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On today’s episode of the Flex Diet Podcast, fitness coach and writer Andrew Coates and I discuss the ins and outs of speaking at professional events, including how you get selected and the benefits of attending live events.

I’m currently accepting applications for the Flex Diet Mentorship program, where I walk participants through my process for gaining clients, screening applications, and assessing their aerobic capacity and movement, breathing, nutrition, and more. We also cover mindset and personal development. See the application link below.

Episode Notes:

  • [3:39] Upcoming conferences where Andrew and I are speaking

  • [8:45] What Andrew enjoys most about speaking and how he learned to improve
  • [19:52} The value of authenticity
  • [25:51] The most important but under-rated skill
  • [34:37] Lessons he and I have learned while building a business
  • [40:34] Online vs. in-person
  • [49:58] Price setting
  • [1:03:03] My last tip
  • [1:06:57] Pet peeves
  • [1:12:24] The benefits of attending a conference in-person

Connect with Andrew:

Dr. Mike’s Flex Diet Mentorship Program:

About Andrew:

Andrew is the owner of Andrew Coates Fitness. He began his career as a certified personal trainer in the fall of 2010 in Edmonton, Alberta, and has 19,000+ client coaching hours (and counting). He is also a fitness writer and has contributed to many fitness publications, including T-Nation, The PTDC, Generation Iron, and TrueCoach, with more in the works.

Rock on!

Dr. Mike T Nelson

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Dr. Mike T Nelson

Dr. Mike T Nelson

PhD, MSME, CISSN, CSCS Carrick Institute Adjunct Professor Dr. Mike T. Nelson has spent 18 years of his life learning how the human body works, specifically focusing on how to properly condition it to burn fat and become stronger, more flexible, and healthier. He’s has a PhD in Exercise Physiology, a BA in Natural Science, and an MS in Biomechanics. He’s an adjunct professor and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He’s been called in to share his techniques with top government agencies. The techniques he’s developed and the results Mike gets for his clients have been featured in international magazines, in scientific publications, and on websites across the globe.

  • PhD in Exercise Physiology
  • BA in Natural Science
  • MS in Biomechanics
  • Adjunct Professor in Human
  • Performance for Carrick Institute for Functional Neurology
  • Adjunct Professor and Member of American College of Sports Medicine
  • Instructor at Broadview University
  • Professional Nutritional
  • Member of the American Society for Nutrition
  • Professional Sports Nutrition
  • Member of the International Society for Sports Nutrition
  • Professional NSCA Member


[00:00:00] Welcome back to the Flex Diet Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Mike T. Nelson. On this podcast, we talk about ways to increase body composition and performance and add some muscle, do all those things in flex, flexible based approach without destroying your health. And today we’ve got a little bit of a divergence from that.

[00:00:23] We’re talking more to trainers and coaches. Today with my buddy Andrew Coates and we’re have a wide range of things that we’re talking about. Everything from speaking at events. So how do you get selected? What is his personal history with that? And even going to live events. When I first met Andrew in person at the fitness summit many years ago, so I was speaking there, got to hang out with him and.

[00:00:56] I’ve been able to see him at many different events. See him speak at other events such as Raise the Bar this past year the Coaches Summit in Vegas and many other ones. So we talk about speaking at events. What are things you should do if you’re looking to do that why you should learn how to write.

[00:01:15] Even if your goal is to do videos and to speak. I still think learning to write is a skill that will be very useful for you. Andrew’s written for Team Ag and many other publications the role of social media. Andrew did a great talk at the Raise the Bar seminar about the influence of social media and how it can be useful.

[00:01:39] Also talk about online mentorships, and he gives some ones that he’s done that he recommends. As of this recording, you’ll notice in the podcast, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna do the online mentorship, the flex diet one again, and I’ve decided to do it. Unfortunately, dependent upon when you listen to this might be a little bit late, but there will be an application down below that you can fill out if you are interested in doing that.

[00:02:09] This podcast will be out on Monday. July 17th, 2023 and I’m probably only keeping applications opened through Thursday night or possibly Friday, July 21st at the very latest cuz we will start on July 24th, 2023. So if you aren’t interested go and apply there. You’ll find the link below in this podcast.

[00:02:39] We would love to have you. We also talk about income from speaking. It’s probably not what you think. The pros and cons of running your own online business, training time for money, and as I mentioned at the top, why you should go to, why live events. So Andrew will be speaking at many different events coming up, including his own event up there in Canada.

[00:03:04] A so make sure to check him out if you aren’t interested in the flex dive mentorship. You have until Friday at midnight, July 21st, 2023 to apply. We’ll have an application a link down below, so enjoy this wide ranging chat with Andrew Coates.

[00:03:28] [00:03:29] Andrew Coates: It’s good to see you brother. How are you?

[00:03:30] Dr Mike T Nelson: I’m good.

[00:03:31] Andrew Coates: How are you doing, man? Oh, I’m fantastic. There’s lots to juggle. Getting ready for a lot of events the second half of this year.

[00:03:39] Dr Mike T Nelson: So you gotta not too many events coming up.

[00:03:43] The only one as if recording, I’ll be doing a talk on. Primer on psychedelics are psychedelic supplements. Next at the International Society of Sports Nutrition. So that’ll be June 15th through the 17th. So that’s the next one I have. And then the Northeastern Conference in October. So I’ll be presenting there with a fair amount of people like Chris Henshaw Barb Bario will be there, Kelly Sette, Dan John.

[00:04:11] So yeah, those are only two right now.

[00:04:14] Andrew Coates: Cool. That’s cool. Yourself? That’s busy enough. There’s one called the LEO Conference. It’s Michael Paul’s thing that’s in Vegas in July. And then, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a precursor into being a part of the Olympia U thing that Michael does, which again, getting to speak of the Olympia would be really

[00:04:32] Dr Mike T Nelson: amazing.

[00:04:33] That’s cool.

[00:04:34] Andrew Coates: That looks really good. The July, what is set and then what do I have? I’m blanking here. Oh, I’ve got Ken Pros. Conference and TR Global Conference and Trade Show. That’s in Toronto, August 18th and 19th. I’ll be there with, I got a keynote and a couple of panels on a fireside and Luke’s gonna be there.

[00:04:54] Lee Boce is gonna be there. Melody Schoenfeld is there. There’s a he, Michael Mash and Barbell Rehab. There’s a whole like Nick Lam and then like they’re, they’ve got a crazy thing going on. There’s gonna be like a ton of stuff that’s a big expo. Oh, that’s very cool. And then there’s a, maybe something in the work for Costa Rica in September.

[00:05:11] We’ll see if Nick is able to pull that one together. And then October’s my event, so 13th and 14th. So we should have the website registration open like my, it’s supposed to be this week. We’ll see if that actually happens or not. And then, there’s some stuff that is still May-ish for December. I’m waiting on Word to see if it’s still goes.

[00:05:29] But it’s been good. Oh yeah. And then Dean and Jab have their compound performance thing. Coming up in June or early July, their virtual event.

[00:05:39] Dr Mike T Nelson: Where’s the Costa Rica event? Do you know what part of Costa Rica?

[00:05:42] It

[00:05:43] Andrew Coates: is literally just talk at this point. So I dunno if, and it’s gonna be like, apparently it’s like a small the Nick’s hope is to get like Luca and me and Joel Jameson and a couple other people and we’ll see if that works.

[00:05:56] Cuz we got a, we all got a paddle down there. And he would be coordinating with one of

[00:06:00] Dr Mike T Nelson: our guys. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah. Cause I’ll be at Ben House’s place the week right before the ISSN. So I’m flying directly from Costa Rica, isis, but I’m just hanging out and chilling and doing whatever, so

[00:06:15] Andrew Coates: I, yeah I don’t have any details yet because, these things Teddy got talked about and then they don’t always come together, so I guess we’ll

[00:06:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: see.

[00:06:22] Yeah. And as trying to get everybody’s schedule. On a singular date, and then you add a different country and you add people from the us, Canada, et cetera. It’s a lot harder than it used to be. And it never was easy.

[00:06:39] Andrew Coates: And there are more events that ever, because I may lose one of my speakers.

[00:06:43] I have a boatload of options, but I may lose Christian Tito from my event because of scheduling issues. And Swiss is the week after our event. Yep. And he can’t miss that. And he promises his wife that he will only do one a month and the Olympia two weeks after that. And Kenny Santucci, my buddy in New York wants to do strong New York, but he’s frustrating because there’s already so many events in place.

[00:07:06] And the venue he had we were tripling the cost for him. And so he might just save the hell with it. And then Luca’s gonna do Vigor Fitness and Business Summit next year. Oh, okay. He’s got so many things going on this year. He’s a part of so many events, so he’s This far out committing to that event next year.

[00:07:24] So there’s just so much stuff and you got stuff like a Rams event is now like that was a hit. So he’s going forward with that and raised the bar as a hit and they’re going forward with that. And then many more. Yeah. Sends all of the NSEA stuff right. It’s back. It is back. It is back and crushing it.

[00:07:42] Dr Mike T Nelson: Seminars are crushing it, which is a good thing and it’s always hard because the timing will always be the worst possible one. So when I committed to the N E C one was literally a year ago and I was like, great, everyone else looks great. That’s awesome. I love the promoter, it’s awesome. I’m super stoked for it.

