Want to see a great ad for online coaching? Look at this: 

 

Most fitness coaches will see this ad, watch the video, and go, “That’s weak.” “I could do so much better!” “Man, that dude’s range of motion / poor reps / postural alignment is terrible!”

 

Almost all fitness coaches see the ad and think: “I could do better.”

 

Here’s why they won’t.
 

When a fitness coach thinks about selling their amazing programming online, they think about attracting an audience to their programming. They don’t think about solving an audience’s problems. And that’s backward.

 

I chose the ad above because it solves a problem for a narrow niche audience. Cyclists know they *should* be doing some strength training, but they don’t know what to do. And even though the video demos were clearly shot in a CrossFit-style gym, the program owners never say “cyclists should do CrossFit.” Instead, they say “here’s how to be a better cyclist.” Because that’s all cyclists care about.

 

The coaches at Dynamic Cyclist understand how to place a “lens” over their knowledge. Here’s how to do it:

    • Identify your smallest viable audience. Find ONE person you can help. Solve their specific needs. It’s best if this is a 1:1 client you train in person. Then duplicate that solution and sell it at scale.
      For example, if you train a collegiate-level basketball player, measure the metrics they care about, and then scale the program to a larger audience.

 

    • Go narrow and deep. Selling programming for CrossFit gyms has become very competitive. And selling the same program to everyone makes your product a commodity, which means it’s subject to downward price pressure. While the best systems (like BoxProgramming.com) are worth over $200 per month, most “gym programming” platforms charge $49 per month or LESS. And they provide full class templates and coaching cues. To make that project worthwhile, you have to invest a ton of time and money for no return, and then scale really fast to make a profit. In other words, general programming is now closer to a SaaS product than a human service, and you have to approach it that way. The early products have a huge advantage that might be too big to overcome.

 

    • Produce a ton of media. What does your audience care about? What problems will you solve for them? (Hint: “get fit” isn’t specific enough.)
      Here’s a good example of an ad showing cyclists WHY their back hurts on long rides, and what to do about it:

 

    • Remember: this is a brand new business, not a side hustle. If you’re still working full-time in your gym, you can’t build an online program. You should be in Tinker phase before you start. If your gym doesn’t run itself, you’ll stunt your growth in both businesses by starting an online programming company now.

 

    • Look forward at new tech. Some programming platforms are using AI to develop customized training plans, and AI to adjust training plans based on results in real-time. That’s hard to beat. So why not leverage the tech instead of competing with it? I wrote a very long piece called “Don’t Fear The Cyber” here.

 

I used these ads to illustrate the power of a niche. I’m a cyclist, so the targeting isn’t a surprise. But what’s great is the messaging.

 

What are they selling? We see box step ups and KB deadlifts.

 

But no–they’re actually selling a solution to a cyclist’s problems. They’re not saying “cyclists should do CrossFit!”, they’re saying “Here’s your problem and here’s how we solve it.”

 

Here’s their sales page, in case you want to see the next step in their funnel.

 

The same actors and coaches could easily produce a program for golf if they had niche-specific expertise. Or rock climbing, or soccer. Remember CrossFit Football? That was a great example of niche authority. And it paid off, for awhile. The exercises AREN’T different. The workouts might seem boring to a CrossFit coach. The lens is what matters. What’s yours?