The 3-Success Factors For Your (and my) Online Business
This is the third chapter of my book “Your First 100 Clients”.
There is no doubt that its easy to be confused and overwhelmed when it comes to building your dream fitness business… Thats exactly why I knew I had to write this, and why I want to give you this article now.
This is not a book to read, feel good, and put down. This is to take action on and use as a step-by-step guide to being able to watch your business grow. The book comes with an entire Bonus Coaching area of coaching videos, guides, templates and more… To answer your questions and give you the fuss-free path that builds on what I give you in the book.
Not long ago, I was having lunch with a friend who runs a successful online business and we got talking about how we got started in this. When we first met at the Old Man’s, which is a great restaurant/bar at a beach here in Bali, we we’re watching all the surfers and tourists do their thing.
They were walking slowly to and from the surf, others were sitting back and drinking beers and cocktails, and then there was us, having a lunch and we both had meetings to get to shortly after – this was still a work day, we weren’t on holiday, though we still had the freedom to meet up in the middle of the day to catch up and chill out.
Even thinking back to when I was a personal trainer, I ran boot camp sessions for 3 days a week for 3 years straight. I was waking at 4:30 every morning, and it was so I had enough time to get started on the day to see my 6am clients. Trying to earn more money I did more sessions, at one point I was seeing 70 hours’ worth of consultations and training sessions in a week.
It was not worth it!
At the end of those weeks, I was fried, there was no way that losing all my energy, time for my girlfriend, social life, and even time for me and my training was worth a few extra dollars. That was not living, that was dying.
I got smarter at one point and brought on trainers to work for me. This was great, and it flourished into a full personal training agency where I had a team of trainers working for me throughout Sydney. This is why I’m still very much a fan of a location or ‘bricks-and-mortar’ business, however even local businesses need to leverage the power of online marketing and platforms available these days.
It was when I was in Dubai that I had a full book of personal training clients within weeks of landing. When I first moved there, I had only a few months to get the business running, life sorted in a whole new country, and ready for my wife and brand new baby girl that would be born soon.
This was when I started ‘dipping my toe in’ and learning about online marketing as I knew it was the way forward and would give me the leverage and power to create the business success and future that I had been working so hard to get to. Literally learning from everything I could, I was engrossed with finding out how it all works and what was needed to be done.
I found that it started coming together, and by learning from the right resources, and finding the right mentors I was now bringing in more leads than I could handle for my personal training. This is where I decided to start my online personal training business and focus on growing this. It was the nagging thought that kept popping up for so long that I wanted the freedom to not be stuck in a gym, to be able to live around the world, to earn the money that gave me financial freedom, and to start living the lifestyle that I really wanted.
When I first started my online personal training, I was picking up clients and doing everything I could to give them the best experience and results possible. Literally pouring everything in that I had learnt over 10 years of personal training and the countless courses and certification I had attained.
Then I knew the power of selling programs and products online where it could sell 24/7 and not have me manually spend time delivering it, total automation. And this was the step I needed for the freedom factor I was looking for.
When I launched my first product, I had the payment processor with PayPal, and the app was on my phone. So it notified me whenever a payment would come through.
I remember carefully clicking the final buttons to launch the program and sending off the list I had built up so far. Was it going to completely crash and burn, or was it going to work? I could only wait as it was late at night and I had to go to bed to wake up early for my clients the next day.
This whole process was done in the home office I had created in our spare bedroom, and I was not staring out over the famous Palm Jumeriah in Dubai as our apartment was right in the middle of it.
I woke up the next morning, turned my phone on, and there it was. The constant buzz of the PayPal app going off with new payments coming through. I couldn’t believe that I was sitting in my lounge room having breakfast, and I was earning money.
Later that day myself, my wife Lauren, and my daughter Arlo were driving to have lunch, and there it was, still going off every now and then. I was just spending time with my family, going out for lunch, and I was earning money. Compare that to just having to be in the gym to see my clients, where the stress if I was ever sick, went on holiday, or wasn’t able to get to the gym, I wouldn’t earn any money.
