Fitness Marketing Tips – Justin Murphy
Guest: Justin Murphy
Release Date: 12/27/2021
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Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.
Steve Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast, I am your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101. On today’s episode, I speak with coach Justin Murphy about the future of fitness and the success of clients. Justin can be found at coach Justin Murphy on Instagram. And also I coach nutrition calm. Justin has a fantastic business model that we’re going to discuss.
Again, you can find that I coach nutrition calm. And we go over the industry mistakes that personal trainers, or health coaches or fitness coaches make when marketing themselves. He goes over how he got to be where he is today, sort of the journey he took for business coaches through failures through successes.
We go over why exactly it is important to have a niche and work with clients who you can bring to success in order to make sure that you have long-term success in your business. And it’s a great conversation back and forth between his experiences and my experiences and where the fitness industry was and where we think it’s going and what success looks like from a marketing standpoint.
From a client’s success in reaching their goals standpoint, I don’t always get to do these conversations on these podcasts. They’re mostly interviews again, where I bring someone on, I asked them questions and take the backseat, but we sort of got to share the stage. And it was fun. So I appreciate Justin doing that with me. I’m sure we’ll have them on again down the road to talk about other related fitness topics.
But with no further ado, here’s Justin. Justin, thanks for joining the Trulyfit podcast. We spoke a little bit on the front end, but why don’t you give the listeners in the audience background and a bio on who you are and what you do in the health and fitness industry.
Justin Murphy: Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate it. Steve, thanks for having me on the podcast and yeah, I know took a little bit of work to get here. But here we are finally. Right So um, yeah, a little bit about me man. So I just turned 30 years old, I’ve been in the health and fitness space now since I was 18 years old. I have a whole story and pass but before that there but you know, fitness changed my life.
You know, the fitness industry changed my life for sure. And I owe so much to it. But from 18 years old all the way into this point, this has been like my number one thing in life from being a personal trainer to be in a CrossFit coach and competing in CrossFit. To go into school for nutrition, get my degree in nutrition, certifications, and then now over the last four years kind of owning my own business there and doing online nutrition and lifestyle coaching there.
And recently, we’ve really added kind of a training component ended out as well. So these days now, I literally just coach people one on one I work with, like 35 to 50 people one on one. And I I kind of tailor it is like one on one individualized like VIP coaching. I mean it’s essentially one of those things where it’s like, you know, they have unlimited access to me all the time.
I’m you know, without us like actually meeting in person me like living with them and like you’re cooking their meals for them and doing all that I mean, it’s like as one on one as you can possibly get. That’s what I’ve really kind of learned and enjoyed doing. I’ve and it’s crazy to think now because when I first started doing it, like five years ago, I was I was like charging like $100 a month for online coaching.
Then now I charge $500 a month for coaching and I love the clients back then I love the clients now but what I’ve learned is like, the more you pay, the more you pay attention, right? And my clients these days get way better results, right? They turn these habits into lifelong, you know, habits that they take with them and they make this an actual, like a sustainable lifestyle for themselves. Right.
And that’s what it’s like pretty much 99% of the people that come to me, they’ve tried every diet under the sun, it’s been the start and stops cycle their whole life they’ve lost away only to gain and back plus more and they just keep doing that. And they’re looking for a long-term solution. They’re looking for a way for them to just be able to live a healthy lifestyle without being a freakin you know, personal trainer or nutritionist or some crazy fitness enthusiast, you know, it’s like how can I create that balance in my life and make it something that’s it’s a core value for myself and my family, you know, to be able to prioritize their health, which I think all of us, you know, probably shouldn’t have that as a pillar of you know, importance in our life. Right.
So, man, that was a long-winded I guess, answer to your question there. But I guess the short answer would be I I’m on a mission to just change people’s lives man I work I’ve worked with literally over 1000 people one on one and You know, for some people, it’s weight loss for some people, it’s, you know, just want to feel better or build muscle or build healthier habits. I mean, honestly, it’s, it’s really across the spectrum in terms of different types of people I work with.
And I kind of like it that way. I think if I just worked with like one type of client, I like niche down, I’d probably get a little bored. So yeah, man, I’m a, I’m a nutritionist. I’m a personal trainer. And I’ve been working one on one with clients now for the past about 12 years of my life. So almost half my lifetime. Now.
Steve Washuta: You mentioned a lot of people failed in the past that some sort of dieting routine before they came to you, do you feel like they’re becoming successful with you because of their dedication to your program? Whether that is the seriousness in which you take it that the finances they have to put into it?
Or do you feel like it’s because you take sort of a kind of a three-pronged approach, or maybe more between also not just worrying about the nutrition, but also worrying about their lifting and exercise style, and also worrying about their lifestyle habits? Do you think it’s more that or more their dedication, or just a combination of the two?
Justin Murphy: Um, it’s definitely a combination of multiple things there. I mean, I definitely think from an accountability standpoint, you know, every single week, we have a call just like this one-on-one Zoom video coaching call, right? You know, they have unlimited access to me via text message, we’re using different tools, like, we have a custom habit tracker for them, they’re using an app like My Fitness Pal to track their food, they’re doing a food picture log, where they’re taking a picture of everything they eat, and drink and texting it to me on the spot.
There’s a lot of accountability through these tools that we’re using, and through these coaching calls, and, and then invest that they just made themselves, right, like a lot of these people, because from the very beginning, they know that it’s not a one month or a three-month thing here, you know, we’re talking six months, nine months, 12 months plus, and so a lot of them will go ahead, and they’ll pay in full for six months or more of coaching.
And so there, they are committed from the very beginning, from a financial standpoint. But mentally, you know, some people, they make that investment and they’re ready to go. And other people, honestly, they probably should have paid $1,000 a month or something, something even more drastic, because that amount just wasn’t enough for them to take it serious enough, or make them pay attention enough.
