While I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 15 years, it wasn’t until last year that I began to truly focus on building the online side of my fitness business. For much of my career I traded dollars for hours, training clients one one one in a gym setting. I realized early on that it would be difficult to earn a significant income this way, and didn’t like the way it was pulling me away from my family once I had Emma. So, about 5 years ago I began doing some one on one training online, which gave me some flexibility, and I ran some online group programs as well. I continued working with clients in person, but on a more limited basis. This was a good start, but was still pulling time away from my family and I was still trading dollars for hours.
As my digital marketing and coaching business began to grow, I realized that something needed to be cut and I needed to focus on things that were scalable. So, last year around this time, I shut down my in-person training and group programs, and focused all of my attention on building my online group program because it was a scalable model.
At this time last year, I had 11 women in my online bootcamp; 11 women I had to hustle hard to get signed up. Today, I have 500 women who will go through my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program this month. At $199 a person, this has turned into a significant stream of revenue for my business.
Clearly, I have experienced significant growth over the last year. That growth did not happen by chance, but by employing specific strategies focused on growth. While there are many more than 5 steps to the process my team and I have gone through, these 5 are the foundation to running successful online fitness bootcamps.
Five Step Process
Create an amazing program.
This is the absolute foundation of my program’s growth; I get my clients results! It is absolutely critical that you are clear on who your ideal client is and what their pain points are. Once you are clear on that, you’ve got to understand and satisfy their pain points through your program. In other words, your program has got to get your clients results. Don’t be tempted to water down your program because it is an online version. Create something that works and don’t apologize for it. Ask yourself who you are serving, then ask yourself what they need. Once you can clearly answer both of those questions, create an effective program that your clients will tell their friends about. Be sure to test your program, do your research, and create something you can truly stand behind as an incredible value!
While I utilize several different marketing strategies to grow my online bootcamps, two that have been incredibly effective are microinfluencer outreach and live video.
Microinfluencers are people who have influence over a large group of people in your niche. I look for people who work in complementary industries and ask them to share my program with their followers. Sometimes women are afraid to ask for a favor like this, but I am almost always met with a positive response when I do. Be sure that you already have a relationship with any influencers you reach out to. If there is an influencer you would like to work with, but don’t yet have a relationship with, go ahead and start one.
I have also created an affiliate program for influencers who have gone through my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program, offering them compensation for anyone they refer. I have also offered group discounts to some of the microinfluencers I’ve worked with, so that is an option as well!
Live video is the most effective FREE way to market your online bootcamp on social media. Live video is heavily favored in both Facebook and Instagram algorithms and will get seen by far more people than any static post or picture on your feed. I do live videos on my personal page and personal Instagram account, because I see significantly higher engagement there.
If you aren’t doing live video, you are missing a huge opportunity to get in front of your ideal clients for free. This does take some practice, but if you have a great program, then stand behind it and tell your followers all about its amazing value!
Provide resources and guides to set your clients up for success.
Once you have clients signed up for your program, you want to do everything in your power to ensure they are successful. I provide my FASTer Way to Fat Loss clients with a comprehensive guide so they have all the information they need to ensure success in my program. This took a significant amount of time on my end, but is something my clients can use even after they’ve completed my program. Be sure to give your clients all of the information they need to really see success in your programs. If you need help making something you’ve created beautiful, contact the Agency Side! We’d love to help you.
Set up effective systems.
Because I have so many clients going through my program at once, it is absolutely critical that I have effective systems in place. I set up a content schedule at the beginning of my program and slowly drip information to my clients throughout the program. I give them everything they need in my comprehensive guide, but slowly provide them with further information in a way that is not overwhelming. I plan this out and schedule it so that I am not fumbling around at the last minute.
I am very specific about how clients can communicate with me. I don’t allow Facebook messages or texts. I let all of my clients know they can ask questions in their Facebook group, so I can answer them there for anyone who may have a similar question. I don’t have Facebook notifications on my phone turned on, so I am not constantly reacting to posts. I check these groups three times a day (in the morning, midday and in the late afternoon) to ensure I don’t miss anything. Setting up this system has been critical as this program has grown.
I always say you can either have control or you can have growth, but you can’t have both. In order to grow, I’ve had to hire help. When I had 11 clients, I could manage things on my own, but having 500 women go through my program at once has necessitated some delegation. I have hired assistants to help with registration and onboarding, and have assistants working to keep up with Facebook groups and general operations throughout the program.
There will come a time when you grow big enough that you will need to scale your staff to meet the needs of your clients. This can feel like a scary jump, but it will truly help you serve your clients better and improve their overall experience, which in turn will help to grow your program further!
Obviously, there is a lot more that goes into running my online bootcamps, but these 5 steps are a great place to start.
If you are interested in learning more of the ins and outs, I am truly an open book and share everything with my Business Accelerator and coaching clients. In fact, this month I am walking them through affiliate marketing and how to set up an effective affiliate program.
Another way to see a little more behind the scenes of my online bootcamp is to sign up for my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program yourself. Participants receive access to my guide and will see first hand how I run my groups.
I love working with women in the fitness industry who have real solutions to ending the trend of obesity. If you want more information about my coaching services, or anything that I’ve shared above, I’m happy to chat. I offer free 20 minute consult calls and would be happy to answer any questions you might have about my programs, services or how I run my bootcamps!