Starting Strength Case Study

Meet Matt Reynolds, founder of Starting Strength Online, he is also on the seminar staff for in-person Starting Strength courses.

His company Starting Strength Online now has over 700 programming clients ranging from the ages of 32 - 52 years old. He has over 20 coaches who program for an average of 20-30 clients using TrueCoach. But it wasn’t easy to grow from 135 clients with spreadsheets, emails and even texting.

Matt was trying to figure out how to do what he loves without the never ending days of emails and recalling what stage and progressions all his clients were at.

"Quite simply, TrueCoach allowed my business to scale. Without TrueCoach, there is no way I’d be able to grow."

Matt Reynolds

Founder of Starting Strength Online

At 135 online programming clients he made money at the expense of being tied to his computer all-day. Every day Matt knew he’d have 200-300 emails sitting in his inbox waiting for a reply.

And the only way he could manage it was to wake-up at 4:30am and spend 14-hours on his computer.

Hours he could have spent coaching and critiquing technique video submissions from his clients. (you know actually “coaching” the art of walking your client through the obstacles they have to get the result they want.)

The Inbox was Matt’s second home

And after living in his inbox for most days, he discovered there’s an “email compound effect.” As he hammered through his emails, he would start to get responses back stacking more emails in his Inbox. AKA the “email compound effect”.

And that’s just the start of the day... then between:

  • Answering emails
  • Finding proper exercise videos on YouTube to link
  • Looking through a chain of emails, spreadsheets and messenger apps to find what your client said about a workout, injury, movement, etc.
  • Going through the videos client’s uploaded to YouTube and critiquing them

Matt pulled 13-14 hour days and of that time 6-7 hours were just on admin.

It was tons of work. Wasted time. Not scalable for a career (if you want a personal life.)

He knew there had to be a better way where he didn’t have to search through multiple programs. He knew he needed to keep everything in one place and see everything you need without:

  • Going through sticky notes and your calendar to see who’s workout is almost done and who you need to follow-up with
  • Searching through your emails to find what your client said about a workout 3 weeks ago
  • Scrolling through your phone in an endless string of texts

He tried Googling to find programming apps, but he found they were just glorified spreadsheets, but even clunkier to use which took more time to figure it out, and didn’t help him cut his time down from managing 135 clients. Eventually, he knew sustaining a programming load of 135 clients was not realistic, and as clients left he didn’t replace them and let it whittle down to 65 remote coaching clients, until he could figure something out.

He then had a breakthrough when a friend who also did online programming sent him some screenshots of TrueCoach.

He jumped on it right away and tested it with one client. Compared to other programming apps with buttons all over the screen, confusing features, he liked TrueCoach because it’s simple to use the moment you login.

So he signed up before the trial ended and put 4 more client’s on there.

Being in the strength industry for over 20 years he had a lot of programs to move over, but he also knew he didn't want to work 13-14 hours a day forever.

Matt reclaimed time to grow and scale with easily knowing everything in a snapshot.

Once Matt got TrueCoach up and running the biggest game changer to allow explosive growth without the 13-14 hours time suck was knowing:

  • What his client’s said on a workout (with comments on the workouts)
  • Who completed or didn’t complete a workout. (with automated notifications)
  • Who needed a new workout plan soon. (with automated notifications)
  • A total% of how many client’s are finishing their daily workouts (with compliance numbers)
  • Who’s missing workouts and needs follow-up. (with automated tracking of every client)

In fact, this became so critical to his business, when he boots up his computer, it’s the first thing he looks at to see all his client’s stats, and their compliance rates. These numbers were so critical to his business he even has a 32” monitor dedicated to the dashboard. Because for his business he was able to predict the churn rate.

If he had clients with a completion rate of over 80%, he knew they would stay long term. If they drop below 70% it was a red flag they they can potentially leave.

The ability to see what his clients did, and have these key numbers not only saved him 7-hours a day, it gave him predictability of his monthly income.

He was free from going through mounds of spreadsheets, searching email conversations, and trying to recall who’s behind on their program. And if he had clients with specific injuries, it took more time to search through all their data, and conversations than to actually program what they need. And more importantly coach them.

He now can offer a high-end full service program where he has the ability to coach his clients through every single heavy set using TrueCoach’s video and commenting features.

He kindly shared some of the options of how he coaches them through video.

First, he’ll watch an initial movement video uploaded by the client and linked in TrueCoach.

Then from there he’ll use what is best suited for the client:

  • He can do a screen recording and while talking over it giving feedback and cues
  • He can use an app called “Skitch” and break down their movement by drawing on the screen

Then he’ll upload the video on youtube and link it in TrueCoach under the specific workout for the client to review.

The coaching system is rinsed and repeated by the clients who need it.

He even proved it to Mark Rippetoe, Author, Speaker, Founder of the philosophies you’ll find at Starting Strength. He was very skeptical and believed you need to be there in person, in real-tie in order to fix someone’s movement through coaching.

Matt proved him wrong and showed Rippetoe how he fixed someone’s squat remotely by showing them a day one video of a client who was was 4 inches above parallel, knees going too foward, moving forward as he went down, then he showed a video 3-weeks after... it was near perfect.

With the combination of client compliance numbers, and the ability to scale coaching remotely, he was able to take on more clients while giving them the high-end service without sucking more time out of the day.

And his whole system worked! They grew at a rate of 50 clients a month with a 94.1% retention rate.

Matt was at a point where he needed to hire more coaches and onboard them with TrueCoach to handle the growth.

His days now consist of running his company Starting Strength Online. Matt still has clients, but he only spends 90 minutes a day to manage his personal client base of 30.

Matt also teaches the Starting Strength seminars and has taught other coaches about using TrueCoach. They also average 10-20 clients and spend less than 90-minutes a day to earn an extra $3,500 a month at the high end.

The power to have do everything in one place, and have all necessary information on one screen gave the opportunity for Matt to grow his business to where it is now and provide the white-glove service his clients need without working from dusk till dawn everyday.

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