Whether you looking to hire your first employee or part time help for administration, marketing or training there are 4 mindsets you should consider to set you for success.
This will help you leverage your time so that you move from doing $10 an hour work to $1000 an hour work and help you grow your business.
If you take a deep dive into the most successful service businesses within and outside the fitness business they have two common traits.
Can you guess what they are?
I am going to repeat the second point. The only create systems when they get results first.
In marketing your fitness business, there is a handful of systems that help you grow your business and there is a short-list of them that should really be on your not to do list. Those on your not to do list drain your time and energy and leave you exhausted.
Most trainers are good are trying out multiple techniques and strategies but what lets them down is ultimately a system for success.
Michael Gerber in his bestselling book The E Myth revised had a great question that most fitness trainers should consider
“How can I create a business whose results are systems-dependent rather than people-dependent? That great businesses are not built by extraordinary people but by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
While I think Michael Gerber is right in his observation, I think personally that great businesses are built by ordinary people do the basic things well.
It does not have to be extraordinary.
Here is my observation of basic things done well in a fitness business
Every successful business has a marketing system that they can measure results every week. The one must have system is how many new clients do you have in your business every week? Growing with new members is the lifeblood of the company
How many new referrals do you receive each month. Referral systems is the ultimate sign that you offer value to your existing customers way beyond what they pay for your services.
A system to reactivate past clients?
Building relationships with new and existing clients every single day. With social media there has never been an easier time to execute on this step.
If you can create systems around these you are able to grow and sustain a business.
Without this you are grinding it out and business becomes tough.
Let me leave you with this.
What are the ordinary things that you excel at and have systematized in your business, that gets results?
Can you list them out on one page?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Let’s assume you running a fitness workshop to attract new clients to your business or running a nutrition seminar.
You marketed diligently and have a list of qualified prospects. One the fears we face is that most people even though they would commit to a workshop or seminar would never show up.
Worse they will not cancel their reservation in advance.
Have you ever held a seminar or workshop or heard of the horror stories where only 1-2 people attend live in person.
That’s a horrible feeling to experience, especially if you catered for the seminar, prepared in advance and hoping to have a full house.
One way to avoid this type of empty room syndrome is to first connect with your seminar attendees before they attend.
In this way you can manage the attendance and not get caught up with a nasty surprise right at the end.
One tool we use is to call the client ahead of the seminar and measure the motivation of the client.
It’s not just about talking to them and directly asking them whether they will attend or not.
It’s about understanding and getting that gut level feel whether they will attend the session.
You are trying to see how motivated they are to take action.
If the client complains about the distance, travel time, talks about how busy they are or complain about the price of your seminar or workshop it’s a signal they want to attend but have not convinced themselves that its worth attending.
They don’t see the value yet of taking care of their personal health.
Or they may not be sold on you yet or the value they will get on attending.
If it’s the first reason, you cannot convince anyone to attend. In that case, plan as if they will not attend. In this way you can make the space available for the next person or generate more leads for your workshop.
If it is the latter case then you have an opportunity to answer questions and demonstrate the value they will get when they do attend.
It’s about asking provocative questions and understanding them at a deeper level. When they feel you understand them they automatically think you the expert.
By measuring their motivation you can fill a room and be confident that you on your way to marketing and growing your fitness business. You are in full control of the conversation.
Here is a quick snippet of a call with a coaching client
You spent your valuable time creating a YouTube video.
You prepared your best content, shot and edited the video.
You uploaded the video and waited. It has been a few days and you have less than 20 video views.
All that work, time and energy expended on producing videos and very few people are showing interest.
This sucks right?
And here is what happens next.
You are ready to create your next video.
But now you keep putting this off. You unconsciously make excuses why you will shoot the video tomorrow and not today.
And before you know it, it is weeks or months before you create the next one.
But let's assume for a moment you uploaded your first video and then with a week you received a few hundred hits.
Would that pump you up and motivate you?
I bet it would. I would also bet that you would be motivated to create your next one and nothing would stand in your way.
Before you know it you will brand yourself and share your story with your local community and feel like it is a valuable marketing strategy for your business.
I ran a few tests to figure out why someone would pay attention to your personal training video in the first place.
If no one clicks and pays attention to your video it does not matter how good the content is.
You have no chance of sharing your message or growing your business using video as a medium.
The most important insight and this is no real surprise is the way to get video views is to have the right thumbnail image.
