Success Stories

How Jono Became the #1 Fitness Educator in Australia by Selling Online Courses

5 min
online fitness course

Jono Petrohilos, Co-Founder and Director at Fitness Education Online, one of the largest providers of online education for Fitness Professionals in the world, shares his insights and experience to inspire course creators and potential course creators in the fitness industry.

Jono started as a local Fitness Trainer in Australia, running his own “Fitness Bootcamp Business”. He then created an online course to help other Fitness Trainers run a better Bootcamp for their Fitness Business. As soon as he moved to create his online school, Jono received the award of 2020 Fitness Australia Educator of the Year, the highest education honor in the fitness industry in the country.

Tips to Become A Successful Fitness Educator

Tip #1: Niche down

This is the most important component for an Online Fitness Trainer and it’s completely different from “in-person” Fitness Training. If you’re currently an “in-person” Fitness Trainer, then you can train pretty much anyone, you don’t necessarily need to ‘niche down’.

If a potential member walks into the gym and wants an exercise program to lose weight – you can write a program for them. There’s also a high chance that this prospect will choose you as their Trainer – there’s probably only a handful of other Fitness Trainers at the gym so as long as you’re in the right place at the right time – you’ll get clients.

When it comes to “online”, it’s a different world. You’re not competing against a handful of other Trainers at the local gym; you’re competing against hundreds of thousands of Fitness Trainers all over the world that are also looking for clients. Your only option to stand a chance is to choose a “niche” and become the expert at training that niche.

Let’s just say you choose “new moms” as your niche. Your aim is to become the “go-to” Trainer in the world for training new moms. You should focus all your content around training moms. If any new mom is looking for an Online Trainer – you want them to think of you first.

Tip #2: Define a Result

Niching down and choosing a demographic is a good start but if you are creating a course or any type of training program there also needs to be a result.

For example, assuming that your niche audience is new moms, what is the result you want them to achieve? Do you help them lose weight, or tone up, or do you help them have more energy?

Don’t try to put all of these results in one course or program. Instead, create the perfect ‘course’ or ‘program’ for one demographic who wants one specific result. Once you’ve mastered this result, then you can create another course for the next result for the same target audience.

Tip #3: Set up Your Unique System

This is another HUGE difference between “in person” and “online” training. If you’re an “in-person” Trainer, you don’t necessarily need a unique system, you can simply be the expert in your area when it comes to “training new moms that want to lose weight”.

If we are talking about an online course, you need to go a step deeper. For example:

Chances are your prospect audience has tried a lot of different solutions in the past, so there needs to be a “reason” why your method is different from what the prospect has tried before.

Tip #4: Don’t Create a Signature Course… Yet

If you are a new Course Creator, Jono suggests that you do not immediately create a signature course. Creating a course can be a long, drawn-out and frustrating process. Instead, go for a “free mini course” first.

It makes sense that the first time you do anything, it’s not going to be your best work. Whether it’s riding a bike for the first time, shaving for the first time, or learning a new sport, there’s a learning curve and that’s natural. The second time you do it – you’ll be a lot better.

The same stands when it comes to creating an online course. Your first course isn’t going to be perfect. There will be some mistakes made on your behalf and once you’ve completed your course, there are going to be things you wished you did differently.

That’s why Jono recommends creating the free mini course first. Make all your mistakes in your mini course, as you’re going to be giving it away for free anyway, so there’s less pressure to have it perfect. While you’re creating your mini course you’re going to learn a lot about the process of course creation, how the platform works, how to record better videos, how to sound better, how to do it quicker, and so on.

This way when it comes to creating your signature course, you’ve already got a ‘course under your belt.’The process will be quicker, easier and your signature course will be better for it.

Tip #5: Build Your List Before You Build Your Course

The other advantage of creating a free mini course first is that you can use it to build your audience list.

A common mistake Course Creators make is that they spend most of their time creating their online courses. The problem with this arises when the time comes to launch the online course. The Course Creator has no one to launch it. However, if the Course Creator was to spend some time building their list beforehand (by sharing their free mini course on social media for example, and asking for people to subscribe), when it comes to launching, the Course Creator already has a list/audience.

The sooner the Course Creator can start building the list the better, as there’s a difference between a “follower” who followed you yesterday and a “follower” who’s been following your journey for the last few months. The “follower” that followed you yesterday may need a few months to get to know you, like you, and trust you before they purchase your course. The “follower” that’s been following you for the past few months is most likely ready to buy now.

Tip #6: Sell Your Course Before You Create It

Now, this is a tricky one because the logical thing to do would be to create the course first and then try and sell it. There’s a big disadvantage to doing it this way. There’s no guarantee that your course is going to sell. It could be a great course, your marketing could be on point but if the market doesn’t want your course (or there’s no market for your course) then your course is not going to sell, no matter what you do. For a Course Creator, this is heartbreaking because they’ve put in so much time and effort.

Lucky enough, there is a way to avoid this and that’s to ‘sell your course’ before it’s created. Don’t sweat, this is easier than you think.

The process looks something like this:

If your course doesn’t make any sales, it’s disappointing but it’s not the end of the world because you haven’t even created it. Imagine if you spent months or even years creating the online course, you took it to market and it didn’t sell.

This way, you just make some tweaks to your offer, build your list a little and try again next month.

Ready to Kickstart Your Fitness Education Business?

Jono’s method of selling online courses is pretty straightforward and easy to put into action. As long as you are consistent with the tips and you are methodical in your processes, there is no reason why you shouldn’t succeed. You may also check out the following article and get some additional inspiration and ideas: “10 Tips for Creating a Successful Online Course”.

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Jono Petrohilos

Jono is the Co-Founder and Director of Fitness Education Online and Founder and Director at the Course Creator Community, one of the largest and most engaged communities in the world for Online Course Creators. Feel free to connect with him on the links below. 


Podcast: Course Creator Community Podcast