Starting an online health and fitness coaching business can be a very fulfilling career path. In this post, I’m going to list the exact steps I followed for the past few years to become a full-time online health and fitness coach and build a successful online coaching business from scratch.
Whether you’re new to this industry or you’ve done some online training and coaching and looking for new ways to streamline your process, I’m sure this post will help.I’ll include as many real-life examples as possible
Find Your Niche And Your Unique Selling Proposition
You probably know this already, but the fitness industry is extremely saturated with trainers, coaches, and influencers all selling their weight-loss and training programs online.
It’s extremely saturated that it gets overwhelming for people to find the right coach.
In addition, people are less reluctant to work with influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers because they know they won’t get their full attention.
This is your chance to stand out.
You need to find a niche in your market. In doesn’t matter if you actually want to work with women lose weight and your method actually works…
… Because it’ll be extremely hard to be found and no one is going to find you or your programs.
Help your clients find you by going a little deeper than just focusing on weight loss, building muscle, toning up, etc. Figure out the sub-categories of these topics that you can focus on (that also fall within your area of expertise).
Here are some examples to help you get started:
- Helping moms who have 1-2 kids (or new moms) lose weight with 10-minute workouts they can do from home.
Imagine if I were a new mom and I’m struggling to find the time to do anything, let alone go to the gym, and I desperately need to lose the baby weight but I’m not sure how. And one day I research my issue and you show up!
- Working with dads over 40 to get back in shape, naturally.
- Creating custom plans for women who want to compete (competition training only).
You can go even deeper in this niche…
- Women training for their very first competition after having a baby.
- Women looking to compete following a keto diet (or other diets).
- Women training for their first competition and want to train at home.
A great way to find these sub-niches is by doing keyword research.
You can go on google and write down a general category such as ‘weight loss meal plan, building muscle at home, etc.)
Scroll down to the very bottom to see other suggestions or what people are actually searching for:
We went from a broad term such as weight loss for women to more focused topics such as: Losing weight naturally for women, weight loss programs, fat loss diet plan for female (you can focus on fat loss vs weight loss).
Let’s see what we get with ‘how to lose weight naturally’
We can get even more focused… How to lose weight naturally without exercise, how to lose weight naturally with exercise, fast. All of these are amazing online coaching opportunities you can focus on.
And when you click on each of these long-tail keywords, you get more and more focused, and you’ll discover a ton of other topics to focus on when selling your coaching packages.
Imagine if you created a few coaching packages each focused on one of these specific topics! Of course, assuming you have the right education and background allowing you to teach them.
Build An Audience Of Your Target Clients
The first step of focusing your message and offers will help you build your audience.
Imagine someone stumbling across your website after years researching to find a solution to their problem and getting so overwhelmed by the information online…
…and you’re literally speaking their language and describing exactly what they’re struggling with.
Don’t you think that this person is going to stay on your website longer, save your articles, check out your programs, and even maybe contact you to see if they can work with you?
Maybe look at your own personal experience when you’re searching for help on a specific topic. Notice which websites you stay on longer.
Does the owner share more about their personal life and their struggles that you can relate to?
Are their offers, articles, and material so focused on what you need help with that you had to figure out a way to bookmark their site before leaving and losing it for good.
I have to be honest…I spent a ridiculous amount of time, on multiple occasions, browsing through my history to find certain websites that I forgot to save because they were so good and focused on what I needed help with. I had to find them again.
This brings me to the point that you need to start blogging today. Listen, blogging is a very exciting and fun way to get exposure to your services. If you want to build a successful online fitness coaching business, you need to have some sort of online presence, and social media should never be relied on.
I know so many friends who had their Instagram accounts banned because they were using too many hashtags or posting too much. Facebook now limits your reach and it’s extremely hard to build a following unless you spend money on ads.
You own your blog.
No one can shut you down. It exists on the internet forever. Not like a social media post that gets a bit of attention then dies out after a few hours.
A blog works the opposite way, the older your blog is, the more authority it builds. Search engines index your articles, you can share on social media channels, and having a website that has an associated blog is how people will find you today, tomorrow, and years from now.
You won’t have to cold call or ask strangers to sign up for your programs. Literally, your audience will find YOU because your articles were so clear and spoke to them at a deeper level, that they will look to sign-up with you.
