Attention All Personal Trainers!
Whether you are a personal trainer who’s at maximum capacity (and can’t take on any more clients) or whether you’ve just started out as a personal trainer…
This post has been written to help you generate some extra income outside of your coaching sessions!
For the last couple of years, my business ‘LEP Fitness’ has been at full capacity, this is obviously FANTASTIC and every personal trainer’s dream, but on the flip side it also leaves you in a slight predicament…
Where Do We Go From Here?
Obviously, there are lots of routes we could take:
- Hire another personal trainer
- Semi-private personal training (training more people at once)
- Start online personal training
- Create information products like e-books to generate passive income
Here are some common routes personal trainers take to expand their business and generate more income.
How personal trainers can make extra money by selling e-books online…
This post is going to solely focus on selling e-books online. Within this article I will be sharing with you some ideas for e-books, and I’ll also be teaching you strategies which will guarantee sales, give you room to leverage your business and receive passive income (every entrepreneur’s dream!)
Long gone are the days when we need to hire office space and staff to grow our businesses, nowadays all we need is a bedroom and a laptop!
In this day and age we entrepreneurs have access to so many powerful tools, most at the click of a button, these tools allow us to reach billions of people and create beautiful businesses.
E-books are one of the easiest ways to generate income, they are super easy to make, all you need is a good idea, pictures, and software like Windows – to write your content! You can then design a PDF file in no time and then…. BOOM… you have a product which you can sell and make some dollar!
The other 2 main benefits of selling an e-book…
- They don’t cost anything to make (just time and effort!)
- You can make money whilst you sleep! (passive income)
Increase Your Profits…
The 28 Day Keto Challenge, an e-book which I recently created only took me around 16hrs to complete and as of writing this sentence it’s sold 108 copies (£1578.92 in income that’s £99 per hour!) and that number continues to rise each month.
E-books can be a great way to provide value and help people whilst also generating passive income to your personal training business.
Planning Your E-book…
So now that you’ve decided that writing an e-book is a good idea here’s some key pointers…
Before jumping in at the deep end and spending hrs upon hrs (maybe even weeks!) creating an e-book, it’s important to establish whether there is a demand for your product.
With any product, there’s always the risk that it could flop – trust me I’ve had plenty of flops! and I want to prevent you from making the same mistakes!
It’s important to do your research to mitigate the downsides and to make sure that what you are offering is a viable business proposition and that there’s a market who are interested in buying.
If you have an e-book idea spend some time researching before building your product. You could search online and look at other products which are similar, you may even get some new ideas to enhance your offering.
Wowza! there are so many e-book ideas/topics that you could choose: diet, workouts, recipes, etc, or a combination of all of them!. Here are 8 E-book ideas, feel free to pinch or modify them to suit your best interests:
- 60 Day Fat Loss Challenge – workout and diet plan
- The 90 Day Muscle Building Workout Plan – workout and diet plan
- 50 Healthy Recipes You Can Make in Under 10 Minutes! – recipe instructions + pictures
- The University Students Guide To Getting In Shape – cheap meals, workout plan, diet plan
- 30 Day Full Body Detox Cleanse – healthy recipes and a meal plan
- The Busy Mums Guide To Getting Fit & Being Healthy – home workouts for mums and easy to make recipes
- How To Build Your Personal Training Business from Scratch in less than 90 Days
- The 60 Day Summer Body Beach Guide
Building Your Audience…
It’s harder to sell to new customers, compared with selling to an already established audience. From my experience this takes time.
For the last 4 years I’ve slowly been building up my ‘mailing list’. I have produced and shared weekly content with my audience for the past 4 years. During this time I’ve provided lots of free value (over 400 blogs and 88 videos) which has enabled me to help others and build trust with my audience. Subsequently, this trust has allowed me to expand my business online.
How To Build A Fan Base…
There are lots of ways to build your audience, here are a couple of ideas…
#1 Social media – Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, etc. Using these platforms gives us entrepreneurs scope to reach billions of people and build up a fan base.
