The complete online fitness coach marketing guide

The online fitness coach
Being an online fitness coach is tough. Do you know what is even tougher? Marketing that online fitness coaching business. That is why this guide was created to help make it easier for you to market your online business.

Table of Contents

1. Defining your niche

With the (online) fitness industry growing larger and larger by the day, you might ask yourself what’s going to make me stand out from others who are doing the same thing I am doing online. That’s where picking the right niche comes in. This is a key tip in our online fitness coach marketing guide.

What is a niche and how do you pick the right one?

A niche is when you go after a smaller, more defined area of the market. In the online fitness coaching world, examples may include:

  • Pregnant women coach.
  • 30+ year old dad coach.
  • 65+ women going through menopause coach.


And here are some examples of too broad niches:

  • Weight loss coach.
  • Muscle building coach.


Now that you know what a niche is, how do you pick the right niche? The good news is, it is not as hard as it sounds. It starts by just asking yourself a few questions. Once you take a look at your answers, it should direct you into the right area.

So ask yourself the following?

  1. What type of clients do you love working with most?
  2. What types of training do you have the most experience with?
  3. What types of clients have worked well for you?
  4. Who would you most like to work with?
  5. What type/kind of online coaching would you like to provide?
  6. What are the needs of your potential clients?
  7. Do you have the skills to serve your client’s needs?
  8. How crowded is that niche?

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Once you determine your niche, now the game begins! List all of the characteristics of your ideal persona. This is your best client’s profile. This will be the client that you will target. Once you’ve defined both your niche and buyer persona, your marketing strategy will become much more effective. This will help your online fitness coach marketing strategy.

2. Determine your USP

This is one of the most important aspects of any business. So let’s dive into USP’s.

What is a USP?

Well USP is short for Unique Selling Proposition. This is the one thing that makes you and your business unique and better than the competition. It is a specific benefit that makes your business stand out from the rest in your market. Coming up with a good USP can help you determine your marketing strategy and the voice of your business. This is another vital step in our online fitness coach marketing guide.

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How do you determine your USP?

Well, below we’ve included 6 questions you can ask yourself if you want to determine your USP:

  1. Who is my customer?
  2. How do customers find my business?
  3. What makes me better than my competitors?
  4. In what area am I worse than my competitors?
  5. What can’t my customers imitate?
  6. What need is my product or service filling?

By answering these 6 questions you’ll have a better understanding of what your USP is.

What is not a unique selling point?

A unique selling point should not be your pricing, or special offers such as 30% off, free shipping, 30-day refund, etc. As convincing as they may seem, they are not USP’s. Why? Because they are not unique and something that competitors can easily ‘copy’.

3. The top 4 social media platforms to drive traffic to your business

Let’s face it, in 2021 there is no way your business can gain maximum exposure without social media. But the trick is, you must know who your target audience is and what your niche is. This is important because it will determine which platform you will use and you will post your content. There is no online fitness coach marketing strategy without social media.

Let’s say, for example, your target audience is middle-aged women who want to get in shape. You can’t post images of middle-aged men running on a treadmill. Your social media account has to represent your craft and only focus on your target audience. Because they are the ones you want to grab the attention of. And they are also the ones who have a much better chance of becoming your next client.

So how do you choose the right social media platform?

There are so many choices, but you do not need all of them. These are the 3 platforms you need to be on.

Facebook

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Yes, Good old Facebook. Some might argue that Facebook is old and outdated. PAUSE!!!! NO SIR!!! And even crazier, some may even say that you do not need a website because you have Facebook. PAUSE AGAIN!!! NO, NO, NO, NO AND……NO! You still need both. But take a look at these Facebook stats:

  • 2.85 billion active users.
  • 2.75 billion mobile active users.
  • 1.88 billion active users.

As you can see the number of people you can reach on Facebook is outstanding. All you have to do is target the right way.

Instagram

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If you want a platform where visual conquers, then Instagram is your best friend! And in 2021 pictures and videos capture a lot more attention than words. But let’s take a look at some really cool Instagram statistics:

  • 1.074 billion Instagram users worldwide.
  • 71% of the billion monthly active users on the Instagram app are under the age of 35.
  • Instagram users spend an average of 53 minutes per day.

Crazy, crazy numbers. So now what? You hop on this platform immediately if you are not on it already. And please do not overthink your content. We’ve seen 7 year old kids gain millions of followers without even creating a strategy, not that you should do that. But you get the point.

TikTok

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TikTok is a fairly new platform, in fact it started back in 2016. But the amount of users on the platform has grown enormously over the past few years. But take a look at these stats.