Let me prove this to you.
Let's say you were surfing YouTube and not intentionally looking for workout videos. If these videos just appeared on your screen, which ones would you click for the sake of curiosity?
Two important points when it comes to getting that Youtube click
So here is the 20-second trick to help you get the right images
When you upload your videos to YouTube, they automaticall show multiple thumbnail images based on the content of the video. All you have to do is select the best image that will draw attention to your videos.
Most trainers forget about this and YouTube then defaults to the standard image they think best.
But now you can take 20 seconds and find the best one.
If you do not like the video images then upload your own image.
Do this a few times and watch your video views spike and if the quality of the videos are good you will drive more clicks and opt ins to your website by embedding a strong call to action on the video.
You’ve done the hard work to generate high quality leads for your online or offline business. It takes a lot of effort and resources to generate high quality leads.
You excited because these clients signed up. You’ve taken it a step further. You confirmed an appointment with them to see if your personal training or boot camp services are a good fit and can help them reach their goals.
On the day of the appointment you send them an email or text reminder that their phone appointment is set for 3pm that day.
3 pm rolls around and your call them. The phone rings but there is no answer. You think maybe they’re busy. Then you try again or text them.
You just invested 15 minutes of your life but the client is a no show. You have three appointments set that day.
All three clients missed their appointments. You wasted an hour of your time and not to mention these leads are now cold and probably may never call you back.
This happens to trainers all the time.
If you watch the edited video below you see one of my clients had 13 appointments booked in one day. Yes 13 of them and not one honored their call.
At first you get angry. You may even be a little pissed. You probably not going to bother calling them ever again. Then you think maybe this client is not worth it anyway.
Now you start to question the quality of your leads. Facebook, youtube or google leads may be poor target leads.
If this cycle repeats itself over and over again you being to question yourself. You feel down and marketing becomes a grind. You start to dislike the entire process and fall into a negative spiral.
There is a way out of it.
The first step is to realize that there are a number of reasons why clients don’t keep their appointments. It could be time zone problems, maybe they just forget and in most cases they are scared to take action.
They have been there before and don’t know what to expect from you on the call. Most clients falsely believe that you may be a high pressure person trying to convince them to buy finiteness services they don’t need. Most times clients don’t have the confidence within themselves to take action and get results.
So they just don’t show up for the call.
You can fight this, resist this by creating more barriers or you can face the fear of no shows.
Embrace whats going on and realize that in business its bound to happen. In fact it happens to different business owners across multiple industries all the time not just in weight loss or the fitness industry.
One way to protect your time and make sure you are productive while filling up your appointment book is double or triple book your time.
If 1-2 clients are a no show you always have the ability to talk to a third person. Even if you speak to the first person you can always send a quick email or text to your second or third appointment pushing this back a few minutes.
This is one way where you are in control of the leads and your calendar.
You also set yourself up for success.
I spell out more of the details and ideas using this strategy in the short edited video below.
Watch it. Then please leave me your comments below and let me know what you think.
By the way if you cannot double book or triple book a time slot then you have a lead generation challenge not a conversion challenge.
A social resume is simply a way to announce to the world that you’re available for business, and for potential clients to know who you are and what value you can contribute. Think of your social resume as a means of entering the field or looking for a new job. But instead of looking for an employer, you’re getting your resume in front of potential new clients. Our clients are much smarter than what we give them credit for online these days.
They check and research before they join any fitness gym, or sigh with a personal trainer. But imagine for a second you can get the resume of your expertise, talents, and skills in front of them. How will that change your life? Thousands of people will be able to see you, and your clients can connect with you online before they even meet you. Your online resume is a very important tool to brand yourself and putting your business ahead of your competition. More importantly, your resume will help in creating a connection with your clients. This is one of the biggest areas where fitness trainers lack understanding and action, then they wonder why they never get any new clients. So, your social resume is your vital online presence.
You’re basically telling your clients about your professional qualifications, and why they should pick you. The other reason for a current online resume, in addition to clients, it will enable you to network with other professionals in your field. For example, if you’re looking to build connections with a local massage therapist, dentist, or other small businesses that can in turn refer your business, an online resume is a great way to network. The online resume is a fair balance of social networking and professional referrals. You can also have data and analytics established to let you know how many people visited and looked at or connected with your social resume online.