You really, it’s a combination of so many different things. But I think when you come to a coach, you really have to be ready to change, right? It’s got to be something that you’ve struggled with for a while you’ve been thinking about it for a while, and you’re really ready to go all in on yourself. You know, I think back to starting my business almost four years ago, it was the same mentality was Do or Die backs up against the wall, like you can’t fail. Right? And I think I think some people like they hire a nutrition coach.
And, you know, they just, I don’t know, like, there’s a lot of people that just, I actually just posted something today, I was like, I was like, the worst thing you can possibly do is complain about the results you didn’t get for the work you didn’t do. Right. And that’s true for anything in life. Right. And I’m not perfect here. You know, none of us are perfect by any means. But I just truly think like, you know, it’s an investment of both time and money and energy. And I think that you really need to make sure that you’re ready to change.
I think for a lot of people I work with, I was just talking to a client earlier this morning, we just signed up for another six months, and we’re talking he’s like, Man, I feel like really, this first six months. What got accomplished here is me being able to shift my mindset and actually become ready to change.
Right? And as we’re shifting the kind of the space to I guess, if you will, like now those changes are really carrying out, but he’ll admit he’s like, you know, I just wasn’t like, and I gave him the I was like, Dude, you got to give yourself some grace. I’m like when you first found me on Google or whatever here, right? And you got on a discovery call with me, like, you probably didn’t plan on signing up, you know, in paying $2,500 For six months of coaching right there.
But you did base off our conversation that we had. And so it took some time there for you to really, you know, take things serious and really, you know, dive in and believe in the process and trust the process because I mean, look, we’re combating 3040 5060 70 years of a lifetime of habits of beliefs that have been built up and you know, honestly, even six months that’s a that’s a very short time period and compared to a lifetime there for most people. So
Steve Washuta: it’s not talked about enough I feel like in the industry about clients who are not successful in their programs, right so so let’s say a personal trainer might have 40 clients and you’ll how many of those people are actually reaching their goals. The Personal Trainer may know but the outside world doesn’t know how like how successful the trainer is with their clients. And I think for us as people who are only personal trainers when speaking about people who don’t handle the nutrition side like like you make.
There’s a lot of failures because we can’t control what they’re doing outside of that, especially. I’ve had times in my life, Justin, where I had, you know, I had, like 40 clients, and I’m talking about people that I have to spend, like, you know, I mean, that’s a lot of hours in a week. Maybe I’m working 60 hours a week, one on one and a personal training session.
With all of that time being giving to people, it’s really hard to also check in on all their other goals and make sure they’re there. They’re completing all these other habits. You and I spoke again on the front end about the future of fitness. I do think there is going to be something more like, what you’re doing, where it’s either that you have a ring of people, right, so you might have like a nutritionist, and a personal trainer, and some sort of like more of a psychological coach, you know, life coach, ask, I don’t like that term, but whatever.
Then, and then everybody is playing the role to get person to, you know, from Step A to step B, or someone like you who’s controlling all of those things, rather than a lot of people, maybe because they don’t understand the general population. But you know, they’ll come to me and be like, well, you know, like, we’ve worked out for three months. And I’m not like reaching my goal.
This isn’t recently I don’t even really train anymore. I’m too busy with other things. But I’d say well, you know, Bob, just making up a name here. You had six whiskies last night, you told me you were out till three in the morning, and you know, you ate KFC for lunch, like, like 130 minutes of cardio in the gym with me is not going to negate all of these other issues.
I think that’s, that’s a problem for not only the general population, because they don’t get to their goals, but it’s a problem for us as personal trainers, because if we can’t get them to their goals, we don’t have another solution or step because, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we’re not really supposed to go into the the nutrition side.
Justin Murphy: Yeah, no, I mean, you make a great point. I mean, honestly, I think I think that’s definitely the direction in which, you know, we’ve seen it a little bit here with COVID. I mean, luckily, I had made that jump three years before COVID hit, he saw a lot of people kind of, you know, bringing this online model in some sense with COVID. But yeah, I mean, I think at the end of the day, I mean, look, I was a personal trainer for eight years, right? I mean, I started at 24 Hour Fitness.
You know, I was grinding it out there training, 1015 sessions a day scarfing down protein bars, and my suppose a 10-minute break in between sessions, right? So I get that personal training grind. But yeah, man, at the end of the day, it’s like, look, you know, regardless of what happens in a week, when I’m doing two personal training sessions a week with this person, or maybe three, or maybe this person’s crazy, and they’re doing five sessions with me even, right, but if you’re not looking into those other 23 hours of the day, right, you’re not going to get this find the best results period.
Right? And if and if let’s say the results, right, whatever that goal is, I mean, obviously, it’s dependent upon the client there, but let’s just assume it’s weight loss, like 99% of people out there, I feel like Right? Well, then, if you’re not, if you’re not tracking their sleep, you’re not tracking their nutrition, you’re not tracking their hydration, their stress management, like you’re not tracking these things, and helping them to improve these things, and help them to build awareness. Right, with what’s actually going on, then. Yeah, I mean, it’s, you’re really not going to get all that much out of out of those training sessions.
And, again, you know, there could be somebody that comes to me, and like, they’re just worried about, like, sports performance or something, or they’re trying to, I don’t know, like improving their mobility or recovering from an injury or something like, I don’t know, it just depends on the goal, right. And maybe some goals matter more effectively differently. But I think I think I could argue for any of those goals, your sleep, your nutrition, and all these things are going to be important, regardless of the goal that you have there for the gym, right? So
Steve Washuta: I think someone like you, I’m sure, it’s only going to take on the right kind of client. And that’s important for like all people in our industry and health and fitness, if I don’t have the time or expertise in a particular area, I shouldn’t knowingly take on this responsibility, because I’m not providing the proper value for this client, regardless of the finances. Right. So I think some people don’t do that.
