During these uncertain times, embarking on a plan to create digital coaching programs has never been more relevant. Many instructors and fitness coaches are looking for ways to monetize their business outside of the traditional model and an online platform offers seemingly endless possibilities.
You can now take your fitness coaching talents worldwide, or still service a small, specific niche audience that loves what you do. There are multiple tools, technologies and services that can help you build your digital coaching business.
With those opportunities, however, come a slew of different questions. Figuring out things like how to build a client base, price your services for an online marketplace and finding strategies to stand out amongst the crowd can seem challenging at rest, but if you attack each problem individually, success will follow.
Fortunately, we have a step-by-step approach that you can take to create the perfect digital coaching program that showcases your strengths.
1. Be Committed to Build
Rome was not built in a day, right? The same can be said for your fitness coaching program. It is going to take time to build and will require you to set goals related to what kind of money you want to make, the impact you want to have and what lifestyle you want to lead. There is no magic business plan that exists online to create immediate business success, so remain patient as you pursue your journey of becoming a successful fitness coach.
2. Know Your Audience
One thing that is important to remember is that, as someone who specializes in fitness coaching, you cannot be everything to everyone. People have different fitness goals, based on things like their previous level of training and what types of digital coaching programs they want. You may know that you can help anyone with what they aim to achieve through movement, but focusing your offerings can actually make you stand out in the crowd. Also, going above and beyond to really research your audience can give you invaluable insights into their struggles and allow you to cater to them on a deeper level.
3. Know Your Value
Another step when building your digital coaching center that requires a great deal of research is evaluating how to price your programs. It is essential to know what your competitors are doing what differentiates you. You also want to be fair to yourself because bargain basement prices will only diminish the value of your services. Come to a happy medium at the end, one that factors in the market and as well as your own worth as an instructor.
4. Get an Initial Client Base You Can Grow With
You do not need fancy gimmicks to get a great start on building your fitness coaching business online. Tap into your network of personal connections to get off the ground with a base group of people and build from there. If you are taking your instructing virtual after providing it at a brick-and-mortar location, show those people how you are going to offer your existing clients the same or better service online. People are results-oriented, so show them a vision they can believe in.
5. Scale Your Digital Coaching Programs
Now you are really rolling and ready to take this online coaching business to the next level. This is where you find a way to spend less time client facing, while still growing your client base and achieving results for them. One way you can do this is by building an online community, where your group can interact, exchange ideas and provide solutions for any issues that pop up. This is also a great time to ramp up your efforts with content marketing and digital advertising.
6. Bring in Help
At this stage, your online fitness coaching business has blossomed to the point where you need to bring in others to help you manage day-to-day operations. This could include people who deal with memberships, a social media manager, technology consultants or something else. Never be afraid to take this step because, ultimately, you will be freeing yourself up and become a better instructor as a result.
We call know content is king so your offer at its core is key. But as you can see there is a lot more that goes into creating a digital coaching program. Think about the overall strategy and see if from concept to delivery. Your fanbase will thank you and you will be well on our way to creating a comprehensive online Fitness business from commitment to audience to back-up!
Social Media – Consumers preferences are very personal. One person’s preferred channel is not another’s. Did you know YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world? You must expose your brand across many channels via video, micro-content, posts, surveys and freebies, all in an effort to capture ATTENTION. You will not dilute your brand by leveraging snippets of content or hosting a class. Research has proven Social Media as a leading channel for discovery of Online Fitness Brands and Content. And, videos are leading content for engagement.
Targeted/Niched Aggregators Sites – Some aggregators compete with you for the same consumer, but niche aggregators targeting specific market segments or using different business models can be lucrative. Why? Because it’s THEIR spend, marketing YOUR content. In most cases you are licensing some content, so you aren’t diluting your brand. You’re exposing it to a market you likely would not be targeting. Think of it as someone paying to promote your brand and you only pay when a user engages, gravy. You make money, and control the content. Correlate this to music, imagine you hear a song you like. You might go buy the Album because of this track. In this scenario your content is the Album. You leverage a great promotional tool to gain broad exposure to a new target and create revenue at no expense.
Branded Video Platforms – These are brands who also provide fitness videos or closely related content. There are multiple ways to look at this. For example you may be niched in Boxing and we know that a high percentage of these consumers also do Yoga. Think compliment product (co-op marketing). If you’re not interested creating yoga content then adding it to your site or delivering your boxing content on a compliment product site makes sense. The co- partner platform has a customer base who benefits and likes to engage with your content and it gives you exposure to a customer who is highly correlated to your product. We know a large percentage of consumers engage with multiple fitness workouts. Allowing them to try yours on their preferred platform is simply picking the low-hanging fruit.
We all have our regular “preferred” search platforms. Some search everything on Google, some use YouTube and others are addicted to Instagram and Facebook. If a user is making a buying decision and searching or browsing on a specific platform and you’re not on that “Shelf” then you miss the opportunity to make a sale or engage a potential customer.
The key is to ensure you have a branded site with your own monetization/paywall so you have a sizable content library to engage visitors. Once they land on your site you can control the journey to re-engage based on their preferences. It is critical to continue to have both free content that leads to a free trial as well as story-based content so they can get to know your brand and instructors. When executed effectively you can expect a 60%-70% conversion rate or greater.
In traditional media content you create it once and deliver it across as many channels as possible in order to monetize and grow awareness. You can achieve greater engagement and garner more ATTENTION by adding bonus platforms to your strategy. If you would like to gain a deeper understanding of what content you should deliver across their platform vs yours, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will design a playbook for your content creation and delivery. The next step is to meet them where THEY engage!
Mike Hansen, Managing Partner of Endorphinz