The more people you connect automatically finds your business scaling up, and the more new business you can garner. So, what is the best way to create an effective online resume? Start by creating a LinkedIn professional profile. You won’t have to go in everyday to post updates in LinkedIn, but it’s important to have a complete profile where clients will potentially look for you, and have a look at your personal resume. LinkedIn allows anyone to connect with you, and they can look for you 24 hours a day. Make sure that you use relevant key words that people may search for, and talk about your business, tell your story, and let people know what you can do for them. The next obvious place to advertise your business or network is Facebook. In Facebook, you can actually describe your expertise, include your business URL, and give a brief description about yourself or your business.
I strongly suggest that you have a different social resume for Facebook than you have for LinkedIn. Remember your audience in each of these platforms. While it is perfectly acceptable to include your business information on your personal Facebook page, you should not include any personal posts (which could be considered controversial or political in nature) on your business pages. The third place you can go to network online is Twitter. Due to character limitations, in Twitter you’ll need a shorter social resume or profile about yourself. The shorter and the more succinct it is, the better. Most people are more active on Twitter than some of the other social media networks, so space out your Tweets and remember that anyone who follows you also has their own followers – and they can also be your potential clients.
There is one other place online I would recommend you add information about yourself and your business. Create a free WordPress blog online. Now, if you already have a WordPress website, that’s fine, but what’s stopping you from adding a WordPress blog, which is free, and building a social resume in there? It can easily be done in just one page, and it’ll help you get multiple profiles about yourself and your business online. Once you have these profiles opened up, the next step is to link them and cross-link them, and point those links back to your web site. So in addition to you having this profile, you get additional links, which may help your potential sales value in the long-term. So what would you include in a social profile? Number one: Make sure it stands out.
Tell your personal story, and any professional fitness designations that you have. If you’ve completed any courses, honed specialized skills, and have the ability to help them with nutrition and training, that would be fantastic. Also mention where you volunteer, and what type of volunteer work you do in your local community. Clients love that and love the fact that you’re giving more to the community. This small plug will also make other small businesses interested in joiningwith you as well.
When you’re building this profile, make sure you don’t include the following things:
Once you’ve built your profile, it’s just a matter of getting it out there, and then building a community around those profiles. A good way to get started is by going to a site like www.fiver.com, and getting some likes foryour Facebook page. It doesn’t have to be tons; I’m talking about no more than 20 or 30 likes. Add some Twitter followers, and finally, add some LinkedIn followers. This is just to help boost your presence and your social resume, to help you build a small community around that. We’re not talking about manipulating these pages in any way, but simply promoting them so that when people do come, they can see that others have already liked it. Then you have created a strong following.
Creating a social profile is the best and easiest way to get known, demonstrate your expertise, and more importantly, put your resume and your expertise out to the world and be found. Don’t be the trainer that only has a blog and no one newcan find you. Be the person who creates the best brand in your local market with your social resume.
The short answer is yes. I know personally of one client in Seattle who personally built his business with YouTube videos. He makes over $250,000 annually only with video marketing. I want to share with you these exact steps. You can get reach more clients online faster once you apply these simple techniques to your business. Before we start here is a question for you. What is the best way to build trust online and reach thousands of potential clients at the same time? Obviously the best way to build trust is talk to the person one on one live in person.
The next best method for personal trainers is video. If a potential client watches you on video and you have a great story to tell you build a strong bond and immediate trust. But here is where its get better. Google are now ranking video on the first page for specific keywords. For example if you type in chino hills boot camp in Google. You see three videos ranking on the first page of Google. Of the three videos Sam’s (www.fitconcepts.com ) has 2 of the three videos listed on first page of Google. As you can tell, that is not by accident at all.
So here is a quick summary of what you should do to get your videos on page 1 of Google.
If you are just starting out and have a brand new website and you know your website will take forever to get ranked then use start with Youtube videos. Your website may take a while but your video will rank fast in the short term. If you live in a very conservative market place where people just do not trust each other and trust is earned like some parts of the Midwest for example, then video may just be great way to build that trust and position you as an expert in that market At some point if you not going to take advantage of creating and distributing your message through video then your competition will do that and slowly eat away at your market share.
Telling stories is one of the best ways to build a tribe of customers who know like and trust you. And YouTube videos are one of the best ways of sharing your personal brand and message. So what is the first action step you going to take to post your first video online and if you already doing video how are you going to do this consistently.