They, as a personal trainers, they might have like 15 Different kinds of clients, but they’re only helping out a few of them, because some of them like we just talked about, might want serious weight loss, right? If you’re and maybe they sign up with you for 230 minute sessions a week, it’s like, well, you’re not going to get them serious weight loss with that, right? Unless you’re controlling all the other workouts they’re doing during the week, unless you’re looking over their diet plan looking over their sleep and their mental health and all these other things.
So I think, you know, moving forward, you know, just continue to talk about the future of fitness. When people have these niches they need to like stick with them and not maybe go outside the box so much and just take take the dollar from their client because they feel like they they’re doing themselves an injustice because long term.
I feel like you’re gonna, you’re gonna grow. I talked about this a lot, you grow commiserate with your experience, meaning like, if 12 years ago, you were to take on all the clients you had now you would have failed, because you didn’t know all that stuff you knew in between in those 12 years, right? So you learned so much from 18 to 30, that now you have all that knowledge, and you can take on 35 clients, and I think people are just too excited.
Like, I need clients and new clients and new clients, where can I get clients? How can I get clients? Well, if you just focus on doing a good job at the first few clients where it’ll spread, and you’ll grow, like, at the right pace, can you talk maybe a little bit about like, your growth? And how you start when you started your business? Like how long it took you to get 30 to 35? Clients?
Justin Murphy: Yeah, absolutely. No, I mean, look, I, I think that should be echoed from mountaintops, which is, you know, especially in the online space, right? And especially with all the business gurus and everything that are out there. I mean, look, you gotta You can’t just sit there and throw out some high ticket level pricing coaching or whatever, just because, right? You gotta definitely earn your stripes and put in the time and all of that. If not, I mean, you’re definitely doing you’re really just kind of a scam artist, and you’re doing a disservice to people there.
So yeah, when I talk about, you know, the let’s, let’s talk about this first time, I was in the field for eight years before I even started my own business, right as eight years working with clients in person and birth, both one on one and in a group setting while I was going to school, get my degree in nutrition and spending, God knows how much money on all the certifications and seminars and all that stuff, I was the guy that was like every perform better seminar back in the day. So anyway, I You gotta you got to put in the work. I mean, you know, like, after, after that eight years, when I finally you know, I finally made the jump and started my own business.
Even with that, like, you started charging $100 a month. And at that time, it was like, just, you know, I it was just nutrition coaching, right, there’s no like training aspect or anything to it, it hadn’t evolved as much as it where it is right now. And then I hired on a coach. It was a registered dietitian. At that point, we made our prices like 350 for weekly coaching 250 For bi weekly, and 150 for monthly. And then that kind of evolved, I heard on another registered dietitian, another nutrition coach.
And then after about a year, I, that’s when I had my first child, I have two little boys. Now and man, I’ll be honest, it was just it was one of the most stressful times in my life. Because I felt like and love these people that were on my team back then did that. But I just I felt like I had I was becoming I was a new dad at that point, right. I was also a new business owner. I had a team like seven people at that point. Just stressed beyond belief.
So I had to kind of like take a step back in order to take a step forward, I guess, which was like, I had to essentially transition my team out focus on my solo practice there. I had a realization from a buddy of mine in the space that you know, why? Why are you still charging, such little amounts for your coaching? And so I just continued to climb that number up.
So basically, we went for like $100 a month, then it was like $200 a month for phone consultations, or like 125 for email, right? Then that turned into the 352 5150. That turned into 400 300 200. Evolved into 500, or 300, or 500, for under 300, which is that where is that now. Now with that, like the pitch in the beginning, right as you can either do monthly coaching at 500 a month, or you can pay for six months upfront.
You do that for $2,500. So you get one month for free. So I’ve always structured it that way, like pretty much from the time that we went to that 350 models. And then after people finished that first six months, right, then they can graduate into every meeting every two weeks meeting once a month, and then graduate from the program graduating from hybrid University. So that’s how we’ve kind of, I guess, structured in there in terms of like, you know, pricing here over time.
That’s over, I guess five years, because the first year, I guess I failed to mention the first year I built a nutrition coaching company, essentially, within another company. It was like at like a big a big gym. And I didn’t like 96 clients before we left there. That was when we were charging $100 a month. And that’s when I like 50% of those people were like at that gym and 50% of those people had just found me through social media and whatever else and so that’s when I was like, All right, like, I can I can do like I can build my own business.
I don’t need to like I mean, I’ve been working for other people for long enough like you got to get to do it. You got to make the job and that’s when I hired I hired a business coach and that helps. That helps quite a bit. I had a business coach My whole first year, I haven’t had one for the last three years, though, which is kind of interesting.
But I definitely think that that that business coach helped a lot in that first year, for sure. I think having a little bit of that test run, if you will, you know, building it under another company before I went and build it myself, I think that helps. And I think that I just have, I’m lucky with where I live to, I mean, one of my biggest Well, the biggest lead generator for me is client referrals, which that’s what it always should be for you, if you’re a coach out there, by the way, guys, that that means you’re actually servicing your clients well, right, like you were talking about earlier.
But then the second one is just like if you search for a nutritionist or nutrition coach or anything like that, like in this area, like all the surrounding cities around me, and the one I’m in particular is like a fluid city, which is a blessing to be there, right? But I come up number one, again, all those cities. So
Steve Washuta: was it the business coach, or someone else who helped you with like search engine optimization to get your name up there? Or did you do that on your own? How exactly are you coming up?
Justin Murphy: You know, it’s funny is I actually did that on my own, I worked with a, like a marketing company to kind of help me with that, but it’s not even necessarily like, it’s not like, you know, if you go and you search for a nutritionist, and like, I’m sitting there ranking up with all the big dogs in the nutrition industry by any means. It’s just It’s the, it’s the local search listings, right? Yeah.
