The Body Coach Case Study: Clear $1 million a month with social
Haven’t heard of Joe Wicks? You will have soon. His online fitness business, The Body Coach has taken the UK by storm – and soon he’ll be cracking America. Joe has single-handedly, through prolific, intuitive and strategic use of social media channels, has disrupted and transformed a diet and fitness industry that was overly comfortable and in desperate need of a shake-up.
On The Body Coach website, Wicks describes himself as “a man on a mission to rescue people from the awful dieting industry. I am sick and tired of people struggling on low-calorie diets and meal replacement shakes.”
As this article will show, he has ceaselessly promoted this message through social media, resulting in a great financial gain.
How’s Joe’s Mission Shaping Up?
Armed with nothing but logins to his social media accounts, Joe has transformed his low-key personal training business into an online juggernaut that boasts outstanding follower numbers.
Wicks currently has:
- 172,000 Twitter followers
- 2 million Instagram followers
- 5 million Facebook likes
- 140,000 YouTube subscribers
- Snapchat followers in their millions
In 2015, he released a book entitled Lean in 15. The book, in spite of only being launched on 28 December, went on to become the UK’s largest selling non-fiction book of the year – its success largely down to pre-orders from The Body Coach’s exceptionally engaged social following.
In terms of revenue, his business currently earns over £800,000 ($1 million) per month and he enjoys around 300 sign-ups per day to his £150 fitness plan.
What’s Next for The Body Coach?
Having conquered the UK, Joe is now building his brand in the States in anticipation of the US publication of Lean in 15. In just two months, he has already managed to increase his American follower base by 65,000 – who knows where his winning formula may take him in 2017!
And, as Joe explains, his success is all down to social media.
“All of the opportunities which have come my way have been a direct result of having a social media following. The publishers signed me up when I had 100,000 followers and now I have over 700,000 on Insta, so 2015 was a great year and the book is doing really well.”
He has access to millions of eager listeners, viewers, and subscribers and this has turned him into hot property.
As such, a raft of interviews, TV appearances and lucrative sponsorship deals have come flooding in. With this, his business has flourished. Even if he doesn’t crack America (and who would bet against him?), his use of social is still exemplary.
Social Media Lessons We Can Learn from The Body Coach
As Joe’s success has shown, correct use of social media can propel a business to unimaginable heights. We’ve cherry-picked the best parts of The Body Coach’s strategy so that you can implement and send your business into a whole new stratosphere.
To borrow from a well-known Instragram hashtag, the key to being salesy online is to not be salesy at all. Wicks’ social strategy connects with this notion brilliantly. His plan, of course, is to get people to sign up to his £150, three-month plan, but you wouldn’t sense this from his content.
His content consists of Joe’s 15-second recipe videos on Instagram or 10-second videos on Snapchat, links to longer ones on YouTube that demonstrate how to complete Joe’s High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions.
Joe says, “I’ve never pushed the plans hard online. I spent two years giving out free content and built trust, so when I launched people naturally wanted to be a part of it. I never do sales as I believe in my product.”
The content is always upbeat, fun, educational and totally free. Joe’s followers gain so much useful and free content, a relationship of trust is built. This relationship, coupled with curiosity and an urge to enhance their weight loss progress, has led to huge sales figures.
Think – is there useful content your company should be providing to your target audience?
Persistence Pays Off
To the naked eye, Joe’s story may appear to be one of overnight success – in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Looking at The Body Coach’s Facebook page, you can see that Joe has been posting consistently since 2011, regularly getting no likes on posts. Today, a post with fewer than 15,000 interactions could be considered a failure.
This highlights the need for a long-term social strategy: a plan that you stick to even if success doesn’t come instantly. As Joe says, “nobody wants to write 60,000 tweets and post 1,000 videos when they’ve got no followers. People think you’re mad. But it pays off in the end.”
Personality and Authenticity Sell
Joe’s personality is a huge part of the brand. His sense of fun and use of catchphrases such as “wallop”, “bosh” and “guilty” resonate with his target audience. Joe sticks to a consistent theme in all of his posts, too – forget calorie-controlled diets. Instead, he tells followers to eat appealing, protein-rich meals, exercise for half an hour four times a week and, importantly, have fun whilst doing so.
A mixture of personality, consistency of message and free-flowing, high-quality content has transformed Joe’s business into an online behemoth.
Is this a blueprint you too can follow?
Experimentation is Key
“I’ve jumped from Twitter in 2013, to Instagram in 2014, and started getting into Facebook and YouTube a little, and one day I just got on Snapchat and I love it.”
As you can see, Joe’s journey to social stardom has seen him straddle many different platforms. Rather than sticking to one niche, he’s tried a number of platforms, with varying degrees of success. In doing so, he has discovered which platforms best suit his audience, as well what type of content is effective on each channel.
Don’t be scared to try new platforms – maybe it’ll work for your brand, maybe it won’t; you won’t know unless you try.
Size Doesn’t Matter
When Joe Wicks started out as a one-man band trying to promote his online business, the UK diet and fitness industry was dominated by huge brands with big budgets, such as The Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers, and Slimming World.
Having enjoyed years of dominance and huge shares in the markets, they didn’t feel the need to connect with users. When The Body Coach emerged full of vim, vigour, personality, and content, he tweeted, Instagrammed and selfied his way into the popular zeitgeist. As a result, the old guards of the diet industry became stuffy and stale overnight.
Other brands are now trying to mimic Wicks’ – with limited success. Forcing a personality where there was previously none is a difficult task, as these companies are finding.
Joe’s story is an important lesson for SMEs and start-ups – don’t be intimidated by the big boys. If your product and message are good enough and your marketing is on point, there is always a route into the market.
What’s Stopping You?
As The Body Coach has shown, if you utilise social media correctly, book deals, PR sponsorship and all of the successes outlined above will follow. If you feel inspired by this case study, why not think about how you can apply some of these lessons to your business? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!