The COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight on individual health, wellness, and fitness like nothing else has in the recent decades. People who had never exercised before started doing so to get fit and boost their immunity. Many others took to different types of activity to get rid of the weight they gained during periods of absolute lockdown. And with fear of infections in a physical gym setting, fitness seekers turned online to individual coaches and apps.
The fitness market is expected to touch a whopping $6 Bn by 2023. This presents amazing opportunities to coaches and enthusiasts who want to chart a successful professional path in the fitness market. I am a fitness enthusiast-turned-coach who lost his job in the pandemic-triggered layoffs and decided to turn my passion into my profession and would like to share with you the course that I took to becoming a fitness entrepreneur.
Let’s start with the basics: While you may be passionate about fitness and have a good understanding of exercise and nutrition when you decide to embark on it professionally, the first thing you need to do is get a good fitness certification that will teach you about the human anatomy, metabolism, and the interaction of different types of exercises with the human body. There are many good courses available online, and affordable too. Some courses I recommend on udemy & coursera web page.
Once you’re done with it, the best place to start is with yourself. Implement your learning and knowledge on yourself first; if required enrol under a good coach who can guide you properly. See how you can best reach your own goals — lose weight/gain weight/build muscles, etc. This experimentation with yourself will help you understand in practice how the body works and how you can design fitness and/or nutrition programs to get the desired results for the people you train.
Basic learning done, start your entrepreneurship journey by posting simple ads in your social reference groups — gym, friends, apartment WhatsApp chats, social media, etc. If you promote yourself in this manner, you are sure to get a few calls from people. Talk to each of them and understand their needs, goals, and limitations. Set your target audience — are you looking at training people who want overall fitness, weight loss, intermediate or advanced fitness instruction, etc. and in which range — premium, mid-range, etc. Do some market research and check how much your peers are charging before fixing your rates.
Once you’ve onboarded your first client, invest all your energy in helping them meet their goals and transforming them. This is the start of your organic marketing. People who benefit from your coaching will share their experience (you should also ask them to share before and after photos and tag you on social media) and more people will start enquiring. It’s now time to start scaling.
Simultaneously, step up your social media game and work on your image as a fitness coach. Engage with your social media audience on a daily basis, using Instagram Reels, Stories and Facebook Live to share tips, fun facts, answer questions, post videos of yourself working out, correcting posture etc. Also request your clients to share posts of their own fitness journey and tag you; engage with your posts. If need be, spend some money to create some good content for social media and promote your posts and ads on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. This will help you build a personal brand name.
Ultimately, patience and hard work is the key to success. It might take time, but a sustained, planned approach will help you build your brand over time. Also, look out for any opportunity that comes your way to tie up or collaborate with individuals, groups, companies etc. Tap into your personal and professional, build genuine connections with people and take all possible support along the way. See if you can tie up with any fitness application that will provide you an additional platform to promote yourself.
Above all, let your passion for fitness fuel your dream along with a genuine desire to help people improve their health. This, in my view, is the best and easiest way to live your goals.
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