The 3 Step Model for Creating a Successful Online Business (Part 2) (Interview with Sean Garner)

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Highlights from the interview

[02:46] – How being online could actually lead to a price increase

[05:07] – Should you close your online business once you re-open your physical space?

[10:23] – Business Planning: How to plan your operations for you new online fitness business when covid is over

[12:10] – Changes you have to address if/when you have both an online and offline business to run

[17:13] – Sean’s three-step model for creating a successful online business

[32:45] – Case Study of how an Endurance Athlete Coach Built up His Community of Followers

About our Guest

To know more about our guest, visit the first part of our interview.

Edited transcription of Fitness Business Secrets Podcast, Episode 46

How being online could actually lead to a price increase

[02:46] Sean: I’m a big believer. Your pricing online shouldn’t change. If anything, it should go up. Reason being is because a lot of times, especially if you talk like using her gym and Louisiana, for example, a lot of times your price is set because of your local market. Whenever I owned my facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I struggled to get people to pay $60, 60 to $70 for an hour of personal training.

I moved to Miami and there were charging 130, 150, 200 plus an hour for an hour long set. Listen, I was the same guy. I had the same level of experience, whether I was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, or Miami, Florida. So that didn’t change, but my location did and my local market changed.

So whenever you go online, what you need to realize is you’re not confined to a local market anymore.

 You’re confined to an international market. So your value becomes your true value. So you can actually charge what you want to charge in the value that you’re able to bring. 

Could you be missing out on sales because you are avoiding this sales booming technique?

Kristy: Yeah. And for the lady  in Louisiana, who added a hundred clients, which sounds amazing to any a gym owner right now, at a hundred dollars a pop, did she just send out a sequence of emails to invite them? I’m just wondering any specifics on that. 

Sean: So her case in particular has an incredible personality. She had these personal connections with these people. She’s been in the community for a long, long time. She sent him a personal text or phone call. I think sometimes and I kind of hinted at this earlier, too often, fitness professionals will try to think about how they can scale too big and too quickly guys like, okay, how can I create this opt in? That’s going to go to this email sequence. That’s going to be, lead to this cell and they’re going to go to this sales page. Like that’s all well and good. 

And I help people do that stuff all day long, but there’s a lot of power in just calling somebody. And so, especially right now, if you’re a hungry business owner and you want your business to grow, don’t look right now on how to grow and scale things.

Freaking pick up your phone, start calling your clients and find out how you can add more value to them. Reach out to the old past clients and find out what they’re looking for and see how you can serve and fulfill that need or ask your current clients that love you, and that are crushing you. Who else needs to be part of this facility? Who else needs to be part of this online facility and ask for that referral?

Should you close your online business once you re-open your physical space?

[05:07] Kristy: And now that we’re transitioning into, a lot of gyms have opened up. I think my first question is, are you recommending to these gyms to maintain the same online and offline now in a sense they may have to pay the trainer.

Let’s say they have a staff to do zoom calls and then in-person. So that might be an additional cost or because it seems very hard to kind of try to film them while they’re in a physical class. So how do you suggest  that transition? 

Sean: I suggest it not be a transition because I’m a very positive person and not to be Debbie downer. I feel pretty confident that gyms are gonna shut down again this fall or this winter, because this fall or winter is normal cold and flu season. It doesn’t matter if it’s normal cold or flu or not. Everybody’s going to assume that it’s COVID so you’re going to have to be decisive. 

So this is where you need to also be thinking as a facility owner. If you do have staff, you’re most likely if one of your staffs comes down with just the regular cold, they’re going to be out of work for two weeks, because they’re probably going to have to be like self quarantine and everything like that for two weeks, there’s two weeks of revenue that they can’t be in your facility.

So you need to maintain an online presence for them to be able to still train their clients remotely online. The other thing you gotta think about your membership base if any, one of them test positive or anything like that, man, you got to think about all kinds of crazy stuff. Okay. Look, what class were they last in now?

Are we legally responsible now? Do we have to notify that whole class?  So all that being said, I feel pretty confident that if gyms don’t close down this fall or winter again, they’re going to be put on some crazy hard restrictions. I think that we’re getting just like a little open up just for a little bit.