So I mean, there’s only like, you know, there’s only like 10, you know, nutritionist or dietitians or nutrition coaching companies that are like in this area. And then based off like, I mean, I have, you know, now like 150, plus, like five-star reviews that are on that. So it’s like, if like nobody else ranks even close, I think the second girl, she’s like a registered dietician, and she has like, maybe, like how half as many reviews or something. So yeah,
Steve Washuta: but you’re definitely so for the, for the listeners who have a website, and they’re promoting their Instagram, to who knows 60 people, half of them have their family, you’re wasting your time, if you’re not like making sure that you are searchable, right having whether you have to pay a marketing agency like you did, and have the proper Search Engine Optimization.
It doesn’t have to be global, right? If if you want to give out nutrition advice, you’re not going to beat out somebody by typing in nutrition advice, tips, right, you’re not going to come up first and Google, there’s going to be 20 million things coming up before you. But if you live in, you know, Rochester, New York, and you base your site around that sort of locality and use the right search engine optimization, and you connect all your social media appropriately to that to make sure you’re just driving it there, then that’s what you want to do.
Or if you’re like extremely niched in one area, right? If you if you only work with females over the age of 60, going through menopause or something, right. So like you can, that’s a way you can maybe rank somewhere. But I think for a lot of people, they’re doing so much, but there’s no direction. And they just think I have to keep doing, like I have to keep posting, I have to keep giving out content, I have to keep doing this, but there’s no direction.
And that’s why it is important, I think to have some sort of business coach or marketing agency behind you so that they say, Hey, listen, like you spent all this time for you. It was eight years for me it was 10 years, sitting in a gym. Like, basically, that was our like, if we were an artist, that was the Canvas we were painting with, we didn’t know anything else. Right? So if you if that’s all you’re digesting, let’s not pretend that we’re all experts. You have to like you have to sub these things out to other experts. Yeah, absolutely.
Justin Murphy: I mean, I so buddy, sorry, we might my my business coach. So I actually started going into this guy’s like certifications and seminars and I wanted to I wanted to work for I wanted to be a part of his team, right? And he essentially, like just based off a conversation, he kind of shut that down. But he invited me to like one of like, the mentorship, like, like, sessions, right? And so I go even in that one, we come around to the table to my spot, and he’s like, you know, what, what are your goals, what you want to do, blah, blah, I want to work for you.
That’s literally all I said. And again, he kind of like denied it, and like turned it down. But then he was like all men, if you if you leave and you start your own business, I’ll mentor you for free for three months. And I was like done. And I did it. Things took off really, really well. And I started you know, paying like doing like paid mentorship, which at first it was like $750 a month, which for me at that time was was a lot because two months after I started my business I got out my wife was pregnant.
So I have that that you know aspect of things, but I just started my business too. Right. So but I did it and did that for the first about a year or so. And then then I joined like the next well, much higher tiers. Where it was like a $50,000 investment for a year of mentorship. And I learned I learned a lesson there because the $750 a month I was paying, was totally worth it. Right? Going to $10,000 down and then $3,200 A month after that.
Not worth it. And so, you know, luckily, I was able to, this should have been aside from the beginning. But it wasn’t as formal as things should have had in terms of contracts and all that. So luckily, I was able after. I think it was three months or four months, I was like, Man, I’m, like, this is insane, right? Like, I’m sitting here paying significantly more for the same exact thing that I was getting before.
So anyway, it’s kind of graduated from that. And, you know, it’s basically a whatever 20 $30,000 lesson there for me, right. But lesson well learned and since then, I haven’t worked like directly one on one as a business coach. But, you know, I think for me. I’m constantly listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Learning and just like, I think the biggest mistake I had with having a business coach. Even though there was a lot of great things that came from it. Was that I was just doing whatever he was telling me to do. I was not building my own business, I was building his business all over again, essentially.
Right? And, you know, luckily, I was able to check my ego. And after only having a team of seven, kind of take steps back and then take steps forward. But it could have been a case where I built up a big ego. You know, team of coaches there and then been like, super stressed and unhappy or whatever.
So I, I don’t know, I think there are just so many lessons that come out of entrepreneurship. And that’s why I kind of, it’s the game. That’s so stressful, but it’s also the game that’s, like worth living in my opinion. Yeah, you’re like, you’re doing something and you’re and you’re really living life because you’re, there’s no guarantee. I mean, everything’s on you all the time. You know?
Steve Washuta: I mean, I so buddy, sorry, we might my business coach. So I actually started going into this guy’s certifications and seminars. I wanted to work for I wanted to be a part of his team, right? And he essentially, like just based off a conversation, he kind of shut that down. But he invited me to like one of like, the mentorship, like, like, sessions, right? And so I go even in that one, we come around to the table to my spot. And he’s like, what are your goals, what you want to do, blah, blah, I want to work for you.
That’s literally all I said. And again, he kind of like denied it, and like turned it down. But then he was like all men. If you leave and you start your own business, I’ll mentor you for free for three months. And I was like done. And I did it. Things took off really, really well. And I started you know, paying like doing like paid mentorship. Which at first it was like $750 a month, which for me at that time was was a lot. Because two months after I started my business I got my wife was pregnant. So I have that that you know aspect of things, but I just started my business too. Right. So but I did it and did that for the first about a year or so.
And then then I joined like the next well, much, much higher tiers. Where it was like a $50,000 investment for a year of mentorship. And I learned I learned a lesson there because the $750 a month I was paying, was totally worth it. Right? Going to $10,000 down and then $3,200 A month after that.
Not worth it. And so, you know, luckily, I was able to, you know, there was, I mean, I guess this should have been aside from the beginning, but it wasn’t as formal as things should have had in terms of contracts and all that. So luckily, I was able after, I think it was three months or four months, I was like, I was like, Man, I’m, like, this is insane, right? Like, I’m sitting here paying significantly more for the same exact thing that I was getting before.
