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Passive income automation: How I built my fitness business using Zapier

By Manfred · April 20, 2021
A man in workout gear and a hat stands on a beach.

A healthy and active lifestyle is a key ingredient of my own happiness and my drive to maximize happiness for me and the people around me. I've transformed my passion for fitness into a business, 4legsfitness.com, which helps me achieve financial freedom.  

Passive income for financial freedom 

In order to achieve my vision of financial freedom, my online fitness business needs to generate passive income. That is only possible if I automate as many of the necessary processes as possible. My direct client work is customized and "manual" but everything else is automated.

Here's how I did it.  

Automating my fitness business: 4legsfitness.com

All my processes are split into either core business or marketing execution, which includes content marketing and promotion.

I offer 4legsfitness.com services or products either online or offline. The underlying idea of 4legsfitness.com is that in everything I do I combine four areas that are essential to achieve a strong foundation of health and fitness: strength, endurance, nutrition, and recovery.

Offline includes one-on-one personal training, seminars, or courses. These are high-touch services, and where I want to spend my time. Online includes the sale of supplements with chosen partners I trust, accessories like t-shirts or hats that are drop shipped, online courses, or the Build Bullet-Proof Health online fitness program. 

I use a few tools to run my business:

  • Shopify is where I host my website. People can discover my offerings and make purchases.

  • Trainerize is an online coaching platform where I create and offer customized programs to my clients and can message with them and conduct regular check-ins

  • Google apps like Gmail, Sheets, and Forms help me run my core processes

Then, I use Zapier to tie them all together. This is how my process works:

You'll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don't have an account yet, it's free to get started.

Zap 1: A new sale comes in 

A new sale in Shopify triggers a welcome email from Gmail to my new client. It includes a request to fill in a comprehensive client assessment questionnaire in a Google Form. They get a targeted email based on the product they purchased.

Welcome new Shopify customers with personalized emails from Gmail

Welcome new Shopify customers with personalized emails from Gmail
  • Shopify logo
  • Gmail logo
Shopify + Gmail

If you work with apps or software not included in this article, don't worry—Zapier works with thousands of apps. Head to our App Directory and search for the one you use, or browse to find the right solution for your needs. Plus, here are 5 things you can do in Zapier's App Directory.

Zap 2: A new client fills out the assessment questionnaire

When a new form is submitted, it creates a new client account in Trainerize. They are assigned to me as the trainer. This Zap includes different Paths depending on the client's personal fitness goals and other variables. This allows them to be automatically assigned to the correct program and lets me know what services I should be offering through Trainerize.

Zap 3: Supplement purchases and order coordination

The sale of supplements from my store is also automated. I work with a third-party supplier of supplements, and this Zap sends order information from my store to a shared Google Sheet. Both of us get notifications and the order fulfillment is then executed by my partner.

To add more steps to a Zap like this, click the plus sign where you'd like the next action to be, and customize the step to meet your needs.

Zap 4: Abandoned cart notifications

Only a portion of website visitors who add products to a shopping cart actually purchase. When someone leaves a full cart behind, Zapier notifies me, and I then send an automated email to this visitor with a discount offer, hoping to convince them to buy. It is also an excellent opportunity to start a conversation and build a relationship. After all, this visitor already showed an interest in one of my offers.  

Zap 5: Promoting my business

I produce regular blog articles that provide tips and information for people in my target audience. They all conclude with a call-to-action with conversion in mind. I want to promote my work on social media, but as a small business owner it is impossible to cover them all well. This is where automation comes in. I use Zapier to post from my blog to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. 

You can use Zapier to promote Shopify blog posts on other platforms, too. See the ways to connect Shopify with Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram for Business.

What did I achieve with automation?

My business is complex. Quite simply, without automation, 4legsfitness.com would not exist. Handling my core business process and marketing without automation would be impossible for me to handle on my own. Zapier is what allows me to connect all the different apps and platforms that I am using for my business and define all the processes that span across these apps. 

Another key benefit of automation for my business is the reduction of errors. Once a process is clearly defined, I implement it using Zaps. After some testing and refinement, I go into production mode. After that, the Zaps reliably produce the same results every time. If I do this work manually, quite naturally errors occur, which can be time-consuming and expensive to fix, and could result in losing customers.

A further crucial benefit of automation is that it frees up my time to focus on the things where I can really add value, improve my offers, grow the business, acquire new customers, and have fun rather than executing mundane, repetitive tasks. 

Being a business owner in the fitness industry is tough. Without automation, I would have failed a long time ago. With it, every day I am coming closer and closer to achieving my vision of financial freedom to satisfy the happiness formula and continue to live the happy life

This is a guest post by Manfred, founder of the fitness startup 4legsfitness.com. On his journey to maximizing happiness, he describes the essential role of automation in building a lifestyle business to generate passive income and provide financial freedom. You can also find him on Instagram, @4legsfitness and subscribe to his email newsletter to receive monthly health and fitness tips and keep up-to-date with his business.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'