How I Started A $18K/Month Online Fitness Coaching Business
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi! I’m Tobias Young, IFBB Pro, Online Fitness Coach, and Nutrition Expert with 21 years of fitness industry experience.
How did I get started? Growing up without a father, my mother decided to get me a big brother from the Big Brother’s Program.
My Big Brother (Elliot) was working out every day at the gym and surprised me with a gym membership for my 12th birthday.
From that point on I have been hooked!
Here’s a quick 1-minute video that outlines my story:
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
After many years of working out, playing sports, and giving me a positive physical and mental outlet, I decided to start helping others reach their fitness goals as well.
In 1999 I got my start in the fitness industry as a personal trainer at 24 Hr Fitness. From that point on, I discovered fitness and helping others was my calling. I quickly rose up the ranks in the gym industry, getting into management and upper management.
At that time, I also continued to develop my body and compete in bodybuilding and later physique competitions where I also excelled and later received my IFBB pro card. Being featured in many of the top fitness magazines as well as being sponsored by the top nutritional supplement company got me in front of a much larger audience.
From there I received inquiries on nutrition, working out, body transformations, etc. from people all over the world. So, the next logical step was growing my business online.
Starting off simple, my processes and coaching quickly became higher end with more in-depth functionality for a better user and coaching experience which eventually led to where I am now.
Also going through many mentorship courses as well of course.
To sum everything up in a nutshell, I am an online fitness coach (transformation expert).
I specialize now in helping business professionals and entrepreneurs how to transform their body and their lifestyle so that they can look and perform at their very best!
f you try to speak to everyone, you speak to no one. As soon as you choose who you would like to work with, then you have to do your research on where they hang out, where they shop, what type of cars they drive, what their hobbies are, and so on.
What started off as a helping a few people online quickly turned into a full-time multi 6 figure income!
This is not just a profession for me, it’s my passion. I’m living the dream.
My flagship program is the Lean Lifestyle Transformation Program. This is a complete 12-week program that takes my clients from sluggish, overweight, and unmotivated to energized, fit, and confident.
With over 2 decades of fitness industry experience, I have learned exactly what works and what doesn’t work. I bottled up all of my knowledge into one groundbreaking program!
The Lean Lifestyle Transformation Program delivers tremendous results both in fat loss and muscle toning, as well as improved energy, vitality, and confidence which leads to a much greater impact both in the business as well as at home.
Many of my clients have lost over 20 lbs of fat within their first 12 weeks of working with me while losing even more and sustaining the weight loss long term.
This is because I teach lifestyle changes and long-term sustainability. I don’t believe in any magic pills or miracle fad diets.
Those quick fixes almost always lead to a rebound of gaining all the weight back as soon as their done.
The Lean Lifestyle Transformation program is specifically for entrepreneurs and business professionals that need extra motivation, accountability, structure, and the knowledge to revamp their body and their lifestyle for lasting change.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
As I began building my program, I used my 21 years of industry knowledge having trained thousands of clients successfully in person. I then implemented many of the winning principles and added new foundations to create my first version of the online fitness coaching program.
From there, I continued to improve the program more and more as people got better and better results. Feedback is always crucial.
Before starting my online fitness coaching company, I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy and I needed a mentor myself if I wanted to be successful in this space.
I have worked with many of the top coaches in my field and extracted the information to implement in my own program to make it that much better than it already was.
On the other hand, when I started offering my online coaching services the field was relatively new and people have their own doubts about getting fitness coaching online. The main challenge I had ahead of me was to make potential clients realize that online fitness coaching is much better in many ways to in-person training.
Now online coaching is becoming more of the norm.
Describe the process of launching the business.
One of my biggest challenges at the beginning of building out digital programming was incorporating all of the software tools and piecing them together.
I had to learn how to use a new CRM. I actually went through 4 different CRM’s before eventually settling on Ontraport. Then there is all of the other software that I had to learn.
There’s the scheduling software (I use Calendly), Zapier, Clickfunnels, Zoom, PT Distinction, Manychat, along many of the other platforms which at first was completely overwhelming.
But now it’s such an integral part of the daily processes.
I initially launched my business through my website. The first thing I did was to get my website designed and after that, I started sending people emails as well as messages on social media about my coaching services.
The lesson that I have learned while launching my business is that it takes time and one needs to have the patience to be successful. You can’t expect results overnight.
You have to give your hundred percent and wait calmly and patiently for the positive result.
If you don’t get the positive results in the first go, try again don’t lose hope.
Getting started initially was all funded by my main job at the time (gym management).
From there I decided to invest in mentorship and took out an additional loan for my first big coaching course (The Fletcher Method Mastery Program) which is brilliant by the way.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Email marketing, Facebook, and Linkedin have always been my main source for getting new clients organically.