  • 689 active million users.
  • 2 billion downloads.
  • 1 billion video views per day.

Coaches and personal trainers…..you need to get on this platform. This is not even a joke. The platform has become one of the easiest ways to go “Viral” online. It is a very simple content creation platform.

You might be thinking that TikTok is only for kids and dancing. That is the way it started but the last few years many others between the ages of 24-35 have joined the platform. Many business owners have also hopped on the platform and are loving it.

Youtube

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We personally believe Youtube is the king of all the social media platforms. Youtube is a great way to create another stream of (passive) income to your business.

Youtube is perfect if you’re doing things like podcasts, instructional videos, tutorials or vlogs. A well-produced Youtube video can get you highly ranked in search engines. Here are some recent stats:

  • 1.86 billion youtube users.
  • 4.9% growth rate in 2021.
  • Youtube accounts for 21% of global video streaming traffic. Only Netflix has more (26.6%).

4. Assembling the tools

Let’s talk about assembling the right business tools for your online fitness coach marketing strategy. Yes, just like when you want to build a house, you need tools. Same thing goes for an online fitness business. There are certain tools you need that will help your online fitness business grow. Let’s start:

Website

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Yes, of course as a website design company we feel entitled to say that the first thing you should have is a website. But, this is 100% true. Your online fitness business needs a website to grow online. But here are 3 reasons why a website is a necessity for an online fitness business:

a) Your website is a 24/7/365 online business card

This means your website works for you 365 days a year for your business. When a potential customer searches for services related to your business and you show up as one of the first options, then they are more likely to contact you to help solve their problem. This way you will not miss out on any leads.

b) Build credibility and trust

Having a professional website can take your online fitness business very far. If someone searches your business online, and they cannot find your business online, then this is a problem. They will immediately lose trust. Having that website builds that trust.

Because I’m here to tell you, your potential customer is not going to just give you their money simply because you are called an “online fitness coach”. Potential customers want to buy from established businesses with legitimate social proof. And once one customer trusts you and your business then they are more willing to show your work to their friends.

c) You control your website

“I DoN’t A wEbSiTE, I HaVe FaCeBOoK”. This is a sentence that I’ve heard over a thousand times. And we’re here to tell those people to please stop. Please…..please………please…..stop. Just stop! Facebook will never replace a website because you are not in control of Facebook. You are not in control of Instagram. You are not in control of Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and all of the other social media platforms. 

If one day these social platforms decide to change their algorithm, terms of advertising or start making you pay to use the platform then you will lose your whole audience. 

But when you have your own website, you are 100% in control. You can publish content that can help anyone and use your website to collect emails so that you can stay in touch with your target audience and build a good relationship with them.

Custom branded fitness app

Now some online fitness coaches might get scared when they hear the word app. They think it is a big investment and that can scare starters. But It does not have to be expensive because it is 2021 and there is something called ‘Custom Branded’.

A custom branded app is a mobile application created by a company to promote your brand. You can typically place your brand’s identity, services, colours, logo, visual identity, style and much more.

The best part is you do not have to invest thousands of dollars or euros to gain access to such an app. Let’s take a look at 3 custom branded fitness apps you can check out:

a) Trainerize

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Trainerize is an all-in-one app designed specifically for personal trainers and fitness coaches. They offer custom branding, their apps can also integrate with other popular software such as Zapier, MyFitnessPal and Facebook.

The best part about Trainerize is that it is very simple for clients to use. They can easily place their progress photos, measurements and even track all of their workouts and meal plans. It also comes with a library without thousands of pre-built exercise videos. But you can also choose to upload and demonstrate your own videos. Great app.

b) Total coaching

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Total coaching is a personal training and fitness coaching software used to help your clients reach their fitness goals. This app is also a great choice for personal trainers and fitness coaches. The app has a database with over 25,000 different kind of foods and over 1,000 3D animated exercises.

They offer custom branding, private messaging and all your client’s data can be displayed on graphs. Sounds awesome right? Let’s go to the next one.

c) True coach

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TrueCoach is one of the best custom branded apps out there. Why? Because it is simple for them to use, and trainers can easily track their client’s data. They have over 100,000 users, and it is amazing. Take a look at it and see if this might be the app for your business.

Meal planning software

The next thing you need to have to run your online fitness business is a meal planning software. A meal planning software makes life so much easier for you and it saves you a lot of time so that you can focus on other important things. Here are my top 3 meal planning software:

a) Evolution Nutrition

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Evolution Nutrition is in our eyes one of the best meal planning software on the market. This program is simple for you and also simple for your clients. They have this analysis software called the ‘The Smart Plan’ program which is their USP (unique selling point). The Smart Plan replaces calorie counting with a points system, which the program automatically calculates for clients. 

