In this article I am intentionally not going to dive too deep into any one single category of online marketing, nor am I going to touch upon all of the categories that you would need to familiarize yourself with once you reach an advanced level of operating a major online business.
Because that’s exactly what confuses so many good coaches to begin with.
When you enter the online world for the first time (and even for your first couple of years or so), it can be both intimidating and humbling.
Even a very knowledgable strength and conditioning coach who is respected in his/her gym will have no idea what they’re doing once they try to get their online business rolling.
Essentially, they go back to being a white belt, and that’s not always fun.
It’s necessary, no doubt — but not fun.
I remember when I first got into the online world people would throw around terms like lead-mags, SEO, LTV, CTA, open rates, and opt-ins as if it was a standard conversation.
In the online world it is, and I know that now. This will all come with time for you.
But, when I first got on board I had no idea what anybody was talking about, and even when I did have a clue I still couldn’t connect the magnitude of the conversation (is a 10% open rate good? Or bad?).
This drove me a little nuts, and it seemed like nobody had a “beginners guide” to understanding where I should start and what the heck is most important for me right now.
This is what I want for you, I want you to have what I didn’t have access to. Luckily for us, you don’t even need to know a bunch of that technical lingo for a long time.
I am writing this for my past self as much as I am writing it for you today, so let’s get into the top 4 marketing basics you need to know in order to start pushing your online business forward.
#1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You can think of SEO as the science you need to know in order to rank well in a Google search.
It’s absolutely crucial that you learn this for the success of your business.
You will come across other “business coaches” (quotations intentional) who think that SEO ranking isn’t important, but myself and Kevin have laughed multiple times over regarding these types of statements because SEO has been one of the biggest pillars we have always stuck to growing multiple companies.
The people telling you not to build your SEO are the people who either:
- Have never built a business.
- Have never focused on SEO yet, so they don’t understand its value.
- Come from a market that is paid ads only (which is not the health and fitness business)
I consider SEO optimization mandatory learning for any online fitness entrepreneur.
You need to understand how SEO works and what you need to do (this means restructuring your site and how you write your articles).
You can use HockeyTraining.com as a reference for this, and while you’re at it why don’t you type “Hockey Training” or “Hockey Speed Workout” or “Hockey Conditioning Workout” or any other hockey strength and conditioning combination you can think of in Google and see how high up we rank.
That didn’t happen by accident, that was years of cultivating the knowledge required to dominate the market through SEO.
Now, pretty much whatever our market Googles they are always going to find us first. If you read that correctly, that means people find us and we don’t have to find people (which means you don’t need to buy nearly as many paid ads).
SEO also applies to another monster in the online business world — your YouTube channel.
Ranking in YouTube so people see your videos first allows your channel to grow much faster and allows you to drive much more revenue towards your business.
Think about it like this…
It doesn’t matter how knowledgable you are or how amazing your video is if no one can find it.
Excellent knowledge must be matched with excellent SEO if you’re ever going to have a chance of making it big on YouTube.
Beyond Google and YouTube, fitness entrepreneurs can also benefit immensely from ranking well in local SEO.
If you run a local gym or personal training business (or if you’re a trainer at someone else’s gym) – ranking #1 for “*insert your city name* personal training” could be an excellent traffic source for you to get prospects converted into clients.
#2: Guest Contributions
This is a big one, especially for the up and coming fitness entrepreneur who doesn’t have an ad budget (which is 90+ percent of trainers).
You need to start doing more guest articles.
Getting an article or video in a major media outlet can be a significant boost for your business, so including this in your beginner’s marketing kit is a must.
Not only will the article or video drum up more business for you, but, when they “back link” to your website by including an active link to your page in the bio description of you on their page; this boosts your SEO.
This was one of the biggest ways I was able to drive up the SEO of HockeyTraining.com and BaseballTraining.com
I consistently contributed primarily guest articles and became a guest on other peoples podcast.
It’s such an obvious win for beginning fitness entrepreneurs because your biggest obstacle is getting out of obscurity.
Nobody knows you yet, so it doesn’t matter how smart your training and nutrition knowledge is.
Instead, you need to start getting your name out there.
You can leverage the audience that other media outlets have already paid to achieve, drive them to your page/products, and at the same time get a link-back to improve your SEO.
The best part?
It costs you nothing.
Guest posting is also huge for book and product launches, or to directly promote your services.
Don’t take this one lightly, you should write a list of the top 10 places you need to be featured in to build your business and build your online brand.
Then, contact every one of those outlets and ask them how you can provide them value.
#3: Facebook and Instagram Advertising
I know I talk a lot about how you can build a business “lean” — but at some point, you are going to want to look at buying some ads to drive more revenue and eyeballs to your business.
