How to Create an Online Audience » The Exceed Masterclass

How to Create an Online Audience

If your new to the show then you'll realize we do things a little different around here. It's not about chasing the latest shiny object that might work nor about getting some guru onto the show to overload you with information. It's about helping real people.

Members of my Masterclass program get real personal and honest advice form me to help them succeed with their online business goals. And this week we continue our coaching series with member David.

I help David get ready to launch his first online coaching program but in particular we talk about building his online audience and we deep dive into the importance of email marketing.

I'll be sharing the best strategies to growing his email list and why that's so important. But we also take a bit of a tangent and chat about the fear and the insecurities that we can feel about seeking help and publishing our own content online, and of course how we can overcome them.

It's another great interview - enjoy.

Can't listen right now? Then read the transcript below!

Episode Highlights:

2.10 - Meet David

4.00 - Personal training software​

6.20 - Simple strategies for building an online audience​

16.05 - How to keep focused and accountable​

18.15 - The fear of putting yourself out into the fitness industry​

Links and Resources Mentioned:

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Ru: Tell us what you're up to what you're doing day to day?

David: My current day to day thing is getting back into the fitness industry. I left my previous PT job in February of this year (2016) and my focus now has been building the money back up again so I don't have that financial pressure. Over the last year I've been tempted to do things online, getting involved with a group called Project X and I've just started PN pro coach system as well. I'm still at this stage where I'm fining it a little bit overwhelming so it's trying to bring things together and to tie it all in, so I got a clear plan and I know what I'm doing.

Ru: I suppose that's why you're part of the Masterclass, trying to get a plan together and more of the business processes and strategies?

David: Yeah exactly. I'm looking at the business course now actually and it's definitely something I need to do. I need to solely sit down and map out exactly what it is I want to do, why I want to do it and have clear strategies as to how I want to get there. Without doing that I'm just going to continuously float around from idea to idea without any clear direction, which isn't getting me anywhere. It feels frustrating and overwhelming, it's pointless. I want something that's going to take me towards my end goal. That's definitely on my 'To Do' list over the next couple of weeks.

Ru: Okay cool. Have you got any online clients at the minute?

David: I've added my misses on so she is my first online coaching client with the Pro Coach system and I have a couple of other people, friends that I deal with a online. I do a Skype call with one guy who's in Edinburgh. He's about 45 minutes to an hour drive from me, so it's a bit far to go and see him. It's been handy communicating with him online, via email just to get the experience of what it feels like. That's brought some challenges, understanding how often to do that, how much information to give him at one time, etc. But I just have 3 clients at the moment.

Ru: It's quite an expensive software to be running for three clients right?

David: It is yeah, 99 dollars a month it is at the moment. I've only just started, it's the first month. I'm looking to roll it out in January properly and launch it, once I've got the handle on how the system works and have more of an idea how I want to plan this out and market it.

Ru: I think it's a big one, we can get all the software for coaching clients online but I really think it's almost wasted if you don't have a stream of clients coming in. There's a new software for PT's coming on the market every single week and I hear people saying they're using a completely different softwares to coach their clients.

So all this software is getting made but when I speak to trainers like yourself the biggest problem they're having is actually getting people to put on the software. That's where I'm coming in and hopefully helping people like yourself get more clients to fill that software. Otherwise it's sadly a waste of money and time learning the software.

So why an online business, what's the goal with that, to set it up and see success with it?

David: I listen to your podcast and other fitness professionals talk about it and having a bit of taste of being a PT in the gym, it's not scalable, it involves long hours in the gym. And it's sometimes a little bit soul destroying when you're walking the floor and you're not getting a consistent stream of clients. You're bound to their market and if they're not doing the job very well you're screwed. You're limited to what you can do that's why I prefer the online side of things. It's still going to be a lot of work, it's still going to be long hours but if I do my marketing properly and I crunch the numbers then I can see where things went wrong. I can then make adjustments and it's more in my own hands, which gives me a lot more flexibility and control. You're not tied to a gym and I just like that aspect of it, it's also more mobile and more flexible.

Ru: For sure, I get that. So what could I help you with specifically today? You have some burning questions or some thoughts, anything I can direct you with?

