How to Win the Virtual Fitness Game

Filming exercise

There’s no two ways about it, the popularity of online coaching and training is rising rapidly, and it's showing zero signs of slowing down any time soon. 

It’s a no brainer - setting up your services online is a strong business move.

That being said,  there’s more to being a successful online coach than just uploading a Insta-workout ab shot, or posting your morning fruit smoothie with #cleaneating as a caption. 

Running a profitable business online takes a little know-how. We’ve pulled together a digital hit-list to help you smash the online coaching game. 

Online Coaching Tip 1: Know your Niche

Preparing a class plan

Having a specific target audience in mind might make you an unsuitable choice for a lot of people, but that’s okay. 

Don’t be scared of “losing” potential clients by targeting a specific niche. 

By focusing on a specific group of people you will stand out from the competition and your ideal clients will know you are the expert to help them achieve their goal. 

Don’t just market yourself to any male human looking to get fit. Instead, directly target busy Dads, aged 25-55, who want to get their first six pack (of the anatomical variety, that is). 

Instead of promoting your services to any female human looking get toned, become the go-to coach for women wanting to get in incredible shape for a specific day - like graduation from an epic PhD. 

When deciding on your target audience, it helps to create an “avatar”. 

No, no blue human jokes - an avatar is a representation of who your ideal client is, so go real deep on the specifics here. 

We’re talking age, location, hobbies, goals, exercise history, favourite snacks, likes and dislikes - no detail is too small*.

The better you know your ideal client, the easier it’ll be to market towards them online.  

Tip 2: Content is King

Filming on yoga mats

Now that you have that ideal client in mind, you need to create content that speaks directly to them. 

Creating the right tone of voice in your content plays a major part in this. 

For example, if you lead boot camp style sessions, your tone of voice and word choice will differ significantly from someone who teaches a tranquil yoga class. “Get down and give me 20 chaturanga dandasana, now!” is probably not what you’re going for.

Between a strident, no-nonsense tone of voice, or a peaceful and soothing approach, we’ll let you decide what’s most appropriate.

When it comes to online content, you need to be aware of your own strengths, to choose the best channel:

  • Are you great on camera? Then live streaming classes or video tutorials are great options.  
  • Maybe you’re a wizarding wordsmith? In that case, a blog or articles would be most appropriate. 
  • Can you talk for days on end? Then we look forward to hearing your podcast. 

Online Coaching Tip 3: Free is the magic number

Online class preparation

'Free' seems counterintuitive when your goal is to make money from your online coaching business. Giving away products and help for free is one of the best ways to build your authority and earn trust. 

Creating a lead magnet, such as a downloadable E-book, is the perfect way to do just that. We’ve got a great example at the bottom of this page!

A downloadable e-book is also a great way to grow an email database of future potential clients. 

Alongside this, actively interact with other related pages and people on social media. Give your input into discussions and offer advice on the topic in question. Before long, people will just come straight to you for answers. 

Patiently engaging with people online without expecting any immediate return is a great way to build relationships. As well as forging good connections, you'll gain long term paying clients.  

Tip 4: Social proof 

Shot of woman teaching yoga through the viewfinder

So, you’ve got your clients, now you just need to show off the amazing results they’ve achieved! (Thanks to your expertise, of course!)

You can do this a number of ways. Of course, there’s the (always effective) before and after photos. Why not go a step further, with clients writing or filming personal testimonials?

Collaborating with other brands is also a great form of social proof. You're showing that you are trusted and respected by others in your industry. 

Last, but not least, you ideally want others to be recommending and tagging you through their own content. 

Word of mouth may be “old school”, yes! But having other people talk about how good you are is the best marketing you could ever hope for.

Online Coaching Tip 5: Get a helping hand 

Looking at a lesson on the move

When running a business online, it’s vital you know how you are performing! Set up Google Analytics, check out your social reports, and look to scheduling systems to give you great insight. 

And if you’d like a helping hand right now, just download our free branding guide to give you a headstart on your online journey.

We can’t wait to see your online coaching business thrive! And if you’ve got any questions, just holler at us - get in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Otherwise ping us an email here - or just read more of our blog! You know you want to.

*their favourite Kardashian might be pushing it, though.