- Disclaimer: you may be offended by this episode
- Many many people are trying to start online fitness businesses
- There are 2 categories they fall into
- A – The Hedgebetter – Covid caused business issues but they are still committed to providing a valuable service
- B – The Passives – want income without work
- If you think you are going to make passive income online without any work you are incorrect
- People who have things like successful info-products also have some of the most sophisticated businesses out there
- The hard work is hidden from the public
- Having a good produce is not some sort of magic
- You must have an efficient way to get it to the public
- Think of this way – 1 day to create, 6 days to promote
- You are trading in coaching for a marketing career
- Coaching clients have higher lifetime value than sales clients, btw
- Passive income is not a myth, but it is pretty close
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here. And in this episode, I want to talk with you about what I consider the truth when it comes to building an online fitness business. We’ve got a lot to unpack here, so let’s get started.
Welcome to The Fitness Business School podcast – the show for fitness business owners who want to grow their income, increase their impact and improve their lifestyle. Be sure to listen til the end of this episode, because we have a brand new special offer exclusive for listeners. So stay tuned.
I’m going to start off this episode with a bit of a disclaimer. There is the possibility that you could be offended with the direction that I’m going to take this, that, that I’m going to present. Some things that might you know, be, be a little bit frustrating or cause a little bit of friction or whatever else. And you know, I just want to tell you in advance, but see, I talked to probably more business owners in our industry than anybody I, you know, over the past decade, it I’m sure it’s not even close. I’d probably talk to two or three times as many business owners as anybody else in the industry. Just because of the nature of the way that I approach our business, the me being engaged in the, the, the sales process, me doing a lot of the coaching and that, that sort of thing. And you know, I, for years, I’ve had plenty of people talk to me about, Hey, I want to build an online business. I want to add this online division to my business. And, and I think that’s great.
You know, I mean, I’ve had an online piece of my business since the end of 2004, at that point, just kind of by necessity, we would have people move away. Because they, you know, we were in an area where there was a military base and so clients would move away and I just wanted to keep them as clients. So we would offer, you know, a, a coaching program from afar would design their program and offer them some support, which the format was probably crude by today’s standards of online training. But, you know, I I’ve, I’ve been really kind of involved in this for, for quite a while, 17 years in the online side of the industry in some shape or form. And you know, so I I’ll dig in a little bit deeper when I talked to somebody about, well, tell me about the business that you want to have. You know, I’ll engage with prospects or people who might be interested in one of our coaching programs. And, you know, it’s become very clear to me, the people who talk about wanting to go fall into two different kind of distinct buckets, one bucket, you know, one bucket is, Hey, I’ve gone through this.
You know, I I’ve experienced this pandemic and, you know, I want to kind of hedge my bets. I want to have an online component to what I do so that I can serve people, even if I don’t have the ability to serve them face to face in a facility. I still want to do that. I want to expand my reach because I know that I’m helping a lot of people and I don’t want to be limited by geography. There’s that type of person, right? There’s this person who is delivering a valuable coaching experience that just is trying to get past a couple of the potential bottlenecks in their business. Either the risk of being throttled with the ability to see people face to face or the, you know, just the ability to serve people from a geographic standpoint, they don’t want to be limited by some kind of artificial five to seven mile radius that a lot of small businesses have traditionally worked with him. Now that’s one side and frankly, that’s the side that I tend to gravitate to the most of the people who want to coach people. And they just want to use the, all the avenues and tools available to them to do that, whether that be cell phones and tech and apps and computers or in-person equipment and studios and facilities and that sort of thing. And I think that’s wonderful. I think that is I, I think that is the future of our industry is saying if I’m going to serve somebody, if I’m going to coach them, I want to use whatever the best available tools, technology resources that I can get my hands on to serve the person that I want to serve to give them the best experience at the best result possible.
Now, the flip side of that, I have so many people saying, well, I want passive income and I want to make money while I sleep. And I want to you know, create this, this program that essentially goes out there and runs itself with, without my intervention at all. And, you know, it reminds me, I remember going to new stains, if you remember what, what those are, right. And seeing those small business opportunity magazines that were just, just filled with ads for, Hey, you can make plenty of money without doing any work. And that’s kind of the tone that I get out of a lot of these that the reach out that they think that building an online business, that that’s hinges on things like courses or products and that sort of thing is easy.
And it’s, you know, frankly, it’s not in fact, I would say that the people that I know that make money with, info-products probably run more sophisticated businesses than the people that I make, that I know who make money selling online coaching. They are split testing everything from the email subject lines that they send out to the images that they’re going to use in an email or you know, every facet of sales pages there, they’re investing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising each month. They are spending so much money on everything from email drops to paying affiliates more than the purchase price of the product they’re selling. And in order to acquire customers, they’re, they’re just so much more sophisticated. They require so much more have a passion for business and marketing and math and that sort of thing than the coaching driven businesses. But that’s not the part that people see, right. They see ad saying, Hey, go build your signature course, go build your high ticket. Course, you do that and you’ll make money while you sleep well. I mean, ultimately if you’ve ever watched a show like shark tank or something, there, there’s always the questions about, you know, knowing your numbers. There’s always the questions about how many have you sold? You know, what do you know, where, where is your distribution? Are you in any retailers? Are you selling online? How are you getting sales and the magic? In most cases, isn’t just having a good deliverable. It isn’t just having a good product. It is getting people to that product.