And  I’m not trying to like, be Debbie Downer about the situation, but hopefully it doesn’t happen and everything’s fine, but you need to be putting your business in a position to where if it does close, your prepared. So you should absolutely not stop your online stuff. If anything, I think you should look at it a little differently.

You should look at “Okay, how can I right now make my online as awesome as possible” because hopefully you’re getting some more in-person business in right now and you need to be cash grabbing like crazy and stocking away money from all these in-person clients that you’re able to recoup and get back in because most likely you will have to close back down again. 

So you need to be prepared for that and you need to be making sure that your staff is set up to do that, that your business is set up to transition that. So look at ways to cut expenses. Maybe you can downsize your facility. If you’re leasing out 10,000 square feet,  maybe can you condense it down to 6,000 square feet?

 Everybody’s business model is set up, but I would strongly suggest that now is not the time to let the gas off the online. It’s slam it to the ground and keep it going because. If you did it at all, and you were even moderately successful, you saw that it took time to get it to grow back up, right? 

Why would you want to stop and let it fall back down? So in three months, again if you, if you’re closed back down, you have to build it all back up. Create that sense of normalcy for your clients. So this just becomes something that you do now. And yeah, this is just part of our continued offer. How I would suggest possibly positioning that from like a financial standpoint is currently as a way to say thank you to your members.

And them sticking with you during this time, it’s just included in their membership. So like I said earlier, like in a dream scenario, you just kept that autodraft running, you kept that online thing going and you added value to them. You certainly added those new things. Now the gyms back open. That’s awesome.

Now our facility’s open, so we still got you guys still get all access to this as well. And now you can come experience it live in the facility as well, and keep the pricing and everything the same, because God forbid, if you shut down again, you don’t want to have to like be messing with people’s credit cards again.

I’m like, Hey, well now it’s going to be this price or announced it,  don’t mess with that stuff. And then hopefully, hopefully this stuff’s all like blows away and corona virus and all that stuff goes away. And then this just the online experience becomes an additional offer that you’re able to sell for your in-person facility, or it becomes an upsell where you get the full experience where you get our in person and our online program.

Why you might be focusing on the wrong issue when a customer leaves because of “price”

Sean: Or if they’re remotely, they live far away from our members. Now you got this online offering or they can buy just an in-person membership as well. Cause that’s one thing to think about with this is you shouldn’t, if you’re delivering value, you shouldn’t be having, you shouldn’t have members canceling as much if you have a really solid online offer, because they can’t say it’s because they moved.

I’m a very big believer that price is never the issue, it’s value. So people are leaving because you’re doing all this stuff and they’re saying it’s price. Well it’s because you’re not delivering enough value to them online.

They can’t say it’s because they can’t make it to the class time anymore. It a hundred percent comes down to price if that’s the issue. And I’m a very big believer that price is never the issue, it’s value. So people are leaving because you’re doing all this stuff and they’re saying it’s price. Well it’s because you’re not delivering enough value to them online.

So it just like the cheesy stupid example I always give to people is I said, you know, would you pay a $10,000 for this water bottle right here? Like, no, obviously that’s stupid. That’s not worth it. I wouldn’t spend the money on that. But if I said, Hey, would you pay $10,000 for a brand new Ferrari that I just found?

And you would find a way to scrunch up the money, borrow from friends and stuff like that. So you could buy the Ferrari cause you know, it’s worth way more than $10,000. You could sell it and make all this money. Cause you see the value in it. So a lot of times, if members are telling you that it has to do with price, it has something to do with the value that you’re providing for them.

No, don’t stop doing online training right now. That’s the worst thing that you could do.

Business Planning: How to plan your operations for you new online fitness business when covid is over

[10:23] Kristy: So, it sounds like you’re saying, we’re going to assume crossing fingers, March at the worst that things are pretty much cleared up.

So, now at that point you’ve been running two, almost some people could even say two businesses, if you do still have the in-person business, but  it sounds like you’re suggesting  tell your customers, Hey, this is worth this much value online. Well, we’re going to give it to you for free so that when,  because it sounds like you’re saying in the future, you should definitely charge additional for that service. Once things are back to normal for the online service. 

Sean: Yeah. To add it on. So it’s not that it’s worth more. I think that you should have three different, almost packages if you will, you’ve got like a online only offer. You’ve got your in-person offer. And then you got like your grand membership, you’re all, VIP type of thing where it comes with both of them.

