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“Hey Mike, any advice on becoming an online coach?”
“How can I start my own fitness business?”
As an entrepreneur and creator of several successful businesses in the fitness space, I’m often asked how people can break into the industry themselves.
I can understand the enthusiasm. Lots of people who go through a life-changing fitness journey end up wanting to help others make similar changes in their own lives. That was certainly the case for me.
While I’ve built my own thriving online coaching program, I came at it from a different angle–I already had a niche carved out for myself in the fitness world that I could use as a platform to build from. Not everyone has the books, blog, or podcast to launch a new coaching business, so to help people just starting out, I thought I’d talk to an expert.
In this episode, I chat with Jonathan Goodman, who created the first-ever (and only!) certification for online fitness trainers, the Online Trainer Academy. This is a program specifically for online coaches, teaching them how to earn more money and better serve their clients. Jonathan has also written several books on the topic, and is a host on the Online Trainer Show, a podcast chock-full of insights and advice for fitness professionals looking to build an online career.
In our conversation, Jonathan breaks down . . .
- How to identify points of leverage
- Why books and courses are more valuable than masterminds and mentors
- How to find good people to learn from
- The power of marketing and branding
- How to build and use momentum
- Why you don’t need as many clients as you think
So, if you want to learn how to start your own online coaching business or how to take your current business to the next level, definitely give this podcast a listen!
30:28 – What is the difference between maximizers and satisficers?
36:00 – Why is marketing so important?
42:16 – How do you build momentum once you start a business?
1:09:19 – Would you recommend training for free at the beginning to get a better following?
1:22:49 – Where can people find you and your work?
Mentioned on the show:
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello. Hello. Welcome to another episode of Muscle Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for an interview I did with John Goodman who created the First Ever and the only certification that I know of, specifically for online fitness trainers, it is called the Online Trainer Academy, and I’ve been aware of John and his work for some time and was looking forward to this interview because I get asked fairly often about how to be a successful online coach and how to break into that line of work.
Most people who are reaching out to me have not even started yet, although some have started and are just not sure how to gain traction. And unfortunately, I don’t have, or I haven’t in the past had great. Firsthand advice to share, and the reason being is while I do have a successful coaching program, it actually does seven figures in sales and revenue every year.
I got there in an unusual way, so I first built a rather large following by writing books and writing articles and recording podcasts, and so once I launched the coaching program, it was pretty straightforward to make it work again. I already had thousands, if not tens of thousands of quote unquote true fans, people who liked my work enough and trusted me enough to at least consider anything I have to offer.
Not necessarily buy everything, but who are going to open the emails and click on the links and check out whatever it. That I am offering. And so any advice that I would share along those lines is not going to be very helpful to people who are wanting to just get into online coaching, not get into book writing, and article writing and podcast recording and so forth.
And while I definitely have had some tip that I think are just good general business and good general marketing, and I’ve had some advice to share in terms of how I would go about becoming an online trainer if I would’ve went about it differently. But because I hadn’t done it myself, I always had to give people a caveat that.
My ideas may or may not work. I can’t really endorse them myself other than say that based on what I know about business and marketing in the fitness industry and online coaching, here’s how I would go about it. Now, John, on the other hand, is really an expert on how to help online coaches succeed. How to teach them how to start out, how to get their first clients, and then how to grow their client base and how to get their clients to refer new people to them and to continue working with them.
So to increase the lifetime value of each client, so to speak. And as I mentioned, John has a. That revolves around this called the Online Trainer Academy, but he has also written several books on the topic and he has his own podcast on this called The Online Trainer Show. And as you will see or hear rather in this interview, John is chockful of insights and good practical in the trenches, advice for fitness professionals who want to build a career as an online coach.
For example, John talks about how to identify key points of leverage, and this is a very powerful concept because it relates to branding and how to build a personal brand that is going to set you apart from all the other online trainers out there and get people to feel like you are the one for them.
You understand them best and you are going to be able to best meet their needs. John also talks about why books and courses are more valuable than Masterminds and mentors, which can be much more expensive. John explains why you don’t need as many clients as you may think to do well, which is a breath of fresh air for many people who feel very intimidated by the prospect of having to establish, uh, a clientele roster in the hundreds or thousands, it does not have to be like that.
And more so if you wanna learn how to start your online coaching business, or maybe you have already started and you wanna learn how to take it to the next level, then this podcast is for you. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p. One-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible, and we can do the same for you.
We make getting fitter, leaner, and stronger, paint by numbers simple, by carefully managing every aspect of your training and your diet for you. Basically, we take out all of the guesswork, so all you have to do is follow the plan and watch your body change day after day, week after week, and month. After month.
What’s more, we’ve found that people are often missing just one or two crucial pieces of the puzzle, and I’d bet a shiny shackle, it’s the same with you. You’re probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing correctly or at all that’s giving you the most grief.
Maybe it’s your calories or your macros. Maybe it’s your exercise selection. Maybe it’s your food choices. Maybe you’re not progressively overloading your muscles or maybe it’s something else, and whatever it is, here’s what’s important. Once you identify those one or two things you’re missing once you figure it out.
That’s when everything finally clicks, that’s when you start making serious progress. And that’s exactly what we do for our clients. To learn more, head over to www.buy legion.com. That’s buly legion.com/v p and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call. It’s really just a discovery call where we get to know you better and see if you’re a good fit for the service.
And if you’re not for any reason, we will be able to share resources that’ll point you in the right direction. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, and if you also want to finally stop spinning your wheels and make more progress in the next few months than you did in the last few years, check out my v i p coaching [email protected] legion.com/vip.
Hey, Jonathan. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about how to succeed as an online coach, which is something I’ve been getting asked more and more about recently because of what’s going on in the world and something I have not really produced any content on maybe one or two things back some time ago.
But I do not consider myself an expert on how to build a successful coaching business starting from scratch, my story and how I built. Successful to whatever degree coaching business is very different. I already had sold books and had legion and had a following, and it was more just offering people something that a lot of them were already asking me for.
And so I don’t have, unfortunately, I don’t have much good advice for the people who are reaching out to me saying, Hey, I want to get into this, or I want to transition from offline to online. What do I do? And you are the expert, one of the top experts I know of on, on how to make that work. So yeah, thanks for taking the time to come on my show and, and help people out who want to succeed as a, as an online trainer.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Mike. I’ll be honest, man, I’m a little bit apprehensive to do this podcast. Your voice is so sooth.
Mike: People are saying I should, I, I could do the, what is it? It’s, uh, is it a S M R or is it a M s R? I don’t know. I think it’s, what is that? You, you know, where people speak? Oh, no, you, you’ve definitely seen this.
It’s a whole thing on the innerwebs. It’s certainly on YouTube. I’ve seen it where people, they talk in a very soothing voice. Oh, hilarious. And they, and they make noise. They like scratch the microphone and they have the gain all the way up. And so they’ll like, I don’t know, pet soft things and make all these weird noises.
And some people get, I forget the name of it, they get, apparently I’ve tried, I don’t get it unfortunately. But some people, they get, I guess it’s like tingles all over their body when they hear it and just makes them feel good. And so that,
Jonathan: that’s so you should do that. I mean, stop whatever you’re doing now, whatever that is, , it’s not going so good.
Anyway. Just stop. Whatever you’re doing is not going so well. Whatever
Mike: I’m wasting my time with and just become an A SM r I think it’s a SM r superstar.
Jonathan: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know why we even need to talk any further. I think , I think we’ve already established a path and
Mike: maybe for anybody else then if you’re out there, if you’re thinking of being an online trainer and if you have a voice that could work for, I just Googled it.
A S M R. Yes, that’s right. If you have a voice that works for that, maybe you should just do that instead.
Jonathan: Maybe, maybe not. I think maybe not. You know, one of the things that you said in, in your little, in the little intro, I guess is the intro after the intro, cuz you said you were quoting another intro
Yeah, yeah. That’s more just to, you know, beef up your bonafides and let people know why they should listen to you. Perfect.
Jonathan: I like that. Anytime you can beef up my bonafide days, I’m happy. You know, one of the things you mentioned that I think is a really. Perhaps jumping off point is you spoke about how you had all of these assets going into building your online coaching aspect of your business.
I make you guys do so many things from from supplements to books to to coaching, but you came into it with all of these assets. So you can’t really connect with people who are perhaps transferring in from an in-person coaching business or even transferring in from another career. We have a lot of people who are unhappy in whatever they’re doing in another career.
Maybe their pharmacist, who knows.
Mike: Yep. I hear from a lot of those people. They have their own transformation and they love fitness and they wanna try to do something with it a hundred percent.
Jonathan: And online coaching is fantastic way to transfer into the industry and so, you know, they don’t really have the quote unquote assets that you had starting it, but I think what’s really valuable is everybody has points of lever.
When they enter into a new opportunity, and what’s really important is identifying what those points of leverage are. What are those advantages that they have, and being able to use that. You know, sometimes it’s, it’s your story. A lot of people might say, oh, you know, I don’t, I don’t look like a trainer.
You know, I’m not a shredded dude or whatever, this guy or this gal on Instagram, and so how could I possibly be in online fitness? It’s like, well, okay, so they’ve got, you know, oiled up photoshopped photos. Maybe you don’t have that, but like you’ve probably got a great story. So then can you become a good storyteller?
