How to Make an Extra $1800/mo with Online Fitness Training in just 30 Days

By August 20, 2016 Uncategorized No Comments

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INTRODUCTION

Last year there were 266M consumers around the world that purchased or used home exercise equipment, apps, and videos. Out of the 2M fitness professionals around the world, only a fraction are offering their services to clientele online.

Maybe you think online training is too impersonal or simply too confusing. Maybe you think fitness should only exist in the real world; face to face. Just 5 years ago, these excuses may have held some weight. No longer.

Earlier this year my cofounder Daniel and I came up with the idea for BODY. BODY is a video platform for live fitness classes where instructors see and interact with participants and participants see one another, emulating an in-person studio.

When BODY first launched in January of 2016, we had a single ‘in-house’ fitness program taught primarily by one fitness instructor. Before opening our platform to many health professionals around the world, we wanted to first prove that we could build a viable online fitness business for ourselves.

Before founding BODY, we had little experience running a fitness program — but we did have experience growing six figure businesses from scratch.

To grow our service to 80 monthly subscribers and $1800 in revenue in just 30 days, we used some of the same techniques that helped one of our previous businesses generate over $40,000 in its first month.

You can be just as successful (if not more so) than we were.

This article includes all of our email templates and spreadsheets, which can serve as a blueprint for maximizing your online fitness business at minimal cost.

GETTING STARTED

So you’ve launched your online fitness business, but you’re scratching your head wondering…

  • Why do I have so few clients?
  • How do I convert prospects into paying customers?
  • I’ve been posting on social media but how else can I market myself?

Growing an online business can be easy once you learn how to effectivelyactivate your network.

With our online fitness service, our goal was to acquire at least 30 paying subscribers within the first 30 days of launching without spending a dime on marketing.

Using a variety of marketing tactics, we blew our goal out of the water. We generated $1,800 in revenue in our first month with over 80 paid subscribers. Customers took an average of 2.4 classes per week and each referred ~2 friends.

We were successful for three reasons:

  1. We activated our network and encouraged word of mouth sharing.
  2. We showed early adopters overwhelming value, making it easy for them to say YES.
  3. We were committed to our clients’ success before, during, and after class.

Here’s how we did it…

STEP 1: SET YOUR FIRST MONTH TARGET

Quality online fitness programs are inherently viral because they are easy to share. Anyone, anywhere, can be a consumer of your service — this is calledscale. Scale is how you can win out over professionals only offering in-person services.

In launching our service, we knew that if we could establish a strong foundation of subscribers in the first month, organic growth would take over through word of mouth sharing (i.e. referrals). The key to our success would be setting a goal and come hell or high water, achieving it.

We set our first month target at 30 monthly subscribers because we believed this would be the tipping point where word of mouth growth would kick in. If each of our 30 customers referred 2 friends, we would be at 90 subscribers by month two and 200+ subscribers by month three.

Now that we had our goal identified, we began planning our launch.

STEP 2: SEGMENT AND ACTIVATE YOUR NETWORK

How did we get 80 paying subscribers in a month? Simple: Friends.

Our success was driven by leveraging our existing networks. Our friends introduced us to new clients, were the first to subscribe to our studio, and promoted us to their own personal networks via email, social media, and word of mouth. Your friends will be your biggest supporters, you simply need to activate them.

A few posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is not enough to successfully activate your network (unless you have thousands of loyal fans). Leveraging social media is great for general awareness, but not very effective for motivating your network to take action. We wanted to get directly into people’s inboxes and give them a sense of ownership. This way, our friends and acquaintances were given the individual attention they deserve —which resulted in them doing us way more than just a favor.

We started by making segmented email lists of our personal networks. It was tedious and took some time to get right, but it was probably the most important contributor to our success. To do this, we compiled every email address of every person we knew into one excel file.

  1. We first exported all of our Gmail contacts to a .csv file. Here’s how to do this.
  2. Next we exported all of our LinkedIn contacts to a .csv file. Here’s how to do this.

After all of our contacts were organized into one Excel spreadsheet, we deleted all of the contacts we did not have a meaningful relationship with (about 70% of them). The remaining contacts were divided into three groups: influencers, friends, and acquaintances.

  1. Influencers are people with lots of influence within their own network. Some of these people were bloggers, while others were friends with lots of followers. Our goal was to have each influencer share our link on Facebook and/or drop us a post on Instagram. Here are the emails influencers received.
  2. Friends were already aware of BODY. They were willing to subscribe to our service and spread the word. These people were ready to hustle for us. Here are the emails friends received.
  3. Acquaintances were people we hadn’t spoken with in a while. They needed to be told what online training was all about and why it’s important. This group was by far the largest. Here are the emails acquaintances received.

