Online Business Tools for Personal Trainers and Online Marketers.
After running a successful online fitness training business for many years I would always get questions about how I did it and how to get started. Many of my clients went on to become personal trainers or life coaches to their own clients. I always love helping people succeed so I was quick to answer their questions the best I could.
There are a ton of tools that have come out in the last 10 years to help people just like you build websites, stores, course and more. It’s awesome but it can also be overwhelming. So, I’m going to do my best to share with you my top picks in a few blogs, starting with this one so if you are one of those people that have wondered what it is I do or how I do what I do, you will get some insight and maybe even gain some knowledge to start your own online challenge, fitness company, store or course.
I started my first online business in 2009 so I’ve learned a ton and have seen things change over the years as well as seen many fads come and go. Fortunately there have been some great developments over the years and there has been a lot of gaps filling in terms of software (tools) that are making doing business a lot easier and more user friendly. I mean more user friendly in terms of being able to create but by no means is running a business easy, all those who say it is is either lying, haven’t actually run them themselves from the ground up or has a supernatural gift that most people just don’t have. Running an online business comes with steep learning curves that take time but if you have the time and the will, you can do it. After all, if two-time college dropout ( ya, I dropped out twice, once for business because business is best learned by doing it and once for psychology, don’t even get me started on that..) and ex bartender can do it, so can you. With the internet we have the choice on what we want to learn. If business is what you want to learn, it’s all available for you for free. You just have to put in the time.
In this blog I will share with you some online business truths, as well as what has worked for me and what you might want to consider before you get started in any business. I have been in the restaurant business, personal training, online training, beauty parlour, marketing, homes sales, interior design, luxury retail sales, banking and photography business. There are some things that stand true for all business and some elements are more unique for others. I will share my thoughts and experience on those as well. I thought I would just give you all the tools I have used and have found to be useful so that if you are looking to start an online business of your own you will have an idea on where to start leaning and what you might need in terms of support or tools to start with. I always love helping people get their own businesses going. I will share with you some of the things that I learnt the hard way and hopefully save you time and money going through the motions of finding the best tools and help.
Let me start with my most valuable tools list. These are the ones I use most currently and on the regular.
I will likely add to this list as time goes on but here’s a start for any online business owner.
Being that I have been working online since 2009 where I started my first blog and online retail store I have some experience from trial and error businesses and I have over the years diversified my businesses. I did search out affiliate links for this list I mention since I do love these products and use them regularly, but also need a way to fund the time spent giving you these tips. I hope you don’t mind, and I hope if you do go ahead and use any of these you will consider pressing on the links I’ve provided so I can earn that cash while you enjoy these free blog posts. I hope the information in these posts are valuable to you and I would be happy to answer questions in the comment section or in my Rise Facebook group.
I hope that if you are thinking about starting an online business of any sort you take some time to get familiar with some of these tools, consider the learning curve and be realistic about your goals. YOU CAN do it but I want you to have what you need and understand that if it were easy everyone would do it. I don’t want that to scare you, because of course if I can do it, I know almost anyone can. Just remeber I’m more of realist in the sense I want people to know how much time things really take and what it really looks like. Let me get you started with this list to my right and talk about these tools and how they can help you.
Top Business Tool Picks
Fiverr– Gigs and work, graphics, logos, writing, blogging, marketing and more…
Mailchimp– Email campaign creator.
Canva-Graphics for beginners.
Adobe- Advanced graphics
Sendible– Social media post scheduler and planner.
I also use these watch for my next business blog that will cover these
Soundcloud– Upload podcasts
Trainerize– Personalize your fitness training for your clients and create your own app.
Kajabi- Build an online course and member section.
Social Media- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Vimeo
Shutterstock- Stock photos for the non-photographer.
Shopify- Build an online store
WordPress- Build this and other blogs including BMM ( I no longer run that website, I let it go)
Promo– Video maker
I’m sure you’ve noticed that many business owners hire employees to source out the work load but for someone who is just starting out that doesn’t necessarily need full time employees yet for the work that needs to be done you can get jobs done gig by gig through this amazing site called Fiverr.