[00:08:00] And the Swiss conference is literally the same weekend. So a buddy of mine a couple months ago was like, Hey, have you ever thought about presenting at Swiss? I’m like, oh dude, that’d be like amazing. I said, they don’t have the dates yet. He is no, he is and I’ve known Ken for years.

[00:08:14] He is awesome. I’ve been to Swiss amazing event and I’m like, You know what’ll happen, it’ll be literally the same weekend that I’m already committed to speaking and yep, it is. That’s just like the way it goes

[00:08:28] Andrew Coates: And Swiss is one of those super events. It’ll be cool. Oh yeah. I got a friend who’s like pushing to connect me through it and I’m like, that will be incredible.

[00:08:36] However, again, I have Biota event the week before at I at the Olympia the week after it. So it’s I don’t know if I can survive that rud of everything. That would be too much.

[00:08:45] Dr Mike T Nelson: So what do you enjoy most about speaking at events? Cause we’re obviously already in the podcast and we’re recording here and stuff, so that’s just the way it goes.

[00:08:57] Andrew Coates: It’s weird. So I’ve noticed that there’s definitely like a really big desire for coaches to want to be in that space. Emerging coaches up and coming coaches, established coaches, and I think that’s an incredible aspiration. I have noticed that. Some coaches look at it like that I’ve made it.

[00:09:18] That’s a false status thing. You’re a-list all of a sudden. And then they crave being treated the way that they think the speaker tier circuit gets treated. And I don’t think that’s really the reality. And I also think that’s the wrong way. The status seeking way of going about things is really the answer.

[00:09:36] So this is gonna be a long-winded answer. When I, my first speaking event was Tim a asking me to fill in for Greg Knuckles, cuz Greg couldn’t make his 2021 I f c a and Tim was going with it. 20, mid 20, 21. Shit was still crazy. So it’s not oh yeah, the tur out wasn’t gonna be that big.

[00:09:55] And initially I’m like did you go back around and ask Lee Boyce again? He’s no, no man. I want you to do it right. And by this point, my social media was growing and obviously I had more writing stuff. So Tim was very insistent and wanted me to do it. So I said, okay, I’ll do it.

[00:10:08] So I got help with some PowerPoint stuff. I asked Luca, I’m like, Hey, Luca, like what book should I read about public speaking? Because I’ve done podcasting a while, but podcasting’s not public speaking. So I leaned into it and I figured it out.

[00:10:20] Dr Mike T Nelson: What book did he recommend? I’m curious.

[00:10:21] Andrew Coates: The presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and Talk like Ted, and they were actually Oh, cool. Those were super helpful. Perfect. And there’s a few other, like little principles you learn, you understand that physiologically the experience of anxiety, nervousness anxiety and excitement or actually very similar physiological things.

[00:10:41] So you can actually tell yourself, listen, I’m not nervous, I’m excited. And that actually works right to a point. So anyway, leaned into it, went, did it re really prepared. So I knew my stuff. It went really well. It was a smaller audience, so it was a perfect chance to get my feet wet. And then my buddy Luke Carlson, who you met because Yeah.

[00:11:02] Discover strength hanging. Yeah, exactly. So you and me were hanging out at the recover resistance exercise conference Oh. The next year. So Luke was one of the other speakers. Luke asked if I would come and do a talk at that event. He wanted me to do it like the Vegas, November one of that year. I couldn’t swing it, but next year I was in.

[00:11:22] And then, other people who ha I had attended and showed up and supported their stuff. Like I’d showed up and supported Tim’s event, started asking me, poking around about stuff. Were got out reputation a little bit that people would show up to see me. And then I got more invitations. I got invited to speak at Kenny Strong New York, and I got invited to speak at the I F C A, which is a Scottsdale event.

[00:11:45] Jordan Dug and Aaron Diamond do it. And then there was Kabuki strength. A buddy of mine worked for them at the time, so he recommended me for that. And then at the time, I also started getting connected with Nick Lamb and Derek Mendoza. And so I went and attended Raise the Bar the first year they did it in Orlando, right?

[00:12:04] And then they asked me to do, or Nick asked me to do his recovery and sleep online, which I did. And then the next year I’m in the lineup for Raise the Bar and just the things keep spiraling and mushrooming. So I think I did eight events last year. It’s somewhere between eight and 10 on this year.

[00:12:20] And I didn’t seek this out. It wasn’t something I’m like, Ooh, I want to go do this. If anything, the old imposter syndrome was like, nah, no. I I don’t even think about myself in this light. But people keep asking. The results keep happening. And then you lean into it, you find it, it’s incredibly fulfilling.

[00:12:38] It’s an incredible opportunity to share. I guess career success wisdom that can actually help other coaches, especially if you approach it from giving them stuff that’s really gonna be useful for them. And what I find is, people, when I announced my event I had a whole bunch of people, virtually all had really no public speaking pedigree.

[00:13:02] And I want to be careful how I frame that, or messaging me going, Hey, can I talk to you about coming and speaking your event? And I’m just like, guys, no I’m sorry. Because I had a clear cluster of people, primarily Canadian speakers, some pretty big brand names like Don Saladino, Luca Hova, and Dr.

[00:13:19] Gabrielle Lyon of, up from the US and now I’ve since added Kelsey Heat into that. And then, my Canadians are people like Dean Somerset, Brian Kron. Lee boy, some legacy Tenian guys. Christian Tido, although Tibs may have a scheduling conflict now. Dr. Sam Spinelli. Krista, Scott Dixon of pm Logan Dubay, Hannah Gray, I am missing some, oh God, muscle Doctor on Shallow, right?

[00:13:42] So there’s some pretty superstar Canadians on top of it. Oh, yeah. And so I wanted a line up that people would look at this and go, holy shit, there’s no way I can miss this kind of what the boys did with Raise the Bar. And so I think, it’s incredibly fulfilling to get to do it. I think most coaches who aspire to do it still need to be the ones butts in seats attending, learning from that, because I think that’s what they’re gonna get a lot more out of.

[00:14:11] And this is gonna be blunt, but if the only person who’s gonna benefit from you speaking is your status, then it, it’s the wrong reason. It’s not gonna happen if it builds you up. It’s gotta be something where, People gotta look at that lineup and go, oh wow, I can’t wait to see them speak. I’m really excited about this.

[00:14:31] And you may think that’s true. It probably isn’t at this stage. And this is like cold hard truth. And this also comes from, relentless relationship building within the community. You have, you absolutely crush, you’ve been doing this for so long with, you’re one of the people I always mentioned like who crushes on email list.

[00:14:50] You have a community of people who’ve done your certification, who’ve done your work, and you’ve built relationships with through doing this for a really long time. So when people see Mike T. Nelson on the lineup of an event, they’re like, cool, I gotta go. And so that’s the sort of thing you gotta build to and some, and with, when it comes to social media it’s interacting with people on social media in a way that.

[00:15:11] Shows up, supports, helps them. There’s a ton of stuff going on. My dms all the time, I’m always answering questions. I try to respond to comments the best I can. I will, any, anything in my dms other than spam, I will literally respond to, and sometimes I fuck with the spammers, right? Teach them a little bit of a lesson, which is really a waste of your time.

[00:15:29] But if you pour that, that time and effort into giving back to people in any forum, not just when it comes to speaking, but with the articles you write and just if everything is of, is totally of a being of service mindset, then that will actually lead to the career opportunities that a lot of people crave and seek.

[00:15:47] But I still try to redirect people to say don’t try to like crave and work toward us. Don’t just go around asking for everything. Don’t ask to come on the podcasts. Don’t ask to write for the stuff. Build a library of work and just be of service to the point where people notice and they say I need you to come and be a part of this.

[00:16:06] I want you to come and write for our thing. And sometimes that’s doing it for your own website. It’s doing your own podcast building. The best thing that Dean Guido and I ever did when we started was to have our podcast, and of course, de obviously moved on. He’s got a little kid to raise, but that’s the most powerful connectivity and relationship building vehicle there is.

[00:16:27] And it’s probably a very critical part to a lot of the cool stuff that’s happened. And I know I wanted very far afield there, but I think No, it’s good. It’s some career wisdom. I think there’s a lot of coaches listening to this, right?

[00:16:39] Dr Mike T Nelson: Oh yeah. It’s a mix of, if I had to say probably 30 to 40% coaches arrest, kind of Iron Fitness enthusiasts.

[00:16:48] It’s always hard to get exact data on podcasts. If I look at my email list right now, it’s about 60, 40, 60% coaches, trainers, 40% kind of higher fitness enthusiasts.

[00:17:02] Andrew Coates: We’ll make sure we try to give something useful to the enthusiasts as well.

[00:17:04] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. Yeah. And I figured like podcasts like you, even like writing news newsletters, I think it was Tim Ferris said this once, like I like having specific topics and specific people on so you can explore everything in that area.

[00:17:18] Even though that topic, every topic is not gonna appeal to everyone, which is fine. So I’ll have some stuff like this that is gonna be a little bit more geared to trainers and coaches, other stuff, a little bit more general population, other stuff more on hypertrophy and over time it’s all within the sort of same wheelhouse and people can pick a little bit of what they want.

