- (01:25): How to get your first ten (10) clients
- (03:11): Experiences from working with first clients
- (05:37): Helping your clients achieve their goals
- (12:34): Choosing your ideal clients
- (16:15): Choosing the right person to hone you
- (19:55): Outreach strategy
“Our ultimate goal is to kind of help arm you with tools that we really wish we had when we were starting out.” – Misbah
“If you don’t have anybody paying to come to you, you can’t do the good work that you want to help people with.”- Blake
“The reward of a career in anything is usually the time that you’re putting in the expertise and skills you develop.”- Misbah
“Don’t make crazy claims and set crazy expectations.”- Misbah
“Start with people who are in your corner and want you to succeed.”- Blake
“If you have 1000 friends on Facebook, even if you haven’t talked to him in a while, hit them all up, you have no idea that somebody would be excited that you haven’t talked to him in five years, and it’d be a great way to rekindle that friendship over fitness.”- Blake
Bite-sized action items to go from dreaming to streaming your podcast.
Misbah Haque 00:00
Hey, Misbah Haque here with Blake Scheidt. And in today’s video slash podcast episode, one of the things that we’re really excited to dive into, we’re just talking about fair like, what is something that we would click on when we were younger trainers or coaches, my background for anybody who’s not familiar, I came from kind of 10 years in the fitness industry as a trainer explored all the niches you can think of from teaching boot camps all the way to being an online coach and managing a roster of Cirque du Soleil, performers, MLB players, everyday people. And so I’m excited to share what I’ve learned, because I’ve kind of moved a little bit on to applying my coaching in a marketing format. So teaching people how to turn their computers on and record podcast episodes. And Blake is very heavily in the fitness coaching world. And he is still in the trenches, acquiring clients online, and he is somebody who started on site. And really, I’ve watched him grow over the years. So there’s a lot that is kind of rich right now, I feel in our experiences that I know one day, we’re going to look back at and be like, Why didn’t we talk about that? Why didn’t we document it in some way? So hopefully this place is this feed is a place to do that. And along the way, if you’re, you know, on a similar path, absorb whatever you can take whatever doesn’t work for you. Our ultimate goal is to kind of help arm you with tools that we really wish we had when we were starting out. What do you think, Blake? Does that sound about. Right?
Tips how to get your first clients
And for sure, yeah, so many lessons, I had to learn the hard way. So I wish this were something more like this when I was starting out a couple of years ago. Yeah. Again, Misbah mentioned who I am, I’ve been coaching fitness for probably almost eight years now. But full time around three and a half to four and been doing remote the whole time. So very excited, and just want to help people guide anybody and just be a, you know, just just a resource have a little bit more from the business perspective. And then, and then science also, but also just really trying to help the coach get their first 10 clients and just try to figure out how to grow their business. Because if you don’t have anybody’s paying to come to you, you can’t do the good work that you want to help people with. Right?
Misbah Haque 02:12
Yep. And that is the focal point of today. Because how do you get your first couple clients, when you don’t have any experience, you don’t have a reputation, a lot of advice that’s out there that I would search on, click on myself, still would be designed towards having some type of credibility, or else I wouldn’t see some of those strategies working. So I’m excited to think about how somebody who is maybe fresh in this industry, or even if you’re going from on site online, even though it’s still in the fitness industry, there’s a feeling of being fresh, like nobody knows who you are. And you have to figure out how to tell them that. So, Blake, what do you think because you are kind of closer to that feeling of being like, I still know and remember what it’s like to get your first hand, but you probably have a visceral feeling surrounding that. Because it is tough, man, the first 10 are really hard. I remember the grind. So I’m curious what anything you took away from your first 10.