David: The major aspect is just gaining clients. I'm in the Masterclass, I've got that resource there. It's just directing me towards the best resources for me and having somebody who I can be accountable to. I know there's the personal coaching part in the forum, it's just how is it best to use that with the current resources I have, so I'm not putting in extra cash, burning up money that is going to impact the business. I just need that accountability and coaching aspect to keep me in the game and keep me focussed.

Ru: Okay cool. With the marketing side of things it's going to be really dialling down to that person you want to work with. And then, once you know that, going out and finding them and building an audience. Have you got any existing e-mail subscribers, an email list or a social media followers?

David: Yeah. I've got my social media page, I've started to blog and post that regularly. It's mostly people that I know and friends but I have a decent amount of contacts on my personal social media page. That's kind of a start to begin and get the message out there. I did build an email list while I was at my previous job in the gym. I have maybe around 50 to 100 email addresses, so it's not massive but it's a start to do some email campaigns and see what works.

Ru: I think you've got some good foundations there, some social media and you've only got the scope for some email marketing. What you need to do now, if you want to put a specific campaign together, is to get as many people as possible on that e-mail list.

That is a big component of initially getting some traction going with it. Even when you are doing it for years and seeing success with it it's still a primary factor of online business, full stop. So what I recommend you to do is, if you've got some of those components in place to actually get e-mail subscribers and you've done that in the past, then do more of it. In particular over the next couple of weeks you want to get emails of those people outside of your network, those who already follow you or may be interested in what you do. You want to try and pull them into your email list because that's where you're going to offer the most value.

Email is still a fairly personal thing or it should be. Of course you'll be able to do your promotions through there as well and telling people about your program and the benefits of it, when it starts and how much it's going to cost, etc. I think you want to have a promo in terms of getting something out there for free, like free resource.

If you don't have that right now have a look at the resources in the Masterclass there's tons of them, from recipes to meal plans. Use one of them, redesign your own if you want to tweak it slightly, or if it's there to brand as your own then by all means use it and give it away in exchange of an e-mail address. Is that something you you've ever set up before?

David: No, it's that something that I set up before. I've never really thought about it like that. I was thinking I need to do this myself, I need to create all these kind of things. I've been shying away from utilising resources that I have access to. I looked at it as stealing somebody else's work.

Ru: That's why the resources are there, to help you do things like this. For example our unbranded client recipe packs, they're there for you to literally download, stick your logo on and use how you see fit. If you want to send them to existing clients, that's great, you want to use them as a lead magnet, that's perfectly fine as well. All of those resources are there to help you.

I've also got training inside the Masterclass to help you take the necessary steps to creating that free giveaway and show you how it would interlink with your website and email service provider. You'll find that under the business builder course in the building phase. That will help you figure out some of the components to putting that together.

What you want to do then is simply get as many people from your social media onto that email list and push that up above 50-100 people you've got on there. With a couple hundred people on there that would be cool place to start with some e-mail marketing. You could also reach out to people, friends and family that are already on your e-mail list and ask if they know anyone else who would be interested in this free giveaway, if so they can pass it on. You may find then that people will pass that on and share it and you can organically start building up that email list for that initial little push.

Once you've got that couple of hundred people on that email list you will be ready to put an offer out to them. Obviously the bigger you grow your email list with high quality potential clients who would be interested in what your offer the better.

I know you are using the Pro Coach software, which is all very habit based, one change at a time, drip fed content. It's going to be for beginners and people who need simple lifestyle and nutrition changes. So you want to make sure that you're targeting those type of people. Once you've done that put it into place, then I recommend you skip a lot of the stages inside the business builder course and head straight to the launch plan.

You'll see that there's a separate module under there called launching and it will take you through the three or four week process that you will simply follow. I give you all the scripts and emails to send and the templates to follow with your own information to use with your email marketing. And that's how you are going to get some more online clients. That would be the best formula to begin with if you've already got that existing small subscriber base.

David: That sounds awesome.

Ru: I think that would be good for you. Get the e-book set up, get people subscribing and once you've had that little push for a week tor two, then early next year you'll be ready to run your e-mail marketing campaign to them. It's the best formula and structure that you're going to find for marketing.

