An exercise physiologist and Women’s Body Enhancement Specialist, Joey Atlas shares his unique methods and approach through best-selling books, products and programs that have been translated into five different languages and are available around the world. He has been featured in high profile publications including Shape.com, Harper’s BAZAAR, Costco Magazine, The Times Union and OnFitness Magazine.
Joey is the author of the best-selling fitness book “Fatness to Fitness” and “Naked Beauty - The SYMULAST Method” program for women who are challenged by "cellulite," particularly on the lower-body trouble-zones and problem areas.
Q: Share with us a little about how you transitioned from personal trainer to international influencer.
I have two degrees in exercise physiology and early on started out my career as a personal trainer in New York. I loved what I did, was very busy and soon had a team of trainers working for me. I really wanted to live in Florida, so eventually I sold my business, moved to Florida, and opened a training studio where I was able to share the unique methods and approach to fitness that I’d developed. Soon I got so busy that I was too busy, if that makes sense. I had trainers working for me, clients lining up, but I was always too busy and couldn’t seem to ever get caught up. Clients were lining up but I had hit the ceiling. People were on waiting lists and I couldn’t help them. I was burnt out in so many different ways. I didn’t want to stop doing what I loved, but knew there had to be a better way.
That was when I started thinking about info products. I wanted to keep doing what I loved, but find a way to help more people instead of the 1-on-1 model I was currently using in my studio. That was a big paradigm shift that allowed me to follow my passion, and help people achieve better bodies, optimal fitness, and a better life. But I also knew I was venturing into an area I didn’t know much about.
In 2005 I started research. I would work all day and hit the internet in my off hours. I saw people selling programs online and that grabbed my attention. The real catalyst was when I noticed Ryan Lee, a friend I attended school with when we were getting our Master’s degrees, and what he was accomplishing online. He was already leveraging the internet to help people with their health and fitness and had established a business online. I realized that what he was doing was similar to my goals, but for a different audience. I thought, “Alright, I can do this too, and in my own way.” My target market is mostly middle-aged women struggling with life’s changes, had kids and dealing with sagging and muscle-tone issues, feeling run down but wanting to get control and confidence back in their life.
Q: How did you make the transition in your business model?
It was definitely a slow transition. I knew it would take some time and effort. I had clients who were willing to work around my schedule and pay to keep me as long as possible. That helped, but the transition was still hard. I would work and train all day and then research, learn and plan during off hours.
I started by putting my workouts on video. I found Vervante who produced my DVDs for me. I taught myself to build websites, pulling all-nighters and learning internet marketing. Once I started generating sales from around the world, I realized the huge potential for helping people in a much larger, more profound way. My eyes were really opened. Using info products gave me the opportunity and ability to share my expertise and expand my reach on a global scale. I started moving more and more of my business model to online versus in person.
Q: How did moving your business online versus in person impact your business and life?
Once I was able to make the full shift to online only, it changed my life in the most profound ways. Back when I was trading hours for dollars, I had a hard time with life. Everything was a juggling act. When my kids were sick I had to cancel client appointments. So many things were a challenge, there was so much stress. Now, by capitalizing on the info product industry, I am literally able to help someone on the other side of the world while attending my kids’ events back home. I’ve created the opportunity in my life to be able to set my own schedule and be where I want to be when I want to be.
The personal satisfaction of helping so many people around world achieve their fitness goals is inspiring and a powerful validation that this was the right choice. I’m able to serve the world instead of just my local community. Now more people can have access to my programs and methods. To be able to do this via the internet has been life-changing. It’s given me a level of freedom that is incredible, and I am truly grateful for the experience.
Also, as a single father of three, (ages 11, 17 and 19), I know that this choice of business and lifestyle has impacted my kids in the best way possible. Everything I do can tremendously impact the lives of the people around you, especially your kids. I’m providing a constant example of living to your ultimate potential and creating a positive, healthy life. My kids have all picked up habits of healthy food, fitness and motivation that will stick with them throughout their lives.
Q: What’s the secret for creating books and info products that get attention and sales?
It’s critical to know your target audience intimately. If you don’t understand your target market, you can’t speak their language. They need to believe you know their problems and how to fix those problems. You have to be able to enter the conversations in their heads to create a connection. And the more they hear and read from you, the more they connect with you and trust you.
I know that’s not easy for everyone to do, but it can be learned. Effective communication is essential for marketing and selling. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, there is plenty of free info out there to help you learn about marketing, communication and sales copy. The secret is research and practice; we only get better by actively doing.
Q: Give us a quick peek inside how your info products work.
DVDs are the staple of my business. I also have several spiral-bound manuals that are companions to the DVDs. And my book, “Fatness to Fitness,” is a traditional perfect-bound print paperback that I sell on Amazon and use as a bonus gift we include with orders. Having a book is a key ingredient for my business – it’s sales, lead generation, marketing, trust-building and loyalty-building. When I include it with orders for free, it’s an unexpected bonus that helps them feel value, and a great companion to what they bought.
Q: What’s your favorite way to boost creativity and inspiration?
I’ll go do something active, of course, like standup paddle boarding in the ocean or riding bikes with my kids. When I’m out and ideas strike, I use a voice recording app on my phone to save them. Also, when I’m out shopping or running errands and around town I make it a point to listen to conversations that happen normally and randomly around me. Whether I’m in Whole Foods or a fitness area or the coffee shop, I’ll pick up on topics that apply to my business and get ideas. For example, I’ll hear someone talk about a technique that is wrong and I think, “Wow, people still need to learn about this!” Then I’ll go home and write an article or outline an idea for a new DVD or guide. I get endless inspiration this way.
Q: Any advice or things you would have done differently?
Don’t copy what you see other people doing. Learn from them, model them, but make sure the raw material comes from deep inside you so that it’s genuinely unique and connects with the right people.
Don’t pay attention to people around you who put you down. Let them say what they want, but don’t let them make decisions for you.
Find a good publisher to work with. Vervante has been fantastic from Day One. They’ve been so helpful and I trust them deeply.
Do your research: For the first year or two, I read all incoming email replies and support emails and comments to my articles and blog posts. I wanted to hear from people, enjoyed connecting and I wanted to know how I was affecting them. I was able to get deeper insight into their challenges, want they want, how I was helping them. This was instrumental in the development of future ideas and products for my business.
Five Fun Facts about Joey
- Favorite author: Napoleon Hill. I also admire Tony Little and consider him a source of inspiration.
- Words you live by: So many, but here’s one: You’ve been given the ultimate gift of life. It’s up to you to make the absolute most of it!
- One thing about you that would surprise people: I’m an amazing cook. I love to create food that is both healthy and delicious – and it’s not all kale!
- What makes you happy? It’s the simplest things, really. Like hearing my kids laugh.
- Your favorite meal: Authentic brick oven pizza. Yes, I eat carbs!
Visit Joey's helpful blog and learn more about Joey Atlas and his programs at www.JoeyAtlas.com.