How To Launch Your Fitness Business From Scratch
If you’ve ever considered launching an online fitness business but you’re not sure how, I’m going to walk you through exactly how to get started from scratch.
When I launched my very first online fitness business more than 10 years ago, I had to do everything the hard way. There wasn’t any software that made setting up an online course easy. But now, there are so many options that make it much easier.
Why Online an online fitness business?
So as a health & wellness coach, why should you consider creating online courses? One of the many key benefits of online courses is that they provide you with more freedom.
To give you a bit of a backstory, in 2010, when I moved to London from Australia and began my career as a personal trainer at a gym in Piccadilly, I had to work hard to build up my client base. And once I had built up my client base, the idea of leaving that gym and starting from scratch was terrifying.
So I felt trapped, and I felt like if I wanted to leave, I would have to find somewhere close to that area, or else I would lose my client base that I worked so hard for.
During this time, my son was born, so I wanted to cut back my hours at the gym because some weeks I worked over 90 hours a week. But when he was born, all of a sudden, I lost interest in hustling and working long hours. I wanted to spend more time at home, but I didn’t quite know how to do that.
So, I launched my first online fitness business, which helped me cut back to only 25 hours a week in the gym and not lose any income. It was a big win.
Then when my son was 4 and we were starting to have to face the reality of School in central London, my wife and I realised we didn’t want to live in London anymore and wanted a more outdoors, active lifestyle that the city provided us with. So we decided to move to her home country of Latvia where we moved into a house in the woods with our own private lake.
I was able to do that with zero drop in income or interruption because by that point my fitness business was 100% online.
Home Sweet Home
Online fitness businesses also allow you to do a volume approach. It allows you to reach more people than in-person events. Therefore you can help more people, which was the big driver behind launching my online fitness business, AMN Academy.
Back in the day, we were doing rehab with clients and getting great success. But we were limited by the number of people we could see in a week. We were also limited by the number of people who could afford our services, which at that point were pretty high-end and expensive.
We decided that if we really wanted to help more people, we could do that by educating more professionals like ourselves in what we were doing, which also has a compounding effect of increasing your scope of influence.
Extra Revenue Stream
Launching a online fitness business can provide you with an extra revenue stream, which is semi-passive income. I don’t really like the term ‘passive income’. I believe the only way to really earn passive income is with real estate or dividends.
Semi-passive income basically means you can make money while you’re not at work, while you’re asleep, or you can make money while in the office doing something else entirely. You don’t have to trade one hour of your time for one hour’s worth of income.
Can cater to different income brackets
Launching an online fitness business means you can be more flexible and cater to more people. They can either be low-ticket or high-ticket programs (or a combinations of both). A low-ticket offer is something that’s easier for people to pull the trigger on because it’s not as big a commitment financially.
While a high-ticket offer is more expensive because they have more value, such as one-on-one coaching or access to a network of successful business owners who you can learn from.
Launching an online fitness business can allow you to build authority, which leads to new opportunities, such as public speaking, or collaboration with other people in your industry.
You become sought after for your expertise, and you’ll be invited to talk on podcasts and speak at events. It’s a huge opportunity to build your authority and create other opportunities for your health & wellness business.
My business partner Dave from AMN Academy has been flown places like Switzerland and South Africa by wealthy clients to treat them and help them get free from pain.
I want to share with you a few specific case studies of people in our industry who have successfully launched an online fitness business. The first case study is my own health & wellness business, “The Wellness MBA“.
As you can see here in our dashboard, there’s been $1.6+ million generated in revenue over a 12 month period. That’s from sellign a $19 product. Full disclosure, that’s with a 20% profit margin after ad spend.
But this is an introductory product that builds our audience and fills our higher ticket coaching and agency services. I would still be happy if this had no profit because it would be still providing us with thousands of qualified leads for our services.
Another one is Rudy Mawer. Rudy is a clinical nutritionist and a physique coach. To date, he’s sold 115+ thousand copies of his program below. Again, this one is a $19 program where he’s generated approximately $2.2 million in revenue over a few years
Vickie Gould, who has a sound healing course that costs $47, ended May 2022 with just over $100K in revenue. She also had an additional $60K in income from her online store since she’s also selling materials used in her course, such as Tibetan bowls.
Here’s another case study of the Handstand Factory. I mentored their head of marketing, and they’re doing just over $30K a month with various handstand courses.
Rafe Kelley from Evolve Move Play is one of my agency clients and is now doing just over $20K monthly with online courses and live in-person retreats.
Now, these can seem like ridiculous numbers. But you don’t need to make $100K a month or even $100K a year to really change your life. Even an extra $1K a month can make a massive difference in someone’s life. Especially if that’s income where you’re not having to trade your time directly for it.