Each of these three groups received a different type of email when we launched. Here are all of our launch email templates for your convenience.

Acquaintances received a mass email sent via MailChimp. Influencers and friends received personalized emails and each was slightly different.

While personalized emails require more time than one mass email, they show people you care. Typically the more personal the email, the more likely the person will be to help you (responses, shares, etc).

One tool made our personalized emails manageable. Yet Another Mail Mergeis a Gmail plugin that allows you to draft a template email and then quickly add personalization within Google Sheets. For example, you can put {{Name}} and {{Intro}} at the beginning of a template email, and then customize an introductory sentence for each friend and influencer. This plugin saved us dozens of hours.

While it’s a bit more expensive, another personalized email tool we recommend is Yesware. Yesware integrates directly into Gmail, which makes it a bit simpler to manage.

STEP 3: TURN FRIENDS INTO ADVOCATES

The first thing you’ll notice with our email templates is that we not only sent visitors to our storefront page, we also provided them with something valuable (a discount code) that they could re-share with their network.

The second thing you’ll find is that we didn’t prepare just one wave of emails. We created a campaign that lasted 10 days with emails that were sent on days 1, 3, and 10.

When the initial emails went out, essentially we were asking people to take one action: try a class. But by providing them with a coupon code and periodic updates on our progress, many friends went above and beyond to re-share this value with their own friends and family. People are busy, so we made sure to provide them with multiple opportunities to engage.

Side note: Some people believe sending multiple messages is spammy. The is simply not true. Your friends should be happy to hear from you, and acquaintances can unsubscribe from your emails via Mailchimp if they feel the need.

STEP 4: SET AN EXPIRATION DATE

The coupon code we distributed was for $20 off the first month. We didn’t offer a coupon for 100% off the first month because people tend to devalue things that are free and we wanted to avoid that perception.

In addition, the offer was not open-ended. We set the launch discount to expire within one week so that people were motivated to take action quickly.In fact, within the final 24 hours before the launch coupon expired, our total number of subscribers increased by ~50%.

STEP 5: FIRE ALL THE NUKES AT ONCE

Our goal when we launched was to create a ‘surround sound effect’. We wanted people to hear about our service, in multiple ways, over and over again until they tried us out. To accomplish this, we sent several thousand emails within a window of only a few hours.

Days and times of the week are not created equal when it comes to launching. Research has shown social network usage and online purchasing behavior increase dramatically in the middle of the week (Tuesday through Thursday), particularly at mid-day (around Noon).

We chose to launch on Wednesday at 11am because we wanted to be at the top of everyone’s inbox during lunchtime, when many people check their personal email. Since we had all of our emails ready to go with Yet Another Mail Merge and Mailchimp, sending a few thousand emails at once proved easy.

STEP 6: SHOW LOVE TO EARLY CUSTOMERS

Early customers often become the biggest advocates and we wanted to treat them accordingly. For each prospect who tried a class for the first time, we wanted to provide them with an overwhelming amount of value, giving them a handful of reasons to say YES to subscribing. We reached out to each prospect individually and offered a “getting started” consultation (some were by phone and others by email).

This worked well for two reasons. First, it showed our commitment to our clients’ success before, during, and after class. Second, it helped us get to know our customers a lot better — which helped us adjust our programming accordingly.

We used a simple spreadsheet to track our prospects, and always followed up the day after their first class. You can see our prospecting emails and templates here.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This campaign worked well because we empowered the people within our network to share something meaningful. It’s easy to just post on Facebook — don’t fall into this trap. Always take the time to connect with people on a personal level and treat them the way you’d like to be treated.

By setting a goal upfront, we held ourselves accountable to our own success. We were laser-focused on converting 30 prospects into paying subscribers by the end of our first month, and did everything possible to make this happen; emails, phone calls, whatever was necessary. As suspected, once we had our first 15–20 customers, our total subscriber numbers began to grow organically through referrals.

Although we stopped actively promoting our service after about 10 days, we had already hit a critical mass of paying subscribers who each referred several additional clients. In our first month, we achieved 2x the number of subscribers that we had planned for.

The marketing methods we used are relatively simple. You can replicate what we did. Now go for it!

LIST OF TOOLS AND TEMPLATES

Tutorials

Email Templates

Tools

Special Thanks

This article was inspired by and heavily influenced by the post, Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc) authored by Tim Ferris and Mike Del Ponte. It can be found here.

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