Sport-Starter.de: Customer acquisition on Facebook

Ole Kannapinn set up his fitness company Sport-Starter.de from the nursery in his home without any financial support. As a triathlon athlete, he recorded fitness exercises on his smartphone, posted them in his Facebook group and later offered them for sale. He repeatedly invested those initial modest profits in Facebook Ads until he began to generate considerable turnover. Today, he runs a modern company with 8 employees. Ole Kannapinn is still the leading figure and face of Sport-Starter.de, but he now produces professional fitness videos with the support of a production team and several fitness trainers.

Ole Kannapinn is a self-made man on the terrain of Facebook marketing. Over the years, he has tested various strategies, maintained fitness communities with tens of thousands of members and continuously scaled his business. In an interview with Digistore24, Ole Kannapinn explains his unconventional Facebook success step by step:

How Ole Kannapinn managed to turn a small project into a company:
  1. Set up a Facebook group and acquire your first members
    “I started with a Facebook group of around 120 people. I posted notices about my group in various fitness and weight loss groups and captured their attention with free fitness videos. I simply shot the videos on my smartphone. My strategy was to show only simple and effective exercises – this allows every beginner to get off to a pleasant start with immediate results.”
  2. Free market analysis in the Facebook group
    “I posted videos every day, dutifully answered all questions about the exercises and in return I only wanted people’s opinions on my videos. Since I was in very close contact with my target group, I was able to identify which pain points people had and find solutions to them after just a few weeks.”
  3. Sales
    “Equipped with this valuable market knowledge, I adapted the exercises to the needs of my target group and recorded them once more. This resulted in a 14-day course which I sold directly on Facebook for the first time.”
  4. Reinvestment: Marketing via Facebook Ads
    “I was thrilled to have earned my first 500 euros on the internet! I resisted the temptation to spend all my earnings at once, so instead I continued to refine my product. I tested my online course on other Facebook groups, improved it and offered it for sale. This time, I invested all my capital in Facebook Ads and was quickly rewarded: I earned 2,000 euros in the second month. Once I had doubled my profit in the third month, I realized this could be a viable business idea.

Business idea: An online course on fitness and weight loss
As the company expands, we want to strategically use Facebook and Facebook groups in order to:

  1. … to establish customer proximity, to analyze where the needs of my target group lie and to determine what a product must look like to meet these needs;
  2. … to use Facebook as a sales channel
How Ole Kannapinn’s unconventional Facebook funnel works:
  • Step 1: Facebook Ads
    “The customer enters my funnel after clicking on one of my Facebook Ads. I invite people to join my Facebook group and attract them with free weight loss and fitness content. These ads target people who have recently shown an interest in content relating to fitness and weight loss.”
  • Step 2: Facebook groups
    “Entering the funnel via a Facebook group has proven to be very effective: the inhibition threshold of joining a Facebook group is very low, because you don’t pay anything and you don’t provide any data either. You get relevant content for free.”
  • Step 3: Building trust and collecting data
    “Because of their personal interaction with me, people trust me and give me their email addresses to get my free 14-day course. I post valuable content on a daily basis and answer questions. I make sure to develop a positive and motivating atmosphere in my groups. My strategy is to build a community where people feel comfortable and don’t have to be afraid of being insulted, attacked or laughed at.”
  • Step 4: Sales
    “As part of the free course, people receive an email every day with fitness exercises. On the last day of the program, they get a sales email. Most interested people can be converted into customers at this point. The participants are simply convinced of the quality of my course and also appreciate the motivating and supportive community in the Facebook group.”
Why Ole Kannapinn ignores proven tools like Google AdWords, various e-mail marketing tools and affiliate programs and uses an unconventional method instead:
  • Why Facebook?
    “My market – fitness and weight loss for women in German-speaking countries, is absolutely gigantic. I focus entirely on the channel that made my company big and is still growing today: Facebook. I invest my entire budget and resources in this channel. Put simply, Facebook is my core competency and I want to stay on my territory.” 
  • Problem: Very high support costs when scaling
    “When we scaled the business to a large extent, the number of members in our Facebook groups exploded. Groups with tens of thousands of people have a lot of traffic and require a lot of support that we can’t keep up with anymore.”
  • Solution: New traffic source – Facebook Messenger
    “We have added Facebook Messenger to our tool portfolio and automated the flow with the program MenuChat. The Facebook Messenger funnel works in a similar way to the Facebook group funnel. I use Messenger to invite interested parties to my free 7-day course and sell them the 8-week course on the last day.”
The essentials of online funnels:
  • Planning
    “It is paramount to think in small steps and plan exactly which stages the customer will go through on their customer journey: from the first point of contact (when the potential customer sees the ad) and first call to action (when the potential customer enters his contact data) through to building trust and finally to the end goal of closing the sale.”
  • Calculation
    “At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that the income from sales not only covers the costs of advertising and marketing, but also covers all other operating costs. In the ideal case, you will exceed the break-even point and will have a reasonable profit left over.”
  • Tip
    “I have never studied Economics and have simply built up my knowledge in practice. That’s why I find it very helpful to build my company in as simple and lean way as possible. I outsource tasks that are not part of my core business to external partners. Digistore24 is a reliable and competent partner that relieves me of many operational tasks and provides me with great security. I know I only incur costs if I actually sell something and I can rely 100% on punctual and accurate payouts.”
Ole Kannapinn’s advice to all young entrepreneurs:

“My advice to all young entrepreneurs: think in a far-sighted, sustainable and strategic way. If you make a profit, don’t spend it all at once. It is far better to invest it in your business. Be patient and don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately. The growth curve is exponential and your business needs to take a run-up before it takes off.”

Ole Kannapinns’s favorite features on Digistore24:

RETURN SUPPORT
“It’s super easy to process a return on Digistore24. It may seem unspectacular at first glance, but I know from my own painful experience how incredibly complicated it can be when you don’t have your own dashboard to search for customers. On Digistore24, you can process a return with two clicks and the Digistore24 support team will help you with all your questions.”

UPSELLS
“From an entrepreneurial point of view, the Upsells feature is what excites me the most! It is an indispensable tool for marketing funnels and allows me to sell more products to my customers with just one click after the purchase process. It’s fantastic! Without Upsells, my customers would have to enter their data again and a large part of my conversion would simply disappear..

CUSTOMIZATION OF SHIPPING COSTS
“Talking about Upsells leads me directly to this new feature. I offer my 8-week fitness course via Upsells. In my marketing funnel, this sale is preceded by a free product. I offer a physical recipe book for free – those interested only pay for the shipping. Digistore24 gives me the option to differentiate the shipping costs according to the country of destination and show those costs separately from the sales price. This also increases transparency and trust in my company, which, in turn, has a positive impact on the Upsell conversion rate
.”

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