Mike: And I would say that that can resonate with some people, but it also can turn other people off. And in my experience in particular, it can turn people off who are, let’s say, maybe not thirties, but forties and beyond, because they say, yeah, good for you. There’s no way I could ever look like that. And so there’s a disconnect there in the marketing, even though.
That is not necessarily true. Many people, 40 plus, as we both know, can get, can get into great shape even if they’ve never been in shape before in their life, really. But many of them, if they haven’t learned, I, I would say maybe at least the fundamentals of evidence-based fitness, they just don’t see how it ever could be possible.
And so then whether they consciously reali like are thinking this, or if it’s more just a subconscious thing, they conclude that, eh, this, this person’s just not like me. This is not the person who’s gonna be able to help me. They help people, you know, half my age look like them. I need someone who understands my situation.
And ideally, of course, there’s that identification aspect of where people like to be around and interact with people who are most like them. So it’s something to consider anybody listening if you’re not jacked and shredded, that actually can be an advantage with a certain segment of the market. .
Jonathan: Well, let me tell you a story that really, ham moves that in.
So I agree with you a hundred percent and it might surprise you. This is, I want to tell you a story as well, but it might surprise you to know that. So we sell the certification in the Online Trainer Academy, which is the only certification for online fitness professionals. And you may be surprised, and I think a lot of people listening to this would be surprised that our fastest growing segment is 35 plus, um, years of age.
And we actually have a significant number of 60 plus year old men and women. I mean, when they were starting their careers 25, 30 years ago, fitness wasn’t in industry. Like, it literally didn’t exist. And so none of them worked in fitness at the beginning, right? And, but they were always active, they were always interested in it.
And they’ve seen their family and friends, you know, fall into disease, fall into inactivity, and they really wanna help them. And online fitness is, is an active retirement. We see a lot of people transferring into the industry now at 30, 35, even 40, into their sixties. With that in mind because they see their friends and family, you know, falling outta shape.
They’ve always been instant fitness. But when they started to work, it wasn’t really accepted as an, when I started to work as a trainer in 2005, it wasn’t really an industry, you know, I didn’t ever think that I’d be a trainer for more than a year or two. I figured I’d do this for a couple years in university, cause I worked at the university gym and then I’d worked for a couple years out and then I’d go back and do my master’s in PhD in Muscle Physiology and I’d be a researcher.
That was what I thought that I would do. And so now these people are realizing that it’s viable career, but they’re kind of looking at the gym and they’re like, nah, I don’t wanna work at the gym. Like, that’s not gonna be very fun. Obviously now with Covid 19 hitting, you know, more and more people are like, nah, I don’t want to do that.
But even beforehand it’s like I’m gonna bust my. You know, competing against 20 s in the gym who have no dependence, no expenses, you know, , no real difficulties in life who are working 10 hour days in the gym, like I’m gonna go against them and having to work those hours, I guess. So they look at the industry and they basically see online fitness.
They say, okay, well this is a great way for me to take that first step and see if this is.
Mike: Yeah, that’s interesting. I see that demographic skew in my work, just dealing with consumers. I mean, I have a lot of trainers who follow me and who like legion and, but that’s not my primary market. My primary market is, is I would say maybe not gen fit.
Maybe they’re one phase beyond their just general fitness, meaning just like, oh yeah, I just started exercising, exercising, not even necessarily training, quote unquote for the first time. And so it’s usually right after that phase when they start to get into it a little bit more. That’s, I’d say, that’s my sweet spot and legion sweet spot.
Like for instance, a lot of people find me via books, articles, podcasts, which means that they’re taking their time to educate themselves and they’re into it a little bit more than just like, oh, I guess I’ll try this for, I’ll try exercising for a month and see what happens. And I’ve seen though more and more people in the, in the 30 plus men and women, Demo coming our way, and that’s also why one of the next bigger books that I’m working on that’s gonna be out next summer is this Simon and Schuster book.
I’m doing a Simon Schuster and it’s specifically for the 40 plus Crowd Men and Women. And I pitched that to Simon Schuster is basically, and I tru and I a hundred percent believe it, that this book has the most potential. Out of all the books that I have, I’ve sold a lot of books and my books have done very well, but this.
I will be surprised if it does not vastly outsell the others over, like, you know, bigger than or stronger is coming up on eight years in the marketplace. So give Muscle for Life. It’s gonna be the name of the book, eight years, and I’ll be very surprised if it, if it, if it does not beat bigger, leaner, stronger as five or 600,000 copies sold.
Yeah. I don’t think it’s gonna
Jonathan: take you eight years to do that, but you know, people find you. Right. This again goes back into our discussion of how to be successful in the fitness industry. People find you that are already engaged because of the work that you’ve done and put out into the world. You know, the work that precedes you.
And so there are different type of consumer. , and that’s what you said, you know, they’re, they’re kind of one stage up, you know, I think people’s goals are valuable. Like when you look at what messages you’re putting out, particularly on social media, you attract a certain type of person and also what groups and communities you might navigate in.
So I’m in a number of, well, two main, I guess sort of high end business owner groups, right? Like just business owner support group type things. There’s a couple fancy year, both the most sort of these like highly vetted 150, 200 people.
Mike: Thing, like mastermind type
Jonathan: things or like mastermind type things. I mean, I don’t know.
Mastermind is kind of one of those words, like functional buzz words. It just kinda, it doesn’t mean anything anymore. But you know, it’s like mentor.
Mike: It’s like I generally tell people when they ask, when I get business questions about quote unquote masterminds, my first advice is buyer beware. Yeah, a hundred percent.
Because there are a lot of them out there that are just gonna take your money and not deliver much of anything beyond what you could get. Just reading a few
Jonathan: books. Yes. And it’s almost never the first thing that you should do. I believe very strongly that courses are the first thing that should do, which is why I built my business to start with a course.
Like the Online Trainer Academy is your first step if you want to be an online trainer. , you might further on in your career or decide that you wanna hire a business coach, but hiring a business coach or joining a mastermind, you know, these things are like five, 10,000 plus now, which is
Mike: insane. I mean, there are some, I’m sure you’ve, I don’t know if you’ve been pitched on ’em, I’ve been pitched on ones that are six figures a year,
Well, those are, yeah.
Jonathan: I mean, those are a different league. Those are basically like who, you know, like buying a spot in the room. But if you were starting, and it might be useful for you, right? Cuz some of those connections might be useful for you. But that’s because of where you’re at in your business. But hiring a business coach or joining a mastermind as the first thing that you do is an incredibly inefficient, expensive way to gather the knowledge that you need in order to make the right decisions to move forward.
You know, at the beginning, you don’t really know what questions to ask. and you don’t really have the information that you need to be able to ask the right questions yet. And a business coach is somebody who’s gonna lead you down a path that’s probably gonna be the wrong path if you don’t know what questions to ask.
And so I think that everybody should start with a course, and then once you start with course, you know, maybe you’re good to go from there. There’s a good chance that as you go deeper and deeper and deeper, you’ll figure out what those questions are. The path will become illuminated. You’ll recognize where the gaps in your knowledge are, and then you go to whoever you feel like can fill in those gaps for you.
and that’s a much more efficient way to do it, but to learn the basic processes is not, but anyway, I mean, so I go to these
Mike: I completely agree. Just to interject people listening, I would say I agree with that. If we’re talking online coaching or just business in general, when people, again, when they reach out to me, I’ve, I often get people asking me to mentor them and.
There’s no way I can make the time for that. But I do say also, you’re just in the beginning. You really don’t need a mentor here. Read these books and if you have questions, let me know. But this is gonna give you everything that a good mentor could possibly give you in the beginning. Because in my experience, in my work in building my businesses, I’ve had a couple people, I wouldn’t call them mentors, a couple very successful people I’ve gone to get their ideas about certain things or just kind of use them as a sounding board.
Not often though, cause I don’t want to take advantage of the relationship, but only now am I in talks with, uh, it’s somebody who works, he works in in private equity and finance and he’s a, become a friend. But only now in, in where I’m at in my business, would I say that I’ve started to work with someone I would consider a quote unquote mentor, even though I don’t like that word.
He’s really just an advisor. We’re not going as far as setting up a board, but it would be something like that. And, and that’s only because. He has a lot of connections to people who have unlimited money and who have done a lot of things in that similar to what I’m doing. And so it’s more about the connections and it’s also about his business experience building and selling a number of different businesses and being on the boards of different businesses and him, I don’t, it’s not even about me knowing what questions to ask.
It’s more of him. Here, did you even know that this door is over here? And you can just walk through that? You’re like, no, I never, I didn’t even know that’s an option. You know what I mean? So just to put it in perspective, I totally agree with what you’re saying is that in the beginning, self-education and just start working, start seeing what works, what doesn’t work, and start building maybe a list of questions that there might be, you might get to a point where it makes sense to invest beyond that.
But in many cases, I would say that especially take your business and the quality of the content that you put out that you have in your books, and it’s not, it’s not extremely expensive, like especially in a book, is inexpensive. Your certification is reasonably priced and. I would say that anybody wanting to get into coaching, I know you’re gonna be sharing specific tips, but I don’t want this just to be a pitch for you and your services, but anybody getting into coaching, really, I do think they could go through what you’ve written in your books and they could get certified with your company and they probably have, I mean, I don’t know, you’d be better qualified to comment here than I would, but I would say they have a lot of work now that they can just go do and they can get up and running hundred percent and build a viable business before they ever need to give you another dollar.
