Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

"With its potent mix of characteristics, [the COVID-19] virus is unlike most that capture popular attention: It is deadly, but not too deadly. It makes people sick, but not in predictable, uniquely identifiable ways. … The new virus may be most dangerous because, it seems, it may sometimes cause no symptoms at all."
                                                                - Physician and journalist James Hamblin in The Atlantic
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. What I want to be known for
  2. The biggest challenge of online training
  3. The second-biggest challenge of online training
  4. Fitness writing for fun and profit
1. What I want to be known for –Jonathan Goodman

At the end of the day, I don't want to be known for any work I've produced. Instead, I want to be known for how I've produced my work.

My hope is that the way I've gone about my business and my day-to-day production inspires others to create.

With no outside funding and no publisher, I've gone from a trainer working in a small boutique gym in Toronto to somebody who has published more than a million words, written 11 books, and created the world’s leading certification for my field. All in nine years.

Our materials are used by trainers in the United States, colleges in Canada, mentorships in Norway, certifications in India, and everywhere in between.

And all of this was done from the bottom up, step by step, day by day, starting in a one-bedroom apartment at night after a long day of training clients in the gym.

I hope it inspires others to create something of their own.

Yes, it's hard sometimes. But it's hella fun.

2. The biggest challenge of online training

The biggest challenge of online training, especially early on, is the inconsistency.

Some days you have so much work you don’t know where to begin. Others you wake up with literally nothing.

No texts or DMs to respond to, no prospects to follow up with, no questions to be answered, and no clear idea of what you should be working on to make things better.

Feast or famine.

This, more than anything, is why we created OTA 2.

We want you to have a business that runs like a business, instead of an on-again, off-again struggle.

If your business were a sport, it would be more like baseball than football.

Major League Baseball teams play 162 games during their six-month season. The team’s regulars play nine innings almost every day, and are responsible for both offense and defense.

They have to be proficient at things that put their team ahead as well as things that prevent their team from falling behind.

Conversely, a pro football team plays 16 games in 17 weeks. Even the best players are only on the field for a fraction of the time. Their skills are developed for either offense or defense, and many of them have such specialized roles that they only play in certain situations.

An online trainer running a one-person business is like a baseball player in a never-ending season.

You have to show up and produce almost every day, with the goal of playing offense to attract new leads and playing defense by taking care of your current clients.

The goal of this course is to set up your business to get the best results without burning yourself out.

(Adapted from the Online Trainer Academy Level 2 manual.)
3. The second-biggest challenge of online training

"One thing that's absolutely wild about doing business online," writes Greg Nuckols on Facebook, "is the amount of people who get accusatory about something they messed up, or a random glitch."

"Something they messed up" is by far the biggest problem Nuckols encounters when he sells digital products. And the "something" is almost always the email address they entered incorrectly.

Most of the time, Nuckols says, seller and consumer resolve the issue with a couple of emails or DMs. But in a few cases, you’ll get something like this:


The takeaway: Rather than thinking the worst of people, Nuckols assumes they’re either having a bad day, or they’ve actually been scammed by somebody who took their money with no intention of providing a legitimate product or service.

But whatever the reason, being in business online means some of your clients automatically think the worst of you, even when the problem is their own fault.

4. Fitness writing for fun and profit Lou Schuler

I’ve been writing about fitness for 28 years and counting. But to my embarrassment, I’m still not very good at talking about what I do.

Case in point: In this interview for the Scott Abel Podcast, host Mike Forest started me off with a simple question: "What is good fitness writing?"

It took me four minutes—240 sometimes excruciating seconds—to say something relatively simple:

"Good writing focuses on the audience. Bad writing focuses on the author."

Probably my strongest points come toward the end, around the 52-minute mark, when we talk about the power of association.

Success as a writer or presenter almost never happens in isolation. It usually includes peers who amplify your work, mentors who open doors with industry gatekeepers, and some measure of luck—the right message at the right time with the right platform.

Go deeper: Writing is just one way to elevate your profile among your peers and competitors in the fitness industry. In this PTDC article, which originally appeared in Fitness Marketing Monthly, Lisa Simone Richards lays out three more options:

--> How to Raise Your Profile in the Fitness Industry

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

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