[00:17:37] Because I think just like speaking, if you’re trying to appeal to everyone all the time, oh God, that is like the recipe to go nowhere fast and to pull all your hair out.

[00:17:49] Andrew Coates: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s not the way to approach any of your media. You and I were talking about this cuz we both spoke at the Real Coaches Summit.

[00:17:56] It Yeah. And it was like the Real Coaches summit it, our buddy Rob Greg Gorian, who’s amazing. I think it was like 80, 85% women turned out.

[00:18:04] Dr Mike T Nelson: Definitely. Yeah. That was surprising to me.

[00:18:06] Andrew Coates: That was a crazy skew. A lot of it was Eve Guzman, who, I think she brought 60 women from her mentorship a lot.

[00:18:12] Yeah. Yeah. And we were talking about how like in theory, your stuff, it sounds it seems like it would just be like, played a bros, but apparently like what your audience skews and women just love your media as well.

[00:18:26] Dr Mike T Nelson: It’s so weird because like for years, like on the newsletter you can get some you I’ve done surveys and stuff to get, just information.

[00:18:34] And so for years, like literally most of my writing is to like the average dude, bro, age 30 to 50, looking to add some muscle but still likes performance, but tends to scr himself up in the gym. But for years and even now, 80% of my one-on-one clients would be females. And I’m like, wait, this doesn’t make any damn sense.

[00:18:52] Like I don’t write to females like at all. And I, so I started asking some of ’em, and then I realized that all the concepts are the same. But what I was saying was so opposite of what, not so much now, but especially five, six years ago, was so opposite of what female trainers were saying to female clients, that they had tried all those other approaches and it didn’t work.

[00:19:15] And so even though I technically my marketing was horrible, like I should change how I’m speaking, but I never did because I’m like it was working, so what? What do I care? So it’s, the thing is, it doesn’t always end up how you think it’s gonna end up, but I also think by trying to write to one specific person in one specific area, you’ll gather people that resonate with that and you’ll offend the people that don’t.

[00:19:40] And that’s more of the key than worrying about. This hyper-specific gender. I only write to dads who are 42 years old. I have 2.5 kids and live in the suburbans and all that stuff. They can go drive yourself bonkers.

[00:19:52] Andrew Coates: Give an example of this phenomenon, right? Because realistically you’re just being authentically yourself and I find that your generation that’s like legacy team nation generation kind to just figured this stuff out as they went.

[00:20:04] And I know there was a stronger affiliate network there and people were learning from people, but I really don’t think anybody was teaching, okay, this is the formula. You go through my curriculum of business coaching. You use this tactic you can see now with your friends on coaches on Facebook and that you see a certain post.

[00:20:22] You’re like, I know where that came from because eight other coaches posted the exact same thing. Tactic almost word for word. One of my big pet peeps. You see someone do this shit. Is some, I’m trying to remember exactly how this is worded. Hey, I’m clearing out space on my friend’s list for new people.

[00:20:40] If you wanna stay here on my some to some effect, if you wanna stay here, please comment, pay, or some sort of bullshit in the thing below. I’ve seen this several times and I almost always remove the friend. And sometimes I light them up and I say, this is garbage. Imagine forcing people to suffer the indignity of begging to stay on your friend list.

[00:21:00] Fuck off. Yeah. And what a, I know it’s a tactic and I know where it comes from. I know exactly the business coach where this is coming from, and there’s probably smart stuff within that. But these lazy tactics for engagement just I think, are so degrading and so transparent, but I hate it. Now further thing, we all have those teenage business coaches or copywriters or appointment setters in our dms.

[00:21:26] They literally look like they’re 13 years old. They have no followings. They all have the same bio. And they’re all sending largest same messages or the spam we get in our emails, which is all the same crap too. So we know that these people are doing some course somewhere, they’re all learning the same stuff and they’re all spamming all the same people out there, right?

[00:21:43] So someone’s teaching this nonsense and, but everybody’s doing it the same. It’s all cookie cutter. And more and more, I’m noticing it with coaches, that their marketing and their media is also becoming cookie cutter. Now, we, you and I are also not their target audience. We’re not their potential customer.

[00:22:02] But when I see this stuff, I’m like, there’s nothing that differentiates you. There’s nothing that brings you, your personality to the surface. And in a lot of cases, I don’t think there’s much by the way, of career accomplishment, which again, there’s also hindsight bias. There’s survivorship bias and my own filter through all of the cool but lucky.

[00:22:24] Things that happened along my career. Sure there was effort, what have you, but I was in the right place at the right time, more than it makes sense. So that’s led to the cool stuff I’ve done. It’s not necessarily easy to replicate going the right for Tea Nation writing for the other stuff, having the podcast at a major inflection point where there weren’t as many podcasts.

[00:22:42] We got the bigger audience. But at the same time, I really think that these like pre-packaged formula for here’s how you do your Instagram bio and here’s how you approach cold dms. I hate cold dms. Can’t stand it. Yes. Yeah. And I think I hope everybody listening, if you’re a coach, you’re recognizing this and going.

[00:23:04] Oh, okay. And now here’s the questions, like what do you do? Maybe Mike, you and I can answer that a little bit and for the enthusiast who sees this stuff, maybe you can recognize, wait a second. Yeah. I am noticing that a lot of these people are doing all the same things. Their marketing, they’re, their media is all the same.

[00:23:20] I’ve got cold dms, so Yeah. Mike, what do you think’s the answer to that, to the coach who feels pressure to grow their business, to scale their business and the options are, oh I have to go through some sort of like online mentorship thing. By the way. I think there are good ones out there. There are people that I’ve literally gone to events like Jason Phillips, stuff like Jordan and Aaron stuff.

[00:23:42] I think that their way of teaching business and like how to develop it, I think is fantastic. Jonathan Goodman’s, online Trainer Academy, fantastic. There are great mentors out there.

[00:23:53] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, and my biased approach, and I do teach this to a handful of people on the flex diet mentorship, which I may run in June, I may run in July.

[00:24:01] Again, just depends on my bandwidth. I turn off probably 90% of people who are interested in it on purpose because they’re like, I want all the hacks. I want all the tactics. I want everything done for me. And I’m like, Nope. I’ll teach you how to do an online assessment. I’ll teach you how to do some business stuff.

[00:24:21] I’ll teach you mindset and then personal development, like how do you not burn yourself to a complete crisp as you’re doing this? So each week it’ll rotate through that for six months. And the business stuff is, yeah, you’ll learn how to do podcasts and we’ll answer questions, all that stuff. But I actually physically make them write shit out.

[00:24:39] And then I actually go through one by one and give them feedback on it. And even though we can talk about AI and writing posts and writing everything else and videos there, there’s many forms of media that I think that can work. But I think you might agree on this or not. If you can write something out, even if writing is not your main medium of delivering it, I think that is still the best way of clarifying your thoughts and just refining your processes, period.

[00:25:12] And if you can do that and get it out to people, again, I’m biased with a newsletter, media eye control, I still think that is gonna stand the test of time, right? You go all the way back to the direct mail ads, whatever I don’t think that skill’s gonna go away, but what I’ve noticed is it’s a very hard sell and only a very minor portion of people will want to do that.

[00:25:34] And I’m totally cool with that because those are the people I want to work with. Everybody else, like screw off, I don’t care.

[00:25:41] Andrew Coates: I think writing is possibly the most. Important and yet underrated, under-recognized skill that coaches need to have. I think it’s gonna be a really useful skill for everybody at life.

[00:25:51] It tends to show up in a lot of your workplaces too. Yeah, I think writing is a form of communication skill and you can learn it. There’s a big shelf of books I have up here. Anybody listening wants to learn more about writing, I will literally give you a couple of books to start with and I will as if you work at it and go through, I will give you specific books for where you are in your journey.

[00:26:09] It’s an open offer, Instagram Perfect PMs, anytime, like I love this stuff writing. Okay, so first of all, most of the credible authorities in the industry, the people who are like, Hey, they wanna public speak, they wanna you guys craving that stuff. You wanna build your career up virtually everybody that you follow and learn from as an authority in the industry.

[00:26:32] Got their start. Where has a strong background in writing Dr. Lane Norton, who, yeah, a lot of video based stuff. A lot of YouTube, a lot of whatever. He’s got a couple books. He started writing for He was on forums, alan Yeahs Nation, John Barty, teen Nation. You, your generation, your Mike Robertson’s, your aggressive cress, Eric Crees, that entire, Ben Bruno writing.

[00:26:56] And then there are people who didn’t necessarily go through that stuff, but you got your Mike Ellos your Muscle Doc, Jordan Shallows. Luca, who eventually I did pull into tea, still doing a lot of writing through articles I’ve written for other publications, and then started writing their own stuff.

[00:27:11] Writing stuff like Jordan Cello’s got a Prescript, right? So

[00:27:15] Dr Mike T Nelson: yeah, Elle’s written whole books,

[00:27:18] Andrew Coates: tons of stuff. Some of these people also are fantastic personalities on video. Mike. Oh, yeah. Hysterical on video, on podcast, right? He’s got, oh, yeah. For any of these sort of things. Lane is like fiery and bombastic, love him or hate him, whatever.