So anyway, it’s kind of graduated from that. And, you know, it’s basically a whatever 20 $30,000 lesson there for me, right. But lesson well learned and since then, I haven’t worked like directly one on one as a business coach. But, you know, I think for me, I’m like, I’m constantly listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Learning and just like, I think the biggest mistake I had with having a business coach. Even though there was a lot of great things that came from it. Was that I was just doing whatever he was telling me to do. I was not building my own business, I was building his business all over again, essentially.
Right? And, you know, luckily, I was able to check my ego, and after only having a team of seven, kind of take steps back and then take steps forward. But it could have been a case where I built up a big go big, you know, team of coaches there and then been like, super stressed and unhappy or whatever.
So I, I don’t know, I think there are just so many lessons that come out of entrepreneurship. And that’s why I kind of, you know, it’s the game That’s so stressful, but it’s also the game that’s, like worth living in my opinion. Yeah, you’re like, you’re doing something and you’re and you’re really living life, because you’re, there’s no guarantee. I mean, everything’s on you all the time. You know?
Justin Murphy: Oh, absolutely, man. I mean, it’s, I mean, you’re totally right. Like, I mean, social media is it’s an interesting thing, right? I mean, the guy that I owe so much to that was sitting still is a mentor to me. You know, he’s, I don’t know, how old is not the age. Has anything to do with this, right? But he just, he hasn’t.
He hasn’t like evolved into the social media, he didn’t, he didn’t like grow up with social media. And so the sad part about it is is like, Yeah, I mean, he still has a thriving deal in person and locally here. I mean, he’s a legend, but at the end of the day, like he’ll never have the worldwide reach that he possibly could have. And I think that’s really what like, excites me about social media, right? I mean, there’s good things about negative things about it, whatever.
But I think you’re absolutely right. And that, you know, it’s not forever. But I mean, I’ve had conversations with trainers here locally, who I sat down with him for an hour just to help in whatever way that I could. And the idea of them doing what I’m doing was like crazy to them. Right.
And I reminded them, I was like, if you would have asked me how many years ago I would have thought this was crazy to just to let you know, right? But like, I mean, I’ve had conversations with trainers, where they’re like, they think that they are going to train the same people their whole career, and like, they think it’s crazy for that person ever to leave them. And I’m just like, I mean, I guess I get kind of where you’re coming from, but it’s like, Look, dude, like I want people to graduate my program, I want people to not be reliant on me for the rest of their life. Like, I want people to take ownership in this and develop this skill set.
And I mean, people don’t people should not have to work for I work with a personal trainer and nutritionist or whatever for the rest of their life in order to be successful. That’s crazy. So but you’re right. And the other point too, that I forgot to touch on, which was there are so many people doing so many things, and I get it, man.
That’s what I was doing four years ago, too. Right? I think what Ultimately, over time, you know, whether it’s from a business coach and the mentorship or learning yourself, you know, just through putting in the reps and failing and succeeding, and you’re just you’re gonna figure out kind of what works best for you. I mean, if I think about the things that work best for me, like 100%, the fact that I do Zoom video coaching calls, and I talk with my clients every single week. And not only do I do that, I actually, it’s supposed to be a 30-minute call, but I block off an hour, just in case I don’t ever want to be running.
Again, I am charging $500 a month, but I don’t ever want my clients to feel free. I want them to feel like VIPs all the time. So especially with people that are local, I don’t work with all I mean, I have some clients that are actually in other countries, but most of my clients are local. I mean, I don’t I’ll do whatever I have to do, right. I mean, if I need to sit there and go help you grocery shop, I mean, I very rarely do this, by the way, but it’s the offer is there, right? If I need to help you meal prep, or go work out V or whatever it may be, like I’m like, your success is my success, I’m willing to do whatever I have to do to make sure that you’re successful.
I’m just not gonna go 51% Like, I’ll go 5050 I’m gonna meet you halfway, I’m not gonna go above that, because it’s just not gonna serve you in the end, it’s a disservice. Right? So, um, all that to be said, Man, I think the thing that works best for me is though, that I think the Facebook group that I have with, you know, all the clients that I currently work with, and all the clients that I’ve worked with over the years, I think that we have a really awesome support group and community of education.
That’s, that’s an app. But yeah, I mean, it really boils down, it’s accountability, it’s education, and it’s tools, right, that’s, that’s what people need to build the skill set of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. And I would argue for 99% of people, it’s, you know if I could break it down into like that mason jar example as to like the big rocks, the things that actually matter most right, it’s always gonna be indicative there are minor, there’s, there’s the 1%, right, but for so many people, it’s like, your sleep, your nutrition, your training, your hydration, your stress management. And then from there, I’ll dive into like, the personal development side of things with clients as well.
But, you know, if you’re coming to me, and you’re sleeping five, six hours a night, that’s a problem. Like, if you come to me, and you’re not working out at all, or you’re working out way too much, that’s a problem.
Are you not doing the right type of training for your goals, right? Or nutrition. Like, I see people all the time that are like the eat really, really, really healthy, right? But they’ve never tracked their food or My Fitness Pal, they have no awareness around their numbers, they have no idea awareness around how many calories they eat, or anything like that, right? Where some people are coming to me and they are obsessed, they have a terrible relationship with my fitness pal.
And if they go one gram over, they’re like, beating themself up, right? So and then there’s in between, right? And those workouts, like, it’s or I think I missed the workouts already. But the hydration piece, the alcohol intake, this the caffeine intake, the stress management, all these different factors.
I mean, really, it’s just like, it’s it, you know, for most people that I work with, it’s not a hey, I want to lose five pounds for this wedding, right? It’s a I just got diagnosed with this, I want to be around for my kids. I, you know, I’m sick of being obese. I, you know, it’s really like a life-changing transformation. And that’s, that’s the majority of clients that I work with these days, for sure.
Steve Washuta: And I think, you know, it’s important to note, not everybody is going to have the ability to do what you do right now, right? Especially the personal trainers, if you can’t, you can’t fake it. If you don’t have this knowledge of the nutrition side, right? If you don’t have the years of experience, both anecdotally and scientifically, to help your clients in that realm, you kind of have to stick to your space and do what you do, right.