If you are just starting out and just need some help on a few things like graphics or marketing or writing something up and maybe don’t even know what you need, you can even just go through all that they have to offer and find ideas for your business marketing strategy. I have had book covers designed, articles written, graphics and logos made through freelance workers found on Fiverr. I even had an accoountant look over my books and help me problem solve a solution through Fivver. They have all kinds of marketing ideas and people to create whatever you might need on a gig to gig bases. Honestly such a valuable resource I can’t say how thankful I am for this site.
Mailchimp- Email Builder
No matter what kind of business you have you will want to consider an email builder. These builders help you do a variety of things including collecting email addresses and storing them into categories so you can keep track of your leads, clients and customers. I do find that it can be a full time job to produce good emails so you’ll want to allocate time to learn the functions of mailchimp and create a plan for emails. The best thing about Mailchimp is that you can create automated campaigns. I use this for my 12 week fitness programs. I set them up so that people will get reminders on the next steps to take.
Big companies will send you emails on the regular and have a whole department to manage these email campaigns. There are other campaign and email builders out there, this is just my favourite and the one I’ve been using since the beginning. They have evolved over the years adding integrations like Canva and Shopify. I really like where this company has gone and how easy it is to use.
Graphics are Key
Not everyone is cut out for graphics. After all, there are people that do that full time and are amazing at it. They likely use Photoshop or Illustrator or any of those amazing but complicated programs from Adobe. Don’t get me wrong, I love Adobe and use it often but when you are trying to get something done quick and aren’t exactly creative or savvy Canva is an amazing tool and everyone at almost any level can use it. You see, when I first got started online, there were a ton of missing pieces. In one way it was great for the specialist because I payed a lot of money for graphics and it took me a while to find a good one. I had a great guy for a long time who did a lot of my BMM( my old fitness organization) graphics but one day he just disappeared and I was left trying to pick up the pieces. I never did as good of job as he did but he was expensive ( worth every penny) but when he disappeared I figured I would try and learn some graphics myself. Well, that really is a speciality so I recommend just using Canva or hiring off of Fiverr if it’s not your speciality, it will save you a lot of time and frustration.
When you get set up with Canva you’ll see why it’s so awesome. I use professionals for my ebooks off of Fiverr and I dabble with Illustrator and photoshop for my photography and some things but a lot of my daily content for Instagram and Facebook was created with Canva. It really is the best!
Below are some of the graphics I’ve made using Canva.
If you are already overwhelmed, I get it, it’s a lot and you will find out that fast that time management is key to the success of any start up or business.
I did want to say that a lot of business is done through social media channels these days and I found a ton of success through them myself. At one point I had a Facebook page of over 2 Million followers, so you can imagine that social media can play a huge part in your business strategy but it doesn’t mean you have to have that kind of following to be successful. Letting people know what you do and what your business is about via social media can be a full time job and for some companies they have full time employees working on content for social media, so don’t think it any small endeavour. You should be present but there are different levels of content creation needed depending on your goals and business model.
Whether you are just starting out or your company has grown, using a posting app that includes all your top social media channels like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is great but something that has Pinterest and Youtube also is a bonus. I have used and looked at a lot of different social media automators and many of them have parts that I like late does really well with Instagram and Hootsuite has it’s perks but my favourite so far has been Sendible. It allows you to automate your favourite pages and recycle content. It also lets you post straight from your website. I don’t always schedule ahead because even that can be a ton of work so you will want to determine if this will be easier for you or if you are better posting at a certain time each day. Just remember, that consitency is key in the social media game. So, if you are multitasking quite a bit and find you for you are going to work with any of the social media platforms you may want to think about planning your posts ahead of time or at least with a schedule. Sendible is great tool that connects most of the channels and helps free up time.
I hope this blog can get you started or has given you a tool you may need right now. I will be back with part 2 of the business tools that I use and you may find useful for your business. If you are interested in online business feel free to join my Rise Facebook Group. I try and answer questions there and add content that will help you with your business goals.