health coaches working in the US alone, and the industry is worth more than $ 7 billion. If you hope to stand out amongst the crowd, you must pay attention to every detail, and a coaching intake form is certainly one of those.
Using a client intake form allows you to gather important information, from contact and billing details to eating habits and food allergies. A well-informed coach is a good coach, and an intake form is a great start to any coaching relationship.
In this article, we will talk about what a health coaching intake form is, why it's important to your coaching practice and the best way to create your own coaching intake forms.
What is a health coaching intake form?
A health coaching intake form is a document used by health coaching professionals to onboard new clients and gather useful information before beginning coaching sessions.
The coaching intake form will ask questions across several topics including billing and contact information, lifestyle factors, and nutrition and fitness.
Note: Try Bonsai for free today and browse hundreds of customizable templates to build beautiful branded coaching intake forms. Claim your 7-day free trial!
Why use a health coaching intake form?
We have already mentioned how competitive the health coaching industry is. Many people have the expertise to help clients achieve their health goals, but none of that matters if you can't get new clients through the door in the first place.
Clients have certain expectations when hiring a health coach. They want someone who is professional enough to come into their first session pre-armed with the information they need to hit the ground running. It shows that you understand how valuable their time is and that you are serious about the client-coach relationship moving forward.
Let's take a look at the main reasons you should be using a client intake form in your coaching business:
Professionalism and efficiency
The fact is that coaching intake forms are now considered to be an industry standard. In an environment where most of the top health coaches are using them, do you really want to be one who doesn't?
When it comes to efficiency, we have already talked about how gathering information in advance saves time for the client, but how about for you? The intake form should not only aim to gather information about the health and nutrition goals of the client, but also any relevant administrative details including billing and contact information.
Having this information filed away before working with the client saves you a ton of time and the inconvenience of having to chase them for it at a later date.
Identify the client's strengths and weaknesses
No two clients will be the same. A good health coach must take a holistic approach to helping people and be able to identify what they may already be doing right as well as any factors that are holding them back.
For example, a new client may already be engaged in daily physical training, but an excess of stress at work is affecting the quality of their sleep and having a knock-on effect on their diet.
Using a client intake form means you can identify this immediately and tailor your services accordingly.
Often, clients will seek out coaching with a general idea of "getting healthier" without a real understanding of what that might mean.
A well-thought-out form or questionnaire gives them a chance to think about what their goals might be in more specific terms. At the very least it will provide you with an opportunity to create conversation and steer them in the right direction during treatment.
For example, if a client writes that their main goal is to "lose weight", you can help them to create a more specific goal around that such as "lose 5% body fat by the end of the year".
Once you have a specific goal to work towards, you can begin to make progress together by changing habits and lifestyle factors accordingly.
What questions should I include in my coaching intake form?
An effective intake form should cover a variety of topics. Let's take a look at some of the main sections your form should include and the information you should be looking to acquire from each:
What is Your Medical history?
Understanding a client's medical history is crucial to crafting appropriate treatment methods.
Information about any previous injuries, illnesses, surgeries or medications they may currently be taking are all significant factors when deciding how you will help your clients reach their health goals.
What are your reasons for seeking coaching?
People often seek help from a health coach because of a specific incident or series of events.
This could be as simple as perceiving themselves to be overweight in a vacation photo or not being able to fit into a piece of clothing that was once comfortable. Equally, it could be something more serious such as a recent health scare. Understanding the specific reasons your client has sought you out will help create a bespoke coaching strategy.
What are your short and long-term goals?
One of your aims as a health coach is to provide clients with a clear personal vision of where they are now and where they are heading. Having goals to work towards is a great tool for measuring progress.
Short-term, achievable goals are great for kickstarting their lifestyle change and maintaining motivation. Long-term goals make it clear to the client that this is an ongoing process rather than a quick fix.
Nutrition and fitness habits?
Here is your chance to get into detail about your client's current diet and fitness schedule looks like.
You can ask about their previous experience with diet and training, their current eating habits and food preferences and whether they have any food allergies.
From a fitness perspective, try and find out how many hours a week (if any) they are currently dedicating to physical activity, what kind of shape they consider themselves to be in, whether they have any pain or other limitations that are affecting their training etc. These are the questions that can help you shape your offering to the client through a health coaching program template.
What is your lifestyle?
Creating an accurate picture of a client does not stop at diet and exercise. There are many other lifestyle factors that can affect a person's health.
What do they do for a living? Do they consider themselves to be stressed at work or at home? Do they live alone, with their family or in a house share? What kind of sleep quality are they getting? Are they single or in a relationship?
These are all useful when putting together a client profile.
How to create your own intake form
Creating intake forms can be time-consuming, especially as a busy freelancer. Luckily Bonsai has a whole host of customizable templates that will get you up and running in no time.
Using our platform you can create, send and monitor the completion progress of all your client intake forms as well as take care of accounting, tax information and payments all in one place.
Using a client intake form saves you time and helps you build a comprehensive client profile to deliver the best health coaching possible.
Get started today with Bonsai's 7-Day free trial and see how we can help your business grow!