You’re a smart fitness professional operating from the pull perspective vs the push perspective.
Summary of tips to build an amazing audience of people who’d love to work with you:
- Clear messaging. Don’t write about broad topics. Get as focused as you can.
- Share your personal experience. You don’t have to share all your life details on your website, but sharing some info about you humanizes you and people can relate to your struggles and feel understood. No one wants to work with someone who is perfect all the time.
- Start blogging today. Blogs are an amazing way to show you are an authority in a subject, share your story, experience, and provide value in advance.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your blog site and getting found on Google.
Provide Value And Help Your Audience In Advance
Full Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase through my links, I’ll receive a commission. But you won’t pay more.
This is a big one. Don’t be scared to share your best tips and advice on your blog. Here’s what’s gonna happen when you do that:
- People who you’re talking to (because you did a good job getting so clear on your message and unique selling point) are going to find so much value from your blog posts and articles that they’ll want to give back in some way.
They’ll either share your posts with others (more exposure for your business), write a comment, subscribe to your newsletter, or even sign up for your program.
- People are gonna wonder…if you’re providing this much information and value for free, I wonder how amazing your paid programs are. It’s probably health and life-changing that they’ll want to check out your premium offers.
- You’ll gain more authority online and your posts will show up in the search engines.
You’ll be rewarded by major search engines that want to provide the best search results for their users.
If you write a thorough piece of content with a ton of tips and helpful information, big search engines will index your article, see that it answers so many questions for people researching that topic and it’ll boost your site up.
Don’t be scared to share your best advice on your website. Most people don’t act on all the information they consume. You probably know this too. Even the clients who pay you don’t follow your advice and plan to a tee.
And if someone does follow all the tips you give in your free content, that’s great too! They’ll be so grateful for that they’ll probably share that feedback with others, like and share your posts as a way to give back and even purchase from you.
Systematize Your On-Boarding Process
As you start building your presence online and offerings based on your research, it’s important to have a system in place to get new leads and clients. You don’t want people coming to your site and wondering how the hell to get in touch with you, or where to sign up.
Make sure you have these systems in place:
- A dedicated Contact page linked in your main site menu (header and footer). Have a form there or simply put your email address where people can get in touch with you. Make sure to regularly check your spam folder.
- Get a professional email address. Please don’t link to your Gmail address. Set up a custom email address with your domain name. Something that looks like this email@example.com. This looks more professional. Your hosting service will provide you with a free email account. (The one I use and recommend).
- Create an application form to ask some preliminary questions before offering a complimentary session or scheduling a sales call. It’s important to know that you can help the person and that you are a good fit. I go in-detail about this on my blog post here on how to start your online coaching business.
- Set-up invoicing with Paypal and Stripe, and make sure to test out everything before sending links to clients. You have no idea how many times I found multiple errors when testing.
When you’re testing, go through the full process. You can set up your product for $1 to test. Ask a friend or your partner to purchase through the link to make sure everything works well on their end…that they get their receipt and welcome email. Don’t forget to set your prices back to normal pricing.
Dubsado is the service I used to manage all of this. They’re an amazing client management system and very affordable too!
Deliver Your Fitness Coaching And Stay In Your Lane
After the initial conversation with your client, you can start creating their custom plan.
Make sure you do weekly check-ins and get in touch with your clients frequently to ensure they’re following through. You can deliver your coaching online through services such as Skype, Zoom, or record the videos in advance and put them on a private page where they can view it.
Also, I highly recommend your record the coaching sessions (this is easy using Zoom) and send them to your client so they can review them again or take notes.
Personally, I didn’t use a fitness training app to deliver my coaching. I create a membership area on my website (which is a little more techy and I’ll probably explain how to do this in a different post) and put all the preliminary training there.
You don’t have to do this. You can create your preliminary videos in advance, upload them to Vimeo or Youtube, make sure they’re private or Unlisted, and you can send these to your clients via email.
These preliminary training videos can be a great supplement to your online coaching because you can explain what the call will be about and get them to come prepared with questions.
As you get more clients, you need to stay in your lane and within the scope of your practice. If you get a client that you know you can’t help, don’t sign them up.
You don’t want to waste their time and money and your time as well. Have that questionnaire in place is a great way to make sure you’re only working with people you can help and that is a good fit for your programs.
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