Starting a business in the world on online health and fitness can be overwhelming, and almost discouraging.
First off: If you’re here for the business side of things, then go ahead and join my free on demand workshop, Your Biz | Your Way – 3 steps to build a profitable online health and fitness biz
And while you’re on the site, snag all the free resources – you’ll find goodies for trainees and coaches or entrepreneurs alike. Much love.
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A few weeks ago, I reviewed the intake survey from my fitsPROs inside FitsPRO Foundations – I do this quarterly or so to revisit my ideal client and their experiences. Where are they when they decide to enroll with me? How can I serve more humans in that stage of business? For instance, through this episode.
There were a few common themes – and to be clear, these intake forms were from Jan 2021 to September 2021.
Content creation, finding and converting clients online, creating an offer and feeling confident in the price point, automating systems and processes – all of these came up repeatedly. And all of these are covered in depth inside my course. Go team.
But also…the words “getting started” or “where to start” or “I have no idea where to begin” also came up time and time again. In one phrase or another.
That feeling is real. And it’s a BIG feeling. Before I enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B school and Hilary Rushford’s Instagram with Intention course back in 2015, I had my kitchen counter breakdown.
If you’ve heard this story, it’s worth hearing again, so stick with me. If you haven’t, I am about to paint a VERY vivid picture of how I went from in person trainer to online trainer FOR REAL.
Got my biz license 2014 for fit design by Annie. That was in person and online training. Even though I didn’t have any online clients yet. I was using Instagram as my main platform. But I maybe had one to 300 followers at the time and no real direction with what I was doing. This was back in the days of only being able to share a single photo. If you wanted to share more than that it had to be in a grid. So if you look back almost every post in the beginning of my Instagram is a grid with a horrendous Instagram filter. And a super short caption.
So, I was in a limbo period during 2014 – 2015. I was remodeling my kitchen to stay busy. I wasn’t going to be a college strength coach, which is what I had devoted the last four years to doing. And I loved my in person clients but I really did want to be online. And saw potential there. I would say during that time I was borderline depressed. Simply because I lacked clear direction for the first time in my late teen to early adult life. Cue me staying busy with house projects. So as I was sitting on my kitchen counter drinking a not your fathers root beer and tearing up because of the lack of direction I had, my friend and now Brand photographer, Paiger Major, sent me a link for Hillary Rushfords Instagram with intention course. Because she obviously knew that I was wanting to use Instagram to grow my brand and awareness.
It was $247 at the time. So I went ahead and bought it because I was pretty desperate, and mostly out of options. Or I felt like I was. I certainly wasn’t making it on my own.
Took Instagram with Intention – started implementing immediately. Nothing miraculous happened, but I felt like I had a strategy for the first time, and I could see little wins with what I had learned. So I felt like I was actually building some momentum in the correct direction versus kind of waiting in the water or chasing my tail.
So in 2015, a friend of mine who also had her exercise in sports science degree and was attempting to make her way in the online world told me to take the school by Marie Forleo. She said if you have $2000 it’s a great course to just understand how to start an online business. $2000 for me, at the time was WAY too much money. My actual income through training people in person and coaching competitive cheer was going to our bills and living life. We just literally did not have the money. AndI made $100-$300 per month through online clients.
In 2015, I finally began making some money online. And when March 2016 rolled around, Nate and I decided to use our tax return plus some of the money I had made from my business to buy the school. Which pretty much dried out our bank accounts. But, desperation can be a very effective motivator. Thus, I began B school March 2016. End it took me almost the complete year to fully implement everything. Mind you, by this point I had built a full in person client roster and was still coaching competitive cheer so I was working 40 to 50 hours per week while actually taking the school. And with the online side I had also steadily been growing, both with my Instagram audience size, as well as beginning to create a sustainable client base. Things were happening, very slowly, but they were happening. And I felt that I really needed a course in order to do what Instagram with Intention have done for me. Which is just provide some structure and a checklist for me to follow at my own pace.
Like I said, with both of those scenarios, investing money that I had no promise of getting a return on, it was looking at the fact that I knew doing what I was currently doing wasn’t working to the extent I wanted it to, and I didn’t know what else to do.
All of that is to say, from 2014 to early 2016, I know what it feels like to be lost. To not know where to begin. To feel like you can see all the information but not know what to do with it. It’s like trying to put together a puzzle with a blindfold on. Right?