So like, you may be able to do what Justin does, in a different format, where you’re helping out with just the personal training side, and then you’re delegating some of those other tasks to other specialists and not doing exactly what he does.
But it is also important, you know, that you take on only what you can take on or else Or else you’re not helping your clients. So for instance, right now I run I run a fitness software company, so I only have four or five hours to dedicate a week to clients, I enjoy being in the lab to make sure that I stay fresh and understand what’s going on.
So So I enjoy those hours where I’m working one on one with those clients, but I can’t take on 20 clients, I don’t have the hours in the day I have other obligations and I think that’s again talking about sort of the growth, meeting your experience and ability where people are so just so obsessed with growth and clients and I think part of that is and maybe you can touch on this a little bit I don’t know because you talked about you know, basically having a mentor in the beginning.
In the fitness industry, they don’t have that. So they started like NASM started like a gym turn ship. Basically, I don’t know how successful it is where people are doing it where you get your certification, and then they could find gyms in the area where you kind of intern, but it’s not a normal thing.
And because people don’t do that, I think they don’t understand the scope of the business and all of that stuff. But did when you were working with like, like your mentor for business wise. Did you know what you were getting into? As far as the business side that gives you like a sense of like, at least I know, you said obviously that the paying that potentially an extra 20 or $30,000? You didn’t want to but did you walk away with a sense of like, okay, at least I know what I’m getting into now.
Justin Murphy: Yeah, I mean, I definitely did my feet into the water. It’s this crazy, you know, online world of entrepreneurship, especially in the fitness industry. I mean, it’s the wild, wild west, just like the supplement industry and everything else. But you know, I’d say the number one thing, and I would have paid 20 $30,000 over the for this again, right, seeing what’s happened over the last four years. But the number one thing that I got from my business mentor, was this a permission slip, right, a permission slip to go all in on yourself. Right? And to go all in and bet on you.
This for eight years. I mean, I would probably say like, I could have made that jump, like three years. I was just in my own head. Right? I didn’t have the mindset I didn’t have. I mean, I legitimately could have been ready to go three years earlier. Right? But that’s the thing. I mean, I just like, it’s really hard to believe in yourself.
Yeah, it’s really hard to quit something that’s safe, right? I mean, cuz I, from the time that I, the second year of personal training, I was making six figures a year. And I did that for all the year. I mean, I was making six figures even before I started my business. So I had like this safe, comfortable job or whatever. But it was more just about like, I didn’t, I wasn’t in control. Like I had a lot of control. But I was still working for somebody else.
And it always been just like a dream of mine to be an entrepreneur and everything that that entailed. But it shouldn’t I mean, I just take it one day at a time, you know what I mean? Like, it’s, it’s, it’s, it is a lot and it’s not I mean, I’ve I’ve worked with other coaches and mentored other coaches and done like, kind of business mentor with some other people.
And it’s not for everybody. I mean, you have to be, you gotta you got to have the mindset and you got to have the grind. You gotta be you got to I mean, you have to work you’re absolutely asked. I mean, the first year I started my business, I worked every single day, seven days a week for a whole entire year, 15 hours a day. And then I had my son and scaled back significantly. But that first year, I mean, I worked harder than a lot of people are willing to work. And that played a huge role in the success for sure.
Steve Washuta: Can you walk me through sometimes I call this the client journey, but this is going to be different because I want you to maybe walk me through it from your side. So I Steve Washuta come upon your program either through let’s say, the Facebook group I sign up for or whatever I find you Googling and I’m interested and I sign up? How does that process unfold? And can you explain it maybe from like your side? Do you do I sign up and you get an email? Do you have like a lead magnet on your page? Like how does the process unfold from start to finish?
Justin Murphy: Yeah, so as far as one on one coaching goes, you can’t sign up until you’ve actually done a discovery call with me. So you would you can apply for coaching on the website or you can reach out to me how do you reach out to me whether it’s getting introduced via a text message from a current client that’s referring or you know, social media, whatever.
And then from there, you’ll fill out the coaching application from there and we’ll schedule a discovery call which is about an hour-long typically. And in that discovery call we go over everything I mean, I really just try to learn as much value as I possibly can and see if we’re going to be a good fit to work together.
From there if you sign up then we go through the initial assessment process. Which we can go into that specifically if you want. But then we get into the real coaching. That’s really when the process gets started there so yeah. As far as one on one coaching goes like I don’t have pricing up online. I don’t you know there’s nowhere that you can sign up for coaching. Like you have to actually apply then you have to do the discovery call there.
Then essentially depending upon where I’m at in the process. I mean if it’s going to be a good fit then pay. I mean these days like I I don’t want to I mean nothing against anybody obviously. But it’s just like I really am super picky. Because it’s like I want to spend the next six, nine, twelve months with you. I want to make sure it’s gonna be a good fit. I don’t need your money, I want to make sure it’s a good fit both for me and for you. Right so and I also do I kind of fell in dimension. This I do quite a few like corporate contracts as well.
And so what this looks like is I’ll have a Client. Maybe their CEO, we work together for a time period. Then they’re like, You know what I want to bring my top 10 executives. Have you coached them one on one as well. So depending upon where I’m at with that there might be like a corporate load. Where I have more people that I’m working with at one time. So bringing them one on one clients might be more of a, you know, maybe a slower transition. In terms of not being able to start like, right then. So,
Steve Washuta: yeah, that makes sense. Well, I mean, that seems like a good way to run the program. For psychological reasons to not having people worried necessarily about the money upfront. Getting to meet you getting to, again, not invest in $1 amount right away. Invest in a person, invest in their future, invest in a relationship, and then decide if that dollar amount is worth it.