David: Prefect. I've got a couple of ideas of what I could do in terms of an e-book. Using the resources, I'll put that together and then just do exactly what you said, start to build that list and then go from there.

Ru: I think that's exactly what you need to do so keep focussed on that. Is there anything else you are interested in chatting, any questions on that?

David: Just the point I was making earlier with the accountability side of things, I will use the Masterclass to get that. I know there's the personal coaching section but how to best use that to keep myself focused and accountable?

Ru: Well I think based on this call you've got a couple of key action steps. One is to find a free resource to give away. The next is setting that up and making sure that people on social media have a way of seeing what's on offer and being able to download it via putting in their email address, so getting that technology software stuff hooked up. Then we can really hash out that email marketing campaign that I touched on as well.

The best way to use the personal coaching threads in the Masterclass is to post that up into your own thread and tell me what you are doing, ask what I think. For example, "I'm creating this page so people can put their email address into it, what do you think of it Ru?". As you are creating this stuff you can pass it by me to look over. You'll see with some of the other guys I tell them to change the headline or change the copy. We even do the mock-ups designs to make your stuff look awesome. If you want your ebook cover to be put into a tablet or a nice looking paperback, we can do all of that for you.

All of these little touch points that you're creating in your online business and as you're working through them, share them with me and others in the Masterclass. I'm always there I do pass on my feedback and guidance for you. And of course any problems you have, if you're totally stuck and don't know what to do next, just say I will be able to help. I know where you are and where you want to get to, so we can keep it moving.

David: Sounds really good. It's just the one thing I've actually shied away from, speaking to people about things and being open and sharing what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

Ru: It's a very strange thing and it seems to be a bit of a problem in the fitness industry. I don't know what it is but people are afraid to put themselves out there. I notice this in the Masterclass as well. I think there's a lot of reasons for that in terms of, most of us are a maybe in Facebook groups or been on forums in that the past. And some personal trainers are really shitty to each it's a bit of 'I'm a better coach than you' sort of attitude that we see in this industry which is really bad.

I think when people come into the Masterclass they've got that barrier up like they would on the outside world, but it's not like that at all in here. I get a lot of comments saying this is a fantastic environment and group of people, so you shouldn't be afraid to share information and even get some feedback on what you're creating putting out into the world for the first time.

You're only going to get positive criticism from us inside the Masterclass. But once you put it out there, and I'm not even talking about personal trainers but in general, then it might not always be the case. So you might as well get it refined, get it looked at by someone like myself before putting it out there. So get posting, get sharing and you will only see improvements when you do it. You'll never regret sharing something there and asking for help or feedback.

It's something that I have never let hold me back. And I feel that's probably why I help personal trainers and coaches now, as opposed to talking behind their back and talking bullshit and putting people down. I'm the complete opposite of that I'm like, here's everything I know, try and use it to your benefit to help you succeed more. And I think if we could all embrace that a little bit more we would see the industry and all of our own successes increase. That's my thought for the day around all of that but hopefully it encourages you a bit to reach out inside the Masterclass and to use it to the fullest.

David: It's a bit bizarre that we're in an industry where that is basically our end goal. We're there to help people, we're there to actually share our knowledge with them so they can grow and become better and yet we struggle to do it ourselves.

Ru: Yes, it's a very strange industry to be in. Okay let's wrap this up then. What's the next action steps within the next 24 to 48 hours for you from this call?

David: I'll be getting onto that initial planning stage to start thrashing out exactly who my customer avatar is and start getting those stages set up, so I've got the beginnings of where I want to go and then get onto the free lead magnet to begin to build that list.

Ru: Okay sounds good to me, sounds like a plan.

David: About time to get started.

Ru: It is. Thank you very much for the call. I hope it's been a good help.

David: Yeah definitely. It's nice to speak to somebody who is further down the line then I am and who can help me to get where I want to be, so thanks very much. I look forward to hearing from you on the forum inside the Masterclass.

Ru: For sure.

Let's build your online fitness business together

If you're a health and fitness pro who would like to learn more about creating a successful, meaningful online fitness business, check out The Exceed Masterclass

The Exceed Masterclass is your essential resource for the training, advice and support you need on how to become an online personal trainer.

You'll receive proven, practical training to help you reach more people and create more impact online.

How to start an online personal training business

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