#2 Blogging – This is my favourite way to provide value and build a fan base by sharing written content.
#3 Vlogging – Using Youtube, Snapchat and FB video can be a great way to build a personal brand and your business online. You can use videos to show off more of your personality and share valuable video content with your fan base.
#4 Building Community Relationships – you could provide free talks and seminars at your local gym and then direct those who want to hear more from you to your website, social media page and mailing list.
#5 Mailing List – I use Mailchimp as it’s really easy to use. I have separate mailing lists which I’ve built up over the past 4 years e.g. a male list, a female list, a student list, etc, etc I can then send over relevant content suited to each audience.
You can’t just ask somebody to follow you on Facebook or join your mailing list without first providing value! You need to give before you can take.
Step into the shoes of your customer and ask yourself these two questions…
1) “How can I provide value to my audience?”
2) “What information or tips can I share to help these people improve their lives?”
You need to give, give and give so more – before you even start to think about receiving! Your aim is to provide lots of value and build up trust, so that when it comes to selling your e-book… you have a fanbase who can’t wait to buy your latest product.
It’s important to create a sales funnel and capture data e.g. gathering customer email address, names and potentially phone numbers – so you can reach each customer individually.
As mentioned earlier in this post you have to give before you receive, so by offering something of value in exchange for an e-mail address can be a great way to do this.
On my website at the moment I give away a free 7 Day Detox Plan. Once the person enters their email address they receive a free plan and in exchange I receive their email address, which automatically gets added to my Mail Chimp emailing list.
I’ll typically receive between 10–30 email addresses a month by simply having this on my site. In other words that could be 10-30 potential customers (not bad!)
Another way I’ll capture data and generate more leads is through my contact page…
If the customer ticks the box, they will be added to the mailing list.
You could also use software like Lead Pages which enables you to easily embed custom buttons onto your website and into your blogs to increase further lead generation.
A Case Study : The 28 Day Keto Challenge…
I thought it would be cool to share with you a real case study to provide further insight into how to create and sell an e-book online.
Last year I designed the 28 Day Keto Challenge – which is basically an intense diet and workout regime which lasts for 28 days.
Before creating the e-book, I did the 28 Day Keto Challenge myself. Along the way I made notes of my workouts, and I also recorded a VLOG of my experience throughout the challenge.
I hadn’t initially planned on making the 28 day challenge into an e-book. In fact the original plan was to just write a blog and to share my experience of ketogenic dieting.
I had the e-book idea after completing the challenge which helped me to shed a whopping 16lbs of weight! It was then that I decided that this could help lots of other people too, so I gathered up all of my notes and workout routines and put them into a mini e-book which I could then sell.
An E-book Is Born…
My plan was to write an extensive blog explaining the pro’s and con’s of ketogenic dieting, whilst also sharing my video VLOG, and providing lots of value and free tips. At the end of the article I would then offer the readers an opportunity to buy the 28 Day Keto Challenge if they wanted – using Paypal…
It was a slow start, in the first month I only sold 3 copies! Still, I was super happy because I knew that if 3 people bought the product there would be others out there too!
I sat down and made a plan of action as to how I could reach more people and sell more plans. Here’s the sales strategy I used…
How I Sold The 28 Day Keto Challenge…
#1 Mailing List
If you remember earlier in this post I talked about creating a mailing list. Well after 4 years of accumulating e-mail addresses my list had grown to over 2,000 people. So I decided to start sending out free content every week. It could either be a link to a recent blog I wrote or a free recipe or something which could provide value to the reader.
My strategy was to give, give, give and give some more! so I could build trust and confidence with my audience, which I then hoped would eventually buy the Keto Challenge.
I did rounds of e-mails, each round consisted of 10 e-mails, spread out throughout the month. The first 9 e-mails contained free content and then on the 10th e-mail I would offer the opportunity for the reader to invest in the 28 Day Keto Challenge. During the first few e-mail marketing rounds I sold 18 copies! I was over the moon and had further proof that I had a product that people were willing to buy.