And almost always, if they believe in the future in the process, and they can sort of seeing that right. That’s a sort of like they could read. You can read all the fitness marketing gurus. That talk about, presenting the future to the clients and how important it is. And I think, again, trainers who aren’t familiar with this. Who aren’t, you know, readers of these marketing books. Because they don’t have the time. They’re sitting in the gym, and they don’t understand the process are two or three steps behind. They don’t understand.
But that’s, that’s why I like to have people on like you who have this process in place for people who want to transition, and they get the gears turning and start thinking, Oh, okay, it’s not, it’s not about me just being scalable, and saying, I can do this for $15 a month and putting up videos. No, sometimes it’s, it’s quite the opposite. Yeah, I
Justin Murphy: mean, I, I truly believe especially. I mean, we’re at right now. It’s October 2021. We’ll see we’re out here later on. Right. But, you know, I truly, truly believe that one on one coaching by far is the best model right now.That you know, there’s an evolution that coaches can have, yes, you’re gonna charge much less than the beginning, you need to get your reps in, you need to learn you need it, you need and through that time, you need to get more and more education and more confidence and all of those things, right. All started somewhere.
When I first if I think now 12 years ago, I, I suck back then. But it just it is what it is, right? So I think if you can commit to being a lifelong learner, you can really love this, right? I mean, you gotta, you gotta love this stuff, you can’t just like, do it for the money or for the freedom or whatever else. I mean, you got to actually love it. And if you love it, you’ll be a lifelong learner, you’ll commit to it, and you’re gonna keep getting better.
And as long as you can really focus on the most important element of all of this, which is human connection, right, and building relationships, you will be successful. Clients do not care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Right. And I think that that’s like one of the best things that you can remember there. I mean, within that first month of me working with clients, like that’s my number one goal, right? How can I get this, how can I build a relationship?
How can I get to know them, how can I make sure that they know that I’m on their team, and I’m not going to just be this freakin Bootcamp drill sergeant, like, I’m here to help you right? Like, because you’re so your success is my success ultimately,
Steve Washuta: totally. And I always shamelessly plug my book fitness business one to one, the subtitle is what the certifications don’t teach you. And in the book, there’s a big section about how you’re building relationships with your clients that is not taught in any certification. But it’s the most important part of personal training, right? That’s the personal side of personal training.
I’ve had a lot of clients of mine come to my wedding, right? These are people who are lifelong friends. Even when I move cities, check in on me, and I check in on them, even if we’re not working together at this point on a regular basis. It’s because you build those relationships, and not everyone has that personality. If you don’t have that personality, I mean, people will give you different advice.
My advice is, if you’re a science geek, and you’re like a Kinesiology nutrition person, and you just don’t have maybe the sort of affable personality to connect with people find another way, maybe you can’t always be taught those skills in my, in my opinion, some people just don’t have that dynamic personality.
So maybe you should do something like, you’re just doing assessments, and you’re tracking all of their things, and you’re doing more of that based approach, right? You have someone else on your team who’s like the check-in person, right? You’re kind of working behind the scenes. That’s fine because I do the opposite, right? So like I’m, I have somebody when I do I haven’t done this in a while but when I was recording,
like exact workouts, so like, even like workouts I would give them they would have to come back to me with how they completed the workout, how they felt things they were eating, how they slept, that sort of thing. I paid somebody else to review all that stuff and make sure they were meeting those criteria because I didn’t have the time and I didn’t like to do it. And that’s not me. I’m not like I don’t care about the science-based approach. I care about the relationship and keeping them on track. So
Justin Murphy: yeah, I mean, I think there’s, there’s so much I mean, the evolution of the industry, and there are so many different things that you can do. I mean, I have a friend that, you know, he started off as like a coach trainer at a big gym in Austin. And now he, you know, is sitting here launching the app after app after app.
So you like fitness app, right? So there’s, there’s so many things that you can do in this industry, I mean, you’re out, you just gotta like, You got to figure out kind of what works best for you. I mean, I just, it just so happened that 18 years old, I started doing personal training and working one on one with clients. And here I am, 12 years later, and I still truly love doing that a lot of people do get burned out of the one-on-one.
And who knows, maybe I will at some point, I just think that the way that I’ve been able to scale it, which is different than what was presented to me, I mean, I was gonna go own a gym, or I was going to, even with this nutrition thing, I was going to build a big oil company with all these coaches.
But you know, I’m not trying to go be competitive with you know, precision nutrition or stronger you or any of these other people like I want to charge, I want to charge way higher prices than them and I want to deliver a way better service than, and if I can do that, then, you know, ultimately, I can make a lot more money for the amount of time that I’m working, which then allows me to have a lot more freedom and flexibility with my family, which truly is my number one priority, even above business, right.
And so, you know, I have I, again, this has taken work, right? I mean, I’m February, it’ll be four years since I started my business. And then there are eight years of not having my own business for that. But I’m at a place now where it’s like, yeah, I work with like, 35 to 50 clients one on one, which that typically leads to like, around like a 30-hour work week.
And maybe I’ll take it to 40 If I’m doing a bunch of like extra stuff, but that wouldn’t be like with clients, right? And, you know, I have I’m, I mean, I could literally work three days a week if I wanted to, or I could cut it off. Like right now I do like Monday through Friday, and I cut it off like around, right, like, this is the last thing I have today, like meeting with somebody other things I’ll do, right, but like one 2pm.
So I have a really, really good balance working right now. And a lot of us, I mean, I have a, you know, a two-year-old little boy. I have an I have a little boy that literally was born nine weeks ago, right. So I have a lot more balance currently right now. But I think that’s what the online thing can do, man, I mean, it, it can really give you I mean, this is the coaches you see, going on trips every month traveling around the world working from anywhere like there’s the potential and what this can become can be amazing, but you just, it’s just like anything else in life, right?
Always compare it to, like, get rich quick schemes. Or something like if it sounds too good to be true. Is that it’s too good to be true. Like you have to put in work, it takes time. You know, whether you have to sit there and lose 100 pounds. Or you want to sit there and go build nutrition, you know. Coaching business, it’s gonna take time, right. You’re gonna have to put in work. You have to be patient. There’s gonna be ups and downs, all the things like nobody has.