A hundred percent. There’s
Jonathan: this really interesting, logical disconnect that exists in the market. I mean that, I would say that’s a mentor. For you that you know, that you’re speaking to about in private equity. And I’m fortunate, I have a couple people in that world as well, and a couple people who are connections to that world and whatnot, who, you know, I consider friends and I go to and, and to your point, I mean, you’ve only got so many bullets in the gun, right?
Like, you’ve gotta be careful with what questions you ask and what demands you make on their time. But here’s the thing, I don’t know what your situation is, but I certainly didn’t seek them out, you know, and I show as hell didn’t respond to a Facebook ad to get on a 15 minute phone call to apply for their program.
These types of people don’t sell business coaching. They don’t charge money for it. It’s done for two reasons. One is if they’re, especially if they’re in private equity, you know, they’re looking for good deals. The other is, I mean, the top level of Maslow’s hierarchy is legacy. People who have achieved a level of success wanna build their legacy and they wanna find people like you, Mike, who are, you know, great, who they can help, who they can help build their legacy.
That’s how they get filled up. This idea of. This, you know, I’m gonna hire a, a mentor. It’s like you don’t hire mentors. That’s not how it works. And anybody who is good enough to be a mentor to you is not for hire. There’s this weird, logical disconnect whereby it’s actually a really bad business model to be a mentor.
And so by definition, you know, mentors, there are some examples of coaching services that are really scalable. I don’t know of a single one in the fitness industry that exists. That’s actually like a good business. . And so it’s this weird disconnect where the people who are teaching you business, by definition of how they’re running their business shows are not very good at business.
That they aren’t very good at business, right? They’re not producing any assets, they’re not producing anything that works for them. They’re creating a tremendous amount of liabilities. They’re unable to replicate themself in those services at a high level. They’re just, I mean, it’s, all of these things are like, not what you want.
You know? You can’t, yep. Hire somebody. Who’s really that exceptional
Mike: for how much money when, when you have and, and I totally, it’s not a thing. Agree. That’s it’s not a money thing. Exactly. It’s because there’s nothing that you could pay them. They have so much money in their time. How do they even value their time?
What would even be appropriate to them? Whatever would be appropriate to them would be so inappropriate to even ask that they, they wouldn’t
Jonathan: do it. It’s, I mean, I, I always think of, uh, one of these people for me, you know, he’s got, put it this way, he’s got a few money, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s into the nine figures and he just, he told me this analogy once, he’s just like, everybody laughs at Michael Jordan because he’s got like this $30 million mansion that he never looks at and never pays attention to, and it’s like breaking down and becoming decrepit and all this kind of stuff.
It’s just like, if you actually think about that in terms of his wealth, that 30 million mansion is like, you beat up 2001 Honda Civic in your.
Mike: You know Exactly. He’s a billionaire. That’s it. His personal income, I don’t know, you probably find speculation on the internet, but you know, he’s making whatever it is, 50 to a hundred million dollars a year in just cash flow
It’s just, there’s a point where nothing matters anymore. It just doesn’t matter.
Jonathan: So, I mean, when you’re looking for people to learn from, right, I believe very strongly in look at people who. Have skin in the game. Look at people who showcase that they actually have done the thing, that they’ve done the thing well.
That they’ve done the thing in multiple different ways, in different scenarios and had success with it. You know, one person who has success, maybe, maybe or not,
Mike: that’s a key point to just to punch up, is multiple successes. Not just one. Cuz anyone can get lucky one time, but they become more believable to me, uh, when they’ve had multiple su successful business.
If we’re talking about businesses or exits or whatever, we’re
Jonathan: talk about businesses. I would also talk about fitness professionals, right? One person who gets into shape themselves. Do they have something that they know that you can learn from, that you can gain from? It’s possible. And it’s certainly an important and valuable data point, but it’s definitely not a guarantee.
One person who’s had been able to achieve, you know, success with their fitness, with their business themselves, and then in multiple different situations over different timelines with different confounding factors is like, well, that person is probably. Has probably dug out some fundamental foundational principles that are globally applicable that you can gain from.
Mike: really what you’re looking for. Like people, for example, if you’re, if someone’s looking for a coach, of course they wanna see not only that they’ve succeeded with other people, not just with themselves. But as you know, I don’t have to tell you this, but people look specifically for, has this coach helped someone like me do what I want to do?
Would you agree with that? I,
Jonathan: I agree with that. I agree with that and I challenge that. I would challenge that because I think it’s fairly hard to figure out whether there is somebody like, like if that person is
Mike: actually like you. I mean, I’m speaking from, I guess just my own experience selling coaching to the degree that I’ve sold coaching.
And what I have noticed is that people do pay attention minimally to gender and age. Like those are two big buttons where if you have a 50 year old woman and you show that you got a 20 year old guy into great shape, it does count for something. But it doesn’t count as much in her mind as another 40 or 50 or 60 year old woman.
And even if that’s all she knows, I mean we don’t have to get extremely granular of like, okay, I’m a lawyer. Was she a lawyer? But minimally, it seems to be the gender and the age. Well, so let’s
Jonathan: dig into that cuz I think that that’s, that’s a really valuable jumping off point for online coaching and for particularly people who are newer to online coaching who are trying to build a business with.
It is the fundamental understanding that hiring a coach is very rarely an actual merit-based decision. I think is very important for anybody selling coaching to understand it is almost impossible to actually figure out how to delineate whether one coach is better than another coach. I mean, it is just too hard.
I mean, I don’t know how to do it. And the majority of consumers in any market are ignorant consumers. I’m an ignorant consumer for most things that I buy. There’s just simply too much to know. I go and buy a tv. Do I know all of the different pros and cons of all of the different tech and specs and everything like that at TV is, nah.
I want something that has moving pitchers and so I’m ignorant. Right? And I know that the majority of people who buy fitness in any capacity are actually pretty ignorant consumers. A lot of coaches who sell coaching, oh, what’s called maximizers? Because there’s two types of humans. If you look at the behavioral psychology of this, which I know you’re, you’re super into, Mike, is, you know, there’s maximizers and satisfiers.
Are the two types
Mike: of consumers. Yep. I’ve written and spoken about this .
Jonathan: There you go. All right. So it’s almost like we talked about this before, which we did, although we should talk about how we had a call that we were gonna record a podcast episode, and you and I just got talking so much. That’s true. I totally
Mike: forgot to mention that.
I should have led with that. So everybody listening, we had a previous appointment set up and we had a time block there to record an episode, and then we ended up just talking about business stuff. And that wasn’t why I wanted to, I love talking business, but if I were to really do business interviews, it’d have to be a separate podcast.
It’d be a bit random to put business stuff on my pod. So , we had to reschedule because we ate up all of our time just talking about about business things, because as we discovered, have a lot of similar perspectives about business and have similar interests in the specific aspects of CER or certain aspects of building businesses.
Jonathan: was super funny. And that was the first time we’ve ever spoken to, it was like, look down. You’re like, okay, should we record the podcast? I’m like, yo, I gotta go .
Mike: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. No, it was good though. I, I mean, I, I enjoyed the conversation even though it appeared to the
Jonathan: Ethan. It was great. It was great.
That’s always the best thing to do on a podcast, by the way, is to tell everybody listening about how great the conversation was. That wasn’t recorded. ,
Mike: um, maybe I’m just teasing the, uh, the business podcast. Yeah. There, there you
Jonathan: go. Don’t do it. It’s a trap. Um, you, you’re, you’re doing fine. You don’t need to do anything different.
So you’ve spoken about this, right? There’s maximizers and satisfiers. Most
Mike: people. Yeah. If you wanna quickly summarize, uh, I’m not sure who listening has, you know, I don’t remember when I went into this, but I did in an article that I turned into a podcast. Well, well, I’ll
Jonathan: quickly summarize. Most people in most aspects are satisfiers.
There are very rare times when somebody is a maximizer in everything they do. I mean, I know 1 0 2 of them, they’re the people who read every single forum about every single thing that they buy. But the majority of things that we buy, we satisfy some. Basically, we say, is it good enough? And what we look for unconsciously is we look for any kind of signs that this thing is probably going to be okay.
We are much more, our purchase decisions are much more guided on, um, avoiding catastrophic failure or feeling like we’re gonna look like an idiot. Versus trying to maximize and get something that’s for the best. Most of the time we don’t actually care. We might pretend like we care about whether something’s the best, but we don’t actually care about something’s best.
We just want something that doesn’t suck, which is largely why brands are so valuable because when you look at the difference between buying like a Panasonic TV versus like a Japanese NONAME tv, the Japanese noname TV might be actually technically a Beto TV for less money and it’s never gonna sell because we really don’t know whether it’s good, right?
But we’re pretty sure that the Panasonic is not gonna be crap. So we buy the panas a because we know that they have a lot, you know, they’ve invested so much into their brands. They have so much to lose by building a crap product that we’re pretty sure it’s not gonna be crap. Take our certification, the Online Trainer Academy, like we have a textbook, like it’s the only textbook that exists for online training.
You can’t produce a textbook. One of our students that we didn’t interview for, it’s, it’s the best quote that sums this up. We interviewed him and asked him why he signed up and he goes, you know, I didn’t really know who you guys were. I didn’t really know much about you, but I came across your stuff and I saw that you wrote a textbook.
