This gym owner made $23M from his email list


Gym World comes from Kilo co-founder John Franklin, who shares lessons about making money in the fitness industry.

Here’s how you can steal his strategies.

Happy Sunday, Gym World.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve talked a lot about making money with vertical videos.

But don’t worry if you have a face for radio; today is your day.

Here’s how you can make money from the comfort of your keyboard.

Gym owner builds a $23M personal brand writing emails

Chris Cooper recently revealed that his gym mentorship business has done over $23M in sales.

While he now has a media team, Chris generated his first few million dollars from blogging & writing emails.

When I asked him how someone could replicate his success, he gave me this 5-step process.

1. Get really clear on your audience.

  • Who are you speaking to?
  • This is your niche. Tell these people stories about your journey.

John’s note: Most people make content for a broad audience when they start. This is a mistake.

If you create general fitness content, you have to compete with people who’re smarter, more credible, and more established than you.

If you can’t be first in a category, niche down until you’re in a category you can win.

A great example is Bret Contreras, aka “The Glute Guy.”

He built a massive audience and monster business talking about glute training:

By creating his own niche, he became the go-to source for 🍑 growth on the internet.

The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind. Al Ries, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Don’t worry about “getting stuck” in a small niche. You can earn the right to go broad. Alex Hormozi made gym content for 4 years before broadening his message & adding over 1 million.

2. What questions are the people in your audience asking?

  • Which can you answer?
  • Which answers do they like most?
  • Tell them stories to make your answers stick.

John’s note: This is marketing 101. Test a bunch of stuff, find out what works, and do more of it—even if it’s not your favorite thing.

“You must find the things that’re helping your audience the most even if it’s not your favorite. You have to maintain the mindset of help first over your ego and the stuff you want to talk about.” Chris Cooper

I can guarantee that Chris is tired of talking about operating a profitable gym, but that’s what his audience finds most helpful, so that’s what he writes about.

3. Which problems can you solve for your audience better than anyone else?

  • How can you turn your knowledge into results for them?
  • What’s the value of those results?
  • Tell stories about your clients’ success.

John’s note: After you’ve created content for a while, you’ll have a clear understanding of your audience’s problems.

Use your expertise to solve their biggest ones. The faster and more effectively you can solve it, the more you can charge.

If your service works, you’ll have social proof, which gives you the right to talk about your clients’ success AND your own.

4. How will you know your solution is working?

  • Audit your program.
  • Iterate again and again.
  • Tell stories about your clients’ journey.

John’s note: Talk to customers. Use that feedback to make your product better.

John’s note: Talk to customers. Use that feedback to make your product better.

5. Do it for years.

John’s note: It took Chris 3 years to get 100 readers. You can do it way faster.

I have friends on Twitter that grew 10k-person email lists in less than a year.

That said, these people don’t make much money from their list because they haven’t earned their audience’s trust. The only way to do that is by showing up consistently for a long time.

If you want to learn more about how Chris grew his audience and business, he recently released a new podcast. The first episode is killer.

How I built 20k person following in 8 months

Even if you don’t want to build a business (lol, dork…), having a social following is still valuable.

In the last 8 months, I built a 20k+ audience, and it completely transformed my network.

I’ve talked with billionaires, famous authors, and high-profile people in the fitness industry that otherwise wouldn’t have known I existed.

Here’s my playbook:

1. Pick one platform

When you’re starting, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Focusing on one platform makes it easier to succeed.

I chose Twitter.

It’s a great place to test ideas, and small accounts can go viral.

If something does well on Twitter, it’ll do well on other platforms, which is why so many creators like using it:

That said, if you’re a brick-and-mortar gym owner or someone who sells to gym owners, you’ll make more money from Facebook or Instagram.

2. Learn the meta

Meta is a term gamers use that means “most effective tactics available.” Every social platform has a meta.

For Twitter, it’s:

  • Tweet 3x a day
  • Publish 2 threads a week
  • Spend 1 hour engaging with other accounts

I did that for 6 months straight, and it took me from 30 -> 15,000 followers.

Now that I care less about audience growth I don’t follow the meta & my growth has slowed by 90%.

Don’t be like me; follow the meta.

3. Work in a team

MrBeast is one of the richest creators on the planet.

He credits his early success to his peer group:

When I started on Twitter, I worked with two other people who were serious about growing an audience.

We gave each other daily feedback and met once a week to share ideas. It 4x’d my growth rate.

4. Show up every day for a long time

The more you use a platform, the more you grow. Weird, huh?

I committed to tweeting 365 days in a row. I am 260 days in.

Screenshot 2023 02 05 at 1.48.35 PM

And that’s it. Simple but not easy.

5 fitness influences making MILLIONS

It’s no secret that I think short-form vertical video is the most overpowered marketing tactic for fitpros.

This week on Gym World, Mark, Teo, and I talk about five fitness influencers that make millions from TikTok.

It’s one of my favorite episodes that we’ve done.

Check it out here:

Until next week,


P.S. I want to grow on Instagram.

If you make content for fitpros, HMU. Let’s work together.

P.P.S. If you know another fitpros that’d like this content. Tell them to subscribe.

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