Yeah. That sounds better. I do want to reiterate something that you just said, because I don’t think that if your business is struggling online, this is probably one of the big reasons why you made a comment. You said, you know, they might look at it like it’s almost like a second business.

It is very much like a second business. Don’t think doing an online offer is going to be easy, take less time or whatever you should think about having an online training business as a second facility. So whenever the, you were shut down, yeah, it was a little bit easier. Cause you didn’t have to worry about this other facility and the online became your new facility.

If you’re open back up, you need to realize, now you have two facilities. You have an online virtual facility and you have your in-person facility because if you don’t look at it like that, you’re going to let one of them suffer. And you’re going to start giving a less than poor offer, whether that be in-person or online. And you’re going to be losing your members that way.

Changes you have to address if/when you have both an online and offline business to run

[12:10] Kristy: Okay. And so the realistic question on a scale of one to five, five being highly recommended and one not really necessary. Would you imagine that even in this rough time where they might have lost some clients because they’re figuring their stuff out, understandably.

And they’re moving online that if they’re doing  physical and in-person that they should, they might need to hire someone, which I don’t know if everyone has money to, because two businesses is two sources of attention and lots of people already give their whole life to their gym. So to add this physically, like a lot of gym owners, they’re not going to be super tech savvy because that’s not what they needed to be before.

So now they need to learn things, email software, Zoom, Facebook, and that seems, would you say that on a scale of one to five, how much would you recommend that they’re going to kind of need a hire some type of help for that?  Just like admin help, support help additional staff. 

Sean: Yeah. Good question. I don’t know if you necessarily need to hire somebody. I think you might have to restructure and reposition roles and expectations. So yeah. So one thing, another thing that you said that was really, really awesome that I want people to understand too, is like, Guys, the fitness industry is young and it’s always growing and evolving. 

To be successful in the fitness industry now you do need to be learning a new set of skills. You do need to be learning like social media content creation. You do need to be learning how to connect and sells like that with your clients, because there are so many people that are really good at those things. That’s what attracts people. 

 There’s nobody on their phone right now and they’re like, “Oh, okay. This person got their precision nutrition level too. They’ve got this extra kettlebell. I’m going to go hire them.” Very rarely does that happen, if it does it’s because of  they were a fitness professional or something like that and they’re looking specifically for that cert. 

99% of the general population is like, man, that person, it sounds like whenever they’re speaking, it sounds like they’re talking directly to me. I want to go by their programmer. I want to go train with them. Like they’ve got those interpersonal skills. They were able to create content online that was engaging. That’s a new set of skills that you absolutely need to be learning. 

So that being said, and  fitness industry 2.0 or whatever we’re on now, you might not need to hire somebody, but you need to have somebody on your team that’s figuring this stuff out because it doesn’t matter if say, tomorrow, Kristy, you’re like, Oh my God guys, look I found the cure for coronavirus. It was in here in my nightstand. And now you eradicate it from the world, right? That was just a way, the pandemic coronavirus, the gym shut down, it was just a way to highlight some of the flaws and holes that were in a lot of these businesses.

You need to still know those skills, guys. You still need to know how to set up email marketing. You need to know how to create content. You need to know how to do these digital marketing type of things. If you don’t personally know how to do them, somebody on your staff needs to know how to do it, or some consulting agency or team that you hire needs to know how to do those things, because that’s how the world does business now.

So if you like are going to put your head in the sand bag, I’ve got all my certs. I’m good. I don’t need to learn those things.  You probably won’t be in business in a couple of years because there’s going to be somebody else that figured those things out. And now they’re going to be taking and training your clients.

So that being said, you brought up a good point as far as well, people have probably lost numbers. I a hundred percent know that, I think it’s like 60 or 70% of gyms are probably going to be closing down permanently just through this crisis. But there are people on your staff right now that are not working as hard as they could or should be.

They might not have as many clients. You need to find somebody to fill those roles. And that’s a great way for people to step up and again, I’m not trying to be  super negative. Let’s just have a real talk.  if you have a job right now, you should be pretty thankful for that. And so you should be, if you are an employee, you are a trainer working at a facility.