And all I could think to myself is, ain’t nobody gonna go to that much trouble for some bullshit course . And so, like, it’s too,
Mike: it’s too much work to be a scam. Like it just, these things are mutually explain too much. He wanted to scam. You wouldn’t produce
Jonathan: technical. If I wanted to scam, I’d send you a Facebook advertisement with a single landing page on a ClickFunnels or whatever to a phone call.
And if you Googled me, you wouldn’t be able to find anything about me. Right. And then I changed my name multiple times, which is literally what some of these people have done. Um, I
Mike: didn’t know the name changing. That’s good, huh? Oh my
Jonathan: god, dude, there’s one guy. Oh my God. I gotta tell you the story. There’s one guy who was outed in a group because he created a whole bunch of, we’ve got a, a large group of like 40,000 online trainers of free group, and there’s one guy who, no joke, you can’t make this up.
He still operates, and he created a whole bunch of fake Facebook profile. and he friended everybody who we thought might be interested in hiring like a fitness business coach. And he pretended like it was a real person and started talking about how he was using this guy’s service and having all the success.
And the reason that he got outed is, and this is, this is the kicker, the reason that he got outed is because somebody discovered, I don’t know how that the profile photo that was bead used for the account is a male gay porn star
Oh, that’s, is that not. The most disturbing story in every capa in every way in defense
Mike: of the sleuth, probably just a, a reverse image search. Pulled that one up quickly. You don’t even have, probably, you don’t even have to be into gay porn to, or you just quickly go, oh yeah. Hey Google, tell me where this image comes from.
And now you know what? Their face recognition, they’ll immediately be like, oh, sure. That’s this person. What an idiot for choosing. Like if, right.
Jonathan: It would not be be hard, right? It would not be hard to find a in photo of somebody. Nobody would know who
Mike: it like. Well, all you gotta do is find something that isn’t reverse searchable.
Jonathan: go. I mean, I’m sure that you’ve had you put it in Defense of the Sleuth, I’ll talk about how it might not be. I’m sure you’ve had it, like I’ve had people who have contacted me because people have taken my pictures and put it on Yes. Like catfish on dating sites and stuff like that.
Mike: And people like, I have people reach out to you and Hey, thought it was you,
Or they’ll just like, they’ll swipe my images and then they’ll swipe my copy and then it’s the ClickFunnels page selling shit, whatever. I mean, I, I just send it off to our attorney and he takes care of it, but we don’t go actively searching for it because that wouldn’t be a good use of resources. . But yeah, people do give me heads up now and then, so,
Jonathan: so it does happen.
But, so anyway, so there’s this idea of maximizers and satisfiers, right? And the majority of people who buy personal training, who buy fitness in any capacity, I mean, this is supplements too, to be honest. It’s, it’s anything how. And the majority of fitness professionals who sell fitness are maximizers because what we often do is we often maximize in 1 0 2 things and satisfy certain about everything else.
And we’re fitness professionals, so of course we maximize in fitness and we have a hard time empathizing with people who aren’t fitness professionals thinking that everybody is like us. And, and it becomes very frustrating then as fitness professionals cuz it’s like, oh these people are all buying from this other person, from this other guy or girl whatever, who is not as good as me.
It’s like, yeah, because that person could speak their language better cuz that person knows that these people don’t actually really care about the force velocity curves that you’re putting out on Instagram every single day.
Mike: Right. the homemade infographics.
Jonathan: Right. And so you talk about like why people Yeah.
The homemade infographics I’ve made some of those don’t knock ’em. But the, the idea that some of them are nice, some of them not so much. Yeah. Mine are not nice. But , the whole idea that we. So the question then comes down to, to like, how do you get somebody to buy from you? And so really
Mike: what we’re talking about here is we’re talking about the power of marketing, branding perception, and, and I totally agree, and that the quality of the product or service has often has little to do with any of that.
And that’s very true. That’s one of those maxims of business that someone observed a long time ago. And due to the nature of human psychology, it’s not gonna change. But the reason why I want to just highlight that is that’s something that I often tell people whether they want to get into coaching or just business, any sort of business, is you’d better.
Care about marketing, you’d better be willing to educate yourself about marketing. And not many people, for whatever reason, they’re turned off by the idea of selling, right? Because what is marketing at bottom? Branding is its own thing. It’s a little bit different. We’re talking about marketing, especially advertising.
A lot of marketing is salesmanship in print or in video, or it’s on a more massive scale than a one to. You know, selling process. But there are very similar principles that marketing and advertising work on, and many people there, they’re uncomfortable selling, and then that extends over to marketing. And so then they’re just, they’re backed off of marketing and they really just want to focus on what’s most interesting to them and what they think matters most.
Which is, like you were saying, I’m gonna be the best, I’m gonna have the best programs and I’m gonna have the most accurate information, and maybe even I’m gonna get into the best shape, even though that’s impossible. So at this point, we’re really talking about, I’m gonna really work on getting in great shape, and you can do all of that, but without these other points that you’re bringing up, you’re not gonna, if you don’t also marry your high quality.
Product or high quality service with high quality marketing, which again, I, I’m gonna pass the torch back to you here in a second, but, which I’m sure you’re gonna talk about is being able to, for example, speak to people the way they speak to themselves, to meet them where they are and speak their language.
If you can’t. Bridge that gap and it really is a gap. Then I would say you’re never gonna do well. And it’s not just in coaching, but in business, in anything, unless you, okay, sure. Whatever. You create some completely revolutionary piece of technology or software or something and then somebody good at marketing, some big company that has the marketing machine pays you a lot of money.
Sure, fine. Whatever. It’s possible. But practically speaking, it’s not gonna go anywhere.
Jonathan: Watch Shark Tank. Yeah. I mean, look at what they buy and look at what they don’t buy. Right? Yeah, true. I mean it’s, who cares if you have a patent? Somebody’s still off . Yes, true. Right? I mean, they say that straight to their face.
They’re like, doesn’t matter that you have a patent. What are you doing? And then somebody goes on the show. That’s good at seo. One of one of my friends, Steven Arisal Tower paddle boards was one of Mark Cuban’s most successful investments. And the reason why Mark Cuban was so interested was not because he had an inflatable paddle board, was.
Steven is so good at SEO that he ranked number one four inflatable paddleboards. Yes. That’s why Mug Cuban made that investment, right? I mean that’s what it was. So, you know, let’s talk about how to start, cuz obviously, I mean it’s this crazy problem you, our industry. I mean, we talked to people and it’s like you have taken seven certifications on fitness, nutrition, and you haven’t read a single business book.
Perfect example. Like what are you even, of course you’re frustrated. I would be frustrated too. But single industries, single bodies of knowledge are inherently uninteresting and unvaluable. You know, even if you are a great marketer, but you can’t combine that with any subject matter expertise. It’s not.
Right. But once you start to combine these things, once you build a high level of knowledge in one thing, say fitness, and you start to combine it with a few basic transferable skills like marketing, like behavioral psychology, like advertising, like writing, well then things start to get, and then of course a money management and wealth management.
And then you start to build that with managerial skills or start to collect that team. Because I mean, at that point, it’s too much for one person. Well, then things start to get really, really interesting. And then the coolest thing about that, Once you’re able to start combining those skills, well, like you could do anything like, I don’t know about you, man.
I, I do know about you actually, cuz I know you’ve got a book under a pen name that’s like number one, Right. In a market completely unrelated to fitness.
Mike: It’s Bill of Rights for him. But I don’t, I, I. Have it up in Legion’s store and I explain, hey, this is a pen name. Just because for marketing reasons, it’d be a bit random for Mike, the fitness guy, to be writing about the Bill of Rights.
So I have a pen name Sean Patrick, which are just a couple of names from people in the family and I didn’t give it too much thought, to be honest, cuz it was just kind of a side project for fun. But yeah, it because of what’s going on here in America, it’s, ironically, it’s my number one, as of last month, my number one bestselling book in America is, it’s called the Know Your Bill of Rights book by Sean Patrick , A K a, Mike Matthews, which is, which is
Jonathan: but what a strange timeline.
But that proves, you know, that proves kind of this point that I’m making, that if you are able to attain these transferable skills, like I feel like I’m good enough at writing and marketing now that I can make money literally, no matter what I. Right. Like, I mean, obviously I’m in the fitness industry and I love the fitness industry, and I think the fitness industry has the potential to do more good in the world than perhaps any other industry.
But think about what that allows me to do from a confidence standpoint. Think about what that allows me to do from a, I mean, I just know that I’m untouchable, right? I know. I always say that freedom is providing yourself the opportunity to fail. And so, yeah, I like that. Once you are able to collect these transferable skills, you can fail, right?
Because I know that I’m gonna be able to figure it out. I know that I’m gonna be able to land on my feet. That allows me to take risks, that allows me to take action in ways that many of my contemporaries. And that’s a huge, huge, I totally agree. Huge, huge, huge, huge unfair advantage in the market
Mike: in any market.
How then if we then pivot to, let’s talk to the person who is wanting to start out as an online coach. Yep. So how do they, and of course you’re not gonna be able to give the entire roadmap here on this episode, but how do they go from, I would like to do this to at least the flywheels now spinning.