[00:27:32] I really enjoy Lane. You get something like Dr. Spencer Naski, first time I met you, Spencer’s got a book, right? Spencer’s done tons of writing stuff. The only, the recent phenomenon where you get people who quote blow up on social media by entertaining video-based content On one hand, yes, there is a lot of value in having the leverage of a larger social media audience, but I would argue that most of the people who have these in the fitness space, who have these larger audiences, first of all, a healthy number of them are fake.

[00:28:07] Okay. The Oh sure. Fake or the engagement is actually fake. Okay. And it’s not hard to tell, if you look at the patterns, I study this stuff cuz I teach people how to build brand media, right? So it’s, and I point that out not to, it’s not oh, that guy’s, that baseball player’s juiced or that, is that bodybuilder or is that actor on steroids?

[00:28:25] It’s okay, first of all, like people cheating in like Olympic sport. No. And encouraging like young kids okay, there’s like a whole moral quagmire with that. We’re not even gonna go into that. That’s off point. But let’s be honest, we all grew up on a generation of baseball players and pro wrestlers.

[00:28:41] And bodybuilders that were juiced to the gills and we all loved it. The only reason anybody else Oh yeah. A problem with it was because it became this like moral thing in the news media, right? I liked my Hulk Hogan and Randy Maman Savage and ultimate Warrior era of stuff, and I loved it with Scott Snyder showed up for being like, we’re the old wrestling gear to like big papa pup with ache bale.

[00:29:04] He was the coolest thing ever. Love that stuff. Point being, it’s not about policing, like what’s fake or not, but in, in our space about who’s got a fake following versus real. We’ve got people who, again, it’s that craving for status. It’s that craving for the appearance of authority. They’re trying to take shortcuts and they’re faking status and authority, so that doesn’t work.

[00:29:25] It really doesn’t work. You actually have to build this stuff and it’s a long game to invest in. It. But there are some people who’ve, authentically have gone quite viral on social media, have built fairly big brands. But I would argue that the people who have then turned around and failed to do other long form media, whether it’s a really great podcast or ultimately a lot of writing for their own website or other publications, or translated that into relationships and public speaking or having gone on to write a book or something.

[00:29:56] Most of those people, a, they’re very much at the mercy of shifts in the algorithm, shifts in platforms. Yep. And two, I don’t think they’re in a very strong position to capture leverage. And I don’t like thinking in terms of where we gotta monetize your audience, but there’s an element of truth to this, and a lot of those people, It’s still, this is where social media followings becomes a vanity metric, right?

[00:30:21] I think there’s a tremendous amount of value within having a larger following. You can do a lot of good with it, but when you’re failing to do things that serve people with other media, that helps build your business it simply is nothing other than a vanity metric. And you can tell that by the way that people go about things will say.

[00:30:39] So I think it’s a very I think it’s one of the smartest things you can do to be social media savvy to learn how the platforms work and your greatest growth potential platforms. Right now, Instagram still works very well. TikTok obviously is huge. There’s only so much bandwidth we have for these things, right?

[00:30:56] I think there’s people who can really thrive by just being very active on places like Pinterest. They don’t, you don’t build following the same sort of classical way. But let me get my thoughts back on track. I think that it’s a mistake to only. Lean hard into social media without also building other forms of media and building the infrastructure of a sound business.

[00:31:22] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. To me it’s like a house of cards. Like it can be useful, like we all know people, we won’t name names in the industry who even when Facebook was bigger than Instagram I was a gasp when I met some of these people and knew good friends of them who told me, yeah, they don’t really make any money.

[00:31:39] Like some are living in their mom’s basement. Or a lot of times their spouse would be the main incomer who had, there’s a running joke is, oh, your spouse has health insurance and a job, so you don’t have to make any money. You can just do whatever you want and look amazing on social media and there’s no negative, to it.

[00:31:56] So I think if people knew more behind the scenes what was actually going on, they’d probably be more surprised at that. And then the second thing is, as when you run your own business and you’re the only person doing it, my wife works for me. You have to make money. That’s how you stay alive.

[00:32:11] And social media is great, and if you can leverage that into some income, getting clients for whatever, cool. But we all know some people who have a massive social media influence that if they had to monetize that, not in a bad way, but just to help people because exchange of money, exchange of value, they would be in a world of hurt.

[00:32:33] Andrew Coates: The biggest as I’ve been, I’ve been doing this, it’s creeping up on 13 years and I came out of the commercials gym, right? I was there for six years and then I brought my business over to my friend’s gym where I’ve contracted ever since. And, I’ve done the trade, time for money and in the session rate and over time I’ve gradually increased my rate.

[00:32:57] And here’s the thing, you get a lot of people telling you, oh, you need to stop doing it. You go, honestly, it’s the best secure backbone you could possibly have. Sure. People one-on-one is incredibly fulfilling. Like my client, Larry and I’ve got other retirees or you name it, busy professionals.

[00:33:14] They’re great to work with, right? If you’re good at setting appropriate boundaries around how everything is and filtering out the wrong kind of people like you talked about with your mentorship. So my brain is foggy today, so I’ll try to get myself back track, but I think coaches were in too much of a rush.

[00:33:32] I think it was like 5, 6, 7, even four years ago to get online. And I think there’s a lot of people who crush with their online businesses. I think having an online business is super smart. I was late to the game on that. I have an online business and my social media following helps feed that no problem.

[00:33:48] But the backbone and the stability and the income has always been, The in-person stuff, which has given me the latitude to then muck around with social media playing with it. At 1.3 and a half years ago, I said, all right, I need to finally like, do something with Instagram to compliment the fact that I’m writing for, a couple of big publications.

[00:34:10] But the secure in-person business was what allowed me to start doing the podcast for fun, traveling to events where I met you and the rest of the bloody industry, which has led to so many, which the podcast led to talking to Danny Sugar, which led to writing for Tea Nation, which, cool, which is subsequently led to other publication stuff.

[00:34:29] There are people that think, oh, you’re gonna, you’re gonna make a living as a paid writer, not at this level. You don’t

[00:34:34] Dr Mike T Nelson: like, that’s extremely hard. It’s a

[00:34:37] Andrew Coates: pitance, and so I don’t do it because I need the income. I do it because I take great pride in being able to do these things. It’s very meaningful to me.

[00:34:45] I enjoy it. I love the craft of writing. And then all of a sudden, the trips to attend these events turns into invitation to speak at them, and they don’t pay worth a damn either. If you’re lucky, the whole thing gets paid for you. Cool. Awesome. And that’s I’m at the point now where I’m like, all right hey, don’t worry about speaker fee.

[00:35:04] Just make sure I take care of my hotel, take care of my flight, I’m happy. And usually they’re super happy to do that. If you’re starting out lit, literally be willing to fly yourself to an event if you get an invitation, if that’s what it takes, if you’re really hungry to do this stuff. Okay.

[00:35:18] Dr Mike T Nelson: Let caveat, just make sure you’re clear on the terms ahead of time. Yes. I got hosed a few times because I was an idiot and assumed this is years ago, it would be covered. And I didn’t discuss it in long story short, I took it in the shorts and a couple events because to my shock, he’s oh no, this is all on your own.

[00:35:41] And I’m like, You have 210 people that just came to the talk in your gym. I know you didn’t lose money. So anyway, that, that was my fault for not being very clear upfront. What’s the deal? We’re both on the same page. All right, cool. We’re good.

[00:35:57] Andrew Coates: And sometimes we gotta learn these lessons along the way.

[00:35:59] Oh yeah. And there’s been a couple of situations where I’ve got a friend who’s launching an inaugural event, or just they don’t have the budget. I’m like, listen, you put me up on home hotel. I’ll take care of my flight. I’m happy to. But again, coaching the people, like all this other stuff that some coaches think, oh, you’ve made it.

[00:36:17] It’s all like status, whatever. No, it’s bonus fulfillment that I personally enjoy. Our friends, our community, we enjoy it. We feel good about it. The vast majority of the people in this space, it doesn’t go to our heads. We know the ones that it does. They get a sort of a chip on their shoulder about it and we realize it’s really just an opportunity to hang out with a bunch of really cool people.

[00:36:37] We could hang out with our friends. We meet some great aspiring coaches who I look ’em like I was you six years ago, right? And so for me, like hosting my own event, doing this stuff, like I really love this stuff. I want to give back because all these cool things that get to do didn’t happen if not for events like this.

[00:36:53] But the income has always been solid. It’s always been the clientele. And I tell my clients all the time, we talk about this stuff all the time, and most of ’em are pretty excited about this stuff. Some of ’em think it’s super cool, some are completely ambivalent. They just they want to get the great workouts.

[00:37:07] They like me, but some, it’s wow, they think it’s the soup, the coolest thing ever to see me writing for something big. But I tell them, you guys are the reason why I get to do all this cool, fun stuff, right? You’re the absolute reason for this. Thank you. And I tell them that on a regular basis, you never lose sight of what this is all about.

[00:37:24] And I think some people. Get drawn away from that. And I have encountered people who just are in such a rush to get off the gym floor. Now I think there are people who built great online businesses who are doing it to help people scaling it, amazing people with integrity. Cool. If they’ve been smart enough or figure out the system to do that, great.

[00:37:45] You can actually scale your impact to make the world a better place if you have a good product. But there are equally as many people who just I don’t think they actually like helping people. Yeah. Want status and money and they don’t want the slog and they talk negatively about the hours we punched.

