Stronger Sundays

Dominate your fitness business with this weekly collection of strategies, tips, and tricks.
By trainers, for trainers.


Quote of the week:

"I am dismayed and dispirited to live in a world where people call each other vile names because they disagree about meat's effect on LDL cholesterol."
                                                                   - Science journalist Tamar Haspel on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. Look for unexpected ways to delight your customers
  2. The freedom spectrum for fitness business owners
  3. This week on the Online Trainer Show
1. Look for unexpected ways to delight your customers Jonathan Goodman

I once went to a burger restaurant that sold cups of fries that were too small.

What caught my attention wasn’t the small cup. It was the show they put on when the server filled the cup, then put an extra scoop of fries in the bag as a "bonus."

A boringly logical business owner would’ve served the fries in larger cups. But the genius of the system wasn't more fries. It was how the extra fries were delivered.

Compared to many of its competitors, this burger joint actually had a smaller serving, which I imagine cost the company less, and the customer was still made to feel special.

As consumers, we all have too many data points to compare one product or service to another. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about burgers or online training.

What you objectively deliver actually matters less than how it's delivered. And it doesn't take much. Customers judge, both consciously and unconsciously, entire companies and services based on single representative data points.

Case in point:

I judge every hotel by the quality of the bathrooms. If a hotel can't keep the bathroom clean and well-maintained, there's no way the hotel doesn't have other issues.

Today I want to challenge you to consider your own coaching services. What element can you make remarkable to surprise and delight your clients and customers and stand out from other coaches?

What tiny change can you implement, with minimal effort and cost, that offers a disproportionate return?
2. The freedom spectrum for fitness business owners Alex Cartmill

Alex is head coach of the Online Trainer Academy.

I recently wrote a Facebook post introducing what I call the Freedom Spectrum. (You can find a link in this edition of Best Fitness Content.)

The idea comes from a conversation with a client that went something like this:

Client: "I can't seem to lose this last bit of fat. What do I need to do?"

Me: "How's your diet been? Have you been cutting back on beer like we discussed?"

He hadn’t, and was disgusted with himself because he couldn’t stop doing something that prevented him from reaching his fitness goals. But he also didn't want to change that part of his life because he enjoyed it too much.

So we talked about why he was in the gym in the first place, and what he ultimately wanted to achieve. He concluded that his goal of getting super-lean was not only unrealistic, it wasn’t even something he wanted.

He left that session feeling like a new man. The only thing that changed was his perspective.

Like my client, all of us have to decide where we fall on the Freedom Spectrum.

At one end is a diet and training program that’s 100 percent dialed in 100 percent of the time. You’re so focused on your physique that you don’t allow yourself any of life’s pleasures. At the other end is pure hedonism. You only do what you want, when you want.

In between are two questions:

  • How much can you sacrifice for your fitness goals before it has a negative impact on your well-being?
  • How much freedom can you enjoy before your health and fitness break down?

The Freedom Spectrum works the same way with your business:

  • How much time and energy can you dedicate to building your clientele and increasing your income before it has a negative impact on your fitness, relationships, and mental health?
  • How much freedom can you enjoy before your business starts to break down?

There are no right or wrong answers. Just as it’s absurd to think that everyone who works out should pursue the same goals with the same dedication, no fitness or nutrition pro should feel compelled to work on their business every waking hour.

We can admire people who have that kind of focus and drive. But we should also acknowledge that those people are really rare, and we shouldn't feel worse about ourselves because we aren’t wired like them.
3. This Week on the Online Trainer Show
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Here’s what podcast cohosts Jonathan Goodman, Carolina Belmares, and Ren Jones talked about this week on the Online Trainer Show:

In Episode 25, The Secret to Scaling Your Online Business Beyond 10 Clients, Jon tells the story of a pissing contest between a Canadian moose and a bunch of guys in a canoe. "If you’ve never seen a moose pee," he says, "which I expect many people who’re listening have not, it’s like a waterfall. It’s like you open up this 10-liter bottle. And he just stared at us until he was finished."

After a segue that’s unusual even by Online Trainer Show standards (it involves a cartoon of Ren in blue tights, which you can see if you click the episode link), Jon explains why five is the magic number for a personal trainer both in the gym and online. Once you get five clients, you typically stick around.

But how do you move on from that point? How do you keep your momentum going and get beyond that baseline of viability? The cohosts share tips and tactics for gaining the confidence to have uncomfortable conversations with your clients and prospects.  

In Episode 26, How to Be More Efficient by Knowing What to Automate and Delegate, Jon notes that the PTDC, at any given moment, is sending out hundreds of automated emails with dozens of messages targeted to different types of customers.

A good automation is like running a dishwasher: Load it, hit "start," and let the machine do the work you’ve delegated to it.

It’s easy to remove your ego from a task like washing dishes. It gets harder when you’re delegating some of the touchpoints essential to your brand, like client assessments or program design. But for a mature fitness business, it’s absolutely necessary to grow.

You’ll find every episode here:

--> The Online Trainer Show

P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways we can help you:

1. Grab a free copy of The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training
It’s your blueprint to building a fitness or nutrition business online. --> Click here

2. Join the Online Trainers Unite Group and connect with other online trainers  
It’s our Facebook community where fitness and nutrition pros like you can share insights and advice about starting or running a successful coaching business online.
--> Click here

3. Join the Online Trainer Academy
Our world-class certification course is everything you need to responsibly and profitably coach fitness or nutrition online. --> Click here

**Thanks for reading. What to do next**

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