If you’re reading this, you’re likely having the same struggle that I used to have:
Productivity. And more specifically, productivity when it comes to content production.
You do an amazing job with clients, you’re passionate about what you do – but – productivity when it comes to content production is your bottleneck.
Am I right?
If you’re immediately nodding your head while reading the above, please continue to read. I think this piece will be a game changer for you.
If you’re a content production Jedi – feel free to skip this and carry on dominating. I applaud you.
How I’m structuring this piece is getting the foundations sorted, then the building blocks and finally the tip of the pyramid. Much like when you talk about the principles of body composition.
Energy balance goes at the bottom (foundation).
Training/macros go in the middle (building blocks).
Supplementation goes at the top (tip of the pyramid).
Well, we have the same thing for maximising productivity.
Here’s how I would visualise it:
We all know that most clients tend to skip the foundations of energy balance and race straight to the top with fancy supplements. Which is the equivalent of a 2% advantage. They’re missing the big picture.
I implore you not to do the same. Work with me through each phase and you’ll reap the rewards. As I’ve been where you are:
I’ve had ‘writers block’
I’ve struggled with ideas for content
I’ve ‘not had the time’
I’ve compared myself to others on social media
I’ve felt overwhelmed
I guarantee you – whatever issues you have when it comes to content production or just productivity in general – I’ve been there. It hasn’t come naturally to me. Which is good news for you!
Anyway, enough of me framing it, let’s get started.
Clarity of Vision
This one sounds wishy-washy. But I really do need to address it and consider it the absolute foundation to everything that’s about to follow.
I have my biggest periods of procrastination when I don’t have clarity. And by procrastination, I don’t mean just putting tasks off for an hour or so.
I mean being in a complete funk, sitting on the sofa watching Brooklyn 99 re-runs and scratching my nuts. Not just for an afternoon.
It doesn’t happen often, perhaps a couple times per year, but it’s always when I’m feeling ‘lost’ in business/life.
I thought I was just lazy for being like this. But I remember being on a call with one of the smartest/wealthiest guys in business that I know of – and I’m fortunate enough to have invested in as a business coach – and I spoke to him about it. This guy is a venture capitalist, who’s invested in the likes of Facebook, Canva, top poker players, E-sports competitors and so many others that I’ve no idea how he keeps track of it all.
He is brutally honest and doesn’t pull any punches. So when I bought the conversation up with him, I almost expected him to just say: ‘Yeah, you’re being f**king lazy.’
But instead he told me that this is 100% normal. Even at the top level. We looked back at the amount of hours/work that I’d put in over the years. It was clear I wasn’t lazy or work-shy. I was just going through a period where I wasn’t super clear on the direction of my new business venture.
The second we got clear on that and mapped out how we were going to get there? Suddenly I’m back to 7am starts and 12am finishes. My productivity went through the roof and it’s been like that since. Which is why when I’m on consult calls with my Online Trainer Education students they ask me ‘how do you get so much work done?!’
Simple – I’m really clear on where the OTE is heading. I have clarity.
Perhaps an extreme example. But look at Elon Musk. Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, NeuraLink etc etc.
How is he able to put in the reported 80-120 work weeks? Aside from just being Elon, he is so clear and driven on improving the planets future and leaving a legacy, he doesn’t know anything different other than to simply do what’s needed to fulfil it.
Your goal doesn’t need to be to try and save the world. But you do need one.
If you’re a personal trainer on the gym floor currently, is your goal to come off the gym floor and to live the ‘laptop lifestyle’ completely? Is it to run a hybrid model between the two, in order to free up some time?
How much do you want to earn from online coaching?
How many clients will you need, in order to reach that target?
What type of clients do you enjoy working with and want to attract?
Outside of the immediate business:
Where do you want to be in life when you’re 50?
Have you bought property yet? Would you like to? How much of a deposit do you need in order to do so?
We all ask our clients what their end goal is, when they’d like to achieve it by etc..
Yet we don’t apply it to ourselves with our businesses?
Ultimately, if you don’t get hyper-focused and clear on what you want to achieve, then you don’t really know why you’re doing it.
And if you don’t have that?
You’ll be on the sofa scratching your <insert body part> and watching Netflix re-runs in no time.
Action Step: Go and block out 1 hour in your diary to sit and think about why you’re attempting to produce content. What’s the long-term outcome you want to achieve from it? Go deep on this. Just posting on Instagram because everyone else is, or to pick up the odd client isn’t going to cut it.