They’ve built up momentum and they have a system that’s working that they can now just pour more energy into and get even more out of it, you know, and then eventually, hopefully one day reach what you’re talking about, where they’ve built enough, the right skills to be able to create something that’s bigger than
I want to talk about that, but first I want to talk about all of the other books that you’ve written under the Sean Patrick Pen name, . Okay. I see a a Nicola Tesla book. . I see in Alexander the great book I see an Awakening new Intergen book and I see Kingdom of the Flies. Yeah.
Mike: King of the Flies. I can’t take credit.
Oh, that somebody’s, that’s different than
Jonathan: Sean Patrick. That’s just, it’s put under your author account. .
Mike: That’s funny. They, I guess Amazon maybe auto linked it or something, or, yes. So Nicola
Mike: that’s you. . Yeah. So, uh, I can’t, I, that sounds more impressive than it is because the Awakening your Intergen book was a fun little, that was also a side project I just did for fun years ago, and the Tesla and the Alexander and I thought I did one other, but are actually chapters.
So that book, awakening Your Inner Genius, I took, there was a psychologist, I actually, I forget his name now. He has a, an unusual name and he published some research on the different traits of genius and he broke it down into 20 something different traits and he explains why he believes that what we would generally just recognize as genius is really a combination of some many.
Maybe in very rare cases, all of these characteristics. And I thought it was interesting, something that just kind of, I don’t know, piqued my desire to write. And so I took like 10, I think maybe eight to 10 of the characteristics that I just found most interesting. And I wrote a book and each chapter, yeah, it’s like 46 pages.
It’s, it’s short. Yeah, so the Intergen book is longer, it’s okay. It’s a standard book size. And then, so each chapter is about one of the characteristics and then just as a, a literary device that I like, cuz I just like history and biographies. I found people who. I believed exemplified that characteristic.
And so the chapters were stories about these interesting people and what they did and how they used this characteristic, or why I believed this one characteristic most characterized that person and was most responsible for their success in whatever that they were doing. So Tesla, there’s a chapter on Tesla, there’s a chapter on Alexander the Great, there’s a chapter on, uh, queen Elizabeth, I believe the first, there’s a chapter on, I wrote it years ago.
I don’t even remember. I’d have to look. But that’s how the book is laid out. So I took the Nikola Tesla chapter and publish it just as a free book to get people interested in the other book. And ironically, that Nicola Tesla book has been downloaded more than any other book of mine, period. It’s been downloaded.
Worldwide, millions of times in the us. Million plus downloads as a free book .
Jonathan: Yeah. I mean it’s, it’s got like 8,000 of views or something like that. Yeah. So anyway, I just, yeah, that’s, I wanted to make mention of that. You a bit of a poly myth, I guess that way.
Mike: If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible. And we can do the same for you.
Jonathan: This idea of, of how to actually start then and how to market yourself. Go back to it at the beginning of our conversation, you know, and, and this, okay, well what are your points of leverage? What do you have going into it? There is always some
Mike: way. Yeah. Can you explain that? Uh, because you, do you mean like a unique selling proposition?
Jonathan: that kind of I would go even deeper than that. I mean, we call it 1% uniqueness factor, and it’s based on the idea that most fitness professionals market themselves on the 99% that makes them the same as everybody else. They bone fat, they lose muscle, they help new moms, they whatever. It’s boring.
You’re gonna compete against people with way bigger budgets. You’re gonna compete against people with way bigger markets than you are. How are you ever going to break through? Right. What you need to do to get an advantage at the beginning is identify what is unique about you. And it often has nothing to do with fitness, but what’s unique about you that’s uncommonly common with a small subsection of other people, of another community.
And I can give you a a couple very distinct examples and I’ll, and I’ll do that because when you figure that out, it actually starts, it creates your vision, which illuminates your paths start to finish, which allows you to put blinders on. And a lot of people who are marketing these days in the fitness industry are basically doing a lot and getting nowhere.
They’re putting out content everywhere. They’re on TikTok, they’re on Facebook, they’re putting out material, they’re trying all this stuff. And they’re not actually doing anything because there’s no concentrated effort, because they’ve never actually created this vision. And it all starts with this 1% uniqueness.
And so what is unique about you? Right? What’s kind of weird about you? I’ll give you two examples. Troy Bennett, he lives in Chicago. He’s the, uh, Chicagoland cosplay fitness expert.
Mike: And for people who don’t know Cosplaying, that’s where they dress up as like characters from video games and movies and stuff, right?
Yeah. And they just like, it’s for fun thing. I learned about
Jonathan: that when I met Troy and, uh, . Okay, good . And so, you know, toy is a personal trainer in Chicago and love cosplay and was in those communities. And so he went through this exercise with us through the Online Trainer Academy and basically said, okay, I love cosplay.
I’m already in the Chicago cosplay community. I’m just gonna market it myself as the Chicago land cosplay fitness expert. And that day he had five new clients. Because immediately now, other
Mike: cause players. Other cause players, okay,
Jonathan: good. Other cause players. Because immediately, now why would anybody pick a personal trainer, right?
Why would anybody pick a fitness professional? Well, there’s usually not like a good reason that they can identify, but they kind of want somebody like them. They want somebody to commiserate with them. They want somebody who they feel like understands them. And also, to be honest, somebody that’s just convenient, like they ask at the right time, the right way in the right community.
And though you’re more trusted if you’re in that community. So Troy then, of course, goes deep into the cosplay world and starts to market himself that way. And now think about what that does. What Facebook groups does he join? What types of content does he put out? What language does he use? Where does he promote himself?
Or you know, he’ll market on Twitch, right? He’s not gonna market himself on.
Mike: All of a sudden also now, his instincts are very valuable because first and foremost, he’s a cause player himself. He understands the people he’s speaking to. He already speaks in their language. Yes.
Jonathan: And so he knows exactly how to speak, where to put up material, what type of material to put out, and who to contact.
And what to name his programs and what goals to build his program templates and his programs and stuff
Mike: off of. And has he built a successful business? I mean, that’s obviously relative, is that, is that like his primary source of income or is it still a side thing? He had a side
Jonathan: thing online training before Covid hit because he loved working in the gym.
Covid hit, now he’s pivoted fully online.
Mike: And the reason I ask that is, and I assume there is enough demand in that community for him to build a business that provides a good income. I would go as far as guessing that you have a lot of people who want to look like take, look at, look at how a lot of video game.
Or I think it’s also like comic books, like superheroes and stuff where you have a lot of, I’m sure guys who would like to lose a bit of fat and gain a bit of muscle so they look cooler in their costumes. And you have a lot of women who wanna wear sexy costumes and they wanna look more sexy. I could see that working.
Jonathan: a hundred percent. And so let me give you another example. Carolina Bao, who’s actually my co-host on the online trainer show, we brought her in to be a co-host. But, uh, way before that, you know, a few years ago, she is a single mother of three who is originally from Mexico, moved to Canada, basically had like with her daughter, had two more kids with, with somebody who she met here, has now divorced him.
And so she’s a single divorced mother of Mexican origin living in North America. Well that’s pretty unique about her, right? And wouldn’t you bet there were a lot of support communities for Mexican expat single mothers. So she is of course, already in these communities. Put out a post in one of them one day.
It’s been an active member of these communities. I think this was on Facebook. Put out a post. Yeah, it was on Facebook. Put out a post in Facebook, basically telling her story in Spanish, of course. And she sent it to me and I translated it poorly, so I kind of know what it says. And it, it just told her story of how, you know, difficult.
It was, she was a teen mom of how difficult it was coming to, to Canada and then how, you know, finding health and fitness has changed her life and how she’s now become a trainer and how she now, you know, works with women and particularly mothers and that kind of thing. She had 800. Emails, in the comments of her Facebook post of people asking for more information.
From that, she hosted a paid webinar. She said it was $6 the first time, and then she did it a second time because of course, no system is worth anything if you don’t repeat it. So then she did it a second time, did another webinar for eight bucks. She got paid over a thousand dollars for hosting a webinar that filled her coaching program twice through a single post in a single
Mike: Facebook group.
That’s awesome. That’s a very instructive story because it just shows the power of, and really what we’re talking about, what I think of is branding the Knee plus ultra of branding, or maybe the, the highest, maybe a better way to put it, is the highest, the highest. Purpose and goal of branding is to own a category.
You have to be the leader in something. You can’t get into a category that is already owned by somebody else or some other business and try to fight your way up the ladder. It can work to a degree, but you’re never going to achieve nearly as much success as you will if you find a category that you can own, even if you have to create it.
Which speaks to exactly what we were talking about. I mean, I love the, I mean these are both great stories and I love from the branding perspective in particular, the Cause Player one, cuz whether he realized it or not, that was brilliant branding. That was a really smart decision to make him, cuz he owns that category now I’m sure like if he’s really involved in that community, And anybody in, I don’t know how far his sphere of influence extends, but if he’s working at it, it probably at this point has spread pretty far.
And so if anybody in his orbit, so to speak, or just connected to him in some way, gets the idea of like, oh, I, I’d like to get in better shape for the next convention or whatever. He’s the guy who immediately comes to mind and good luck for, to anybody else who tries to compete with him. Maybe a traditional branding theory would say that there’s, if the market’s big enough, there is room for a number two, and between the number one and number two, that’s gonna be the vast majority of the market share.
