Joe Wicks: The sprint from personal trainer to business sensation The Body Coach

Joe Wicks The Body COach

The Body Coach now employs 50 staff in a new 5,000 sq ft office in Richmond, which has room for a further 50 people. Wicks anticipates more hires will take place after the Lean In 15 book launch, as he looks to set up a social media team as well as build on his customer service team – otherwise known as “support coach heroes”.

Discussing the latter role, Wicks said: “Tailored coaches are assigned to the tailored plans, which are developed and dedicated for the customers’ needs. They pick you up when you’re down or having a low moment.

“I hire people based on attitude. Although it’s a customer service role, they receive training about the programme and coaching. I’ve actually recruited some people from within my following. They’re people that are really passionate and it’s really important they care, that they love the brand and want to see it grow.”

Cost control is a key component of any business, but the nature of The Body Coach means that investment from venture capitalists and angels won’t be necessary.

“Because I started by myself, there are very few overheads. There’s the staff and the office, but as a company, we’re 90 per cent profit and there are very little outgoings. A lot of companies have tried to invest and whatnot, certain gym companies, but we haven’t needed to accept.”

And until October, over a year after launching, Wicks said he had “not spent a penny on social media”.

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“In the last few weeks, I’ve tried paid content on Facebook, but there’s been no strategy. It’s helping me boost certain videos to reach the US and Australia and the following has gone from 180,000 to 250,000 in a month by spending just £50 a day,” he explained.

He went on to say that while many users are from the UK, there are customers internationally, so paying to promote content will allow him to capitalise on that.

That said, Wicks noted the differences in using the channels: “Instagram is without a doubt the most powerful. Twitter growth has slowed down and Facebook is good for videos. But on Instagram I can post transformations and really get my personality across – without that there’d be nowhere near enough social media engagement.”

National Fitness Day, which was billed the “the most active day of the year”, took place in the UK on 9 September and a study found that half of Brits now believe it’s more important to have a healthy lifestyle than they did a year ago.

On the topic of the increased interest in the fitness industry, Wicks said: “It used to be guys who trained and girls felt embarrassed. But it’s now considered cool to go to the gym. Sure, people still party, but they want to take care of their bodies too. I think with cool brands like CrossFit and SoulCycle, it’s a really unisex thing. It’s no longer mainly men – and women are lifting weights too.”

With sales through the roof and his social media fame climbing alongside them, Wicks found a book deal fall into his lap.

In fact, despite admitting to interested parties he’s not a chef, eight publishers were bidding for the rights to sign him. A one-book deal turned into a two-book deal, to then double once more to a four-book deal. And despite a release on 31 December, it’s already number one on Amazon.

“It’s going to really help the business,” he said. “The book promotes the plan and it’s another piece of marketing.”

With social media and publishing conquered, Wicks has his eye on TV for 2016, confessing a desire to “get on TV and share my message and get everyone lean”. It’s perhaps been helped along with a guest appearance on This Morning, while he also aims to develop a solid YouTube channel too.

He noted that the New Business Award is a great asset to build consumer trust, but also acts as a certificate of approval when it comes to any potential B2B deals.

Beyond all else though, Wicks said: “My aim next year is to win an award for Best Employer. I want to get recognised as really cool place to work. Somewhere people really want to be.”

If the enthusiasm exhibited by SSS users is anything to go by, staff satisfaction will be a walk – or run – in the park.

Joe Wicks is founder of The Body Coach. At the end of November, a 30 Day SAS (Support and Sustain) Plan will launch as an monthly rolling programme exclusively for graduates of the 90 Day SSS Plan. You can keep up with Wicks on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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