Thinking about transitioning your fitness business online?
A great way to create a new stream of income in your business is to offer online fitness coaching programs.
Many trainers transition their business completely online, freeing up their time and allowing them to work remotely on their own schedule, however it’s also common for trainers to offer online coaching alongside in person PT sessions.
This means they can train their clients with more of a hybrid approach, which allows many clients to achieve greater results.
Regardless of the avenue you wish to take, you’ll need to follow a few specific steps to ensure the success of your new fitness coaching business online.
Step 1. Identify the market you wish to serve
As a trainer in a gym, you're limited to working with those who have access to your facilities. Transitioning online means you can now reach people from all over the world, however it becomes very difficult to get anyone to pay attention to you, let alone hire you, if you're not focused on serving a niche market.
Once you’ve identified the market you wish to serve you can start to speak their language, meet them where they’re at and offer them coaching programs that suit their specific needs.
This also helps to position you as an authority online as you become known as the “go-to person” for serving the market you’re focused on working with.
Step 2. Choose the type of transformation you want to deliver
Once you've decided who you want to help (your target market) the next step is to identify what type of transformation you will help them to achieve. Consider what you've helped clients achieve before, what types of transformations you feel passionate about and what's possible through online coaching.
It’s also helpful to do market research once you’ve identified a few transformations you might want to focus on. Search online to see who else is working with your target market and delivering those types of transformations. What does that look like? Is it working for them?
You can also ask yourself what types of challenges may arise by attempting to coach clients through that type of transformation online. Since you won’t see them in person, will you be able to coach them through any struggles they face virtually?
Step 3. Decide on the inclusions of your online coaching program
After identifying who you want to serve and what transformation you want to deliver, you can then decide what needs to be included in the coaching program you’ll need to deliver to get your clients results.
Consider exercise programming and how frequently you’ll make changes and updates. How often will you check in on clients progress and what will that involve? Is nutrition coaching or advice needed in order for your clients to see results. What will that look like?
Consider everything that needs to be included to make your online coaching program effective, then combine it all into an offer.
Step 4. Package your offer with relevant bonuses and guarantees
Selling online coaching is not just about the inclusions of your program, it's also about packaging your offer in a way that it becomes a no-brainer decision for your ideal clients.
Consider what you can add, subtract or promise to make your coaching program almost too good to be true. Do your potential future clients need any guarantees to help them make a buying decision? Do they need bonuses added that overcome their objections? What do they need to make this decision so good they feel silly saying no?
Add what’s needed and cut out anything that’s not so your offer becomes irresistible to your target market.
Step 5. Set up the coaching platform you’ll use to deliver coaching
Many trainers get started online by delivering training programs through documents and communicating with clients through SMS, but there’s a better way.
By using a coaching platform (like Trainerize or TrueCoach) you can streamline your service and set up client accounts where they’ll receive their training plans, exercise tutorials, nutrition guidance, reminders, support and accountability all in the one place.
You can also take payments through these apps, create progress reports and channel all client communications through the one platform.
These apps not only make life easier for you as the coach, but they assist your clients in achieving better results over time.
Step 6. Implement a system for onboarding new clients
Once a client agrees to join your program, it’s helpful to have a system in place to onboard them with ease. Consider what forms they need to sign, what steps they need to take to register for your coaching app and how they can make payments.
Bonus points if you create a template email that you send to each person that joins, not only for onboarding but to welcome them to the program and let them know what to expect moving forward.
Step 7. Choose a social media platform to sell on
Your perfect future clients may spend time across multiple different social media channels however it’s likely they favor one channel over the rest. Identify where they spend most of their time and where they’re most likely to consume your content and connect with you online, then put all your focus into that platform until you start to see results.
Once you’ve gained some momentum you can begin looking at expanding onto other platforms, but don’t try to be everywhere at once from day one or you’ll get burnt out and struggle to achieve any real results.
Step 8. Create a plan for how you’ll grow your audience
At this stage you’re aware of who it is you want to work with online, so you’ll need to begin creating content that will draw them into your world and start engaging with you. What do they need to hear? What beliefs do they have that need to be shifted? What goals are they focused on achieving?
Meet them where they’re at with your content and show them the bridge that takes them to their desired transformation. You can do this by sharing stories of your own journey or the journey of your clients who have been through the transformation already.
Then you’ll need to create a strategy for getting in front of those people so they pay attention to you and decide to follow along with your content online.
Step 9. Identify how you’ll continually extract leads from your audience
Next you’ll need to create a plan for extracting leads out of your audience and into private messenger conversations with you on a weekly basis. You can do this by creating opportunities for ideal clients to raise their hand and ask you to contact them either to provide value, tips, guidance or information on your offer.
This goes further than simply writing “DM me for coaching” at the end of your posts.
Get creative and giveaway tips, resources and practical advice so you can start a conversation with your leads on a positive note, then lead them to booking a consultation call with you.
Step 10. Create a sales strategy to convert leads into paying clients
Selling online coaching is almost never as simple as just getting on a call and listing out the details of your services and waiting to hear a yes or a no.
Clients will have fears, concerns and objections, most of which tie into a lack of commitment and belief that they’ll follow through on the program.
You’ll need a solid sales strategy that assists clients in making that commitment to themselves and that positions your offer as the number one solution they need to achieve their transformation.
Launching your online fitness coaching business can be incredibly exciting.
There’s so much opportunity for you to reach new clients all over the world, position yourself as an expert, increase your income and free up more of your time by simply transitioning your face to face PT business into an online coaching model.
However, launching and growing your business online successfully isn’t as easy as it seems and you’ll need to set your business up properly from day one in order to become profitable and scale over time.
That includes choosing a niche, creating an incredibly attractive coaching offer, setting up the systems and processes you’ll need to keep the business running smoothly and preparing for effective marketing promotions and sales conversations.
By implementing each step outlined in this article you’ll put yourself in a great position to succeed in your online business and allow yourself the ability to scale to $5k - $10k months online.
To get started implementing these steps, click here to download my free Fitness Coach Launch Checklist!
Article written by:
Fitness Business Coach
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