What is Team Fitness?

Fitocracy Team Fitness is an innovative way to scale your training services and brand to a very large number of trainees. Trainers will provide a predesigned workout and nutrition system to individuals who are placed in a group environment. Trainers will run this program for a predetermined period, typical expectations are 2-5 months. Trainers will encourage dialogue with members through Fitocracy, evoking a sense of one-to-one training with group support. In this setting, members may ask questions, share information, and engage in conversation with other members. In addition to general support, trainers can enhance the experience by prompting discussion – asking questions, promoting goal setting, sharing recipes, giving tips and tricks, and helping members overcome setbacks. Trainers may also share reading content and schedule video hangouts with members.

Online Fitness: 2000 to Present Day

In 2000, the dynamics around building a successful fitness brand were vastly different compared with present day.

Without today’s social media channels that cross the chasm into the mainstream, fitness professionals had to rely on large publishers, such as T-Nation and Bodybuilding.com, in order to reach a large audience.

A large part of success depended upon relationships with these publishers. Even then, audience reach was limited to these publishers’ inbound traffic, usually those who were already engaged with health and fitness (or at the very least, interested).

Without these relationships, it was still possible to gain notoriety, but it involved either spending money to launch a costly website or forum, or utilizing existing niche forums to build a reputation. The fitness world remained like this for quite a while.

The Internet was also swarming with one-off fitness products that weren’t tied to a particular brand. Marketers created highly optimized landing pages selling products like “The Truth About Six Pack Abs,” and successfully sold millions of dollars worth of digital products.

These products were optimized for a one-time sale and did not necessarily care about client results or reputation. This doesn’t necessarily mean they were bad products, but the incentive was to sell via highly optimized landing pages (which often meant ugly and garish) as opposed to brand building.

A well known phenomenon in the marketing world, there is always going to be a tension between marketing for conversion vs. marketing for brand. Given the nature of the early online fitness industry, this tradeoff favored conversion.

Then in 2008, a few things happened that would shape the current dynamics of online fitness. By the very end of 2008, WordPress started to gain some traction in the fitness scene, allowing fitness bloggers to cheaply host their own content. Fitness professionals planted their stake in their areas of expertise, such as Martin Berkhan with Leangains and Intermittent Fasting.

Simultaneously, the growth of social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and even Reddit, allowed pros to get their content into the hands of the mainstream – not just fitness enthusiasts. Professionals were no longer beholden to relationships with large publishers. Rather, first-mover advantage became important; fitness pros could claim a large demographic by marketing to them first.

Why is all of this important? To answer that, we need to look at the online fitness industry’s present state. There are two major differences between the end of 2008 and today.

First, trainers now have tools to build and monetize a large audience at scale – the most prevalent obviously being Fitocracy. Platforms like Fitocracy allow you to get clients, see their workouts, create groups, and handle billing all in the same place.

Second, there is an extremely large amount of saturation in the fitness space. Unlike in 2008, it’s not just enough to be the first to the market. Your average 30-something-ripped-white-male trainer focusing on fat loss who is only now launching a fitness brand will find it very difficult to cut through the noise.

This saturation has also pushed down profits from highly optimized landing pages. An increase in brand transparency and longevity also means that long-term customer satisfaction is more important than ever. The brand side of the spectrum is starting to become more important in the marketing tradeoff between conversion vs. brand.

Becoming a Trainer

The Importance of Brand in Online Fitness

Our deep industry experience has taught us that your fitness brand’s value – particularly reputation and positioning – cannot be understated. The fitness industry’s transformation over the last decade has played a major role in brand importance, and it’s useful to understand why.

If you want to succeed, it is imperative that you position your brand correctly and build a long-lasting reputation.

It is often said that people purchase coaches, not programs. This seems to be true. Two coaches can have identical philosophies and programming, yet clients will gravitate towards them differently, based on how they are positioned.