It’s also why I created my free workshop – Your biz, Your way, 3 steps to build a profitable online health and fitness business. I would say that was another place that I felt lost, was in the midst of already feeling lost, I had “business” coaches approaching me telling me that they had this quick and easy solution to the feelings that I was currently having. And I was tempted by those, for sure. But whenever I would look at their Instagram or research them further, the approaches just didn’t sit right with me. And my gut said no, this isn’t for us. I would rather take longer and figure out my own approach with kind of these business fundamentals that I had learned through the course as I had taken. Versus just following some cookie cutter approach.
If you don’t know, that is my philosophy inside FitsPRO Foundations which is my business course. Really with any of my business offers, whether they change in the future or not, my philosophy, I suppose, is you learning the foundational approaches of business marketing of social media marketing of human psychology and understanding your customer and then applying those things via many different options and approaches. Whatever makes sense for you. That’s sales calls for some people, that’s webinars for other people, that’s video for some people, that’s long form writing for other people. Those are all just ways that we can deliver the same message.
Watch the workshop if you haven’t, but let’s discuss some things you can focus on in those early days, and what can maybe wait.
Bottom line is that you need an audience and you need something to sell to that audience.
As you create content, it’s important that were marrying two things. We don’t want to lose you in the quest to create content for your audience.
What I mean by that is sometimes we can see this pendulum swing from someone who was slowly creating content based on themselves to someone who wants to create content all about serving their potential ideal clients. And in that process, their posts then lack personality sass humor what makes them them as a personal brand.
Because factor the matter is people who follow you probably follow several other people within your field, and they are going to choose to work with you because of your approach and your personality.
So of course, I teach this in-depth inside Instagram 101. But I do suggest being a bit more structured with your content as you try to figure out what your messaging is – what your core pillars are that you talk about.
So think about your contact categories as putting up the bumpers in a bowling alley for a little bit we want to confine ourselves to these topics in order to really get experience talking about these topics from different points of use, from different angles, and getting really clear about our take and our philosophy around these topics.
That is your homework for continent, is to define your mother categories as I call them. And write some posts from those categories.
And then within that continent, insert your self and personality into those. Leverage your humor, or your sarcasm, or your ability to be soft and welcoming. These are all strengths and they can absolutely be a part of your brand. USE THEM!!
Do you actually know your offer? A lot of times when people are not confident in selling, one factor with that can be that you don’t have clarity with every aspect of your offer. When you have clarity with who your offer is for, what their past experiences might be, what the transformation or big take away is from the offer, and what the process looks like to get that client from point a to point B, it makes Selling a lot easier, or maybe more comfortable. It has the potential to do that, anyway.
So, many of my sales tips are actually going to be rooted in you gaining clarity around your offer and then taking that clarity and putting it into your messaging.
I encourage you if you have not yet done so, to ask yourself what past experiences your ideal client may have had in regards to health and fitness or, I suppose, whatever niche you are in. Have they had a coach before? Have they been an athlete? Are they brand new to your specific type of fitness? Have they tracked macros before? Have they tried whole 30? Or multiple diets? What are their current beliefs around Health and fitness? And that can be very general or that can be specific to your area of expertise or interest.
Now, whether you have a step-by-step process or not, there is someway that your client is going to improve when working with you. So have you identified what that looks like?
For one coach that might actually be an eight step process. For another coach that might be a list of bulleted things that you approach with every client. So maybe you look at their stress management first, and then you have them track their food but not try to hit any specific macros, and then we do a fitness assessment, from there The programming is based on current goals, season of life, and that fitness assessment. You see where I’m going? So you might not feel like you have a patented process of some kind. But I guarantee that you can lay out a system, a method, or an approach of some kind that you use with most of your clients.
And I believe that getting clear on this helps you walk a potential client through what it’s like to work with you. Again, that can be through just your Instagram stories, it can be on a sales page, it can be an email marketing, it can be covered on a sales call. We’re all of those things. I hope that you can see how you having clarity with your approach could lead to a more comfortable sale process.
Lastly is really getting clear on the take away, or the goal of working with you. That can be something very specific. So for some people that is literal fat loss, or getting out of pain, or completing an ultramarathon. And for someone else that might be feeling or experience. So for built by Annie it’s being able to enjoy your lips again. It’s an Experiential result that I sell as the main take away. So let that marinate, and think about what your big take away or result is. If you have current or past clients look through their testimonies or maybe even ask them, or interview them in order to see what the common theme is or the common thread is through the feedback that they’ve given you. Rather than you just trying to figure it out yourself.
If you find value here, on The FitsPRO Podcast, then pretty please head over to iTunes, subscribe, rate and review the show. It means the world to me when you spread my message to more humans.
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ALL THE LINKS YOU NEED:
Free On Demand Workshop: 3 Steps To Build a Profitable Online Health and Fitness Business
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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