I’ve said this time and time again in my mentorship:
My biggest fear in life is to wake up at 50-60 years old thinking ‘how the f**k did I get here?’
We have one shot on this dust ball that we call earth. Get clear on what you want out of it and go all in. Shoot for the stars. Chances are, if even if you don’t reach the end goal – you’ll fall somewhere in between that’ll be 10x closer to it than if you just bumble through life expecting things to fall into place.
Once you’ve got clear on your why as well as where you want your business to go, we can start progressing up the pyramid. The next step would be dialling in your core message’s’.
Most trainers just write aimlessly across socials.
They see what other trainers post, and they copy a little bit of this, a little bit of that and hope for the best.
So long as it’s roughly to do with training/nutrition – no problem, right?
That works if you’re focusing on in-person clients. I’ve mentioned this before, but when you’re a personal trainer on the gym floor, you can be generic. People will mostly hire you out of convenience.
By convenience, I mean locality. They don’t want to travel more than 10-20min to the gym, and you seem like the friendliest dude/dudette there. So they’ll make do.
Once a prospect makes the decision to work with an online trainer though, they now have access to literally 10,000’s of people to choose from Vs the 5-10 in their local gym.
This means you need to stand out. And you need to stand for something.
My suggestion is getting clear on four topics:
- ONE that you actively stand against; i.e. ketogenic dieting, weight loss pills, gym classes etc
- THREE issues that your target client face; i.e. lack of time, overwhelm with information out there, binge eating etc
You then base 90% of your content around those four things – just delivered in different ways.
If you go through my content, you’ll see I revolve the majority of my own content around four simple messages too:
- Content production (the reason that you are reading this)
- Being chained to the gym floor, and wanting more freedom/go on holidays
- Being scared of selling
- Trainers wasting money on FB ads before they’re ready (this is the one I go against)
This takes practice as you’ll end up overthinking and worrying about how you can post about the same handful of messages time and time again. But trust me, with practice it becomes easier.
Action Step: Truly put time into this. Do NOT just copy the examples I’ve given here. The topics need to be true to you.
The first thing I’d do is block out 60-90min, go find a quiet coffee shop, get pen and paper (old school) and start listing issues your clients phase. As well as fads, gimmicks, practices you see in the industry that physically make you cringe.
Then really spend time refining the list down to just a handful of options.
Once you’ve done that, the next time you’re on the gym floor with your clients, simply ask them: “What’s the absolute number one thing that I’ve helped you with since we’ve been working together?”
Take note of each of the answers, look for common themes and cross reference it with the topics you refined it down to.
Bonus Tip: Whenever you’re struggling for content ideas, think back to questions your clients ask you.
“Should I track green veggies?”
“I’ve heard creatine makes you puffy?”
“What do you think of ‘X’ supplement?”
“What do you think of ‘X’ diet I read about?”
Whenever you get asked these things, just jot into the notes folder on your phone.
We’ve now got what most perceive to be the ‘boring’ parts out of the way – which in truth are the parts that are going to level up your business. Those two pieces are the equivalent of ensuring a client is in a calorie deficit before you do anything else. The foundations of the pyramid.
If you can get crystal clear on #1 and #2 and then apply it properly, you’re going to land within the top 20% of your competitors over time. Trust me on this.
We’ll now move into the more fun stuff. I could really fluff this one out, but I’ve strictly kept it to things that I really do myself and have found useful.
Environment: We’ll start here as – for me – this really is important. As your business starts growing, you’ll find yourself doing more and more deep work. Which in turn means longer spent behind your laptop.
So you need to be able to work from somewhere that you enjoy being in. If your environment is off, or you loathe going there – you’re simply not going to be productive.
I’m also a fan of building habits and creating associations.
For me, it’s crucial to make the place I work from, be purely for work related tasks and not social.
As an example:
If you work from home, I’d try to ensure that you have a separate room as your ‘office’ Vs trying to work from your living room.
Don’t get me wrong, clearing a few emails from your sofa is fine. But when you’re facing anywhere from 4-12 hours behind your laptop and focusing on challenging work, you don’t want to be attempting to do so in somewhere that you associate with relaxing/being social.
Have boundaries. The kitchen is where you prepare food, the living room is where you relax and/or invite friends over, the bedroom is for sleeping and sex only. Your office is for deep work to be done.
I tend to work from a coffee shop. The same coffee shop. At the same table. At the same time. With the same drink.