You’ve done the hard work to get the client into your local studio. But the problem most of us have is that we tend to lose clients in the first month. Usually clients end up all excited to get started. They walk with their new fitness gear and feel proud that they have taken the first step. But a week later reality strikes. They have to get out of bed early, or instead of watching tv after work then now have to do the work and workout.
The next thing you know they begin to have self doubts. Their old feelings and patterns of behavior starts to kick in and they think to themselves. Maybe this whole work out thing is not for me. Or worse still they think, this is way to expensive I rather try the fitness trainer down the street who is cheaper and if I attend a few classes a month then it is okay. Before you know it they bail out and your retention rates fall. And now with the internet we all making fast snap buying decisions. Now, if you get clients through services like Groupon, Living Social or Amazon, the retention rates for new clients literally falls through the floor.
Most people that come in through the daily view sites usually last no more than 30 days and fitness trainers lose a lot of clients. We then start to blame our clients. We feel and treat them as price shoppers. And I’m sure you will find a lot of them out there. But lets turn this around. The most critical period for any client is the first 30 days they are with you. The experience they get and how they feel makes all the difference in the world whether they will continue to stay with you and pay you so that you can grow your business.
I am assuming your have good programs, get them results and treat them really well. But that is just expected. Everyone else is doing it and your customers expect that or they would leave anyway. One missing ingredient to keep them and help them for a long time is showing that you care about them. Not showing them or just saying the words that you care but actually demonstrating care. When you bring in human feeling and emotions into the picture all of a sudden they feel differently. Look, clients who like you trust you, and stay with you knowing that you can get them the results only if you show them that you care deeply enough about them their progress and you are committed to Boot Camp making a change in their life.
The push aside their need to quit and start focusing on how you can help them an transform their lives. They stay. One very successful way to demonstrate care is with a “check in call.” We call up clients on a Sunday night and find out how they doing. But we use very specific words to show them we care. We call every client and leave a message or talk to him or her live on the phone if they pick up their cell phones. Now, we think of this as being totally extreme in the sense that you have to call them and physically talk to them.
Why can’t you set up an automated message to your clients so that they get it and they know that you care for them? It’s not the same effect. Calling clients live and talking to them is one way of demonstrating that you really care about their needs and you’re different from everyone else. Yes, it takes a little bit of work and maybe an hour of time to call up your clients on a Sunday evening, but it is the best work you can do right now to retain your clients.
The way we did it was to create a simple check-in message and here’s how it worked. We used to have a spreadsheet of clients on an Excel spreadsheet all listed out in order, we’d call up the number and we’d say, “hey Mary, this is John The reason for my call is I just want to check in with you. How did your training go last week? Did you have any problems or challenges and then I’m looking so forward to working with you this week to help you break through and lose weight in the process. We’ve got some great sessions coming up that are personally created and I look forward to seeing you in class.
A simple message like that is non-threatening and at the same time, it makes your customers feel good that you care about them and you’re checking in to see how they’re doing and you’re looking forward to seeing them back next week. Over time, we had an admin assistant that used to do the calls for us, and our clients used to love her because she had a great personality and could call up 100 clients in literally two hours on a Sunday. The trick is not to have long conversations and detailed conversations. It’s a quick check-in message so that they hear your voice, they know they can connect with you if they have any questions you can answer on the phone. You see, a simple little check-in message to see how they’re doing makes all the difference in the world. Your clients are starved for attention.
They don’t get this attention from their friends, their family, because everyone is leading busy lives. The fact that you picked up the phone and spoke to them demonstrates that you care. You’re showing attention to them, you’re giving the attention, you’re top of their mind, and they’re absolutely going to love you, and the best part of this is if you use the right referral dialog after a few months of checking in with them, you can literally start talking to them and asking them for referrals one-on-one on the phone. So it has a double impact and can literally change your business for life. If you’re struggling to retain your clients, try it.
Just checking in with them personally one-on-one is the best tool you can implement right now. We’ve used it successfully to grow a business from zero to over 200 clients in 18 months using a simple check-in procedure and our retention rate was more than a year. Try it and leave your comments below. Or if you’re using another method to retain your clients, leave us a comment below and share with us.
