In Part 1 of this series, you learned about the benefits of taking all or part of your online fitness business, how to choose a niche market, and how to create a description of your ideal customer. Now you’ve got an ideal customer profile, you’re ready to start thinking about what you can give them to meet their needs. Or, in marketing terms, how you’re going to help them overcome their “pain points.” In this post, you’ll get the tools you need to decide on the best online fitness services and products to solve your customer’s problems.
Start with your ideal customer
When developing services and products, it’s really important to focus on your ideal customer – if you don’t appeal to them, they won’t buy what you’re selling.
To make sure your ideal customer is at the front of your mind during the next steps, why not put their description – with an image of a representative face – up on the wall where you’re working? That way, you can look at them whenever you need a reminder of the person you’re trying to reach.
Identifying your customer’s pain point
A pain point is basically a customer’s problem, real or perceived. When you first created an ideal customer profile, you considered the problem (or problems) they wanted to solve, and now’s the time to delve deeper into that problem.
Let’s say your ideal customer is an unfit, college-aged male who wants to look like a Calvin Klein model. On the surface, that seems like a very straightforward problem with a straightforward solution: your customer wants to improve his appearance, so you offer him a body-sculpting program.
But saying to this customer “you’re out of shape, do these exercises and this diet to fix it” probably isn’t enough to get him to buy your services.
So what’s really at the heart of his problem? Is it insecurity? A desire to fit in or maybe a desire to stand out more? Does he feel unattractive? Does he want the confidence to do something as simple as take his shirt off at the beach?
A bit of amateur psychology will help you better understand your customer’s needs better, which means you can not only develop services and products that will meet those needs, but you can also tell your customer why you’re the best fitness professional to help them.
So for the young man who wants to transform his body, letting him know that you understand he’s uncomfortable with his body and wants to change and that you’re offering to support him the whole way, is going to be more powerful than just handing him a body-sculpting program.
Overcoming the pain point
You understand your customer’s pain, now you can think about what they need to overcome it.
This is a key step because it will help determine the types of products and services your customer is most likely to purchase and the ones that are most likely to work. And if customers find your services and products effective, you gain a good reputation and are more likely to get repeat business.
Let’s use a different example this time: your ideal customer is an experienced runner in their early thirties who works a high-stress corporate job and wants to improve their marathon time.
This person is probably driven and motivated, so they don’t need their hand held through the whole process. They’re probably detail oriented and like access to a lot of information. They may also be inclined to make a statement with their appearance.
So your high-achieving runner may only need a tailored running program, nutritional advice, access to top-notch information on preventing running injuries, and some new running gear or gadgets.
Here are some things to consider when thinking about how to help your customer overcome their pain point:
- What are their specific exercise and/or nutrition needs and how are you going to cater to them?
- How much support will they need? And what type of support will be most useful?
- How do they like to have information presented? Is video best? Or written material? Maybe audio they can listen to while doing other things? Or will a combination work best?
- What are the main barriers to them reaching their goals? Is it time or motivation or something else?
Online fitness services and product options
There’s an amazing amount you can offer your clients from behind a computer screen, and once you have an idea of what they need to solve their problem, you can start developing the services and products to assist them.
The next section gives you a rundown of some online fitness service and product options, with examples for you to explore to get ideas of what might work for your business.
Some of these options can be sold directly to customers, while others can be used for content marketing (more about this in the next post) or even to attract advertisers – what works best for your business will largely depend on your ideal customer.
Exercise programming is an obvious service for online fitness professionals, but there are so many choices for what your programming includes and how you deliver it.
Will your clients pay a premium for a highly personalized programming service with all the bells and whistles? Or would giving away free training templates to sell a different service be a better strategy for your ideal customer?
You can also choose to offer a one-off programming service, or you may find a membership plan fits better with your business model.
Here are some examples of different online exercise programming services:
Articles are an easy way to provide valuable content for your customers, and there’s so much scope not only in terms of subject matter, but also in terms of how you use them for your business.
Perhaps inspirational success stories will help motivate your customers and help them reach their goals or attract new customers.
Maybe your target audience loves getting the latest fitness equipment, so honest reviews and affiliate links could work for your business.
Or you might have an audience that wants to delve into the technical aspects of training or the latest science and would be willing to pay a subscription fee to access high-quality information on a regular basis.
Here are some examples of how different online fitness businesses use articles:
Video is a great resource for online training because it’s much easier to communicate how to perform exercises through a visual demonstration than a written description.
So one way to use video for your online fitness business is to build a catalog of exercise instruction videos to supplement programs, or to run virtual exercise classes.
But video can be used in plenty of other ways to provide value to your customers, like interviews with other fitness professionals or to deliver your words of encouragement and support to your customers.
As with written content, video content may be something you charge for or use to generate income through advertising or simply use to attract customers who will purchase your products.
Here are some examples of how different online fitness businesses use videos:
Ebooks are yet another format in which you can produce content for your customers.
You can create Ebooks on anything you think your target audience will be interested in, including detailed training manuals, recipe books, or the story of your own fitness journey.
Here are some examples of online fitness businesses offering Ebooks:
Email gives you a way to build a more personal relationship with people you’re training, give them individual support, and make them feel special.
You may choose to specify how much email contact a customer gets as part of your service, such as a weekly check-in, or offer them unlimited email access to you.
Here are examples of online training services that include email support:
One-on-one video calls
Face-to-face interaction can help you develop a deep rapport with your customers or it can give you access to information that is important for your customers’ success, such as real-time movement assessment and feedback for an athlete.
A one-on-one video call could make a good add-on for premium services or be used as a promotion for new customers. Some online trainers even offer personal training sessions via Skype.
Here are some examples of online fitness businesses using video calls as part of their services:
Webinars are another great way to communicate with your customers.
You could use a webinar to keep your customers up to date with the latest training information or as a way to get groups of people excited and prepared for a twelve-week body transformation challenge.
Here are some examples of fitness professionals offering webinars:
Giving your customers an opportunity to interact with each other may be useful for their training and provide incentive to stay connected to your business.
Being part of a community can make your customers feel like they’re part of something bigger, which can make their training experience feel more meaningful.
Facilitating your customers’ ability to provide support for one another is also a way to reduce your workload.
There are many ways to set up online communities, from Facebook groups to forums to Twitter Chats, even a blog comments section can foster a community.
Here are some examples of online fitness businesses offering communities for their customers:
Podcasts are another means of packaging content for your audience. The popularity of podcasts is on the rise, and they’re very accessible for busy people who can listen while performing other tasks (like exercising!), or on the commute to work.
Podcasts also feel quite personal to listeners and they’re relatively easy to do, especially if you simply plan to talk on your area of expertise as a trainer.
Here are some examples of online fitness professional using podcasts:
Last, but definitely not least, you can offer your customers products for all their fitness needs and wants.
Your ideal customer might buy anything from supplements to specialized training equipment to a coffee mug with your brand on it (so they can get a performance-boosting caffeine hit before training).
Here are examples of some online fitness businesses selling products to their target audiences:
Refining and testing
Once you’ve decided on the services and products you will offer to help your customers overcome their pain points you need to work on a detailed plan, including pricing.
Then, when you know exactly what you’re going to offer customers, do some market research to find out if the services and products you’re proposing are what real world customers will use and pay for.
Even if you plan to give something away for free to attract customers and build an audience so that you can sell other services or generate advertising revenue, it’s worth getting some feedback before you spend time and energy working on something.
After you’ve decided on the services and products you’re going to provide, you need to be able to set up a platform to deliver them, then attract customers to use them.
The next post will cover your online fitness business website, branding, and marketing.