That’s why people will go and try to get an investor and give up equity on a show like shark tank, because they know they need distribution. They’re not, they, they can build the thing, but they can’t get people to buy it. And if you are in the info business where you’re thinking, Hey, I don’t want to be working on the delivery of coaching. Well, make no mistake. You’re going to be trading the hours. You’re spending coaching for the hours. You’re now spending marketing. And in fact of the people that I know, the, the, the, the person that had of my social circle or whatever, you’d call it like a friends, acquaintances, people that I know that has by far, the biggest podcast following has, you know, millions of downloads each month. You know, basically what he told me was he spends one day creating podcasts and six days promoting podcasts. And that’s kind of the same thing when it comes to info products, you know, there, yeah, you may be passive from the creation of the course, the, the deliverable, you may be able to build it and finish it. But from that point forward, now your focus is on something different.
So you have to decide what you want to do. Do you want to be somebody who spends 90% of your time marketing because you’re selling things that probably have a lower average ticket value and may very well not have any opportunity to recur. They’re a one-time transaction. So you have to continually go find new customers, new clients, new members or do you want to spend more of your time coaching or building a coaching based business so that now you’re spending less time marketing because the average lifetime value of a client’s much higher because the, you know, the, the number of sales or yeses you need to get is a much, much smaller number. I mean, if you think, Hey, I’m going to get one client paying me $400 a month versus, you know, 20 people paying me $20 a month. Well, in most cases, it’s still going to be easier to get that one single $400 transaction, especially if you’re doing great work for that person. And from a coaching standpoint.
So understand that this idea of passive is largely a myth right now. Yes, I have some, some people that I’ve known roughly since I got into the commercial side of the fitness industry that have built businesses where they don’t really have to work much at all, because they’ve built a team to go and execute their vision, and they built enough revenue into, to pay for that team. But that’s still not passive. Somebody is doing the work, they’ve just delegated the work to somebody else and paid to be able to delegate. So for the most part, passive is a myth, right? What we’re looking for probably in most cases is more like leverage. We’re looking for the opportunity to coach groups, instead of one-on-one, at least the people that I serve is probably a better way to put that. We’re looking for the opportunity to serve people outside of our local geographic area, because we can do something for them that maybe they can’t get locally.
I mean you know, we deliver some sort of value that may not be available to them in their local market, you know, and I see that all the time in the town that I am from, because it’s a 20,000 person, 10, I live in Louisville, Kentucky now, but I’m from a small town in Ohio originally. You know, just because the nature of that town being small, there are a lot of things that would be available to me in this more metropolitan market that aren’t there. Well, that doesn’t mean the people there don’t want those things. They don’t want those services, that sort of thing, but they’re just not available locally. So that’s the perfect type of person to be able to reach virtually and provide solutions to. And, you know, if that’s what you’re wanting to do well, then I think the online route is a wonderful opportunity to expand it. For me, I’ve talked to a lot of people. If they’ve got a great local business, the, the obvious path to expansion, if it were my business would be to create a virtual second location, how do I take what I do locally and get outside of geography without having to sign another three to five year lease without having to buy a hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment or spend that kind of money on build out or whatever else I can build an online virtual location that still has startup costs. And that’s another piece of this.
When it comes to online business, it’s like, people don’t want to spend any money and they don’t want to make the kind of commitment that they would have to make offline. But the people who succeed online make the same level of commitment that they would’ve made offline. Whether it be time or money or whatever else, they don’t dabble, they don’t treat it like a hobby. They, they treat it like a full-blown business that they work with the same level of intensity and focus that they would in the offline world. So when we’re talking about the truth, when it comes to online business, you know, I mean, it’s easy to sell people the dream that yes, you can have this business. That’s just turnkey and passive and whatever else, but you know, I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve encountered a lot of people and less than 1% of those people have anything that I would define as a true passive business, not revenue streams that don’t come without some degree of work that that’s different. I mean, I, I have some of those that are kind of bolt on to my core business. I think a lot of people do, but you have to have that core business that, that kind of drives the bus if you will. And if you’re not willing to do that, you know, I would tell you this, this idea of you know, reward without effort, reward without work is just not something that I, that I’ve got a blueprint for. And frankly, I don’t know anybody else who has a true, effective blueprint for it either. So if you want to build an online business, start with business, start with building something great and finding people to, to serve that may not be local to you, do that. And you’ll do just fine.
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