#2 Social Media
Similarly to the mailing campaign above… I’d schedule 3 posts per week on the FB page, with the aim of providing value, and then at the end of each month I would mention the keto challenge and drop in a link for people to buy if they wanted to purchase.
I would also share the Facebook posts on my personal FB page (as well as the business page) to increase the reach of each post (as the reach from your facebook business page is limited unless you pay for advertising!). Again this worked well and I was generating new sales each month, anything from 1-10 copies.
I would also try and sell the plan on Twitter & Instagram but I must admit… IT WAS AN EPIC FAIL!
To date I’ve only sold 2 copies on Twitter and a BIG FAT ZERO on Instagram! OUCH THAT SH*T HURTS! So I obviously got my strategy wrong here!
For me Facebook was the best, but that’s probably because that’s the platform I’m most familiar with, most active on and where I have the largest number of followers compared to my other social media accounts.
#3 Special Offers
For the first couple of months the 28 Day Keto Challenge retailed at £19.99. I then decided to do sporadic 24hr discounts offering the plan for £9.99 (50% less) for a limited time only. I’d do this occasionally and the sales would increase drastically. I remember after 1 e-mail round I woke up to having sold 11 copies over night! I was absolutely buzzing with excitement!
I also did another offer just after Christmas using my mailing list and sold 23 copies of the e-book over a 3 day period.
#4 Social Proof & Testimonials
As the plan sales started to increase I would receive ‘before and after pictures’ of the results customers achieved from following the plan. I would then feature their stories in blogs and then share on social media, and my mailing lists.
I noticed that sales would rise rapidly when I shared feedback and stories from happy customers. I also noticed that if I shared a female transformation, then more females would buy the plan that day, and vice versa… if I shared a male transformation more males would buy!
Last week I shared another success story and from that mini-campaign, I sold another 7 copies.
Social proof and testimonials are a great way to encourage people to do business with you as feedback is coming from the customer.
#5 Payment Timing
Another thing I considered is the time of month that I would pitch the 28 Day Keto Challenge. I would usually make-sure that I coincided my pitch during paydays as that’s when people are more likely to spend. I would either pitch the plan at the end or beginning of the month.
Other Sales Strategies…
I have just mentioned what has worked for me, this is by no means an exhaustive list of what’s out there. There are plenty of ways to sell your e-books. You could use Google Adwords, paid Facebook advertising, SEO and numerous other options.
I would however be doing a disservice to you as readers if I pretended that I knew what I was talking about with the likes of Google Adwords, and SEO (I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!). I can only comment on what i’ve tried and tested myself. I’d definitely recommend exploring other options and even meeting, or speaking with digital marketing companies to see if they can help assist you further – SendX recently wrote an awesome and actionable guide to Google Ads, which will help you get started fast.
Here are the platforms I’ve used to sell the e-book with numbers of how many I’ve sold on each.
- Facebook: 25
- Twitter: 2
- Instagram : 0
- Youtube: 1
- Mailing List: 67
- Blog: 9
- Website: 4
Total: 108 copies sold.
As you can see 92 of my copies have been sold via my mailing list and through FB. This has been the most successful for me but that’s probably because my strategy sucked on the other platforms! What’s important is to find out what works for you and learn as you go along.
Wowza that was a long blog! I hope you enjoyed and have learned a thing or two about what you need to do to sell and e-book online. I am by no means an expert, in fact quite the opposite but I’m quite proud of what’s been achieved with the 28 Day Keto Challenge so far. I’m looking forward to testing this concept out further with future products.
As an extra I’d like to leave you with some books that I’d highly recommend. These are all relevant to helping you sell online…
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- Persuasive Copywriting: Using Psychology to Engage, Influence and Sell
- How To Be F*cking Awesome
- Hooked – How to build habit-forming products
- New Encyclopedia of Modern Fitness Business Building
- The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost Your Sales.
- Persuasion Skills Black Book: Practical NLP Language Patterns for Getting The Response You Want
- Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping
- Words that Sell, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Thesaurus to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas
If you have any questions about this blog post or found it helpful please leave your comment below – I’d love to hear from you!