You need to find ways to add more value to them than just show up and do a session or just show up and do a class. Because if you’re not the owner, man, those guys are struggling right now. And whether they admit it to you or not, they’re probably trying to figure out how they can keep the doors open so you even have a job in six months.

So if you’re a trainer or employee at a facility, man, find out how you can add value to those people and serve them to ensure that you do have a job in six months. And if you are the gym owner yourself, like you’ve got to surround yourself with people that can figure this stuff out. It’s not as expensive as you think it might be.

There’s probably like a college student or an intern or something like that that you could hire because they want to come work at your facility. There’s a lot of ways to be creative. I had this one person I was working with. They were a very, very small facility where it’s like, man, they’re the owner, the janitor, the group fitness instructor, everything they’ve got like two trainers that work with them.

What they did is they started an internship program. Guys, trainers are looking for places to train their clients right now. If you are open, I’m giving them an opportunity to come in, start taking some of those online classes, start doing some of the admin work. If you’re not comfortable with social media, let them take that stuff.

Again, like I said earlier, if you really want to serve your clients, you’re going to find a way to get creative and make it happen. It’s not impossible. It’s just how hungry are you to find a solution to the problem.

Sean’s three-step model for creating a successful online business 

[17:13] Kristy: Yeah. And before we run out of time, I also wanted to ask about your three-step model for getting an online business successful, whether you are a current gym right now, or you’re just a personal trainer who was training offline before.

Sean: Yeah. Good question. So I’ll give you guys a very high level overview because each one of these points, you could talk for five minutes,  five hours or five days on each one of these topics, but any successful online training business, or honestly, any business at all is going to follow a three step framework.

And this is what we put all of our clients through at EntreFit whenever we start working with them is you need these three parts. If you want to truly have a successful online training business, the first one is a community. The second one is an offer. And the third one is the systems. So this is kind of how this breaks down and what that means.

#1 Community

First of all, is your community. You need to know, like we started out talking about, you need to know exactly who you want to attract and who you want to serve. Fitness professionals especially struggle with this so much because they feel like they’re being pigeonholed. They’re like, “Oh, I want to help everybody. And I can help everybody. I’ve got all these certs.” That’s awesome that you can help everybody, but you can’t market to everybody. And whenever you’re going to online, you need to realize you absolutely need to have the skillset to be able to work with anything that comes with you, especially online.

Because like we said before, you need to know what’s going to go wrong with this move or this exercise of this combo or this training split before they know. So you need to have those reps in of all those different diversities and stuff that you’re working with. But when you’re online, your marketing has to be specific or you’re going to get lost in all the noise.

You don’t realize this, but you actually, if you have an in-person business right now, you appeal to a very specific market right now. You just don’t realize it because it was forced upon you, right? You are appealing to a certain type of demographic that want to pay for a certain price point that are looking for a certain type of fitness experience that live within a certain amount of miles from your facility.

You don’t realize it. You think that like, no, I help everybody. No, you don’t. Do you help a bodybuilder in Southern California while at the same time help a housewife in New York? No, it’s a completely different thing. You just think that you’re doing that, but you don’t realize you do have a specific market you work with, it was just forced upon you or it just kind of happened.

So, one thing to think about whenever you are talking about your “who”, your community, who you want to serve, it’s less to do with demographics and more to do with psychographics. So what that means is, yeah, I think it’s great. And eventually you’ll work up to something where you’re like,  “I specialize in helping 35 to 45 year old men who have this income that live 10 miles outside of a major US city that they’re looking for this, they’re former athletes.” 

 That’s what most people think about when they think about their target client and demographics and stuff like that. That’s cool, but that I believe will initially shape over time what you need to really be thinking about and focusing on, and this might kind of help a little bit more is the psychographics. 

So that’s, what are the people thinking? What is the problem that they’re dealing with? And that kind of starts to shape your “who”. So what I always tell trainers is, or gym owners is think about these two questions whenever you’re trying to shape and create your foundation for your “who” or your dream client, who is the client, where when they come in the facility or  you got to train them like you could train that person all day long. 

They just bring you energy and joy and you look forward to that class or that session each and every day. Who is that person and what makes them unique? Why did they come to you? What result are they looking for? What’s their training style that they like and what makes them awesome to where you connect with them?