Experiences from working with first clients
Yeah, wow. Okay, that’s a while ago now. So trying to think through it. So first off, I would say one mistake I made was, I lowered my prices to crazy low prices, because I wanted to take anybody who was willing. So I had it right out the bat just showed I wasn’t 100% confident in myself. And maybe there’s some good reasons for that, like, you know, I had a certification, but I didn’t, I was still learning how to do this remotely. And so what I would say is like, yes, you’re right, try to get as much credibility as you can. But really start with people who love you like that, if you want to like if you want to get first 10 Get some people who would believe in you, even if you kind of use them as guinea pigs and messed up a little bit. Now that sounds terrible. But that’s going to be really real. Like it, we’re gonna get real, we’re gonna get you going the people that will be the most gracious and won’t give you a bad review if you made a mistake. Or if something went what went wrong with your meeting, or you had a miscommunication for your console. And so you missed it, like, do that with your brother or cousin or best friends. So like I’ve been coaching one of my best friends up in Baltimore. I’m currently in Lakeland, Florida, but Baltimore City, Maryland are three and a half years. He started with me pretty early on and has been with me ever since. And so he’s kind of watched me evolve and get more professional and better and learn some of those things. But he’s been he’s been with me all the way through. Those are the kind of people you want to think about 10 of them. And one of the things I did actually during the pandemic as I was trying to grow my remote businesses, I literally went down if I if you can’t find a list of people, go on your social media if you have one, go down the list of all of your friends and literally try to message each one of them with like Just a pitch Hey, would you try this with me for free for one month and see if it’s something that you enjoy? So all of there’s there’s no risk, right? If you have no credibility, you want to create a no risk kind of idea to or, or business kind of pitch to them that makes it really easy to say, Yeah, I’ll give it a try. I did that I went through, I think I went through like 1500 friends on Facebook, and I hit up about 20 people a day. I don’t know, probably for like 10 days or whatever. I don’t even know if that math works out. And I wound up getting, I got 10 people that way that signed up. Wow, out of that. Out of that free month, I think I kept 80% of them.
Helping your clients achieve their goals
Misbah Haque 05:37
Yeah, dude, here’s the thing that’s really important about what you said is offer you need an offer to be like an offer. That’s not just like, hey, I’m gonna, can I coach you? Can I train you? Like, I don’t know, that’s not really compelling. And if there is a compelling way that you can, I’ll give you an example. You know, my fiance’s friend, is someone who does fitness classes and just moved right is looking for a trainer, but doesn’t want to go to a, you know, a gym, it’s taking too long to kind of find one. And you know, the specific problems when you ask her like, Oh, what do you actually want out of your fitness with and the goals are very simple. And they’re worded not in a way maybe that I would word it right. It’s like, oh, I you know, I want to be able to look great in a bikini, I want my booty to be strong for my pole dancing classes. I want this, this and this, like, you know what I mean? Like that language is something that I couldn’t manufacture. But if you were to be able to take that data that you heard, and say it back to somebody, like, Oh, I could totally help you with a lot of glute exercises, we could work on your core so that when you’re, whether you’re doing pole dancing, or you’re out on the beach, he looked great. That is a better visual for that person than Hey, I’ll coach you online. And I have an app, you know, and I’ll give you a workout a day. It’s like, okay, well, that doesn’t sound at all, like something that I would say yes to. But as soon as you have data on, okay, this is what somebody really wants out of it. Now you can make a specific offer, that actually solves a problem. So the first 10 people, like you said, are what I would say inner circle, who is you’re not just family and friends, but they could be past, you know, co workers or friends. Yeah, friends, you know, people who are kind of very close, like in that network, one or two connections away. And I know you’re going to price yourself really low in the beginning. But even with that math, I think you should go What does a full time version of this look like? Right? So how many clients do I need to make the amount of money that I want? And you’re going to be surprised that it’s not really more than 2550 100. Like, unless you’re selling yourself for like $5 A month or $10? Like you, you’re not going to need that many clients. So getting through 10 is a very, very inspirational goal. Because it does a barrier, you get a lot of data. And you can start to build systems from that. So one, you mentioned needing an offer, right? How do you actually an offer to here’s the challenge, I would say instead of making a big web, make a website, make a sales page, try to communicate? Yeah, try to communicate your offer in 1000 characters. So go to its I think it’s called the Hemingway app.com. And what it does, when you put your cop any writing in there, it scores it based on reading level, you never want your reading level and stuff to be above sixth grade or eighth grade, it should be very, very easy to understand almost fourth to sixth grade reading level. And that’s that simplicity means you’re communicating your offer with something okay, I can easily understand this. And then also the character count. The reason I said 1000 characters is because in an Instagram DM, which is probably in today’s day and age, this is going to change before it used to be Facebook Messenger, you know, email, whatever, like Instagram is where people are hanging out, you might want to reply to a story, you might want to message somebody, and the limit for a message is about 1000 characters. So what do you think of that if you spend your time crafting an offer that ultimately becomes the beginning point of a script or a template that you can easily customize also for each person, but you don’t have to because here’s the struggle I would run up against early on. I know that I needed to reach out to people or else nobody’s going to find out about me. But what would make it stressful is crafting that message. Oh, I gotta say the perfect thing. I gotta, you know, this all has to be right. And so instead of sending 100 a day, you’re gonna send two a day and you’re not gonna get any business. If you’re sending like two a day and you’re spending hours and hours on something that might not even get seen. You got to fit You’re out the right balance of volume in the beginning, because ultimately, that is what filters its way down into the 10 that you’re looking for.
