It’s the truth.
When Edison was working on an invention and got stumped, he would call up the newspapers and tell them he had solved an incredible problem with his new device, and give them a date that it would debut—even though he still had no idea how it was going to turn out.
He was able to generate publicity and buzz about something that didn’t even exist yet.
Edison knew that his reputation depended on him following through and succeeding, and only then would the proverbial light bulb go on in his head (ya see what I did there?) that allowed him to finish the job.
Necessity demanded that he take action.
You can take the same approach in starting an online business, and you don’t have to be a genius like Edison to pull it off.
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How to get your online training business up and running in ONE step
When you’re starting a new business, you don’t know what you really need to do, and you’re probably overthinking it.
Trying to figure out the software you’ll use to write your programs, or how you’ll scale the business once you reach 100 clients, is just putting off the real work. I call it “productive procrastination,” because you’re telling yourself you’re working hard, but you’re still avoiding the true first step.
The first step to get your online personal training business up and running is simple:
Once you get a handful of people to agree to give you money, then you can figure out what to sell them.
I know that doesn’t seem right to you, but remember, it worked for Edison, and it will work for you.
Believe me, trying to figure out the minute details of how you’ll run the business before you launch it is a giant mistake.
No matter how well you plan things out ahead of time, you’re bound to make errors, and you’ll have to go back and fix them anyway.
You might as well have some money coming in first.
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How to get your first online personal training clients
So how do you start recruiting people you’ve never met before over the internet?
I use what I call the Founding Client Challenge, a super-simple social media callout that gets people excited about your training business in the same way that Edison got folks amped up about his inventions.
Go on whatever social media platform you’re comfortable with and announce that you’re testing a new training program and you’re looking for people who will help you work out the kinks.
Use language that will appeal to the kind of people you want to train—your target audience.
For example, if you want to train young men who are trying to put on size, say:
I’m looking for men who want to gain five pounds of rock solid muscle in 60 days to fill out their T-shirts by summertime.
If it’s women who want to lose weight, you could try:
I’m looking for ladies who are fed up with dieting and want to lose 10 pounds in six weeks the healthy way.
Make sure you’re clear about what the benefit is and how it’s going to make them look or feel—more muscular in a T shirt, healthier than they’ve been on diets, etc.
DO NOT talk about what’s in the program. People don’t care which kind of periodization you’re going to use for their strength training or how you’re going to create a calorie deficit that helps them get lean.
Pitch them on the results they’ll see.
Next, tell them what you’re going to charge for the program when it’s done.
You don’t have to know what the price is yet, so just come up with a big number. Then you explain that there’s a discount available now for the people who are going to help you test-drive it.
The program is going to be $500 when it’s out, but anyone who decides to train with me for the next six weeks to help me tweak the program will get 50% OFF.
This accomplishes two things: It gets you clients right away, and, just as important, it gives you permission in your clients’ eyes to start before you’re ready.
Your clients now know that you don’t have it all figured out yet. They’ll understand if you mess up the workouts, or experience technical difficulties on your website, or make any number of other mistakes that make the program not run smoothly.
Not only will they not be upset with you, they’re going to buy into it even more, because they feel they have some ownership of the program.
They’re an integral part of a great new experiment that’s ultimately going to get them the results they want, and a chance to talk about it on social media.
When the program is done and you’ve worked out all the bugs, your clients will be more than happy to help you promote it with testimonials.
And that leads to more clients …
Bottom line: You don’t have to be an expert to feel like you have the right to charge money for your services.
At the end of the day, you’re helping people reach their fitness goals.
And as long as you’re transparent about the fact that your business is just starting, people will be patient with you as it goes through its growing pains.
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