#2 Who

The second thing is because obviously if you like who you work with, you’re going to want to show up every day and it’s going to be easy. The second thing is who or what is the type of client where when they come to you, you’re like “Whew! I’m going to crush it with them.”

Who or what is the type of client where when they come to you, you’re like “Whew! I’m going to crush it with them.”

Is it like somebody that’s a runner that has knee pain and you’re like, I know I’ve dealt with this like a hundred times. I know exactly what I need to do. Is it  the dad, that’s self-conscious when he takes his shirt off at the pool and you’re like, “Oh my God, DadBod the rad bod. I got you.” Like, what is that type of client that you just crush it with every time, because you also like to go to work every day when you are an all star.

And so if you have a certain demographic where you’ve just got this system and you know how to get results with that also can help shape your “who”. So thinking about who you like working with. Who you can crush it with and what type of problem you want to be known for solving that is what shapes your who. 

Why this is so important is again, not that you’re pigeonholing yourself and you’re not going to work with anybody else, but it applies to your marketing. Whenever you’re online guys it has about 1% about how awesome of a trainer you are. And about 99% of how awesome people think of a trainer you are because it comes down to your marketing, your messaging, and how you’re connecting with people online.

There is going to be a huge  to prove my point, as far as the knowing your messaging and your “who” you’re going to attract a completely different type of clientele by using my training will get you jacked. And my training will get you toned. I didn’t say anything about what kind of workout we’re going to do, but you instantly, if I said jacked, you might’ve connected my call. “Yeah. That’s me. Let’s get jacked, bro.”

And if I said tone, you’re like, “Ugh, that’s not for me.” But there’s somebody that spoke to them and if you know who you’re trying to speak to and connect, you know what language you need to use, so you can connect with them and find them because whenever you know who you want to find, who you want to work with online becomes a lot easier to find them,  are they spending their time on Facebook? Are they on Twitter? Are they own YouTube? Do they like long form videos? Are they blogging? Are they reading email newsletter? Or they want Instagram? Like everybody thinks that, “Oh, I’m a fitness professional. So I need to have an Instagram account.” 

Not necessarily. I’ve got a lot of my clients that they are working with more like a business owners C-level entrepreneur type people in the online training aspect. They really don’t do anything on Instagram. They’re spending their time on LinkedIn because they know where their clients are. And so because you know who your “who” so much easier to speak to them, to attract them. 

And they honestly helped shape everything because once you know your “who”, you can create step two, which is your offer. And that’s the kind of the packaging and stuff that you’re going to create for them that best serves them. I made a huge mistake when I started doing online training is I got myself an app. I made my own app, I paid all this money. Then I created this awesome program and that was my offer.

And I was like, man, I’m going to sell it for this. This is what it’s going to be. And then nobody bought it. Because I started all about me. I created this cool system. What I thought was an awesome offer. And I was like, Hey, where’s everybody at. Like whenever you flip those things and you start with your “who”, and you become obsessed with serving them, you know how to create offers and different packages and price points and stuff.

That’s going to truly serve and add value to them, to where you don’t have to sell, because they’re like, that’s exactly what I was looking for because you asked them, you created this awesome community of this targeted dream client, then you just started serving them.

#3 Systems

So then once you have created those offers, well, then you have to have systems which is step three to automate, grow and scale everything you know. 

What systems do you have in place for lead generation? What systems do you have in place for sales? What are you doing for  email marketing? What are you doing for SMS text message marketing? What’s your social media content calendar look like what’s your onboarding system look like? 

What systems do you have in place for lead generation? What systems do you have in place for sales? What are you doing for  email marketing? What are you doing for SMS text message marketing? What’s your social media content calendar look like what’s your onboarding system look like? 

When somebody says, “Hey, I do want you to train me. Here’s my money.” What’s that flow look like? So instantly they’re getting those products in that they’ve delivered. And so they are not having buyers remorse about that. Like those whole systems, as far as like paid traffic website, like that goes really, really deep. And then it just keeps going in a circle because then it’s like, okay, we’ve got all these systems that we built out to do the current offer that we have for that dream client.

Then it starts back over, okay. We got our client here. We built these systems out that support them. What other offers do we need to create to add value to that client? So the ability to create offers is a hundred percent down to your creativity. So I think a lot of times people say, Oh, I do online training.