Yeah, like definitely, I was just thinking like, there are two types of coaches and like the people who make it in remote coaching from what I can see are people who can sell for themselves and be able to get out there. Otherwise, you’re just waiting, you’re doing the Globo gym waiting for someone to bring people through the door for you. And that’s not how this is going to work, people are not going to come to you because you have a website or because you got a million certifications, they’re going to come to you because you went to them and pitch them quickly and efficiently and in a way that they could understand. And they they went with it. Now I would say the next step from there is once you get that 10, then you coach, and this is where you’re either going to make it or not, because then you got to make those people get results. Because if you can get 10 people to get results with you, then they’re gonna go 10 Tell 10 more people and you’re gonna have 20 clients, and that’s how you grow. But the pitch like Misbah was saying is huge. And I’m just a firm believer that if most people who are starting out are not going to have an exuberant amount of confidence, because you don’t have a ton of you don’t have a portfolio to point people to and say you’re, you’re the jam you are. So what you have to do is you just got to create a low, you got to create something people want sell that and make it a really low risk offer. Yeah, so and then once you start getting more demand, you can make it more risky, because you don’t need you don’t have to be as risky. But at first, the first thing you want to do is, is make it as low risk as possible. So I loved like I went from I’m gonna give you a month for free, which sounds crazy, to I’ll give you a week for free when I started getting some traction. It’s like just because in a week in a week, you’re going to be able to figure out, do you like this? Do you like me is this something that’s going to work for you, and then you know, bam, it’s either a good waste of your time, it’s a waste of their time, or it’s something that’s going to be beneficial. But you didn’t need to wait a whole month. And I remember getting really exhausted after that. But when I was starting, I was so hungry, and you kind of have to have a little bit of that hunger, yeah, that you’re willing to put up and do that. You also have more time to start building out systems, yes, for those 10 people, and, and some blueprints of how to adjust those to personalize them for people, but that you don’t have to make it from scratch. And that while you only have 10 will be beneficial when you have 3040 and 50. Because you don’t want to be building from from nothing at that point.
Choosing your ideal clients
Misbah Haque 12:34
I got that same exact advice when I had under 10 people when I had whatever like to under 20. And as I crossed 40,60, that is very true that you I really wish I use more of that time, like I did build out those systems. But when you have to deliver for that many clients like building out systems is harder, you’re also going to learn that, aside from making those pitches, you’re gonna have to create some type of content and figure out a way to get yourself out there a content that you like to make, and that’s what’s going to get you off of the wheel of having to pitch yourself as much. And just to, you know, that hunger that you talked about, that’s something that is present in every industry, right? Where the reward of a career in anything is usually the time that you’re putting in the expertise and skills you develop. So, you know, there are certain lawyers you can get free consultations with but then there are other lawyers, where are you know, they’re gonna charge you $5,000, just for that first call, just because they’ve created that demand. And you know, they’ve been in business for 30 years, or whatever it is. So knowing that firsthand, you’re not going to always pick people who you want forever and who are ideal. I know, my first one were people who I wanted them to do individual coaching. But then like they were doing a lot of group classes. And quite frankly, years later when I scaled and got to 60, 70, like some of my roster was people who wanted to do group stuff. But that was just the wrong audience for me to be focusing and pitching my attention to because it’s like, you know, you’re going against homeostasis, they want to do something else. And so you’re wasting all of your time, which is essentially your money on convincing someone who’s not even ready or is going to be so you need to be able to sniff that out as a salesperson early on, because your time is valuable. Let’s say you’re working a full time job while you’re doing this, and you’re trying to get your 10 clients that you’re delivering for free for a while, like you need to make good decisions. So those 10 people are a waste of time. And like you said, Blake, you ended up with 80 90% who stuck with you afterwards. That’s the dream scenario from a free thing that you put yourself out there and say, you know whether it’s not normal? Yeah, that’s not normal. Yeah, but you get the idea. It’s don’t You don’t want everybody to leave after that free thing and not take you up on it because that’s just a waste of your time and resources and you You only have 10 slots or 20 slots, we have a threshold so it matters who is in it. So also when people leave, don’t get depressed because it can feel like a hit to your ego. Think of it as a way that it is opening up a spot for an even better person because it usually is it just doesn’t seem or feel like that in the moment when it happens. For sure.