And if you think about it, $1K a month is just around five sales a week of a $50 course. It’s really not that much if you break it down. Five sales a week is very achievable.
Mindset & Success
So why am I showing you these successful case studies of what others have done in our industry? Because seeing success with your own eyes is a powerful thing. It allows people to change their mindset about what is possible and what is not. And your mindset is the number one contributing factor to whether or not you succeed.
Some people that I’ve taught and helped, aren’t achieving the results they want to achieve because of their mindset. They have limiting beliefs because they aren’t around success enough.
Ever heard of the saying, “You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with”? Or, “Your network equals your net worth”? Well, they are 100% true. You need to spend more time with people who are doing the things that you want to do. You need to be able to see them doing these things for your belief systems to change.
How to change your limiting beliefs
To change your limiting beliefs, you need to surround yourself with people who have achieved the goals that you want to achieve. Therefore, travel to conventions, and not just fitness conventions and health-related conventions. Go to conventions where the focus is on business or marketing, which are things that are actually going to move the needle in your business.
You could also join mastermind groups. I’m a big proponent of these because they have greatly benefited me and my business. I’m currently in one that’s around $30K a year to be a member. But all the business owners there are doing $10M+ a year, so the network and knowledge I get from it are well worth it.
Seek a mentor as well. I’ve had numerous mentors over the years. The last one that I worked with was this guy called Robin Frasier. I had this idea of investing and starting a small private equity company, but I didn’t know anything about buying businesses or investing in them. So I got a mentor who helped me cut that learning curve.
So now I want to challenge your mindset. If you feel like online courses are something you want to do, but there’s some barrier, some block preventing you from doing it, it’s all in your mind. So challenge that in yourself and know that there are people out there doing incredible things in our industry with courses as cheap as $19.
Let's get practical. I've convinced you it's a good idea, now how do you get started?
Let’s discuss simple and practical ways to build your first online course from scratch.
1. The Problem
The first thing any business should do, not just online businesses but any business in general, is to identify one big problem they can solve.
A lot of people get stuck on this idea because when I say the one big problem, they think I’m trying to pigeonhole them and limit what they’re able to do.
For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer, and you’ve studied many different things like nutrition, corrective exercise, psychology, coaching, etc. In other words, you’re able to do a lot, but you need to have a specific offering for each problem.
That’s because if you go out there and say that you can do all of this stuff, which is what many people do, when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.
Therefore you have to be specific in your messaging. You have to be specific in your promise. And that will be anchored in with the problem that the product or service you’re promoting solves.
So the first step you need to do is to identify just one problem to start with, and then you can just repeat this process. Try to identify one big problem you have the skills to solve that many people struggle with. The more common the problem, the easier it is to sell and scale your program.
You can research keywords and search volume to see how many searches there are a month on Google for specific health and wellness topics. And if it’s got a very high search volume, chances are you will have a pretty good success rate if you get everything right.
You can also go into forums like Reddit or Quora, where you can see the questions people ask about the topic you want to teach. You can also search in Facebook groups and Instagram pages to find the questions people are asking.
So if it’s like weight loss, injury rehabilitation or increasing strength, go in there and see what people are struggling with. What are the questions that they’re asking in their own words? Let that inform you on the types of things that you should consider pursuing for your online program.
Remember, creating demand is a fast road to losing a lot of money. If there’s no existing demand, trying to create that demand through advertising and marketing takes a ton of time and a ton of money.
And I know that because I’ve done it with AMN Academy. We had to work so hard because we created something that we were interested in, but there wasn’t any existing demand for it at the time. So we had to not only get people interested in what we were talking about, we had to get people aware of the problem that our business solved.
We were very lucky in the early days because social media marketing was in its infancy, and it was very cheap to do. If we tried to repeat what we did 10 years ago, we would never have succeeded. So don’t try and create demand. Instead, fulfil an existing demand, and look at what people are currently looking for solutions for.
2. The solution
In this step, outline your unique approach that helps your customers solve their problem, then break it down into specific stages and steps.
A format that has worked well for me in the past is breaking it down into three stages of three, as seen below.
At the top, you have the “BIG PROBLEM” of your potential prospects, then think about three specific stages your clients would need to go through to go from where they are now to where they want to be once the big problem is solved.
For example, if the big problem is weight loss, Stage 1 could be “How to change”, Stage 2 could be “Nutrition”, and Stage 3, “Exercise”. So think about the three big core things that need to be covered.
Next, you break those things into three steps. Each of the steps should take about a week. You want to break it down into segments based on the time that someone will work with you.