[00:38:01] Listen, I am very grateful for the hours I’ve gotten to put on a gym floor. The fact that I’ve been mostly on my feet that entire time for a very long time has been good for my metabolic health. It’s actually been really good for us. Look at all that from through that lens. Never take for granted just how lucky we are.

[00:38:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: And I would say if you really wanna make a lot of money, find a different industry. If you’re gonna really put the time and effort into it, and that’s like your sole thing, whatever man you do, you I just don’t think I would start in fitness even if I had a background in it. Even if I had the knowledge base.

[00:38:38] Even if I had the experience. Ah I left the medi med tech industry because I worked there for 12 years, the last four years. Part-time for a big reason is exactly what you said is I didn’t want to jump a hundred percent in and then find out, oh, you can’t make your house payment. Oh, like all these, bills and stuff like that, because, I may have tried to sell some questionable things just so I don’t lose my house or I don’t know what I would’ve done.

[00:39:13] I didn’t want to put myself in that position to find out. So I stayed there for a while worked part-time. And then when I left, a lot of people were like, okay, wait a minute. Like you, you could literally go down the street to a competitor cuz I’d finished my PhD at that point I’d worked in mechanical engineering.

[00:39:31] I had 10 plus years of experience. I could have easily made a hundred, $120,000 a year. No question. But I would be doing something that was okay, wasn’t my passion. I’m gonna be working 40 to 60 hours a week. I’m gonna have three weeks of vacation. It’s gonna be on their schedule. The view is just this is, it’s not worth it.

[00:39:49] So again, I think there’s a lot of pros. To doing it. But I would say top line revenue in a short period of time. Probably not one of ’em right away.

[00:39:59] Andrew Coates: You’re also, you’re there. There’s also, again, the survivorship bias of things working out for you, right? Oh yeah, totally. A lot of education, great relationships really good timing getting with the Tenian stuff, which I think is a major inflection point for you.

[00:40:12] But yeah, you get to go kite boarding and like death metal shows whenever you want. You haven’t commented on my shirt either, so

[00:40:19] Dr Mike T Nelson: I don’t know if you’re ready. Oh, what does it say? I Oh, nice little tool shirt there. I like it. Yeah.

[00:40:25] Andrew Coates: So Mike, can I jam on Mike’s taste in Metal usually goes excuse one degree, one level heavier than my taste in metal.

[00:40:32] But we still appreciate

[00:40:34] Dr Mike T Nelson: the stuff. Yeah, and it’s great. Because I think. Online has more flexibility, which is why, I did some in-person stuff for a while, worked in gyms for a while, but I moved online sooner just because the lifestyle I wanted to do. I the big turning point for me was when I was doing my PhD, I had got someone to cover my lab duties and I was gonna leave Thursday morning, cause I was off Thursday, I had lab duties on Friday.

[00:41:01] I switched with another person. I did his duties on Wednesday. He covered lab for me on Friday, was gonna take a vacation to South Padre, come back on Monday. So I had booked everything. I talked to the assistant manager of the lab, everything was cool. And then my advisor found out and literally lost his shit.

[00:41:17] And I’m like thinking what I asked the guy who manages a lab, I switched my thing. I’m not trying to get out of my responsibilities. Like I, I’m, we switched. He’s no, you can’t do that. You’re responsible for the lab on Friday. He’s if you do this, you’re fired. You’re out of the program.

[00:41:31] That’s it. And I was like, oh. Of course all my stuff is nonrefundable didn’t have much money at the time. And so I’m sitting around going, oh shit, what do I do? So I rebooked my flight, paid even more money, finished the labs on Friday, left Friday night, fly all the way down to South Padre, rent a car, go Kiteboard Saturday and Sunday.

[00:41:50] And I flew back Monday morning left my car at the airport, literally drove from the airport. Thank God my flight was on time to the meeting. And I walked in the door literally at the right five minutes before the meeting starts, and I run into my advisor and he looks at me and he goes, how is your weekend?

[00:42:09] And my first saw was, does he know? I went does he control my weekends on top of everything else? And I just went, oh, it was good. And he goes, okay. So I don’t know if he knew, didn’t know whatever. I wasn’t gonna ask, but it was at that point I was just like, Fuck this. Like I don’t want anyone else to tell me what to do with my life, how to spend my free time.

[00:42:30] I’m not escaping my responsibilities. I’m not trying to, not do the things I agreed to do. And so for me that was like a huge turning point of, okay, if I do my own business, yes it’s gonna be a pain in the ass. Yes, you work at really odd times, but I can control time and money. So if we want go do somewhere, something.

[00:42:48] Yeah. I may have to work in the evening there. I just came back from South Padre, went through Texas and went through Colorado. It was great. Did I have to work some evenings? Yeah. Do I work generally seven days a week? Yeah. Am I trying to work less? Yeah. But you get that decision to, I would much rather make way less income and trade time for money than make more income and not have the ability to do what I really want to do.

[00:43:12] So again, I think that’s a huge perk for people looking to go through all the hassle kind of doing it on their own, especially online.

[00:43:19] Andrew Coates: Yeah, and I think more and more there are more people doing it. More people doing it well. We now also have the network effect of the consumer seeing online coaching as a viable, real normal option to them.

[00:43:34] Whereas when you first started with the online coaching stuff, when there weren’t a lot of people doing it, you get your, you guys like your Adam Bernstein’s and your John Ramens and Yeah. People who just were the only ones doing it initially then it wasn’t like a normal thing that consumers thought about.

[00:43:50] They’re like personal training, but not in person with a personal trainer. What the fuck is this shit? Yeah. And so that, you know that little group was the trailblazer of it and they taught it for the people around them, but then it caught on and then you get John Goodman who like, he was still ahead of the curve.

[00:44:06] People think. People forget that John was ahead of the major wave and he was the first one to build online Trader Academy and have this product. Now there’s all sorts of entities and companies, whatever, oh yeah. Feature systems. John was really the first one in, in, in a systemized and scalable version of this.

[00:44:23] And he’d been beaten the drum of, Hey, online training is the future earlier than a lot of other people were. So we’ll give him credit for that. But anyway, now it’s more ubiquitous. So therefore it’s not unexpected for someone to think that I can actually get a coach online. I can hire whoever I want from around the world, the person I like on social media, the person who writes for this magazine that I like, and I can get my programs and I can, in a lot of cases get my nutrition.

[00:44:49] Or they can separate those things or they can be together or whatever, depending on the coach. And I can do my check-ins or I can have my video calls. And I can go to the gym or work out on my basement gym when I want at my convenience versus trying to fit into a trainer schedule. So there are a lot of pros that I actually find that the type of people who self-select to do online coaching are a different type than the people who self-select in-person.

[00:45:12] Actually, Dean Somerset, oh, a hundred percent. Put up a post talking about, it was an anniversary post, how long he’s been doing stuff. And it mentions l literally training online clients and how the type, the type of people who self-select online tend to be more motivated, right? And he goes in more depth.

[00:45:29] If you guys want to go check out the post, go like search for it. D doesn’t post that many things. If there’s a few days lag, you’ll find the post, but he’s right. And I’ve noticed that my online clients, by and large tend to be. I think both online and in-person clients, accountability is still one of the biggest things that they look for.

[00:45:48] Oh, definitely goes up in different ways. I think that booking the appointment, having to show up for it, keeps the busy lawyer with two kids, shit, I gotta make this appointment because otherwise I’m just not gonna do this on my own. Whereas the person online, it’s okay, cool.

[00:46:02] Like I have to log these, I, I wanna do the workouts. And I think those people are looking for the structure in to reduce some of the decision making. There’s actually a lot of parallels, but it does manifest slightly differently. And I, funny enough, I actually find on average the in-person client, there’s also a very strong relationship dimension to the reason why they keep coming back.

[00:46:23] And that’s I think if you wanna do online coaching really well, I think you actually really wanna build a relationship. A lot of voice messages, video messaging, be more present versus just go, here’s your week, fuck off. Give me one email. It’s gotta be blah, blah, blah, blah on a Sunday.

[00:46:39] But at the same time, they’re also very busy people who, they don’t want a whole lot of fluff and they don’t want a whole lot of touchpoints. And what they really want is, give me what I need. They’re paying for the result. And here’s something that, trying to remember who’s Luca Lu. Hoor mentioned this to me recently and it’s like I’ve, I know this, but I’m like it for some reason, they had finally clicked after all these years that for some people, I think coaches get this idea that, all right, we give value in terms of time and that’s where we do the hour session or what have you.

[00:47:10] But for a lot of people, they’re willing to pay more for an efficient result. And oh yeah, I think a lot of coaches get locked in this idea that somehow the amount of time we put into things has to be reflected in the price tag, and therefore there’s this fear of increasing a rate because of the boundary of time.

[00:47:29] With your level of expertise and identifying a type of client that is a very busy has a career that’s very demanding and then on top of their family life, and maybe they don’t want to spend five to eight hours cumulatively across the time to go work out. But all the extra things that come with a lot of touchpoints in communicating with a coach and a lot of things that they have to go proactively do and study.

