What do I know about starting an online coaching business?

I’ve learned a tonne over the last 3 months while establishing my own online running coaching program called Moxiee Running.  After 3 years of creating the coaching software, I wanted to be an example of how to succeed online so I can teach other top health and fitness coaches how to go about it.

Creating an online program is not the hard part.  It is incredibly important to make a great product and provide users with an incredible experience but that’s not what is going ensure your success.

You’ve got to invest in your audience before you invest in your product because if no one tries or knows about your online program – what’s the point?

BUILD CREDIBILITY (ONLINE)

It’s actually easy enough to build credibility in person. You can use your charm, charisma and empathy to convince most people that you’ve got something worth spreading. The thing is that these values don’t naturally translate online.

An online consumer is pretty sceptical about most people.  They don’t want to hear from you how good you are. They want to hear from others how good your service is and want to “taste” your style before they buy.

Many health coaches that apply to Moxiee don’t have credibility or an online audience. They have a poor website that looks unprofessional or stuck in the 90’s. People actually notice those things – even if you look fantastic in person.

Your website is your front window to the world.  Is your window clean, tidy and represent you? Or are you asking people to walk in around the back by the garbage can?

Your website needs to show that others have tried and liked your service before.  That means testimonials.  I’m certainly not saying I’m perfect with this but I do know how much good, real, personal testimonials influence my decision to spend time on a website.

Even better than testimonials is social proof.  If you can show me that someone I know, like and trust has tried and liked your service, then I am so much more interested.  You can use facebook plugins, other friendly celebrity coach endorsements or highlights from press releases to help provide this.

Credibility is so important because it just means TRUST.

FOCUS ON COACHING MARKET

So often it’s difficult to understand who you’re talking to. When you split your message to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.

Everything on your web page or landing page needs to help the view identify that you’re the perfect coach to talk to about their particular problem.

I know that the audience for Moxiee Running is typically women, between 25 – 45, with a smartphone, that lack confidence, motivation or social support. So the images I use need to talk to that, the words I use need to comfort that person, the titles I use need grab that person’s attention and that means I am going to push others away.

That’s the funny thing about a tribe. Is that your tribe wants to know what your for and against. This is still hard for me and I’m getting better at it with Moxiee Running.

With Moxiee software I know that I’m best able to help celebrity or high profile health, fitness and wellness coaches because they have a larger audience and have proven their business savvy.  That means I have to say no to very beginner personal trainers, yoga instructors and nutritions that don’t have an audience and are simply look for a way to patch up their customer base.

DELIVERY – How are you going to provide your product or service?

Many coaches and trainers try to deliver their program through email or pdf.  There are even sophisticated email delivery programs like Infusionsoft, Ontraport, etc that can help deliver these email beautifully – if not with a fair bit of technical training.

Personally, I just don’t see email programs being a great experience compared to the experience users are getting used to with mobile apps, web apps and interactive courses.

Email certainly has it’s place but my beef with email is the context when reading it. I am either glancing through my emails while waiting around or more likely, in front of my desk at work.  If I’m a user, wanting to read through my program – I don’t want to be at work doing it. I’m focused on work or stressed out.

That’s why I believe that every health coach that wants to coach online in a meaningful way, will find an interactive coaching app to drip feed their program like Moxiee.

I also believe that video will become the minimum standard.  Users are stressed out at work and are being trained to consume rather than hunt & gather.  Video triggers their visual and audio sensors which makes it far more engaging, impactful and effortless.

That’s again why a mobile app (iPhone and Android) is going to be crucial.  You can package your service and take “control” over their screen and attention while they’re in the app.  Unlike an email, all and only your material is on the screen. That adds a lot of value and helps the user get into the zone.  That means better engagement, better results.

EXPERIMENT WITH MARKETING

I didn’t have to experiment much with Moxiee coaching software because I knew who I needed to talk to and felt comfortable approaching relevant coaches directly.

Starting Moxiee Running has forced me to become a better marketer. I’m having to try a bit of everything to see what works.

I started with social media. This time around I’ve focused on the two platforms that I feel are the best fit for my online coaching program – facebook and instagram.

Facebook I use for longer posts and is probably my most loyal and engaged group

Instagram, I’m using to connect with the wider community of walkers and runners. I’m using the 15 second video option to stand out and offer value to my audience.

Moxiee on instagram

I’m getting into a groove with my blog now too which is helping me boost credibility and value to my website visitors.

I will be getting onto YouTube too but one step after the other…lots more to learn :)

But I’m not sticking behind a desk the whole day.

PARTNER UP

Partnerships are crucial so I looked for other complimentary businesses, events and coaches that had my ideal audience.

Fun run eventsI’ve been attending all the running events I can. There’s a really well organised group, appropriately called Running Events, that deliver fantastic events around New Zealand.

Have use the opportunity to connect with people on a fun day for them and seed that next step by either chatting with them, handing out energy food with my sticker on it and just getting amongst.

I found the perfect entry level event for beginner runners and walkers – the Skechers 6k. I spoke with the organisers who were super friendly and helpful when they saw that I wanted to help them to.

So I ended up using all of their left-over  for the event coming up. Stapled my own mini-flyer to the front promoting my free weekly meetup in preparation for the event.  Partnered with an amazing, authentic juice bar in the centre of town.  And I’ve been busy each morning this week handing out flyers to my perfect target market – working women, based in the city that want to start their fitness journey.

There’s so much more to do but this is all reinforcing why it’s so important for coaches that want to succeed online, to build their audience first – not second.

Handing out Moxiee flyers

WANT TO APPLY?

If you’re already a successful coach looking to succeed online and have a social, engaged tribe online – apply here for the Moxiee software that can run your coaching program and we’ll see if together there’s something awesome we can deliver to the world.

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