So somebody else could probably do something similar. They’d have to go through the process that you’re talking about, but the fact that he got there first and he established the category means that it’s just his to lose at this point. Well,
Jonathan: and so, A hundred percent. There’s three things that I want to hit on that I think are really important points with this, cuz I think this is such a fascinating conversation and such a powerful conversation to have.
The first is, you actually don’t need that many clients. Most trainers don’t need a lot of clients. You know this, this idea of like, would you either be first or second or third? It’s like if you think about you actually only need 30 clients paying you 200 bucks a month to make $72,000 a year. So you actually don’t need that many customers.
This idea of, oh, I’m so scared because if I go deeper then the market’s gonna be much smaller. It’s like, yeah, will be, but like, it’s gonna be big enough. We have one of our students in, in level two of our certification, mark Andre Sears, is French. And I remember him coming to us a couple years ago and basically saying, oh, you know, I, he’s in, he’s in Quebec, he’s in French Canada.
And he said, oh, should I promote myself in French or English? The problem is the French market is so small. I was like, yeah, but there’s no competition there. And guess what? Mark Andres doing 50,000 bucks a month. in French. Yep. In Quebec to French Canadians because there’s like nobody else. So like that’s number one.
Like you actually don’t need that many people. Right? And And so
Mike: he found his niche. He found his category. Yep.
Jonathan: And number two is you actually don’t need to make, this is, I think, a huge point that I wanna make sure that I sell properly. Fitness professionals are some of the least selfish, most selfless people in the world, and that’s what makes them so amazing.
That’s why I love being around them. That’s what frustrates the heck outta me so much with them because, They just want to do good and they beat themselves up and they give themselves away in order to do that. And there’s this misconception that you need to make the majority of your money from the people who you want to ultimately support.
And that is a hundred percent not to, just to tell you a, a story that illustrates this. Like if you are really passionate about dental hygiene in third wall countries and you believe that the solution is to donate a whole bunch of toothbrushes, you don’t need to stow a toothbrush company. You need to st any company that makes a lot of money so that you can buy a lot of toothbrushes to give to those places.
So, you know, we have another student, Ben Mudge out in Ireland has cystic fibro. And he really wants to support the cystic fibrosis community. Well, the cystic fibrosis community, unfortunately a lot of the time, are pretty down and out. They don’t have a ton of money. So what we basically did is we showed him, because he’s got, he’s like Thor, this guy is like jacked.
He’s out in Ireland. He’s got a huge, he’s got like 140 hundred 50,000 on Instagram. He’s got a big following. He’s got tons of media. We basically said to him like, we’re gonna teach you how to build a premium program where you charge, cuz he is in Ireland where you charge over a thousand pounds for 12 weeks and you only need to take 10 people.
Because if you do that, then you can build a low end or FUI membership program to support your cystic fibrosis community. And that’s a hundred percent what it’s done. And so that’s one part of it. We have another, another student, Frank Benedetto, who’s in New Jersey who, who trains fighters and he gets fighters prepared for their fight.
Which is fighters don’t have a lot of money . Right. And so, you know, you can’t, I mean, obviously like the top, top, top fighters, but even like five levels down from the top don’t have much money. I mean, really, like, unless you’re, it’s like the L P G A, right? Like, unless you’re like, yeah, I was gonna say
Sounds like golf and women’s golf more so than men’s. But even men’s golf, if you’re not winning, well, not winning. If you’re not placing consistently, you’re, you’re on the PGA tour, right? You’re
Jonathan: struggling. But what these fighters do have is a lot of people who do have a ton of money, i e corporate alpha male types, Who admire these fighters, who want to train like fighters are also there.
So we basically went to Frank and we said, okay, well do this program for fighters. We’re gonna show you how to, how to build it in a really scalable way. And so he’s got one at the top programs for fighters out there. So you know, he’s a whole bunch of fighters preparing them for fights markets that that’s his brand on the backend where he makes his money are high-end premium programs to corporate alpha male types who want to train like fighters.
That’s smart. And literally the program is called Train like a fighter.
Mike: Makes me think of Mark Devine’s whole Seal Fit brand and
Jonathan: everything. Yeah. I mean, look, that’s, we’re not making up anything new, but it’s this idea that like, there’s this misconception you don’t need to make the majority of your money from the people even in your brand.
If you really want to help people, work with people you’re passionate about, working with people that don’t have a lot of money, it’s like, that’s cool, but understand that you’re not gonna be able to make a lot of money from them. . So where does that fit in? And then the final, the third point is every community needs a fitness professional.
Every community, every publication. You don’t need to get into Men’s Health. You know, you could get into St. Augustine, guitar Weekly, , I mean, is that a magazine? No, I just made it up. I’ve been saying Augustine, I’m just thinking
Mike: about a couple. I don’t know. I thought you might be a guitar aficionado, . No, I’m
I don’t play guitar. You know, I was thinking about guitar and I was thinking about a couple of our students who live in St. Augustine, who will own a fitness facility and do hybrid training and have done really well with it. Out in St. Augustine. That’s, I don’t know why I, I like it. I just put those two together.
But like, but this idea, like the most obscure idea that I could find, you know, the St. Augustine Guitar Weekly, it’s like if you become the fitness professional to the St. Augustine community of guitar, My mom and I, we just had a week off with my family and my sister and her family, and my parents and I all went to the cottage and it was great.
We had that all last week and my mom was telling me a story of in her neighborhood here in Toronto, there’s 40 women who are all retired or like most semi-retired who all have money, who basically one woman just, you know, started it and decided that she wanted to do like an exercise class or whatever who brought her in and everybody brings the new people.
And anyway, there’s, there’s 40 women and one of them says to the group, Hey, I found this great hairdresser. And now this hairdresser is full. You don’t need, all you need to do is get in with a group like that. Mm-hmm. , or you need to get in with the St. Augustine Guitar Association. You know what I’m saying?
Like what is it?
Mike: And this would come back to the point you’re making on what’s unique about you. And so if somebody is, is very good at and into guitar, and then that could be an angle is the point.
Jonathan: That could be an angle that could be, you know, you probably have contacts in those communities who. Have platforms, you know, could you then twain somebody for free that’s influential in that community in exchange for them showcasing their, that
Mike: was the next question I was gonna ask you.
So let’s say people listening, so they’re getting some ideas now about how they could brand themselves in a unique way and how they could. Promote themselves in an authentic way that would resonate with people like them. And it would be, uh, a pretty low friction sales process, I guess you could say. And one thing we’re taking for granted here, and I think that’s fine, is that you do have something of a story relating to fitness.
I think that goes without saying like, if you have done nothing with your own body and, and you might disagree with me here, but I would think that that step one is, again, you don’t have to get jacked, but you do need to, I would think you want to walk the walk to some degree, embody what you’re talking about and have something of a story that you can share and how fitness relates to it.
It doesn’t just have to be a, oh, I got jacked and shredded story. If you’ve already made that point, it could be more about your life and how you found fitness and what it has done for you. And I think minimally you probably want to get to a point where somebody would say you’re fit. Would you agree with that?
Jonathan: mean, , you’ve gotta have gone on a journey for
Mike: sure. Yeah. I mean, I would say, and again, this is something that you know more than I know, but if I were that person getting into it, I would assume, okay, I gotta, I have to at least get to a level of fit. It’d be a bit odd if I’m gonna teach somebody how to play golf.
And I’m like, duffing every shot, to be like, uh, wait,
Jonathan: what’s going on here? Yeah, but you don’t, you don’t have to be great. You could be going through your journey. Right. And broadcasting that. Okay. And projecting that. That’s through your journey and and inviting other people with you. That’s a good point.
That’s a good point. We do have a lot of people at various. You know, ends of that, of that
Mike: spectrum. Well, that’s good to know. No, no, I mean, that’s valuable information because again, I’m not speaking from experience in, in this discussion. Um, again, my experience was very different. So I’m being the person who’s kind of the newbie in that sense.
Like, oh, how would I go about
Jonathan: this? You know? Well, let me tell you a story that I think Kim was that in. I’ve done over the years, I’ve done like multiple bouts of like a hundred plus phone calls with our audience just to get to know them, just to kind of, I think people don’t speak to each other enough these days.
And I think when you actually speak to people, you gained some really valuable insights. I know it blows your mind. It’s amazing what happens when you actually speak to another human. We hear all the time in our Facebook groups, like, how are you guys getting clients? I’m doing everything. I’m, I have this funnel on, I’m putting out these Facebook ads.
Nobody’s responding. What are you doing? And I’m just like, how many people have you spoken to today? They’re like, well, I mean, but I did this landing page and I did this ebook, and I did this ethical drive and I have this email list. I’m like, how many people have you spoken to today? Well, none. It’s like, eh, maybe you should speak to somebody.
But anyway, so, you know, this was in one of those conversations and it was a woman who, I won’t say her name cuz I don’t wanna, um, I don’t know if she’s okay with sharing her story. A but, but long story short, she asked a question very similar to you. She said, you know, I don’t look like a, a Instagram trainer or a conventional trainer.
You know, I, I still have a bit more weight to lose and I don’t think that I can compete. You know, why would anybody die for me? And I said, okay, well, tell me about yourself. Like, why’d you become a trainer? Why did you, you know, what was her story like? And she starts telling me her story. And it is the most powerful thing ever of drug addiction, alcohol addiction, got in with the wrong friends, started a new life, had her friends try to bring her back in, pushed them away, transformed herself.