[00:47:56] Sometimes they want it laid out in front of them. They want it very efficient. They want to go do it, and they want to experience the result. And they’re willing to hire someone who will give that to them in a very clear cut way, in a very efficient way. And if you flip that switch as a coach and you think about this, it can get over this fear of well charging more or building.

[00:48:19] Products, building frameworks that you can deliver to coaches or to clientele that has a higher price point. And then we can get into a lot of Alex Hormoze stuff. And homo is a really smart business thinker, but when you boil it down, one of the greatest contributions, and it’s not uniquely his, but he really pushed beats this drum, is understanding that if you increase your rates and you charge more, as much as people are scared shitless to do this, the customer actually gets more value out of the experience.

[00:48:51] Because if they’re paying more for something, they will value it more and they’re gonna take it more seriously. It also filters and self-selects for a certain type of clientele. And Lord knows I’ve learned over the years, if you increase your rates, then the type of people who tire kick and want discounts are not the people you wanna work with because they’re going to be, they’re going to be.

[00:49:13] More demanding. And it’s okay if a client has expectations and has questions, like that’s not what we’re talking about. But we’re talking about, the person who wants discounted training and then is grumbling because oh they booked two appointments. They have a chiropractor’s appointment the same day as yours.

[00:49:29] They’ve known about it for two weeks. They forgot about it, and they let you know with half an hour’s notice, Hey, I’m double booked. Can we move this to tomorrow? They don’t wanna be charged for the session. And then you, the trainer are so worried about offending this client that you’re like no, it’s okay.

[00:49:41] And now you’ve set it up that this person can treat your session like it’s a complete option. So that’s an important boundary around your time that you gotta like nail down too. And I remember being that newer trainer who struggled with some of this stuff. Yeah,

[00:49:58] Dr Mike T Nelson: I think everybody does. Even now, I’m not sure when this will air, but I will almost double the price on the Flex Diet cert and.

[00:50:09] The reason for that is comparable certifications are even way more expensive. Even when I double the price, and I just talked to a few people who I trust in the industry who do marketing, who have been doing fitness stuff for, decades plus, and all three of ’em basically flat out told me, you’re a fucking idiot.

[00:50:29] Why are you only charging that money for it? And I was like, oh, okay. But it, and it’s so hard with even like how much you charge for online training or in-person session because there’s no solid numbers you can really look at. But what I have noticed is as I’ve done more things that are more expensive, and I don’t know who I got this from, but it was either you do things that are on the higher end that are more expensive, and then you do stuff that’s free, try to stay somewhat out of the middle.

[00:51:02] Because in the middle you’re gonna be like people haggling about price and especially if it’s a service like so one-on-one training that is just a mess where if you have high-end products, you have enough income that frees up some of your time and you can do other stuff completely for free that you enjoy doing, which is great.

[00:51:20] But if you’re always in that low middle area, you get the tire kickers, the people who don’t take it quite serious. You, the other part I don’t do anymore is I don’t give any discounts. Like I, I remember once emailing Lane Norton years ago, I’ve known Lane for years and I said, Hey man, I’m having just such a hard time with this client.

[00:51:38] This is probably six years ago. And I said, I screwed up. And I gave him this big discount and he’s oh, you paid your stupid tax. I’m like, stupid tax. He’s yeah, you gave him a discount. I was like, oh shit. And I look back historically to that point with everyone I had done up to that point. All of them were disaster.

[00:51:55] So I was like, all right, no more none. None of that. You’re either in, cool. If you’re out, it’s too expensive. I get it, that, that’s totally cool. I’m not gonna worry about it. But just doing that, ironically, I got more clients and the clients I got were much easier to work with. They all got better results, go figure.

[00:52:12] At the

[00:52:13] Andrew Coates: same time, if I sound different, I realize it just plugged in my mic because I thought I had it plugged in, but it wasn’t. Oh yeah. No, you’re good. Okay, good. Oh yeah, like I figured this one out a while ago too. Discounts easily one of the worst tactics. It’s I see trainers do, especially on a

[00:52:29] Dr Mike T Nelson: service product, in my opinion,

[00:52:31] Andrew Coates: especially there’s a shift you have to make as a coach and you have to get out of the fear of losing the client.

[00:52:39] Yep. And I remember being an early trainer and if this client doesn’t renew, oh crap, where am I gonna get the next flight? I’ve always been busy as hell. So it’s funny looking back, but in the moment you, you totally get it. You’re worried. Yeah. And you think oh, the person starts to raise a price objection or it’s too expensive to continue and you’re tempted if I, if I knocked the price down a little bit.

[00:52:58] Thankfully the old days, the old company your rates were your rates, right? You, so you couldn’t offer anything different. Like it kept you from doing stupid shit like that. But once you go from the fear of losing the client to when they ask for a discount and you say no to, when there’s this sense of extreme satisfaction when someone asks you, Hey, oh, that’s a little bit expensive, blah, blah, blah.

[00:53:24] And then you actually feel really good about saying, I’m really sorry. I have some other trainers. I can recommend that at a lower price point. And then half the time, They’re gonna take their referral and then the other half of the time they’re like, oh no. And then they wanna work with you anyway, so you realize, wait a second.

[00:53:42] But what another cool thing is if you’re ever in a situation where you’re just a little too busy to take someone on, but you can figure it out, or maybe you get a client that’s maybe you don’t necessarily, there was a time where a guy who turned out to be a great client, but he was a little squirrely.

[00:53:58] He was a little bit of a different dude, and I was at an inflection point where I’m like, all right, I gotta raise my rates anyway. And so I’m sitting in front of this guy and I’m like, I don’t even know if I wanna deal with this stuff. And I don’t want this to sound unethical, but it was like, all right, I asked for a higher rate.

[00:54:12] And the guy didn’t even fucking blink. He just oh yeah, go. And so thankfully he used to work for one of my best friends and so I messaged my best friend and I said, yeah, blah, blah, blah. He, just sat down with me and he seems like a good guy. He is definitely different. And anyways, so my friend’s oh no, he’s a great guy.

[00:54:27] He’s an odd duck, but he’s a great guy. He was exact words and he actually was a really great client while I was working with him. But that first, that experience of asking for the higher rate and someone just, metaphorically reaching for their checkbook without objection, it gives you confidence in the fact that, wait a minute, you’re worth that.

[00:54:48] So interesting discussion about knowing your worth. And that’s fundamentally what it is. And I do think there are people who are pressuring, I think there are business vendors that are pressuring trainers to, to increase the rates too quickly. I think this is a process you have to go through.

[00:55:02] You also have to understand the anchoring effect where. There are several things here. First of all, I was like, your rates are anchored in your mind. So anything above that rate seems expensive to you. Okay? And you’re thinking, all right that your old prices are also anchored. Your existing clientele are anchored at prices that price.

[00:55:21] So here’s a tactic that I find works really well. You don’t want to ever say, oh, I’m gonna leave you at this price for forever. We have lots of stories. Mark Fisher and Mark Fisher Fitness, they talked about doing this. I think Pete Duque, they had something similar, Chrissy Sports Performance.

[00:55:36] There are other people who promised a lifetime price and then turn around later on and had to rip off the Band-Aid and go, guys, listen to this is not viable anymore. And they pissed off 5% of the people who left and everybody else was like super supportive, right? So don’t pri promise lifetime prices, but what you can say to existing client is, you know what?

[00:55:56] Hey, I’ve been working really hard at, continuing education. I’m really grateful you’ve been with me. So anybody brand new coming in is gonna be paying this new rate, but I’m grandfathering you at this rate for six months or a year. And what ends up happening is it becomes a sale price for them.

[00:56:13] It becomes a thank you. And it also prompts them that they know that there’s this date coming up in the future that, their rate will go up. I’ve never had an objection. I’ve never lost a co a client because of that. And in fact, on more than a handful of occasions over the years, And what I also let them do is just before that time when the pricing freezes, I’ll say, you can renew extra, you can get more sessions if you want.

[00:56:37] You can lock in more at that price. And I find very rarely do clients actually want to buy really big blocks of sessions. A lot of the time they’re like, no, I’m happy to pay your rate. You’re worth it. And I’ve had instances, one of my long overdue price increases. A few years back, two of my clients were actually telling me I was undercharging, right?

[00:56:55] Oh yeah. And when this stuff happens, listen for this as a young coach that I train she’s actually became my partner in an online women’s strength program. Her name is Bailey Lao. And so Bailey reached out to me via Instagram. She’d worked for another company. She was looking for, an experienced trainer.

[00:57:13] Boom. And a coach to mentor her with her career. So anyway, that worked out great. And so I told her my rage and she didn’t blink. She’s a very quiet personality. You don’t get much she’s not much emotion out of her. With her clients. She’s dynamite. And so she’s training with me. She’s already strong, but my sweet mother of God, like she’s just be, becomes an absolute monster.

[00:57:31] Great results, hardworking, and then the pandemic stuff happens. Gyms are shut down. Our gym is handling things way better and we’re contractors, so her gym is not doing things well. So she decides, all right, she’s bringing her business, her clients all follow her to where I am. She’s been thriving there ever since.

[00:57:48] Loving it. We eventually decided, hey, let’s build this online program that’s been a hit. Great. But I can’t remember if it was like six months to a year later, she tells me that what I told. Per my rate, she was surprised that she was expecting it to be 25% higher. She didn’t tell me at the spot.