Whilst I, you know, kind of recap as we kind of get ready to conclude. Yeah, I would just say, you know, we talked about really start with people that will be, let’s be honest, be easy. Yes, is for you to kind of build your momentum, we’ll get you a little bit going. You can even say Man, I’ve got I’ve you know, I’m taking just 10 people right now I want to really hone this in I’ve already got eight slots filled. So I only have two left, right, those are the that’s kind of what you want. So take on Easy, easy, easy, yeses people who are in your corner who want you to succeed, start there, and then go out from there. And then like, I think what you said Misbah was great. Just the idea of making sure you can you know, your pitch. It’s 1000 words or less. That’s a long, two page.
Misbah Haque 16:06
I know. 1000 characters is like, alright, well, sentences, basically.
Yeah, think of like a tweet, right? Like, almost. Yeah, that’s, what’s that 50 characters?
Choosing the right person to hone you
Misbah Haque 16:15
A tweet is 250 characters. So think of it as like four tweets, okay, which is still pretty short. Like that’s like a long, yeah, whatever. But you get the idea. It should be concise. You being able to I think, like, as you’re crafting that offer that you’re about to gets, you know, being honest, is another one I wanted to slip in there. Like if you don’t have experience, don’t be like, Oh, I’m the best at this. Like, don’t make crazy claims and set crazy expectations be like, Hey, I’m just starting now I’m offering this thing. I’m curious if you want to try it. And early adopters will you know people who like you and stuff, they’ll want to for sure you go to a barber shop, there’s apprentices who are offering work, you know, haircuts for like $5 $10. Just because they need the practice, they want the practice. And people know that going in the Hey, this is a beginner, but they take the risk, right? Like, you’re not going to if you’re choosing the right people, like you said easy yeses to add on to that one. You want to choose people who know a little bit less than you. And that is like you’re following people who know a lot more than you. But if you ask your grandmother, you ask your you know, friends friend, like they don’t know, like how to, you know, they don’t know about proteins and carbs and fats, they don’t know about, you know, how walking and how sunlight and all these different things kind of work that like you do, and you know how to turn it into a design or whatever it is. So if you, if you go to a starving audience, they will appreciate it right. If you go to people who aren’t going to appreciate it, you’re going to really work uphill against it. So sorry for interjecting there. But that was another layer.
