This is a case study with one of my students, Clare Nielsen. When we met, Clare already had a thriving personal training business. Her goal was to grow her income without working longer hours – and so Clare decided to leverage her in-person business and create an online coaching program.
Clare achieved so much during our time working together, here are a few highlights:
- Gained clarity on what was important.
- Created a plan for her business going forward that she found exciting.
- Finally beat the overwhelm of having too much to do.
- No longer felt drained and had greater flexibility to work when and how she wanted.
- Launched to an email list of 153 people and signed up 11 people (exceeding her launch goal).
You can find out more about Clare’s business on here website fit4evermore. Keep reading to see how Clare’s story unfolded…
Long Work Hours and Little Flexibility
Clare is a successful personal trainer from East Ayrshire in Scotland. She has been running her personal training business for over 7 years, following a successful career in financial services.
Clare is a trainer, coach, massage therapist, writer and counselor. And she absolutely loves what she does.
But, early in 2019, Clare found herself working long hours and with limited flexibility. As a mom, she wanted more time with her family.
She needed to create flexibility in her life. She had reached a point where she could not help any more clients as she had no more hours to give to individual coaching sessions. She wanted to explore her passion as a writer in her own time and in her own place. Her schedule was out of control and she was having to turn clients away.
Clare decided the best way to achieve her goals was to expand the online side of her business and to develop a group version of her successful training plan. However, she struggled to figure out the big picture.
What would her business look like? How many people would she work with? What kind of work was she meant to do? What would she find most fulfilling and profitable? Would clients see the same results without her standing there?
When we first discussed her goals, Clare told me:
“I keep tying myself in knots around my marketing and getting bogged down in high level decisions on what I want to do longer term… There are so many things I need to do it has sent me in a spin.”
Doing Work That Is Meaningful
Clare was feeling overwhelmed and struggling to find clarity.
So, we started by diving deep into what Clare most wanted in her business. I gave her exercises to help her identify her biggest dreams and create a future vision for herself.
Here’s what Clare told me after doing these exercises:
“So, it dawned on me that I have lost sight of what I enjoy and am good at. Plus, I am going to burn out soon if I keep going at this pace. I made the decision a while ago to stop doing any classes and to focus on a one-to-one or two-to-one training model. My reasoning was that I could work more intensely with individuals, work from home and eliminate the night-time work.
However, nearly five years down the line, I realize that it is starting to feel draining – not stimulating. I have a loyal client base and have trained the same clients every week. I mix up their training and they are seeing great results but I miss the challenge of working with new faces and the interaction that comes in a group setting. I have started a new class of six and am really enjoying it. I think that what I need to do is deliver a group version of my starter plan. Then I can pivot that into an online/remote basis using all the same materials.”
And so, Clare’s vision for an online version of her business began to take shape. She discovered that she could leverage all the materials she already had for her in-person business and quickly create an online program that would meet her clients’ needs.
How To Create An Online Coaching Program for Freedom and Income
Now that Clare had a plan to move forward, she set to work. Clare impressed me with her determination and drive. She was not going to give up and succumb to one of the three reasons why most online businesses fail.
However, there were some hiccups along the way. Like the time Clare told me:
“I find myself questioning whether I should have a rest and just chill. And who did I think would ever buy the course anyway!”
These kinds of doubts are normal. We all experience them. Especially when creating something new outside of our comfort zone.
It’s at times like this when you need a community or support system. An accountability group or person that helps you stay the course.
Of course, Clare did keep going. In fact, she created her online program and launched in just two months.
Clare’s launch was simple. She shared her new program with her Facebook group, her email list, and her existing clients.
There were no fancy sales pages, and no time or money wasted implementing complex technology. Clare took her idea to market fast and her strategy paid off.
At launch, Clare had 156 email subscribers and she signed up 11 people to her online program. Clare offered it to her beta testers at a discounted price of GBP85 (approximately $110).
Next time around, Clare plans to charge almost double that number.
And the key to her success? Clare leveraged what she does best and kept things simple. This allowed her to launch fast and create something her audience wanted. Here’s what Clare told me about her results:
“The big shift for me is to have got rid of all the noise. Over the last couple of years, I had joined various Facebook groups, listened to podcasts, etc. But all that did was distract me and make me feel as if should be doing things differently. Stripping it right back and working out what I want to be doing and getting on with it has been great. It feels like my business again and I am not wasting time changing everything and faffing. “
We All Need Accountability
Working with Clare and seeing her success has been immensely rewarding for me. We’re now firm friends and I’m excited to see Clare’s next steps in her business. When I asked Clare what has been most helpful to her in being part of my program, she said:
“Accountability as always… I feel as if you’ve given me gentle prods in the right direction. I think that the challenge with working from home and by yourself is that it’s really hard not having someone to bounce ideas off. I have joined various other groups and memberships but have now cancelled them all and cleared my social media feeds of what everyone else is doing. I feel so much better and focused on my own business. You have really helped with that too – thank you x”
Building a profitable business isn’t easy. We need people to encourage us to keep moving forward. Together, we all have a greater chance of success.
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