The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/Simple Lead Generation Strategies

Simple Lead Generation Strategies

Friday, January 20, 2023

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work, people, gym, fitness, business, important, instagram, testimonials, talking, post, action, templates, build, results, coach, seminars, boxing, podcast, challenge, approachable


  • ​What is working the most right now for lead generation? - 0:06
  • ​Advice on getting paid leads through Facebook - 2:53
  • ​What types of products are working for you? - 5:54
  • ​What makes a fitness challenge successful? - 9:59
  • ​How do you know if you’re following the right people? - 14:52
  • ​How to use social media to get your message out - 18:45
  • ​Key milestones during someone’s fitness journey - 22:46
  • ​More is not better, better is better - 29:14
  • ​Why don’t we start making insta-reels? - 33:45
  • ​The problem with online courses is that they’re a volume game, not a value - 39:54
  • ​What if you were a company in 2019 and your whole revenue was dependent upon in-person events? - 47:38


Tyler 00:06

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the podcast. I'm your host, Tyler over there as your other host, John. Got me. So this week, I want to bring up what I was listening to, this was something you guys should do as well as listen to other fitness business podcasts, there's a lot of great stuff out there. I think it's very important for you to just accumulate information so you understand trends, what works, what works across the board, I want to give you a little bit I want to arm you with a little bit of information as you go into listening to other fitness podcasts. They're all trying to finish business podcasts, they're all trying to sell you into some sort of business coaching or business product. So are we. So just remember to take that all with a grain of salt. If everything pivots to the point where like, you have to do our thing or else your business is blocked, you have to hire restaurants or tread a little it but you need to be able to extract the overall trends of what's working because you only own one gym, two gyms, three gyms or four gyms. Unless, if you do, maybe you should start telling everyone else how it's done if you want more than that, right, but like, it's good to get information if you don't have a network of larger coaches. At the very least you can listen to people that are disseminating information that are operating hundreds of gyms or have inputs from hundreds of different VMs. So yeah, this episode was let's do it because June caused the fitness business secrets. Yeah, these are the Australian dudes Australian dudes. Yeah, very, it's, it sounds, it's all very gym-launchy. And we'll get into that stuff later where it says it all kind of sounds like they're all doing the same stuff. You know, from the consulting side, they all have an inner circle. And they all have these things. And they kind of run the same types of stuff. But I listen to these things, looking for patterns. Pattern Recognition is very important, especially for operating a business because trends are simply just patterns, right? So they kind of talk about what is working the most right now for lead generation. And this was a great episode where they went to obviously Facebook ads running Facebook ads are still getting Facebook and Instagram ads. As King for lead generation in general, that is still the top source. So if you're not able to run Facebook ads paid leads, and you're not doing it, you should maybe look into figuring it out, don't jump in, don't give the keys over to somebody else and just let somebody crash your ship, or empty your wallet. But it's a game you at some point need to be willing to play. If you're not, you're just leaving a lot of opportunities on the table. But that just kind of works for everything. Your advertising is how you get people, that is how this works. If you're not advertising, you're missing the boat one in one way or another. So that is obviously the first source of leads, I don't have any real input on that other than don't just give away the farm and let somebody else empty your wallet for ads. Because you don't understand it. You cannot just get ripped off by the complexities of complexity of the whole situation,

John Fairbanks 02:53

I would say my advice on getting paid leads or having people that's going to help you with Facebook or Instagram, because of my background coming from marketing and having a lot of that when it comes to building websites, is there are thousands of people that are offering this service. Some of them started yesterday, some of them have never had a client before. And then some of them have been generating their clients millions of dollars for years, as Facebook has been evolving, as there's been the trains, the trends have gone up and down. And so the best advice I would give anyone that's interested in trying to find somebody that does paid ads in your particular market or your particular niche, get a referral. Yes, find someone that's in your network that you trust. Reach out to us, I'll happily give you a referral to people that I know that have done this well for other folks that are in our networks. But at the end of the day, if you don't, it's a little bit like taking your car to a mechanic,

Tyler 04:05

you can get ripped off if you don't know anything. And you gotta you gotta you got to find someone you trust, or next Get, get some insight into that the person is maybe not even trustworthy, but capable and not only capable, but just like everyone maybe can fix your car. It's true. Everyone is capable of fixing a car, but what if you come in and they just have a higher likelihood of having a hard time figuring it out and getting it wrong than others and that you may go in eight times out of 10 and be fine. But you have a 20% chance of eating a whole plate of shit. When you go to that guy Where's somebody else you might have a 5% chance of eating shit. And that is just the nature of all business. We're getting some sort of inside track to know what they're really about and what they're really capable of. It is important.