Sending out valuable content to your audience always pays off.
Retaining clients has never been difficult for me because my core focus always remains on proving world-class services to my clients at affordable prices.
Here’s some advice for aspiring online fit pros:
Start nailing down your avatar from the very beginning.
This will be crucial to everything that you do in your marketing moving forward. When I first started coaching online, I was just trying to sell fitness in general.
The only time this works is at a big box gym because you have to basically take as a client whoever is in front of you at the time.
In the online space, this will backfire on you. If you try to speak to everyone, you speak to no one. As soon as you choose who you would like to work with, then you have to do your research on where they hang out, where they shop, what type of cars they drive, what their hobbies are, and so on. Once you find this and start speaking directly to them, everything else starts falling into place and your messaging will attract them to you instead of you having to go out and chase them. This was a true game-changer for me.
Once you start marketing towards your avatar, you have more options. You can like, comment, and post in the Facebook groups where they hang out. You can also do value posts on your own page and attract them to you.
Once you get the organic marketing down and find out what your avatar likes to comment on and interact with, then you can start scaling your efforts with paid ads. Facebook is the most common, but now Google, Youtube, Instagram, and even Tik Tok are becoming more popular.
The advertising is great because you can also collect email addresses if you use some sort of opt-in. Your email list will be the resource that you will always have that you own. If Facebook was to get shut down for whatever reason, you would still have access and be able to market to your email list.
Know your competition!
Research what your top competitors are doing and see what seems to be working for them. You can check their ads, you can opt-in to their funnels and see what they do and say and even subscribe to their email list. This is called funnel hacking.
Take this information and use it to your advantage and create an offer that is different or unique to your program or methodology.
But also, if you know a particular style of funnel or marketing is working extremely well, then you can make your own version (without copying completely of course).
Chatbots and video courses are becoming increasingly popular and effective in today’s market.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I’m feeling extremely confident and the future is very bright. I can say now years of struggles are paying off now. I’m looking forward to continuing to scale my business with paid advertising and a team that now works for me.
Now that I am 100% online my profit margins are very high. The main costs I face are advertising (FB), tools, and automation (Ontraport, Clickfunnels, etc.), personal development, and my team’s salaries and commissions.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
One of the best decisions that I have ever made was investing in personal development and coaching. However, you must do your due diligence first. I have paid thousands of dollars to coaches that did not provide the value that they promised. On the flip side, I’ve had high-level coaching that has helped double and tripled my business in a matter of months.
Advertising will be a major component of the scaling process. If you are going to hire an agency to help with your ads, you will also want to make sure you work with a proven person/company. I’ve thrown thousands of dollars away by trying to save money and go with the cheapest person, but that was a big mistake. Quality will be key here.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
I use Ontraport for email marketing, reports, campaigns, shopping cart, and my CRM. It’s a great all in one solution.
For coaching my clients I use PT Distinction. It has an extensive library of exercises and has the most bells and whistles of all the PT coaching software on the market.
Facebook has always been one of my favorite platforms for getting new clients. To manage social media accounts I use PromoRepublic. It’s a social media management platform.
PromoRepublic is one of my favorite tools because it can schedule my posts and it has a post creator. Think of built-in social media posts and a Canva platform to edit and add to each one. It’s amazing!
Calendly for appointment setting and for client calling and hosting webinars I use Zoom.
Zapier helps with a lot of my automation and combining tools. Last but not least, I have a ClickFunnels account for some extra funnels.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Some powerful books that I have read are The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma, The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
My favorite podcasts are The Lifechanger Podcast, Traffic and Funnels, Your Next Million, The Ultimate Entrepreneur, and Clients on Demand. They all give out tons of amazing free content and techniques to use in my business.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
No matter what you do it always comes down to one thing and that is passion. If you are passionate about what you are doing no one can stop you from being successful. Always keep these 4 points in mind while you are working hard to make your startup or business successful.
- Always Have a solid business plan
- Prepare for financial challenges
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Never stop learning
One thing that happened to me and stalled my progress was getting shiny penny syndrome. This means I would get distracted with all of the marketers out there promising to help scale my business. Once you start trying to implement 10 different strategies, you will get nothing done and start spinning your wheels. Stick with one strategy and carry it through. If you are working with a business coach or mentor, then stick to that one individual and implement what they say. Don’t listen to all of the other people trying to convince you to do it in a different way. It will only confuse you and leave you with nothing done.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Part of the scaling process is having the right team in place. Currently, I’m hiring for 2 full-time high ticket sales executives (commission-based), 2 part-time appointment setters (hourly + commission), and a part-time coach (salary).
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Tobias Young Fitness has provided an update on their business!
Over 1 year ago, we followed up with Tobias Young Fitness to see how they've been doing since we published this article.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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