[00:58:05] Yeah. And recently I also had a situation where I mentor trainers one-on-one, and something similar happened when I told one of the trainers who wanted to come and mentor with me that here’s my, here’s my rate. And she was very surprised. She literally like, yeah, she’s older and really sweet.

[00:58:19] She’s you need to raise your rates. So when this stuff starts happening, it’s a message. And I think it’s also a product that of that be of service mindset, of investing in being great at what you do. Studying, learning, reading the books, doing the courses picking great mentors, traveling to events, listening to podcasts.

[00:58:37] There’s an infinite array of resources out there, much of which is very inexpensive. And area four, then you can turn around and cherry pick the ones that cost a bit more like a trip and it’ll put you in a position where, People are just gonna continue to line up to wanna work with you if you’re still making that person the most important thing in the universe.

[00:58:56] And then people will start telling you, you need to charge more. And I think this is actually the path to career success.

[00:59:02] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, I like that. And shameless plug in the flexi mentorship, I have a method of HA presenting people with the per month option, which is based on your length of time, six months, 12 months, whatever.

[00:59:17] And then after they agree to whatever it is, you can then present them with a cash option, which you may or may not discount. And depending on the percentage of people who take the cash option versus the monthly payment will give you some actual hard data about how cheap your prices are or if you should raise your rates.

[00:59:39] So I won’t give people the exact number. I can email me if they want it, but if a hundred percent of people are paying cash up upfront for a year in advanced. You’re way too cheap, right? So there’s kind of ways I like doing that, where you actually have numbers to get an idea of. And we’ve, I’ve done those, a few people in the program and like 80% of their clients were paying ’em cash up front.

[01:00:00] I’m like, see, I told you’re way too cheap. And it’s not my word. It’s these people showing by their action of paying you money just in different form that indicates like you definitely need to increase your rates. So there’s ways you can do it too, by using data.

[01:00:16] Andrew Coates: I hope this one’s been useful for the coaches and I hope the enthusiasts listening at least found it interesting.

[01:00:23] And I don’t know, there may be some parallels to whatever you do in your career as well. Cause this stuff is not necessarily unique to the fitness industry by any stretch.

[01:00:30] Dr Mike T Nelson: No, and my last tip too would be, I got this from Ben Su, is just always test to the sale. So if you’re doing newsletters, like open rates, click throughs, whatever, that’s all great.

[01:00:42] But if you did a promotion for said product like. How much money did you make? How many refunds did you have? If you’re doing something online, like how many clients did you get from Instagram, social media, whatever. How many people actually have skin in the game who have purchased? And I’ve made this mistake before years ago, said my list, this whole thing of Hey, what product do you want?

[01:01:03] Developed? The whole product. And then when I went to sell it, it was like, crickets. And I was like, oh, I did that backwards. So now I’ll try to get an idea. But then, a lot of times I’ll pre-sell it of okay, I did this with the flex diet serve when it first came out. Okay, you’re gonna have a new module each week for these amount of weeks, and then you have to be in or out by this date.

[01:01:25] And I was like, oh, wow, that worked really good. Okay. So now I have pressure to deliver, the product at that point. So there are ways around, you can set stuff up to get some data and some income. But I think too, it’s too easy to get tied up into, like we’re talking about early on.

[01:01:41] Engagement and how many followers and all this stuff. And it’s not that those things are bad or not useful, it’s just what can you do with that? And if you are a person running a business, it is a business and at some point you need to make a profit. And that’s a good thing because that’s an indicator that you are helping more people.

[01:02:03] Because I literally expect nobody to do anything with free advice. I give to me. It’s like it goes out in the world, out in the ether, right? I hope some people take advice from it and do it. Some people do. But my personal expectation is, eh, probably not much. This is my gift to the world. New width of what you want.

[01:02:22] But for paid products, like if someone hires you as a coach or they work with you in person, now you have a responsibility to do everything you can within, the confines of your agreement to help them. And they have skin in the game. And their odds of actually getting said results are astronomically higher too.

[01:02:40] I think those two facts get lost a lot of times that it’s easy to get sucked into the hole of doing everything for free, assuming that you’re helping, you’ll get lots of positive feedback. But in terms of action, I find it, it’s

[01:02:54] Andrew Coates: much lower. And to parallel that, again, and I said this earlier, I think you get your business house in order, right?

[01:03:02] And maybe the stuff that’s being sold in the industry the sexier stuff maybe that you don’t rush to, that I like metaphorically or literally, the in-person business, you make sure that is rock solid and in-person really can be your online one-on-one coaching and like you can have that rock salt, right?

[01:03:21] And if you have that sound platform, you can actually take the lessons and the experience and the conversations and the knowledge you have from all those interactions and those become incredible. Inspiration. It’s a muse for a, all the stuff you can create via social media or longer form content, and you can continue to show up if your business is solid, you can take some of your time if you’re very efficient.

[01:03:48] I’m super efficient with Instagram. I build a big following off of writing short Twitter based posts, but I also had the backing of, oh shit, he’s writing for all these things that are credible. I can go follow him. That’s how human brains work, right? That was very deliberate, right? That shit’s in my bio, but I’m taking experience from working with people every day and the stuff that I’ve learned along the way and constantly refining the messaging, learning from it, studying the craft of writing, because I enjoy it.

[01:04:15] The stuff is very fulfilling. It’s not taxing and showing up every single day. I was super consistent with it, and it grew, and I realized that at first I’m like, all right, am I doing this? Because there’s some sort of vanity element to it, but I quickly realized, I’m like, no, there’s actually, it’s a big long play.

[01:04:32] So if you’re fi, if you’re financially sound, you can actually make the long play of investing in all of these sort of free resources. And it’s about brand development. It’s personal brand building, which is still one of the most valuable things that you can do in the industry. And there are opportunities that haven’t manifested yet.

[01:04:49] But because of the way that I leverage my media, mostly just cuz I support other people, I love doing cool shit for other people. There’s tons of stuff that goes on behind the scenes to where, I can turn around and like recently I messaged Mike Dola, Mike’s a good friend. And I’m like, Hey bro, I was thinking about this, Mike’s like semi-retired, basically Just sold stronger.

[01:05:09] You? Yeah. He’s got, just had a second kid and I’m like, Hey, could you know, could we get on a call? And he’s absolutely. It’s like free business mentoring from Mike. And of course it flips cuz then we get talking about the things that Mike wants to do then I have expertise in. So it’s mutually beneficial.

[01:05:24] But, and then, I, same thing with Nick Shaw, right? I asked Nick, I’m like, Hey, can I grab a call with you sometime? I wanna pick your brain on some stuff. I haven’t booked it yet, but Nick’s oh my God, yes. So you so show up to help other people and then you can like cash these little things in.

[01:05:37] But even when you do this, you’re still like trying to give to other people’s, support other people. Plus they’re your friends. So I’m a big believer that you just it’s the proverbial jab, right hook, Gary Vader chuck thing. Except it’s I really don’t like throwing right hooks. I just like continuously giving and supporting other people.

[01:05:54] And then oftentimes the stuff that, the positive stuff that happens, I can still do it in such a way that it’s so mutually beneficial that I’m not withdrawing. It’s about building a giant bank of grace with everybody. Your friends in the industry, your clients, your relationships, your followers, everybody who interacts with any point of your media.

[01:06:13] And I do believe that if we set up our house our financial business house so solid, that we can turn around and approach the rest of that with such abundance and a long play. An infinite game mindset that I think that if you really want career success, fulfillment, and a road to probably put yourself in the best position, to make the most like money long term, I think that’s a really smart play.

[01:06:39] And I think the mistake people make is they impulsively in the wrong ways, continuously make withdraws from that bank of grace the moment they’ve earned anything and their balance is generally zero, or they’re balancing checks all the time in that space. Does that make sense? Yeah, a hundred percent.

[01:06:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: We all know, again, I won’t say any names of person starting a new podcast or I wrote an article and oh, could you, the one that I dislike the most is.

[01:07:10] Books are long form, oh, I just did this two hour video. Could you watch it and give me some feedback? And these are from people I don’t know from Adam. I don’t even know what this person has done. Like I don’t recognize their name. It’d be different if it’s somebody I know it’s Hey man, I got a quick question about this.

[01:07:26] Cool. No worries, I’m, that’s all good. No worries. But the expectation is this huge ask upfront from somebody that you don’t know. Yep. And then when you turn them down, they get offended. It’s what? I’d love to help you out. Yes, I would. But the reality of it is, I don’t have two hours to watch the video.

[01:07:43] I, I just don’t, and so I think if you’re newer, exactly what you were saying, show that you are demonstrating that you’re doing something, I could easily look up the person and find, oh wow, they’ve written, 400 articles or whatever, like something that’s easy to verify.

[01:08:00] Then it’s oh, oh, okay. And the other part you said earlier, which I think is so key, is you went to these events, like you showed up, like you paid your money, you got on a flight from, the great North, land and crossed the border and did all this shit. Where to me, like if somebody is at a conference cool, you can ask me any questions you want.

[01:08:20] If I’m there, I’ll talk to you forever. I don’t give two shits less. You can ask my wife. It annoys her sometimes. But Jodi’s wonderful. Hey Jodi, she’s a good, yeah and she’s great. But because I know that person paid the money, they took the time, they probably took off work. They’ll probably take it in the shorts right now to be here.