Pret on Crawley High Street, at the table in the corner next to the tills, 8.30am, with a coconut mocha (don’t judge me).
To keep it work focused, I don’t arrange any social meet ups there. If ever I’m catching up with people for coffee – I’ll suggest the Starbucks or Nero a 5min walk away.
Things like this may be considered to be OCD, but when you’re wanting to grow an online coaching business, these trivial habits make the 1-2% differences. Which over time, compound.
Time Management: THE biggest complaint I hear from personal trainers when it comes to being inconsistent with their content is a lack of time.
The reason for this is that simply don’t have any structure. They let their clients dictate their diaries and leave their content production to chance.
This is never going to work.
It’s the reason that we urge our clients to book in their training sessions as non-negotiables. So that they don’t book meetings in and end up missing sessions. You need to do the same with your content production.
Work out when you’re most efficient time is in terms of being creative/productive, and block it out in your diary. Do not book anything else in at this time – even clients.
The below screen shot might look overwhelming to you initially, but it makes my life so much easier. You don’t have to structure things like I do. Develop your own system. But at the very least come up with something to ensure you have specific times to work on driving your business forward.
One last thing I’ll mention:
How much does it cost you to produce a piece of content right now and get it in front of (potentially) 1000’s of eyes?
Now, go back not even 10 years and this wasn’t possible!
The main way to get your message out to 1000’s of new people?
Magazine, TV or radio adverts.
With where your business is at right now – could you afford to run an advert, daily, for weeks on end like you’re able to do on Instagram right now? I’d guess not.
So, quit moaning that you don’t have the time and capitalise on the opportunity you have right now. Because it won’t always be this easy.
Binaural Beats: When you first take a listen to these, they’re probably going to seem quite hippy.
But I assure you, all of my biggest/best content is written using them. In fact, I’m listening to this exact one right now as I type this:
If I’m simply replying to emails etc then I’ll just stick on some chilled house with minimal vocals – and that does the job perfectly. One of my favourite playlists is this one:
But for tasks that really require concentration, binaural beats are golden for me.
The hocus pocus behind it is that certain sound frequencies (alpha, beta, delta, theta etc) all result in having different effects on the brain.
Some promote relaxation, some improve memory, work output etc.
I don’t know if the science has proven anything concrete here, but from experience I really do get all of my absolute best work done when I’m listening to these. Maybe it’s just the fact it’s a piece of music that blocks things out and is very ‘simple’ so non-distracting? I dunno. But I suggest you give them a go!
Side note: They need to be listened to via headphones as they send different frequencies to each ear. Just playing them out of normal laptop speakers won’t cut it from what I’m told.
Which segues us nicely into the next tip..
Noise Cancelling Headphones: Oh. My God.
One of my best ROI’s on a purchase in a long time.
I’m a classic introvert that is super prone to distraction with any stimulus around me. I like working from a coffee shop mid-morning as it’s relatively quiet but with the odd bit of people watching available if I need to stretch for a minute or two between tasks.
However, the downside is that I’d find myself distracted by peoples conversations, if the music was too loud etc.
I was in a different coffee shop a few months back in the afternoon. And three tables in front of my was a baby crying. Sounded like a banshee. Super annoying.
Then to my right, there was a mortgage advisor meeting a client. Despite having my normal headphones in, I could hear elements of their conversation.
So I moved to a table in the corner. Right underneath a speaker.
I turned my headphone volume UP. Which then made my own music too distracting.
Anyway, I gave up. Shut the laptop lid. And drove straight to Currys PC World and bought a pair of on-head noise cancelling headphones.
The rest is history.
Complete game changer for me. Night and day difference.
Would highly suggest investing in a pair if you’re prone to distractions like I am.
Allocating Set Times to Tasks: I could have put this somewhere within the time management section. But then I think it would have been diluted.
I think it’s important giving this its own spot, as it’s very powerful.
Parkinson’s Law suggests that the majority of us fall into the trap of stretching the work we have into the time available.
This is not a good thing.
It means if you subconsciously know that you’ve got a 6 hour window ahead of you; you’ll drag a task that you could do within two hours over that time frame.
You’ve probably experienced it before? When you’ve wrapped up a days work, looked back at what you’ve actually achieved and thought ‘I could literally have done that in half the time it took me’ or ‘I could have got twice as much done’.
Give each task a specific time limit.
For me, I group things into 1-2 hour time frames. Never longer than two hours at a time. I find after two hours I lose focus. So, I’ll take a 15-30min break to work on something else/eat and then do another 2 hour block.