Even I’ll throw this out there to my first year of business. Never in a million years would have expected this. I didn’t even have I blew the goal way out of the water there in 65,00 1st year in business. And then I sat there and I and I were like, you know, more stressed out than ever before. Happy, there wasn’t an off, you’re pushing for more and more and more and more.
And, you know, to take a step back and reassess everything. Really like you know, essentially just take ownership of the narrative going forward. Rather than being so reliant on a mentor. On a business mentor on a paid business mentor. I don’t know I’m just a big believer that mentorships are great masterminds are great.
All that’s great and all but like if you want to be an entrepreneur like you have to be in charge. You cannot be reliant on bouncing from mentorship to mastermind. Do you see that all the time see writers people. That it’s just nonstop even though people that was in three, four years ago, they constantly are just hopping from from mastermind, mentorship? I don’t know, I think it’s just I think you really have to take ownership of your own business and in your own life. And once you do that, that’s when the game really changed.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, eventually you have to fail. And I think that’s really what it comes down to. Right. Some people see this in every industry a lot in the education industry. You’ll see people who just continue to get degree after degree. They don’t actually have to go into the real world and then fail because they’re, they’re scared.
But eventually, you have to dip your toes in the water. You have to go about the process. And you have to screw up and then you learn. I mean this is it’s it’s a little bit ironic because we kind of teach our clients this. We want our clients through the process, right? It’s like, hey, yeah, I understand you’re gonna be sore the first day you do these lunges. But we have to get you past the soreness, right? This is like the first step in order for you to become a healthier, better version of you yet. From the business standpoint, we don’t take our own advice.
Justin Murphy: Oh, 100%. I mean, literally, there are so many parallels to what we do working with clients. Helping them, you know, and with their goals, and what we’re trying to do with business. I mean, there’s, there’s so many comparisons there that could be made.
And, I mean, that’s why at the end of the day. I mean, even with like, just which a lot of people maybe don’t have as much of a problem with. But it’s like, just leaving from the front and prioritizing your own health. I mean, I’ll be the first to say that first year because I’m sitting here grinding so much.
That was like the worst year. I mean, coming off being the fittest. I was competing as an individual regional and CrossFit. To pretty much I mean, I want to say it didn’t work out at all. But I pretty much trot my workouts off significantly. You know, eight words, drink more alcohol than, you know, just everything got worse.
And after a year, I was like, Alright, I can’t do this. Like, this is you know, this is literally like, if I keep doing this. I’m not going to be in this industry at all right? So it’s like I, I was reminded of like, yes, health is my greatest asset. And I have to make the transition from competing in sports to competing in business. Eating in the game of life, essentially, right. And so that’s now my mentality of like, everything I’m doing. With nutrition and fitness and sleep, and all that. Is that I can show up as my highest self and be able to perform. In this new phase of life that I’m in, right.
Steve Washuta: this has been great information, where can the listeners, contact you? I know that you’re going to give us your website if they’re interested. Maybe in your coaching, but for the like the personal trainers and people in fitness. If they have maybe a question concerning business, maybe they’re looking for a mentor. Is there a way they can also contact you?
Justin Murphy: Yeah, absolutely. I’m probably most I mean, I’m on all social media platforms, but I’m probably most active on Instagram. So it’s just at coach Justin Murphy. He’s gonna lastly in you RPh. Why? And then I have a podcast, I coach nutrition, radio, the websites, I pursue nutrition, calm. And then I’m on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, all the things there as well. But Instagram Instagrams, probably definitely the main one still? Well, we’ll see if that changes. But
Steve Washuta: yeah, well, that’s, that’s a whole nother conversation that we can have. Because I’ve talked about that in the podcast a lot. How people have so much money and time and effort. And of their business built into these platforms. We have no idea what these platforms are gonna look like in five years from now.
So that’s why it’s important that you have a great website, which you do, right? Because that’s really the only way to have autonomy and control over your message. Because if Instagram decides to take away likes. Or take away, maybe they say nobody can give nutrition information. Unless you upload a certification that you’re a registered dietician, or whatever. Then you know, we have no idea. And they don’t owe us anything, because we don’t pay for it.
Justin Murphy: Yeah, that’s a great point. Sorry, no, you’re fine. Oh, man, excuse me. I thought I thought I was gonna hold it in there for a second. I was like, nope.
Steve Washuta: I think there’s a trick, right? They say like, look at the light.
Justin Murphy: I don’t know, I feel like I’ve tried them all. And sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. But no, I mean, yeah, you made a great point. I mean, they absolutely couldn’t do something like that with social media platforms where you have to put it in.
But you just never know. I mean, it’s like the from the first time that you work with your very first client ever, right? So as that process evolves on and on. I mean, you just got to make sure that you remember that every single client you work with, is essential. You know, turning into your business card, right? It’s you it’s the way people judge you.
It’s, you know if you’re a results-driven coach. Obviously doing it in a healthy sustainable way, right. Not just worried about it before and after picture. But then, you know, people, people will trust that right.
And it takes time to build trust. I would say, I mean, I cannot tell you how many people have come to me. And they’re like, you know, I’ve been following you on social media for the last three to six months. Just marinating on your content, I guess you’d say. And that’s when I finally decided to reach out right.
So that’s how I look at social media to get any money out of it. No, I just tried as much free stuff as I can. Without taking away from the things that actually do generate money, right. And then with that, you know. It’s just it’s like my business social media. I look at it as like, that’s the modern day business card. Right? So
Steve Washuta: totally true. Anyways. Well, Justin, thank you so much for your time and joining the True Fit podcast. I hope to have you on another episode down the road.
Justin Murphy: Absolutely. Thank you. It’s a pleasure, and I appreciate it. See, and yeah, anytime
Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.
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