It’s this much a month. That’s what it is like. That’s a good offer. You can do anything. An offer can be anything from a free email opt in to like a $15 a month subscription service to like a $199 group challenge to like a $500 a month one-on-one challenge or one-on-one coaching program to like a $2,500 weekend retreat or online type of workshop type thing at a hundred percent, it comes down to all those different offers.

How’s different ways that I can serve and add value to who that I wanted to work with. And then what systems do I need to support and create and build to run all this stuff and automate it. So I’m not like freaking out at my keyboard and stuff like that all day.  If you follow those three steps and in that order, you’ll be way more successful than just trying to figure it on your own.

Cause most business professionals with their online business and their gym, they do those three things, but in the opposite order and that’s why they struggle. The first thing that they do is they work on their systems. So I do an online training. I need to build a website first or I’m working to start working on my website.

Dude, how are you going to build a website when you don’t even know what words to put on your website, because you don’t know who you’re gonna work with. So they start building out their website and then they’re like, okay, I’ve got this awesome website. It’s got a lot of really cool pictures of me on it. And it is flooded about them.

It has nothing to do with a client and how they’re going to serve and add value and solve problems. It’s all about like, man, I looked really, really good in these pictures, so I want to put them on a website. So I feel good about myself. Then they’re going to create this custom offer program, right. And there it’s going to be like maybe their signature workout, the things that they like.

And then they’re going to say, man, I gotta find some people to buy this thing. Same thing. That also happens a lot of times with facilities, right. They start with their systems, they find out, okay, well, I’m gonna put my facility right here. This is the club management software I’m gonna use. This is going to be my price point.

Then they open up and they hope they can find members. But so whether it’s an online or a brick and mortar facility,  if you start and flip that and you find out, Hey, where’s my community, where are they congregating at? Whether in-person or online then after that, okay. What kind of offer are they looking for?

Do they want group fitness? Do they want a full service gym? Do they want personal training? Do they want online how they want dual streaming? Do they want PDFs and programs? Do they want an app? What do they want? Then you create all the systems, build out your location, build out your website, your email marketing and automation stuff to support all those things that add value to your “who”.

Do those things and you will be awesome.

Why focusing on certifications can actually hurt your fitness business

Kristy: And my follow up question, because I think that all sounds amazing. And some people are like, who can I pay to get that for me? Because it does take a lot of time, but for the community, you know, I set up, let’s say a Facebook group and I try to do a few things, but I am not sure because I’m starting online.  And let’s say a trainer is starting online and they might, before they just trained whoever was in their gym and now they have to think through, okay, who am I targeting? And they don’t even, they’re just trying to create this community. 

Could you tell me the number one or top two things you would tell them to create their community? Is it a Facebook group? Is it this, is it that? And how long should they be spending on this? Because they could also just throw a lot of hours and not get anywhere.

Sean: Yeah. Great question. And so one thing that I would say to that is one of the reasons why a lot of gyms fail. Is because people will spend more time, effort and money learning how to use a piece of equipment like a kettlebell and go to like a dozen different kettlebell certs and do absolutely zero training on how to grow a business. 

And so they spend more, so much time working on their craft,  I a hundred percent am a huge proponent of continuing education and taking certs. I haven’t trained a person in-person in like almost two years and I’m still doing continuation certs.

You need to do that stuff, but you need to realize that the craft needs to have just as much importance as the business if you want to be a business owner. So don’t think just because you are an awesome trainer, that you’re going to be successful with a business, it doesn’t work that way. You need to realize you’ve got to be putting just as much focus on learning how to grow your business than as you are on your craft of fitness. 

You would laugh if I said, Oh, just figure the fitness or the exercise thing out, or, Oh, just take that person’s program and copy and paste it and try and figure out how to do it. But yet as the business side, we want that to happen. And we want to try and find like these template and resources that we can just cut and paste and use an ad to our business.

We would not think about doing that with our program, but when it comes to our business, that’s like what people are looking for. Or we would not at all think about just going in and just figuring out the fitness thing, but that’s what  fitness professionals do all the time with their business. 

It’s like, “Ah, I’m a good trainer. I’ll figure it out.” And that’s unfortunately why a lot of them do fail. And so you asked a really cool question, which was how that was my rant, first of how to grow your community. And what’s the best way. It depends on your “who”. So where I grow my community for my fitness stuff, and for my business coaching is going to be a lot different to where you might grow your community to your fitness  products and your coaching and everything like that.

