Jeff Booher has completed more than 60 triathlons and spent a little time as a decathlete at Texas A&M University – a typical background for an endurance-athlete coach. But then, he also became a Russian linguist in the U.S. Army’s military intelligence branch and a systems engineer designing supply-chain-management solutions for major U.S. retailers. Over 14 years, he worked to “systematize success” – his term – by determining key performance metrics and translating that information into higher quality and profits for three companies.
You might expect he’d take a different approach to athletic training, and you’d be correct. He has attracted thousands of athletes as clients and study subjects through his data-driven system he calls TriDot. His business has progressed to the point where he mostly coaches other coaches who employ his methods and processes.
A while back, he sat down and explained his approach and his method of building his business through social media.
What is the TriDot system?
Most athletes train based on other successful athletes, or some theory or concept. TriDot takes a different approach. We have some patent-pending algorithms and measurements of the athlete’s ability, and we go through a methodical process, designing every single plan, so that it’s repeatable, measurable, and we get predictable outcomes.
As every athlete that goes through the system, their results are recorded, and it makes the system better and better.
How did you come upon this?
I started just trying to improve my own performance. I kept finding experts that were conflicting and saying the opposite things. All were equally competent and educated and successful. I don’t want to say there wasn’t any science. There was just no cause and effect relationship between the science and what they actually did. People would change philosophies midway through their career. I found a void in data-driven training. People looked at what happened in the past with no reference point for what should happen in the future, or what they should do differently.
I began doing things in a methodical way, tracking data. And then I gradually tweaked, after I saw what worked, and what worked better, and gradually improved.
How did you build your following?
Originally, I wasn’t trying to build a following. It was word of mouth. Eventually, we tried to take a very methodical approach to educating and coming out with meaningful content and doing things around studies and webinars – some way where you can engage in a little deeper conversation.
We try to develop relationships with athletes, to the point where they’re willing to sit down and listen and think – or at least, listen to someone that they trust.
How do you get the word out?
We do some things on the blog. We have some webinar series, where each part might be 5 to 20 minutes. We do a little bit on social media, enough to get someone interested to read more. But those more meaningful conversations – the blogs, the webinars – are the most effective.
About three years ago, I did an out-season project. We studied athletes during their off season, when they were not training for a race. So they’re not forced to go on a certain long run or bike or swim because a race is coming up. They’re only doing what makes them a better athlete. We had just phenomenal results. If I can remember, the swim threshold pace was improved 18 seconds per 100 meters, 2.1 miles per hour on a bike and a 32 second per mile increase at a 10-K pace.
We did it again this year, and I’m still compiling the results. We can compare all athletes in all age ranges.
How did you form partnerships with your sponsors?
It varies pretty widely. We believe in all of them. We’ve had some instances where we’ve moved to a different sponsor that might not be as good for us financially, because we really believed in their product. Their product would serve our athletes better. We’ll do joint webinars with some sponsors. In some cases, they offer discounts to our athletes.
Where does most of revenue come from? Fees from athletes?
By far. The finances of the sponsorships are more about offering a more complete package to our athletes.
What else are you thinking about to market Tridot?
We’ve thought about guaranteeing results. We have so much data now that we know if you put in the work and follow the program, you’ll see these results.
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