[01:08:38] So that tells me that they’re committed to getting better. Or when you get that DM through your inbox, like you don’t know the person you don’t know they put five seconds into an ask of something that you don’t even know where they’re at. So again, for people listening, Build up and do some service.

[01:08:54] And this, if there is really a hack that there is, it’s actually go to live events and honestly try to get better. Shocker.

[01:09:04] Andrew Coates: Absolutely. I don’t think there’s been anything more important in my career that the inflection point that completely changed my career forever was going to the fitness summit it in Kansas City in 2017.

[01:09:15] Yeah. Where I met you. Yes. And then I brought De Guido in 2018. Yep. And that was fun. Met you and back Mike Dola and we know how that changed his career and he’s still, to this day, one of my best pals. They’re putting something together. Him and Jeb. I met Jeb in 2017. Yeah. I’ll finish with this thought too.

[01:09:31] I went to one of these events I’ve gone to a lot and someone who traditionally has done fairly well in the industry, who’s, I believe his star has faded to a degree, once said to me, the people you meet at these events in the industry are not your real friends. And I’m like, oh. And then, first of all, that showed me his attitude about everything.

[01:09:53] Yeah. In some in, since limited interactions and little things I hear, it’s like I noticed that it’s doesn’t give much to support will pop up and make asks or things that will ultimately try to benefit him without necessarily being of service to other people. And social media’s dematerialized into a lot of like really bad dogmatic hot takes.

[01:10:13] We’ll leave it at that. I’m not gonna name names. I feel like the industry’s passing him by a little bit as people who are media savvy and very collaborative and abundant. I have been thriving, but a lot of my. Great friends in the industry are people I’ve met through my travels that I look forward who’ve been great supporters.

[01:10:34] And that doesn’t change the fact that the time with my like close friends here in Edmonton, my best friend, I get to hang out at the gym all the time. She’s not in the industry. She’s the one who built my original website just cuz I didn’t know how to do it, which led to the writing one of the best people of my entire universe.

[01:10:47] But the people I get to hang out with in my travels are great friends. I enjoy them and a lot of those friends are lining up to come and hang out at my conference when I throw it in October. But a lot of them I’ve been able to create really cool opportunities for. I’ve been able to introduce to some of my editors.

[01:11:04] I’ve been able to link up with speaking engagements and I am fulfilled by this stuff. And this is real. If you take this attitude that these people aren’t real friends you’ve got the completely the wrong mindset right from the get go. There’s so much good in this world. And if somebody is going to these event’s I was able to make a good impression and become friends with. I wasn’t seeking to be friends with Dr. Mike Gittel. He was one of the first people I met in one of these things. Sat down, had dinner with him in a group setting. Mike’s a good friend, and through him, Nick Shaws been become a very good friend.

[01:11:39] Rp, they treat me incredible, but like when I first met Spencer Naski, or I first met you, or I fir first met all sorts of other Pete Du they just, you treat people like they’re people. But and it was great to meet everybody in these environments. A lot of goods come out of it. But the real thing that benefited me was that first event.

[01:11:59] I also made friends with this guy who liked beer and barbecue named Tim Art. Yeah. And my buddy Jeff Aker, who turns out he is from Calgary, right? He’s like Kate Brener from the east coast of Canada, who sounds like he’s a Texan who lives in Calgary and doesn’t make it. Or Jeb Stewart Johnston. Just a cool guy.

[01:12:18] Used, like he’s, he used to be a barber, he’s a great trainer. Former igh end New York hairdresser.

[01:12:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, exactly.

[01:12:24] Andrew Coates: And so on. And there’s a, there’s 50 or 60 these stories just from that first event to load and got everybody on Facebook and kept interacting and then discovered, oh, Tim Art has this event in 2018, inline Empire Fitness Conference.

[01:12:35] I’m like, shit, that’s a cool lineup. Brad Dieter, James Krieger, I’m, I turn, I can’t remember who. There was a whole bunch of other really great people in that event. So I traveled to it and enjoyed it and I met Chad Landers and a whole bunch of other really great friends, Mike Howard. And so I went back in 2019 and there’s, my media blows up.

[01:12:51] Tim’s the guy and I told about earlier who said, Hey Ben, I want you to come in and fill in and speak at this event. Jeff Aker, I mentioned, turns out hanging out and having a beer with him and, oh shit, he’s the N S C A provincial, Alberta Provincial Director. Who does the clinic every year? So I attend in 2018.

[01:13:09] I twen attend in 2019. I meet Robert Lingle and a whole bunch of other Really incredible, yeah, he’s awesome. He’s amazing. And then come 2022, we get to talk, I, before this I link him up with my friend Hannah Gray, who is doing more public speaking. And so she ends up speaking at these provincial clinics.

[01:13:26] But then Jeff and I talk about me speaking at the 2022 Provincial Clinic. And then a guy from the Rocky Mountain Regional Board finds out about this. He’s been following me. He brings me down to speak for the Rocky Mountain Regional in late 2022. I didn’t seek any of this stuff out. This stuff just kept happening.

[01:13:41] Jeb Jobs did become really good pals with him. Again, bring Dean down the next year they hit it off, they become best friends. Dean starts working for Stronger, you and Mike dola. And to this day, Jeb and Dean are business partners and stuff, and they’re gonna have me as part of their compound performance thing with Matt, Dominique and Kyle Dobbs that they’re doing virtually like.

[01:14:00] The people on the same journey as you are the ones that you need to pay attention to, support, invest energy in, connect with, on media support unconditionally. Do not go about this stuff. Again, making these withdrawals from this Bank of grace with everyone just make deposits, nonstop deposits to do cool things to support other people.

[01:14:19] And I promise you, the industry tends to give you back more than you could ever ask from it or give to it. But you have to be patient.

[01:14:29] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And I’d say on that note, it’s longevity. It’s almost like cockroach fitness. Like even if you’re not super good, if you can just outlast everyone else, you’re good.

[01:14:40] We’ve been around a long time. Look at, we can probably name on both hands how many people have been in the industry for more than 10, 20 years. And we’re obviously biased cuz it’s a lot of people we hang out with. But just think of all the trainers that have come and gone during that time.

[01:14:57] I was like, if you can just stay in business and keep getting better incrementally day by day, year by year, like good things are gonna happen because it the truth is it’s a lot of attrition in the industry, and the pro is, if you’re not one of those, then it’s easier to rise up to the top or, whatever area you’re at.

[01:15:16] So I appreciate that.

[01:15:18] Andrew Coates: This has been fun, my friend. I,

[01:15:20] Dr Mike T Nelson: yeah. And where can people find out more about

[01:15:22] Andrew Coates: you? All roads go through Instagram, so if you’re not already there you can message me anytime on Instagram. I will literally respond to anything. Just don’t send me like long videos like you talked about.

[01:15:32] Dr Mike T Nelson: I got a four hour video, bro. I want

[01:15:34] Andrew Coates: you to watch Jesus at Andrew Coates Fitness, and then obviously my website is www dot Andrew Coates Fitness. Articles that I get published in places are linked through there, but if I’m anything, if I’m speaking at something, if I’ve been on a podcast if my own podcast, you can find that through my media.

[01:15:51] The main one, lift free and diet Hard. Mike’s been a guest at least a couple times on it if you wanna go search. So go check out those episodes. But if anything, like if anybody who is from my media is finding this podcast through my media, the guys like just look around at who else Mike has had on his guests and check someone those out.

[01:16:10] You’ll probably find some other people you like. Stick around. Mike is one of the smartest people in the industry and I’ve long been a fan. I was very excited. Like when I first pay you, I’m like, oh my God, you’re Mike tde I stuff on Nation for a really long time, right? Is, it’s your generation that inspired me to start writing for them when I got the invitation.

[01:16:28] Thanks for having me on and like I said, anybody has any questions again about writing stuff or media stuff? I like jamming on this stuff, so I’ll answer your questions. Just shoot me a text message in, I will respond to the voice, but send me text.

[01:16:42] Dr Mike T Nelson: Awesome. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it and I really appreciate you being so open and always super helpful to everyone and I can attest that he does get back to everyone.

[01:16:52] He is not just saying that it is a legit thing and. If you’re at an event, you can definitely go talk to him. He’ll be very nice and he’ll probably introduce you to 400 people you hadn’t met yet, which is even better. So I love it. Awesome man. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

[01:17:06] [01:17:07] Dr Mike T Nelson: Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. Huge thanks to Andrew for coming on the podcast.

[01:17:12] Always great to chat with him. Hopefully you guys got some good stuff out of it. This one was geared a little bit more to fitness professionals and fitness trainers how to get a little bit more advanced in the industry. And if you are interested in the flex diet mentorship, I am doing it.

[01:17:31] We’ve got a couple spots left. However, the application process will close at midnight, July 21st, 2023. You’ll be able to find the application below here in one of the links. So if you’re interested, apply or just reach out to me, ask any questions if you need more information on that. Huge thanks to Andrew for coming on the podcast.

[01:17:56] Thank you for listening, greatly appreciate it. If you have any feedback, by all means, please let me know and I look forward to talking to you again next week. Take care.