And it’s like, have you ever told that story? Because if you did, there would be a lot of people who would connect with that. , you know, they just grew up in the wrong place. They made some bad decisions when they were young and stupid. We all made bad decisions when we were young and stupid. Some of us pay for them longer than others, and you had the awareness that your life was spiraling downwards.
Your health and your life was spiraling downwards. You got yourself out of addiction to, I mean, hard drugs and I mean like super heavy binge drinking everything over the weekend. You got yourself out of it. You separated yourself from that. You built a new life. These people tried to drag you back in. Do you not think that you would be able to connect with folks going through that journey in a way that somebody who is 21 years old and shredded on Instagram and never had to suffer through anything and face any adversity in their life?
Do you not think you’re gonna be able to connect with people in a different way than that person if, if you tell your story better? And how
Mike: did it work out for her? I don’t actually know. I wish I did. I’m sure it worked out well if she pursued it, because that’s, in some ways, that’s a, uh, yes, that’s a more powerful story than, than I have, for example, if we’re really just talking about the dynamics of story.
So I, I totally agree.
Jonathan: I was on, I was on a podcast once with two guys, with two brothers. I mean, these guys like father committed suicide, mother was, you know, put in the mental hospital, addicted to drugs. Like they had to raise each other, like that type of story, you know, serious adversity. And on the podcast to them, and they asked me what adversity I had been through in my life and I’m like, I’m not even gonna insult you guys.
Yeah. Can we just go to the next question? Like, I’m from a reasonably affluent. Jewish community in suburbia, Toronto. Every adult I ever knew was a lawyer, doctor, dentist, accountant, or teacher. All of my friends are lawyers, doctors, dentist, accountants, or teachers. You know, like, I mean, sure. Have things felt like they have been heard from time to time, like.
Hundred percent. They always will. That’s just part of the human condition. But like, like, I’m not even gonna begin to ins, like I have enough awareness that I’m not even gonna begin to, to say that anything that I’ve been through is anything compared to what you’ve been through. And it’s funny because I’ve listened to that podcast a few other times and people, you know, are talking about their adversities.
I’m just like, that’s not, might have felt tough, but like, that wasn’t tough, man. like, like you would’ve been fine. Like, look, if things went wrong, I would’ve been able to go home and have two loving parents. You know, like, it ain’t bad.
Mike: Yeah, no, I, I totally understand. And I, I would say I, I’m in a similar boat and I have talked about it a little bit here and there, but I don’t talk too much about it because it’s not an interesting story.
It. It’s really not, it’s not the story that most people would be interested in even hearing. Uh, maybe there are a couple unique aspects. I finished high school at a young age cuz I didn’t, I didn’t take spring breaks or summer breaks. I just studied through my breaks and so I had enough credits in Florida.
That’s how it works to graduate. And then I started working in some different businesses and it resonates with some people, but with many people they. I had to
Jonathan: work through my summer breaks, bro. You know,
Mike: like Yeah, yeah, I know. And uh, yeah, so whatever it is what it is. Right. And of
Jonathan: course, but you did a lot with it.
Right? And I mean, I think that that’s the most important thing. And I was gonna
Mike: say that’s exactly the point with you as well, is you did take these opportunities and make something of them. And I, I’m sure you know many people, cuz I know many people growing up who had greater opportunities than I had.
Yeah. By a lot. I mean, start with kids who came from families. Unlimited money and successful parents, or at least, you know, maybe the mom wasn’t working, but, but very successful. At least one or both of the parents who not only had the money, but the connections to open any door that the kid could possibly, uh, want to go through.
And where is that kid now? Nowhere doing nothing. Just, you know, pissing away daddy’s money. So there is something to be said for having the, maybe you could say the character or the spirit to seize the opportunities that you had and, and to take those advantages and make something into them that doesn’t just happen.
that take a lot of application.
Jonathan: Yeah. Like, look, you know, I always say to people, a lot of, a lot of what I have now, I feel like I would’ve ultimately gotten to, but it would’ve taken me five more years. And I
Mike: was gonna say that too. I’ll bet you, you take you and you put yourself into a very different situation, that’s a lot worse.
And I would not be surprised if I had to, if I were a betting man, I would put money on you. I would say, I’ll bet that that John’s gonna go. You know
Jonathan: what, at 34 years old, I wouldn’t have been here. I would’ve been 40. Right? A hundred
Mike: percent. So quickly before we wrap up here, I would love to get to a point, I know you have to run in a few minutes, but where we’ve gotten to where the person now has gotten their first clients and,
Jonathan: oh, exciting.
Good for you. Good for you person.
Mike: Exactly, and I think we’re gonna get good feedback on this cause I wanna set this up for a potential follow up, which would be the next part of the journey cuz we’re really where we’ve been talking about this first phase. And I think, I mean this is the obvious place to start and right, I think at the end of this first phase where a person now has given some thought on as to the marketing, the branding, their uniqueness, telling their story, attracting people who are going to resonate with that story and who are gonna be willing to at least get on the phone and, and talk more about what this coaching service might look like.
Would you recommend, you had mentioned this, but is this like a standard recommendation of yours to work with some people for free in the beginning to get success stories? So then you have social proof or would you go for the sale? Yeah. Would you go for the sale right away and then use that as your down sale basically, or not
I would be very hesitant to ever train anybody for free. . The only time that I would ever recommend that somebody trains somebody for free is some sort of influential person in that person’s target market in exchange for basically promotion. Beyond that, what we found is that ain’t nobody does anything if they don’t pay.
It’s as simple as that. This isn’t across the board. You know, people who pay the least give you the most trouble and do the least amount of work.
Mike: Do you see that on your IC man with customers? You see that all of all over the place. Oftentimes, the the most obnoxious customers are people who spend very little
Jonathan: money with us.
Why do you think I sell books and not low end programs? Because I learned over the years we had low end membership sites. Exactly. And somebody who spends $20 a month for a membership, Is gonna give me less trouble than somebody who’s gonna spend $800 on our certification. Hmm. You know, it’s just, and so we just don’t even do it.
It’s like, if you wanna spend 20 bucks, totally cool. Buy the book. You know, there’s no expectation of service, which is totally fine. Like, I mean, the books are great. I would also
Mike: argue that as the, the average, I believe this was 2019, it might have been 18 data, but in America, the average person reads just one book a year.
Really? And it’s really what you’re looking at though. Yeah. That’s the average. So it’s not the median, that’s the average. So what really what that means is you have people who read a lot and you have a lot of people who read nothing. I’ll bet you if you, if you dig into that data, that’s what that really looks like.
And so I would argue, and I think it’s a pretty easy position to argue that your average book reader. is just a cut above average in different ways, as I would say, a higher caliber person in terms of pursuing goals in particular, especially if they’re reading fitness books, for example. The fact that they read a fitness book and maybe even tried to apply it to them, it might seem like, of course, why would I not do that?
But what they don’t realize is that the vast majority of people, they won’t even do that. They won’t even read the book, let alone try to apply it, you know? So you’re already pre-selecting for people who are special in
Jonathan: some way. I love how you just complimented all of your readers. That was well done.
That was like a magic trick that you just did. It’s like, and everybody who buys my books is actually William, and you guys are way smarter and way better than everybody else.
Mike: You’re too clever. You just know my trick .
Jonathan: But I mean, think about like the entire fitness and self-help genre, right? Like you actually don’t really need to buy more than one self-help book.
But , but the reality of it is the act of buying a self-help book and believing that you’re gonna make a change, gives you way more pleasure and way more reward than the act of actually doing the self-help, which is inherently painful. The entire self-help book industry knows this. I mean, they feed into it.
It’s actually kind of evil when you really get into it. They know that you’re gonna get this dopaminergic response from your nucleus accumbens when you buy a self-help book in believing that you’re gonna make this big change, and they know that that hit is gonna go away and you’re gonna crave another hit.
So you’re gonna buy another book, and another book and another book. It’s like, do you
Mike: think that’s true of that? I, I, yes. I don’t read much in the genre anymore. I have read some self-help books that I’ve liked and I often recommend. There’s probably three to five that I recommend, but, It got to where I read enough in the space where I was kind of just hearing the same ideas.
How many ideas are there in different ways. Yeah, exactly. And so I stopped reading it all together. So I would say that’s 100% true of, of if it’s the motivational variety. And that would include motivational speakers, like yes, that is what that is. It is get people fired up and they don’t really know what to do and they just feel good for a little bit and then they don’t feel so good anymore.
And then you can fire them up with the next thing. And then they’re supposed to join your, your mastermind and then
Jonathan: go back to the Masterminds. I believe so. I mean, I, I believe so pretty deeply. I’ve, I’ve written about this a fair bit, but then you come across somebody Likem Manson with, you know, subtle art.
Yeah. And it was such a brilliant book and I, I’ve, I’ve had a chance to spend a lot of time with mug and like, it’s just such. Brilliantly written book that it’s so much fun to read. And kind of the same thing with James Cleo and Atomic Habits. Like did he say anything new? Absolutely not. He’s not a researcher, right?