Now sitting next to the beach here in Bali, chatting about how I got started and the tough times of learning, failing, and finding a way through to where we were now, I look back at 3 major things that I had done that made all this possible.
These 3 factors are what I show my members and clients straight away, along with the steps on how to use them and connect them with what’s needed for them to go from where they are now to the business success they want in the shortest possible time.
#1 – Grow Your Following
I hear it all the time. A trainer, coach, or budding entrepreneur has the idea of the perfect program, service, or product. There is a big flaw with people thinking that ideas are worth a lot of money… The problem is that it’s a lie.
Most people get started by trying to find the perfect business name, getting their logo done, having a pretty website put together showcasing who they are, business cards getting printed up… and on it goes.
Today, the power is at your fingertips, and the ability to reach your perfect audience has never been so easy.
You need to grow a following, a group of raving fans first, and you do that by putting great value out there to help people.
Through a basic website, that yes, it needs to look good, but the one aim of it is to get people to consume the great free value that you are giving away. And of course, we have to mention social media, as this is a must for everyone to leverage.
You should never ask something of someone before you give first. This is why, by giving out great value and helping people with their specific problems that you are the specialist at, you are getting people to know you, like you, and trust you.
Too many people are solely focused on what I call ‘vanity metrics,’ which is how many likes or followers someone has on their social media platforms. Where time and time again, I see that the size of your following does not equal business success. There are steps in-between to rocket your business and profits.
With social media, it’s to build relationships and ultimately also take them off that social media platform and build an email list with it. This means you can use the power of email to continue building the relationships and giving value away.
Let me give you a great example of a trainer, Mark, who has just gone through this in my program.
Literally starting with zero online assets, Mark had no following on social media, no website, no email list, nothing. When Mark came to me, he wanted to have a thriving online business. He was worried about if it was able to happen as he had none of the online ‘stuff’ or ‘tech’ know-how.
He soon learned that this was not a problem. After going through a clarity session, and doing a message-market-media match, he was clear on what his uniqueness was that separated him from the rest of his competitors in the saturated weight-loss market for men. He knew now in depth his target market, and where he would best be able to put his marketing message to get in front of them.
His aim was to produce articles covering certain topics he now knew that his target market wanted to know more about, and he could give the guides, advice, and plans to help them solve their specific issues. Producing this through a starting website that was created in just 2 weeks, his aim was to first engage them through Facebook, build his Facebook following, and then also have a lead magnet to drive them off into his email list.
His email marketing strategy was very simple, it was just 3 series of emails, that would, 80% of the time, just give away free value. Using the rest of it, he was able to promote his coaching program.
Within a few short months, everything was running smoothly, and both his social media following was growing, but also importantly, his email list was growing as well, and new clients were steadily coming on board each week.
The aim here that I took Mark through, and with 95% of my clients, is to grow a strong following first, as you are able to leverage this into so much more. This is also important as they are going to give you the feedback needed to help you make the right decisions.
Things such as what programs to create, what’s involved in your programs, how do you best deliver it, what topics do you create content on…and so much more. This is where you can directly reach out and have them give you the answers.
You will even find that in the very first email when a person signs up to all my online businesses, I am asking them to reply back to me with an answer to one question. The one question I ask is different each time depending on why they signed up, and for what business. However, these answers are gold to my business. They give me the direct insights into how I best serve them.
#2 – The Offer/Value Seesaw:
Coming from the personal trainer world, there are so many people that think, “I’m not a salesman, I’m a trainer, so I don’t know how, or shouldn’t be selling.”
This is a complete lie, no matter what you do, everyone is selling something. You are selling the restaurant where you want to go for dinner to your friends, you’re selling yourself at a job interview, you’re selling yourself to pick up a date, etc.
When you are running your own business, it’s your job to sell as best as possible. If you are truly good at what you do, you get results for your clients, and it is your duty to the world and the people that have the problems that you solve to get your services, programs, and products in their hands.
