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The Episode: How to Beat IG Influencers At Their Own Game
Getting started on the task of building influence online can be daunting because the thing that seems to define a successful influencer is their monumental amount of followers. In this episode, we make the main point that a huge following does not by any means equate to a successful online coaching business. In fact, content creators or influencers can be seen as a completely different breed to online coaches. It is totally possible to have a very limited amount of followers and still make a brilliant income each month as an online coach. The secret ingredient here is looking after the followers you do have and working your circle of influence, no matter how small. If you look at your online strategy as a process of building one authentic relationship at a time, your business will thrive. There are concrete strategies for finding the right audience, and nurturing those relationships, and we get into a few of these on today’s show.
In This Episode
- Redefining the meaning of the word ‘influencer’.
- We all have our circle of influence and should focus on working it.
- Avoid getting caught up in trying to play the influencer game.
- Differentiating between content creation and coaching business models.
- Tips for coaches starting out who haven’t partnered with a content creator.
- Forming connections with audience members who actively engage.
- The way that algorithms boost the organic reach of highly engaged users.
- Tendencies to be robotic on the internet and how to be more human.
- Focusing on building real relationships online rather than optimizing for an algorithm.
“It’s not about number of followers. It’s about the quality of followers that you have.” — Carolina Belmares
Focusing on Your Immediate Circle of Influence
Here at the OTA we often encounter aspiring coaches who feel as if they don’t have what it takes to compete with social media influencers, and they harbor this belief because they don’t have a large following. As we have said here before, social media influencers and online coaches are two different business models. It is also valuable to redefine our understanding of the word ‘influencer’ here. Being an influencer does not mean you have a ton of followers, but rather that you have a valuable reputation towards a subsection of people. A staple of the OTA is that you need 30 clients at $200 per month to make $72,000 per year. It is not about numbers but what you do with the influence you have in your immediate circle. If you can forget the paradigm of needing to call yourself an influencer to be successful as a coach, then you can start focusing on working your circle.
Dialing Into Your Audience and Seeking Out The Road Builders
Competing with influencers is in some senses a matter of playing a totally different game to them. All influencers do is create content, whereas online coaches build an actual business around a service that they offer people. These two models can however work well together, so if you are a coach and can partner with an influencer, this is one good way to start building your following. If you are starting from scratch and can’t partner with a content creator, then it is vital to remember that don’t need a big number of followers but, rather, valuable ones. The best way to start building a small network of engaged followers is by dialing in on your audience. What we mean by this is finding what we call ‘road builders’. Road builders are people with a high likelihood to be interested in your service and an equally high likelihood to engage in your account online. You can find these people by looking for coaches who offer a similar service as you, taking note of the people who interact with them often and reaching out to these people to build a relationship. These are the people who will be your brand ambassadors. An extra nugget here is that when you engage on social media, the algorithms boost your organic reach.
Focusing On Building One Relationship At A Time
Forming real relationships online is not about copy-pasted responses and bulk strategies but about being human. We see a lot of people acting like robots online and this kind of behavior boils down to fear of being trolled or rejected as a result of being themselves. Equally, many of us seem to be obsessed with optimizing for social media algorithms but we are here to tell you that building a business is dependent on your ability to build relationships with individuals. Will Smith talks about how his career was a process of laying one careful brick at a time. We resonate highly with this idea and believe that just building a relationship with the one person that is in front of you is a masterful strategy for building actual influence on social media, instead of taking the “influencer” approach and going for a big numbers of followers. Each genuine relationship you build amounts to a small deposit, and over time these all compound!
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