Lets assume you in the dating game. You single and looking for a perfect mate for a relationship. You look and feel like a million dollars as you walk into the bar. Ladies turn their heads and guys secretly trying to look away but they feel the pressure and natural instincts kick in and they somehow sense you are competition. You have your favorite Armani coat on. You wore this countless times before and it if your lucky coat. You thinking tonight is going to be the NIGHT
You stride confidently to the bar. Order your first drink and she is just sitting there with her legs crossed and in high heels. You catch a glimpse of her. She is beautiful and secretly smiles back You grab your drink walk over and open your mouth and blurt out a few words. She stares back at you in horror and look the other way. Dejected and slightly broken you turn and walk away. You see your best friend rock up to the joint. Just as you say something to him he stops you dead in your tracks. “Hey you see the cute girl sitting over there. I just struck up a conversation with her. She just turned and looked away. I cannot believe it. I even had my lucky jacket on.” So what specifically did you tell her, your friend asks you? Oh you know the usual.
I used my killer pick up line. “Hey beautiful, I like those sexy long legs. What do you say we go back to my apartment and massage those legs for you.” If you do not realize you like every 19 year old dude. Trying to close in the opening sentence (Thanks Gary V) Now I have had this conversation with 3 of my SEO clients this week. They are ranking really well, getting traffic to their sites but guess what very few opt ins and calls. Here is the first reaction I get all the time.
• Maybe I should change the opt-in right. Maybe we offering the wrong thing.
• Okay the SEO is not working.
• I have written the best e-book. Why doesn’t anyone want it.
• I am offering a free two-week trial. What more do they want? This is the best deal ever. Oh and maybe your SEO thing is not working Neil.
What am I paying you all this money for? So I went back and analyzed all my current clients websites. After spending a week or so looking at this here is what I realize. This may not be what you want to hear but could change how you do business and generate leads in the future. Most websites are trying to close on the first hit to their website.
Nobody knows you. They have not seen your website before. They do not trust you. Sure if they meet you and know what a good trainer you are, they may trust you and like you enough to do business with you. But for now, lets get the facts right
1. Maybe they are frustrated with all the e-books that have bog promises but have the same boring content.
2. They do not want your free trial. Maybe they just not ready yet to take that leap of faith
3. And oh yeah free consultation is code word for “call me and I am going to sell you something”
Now lets get down to what they do want. They want to know you like you and trust you first. Give them some tips if they applied would get them results immediately. You care about your customers, you get results and you are the right person to do this. The best way to do this is through stories. Tell them about you. Know I do not mean about all the awards and certifications you have. Share stories about how did you get in this business.
Where you started. How you helped people along the way. Why you are passionate and how you will make a difference in their lives. Share your stories about your clients and how they have transformed their lives through testimonials. Share how you created your exercise programs, what to eat how to live and more importantly how they can look and feel sexy again. And when they trust you, they will be back. Most cases they will sign up to your auto responder email series for more information.
Then they will read your newsletters your e-books and will call you or make contact directly with you. This system works every time since you have taken the time to build a relationship first and you spent the time to build that level of trust your business needs to attract the right type of clients. You have actually taken the time to communicate with them and build a relationship rather than trying to close immediately. Now I am under no illusion that we have a business to run. I am a partner in Chi-Town boot camps.
I know that making money and feeding yourself is important and that you need leads and sales now. So here is how you accelerate this entire process and build the relationship fast so that people connect with you and want to join your fitness business. The first step is to build your own local singles bar so people actually visit your establishment and then you have a chance to connect with them. You will need to have a really good local website for your fitness business. Step 2: Drive traffic to your business so that hundreds if not thousands of potential clients will connect with you and start a first conversation.
The best way to drive traffic in the short term is to do some SEO related work to your website. Step 3: Blog on a regular and consistent basis. What I mean is at least 2-3 times a week for an established site and if you are a new site maybe more. This is where you get to tell stories and build that relationship. Your customers may not sign up the first time but if your content is really good then will come back and take action when they are ready. The old way of marketing your business online is fast fading. With the latest Google changes, social media tools and the like most of your clients feel disconnected and cannot keep up.
We are now looking for ways to feel that connection and relationship. Irrespective of what happens if you build a solid pipeline of leads through email and you constantly give them good information and make offers to them you will always have a healthy pipeline of leads. That is a given for most successfully businesses. If you having challenges figuring this out, please feel free to send an email and set up a consultation session with me. I will help craft and point you in the right direction to tell your story and become the local business of choice in your market. Tell your story on your website and you reach and earn high six figures every single year.