He’s like a Malcolm Gladwell. He’s just a master communicator. And so what these guys are able to do is basically communicate the same concepts in a way that is just fun to read and uh, and they’re really impactful as a result of that. So, I mean, you know, James’, you know James’ book has sold what, 2 million, 3 million copies mug sold?
10 or something? Yeah. Impressive. Oh yeah. Mug. I mean, subtle Out was like, It was the best, it was a phenomenon. Yeah dude, it was the bestselling audiobook of all time within like two months of it coming out. Wow. It, it’s, it was the craziest thing. That’s cool. Um, cuz I know the guys who did the audiobook publishing for the Motion as well, James Ton and his company Podium Publishing and you know, so they had, obviously the motion was like the previous one and the story behind.
That’s really cool cuz they basically own the audio book rights and then the print book rights were bought up by, I think it was Penguin. I might be wrong with that, but, but they were bought up by a publisher and taken off the market for six months. . So the only version of the book that was on the market was the audiobook.
And so it just, like the sale just ballooned. It was crazy. Go
Mike: podium publishing there. They were happy about that.
Jonathan: Oh man, they, that business grew fast. I could tell you a lot stories about that, that audiobook published. That’s different. So conversation for us off air, I guess. But you talked about, you know, should you train people for free?
The answer is, In almost every case, no. You need to learn how to make what’s called a compelling offer. We have this process we call the founding client Challenge, and basically we guarantee people get one to five new clients within seven days with no paid ads or phone selling, and basically we just teach you how to ask properly.
I believe that basically everybody who is involved in fitness, whether you are in the industry or not, you’re still, if you’re interested in fitness, you’re still the health freak amongst your community, right? Amongst your friends. Mm-hmm. And your family. Mm-hmm. whether you work in the industry or not. And so as long as you have that, if you’re like, if you’ve never really worked out that much before and you don’t have a social media account, this might not work.
But we have an 82% success rate with this and uh, and it’s probably higher than that. And
Mike: could you quickly just give us a little bit of insight as to what does that compelling offer look like? I’ll
Jonathan: talk to you exactly how it is. We call it a five, one sixty ask. Basically you’re looking for, you have to have a certain number of people.
So we say five people, you know. So I’m looking for five people who have, pick your one goal, who are 30 to 40 year old men who used to be athletes in high school who are looking to put on five pounds of muscle. Right. Like reasonably specific. Yeah. And it should be a quantifiable goal because in marketing you just kind of need a quantifiable goal a lot of the time to get people in the door.
Yeah. And then you can sell them on long-term change, but it’s gonna be very hard to sell people on long-term change at the start. That’s a great point.
Mike: And so an important point.
Jonathan: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s hard cuz like I get that like the changes you make on the inside are way more important than the changes you make on the inside.
But I also understand marketing enough to know that you gotta meet people where they’re at. If you want to give yourself an opportunity to take ’em where you think that they need to go. So five people, one goal, and then 60 days. So 5 1 60. And then the final part of it is it has to be some sort of new program you are offering.
It could be the exact same thing you were offering before, given a new name. Doesn’t really matter. But the key with that is you say, I’m looking for run with the same example. I’m looking for five men, age 30 to 40, who wanna put on five pounds of muscle, who used to be athletes in high school in the next 60 days to test drive a new program that I’ve built.
When this program goes live, in two months, it’s gonna be 500 bucks, but for the first five people to help me test drive it, it’s 197. And in exchange, I need you to gimme feedback and then use your results. As testimonials for when I promote the program. Perfect. And that does a lot of things. So what that does is it gives people a compelling offer, right?
It gives people a reason to act right now, because you give a deadline, gives, it calls out a specific kind of person, it gives people a reason to act. Now it has a very clear and definable and quantifiable goal. It gives them a great deal, right? They’re getting the discount on the program. And then the final piece is it gives you permission to not be perfect because they’re going into it knowing that they’re testing the program, which immediate alleviates a lot of the pressure off of you to be perfect with how you’re
Mike: delivering it.
Smart psychology. I it also, there’s urgency there too, because of the, if you’re only looking for five, then of course once you have your five, then that’s it. It’s not available anymore.
Jonathan: That’s it. And I mean, look, you could say. Eight. You could say 10. Sure. We’ve had, we’ve people get as many as 40 clients with us in seven days, right?
Sure. Like you could take on the number is
Mike: not the point, but it’s the fact that you gave it a number. Yes. It creates emergency there. What are your thoughts on coupling that with also a money back guarantee? You think it’s not necessary? I don’t think
Jonathan: a money back guarantee is good, but what we teach people, one of the most popular, uh, strategies that we teach people in the online Trio Academy, I’ll give you, I’ll give you the behind the scenes of that here is um, is what we call a full upon completion.
So you understand loss of ocean. So you appreciate this is this idea of you basically, you get people in the door for, let’s say a 28 day challenge, 21 day, 28 day challenge. We find anything more that is too much, but get ’em in for a three or four week challenge with a very clear, definable goal, same type of thing.
Call it a specific person, give a date, a deadline, what they have to sign up for. And then you say this challenge is whatever, 197 bucks and it’s free upon completion. What that means is that you pay $197 and if you complete the challenge or if you complete 75% of the challenge activities at the end, you get your money back.
And then if it’s a 28 day challenge, 20 days in, you contact the people and you say, Hey, you’re doing really well. I wanted to invite you into the next stage, which is of course now your, call it your 12 week program. And why don’t we just push forward the 197 bucks into that. Yeah, credit it toward that.
Credit it towards it, and you’ll get like an 80% take rate on your next program because now that money is already gone. Right. You’re, they’ve already, you’ve decreased the loss of erosion by telling them that they’re gonna get it back, and then at the end of it, they’ve already had some to give you an opportunity to get them some results.
Right now, they’ve already gotten some results, and then at the end of it, You know the money’s already gone. The money’s already been able to bank account for 20 days. Yeah, no, it’s
Mike: smart. They’re not gonna miss it. The pain of paying has long passed. Yeah. And has been replaced with the pleasure of the results that you’ve provided them.
And of course now for the people who are still in it, toward the end, they’re probably in it because they’re getting results. Well, for sure.
Jonathan: I mean, and look like, you know, the silly thing about the fitness industry, it’s like people say they can’t afford a fitness professional, but then they go and spend, you know, how much money on the dumbest stuff ever that doesn’t actually do anything good for them.
Mike: Uber Eats, it’s like, gimme your Uber Eats bill. Uh, okay. Right. It’s like, it’s not that If you just like bought Simple Foods that you prepare yourself and cook them a hundred
Jonathan: percent. I mean sometimes, don’t get me wrong, like sometimes the money is really the issue, but what we found is that most often it’s not, it’s a priority issue and also it’s an awareness issue of like where the money is actually going or not going.
I don’t have any problem with money back guarantees. I mean, look, we give a guarantee for everything online Training Academy. We say to you, are you gonna make your first thousand dollars of online training within 90 days of signing up for the program? Or we’ll give you all your money back. And that’s smart.
You know, I think risk reversal is very important, but I think you should do it better than like, if you’re not satisfied, you get your money back. Like it guarantees can be one of your best selling tools. If you do
Mike: them well, I totally agree. Uh, most people don’t take you up on them, ironically, and that’s, I’m not even speaking as like, oh, a devious marketer.
That’s just a statistical fact that the first time I ever read about money back guarantees, I don’t know, probably would’ve been a couple of, well, at least a decade ago in whatever marketing book it was that they already were talking about that, that you can have a fantastic money back guarantee and totally stand by it.
And even people who could take you up on it often won’t, for whatever reason. That’s not taking advantage or exploiting people. It just is what it is. And so like it legion our money back guarantee. We just make it real simple. If you’re buying something for the first time, you don’t like it for any reason, let us know.
We give you your money back and you keep it, don’t, you don’t have to send it back to us. And often we do get some people who take us up on it and we’re happy to refund their money. And of course then that keeps them. I mean, they’re, they’re often surprised that, cuz most companies wouldn’t do that. And then though, what happens fairly often is they have somebody else to give it to who ends up liking it, , who then comes and checks us out.
So it’s a win win.
Jonathan: For the longest time when I’d give people books or send people books, Pretend like I made a mistake and send them two copies instead of one. And then when they’d call me to tell me that I sent them two copies, they’d be like, oh, I don’t know. I don’t know why that happened. Must have been a must have been a mistake by a fulfillment.
I just, I mean, you know, I’m sure you have somebody that you could give it to. I like
Mike: that. That’s smart. That’s smart. I love that stuff. Okay, so let’s wrap up with where people can, cuz we haven’t, uh, I will give it in the intro, but for people who skip the intro, where can they find you your work and where can they find if they wanna sign up for your certification, if they wanna read your books, where should they go?
Jonathan: Yeah, I mean the certification, if you go to online trainer.com/academy. Okay, good. You can find it. You can also Google Online Trainer Academy. You can finally a thousand of reviews or something for it. But we’d love to have you. We have a podcast called the Online Trainer Show as well. If you like podcasts, you probably do cuz you’re here.
Again, whether you listen to podcasts, it’s called Online Trainer Show or just online trainer.com/podcast. Other than that, I mean you can go to Amazon for the books, you can go to a store for the books, but uh, but yeah, those two links you’ll find. Awesome.
Mike: Everything from me. Awesome. Love it. Great conversation.
Thank you. Thanks buddy. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to me from in whichever app you’re listening to me in.
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