But another great feature Evolution Nutrition has is the ‘Health Suggestions’ feature. This feature makes food suggestions that you can place into your existing meals that might be missing something. Let’s say for example one of your meals is lacking carbs, you will receive relevant suggestions from the software. 

The software also makes meals for all types of dietary restrictions. These include:

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Low glycemic
  • Gluten-free
  • Lactose-free
  • Soy-free

The software also allows you to use your own branding, logo, photographs, etc so that you can make the meal plan look as much like your brand as possible. 

Features:
  • 3 different ways of meal planning.
  • Ability to incorporate your brand in the software.
  • The ‘Smart Plan’ program.
  • ‘Healthy Suggestions’ feature for creating and customising meals.
  • Caters to all nutritional needs.

You can sign up for evolution nutrition for as low as $39 per month. Check out Evolution Nutrition here: https://www.evolutionnutrition.com/

b) Nutrium

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This is also a popular meal planning software that is mostly used in the UK. This software is amazing for setting goals but also perfect for trainers and coaches who want to stay active with their client’s eating habits.

You as a trainer/coach have the ability to send your client a notification around eating time so that they stay on track. It is not stalking, but clients like to feel like someone is keeping tabs on them. Your clients can also record the meals that they have had and keep you informed on how well they have been sticking to the plan you designed for them.

Features:
  • Nutritional assessment.
  • You can set goals for your clients.
  • Recommendations for exercise & foods to avoid.
  • Diet assessment for your clients.
  • Meal planning.
  • Interactive system to keep tabs on your client

You can sign up for Nutrium for as low as $28 per month. Check out Nutrium here: https://nutrium.io/en

c) Nutritics

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This next software is a very powerful one. They have over 800,000 foods to choose from. Amazing right? Yes, when we first saw this software we were impressed. This software also can analyse recipes that have been created by the user or that have been pre-loaded to the system. As an online fitness coach, this is very handy.

Features:
  • Nutritional assessment.
  • The ability to set goals for your clients.
  • Recommendations for exercise & foods to avoid.
  • Professional diet assessment for your clients.
  • State-of-the-art meal planning.
  • An incredible interactive system to keep an eye on your clients.

You can sign up for Nutritics for as low as $16 per month.  Check out Nutritics here: https://www.nutritics.com/p/home

Canva

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Canva is a multimedia platform filled with various design functionalities and features that allows you to create visual content, presentations, graphics, advertising materials and much more. This tool offers hundreds of done-for-you layouts and templates which you can use. But you can also choose to create your own designs from scratch.

The software offers a very easy to use drag-and-drop system and has a very easy learning curve. 

The Canva software is available for both desktop and mobile and they offer a free and paid version. I personally recommend the paid versions because it offers more features but the free option is also good for starters.

Features:
  • Drag and drop feature
  • Ready-made Templates
  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • Stocks images, icons, and fonts
  • And much, much more

You can either sign up for Canva for the free version or the paid version which starts at $12 per month. Check out Canva here: https://www.canva.com/

Email marketing software

Collecting emails is still one of the most important marketing strategies there is today when done right of course. Almost 4 billion people have an email account. By sending them personal emails to their inbox you can easily keep in touch with them. But what are some awesome email marketing software you can use? Let’s dive in:

a) Mailchimp

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You’ve probably heard of Mailchimp. But if you have not, then this is the perfect email marketing software to use if you are just starting out as an online fitness coach. 

Their system is very easy to use and offers a ton of automation. On top of that, they also offer one of the best customer support out there. There is a free version and a paid version. The free version is up to 2,000 contacts. So these are perfect for starters in the online fitness coaching world. Once you grow your business then you can also switch to the premium plan.

Features:
  • Email Designer.
  • Automation.
  • A/B Testing.
  • Mobile Signup Forms.
  • And much more.

You can either sign up for Mailchimp for the free version or the paid version which starts at $14,99 per month. You can check out Mailchimp here: https://mailchimp.com/

b) SendinBlue

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This is another amazing email marketing software that is used by a lot of businesses. They have plenty of automation services. You can set up a lot of automation workflows.  Let’s take a look at some amazing features.

Features:
  • You can send transactional emails.
  • You can create personalised marketing workflows.
  • Activity Dashboard.
  • Reporting/Analytics.
  • Social Media Integration.
  • And much more.

