At the beginning of 2015, I got an idea to incorporate something new into my business — one-on-one coaching. Not business or life coaching, but “online presence” coaching. (I don’t know if that’s a thing, but we’re going to pretend it is for right now.) When working with clients, or talking with my mastermind gals, I began to realize that I knew some valuable info that applied to an entrepreneur’s online presence as a whole.
So, I rallied up some beta testers so I could try out one-on-one coaching. I wanted to beta test it to see how much time it would take, and to see if there was an interest. I had three beta testers who were all new-ish to business, or struggling with their business.
One of my beta testers was Kelvin, of WebFit Nation. He’s a personal trainer that trains his clients (all over the world) through a custom app. Kelvin already had several clients, a website with a blog, and a Facebook page. He also has a mailing list, but they only receive blogs via email, and he has an Instagram that has primarily been used for personal posts. Here’s a look at what we did over the last few months.
Here’s what Kelvin felt like before we began: “I knew the website needed some intense work. I was aware that it didn’t tell the story that I envisioned people knowing about me and my business. But, it was such a big wall to climb, and it always took the backseat on my to-do list. I was stuck in a “I don’t know where to start” phase before we began. My industry is so loud, and I did not want to just be another cookie cutter website.”
Kelvin has a fairly nice website, it was just the content, and placement of content, that needed some help. When we first started, there were a few things I knew we could fix right away:
- His website contact form required an access code to be able to fill it out. This made it hard for strangers to hire him, since they didn’t know the code.
- He didn’t have any pictures of himself, or info about himself, on the website to personally connect with his audience.
- He didn’t have any SEO implemented.
- His pricing and packages weren’t listed.
- He was manually copying and pasting blogs into Mailchimp, instead of automating the RSS feed to send blogs to subscribers.
People like to connect with other humans, not just logos and company names. So, we fixed these most obvious needs right away. These changes were important because:
- People weren’t finding him, without the SEO. (They are now!)
- If they did find him, the audience couldn’t visually connect with him, without an About page and picture. (There is now!)
- And, they literally couldn’t contact him because of the contact form. (Now he uses Typeform!)
- He also switched from WordPress to Squarespace, so it was easier for him to update.
I also had Kelvin submit his site to Peek User Testing. Once Kelvin got his feedback from Peek, he saw that people were thinking that his site was just for a fitness app. It’s not an actual app — you can’t download it. So, one of the small, but important, changes we made to his site was on the homepage banner. We fine-tuned the wording, and switched the order of the banners.
As I said above, Kelvin already had a Facebook page, and a (mostly personal) Instagram. Social media may not be the biggest source for every single business, but I knew it could work for Kelvin. People are always posting about fitness and health on social media — whether it’s a new challenge they’re participating in, new meals they’re cooking, etc.
Here’s what Kelvin felt like before we began: “I knew that my social media presence needed to be better. But, I was confused on how it needed to be improved and the direction to take. I want to be a source of valuable information, and the light in the dark rooms of peoples motivation. And, how to do that through social media baffled me. My industry is full of men taking selfies to entice people to purchase programs. I learned very early in my career that people don’t buy what you know — they buy from who they like. Finding a way to be transparent, honest, and informative is something I always put at the forefront of my business.”
Here’s what we did to help improve Kelvin’s social media presence:
- Created a schedule for his Instagram and Facebook posting
- Created cohesive blog graphics to be pinned on Pinterest
- Improved his Instagram bio (his strongest following)
- Started using appropriate Instagram hashtags to expand his reach
- Found a few (targeted) Facebook groups for him to join
- Upped his Snapchat game (also a strong following) to show more behind-the-scenes of his meal prep and work-outs
Within just two weeks of upping his Snapchat game and joining Facebook groups — TWO new clients. No ads. No spam. Not even marketing himself. Just being himself, and connecting.
Though the website and social media aspects of his business were our main focus, I knew there were other things we could do to market his business. The things we implemented (or are working on) below were to attract more clients, or improve his client experience (which would hopefully lead to more referrals).
- Created flyers to hang up in local stores. He also sent these to friends and clients who hung the flyers up in their towns as well!
- Connected with local businesses to talk about potential collaborations. He also connected with the local firehouse, and had several firemen become clients!
- He’s working on a Resources page for his readers, that will include some affiliate links.
- Creating downloadable workouts and meal plans for some passive income.
- He’s working on a “welcome packet” to send new inquiries.
- Started using Calendly to schedule client calls.
After working with me, and slowly implementing changes, Kelvin’s client base jumped 35%, and his email list grew by 20%. Or, in more exciting statistics: ELEVEN new clients in TEN days.
Update: within nine months, his client base grew by 126%!
We still have some improvements to make on the email marketing end, as we have focused very little on that aspect. But, the important part of this process was to slowly implement things over time, so that he could still manage everything. Change in business can be hard, and when you’re making a lot of changes, it’s better to slowly add things one at a time. As you master, and become comfortable with a new tool or system, then you can move onto adding something else.
Here’s what Kelvin had to say about the whole process:
“Most of my training career was spent offline because working in a health club didn’t require me to be social media savvy. Having Jess there to guide me through different platforms of social media, and tell me how each one can be leveraged for my business put me at ease. I’ve read a lot of blogs and books on developing a platform for my business — most of them are just full of information, which leaves you to create the action plan. I was expecting a few speeches about things that I’ve probably read already, or just a regurgitation of ideas I’ve heard.
Instead, I received a more hands on approach. I went to a Montessori school as a child, so this sat well with me. I ended up receiving way more than I figured I would get. Jess walked me through the entire process. Each week, we had an agenda, and we broke down a specific idea. From that break down, we discussed what works and what doesn’t, and created homework assignments around it for me to work on. My mind was blown by the value of what Jess gave me. The ideas that were presented were clear and concise, Jess talked to me and not at me, and I looked forward to the next session.”
I asked Kelvin to share his top three takeaways from our time together. While these tidbits are specific to how I helped him, I think the overall concept in each can apply to every entrepreneur.
1) Don’t be afraid of change.
I am in a place where I want to take my business to a new level of growth. To be able to do that requires some change in the way I am doing things. Having Jess to pick apart some of the processes and systems I had in place was needed. Once we had our first call, and Jess laid out the timeline for the discussions we would have in the coming weeks, I knew that I needed to be open for change. You opened my eyes to so much more that I could implement, creative ideas that I could use, and innovations to propel my business forward.
2) Social media isn’t a bad thing.
I am an introvert. My passion for helping others runs deep in my veins, but I like to be behind the scenes. Putting myself in the lime light is not what I enjoy doing. Jess helped me to reverse engineer my thoughts into now believing that my voice on social media can still be true to me and reach others. Letting people know about WebFIt doesn’t have to come off like a used car salesman. Sharing the ups and downs, the newest updates and innovations, and my own personal journey can be shared in a light that is still humble. You showed me that my voice isn’t something to fear, but something to celebrate because I am different.
3) Add value.
Thinking outside the box of the “general scope” of my business is hard to do at times. I have always branded myself as the ‘not cookie cutter’ personal trainer, so I sort of settled into my ways of doing things. Jess helped me break out of that shell and find new and exciting ventures to help people. I now have a broader vision from when I initially began my business three years ago.