Intro = What is a funnel?
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re eager to grow your online fitness business.
In the sales and marketing world, a “funnel” is a marketing term for: “the journey that potential customers go through when they are considering a purchase.”
In the online fitness world, a funnel is pretty straightforward.
- Top of funnel = Drive traffic to your mobile website, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube channel.
- Middle of funnel = Provide free value in exchange for email and contact info.
- Bottom of funnel = Nurture qualified leads and tell them about your paid product.
That’s it! Here’s a diagram of the different sections.
Top of funnel = Traffic
People need to know that you, your business, and your product exist. They have to hear about you first in order to start their journey with you or your brand.
Methods for generating traffic and gaining followers:
- Collaborations. Another good way to generate traffic is to do a guest appearance on someone’s workout video, a podcast episode, blog post, cooking show, or IG LIVE. Keep in mind that you can cross-pollinate with adjacent industries, i.e., nutrition creators, dieticians, gym-owners, online chefs, etc. Find your niche and start collaborating with people you really admire, in and outside the box.
- Organic social media. In the fitness world, the most obvious way to get visibility is by creating valuable content on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Even though these platforms can seem crowded, they are the best way to share your expertise and provide value to your audience. Once you create content, it’s searchable and discoverable and people can find it forever.
- Paid ads. This one speaks for itself. If you’re running ads, you’re paying Instagram, TikTok, etc. to provide exposure to your page, brand, or product.
Generating traffic or building an audience can feel overwhelming at times. Social media platforms have made the online fitness space competitive and most marketing tools are still confusing to use and set up. However, billions of dollars are flowing into the online creator economy and it’s still SO early for anyone building a brand and audience online. Think of where the industry will be in 2030 and look to that as your north star. Building an online business is a long game and the world of social media will only continue to grow alongside.
- 3 Tips for Building a Fitness Brand on Instagram
- Free List of Content Ideas and Hashtags for Fitness Creators
Middle of funnel = Lead gen
The middle of the funnel determines how “valuable” your audience really is – e.g., Once people are aware of your brand, you need to provide them with the information and encouragement to purchase your content.
One easy way gather insights is by creating polls on your Instagram story. For example, if you put out a poll that says “How many of you prefer to work out at home or at the gym?” You might find that 85% of your audience answers [Home] instead of [Gym] which is an amazing data point to narrow down the type of product you’ll offer.
Instagram polls are amazing audience research, but not so much for capturing email addresses and contact info. Because of this, a lot of fitness creators will include a free fitness ebook on their website or Instagram bio in exchange for email capture. Since ebooks and PDFs are becoming more commoditized and bland, you may want to consider putting out a more valuable fitness giveaway.
One way to stand out and provide more value is with Superset. Our tools are a great choice for putting together a “free week of workouts” in a visual, video-based, app-like format. Create your own app and offer a free program with Superset’s free 14-day trial.
For example, April from Smalletics has built a brand around empowering petite women. On her website, she has a free guide called “Get The Free Guide: From Small To PWRFL.” April uses this guide to collect email addresses at-scale and then later markets to that customer group. You can find her free guide here.
Another more modern approach that April deployed is a free video-based fitness program called Well In Twelve. This was a 12-day workout program that she gave away for free. April had over 1000 people sign up for this free giveaway which was amazing at capturing interesting and qualified leads.
If you have multiple paid products, be sure to have different lead generators that relate to those specific products. You can do this by providing a survey, a checklist, or a free giveaway when customers visit your lead gen flow. Gillian Perkins provides an awesome overview of this in her YouTube video – “How to build a dangerously effective sales funnel.”
Bottom of funnel = Nurture
Once people are aware of your brand (top of the funnel) and have come to see your product (middle of the funnel), it’s now time to nurture and tell qualified leads about your paid product (bottom of the funnel). Remember that a narrow percentage of people made it this far, so they are most likely to convert into a paying customer.
The most scalable way to nurture leads is through personalized automated email campaigns. If you want to start small, you can nurture leads one-on-one through Instagram DM which is a great way to learn about common questions that come up in the pitch process. You can then formulate those questions into an FAQ and list them on your website or as IG posts.
If you are running ads, you can get great value by retargeting so that people that have interacted with your website or followed you on Instagram will be automatically reminded of your brand. Retargeting can build good brand awareness as you push people down the funnel. If you need help with paid ads, we provide this white-glove at Superset and would be happy to discuss setting up campaigns that feel awesome for your brand and business. Just send us an email at [email protected].
Again, building a funnel is really about focusing on 3 things. Driving traffic to your mobile website or Instagram (top of the funnel), providing a freebie in exchange for email and contact info (middle of the funnel), and then nurturing qualified leads and telling them about your paid product (bottom of the funnel). Every step will have customers that dropoff, and that’s okay! This means you’re whittling down who will actually buy from you, compared to those who will never engage with you seriously.
As you refine your funnel and learn about your business, you will decrease the % of dropoff and eventually get to a stage where your sales funnel is running itself. It takes time and consistent effort, but the payoff is the holy grail of making money while you sleep.