So how do you position differently in order to cut through the noise? Here are some dimensions that you should consider, in no particular order:

  • Area of expertise: kettlebells, powerlifting, fat loss, cross-training

  • Your personal demographic: age, gender, background (users will gravitate towards trainers like them)

  • Your fitness background: busy mother of three, former fat kid

  • Typical clientele by lifestyle or goal: celebrity trainer, contest prep, postpartum

  • Health/medical focus: diabetes, anxiety

  • Fitness voice: this video by Mark Fisher in a nutshell

There are an infinite amount of ways that you can position yourself differently, but the examples above are the methods we’ve seen most. The main point is that in order to cut through the noise you must find a positioning and market yourself as such.

Not all of these combinations will be viable (e.g. a male martial artist who wants to train postpartum physique competitors), so you may want to iterate and adjust along the way.

It’s also important that you build a great reputation, even if that means opting for more costly decisions, such as giving out free content or spending a large amount of time on customer service.

Before you launch your group, brainstorm potential topics that fit your brand and run your ideas through as many people as you can. You’ll find that some topics stick better than others.

Creating a Team

Positioning Your Group

Once you have your brand’s positioning set, you’ll need to create groups with congruent topics. There are three additional factors to consider: price, maximum number of members, and length of time.

It’s possible to launch a multitude of groups that are congruent to your brand. For example, Kellie Davis runs “The Next You,” a group focusing on female beginners, as well as “Sixteen Weeks to Bikini Ready,” a group focusing on intermediate women who want to look great in a bikini.

You can create your team in your Trainer Settings. (Note, when uploading photos, please do not upload photos with text).  Once you’ve created your team is make sure that your sales page is complete.

Creating a Sales Page

Sales pages convey all the information about you and your program to potential clients and are your primary marketing collateral.  Please see the following for strong examples.

Once your sales page is finished, you’ll want to begin promoting your class and putting together your finalized group materials.

Finalized group materials

Before your start date begins, we will need your finalized group and promotional materials. Group materials include:

  • An example training routine. Please email ftf@fitocracy.com once you’ve saved it in the app.

  • The date of your first Google Hangout.

  • A custom welcome email to clients. This is an opportunity for your personality to shine through. If you choose not to have a custom email, Fitocracy will use a generic welcome email. Videos work well too!

  • A list of all the necessary materials the client needs to purchase ASAP. An example of this is a food scale and measuring tape. Giving the client ample time to purchase these items prevents them from feeling like they’re “falling behind.”

  • Building expectations is important. What should clients expect during the program? How can they prepare? ie. shopping list, planning workout week, how long workouts will last, how to progress, etc.

  • Sticky a welcome message at the top of your group’s feed so that early signups see that you are engaged with the program.


Acquiring Customers

Selling your spots

As soon as your team is created and your sales page is done, your spots are ready to go on sale. Fitocracy will begin promoting across email, Twitter, Facebook, and other channels. This period of time lasts for about 2 weeks, and the goal is to sell as many seats to your group as possible.

The Sales period is a joint effort between you and Fitocracy, and it’s important that you advertise your group to your existing audience as much as possible. Email, in particular, seems to be the most effective.

Fitocracy can provide you a discount code up to 40% off. You should be using this code to entice your audience to sign up. Creating an occasion around the discount code, especially with a time constraint, is particularly effective. Examples of this include “40 percent off in the next 24 hours” or “20% off for the first 10 signups.”

In the two-week sales period, it is recommended that you email your list no less than 4 times with the following types of emails:

  • An initial email, which may or may not include a discount for the first few signups.

  • A limited discount email. If you provided a discount for “early bird signups,” this discount should be of lesser value.

  • A reminder email (or several reminder emails) during the campaign.

  • A “last chance” email during the last day (or hours) of the campaign.

Other Marketing Tactics

  • If you are a blogger, let your readers know about your Team Fitness program.
  • Promote your class across social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Establish yourself as an expert in the Fitocracy community and leverage this audience.
  • Submit blog posts to the Fitocracy Knowledge Center for further promotion.
  • Create and save sample routines giving members a taste of what to expect from your coaching.
  • Lastly, this is a great informational video that one of our coaches  created. It has proven an effective way to generate new member signups, and it also contains much useful information for coaches who are new to Fitocracy Team Fitness.