John Fairbanks 04:50

Job. I was like there's so many different aspects of this paid lead running ads through Facebook and having people help you do it. that it's important that you at least have people that you can talk to that can say, because you can feel like you're getting fucked. And you're not, you can be kicking all sorts of ass. But if you just don't know enough to know anything, I always feel like I'm gonna get fucked by the mechanic whenever I'm taking my car to them. If I at least don't know what is happening, or I haven't been around, especially when it's your first opportunity, there's so much you don't know. So that's why you want to have other people that you can lean on, lean on their trust, or their referral of those people to kind of give you the confidence to maybe dip your toe in that water.

Tyler 05:40

So that's kind of all about for ads, right? Yeah, that's a thing, ads, leave it up to the professionals, I'm not one of those. If you're not running them, find a professional, that's it, whatever figure it out, it's a game you should start playing, don't get broke doing it. Don't ever go broke. Then the next thing is your organic traffic. Right your your and by the way, this by organic traffic, they kind of split this up into two subsections. But they're both he said, almost equally important as your because collectively, they've almost produced the same as your regular ads as far as leads go or your paid that and buy organic traffic, we mean your business's Facebook and Instagram account, that is just unpaid stuff, your posts, you're giving away value, your generic calls to action, your announcements, all that stuff, and also your personal social media, that being Instagram and Facebook, your personal and your staff, truthfully, anyone who you have is truly bought in who's willing to like, you know, leverage personal relationships, hopefully not into in a slimy way, but leverage the fact that they're a professional in this industry, and use that to bring people and attract people into your business. Because hopefully they're working for you in a situation where the more value they bring to your business, the more money they make. So that is very important. If you're just doing it as the owner and your business, that's okay. And that's a good starting point. But use your business account, being able to do calls to action that are relevant calls to action that are tight work, whatever works for everybody else probably is going to work for you. So start paying extra attention to the detail when you're making posts organically, right? What types of products are working. And one of the things we picked up from this podcast, and this is the thing we've seen a lot now we've seen it from, you know, a lot of the franchise's that work for very large consulting organizations, we've seen it for smaller franchise stuff, we've seen it for a lot of independent gyms, the most successful call to action, or what's the word program, if you will, or however, it's running, especially for ads. And we were with a client the other day. We're going through their ads performing what works and what people are running is challenges. Whether it's 28 day challenges, 30 day challenges, six week challenges, four week challenges, however you want to cut it, that psychology for whatever day challenge is a short term challenge that checks a few boxes that's relatively affordable, but a low level of commitment. That is the thing that sells, that's the thing that moves the needle and it has for I would say for sure. I've seen it work heavily for about a year and a half for sure. Definitely coat and I don't know if that's something that rolled out of COVID maybe always was kind of working before. But it's a thing now that I encourage people to do it now. Yes, still, for sure. It kind of fits the same principle we talked about with having products that have a commitment with an end date, is at the very least they know like, Oh, this isn't about me coming in and joining a gym forever. This is about me doing 28 days, and that 28 days, this price tag, price tag, I attach with progress, whatever progress whatever amount that is. So that seems to fit the psychology of the buyer. And it seems to fit very, very well enough to work. On the flip side of this, because everybody is pitching challenges because challenges are working. There will be a point in which if you're rolling out challenges, you're doing it too frequently to noisily or you don't differentiate yourself at all. You're going to look and sound exactly like everybody else. And I see some I've seen a lot of stuff on Facebook too, where there'll be like 24 hour gyms, Globo gym type stuff, they'll run as well as a four week six week challenge ever. The ad copy is perfect, of course, because they have a larger franchise structure. It's brilliant. It's like the terminal, which was like challenging workouts, nutrition assistance, and fun group sessions. Like it all felt low pressure, it all felt approachable. And it felt like it was for six weeks or whatever it was that every single box was checked as far as what a potential buyer would need. And it was simple and it was concise and you could sign up right there. Or you could or you can message if you had an issue but it went right to somebody who was going to make it happen for you. And that stuff. You read it and it's tough when you're making your own copy. And you're winging it and you're trying to explain too much about what your thing is or whatever else is going on. mimic what's the word? The concepts that make a thing successful you need to look at and say what is making it successful . Do you think that challengers are making these successful? Because they're tricking people? I don't think so. I think they're successful because they're approachable. They're not confusing. They don't sound endless. Sounds like I do this, and I get this. And it only seems like it's this one commitment. And that's okay. Because for people that are non