I want to know. I think you save somebody, some people some bullets, right? They’re like, Oh, that was that was a bad one. I’m glad it didn’t get that client. Right. So just to recap, 1000 characters, all right, keep it simple, right? Start with people who are in your corner and want you to succeed. And then really make it simple, like your pitch has to be something a, I think you said a fifth grader could understand, right, so at a fifth grade reading level or less, so that’s just very clear, very easy. And get it out that way. It’s just like, you can push that out. I remember I actually copy and pasted my, my main portion of my pitch and then personalize the intro and the outro and just sent those out so I could copy paste intro outro I remember I was going so fast a couple times I sent the wrong intro and outro to the wrong people. Yeah, as they’re like, play quiet. What am I name is not Kathy, why did you send that? You know, I? And I was like, oh, sorry, I meant to send that to somebody else. But anyways, since I have you would you like to start doing remote coaching with me? Right? You know, anything’s an opportunity. But you know, just just make sure that it’s efficient, effective, and get out there and get people and then just start coaching and like, like Misbah and I always say to each other, like, if you don’t start trying to fail forward, like as you’re trying to learn this, like you’re never gonna get started. You just got to get out there, learn it, you know, be apologetic when you screw up and just just get after it, you know more than you probably think you do. And you’re going to be more of a help to someone that doesn’t. And there’s a lot of people who don’t want to go to gyms, they want to work out from home and they would rather pay you to do the thinking on how to get them results with minimal equipment at the house. This is just post COVID This is how our world is there are 1000s of people that will work with you that that are that very experienced. I mean that those were my first 10 clients were all people and they weren’t my first 10 clients but but my that those 10 clients I got in that way. Where were people that wanted to work out from home bans, maybe one dumbbell and their backyard. Yeah, so you can help people.
Misbah Haque 19:55
And I think like if there’s one action item you take away from this right it is to make That script and put it in your notes. So it’s easily copy and paste, you can make sure we’ll do another episode where we get into the weeds about writing a script and whatnot. But make sure you personalize it all that good stuff. But Your only task is to try to send out and get to 100 pieces of outreach as quick as you can, right? Because that will allow you to not overthink reaching out to friends and family, you start to get into a flow, whether it takes you a week to do that, or a couple of days, like gets, like that’s 10 times the amount of clients you want, right? So out of 100 pieces. If nobody is saying anything, you’re doing something wrong, and reach out to us and we will help you. But if you do send that out, I guarantee you, you will get a couple of responses. It’s just the mental fear of actually writing it and sending it out. Because you’re like, Oh, I’m not ready yet. I don’t have I don’t know how energy systems and how to do this and that, but you know what, you will get ready, and you will learn what you need to learn when there’s a person on the other side. And that’s not just me saying that or Blake saying it. Dr. John Berardi is somebody who’s renowned in the fitness and nutrition coaching industry. And he did research on how many people actually stay on as trainers and coaches right apart once they start. And the people who actually, you know, don’t quit after a year or so are the ones that get to their first five clients. Because having five people keeps you on like you don’t, even though you worry and you stress, I’m not good enough, whatever you still at the end of the day are writing the program or delivering or talking to them. And it keeps you a little bit more out of your head than when you’re no clients. And there’s, there’s no so true, nothing motivating you, right. So the way you get to that to be as odd like, I know people really really crap on outreach and sending cold DMS and all that stuff. But this is not that this is actual like you are you know the person or are genuinely interested. And a lot of times, they’ll be happy that you reached out if it works out. So good luck with that. I think that is kind of something that I really encourage people to try. Even if you already have a couple clients like to get your next couple if you times, like whatever clients you want, if you need three, send 10 times the amount of those messages out and see what happens. That’s 30 you know.
Absolutely, that’s a low number to like you could do 300 Yeah, sales but make it doable for pants, right? Like if you have 1000 friends on Facebook, even if you haven’t talked to him in a while, hit them all up, you have no idea that somebody would be excited that you haven’t talked to him in five years, and it’d be a great way to rekindle that friendship over fitness 100% One stone right, a preview for another future episode on this that we can couple is basically teaching people how to create conversations through content, right?
Misbah Haque 22:54
So rekindling those old relationships. I’ve had a lot of that, that I’ve seen with my clients who once they started doing some of that people they haven’t talked to in three years, five years came out of the woodwork are like hey, I’ve been actually thinking of getting a trainer like what are your What are your prices look like or whatever. And that’s all you need to be like alright, here’s what it is. It’s actually free for two weeks or whatever your jam is. So yeah, Blake and I are here for you. Best of luck on your journey to the first 10 to make it even simpler. Get to the first three, get to the first five, but firsthand. When you get there you’re really you’re really in it you’re doing it and make sure to reach out to us on Instagram Misbah Hawk on Instagram and fitness shape for Blake and we’d love to hear anything you’d love to hear about on this show or your thoughts or comments. Don’t hesitate to reach out.