My evolution from a brick and mortar (B+M) business to an online one, the journey so far….
About two years ago, I received an email from an ex Personal Training client of mine who had to move away for work, Maureen whom I used to coach in my B+M business, a fitness studio located in Galway city Ireland. The email informed me that had seen the posts on my business Facebook page, website and Instagram and reached out to me to see if I could help her again…… Online!!. Maureen wanted to lose weight, get clarity in her career, destress and change her relationship with food.
Tentatively I said yes and as this was my first online gig, I was clueless, new to the online rodeo and dead scared if I’m honest. I was filled with lots of doubts which were:
- Scared of the judgment I’d get from my peers who were “purists” and believed that online coaching was not effective
- Limited technology skills
- I could see the value in e-tailors but was not sure about services going online
- How would I get the same results without equipment and face to face interaction?
- Could I mimic that connection feeling I got with existing face to face clients?
I was also very busy serving my existing clients, and competing nationally and internationally as a team member on the Irish Kettlebell Sports Team. How on earth was I to manage this?
When I originally started working in the industry 16 years ago. There was no online, no Mailchimp, Aweber, Clickfunnels, Instagram, WordPress, Zoom, Skype, Facebook.
Or for even that matter mobile phone use really. Well maybe there was certain items but it was certainly not as accessible as it is today.
All I had ever known in business since the age of 11 was bricks and mortar, when my parents opened their first Healthfood store and then aged 21 I opened my own, so I was conditioned to this!
But Maureen had a need and I an opportunity, thankfully my adventurers spirit kicked in and I gave it a chance and hey ho I had my first online client – Maureen. It was a huge success and the results drove me to look into this in a greater manner.
Using the Knowledge gained over 16 years of working directly with clients, I worked to translate my time with them into a value and created packages to suit their means. As with all new things at the start there was an amount of trial and error but the learnings I fedback and constantly improved. Using business Mentors and their online group of entrepreneurs, I filled the gaps that my worries had pointed out, improving my technical and communication skills online.
The results I got and continue to get from working with my mentors and within our mastermind group online, proved to me that this could most definitely work within my industry. Yes it was incredibly hard work, an entire new territory a bit like learning a new language or visiting a new country.
There were days I wanted to throw my laptop out the window, i could barely deal with all the passwords and log ins! My world has shifted from ads in newspapers, flyers as marketing to setting up face book groups and writing copy for emails, live videos and calls. But it’s been worth it.
By October 2017 I was confident enough on my learnings that the B+M side of my journey could be left behind, so with the help and advice from my Online support group I:
- Sold my fitness studio and equipment
- Finished up with my personal training clients. (Some continued with me online, others didn’t)
- I Quit my beloved Kettlebell Sport I’d been focused on for 6 years (Via an online coach I might add)
- Bought a Macbook Pro, a mike, an iPad Pro and an iPhone 6s Plus (These new tools replaced my physical fitness studio)
- I Moved from Galway in the West of Ireland to Southern France. (To develop my existing Mindset coaching business BossLady)
So , what has happened in the last few months……. More in my next blog.