3. Price Point
The price point stage is where we figure out how much we’re going to charge someone for a course. There are a lot of different things that weigh on this. For example, most course creators will tend to lean towards the lower price point because they don’t believe someone will pay top dollar for their course.
In most cases, you’re right. It’s much easier to start low and then increase your prices over time as your course becomes more polished, you have more social proof, your community grows, and you gain more trust.
But if we’re looking at price points, we generally want to have three different options.
Low Price Point
Lower price points are better if the course idea or problem you solve has broad appeal. So let’s say you were to stop 100 people randomly on the street, and 50 of those people or more could be interested in what you’re selling, then your idea has a broad appeal. A good example is weight loss. A lot of people need help with weight loss.
But if you’re going to include coaching people one-on-one or in a group and do phone or Zoom calls in your course, and it’s going to take a lot of time out of your week, a low price point won’t be the best fit.
However, if it’s a self-paced online course that people can sign up for and go through in their own time, that’s a much better fit because it doesn’t require much of your input after the course has been made. A low price point is also better if it’s someone’s first point of interaction as a customer with your business.
The price range for a low price point is between $5 and $100. Now you need to take these numbers with a grain of salt because it depends on your audience and the outcome they’re looking to achieve.
For example, with a business-to-business (B2B) model, if your audience is businesses generating half a million plus a year in revenue, or individuals who are high-income earners, then a low price point for them might be starting at like $250. So you have to be mindful of who it is that you’re actually promoting your services to.
Mid Price Point
Mid price points are ideal if your online program idea has broad appeal and requires some of your time. For example, an online course with a group coaching element where you could be working with 20-50 clients at once in one hour.
A mid price point is also great for clients who are at the beginning or in the middle of the customer journey. And the price range is usually $100-$500.
Again, take these numbers with a grain of salt and keep in mind who it is that you’re actually selling to.
High Price Point
High price points could either be broad or niche. Generally, the key consideration is if it requires more of your time and resources on an ongoing basis or, if it’s so specialised that you are one of the few people in the world that could teach on the topic, then it’s fair to charge at a higher price point.
And this is usually at the end of the customer journey. However, if you’re going to be serious about launching online courses and really want to create a significant online business, you’ll want to have courses that tick all three price points.
You want an entry point, a mid-range point, and a niched, high-ticket one. An example of that would be one-on-one coaching or other one-on-one services. Or a done-for-you that’s not so specific to our industry.
In business, that would be an example of a marketing agency where you do the job for somebody, like a web design agency. Or a mastermind where people can access a network of high net-worth individuals who help each other grow their business.
The price range for high price points starts at around $500, and the limit can be anything really. As I said, I’m in a mastermind that’s $30K. But there are ones out there that make that look like chump change. It depends on who the market is and what kind of problem it solves.
Building your product
In this section, we’ll discuss how to actually start building your product or your online course.
Test your product
The first thing you want to do is ensure you can actually get people results. So if you’ve been in business for a while, and you’ve coached or mentored people and have a good track record of getting people results, you can skip this stage.
If you don’t have a track record of results that you can get testimonials and social proof for, then you will have to test your product out. And the first step that I recommend is that you get just one client, and you bend over backwards to get them absolutely outstanding results.
That’s because you need to be able to collect a case study. So you also need to ensure that the person you’re working with is willing to share all the information for a case study. Then, you want to get it written or a video testimonial. Or, all three – case study, written, and video testimonial if you can.
One of the big mistakes I see people make here is trying to rope in a friend or a family member to do this. It’s a huge mistake, especially if you’re in fitness.
If you’ve ever tried to train a family member or a friend, it’s rare that you get them to listen to you and do what they need to do to get the results.
The other big mistake I see people make is that they do it for free because it’s an untested program. I get the rationale behind that, but unfortunately, if you give something to people for free, they don’t value it, and they’re not likely to get results.
It has been proven time and time again that if someone doesn’t pay anything for something, they do not value it, and they will not do the things that they need to do.
However, what you can do is offer a 100% money-back guarantee. But do not give it to people for free. It’s just going to be a waste of both your time.
Gather your social proof
The number one deciding factor of why people would sign up for your online course is the strength of your offer. People are more likely to sign up for an online course when they feel that it offers good value for money.
Is your online program offering something worth more than its cost? Is failing to take action and participate in your program much more expensive than simply paying for your course?
The number two deciding factor is social proof. Have you been able to help others get the kind of results that they’re looking for? Get as many testimonials as you can.
If you’re just starting out, get a small group of people together, coach them, and get testimonials. Again, you want to guarantee their success because you need to psychologically put your money on the line as well. You need to put your money where your mouth is. You need to be as invested in them getting success as they are. Both parties need to be doing everything they can to achieve results.