A big question when it comes to selling is, “how often, or how hard do I push?” This is a legitimate question, especially when talking about social media it can be, “how many posts should be selling my program?” or about email marketing it can be, “how many sales emails should I send?” I go by a simple rule and have laid this out in an easy to use a process that works.
The 80/20 rule of value to offers. In his great book, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuck shows you with specific examples how you need to offer great value numerous times, and then you can put your offer out there. If you are pushing too hard and too often, people will get turned off, and stop following you.
Though, if you’re not offering enough, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. And the people that are hot potential customers don’t get the opportunity for coming on board.
This means that 80% of the time, my focus is to deliver nothing but great value. To give content that my markets can consume and use and get results from. This also means that the value and the offers that you are crafting are truly made for your market. And this is where combining a message-market-media match and especially knowing what your ‘uniqueness’ is that separates you from your competitors is so important.
If you know your market well enough, you can create the exact content that they value and crave for more of. This is where phenomenal content is king, as out in the big wide world of the internet it’s thick with ‘average.’
The other 20% of the time, you are to sell, promote, and give your offer to the right people. And you are not to pussy-foot around with it either. I’ve had numerous trainers come on board my coaching that have already been trying to build their online business, and when I go deep diving into how they are running everything, there are huge gaps in their promoting what their business does.
They are breaking a cardinal rule; “make it easy to buy.” I will go through this in more detail soon, and you will see how easy it is to have the natural set of steps of takes someone that doesn’t know you, to your clients.
#3 – Working with a mentor
I believe in personal training and coaching. If someone wants to get in great shape, improve their performance or health, and feel great about themselves, the well-designed physical training and proper nutrition programs are bases for us all thriving at life.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”… this is a quote that I think is so true. I always think it when I pick up a new book and start reading. Even if I’m reading a book that I’ve already read before. New things are jumping out at me, new ideas are flooding into my head, and it’s like I’ve picked this book up at the exact right time for solving problems and growing improvement at the time that I need them.
When I first started my online business in Dubai, I was soaking up everything I could. From podcasts to videos, to books, guides, the lot. Every spare second was devoted to trying to learn more and then put it into action. I wanted to become one of the best and was obsessed with getting out of my position of being stuck in a gym, and getting to the freedom of running my online business.
Things were progressing at first, step by step it was growing, my list and following was increasing, and sales were trickling in. But not at the rate it needed to or that I wanted it at for me to have the ‘success’ I had in my mind.
There is only so far you can go on the self-help route, and when I was thinking just like when I was competing in sports, at the time I was prepping for a physique show, I had a coach writing my plans and programs. I had coaches asking me why I had a coach when I was a physique coach myself, and the answer is it’s about having the outside perspective and accountability that adds jet fuel to the fire.
If Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have a coach, and Richard Branson has a host of advisors, then if I want to excel I need a mentor and someone that has been there, and has the experience to show me the steps to follow.
This is exactly why I wanted to start showing and coaching others for their business success. As I had such a great improvement in so many areas of my life, I want to share this and give this to others.
I went and found a business coach and mentor that literally step-by-step took me through everything I was doing wrong that I could fix, he showed me how to set my business up, and what I needed to be working on that really mattered to really excel my results.
So many times, it’s so easy for us to get caught up with just being ‘busy.’ But the truth is, being busy does not equal being productive, and getting done what’s going to propel your business forward. Working 40 hours a week only proves that you have worked 40 hours a week, nothing more.
Without my coach, I wouldn’t have learned the importance and skills of writing ad copy that sells or building my traffic and plugging the holes where I was losing traffic, or even the best ways to create a professional product and how to sell it.
In a matter of months, I had the ‘leap frog’ effect of taking huge jumps in all areas of my business that has now gotten me to where I am today. And this is why I wanted to create this program for you. To give you a powerful start, and a plan to follow for you to create the financial independence and freedom.
I look forward to helping you reach all your goals.