The Growth of Online Coaching
The latest trend sweeping the globe in the health and fitness industry is the massive growth of online fitness coaching.
Often you will see advertisements across social media for online coaching packages and transformation challenges. But what do you really get out of no face-to-face contact?
Well, having made myself available as an online coach, I know first-hand that there is a great amount of benefit to it if done correctly.
Know Your Market
Many of the individuals that are attracted to this style of coaching are time-poor, work away, don't have a gym membership, or don't want one.
Online fitness coaching is perfect for someone who:
doesn’t know where to start with fitness;
isn’t getting the results they want or expected;
is concerned about their technique;
has trouble making their health a priority;
has started many different programs but has never been able to stick to them.
The key benefits of online coaching are:
It fits in your client’s schedule: the #1 reason people don’t stick to a workout plan is time. Online coaches work with some of the busiest people in the world!
Your client can work out wherever he/she wants: gym, home, hotel, it’s their call!
Accountability: having someone to keep you accountable to your goals. An online coach supports you when you want to give up.
Confidence: your client can learn how to self-motivate and feel confident exercising on his/her own.
Understand the Community
12-week challenges, transformation challenges, timeframe-based result packages, and ongoing arrangements are part of the online coaching movement. It is also generally cheaper than face-to-face and the good online coaches will be available online at the drop of a hat to answer questions or provide feedback on progress.
On the other hand, there is a downside with many taking advantage of this movement in coaching and offering substandard advice and training.
As a coach, qualified PT, fitness teacher and mentor, my advice to anyone browsing these services would be to do your research; check their website, social media platforms, and reviews. Ensure they are insured and registered and are who they say they are. On the same note, I would recommend that any online coach assure they meet the above qualifications and present themselves as such online.
Be a Great Choice
One way to show your credibility as an online trainer is to display your clients’ results. If it is weight loss that someone is after, then they will want to see previous clients results and testimonials. The greatest marketing tool an online coach has is photos. A good online coach will have before and after photos of all their clients (with their permission of course) to be used down the track to prove their worth.
No matter where you are in the world as a coach or trainer, with successful exposure via the internet and social media you can reach anyone, anywhere. Just because an online client seeks an online coach doesn’t necessarily mean they will source someone locally, hence why it is important to validate your experience, credibility, and qualifications.
Always be present as an online coach. People expect when they pay for a service they not only want results but prompt responses also which means you may need to instigate an automated response policy to ensure contact is always made when a communication comes in. As a society and mainly due to social media, we have become a little lazy as a whole; therefore we have a high expectation for quick responses.
So what would set you apart from the hundreds of other online coaching available around the world?
My biggest piece of advice is to be yourself. You have already built your business based on you, so why try and be someone you are not?
It may seem that you spend hours upon hours building your brand, website, Facebook profile etc. to potentially get very little traction in this ever-expanding industry; however, patience and time does pay off.
Continue to use what works, follow those that currently have success in the fields you are pursuing and don’t be afraid to try new things.
Brainstorm with others in different industries to see what works for them and what can be applied to your business model.
Final tips when becoming an online coach.
Have an online presence.
Make yourself available 24/7 within reason.
Provide simple and effective means for clients to sign up.
Provide easy access to transformation photos and evidence of experience.
Strategise your marketing to ensure you reach all potential clients in different time zones and different countries.
Have a minimum sign up period to ensure anyone that drops off has still paid for your time.