For most reading this – one two hour block per day should be more than enough time to dedicate to growing your business.
As it scales, adding in multiple two hour windows work well.
Of course, if you feel you can smash out 6-8 hours of work in one hit – be my guest. But from the majority of the students I do consults with, this just isn’t possible for most.
The two ‘tricks’ I’ve found that work best to keep me/others on track is either:
- Using a music/binaural beats playlist that is 2 hours long (my usual one is 1hr 45min which signals I have 15min to wrap up when it cuts out)
- Pomodoro technique timer
The Pomodoro technique is 25min work – 5min break – 25min work – 5min break for exactly two hours. Works extremely well for those will short attention spans.
Here’s a visual representation:
And of course, a YouTube link:
Here we go, the pièce de résistance. The bit that most of you wanted to (but hopefully didn’t) skip straight to.
Just like taking thermogenic supplements without having a caloric deficit in place will yield little to no results, using these supplement combinations without first having; clarity, your core message, productivity etc all squared away – you’ll be pissing in the wind.
Enough of me rambling on at this point, I’ll get straight to it.
I’m going to categorise them into three tiers: moderate, intense and hardcore.
Moderate means any one of you reading this (unless you’re on deaths door with a heart condition) can take this almost daily when you need a pick-me-up to get sh*t done.
Intense is saved for 2-3x per week, for those of you wanting to level up your deep work.
Hardcore is strictly for those of you needing to be productive AF 1-2x per week for long periods.
Moderate: 80-200mg Caffeine + 200mg L-Theanine.
I’m a little OCD and like to control my dosage of caffeine, so I’ll tend to use actual caffeine tablets that are dosed at 200mg per tablet.
But, relying on a decent cup of coffee or sugar-free energy drinks is fine too. Consider an average cup of coffee is 60-80mg with a standard 250ml can of RedBull landing at around 80mg. For some, this is more than enough.
For those that want a bigger kick, either more liquid energy is required – or the aforementioned tablets. You can simply buy these from Amazon.
Combining it with L-Theanine seems to take that jittery edge off that some get when increasing their dosage.
Side note: L-Theanine is a great supplement in general. More on this in future articles.
Intense: OTC Nootropic Blends.
One of my favourites is a product called Brain Bridge:
This formula essentially takes the caffeine/theanine combo and puts it on steroids. It has other goodies within it such as:
- Alpha GPC
- Phosphatidyl Serine
And about another 10 other ingredients.
A very well-rounded supplement for sure.
With a flavour such as ‘Sour Nukes’, the placebo effect alone from drinking something that is brightly coloured and tastes sharp is enough to fire you up.
Side note: If ordering from the above website, using OTE10 will see you receive a 10% discount.
Hardcore: 200mg Modafinil + 200mg Caffeine + 200mg L-Theanine.
The daddy of productivity stacks. So much so, that I downed each of these ingredients before loading up my binaural beats playlist and writing this piece of content.
Inevitably, I have to preface that I am absolutely not recommending that you take the above. Purely that I choose to do. With modafinil being a prescription drug for ADHD, it’s one that requires a little more consideration than the likes of caffeine.
That said. It is phenomenal.
For those of you that have seen the film Limitless (with Bradley Cooper) – the smart drug in that was loosely based on nootropics such as modafinil.
Sticking to the theme of films, remember the original Fast & Furious’? Well, the combination of modafinil and caffeine is like putting your brain on NOS. With the theanine being that calming influence to control it; much like traction control on a car.
Genuinely, if you get uber clear on a piece of work you’ve got to do.
Get the environment right.
Implement some of the productivity hacks.
And then take any of those suckers above – I almost guarantee that you’ll be on track to producing some of the best content you’ve ever produced.
Those that are able to consistently put out high quality, value driven content over time are always the ones that will build profitable online coaching businesses long term.
Sure, working on the latest funnel hack will give you a quick-win. But that’s all it is.
If you want to build a business that lasts, you simply have to put in the work and lead with a giving hand. Week in, week out.
The reason most aren’t able to do that?
They don’t have the foundation of this model locked in. They don’t have the clarity needed to keep them going through the ups and downs.
My advice from here:
Start back at the beginning of this article and re-read steps one and two. They really are that important.
And if you found this useful? This is just the tip of the iceberg. Working with me directly through the OTE mentorship will have you level up every area of your business.
I’d love to chat further about where you’re at currently – and what I can do to help push you forward: