In this post I’m going to talk about how to start an online fitness coaching business with success.
You’ve got great skills & experience. You want more clients. You think going online is the next obvious step.
But, you’ve no idea how to do that. How’ll you create content?. How’ll you market?. What if it doesn’t work?. So many questions!
Don’t panic. You aren’t alone. Most personal trainers struggle with this.
After all, you’re a personal fitness trainer & not an online marketer.
By following the steps listed here, you can easily create a course you’ll be proud of.
Are you ready to acquire more clients, the online way?. Heck yes!. Let’s start.
HOW TO START AN ONLINE FITNESS COACHING BUSINESS SUCCESSFULLY
Step #1. Get The Legal Thing Right
It’s very important to stay on the right side of the law. Many newbies make this mistake.
You sell your course. Get a ton of money in your account & suddenly you come to know that you’ve thousand of dollars taxes due. You don’t want that to happen with you, right?
I’m not a lawyer & can’t advice much on this. And, the worst part is that different countries have different rules when it comes to taxing online businesses.
Also, it’s not just about taxes. There’re so many other things involved like the trademark, business structure, business name, labor laws etc.
The best way out is to contact your nearest business lawyer. Alternatively, you can check out Incorporate.com. Call them & they will give you the best advice.
Step #2. Sign Up For Teachable
Teachable is a popular platform that can help you create, host & sell digital courses easily.
At the outset, you need to create an account with Teachable.
Then, name your school.
Immediately after entering the school name, Teachable will ask you a few questions. Those questions will help Teachable to configure your course.
Well, almost done. Your dashboard is ready.
I strongly recommended you to start by joining the FREE live webinar. In that, you’ll learn a lot about how to get started with Teachable.
For branding purpose, I also recommend to set up a custom domain (like XYZ.com). It’s easy & fun. I recommend you to use NameCheap to buy a domain name.
That’s it. Now, you can click on ‘Create a course’ & upload your content.
There is nothing complex about Teachable. Pretty much most of the stuff are self-explanatory. Plus, they have a ton of tutorials to help you get started.
Step #3. Design & Create Your Course
Create Ideal Student Avatar
At the outset, you need to conceive an idea of your ideal student (or client).
Who’re your target audience?. How do they look like?. What’s their age?. What’s that they’re struggling with?. The answers to these questions will help you figure out an ideal course content or structure.
If you don’t draw a picture of your ideal student in mind, you will struggle with your course direction. Once you’ve your ideal student in mind, you simply have to think & create course content as if you teaching him or her in person. That way, things turn easy.
A few things you need to jot down about your ideal student:
- Name of your ideal student (Yes, fictionally name him or her)
- Age, education & profession
- Income & family circumstances
- Dream & struggle
- Ultimate health need or want
I advise you to prepare an ideal student sheet where you answer the aforesaid questions. To go a step further, try interviewing a few of your ideal students or clients in person & note down their answers.
Trust me, this exercise will give you a lot of insight about the real needs & wants of your target audience. Accordingly, you can create your course as a solution to their needs or wants.
Decide On The Course Format
Once, you’ve your ideal student avatar ready, you need to focus on the course format.
How do you want your course to be presented?. Again, think about your ideal student & decide accordingly. How would he or she like the content to be presented?.
Following are the various formats that can be used:
Get The Tools Ready
Once you’ve decided on the course format, you should start gathering a few tools that are needed for creating content like:
- Video camera (for shooting videos)
- Microphone (for recording voice)
- Grammarly (for checking grammar)
- Microsoft Word or Google Doc (for text content)
- Canva (for graphic designing)
- Pexels or Pixabay (for stock photos)
- Beacon (for e-books)
- Checkli (for checklists)
Prepare The Course Structure
By now you have got your ideal student avatar, course format & tools ready. So, time to create some awesome course content!
Choose a name that attracts your target audience. You should aim for a simple, unique & easy-to-remember name.
Ideally your course should be divided into various chapters. Each chapter will have a heading. Ensure that you use power or sensory words in your headings. That will ensure curiosity in the minds of the students & make them look forward to the next chapter.
Carefully decide on the duration of the overall course & the chapters. You don’t wanna bore your students with lengthy content. At the same time, you need to ensure that the content isn’t too short or else it will fall short of value.
Remember, your objective isn’t simply to sell your course. Instead, your objective is to HELP your students become more fit & healthy. How will they be more fit or healthy?. Only when they FINISH your course & act on your teachings. Therefore, it crucial that you motivate them at regular intervals during the course. Such motivation can be in various forms like stories, personal experience, real-life examples etc. These motivations will go a long way in hooking your students to your course.
Share a few case studies wherever applicable. Those will help your students understand your teachings in a better way.
Make sure that you prepare a checklist to help your students execute your advice. Example: If there’s a chapter on ‘Squat exercise’ then prepare a checklist for the same. That will help your students to quickly check if they’re doing the stuff the right way.
Do you REALLY want your students to excel in fitness?. Then give them ultra-short assignments at the end of each chapter. There’s a saying ” Practice makes a man perfect”. The same applies to fitness industry as well. There isn’t any magic pill available for improving health or fitness. What’s more important is that the course buyers train & practice hard. That’s what will eventually make the difference.
Your students or clients should know how far have they progressed in their fitness chart. Therefore, help them with a fitness tracker. A simple spreadsheet should do. Example: If losing weight is the ultimate goal of your students then prepare a spreadsheet that will help them track their weight & related goals.E
Make The Course Engaging
Don’t you want your course to be so good that your students crave for more?.
Heck yes!. And, who doesn’t?. That’s why you need to focus on the following 2 aspects:
- Logical flow
Don’t haphazardly design your chapters. Each chapter should focus on only one objective. The next chapter on another. Overall, the chapters should follow a logical path to your course destination. Example: If your course destination is ‘weight loss’ then design your chapters starting with the first step & first objective & move to others. Makes sense?
Do you know the secret of awesome online trainers?. It’s called Storytelling.
Storytelling is all about structuring your course like a story. That’s a super-effective way to engage your students. Recall your favorite Netflix series & look at how the episodes were structured like mini-stories.
An important part of storytelling is called Cliffhanger. That’s nothing but a ‘suspense’ that you create at the end of each chapter so that your students look forward to the next chapter with high anticipation.
A few more tips to help you design a great course:
- Focus on voice modulation
- Invest in a professional DSLR camera & mic
- Hire a professional video editor
- Give a ‘FREE Bonus'(but valuable) at the end of the course
- Don’t upsell or cross-sell during the course
End your course by inviting your students to your private community like a Facebook group. That’s an effective way to stay in touch with your students & HELP them further & beyond the course.
Step #4. Market Your Course
Is it enough to just create an online fitness training course?. Of course not.
You need to find your customers or students.
That’s where the marketing part comes into picture.
The concept of affiliate marketing is simple. You sign up for an affiliate network & list your product (course). Thereafter, an army of affiliates will start promoting your product for a commission. That means if your course is bought through affiliate links then you pay a commission to the affiliates.
The affiliates generally promote products on their blogs, social media profiles, forums or YouTube channel.
List of a few popular affiliate networks:
Facebook Advertisement + ClickFunnels + Email Marketing
Facebook advertisement is like a gold mine for digital marketers.
With a limited budget, you can a lot of eye-balls to your product (course). There are primarily two ways to advertise on Facebook.
One is directly driving traffic to your course landing page. (Not recommended)
Second is to drive traffic to your lead capture page. (Recommended).
A lead capture page is a page where you collect email addresses of your leads in exchange of a free (but valuable) resource.
These email addresses will be your asset & you can send your course promotions there.
Example: If you are targeting a weight loss audience then prepare a lead capture offering a free guide for weight loss in exchange for an email address. Use an email autoresponder to send automatic emails to those your leads as soon as they sign up.
Clickfunnels is a popular application that can help you build such lead capture pages & related funnels.
GetResponse is a trusted email marketing application that can help you send automated emails as & when leads signup.
Blogging is a great way to drive targeted traffic to your website for FREE. All you have to do is write a few fitness related posts on your website.
How?. As & when your posts appear in various search engine results, people are going to visit your website. And, as they come, there’s a chance to pitch your course.
Example: If you have written a post “21 Ways To Reduce Your Belly Fat Now” & the same ranks on Google then you’ll drive a ton of traffic to your website everyday. On your website footer or sidebar, you can pitch your course. If your post is valuable then people would also like to checkout your course.
Remember, blogging isn’t a short term strategy. It requires a lot of efforts over a period of months to see some success. So, proceed as per your own discretion.
Guest posting is just like blogging but here you need to post on someone else’s website instead your own.
To start with, you need to shortlist a list of websites that have authority in the fitness world. Get in touch with them & pitch your guest post ideas.
This is an effective strategy to build your authority in the health space. Once you’ve authority, you’ll start enjoying trust & attention of the readers. Those will help you to pitch your course or training.
Make sure to include your website link in such guest posts.
This is another FREE targeted traffic source. All you need to do is find a forum & join health-related groups or follow such topics. As & when users ask questions, you can answer to them directly.
As you keep answering, you’ll build your own personal brand & authority. And, the best part is that you can include your course or website link in your answers.
A few top forums:
- Yahoo Answers
YouTube is huge right now. Why not just leverage the platform for your marketing needs?.
All you need to do is upload a few short & helpful videos for your target market. Think of them like a trailer to your courses.
As & when the views start to come, you will find people checking out course or website. Yes, you can include links in the descriptions.
The key to success on YouTube is to help viewers with REALLY helpful advices & tips.
Last but not the least, you can promote your course by advertising on Google search engine.
So, if your course is about weight loss & someone searches for “best weight loss course” on Google then your website will appear as a “sponsored result” on the top of the page.
But, this is a costly strategy. Since most keywords in health space are highly competitive, you may end up paying close to about $10 per click!
Step #5. Take Feedback & Update Your Course
To stay relevant, you need to update your course regularly.
The best way to do that is to take feedback from your existing students. Use a Google Form & send the same via email.
Alternatively, you can use your private Facebook group (discussed at step #2) to ask for feedback.
Take the feedback constructively & revise your course accordingly.
I understand the pain. It’s isn’t easy to create online courses. But, at the same time, it isn’t as tough as it seems (if you know the process).
Overall, this post may seem over-whelming. But it’s not when you focus on one step at a time. Implement the aforesaid steps one-by-one. Trust me, it will work.
After implementing the aforesaid steps, you’ll be surprised that you’ve created an online course(your new client generating machine) all by yourself!.
Get online. Get awesome content. Get more clients.
What do you think of the aforesaid ways to start an online fitness coaching business?. Have doubts?. Comment below.