You will want to use these to get over the gap between doing good and doing great online.
You can start with simple things such as “boosting” a blog post that you wrote on your Facebook fan page, but, Kevin is the real master in this area and created an entire course for you to go through so that you can invest in advertisements, rather than spend money on advertisements.
Check out his course here when you’re ready to make that massive leap.
I do want to make an important point here though before moving on.
Everybody right now is trying to sound smart by saying things like “social media is so important for business” or “you aren’t in business unless you’re on social media”
And although there is some truth to these statements, I want to be very clear in that social media is a part of your business, it is not the business.
Fitness entrepreneurs often want to book calls with me to talk about how to monetize their social media accounts, and yet the back-end of their business is a complete mess.
No systems, no productivity, no organization, no tracking, no anything.
Social media should primarily be used to scale your business, but you should only ever do that once you have the systems in place in order for your business to be scalable.
Meaning, don’t use social media to get 100 more clients if you can only handle 30 before you go insane.
You have much more work to do elsewhere on your actual business rather than driving people to your business.
Don’t get caught up trying to look cool on Instagram and Facebook by having many thousands of followers if you don’t have the business infrastructure to support it. All it is at that point is an ego game, and ego numbers don’t end up in your bank account.
Social media is great and I want you to use it and use it often.
Don’t get lost spending so much time on social media that you forget that you need to grow your business — not grow your social media.
#4: Relationships Are Everything
A really great way to start building your brand is to have somebody with an already big name in your space give you a shoutout or recommend your content to their audience.
It can be tempting to ask them to give you a shout out, but I would caution against that idea and simply ask you to be patient.
Start getting their attention in a respectful way by subscribing to their channel, regularly commenting on their posts, and recommending their content to your audience first.
The key here is to have something interesting to say in their comments section or when you’re recommending their content, really make an effort here.
Don’t just put a thumbs up or flex emoji, actually say something worth value that took you more than 0.5 seconds to do.
If you do this correctly, these big players in your space will take notice of you over time and be much more open to supporting you too.
They might do this by giving you a shout out, sharing your content in a post, or even giving you a link in one of their website articles.
Treat this like you would if you were trying to date somebody you loved.
Meaning, don’t ruin everything by asking too much too soon and don’t expect anything in return if you haven’t given anything yourself to begin with.
You have to understand that these big players (some call them “influencers”) are already busy and they also get bombarded emails and messages every day.
Most of the time it is from a bunch of time wasters who are pushy, needy, and annoying. As time goes on, this gets very tiresome.
So by the time you come around, they have already been exposed to a ton of morons who have made it harder for you to get noticed.
You need to be one of the few who stands out for your professionalism and behavior.
Patience is the name of the game here.
If you stay patient, this relationship could be a huge breakthrough for you.
With all of this being said, you don’t have to reach out to just the big players in your field.
Instead, look to your peers as well (and if you have a big player as a peer, that’s just another bonus).
This one is a lot easier than trying to get an influencer to support you, all you have to do here is look for the win-win scenario.
Share each other’s content with both your audiences.
Do a guest podcast or guest article exchange.
Give each other both a link back.
If you host an event, give your partners book away for free to the audience.
There are so many ways to create win-win’s it’s ridiculous, and unless someone else has the exact same product as you (which they hardly ever do), I don’t want you to ever view your peers as competition.
Instead, see them as excellent collaboration opportunities where you can both grow your business and make more money.
The bigger and more enthusiastic your network is, the faster you will all grow.
To be honest, this is the most I ever got out of going to a Mastermind. It wasn’t any of the stuff I learned, it was everybody that I got to meet.
There are few things more powerful in the online fitness business world than leveraging each others audience and leveraging each others expertise.
When you give, you get back.
In this case, when you give an article/podcast, you get back their audience’s attention.
It’s a 2-way street.
Start building these relationships early in your life, you can never have too many online business connections.
And never forget…
Always think in terms of “how can I provide them value”
That will be the fastest way to make this work, because when you think about your peers in terms of “what can I get out of them” it will never last.
Final Thoughts and Action Plan
Don’t over complicate this process, you’re still a beginner remember?
White belts don’t practice black belt techniques for many years.
Right now you need to keep it simple and stay patient.
#1: Build your SEO
#2: Start doing more guest contributions
#3: Look into buying ads when you’re ready
#4: Build as many productive relationships as you can (and eliminate the crappy ones)
If you can do this for the next six months, I can promise you that the magic will start to happen for you.
And if you want help in optimizing this entire process from the ground up then check out our Create Freedom Academy today because it will give you everything you need in order to not just take action, but take action correctly.