The fitness industry is very competitive. Through my media interviews and talks to personal trainers, I’m often asked how to be ‘successful’ and how to grow a fitness business.

I personally believe this is the wrong question to ask. Being good is more important than being famous. The reason why we are growing, popular and offer a portfolio of fitness and wellbeing solutions is because we focus on individual clients more than external ‘success’.  Branding gets too much attention nowadays. Modern fitness industry marketing advice is to either become an ‘influencer” by posting shirtless pics on Instagram or create a one niche service and focus exclusively on that. We have done neither of these things.

 

Personal Training

The origins of this organisation were me working as a freelance personal trainer. I did over 15,000 hours of coaching before I really expanded. I never tried to have a niche, I tended to work with pro athletes, as that’s how I initially built my reputation, but I was happy to be employed by anyone to help them get fit and healthy. Whenever I got a client, my goal was to help them as much as I could. This led me to spend quite a bit of my time studying, reading journals, attending sports science conferences and other geeky pastimes and crucially, it also lead me to collaborate rather than compete. I formed partnerships with other trainers, instructors and physios in London who could do things I couldn’t. When my clients traveled, I sought out trainers in other cities that could look after them. Now, as an organisation we don’t just have employees and an in-house coaching team, but we have a tried and tested global network of fitness and wellbeing professionals that are there to help our individual clients. With the launch of our MX Instructor Certification last year, we now also have group classes expertly taught in numerous global locations. We are growing internationally because the world is small and our customers and clients are not defined by their geography.

 

 Mental Wellness & Fitness

The latest addition to our in-house coaching team in London is Danielle, a Harley Street Psychiatrist. An odd addition to a fitness team? Well maybe – but as we age as a company, we have been getting more interested in overall wellness, not just purely fitness. Now I see the mental side of fitness, health and body confidence not just essential for physical results, bit actually more important than them. That’s why all our services have a strong ethical and mental health backbone. It’s why we don’t advertise our results with before and after photos, why our Instagram accounts don’t look or feel like other fitness company accounts and why we have built a reputation as a thoughtful wellbeing brand, not just a body transformation company.

 

Immersive Virtual Coaching

Recently we’ve launched a new online coaching product called NUK SOO™ – this is a mind and body development program consisting of 90 days worth of physical and mental workouts. Inspired from the world of martial arts and Zen living and utilising my experience in body transformations for Hollywood films. This was an ambitious and crazy fun program for me to design, write, film and build. At the end of last year, we’ve launched it quietly with little fanfare to our loyal customers. Feedback about the product was amazing – but I noticed some issues. People would drop off before finishing, and we were getting lots of emails asking questions that only I could fully answer.

I needed to find a solution that would give my customers a personal training experience even though they weren’t next to me face-to-face. I wanted our NUK SOO™ customers to feel completely looked after. This is where our immersive coaching model was born. Now customers follow the online program every day, but they are put into a small WhatsApp group ran by me, where I often answer questions by video and I support and offer accountability just like I do with my private clients. I wasn’t trying to be innovative, I just wanted to help our lovely customers as best as I could and give them the experience and support they deserve.

This immersive coaching model was quickly added to our other commercial workout system; Methodology X™. The ‘downside’ of this model is that I can’t scale these programs to the nth degree, so necessarily sales will be fewer. This is fine by me as helping fewer people but really well is more important (morally and on a business level) than doing a less than perfect job with many people! ) We have capped each month’s membership to 20 people each, no matter what. This makes our workouts sell out quickly but I think that’s okay because only those who are really keen will purchase! Which makes it easier for me to coach big profound lifestyle changes.

What is NUK SOO™?

This workout was born from a desire to help people in a complete way. You can read press and customer stories about it. I think, however, that the most useful way of seeing it is by watching this video which appears on our NUK SOO™ info page. I log you into the product and explain what you get and what it’s all about.

If you are in the fitness industry and want to create your own products or are just interested in coaching in general, I think NUK SOO™ is how online coaching should be done. I also think it’s how fitness should be done: comprehensive, smart, varied, fun, educational and able to deliver massive results while offering accountability and community along the way.

NUK SOO™ is considered unique and extremely innovative by our peers and the national press, but this happens as a consequence – it wasn’t the reason why I created it! Trying to be unique is fine, but to really offer value and to thrive as a business you have to give customers real value. As a coach you realize that not everyone knows what they want, so you have to put yourself in their shoes and help them get to where you know they want to be. Innovation is meaningless without empathy. As a coaching company it’s nice to be called innovative, unique, different etc, but more than this, our clients and customers around the world know we truly care about them as people… and that’s what’s really important.

By Dan Roberts