Once you have social proof, selling your program is the easiest thing in the world because then people can see proof. They don’t have to take it on faith.
managing the technology: K.I.S.S (keep it super simple)
The next step is the tech, which stops many people from delving into the wonderful world of online courses. But the tech is easy now compared to how it was back then. Ten years ago, none of this stuff was around. But because of COVID-19, it has opened the door to so many different possibilities. So how do you create a course? What do you need for the tech side of things?
First and foremost, after you’ve outlined the structure and figured out what you’re going to teach and how you’re going to teach it, you need to create the content. That’s usually going to be videos.
And that’s where people get tripped up because they’re nervous about getting in front of a camera. They also don’t know how to film good-quality videos and edit them. So here’s how.
How To Film Your Videos
There are several ways you can film videos for your course. For example, I had a coaching program that I launched at the beginning of this year. If there was a concept that I wanted to share with my students, or if I needed to show them how to do something like setting up an ads account, I would discuss that in our group coaching call via Zoom, and I would record it so I could also use it for my online course.
Another way to film your videos is to use software like Keynote on a Mac or Loom on a Windows PC, which allows you to record your screen and create great presentations for your online program.
And, in case you haven’t noticed, most smartphones have an ultra-high definition, 4K resolution camera built in. And all you need is a cheap tripod and a set of Bluetooth headphones, and you’re good to go.
How To Edit Your Videos
If there are mistakes or you need to edit a section out, there is a piece of software that to me is just borderline magic. This software allows you to edit videos like a Word document. So if you can highlight text and hit backspace, you can edit a video.
It’s called Descript, and how it works is you take your video from your phone or from your computer, upload it to Descript, it will use artificial intelligence to listen to the audio in the video, and it will automatically create a transcript of every word that you’ve said.
You can then go in and highlight the mistakes, hit backspace, and it will automatically delete the corresponding bit out of the video.
How To Sell & Host Your Program
So once you’ve got your videos, where do you put them? First of all, you need to be able to sell your course. So you need somewhere to process payments and send clients to go and access your online course.
The two best options that I’ve used are ClickFunnels and SamCart. Both will allow you to create a landing page where you can put your videos and structure your course, and process payments for you.
SamCart is the easiest option for beginners and is more affordable than ClickFunnels. But they’re both pretty much the same. They allow you to collect payments, process payments, and then send people to the members’ area, where they can access your online course.
You can get a free trial of Samcart Here >>
You can also get a free trial of clickfunnels here >>
Pro hacks to ensure success
Copywriting is crucial to the success of your online course. Copywriting is the text you use on the sales pages in your marketing. You have to be able to convey the value of your program, and you have to do it in a way that makes people feel like they really want to work with you.
It’s tough to convince people who have never heard of you to buy something from you. So you must be very good at copywriting, or you can hire a freelance copywriter from somewhere like Upwork.
And if you are going to hire a freelancer, make sure you read their bio. What have they written about themselves? Does their copy make you want to work with them? Does it resonate with you?
If they can’t write good copy about themselves, then it’s not a good advertisement for what they’re offering. But you have to invest in either yourself or in getting people who are very good at doing something if you want to make this worthwhile.
It’s like someone working with you. People could try to do it on their own, and maybe with a few years of training, courses, and building up their own expertise, they could be as good and effective as you.
Or, they could just hire you, and you can bring your expertise and help them achieve their goals faster. So hiring people who are good at what they do so that you can focus on what you do best is very important.
In 2023, Ai has made this task way easier with tools like ChatGPT or CopyAI (which uses ChatGPT but gives it more structure specifically focused on Copywriting.
You can sign up for a free trial of CopyAi to check out what it’s all about here >>
Use a nicely designed template for your sales page. Looking professional is essential. It helps people trust that you are the real deal. You can find WordPress Templates ready to go in service like Envato Elements for most popular themes.
Our preferred theme is Elementor. It’s simple, easy to use and incredibly versatile.
I know I’ve mentioned it already but it’s so important it bears mentioning again, in fact if I could mention it another five times in one article I would.
It’s so much easier to sell anything with social proof. But try to gather specific results versus vague feedback. For example, “Luke is great to work with. He really helped me grow my business” is a very average testimonial.
However, “Luke helped me generate an extra $42K in revenue by implementing this one system in my retreats” is more effective.
There you have it! Hope you found this post about building an online course from scratch valuable. If you need further assistance in creating your online course, or if you want me to help you grow your health & wellness business, do not hesitate to reach out to our team, and we’ll be happy to help!