You can either sign up for SendinBlue for the free version which lets you send up to 300 emails per day. Or you can sign up for the paid version which starts at $22 per month. You can check out SendinBlue here: https://www.sendinblue.com/

c) ConvertKit

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ConvertKit is an email marketing service provider that actually has its own niche. It is typically recommended to podcasters, bloggers, small personal training and other small businesses.

It has all the features of Mailchimp but has a very simple design to help you set up your account and emails as easily as possible. Awesome marketing software.

Features:
  • AB Testing.
  • API.
  • Customisable Branding.
  • Email Campaign Management.
  • Mobile Optimised Emails.
  • And much more.

You can either sign up for ConvertKit for the free version which lets you manage up to 1000 subscribers. Or you can sign up for the paid version which starts at $29 per month. You can check out ConvertKit here: https://convertkit.com/

Google Analytics

Once you have a website as an online fitness coach, we would highly recommend you to get Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you analyse your website traffic. Meaning you get to see how many people come to your website and take the desired action you wanted them to take.

Now of course there are many more tools, but I think this is a real good start. Let’s move on to the next step.

5. Search engine optimisation

What is SEO?

SEO simple stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. This simply is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. This way the more visibility you are, the higher the chances that people find you and your services or products. This is the goal for every business online.

How does SEO work?

SEO has a lot of strategies. But they all have the same end goal and that is to rank your website on the top. But to make it simple there are two kinds of SEO: on-page and off-page. On-page SEO is basically anything you can control on your website. Meaning website speed, keyword placement, text, etc. 

Off-page is typically anything done on other websites that may influence the rankings of your website. Meaning backlinks. But this takes a lot of time and a lot of knowledge of SEO. But if done correctly, the reward is super high.

6. Paid advertisements

The next step in this guide is paid advertisement. Here I will give you the best way to do paid advertisements. This way you can easily grow your online coaching fitness business. Let’s jump straight in.

Facebook and Instagram ads

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One of the best places to start with paid advertisements is on Facebook or Instagram. Facebook and Instagram ads have become so important over the last few years. As you might know, Facebook owns Instagram and in order for you to set up Instagram ads, you will need a Facebook business profile.

You do not have to be a marketing expert to set up a Facebook or Instagram ad. These platforms have made it super simple for people to use.

You can also set up these ads for any purpose you want. Whether it is:

  • Getting more engagement such as shares, comments or likes on a post.
  • Bring more traffic to your website.
  • Get more messages via Facebook or Instagram.

These platforms have a lot of data on your potential target audience. They know where your target audience lives, likes, watches and buys. But that is great news for your business and this is why you must use these platforms for ads.

Google Ads

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Another option is Google Ads. If you want to find something, there are two places you will probably find it. Google or Youtube. Google is responsible for about 75% of the world’s traffic and there are over 7 billion websites. Even if you are an online business you should still consider using Google Ads. If you have never used Google ads then this is how it works.

You pay Google to rank your website at the top of Google. This is done on a cost per click model. Meaning if someone clicks on your ad then you will pay Google. This is exactly how Google makes money. Simple as that!

Start blogging

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If you haven’t started a blog, then we highly recommend you to start. Blogging is a way of showing that you are the authority in your niche. Blogging offers many benefits but these are the 3 most important ones.

  1. A fantastic way to highlight your expertise in your niche.
  2. It can help your potential target audience solve some of their biggest problems. This way they are more willing to work with you.
  3. It helps Google rank you in their search engines.

So let’s start blogging.

7. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

This is my final tip. DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET! In 2021 you can do so many things. But that doesn’t mean you have to do everything, but you can start spreading your talents in other areas. So for example if you are an online fitness coach, maybe you have a talent for motivational speaking. You can consider doing that on the side as well.

That’s all we have for this blog. Hopefully this article has helped you and if you have any more questions then feel free to reach out to us via info@letbuildthatsite.com or you can also leave a comment below.

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Written by:

Kevin Jefferson (a.k.a Kev The Builder)

Kevin Jefferson (a.k.a Kev The Builder)

Hey, nice to meet you! I am founder of Let's Build That Site. Let's Build That Site has spent the last few years helping fitness professionals grow or start their business online. We can do the same for you and your business. If you would like to know more then feel free to take a look at our services or you can reach out to us via info@letsbuildthatsite.com. Have a great day!

Kevin Jefferson (a.k.a Kev The Builder)

Kevin Jefferson (a.k.a Kev The Builder)

Hey, nice to meet you! I am founder of Let's Build That Site. Let's Build That Site has spent the last few years helping fitness professionals grow or start their business online. We can do the same for you and your business. If you would like to know more then feel free to take a look at our services or you can reach out to us via info@letsbuildthatsite.com. Have a great day!

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