So that’s where you have to get obsessed with your “who”, to where you know more about them than what they do. If you want to know, like a couple of  secrets of marketing is one, if you’re able to articulate and explain somebody’s problem better than they are, they’re going to automatically assume that you have the answer because they’re going to be like, Oh, you’re speaking directly to them.

And it feels like you’re connecting to them. You have to be so obsessed with your dream client that you want to work with that you know those things before they even deal with them, and then you’re able to articulate it in such a way, like, yeah, that’s my person. 

So there’s not a right way. I can’t say like, Oh, Facebook groups, you’re going to crush it on there. Oh, you need to start a YouTube channel. Oh, you should start a podcast. Build this website, use this. Like, it doesn’t matter. Cause it a hundred percent comes down to who you want to serve. 

Kristy: Yeah. Okay. I could see that. And just, I know we have about five more minutes left. Maybe you could give me some case examples of clients you’ve had, who have built a successful online community. And, that way you can kind of reference the type of business they were, the type of customer they served. 

Sean: Yeah. So it’s less about a demographic and it’s more about what problem do they solve. So we’ve got some clients that specialize in helping endurance athletes stay injury free for their cross training programs. Some that specialize in working with working  millennial females that are  trying to work their way up the corporate ladder, but still working to increase their fitness.

Have a lot of people that are working with busy moms, stay at home moms, working moms, busy dads, working dads, and those different demographics. That’s what they’re working on. It’s not like a, Oh, this person created this group fitness concept online and they’re crushing it. I could tell you that stuff, but my fear would be like, somebody is going to try and take and copy because Oh, Sean said do online group fitness.

That’s what I’m going to do. It doesn’t work that way.  People are trying to find shortcuts to this because they  just want to be told like, “Oh, you need to do CrossFit” or, “Oh, you need to do orange theory” or, “Oh no, you should do bodybuilding.”  It doesn’t work that way, man. Yet you have to become so obsessed with a servant’s heart that you find out who you want to serve and what they need, instead of just trying to guess and make it up.

The Internet’s a huge place. And so you get to find out what part of the internet you want to take over.

Case Study of how an Endurance Athlete Coach Built up His Community of Followers

[32:45] Kristy: Yeah. So for example, your endurance athlete, what did they do to build up a community?

Sean: Yeah. Great question. So again, whenever you know who you want to serve really easy to go find them.

So what he started doing is he knew he wanted to work with endurance athletes. So he started spending his time connecting with people on endurance blogs. He contacted all the local running stores in his area and see if he could set up workshops there. He started connecting with Facebook groups that specialize in working with endurance tri-athletes, people doing their first triathlons.

He went to local races and runs and stuff, and he started to setting up booths, showing what he specialized in, doing little movement assessments and stuff that specialize in runners. He knew his tribe. He knew what problems they are dealing with. He would connect with local running shoe stores. See if he could set up movement assessment workshops in there showing them how to stay injury free, doing meeting up with run clubs,  literally,  he’s just like hungry.

And he knew what they were dealing with and he went to go serve those people.  I’m just gonna say, I’m sorry if I’m not giving you like the perfect answer. Like, Oh, he went to, he started this Facebook group and his business blew up. Like it doesn’t really, I could tell you something, but I want to be real with you and be honest with you.

You can’t automate service.

Kristy: I totally understand, and that was a great example. So if people wanted to talk to you, reach out to you, how can they find you?

Sean: Yeah, absolutely. So I am most active on Instagram. You can just connect with me there at Sean Garner. Or  come check us out on the website. It’s, entre like entrepreneurial, fitness, Or you can shoot me an email,

Kristy: Okay. Awesome. All right. Well, it was awesome having you, Sean. Great energy. And I think we learned a lot.

So if anyone wants to reach out to Sean, make sure to get in touch with him. He has a great website. It’s really helpful videos on his website and YouTube. So it was great. Thanks so much. 

Sean: Awesome. Yeah. Thanks so much for having me and have an awesome day. 

Kristy: Have a great day. Thanks.

Stay connected with Sean!

Sean Garner

Facebook: Sean Garner
Instagram: Sean Garner
Website: EntreFit

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