committal, that's how you do it, we weren't quite ready to jump in for a year, they're not ready to make fitness their life, then you cannot start speaking about lifelong fitness to these people, that doesn't work, you're gonna have to move them. And that's a long complicated process, educating a potential consumer. But if someone's sitting on the couch, like oh, man, I just maybe, let's just commit maybe get moving a little bit. Those challenges seem to fit, they seem to work. And I And that's the thing that I kind of like about them is it speaks to a different person. Right? It just does. And that doesn't speak to lifelong change, it doesn't mean your job is to get them fired up in those 28 days or in those six weeks, and then get them excited about being there. They enjoy showing up. They're familiar with all the concerns that they have. Well, I liked the place too. I liked the coaches. Are they friendly? Is it too hard, all that gets put to rest. So then all you have to do is talk to them about commitment for the long term about the next step. And that's much easier. So I think the challenge is to bridge that gap between the big relationship, the big Lifetime Fitness, the big lifelong fitness, the big I now have to change my entire self forever to become a person who is fit. That's where we want to get people to but I think the challenge bridges that gap very very well and that's why it works but it's going to dry up I'm telling you every day the amount of gyms I'm seeing running challenges personal trainers are a challenge I run a short term deal to it's six to 12 weeks give or take, which is a very specific term with very specific goals. And I'm not doing like I'll coach anybody to everything type of situation. We're gonna fit into this narrow box because it's the easiest thing for me to explain. That will at some point make you sound like everybody else. And I don't know what that is. There was a time when like fitness boxing and fitness kickboxing was so new gym owners owned a 24 hour spot. And they used to do boxing and kickboxing. This would have been 15 years ago, probably 1520 years was super popular, the boxing and kickboxing stuff. Now it's coming back because it just kind of died at some point. And then around late 2000, late late late aughts, early 10s It just died coming in and doing cardio boxing so it didn't work very well now it's picking up again. I was talking to him and my guess is one so many gyms kind of did that. Right? Just kind of work cardio boxing box fit kickboxing, fit type, all this stuff, kind of pain, round name type, got supersaturated and then the UFC showed up, right? And it's just like well, that's not what this is. It's just it was a different thing. So now it became this really boxing is this what we're doing. But now I'm seeing an increase in this in the appeal. I'm seeing an increase in the attractiveness of it. We see ad campaigns that are successful, that are pitching to like boxing fitness as much as any other regular group fitness class would work. But it's weightlifting or otherwise. So I guess the point I'm getting at is all like everything and fitness in life and nutrition and all this stuff. Everything has the potential to work until it doesn't. So mimic the things that are out there make it yours, right you should be able to take a challenge if you're at what is what is our challenge? What can I guarantee about these people here? How can I deliver it in a way that's concise and not convoluted? How can I deliver it in a way that is approachable and easy to figure out? How can I deliver this in a way that makes us a lot of money too and it gives us the most opportunity? And how can I communicate this in a way that's really approachable and sounds like it will get someone excited? And when you figure that out? You're going to do it and it's going to work until it doesn't and then you got to go back again and lose the thing we talked about in the past which is you need to debrief after everything that you do every program launch you do successful or no every week of social media posts on leads or ads right at the end of this how did we do what worked? What didn't? Why do you think it didn't work? Is a text message me right away call to action? The best way to go? Hey DM me is that the best way to go is leave a thing in the comments is that way to go is email me? Is that the way to go for a call to action right? And that's going to be different for every post and every situation but you need to look at and go which of these options works best which would have worked best and maybe this limited me 20% And maybe my explanation limited me another 10 Maybe the title, the branding of the thing limited me another 30% And maybe just didn't feel generally accessible. Now we have a program that executed 10% of the success it would have had had those other issues been fixed.

John Fairbanks 14:52

But everything you just described for the last three minutes has been tied to Thinking about this? Making sure that you're dialed in, that you're paying attention to podcasts, paying attention to other gyms, what other people that are successful, finding people that you are following that are folks that you would love to. They're all they have already achieved, maybe what you wish to achieve, eventually. Yeah, right, everybody needs to be looking at someone else. Not as Oh man, I wish I could be them one day, but it's like, treat them like they're putting on a clinic. And treat it like you have paid for access to that clinic. Because what they're doing, if they're really successful, is on purpose. And everything you just described Tyler, whether it was, what your call to action was, what your image was, what your video was, how you did it, what you said, what all those different elements, all of those things only matter. If you're testing. Yeah, you don't know, if you're not doing that debrief. If you're not bothering to look at it, and you want it to be a little bit like putting your money in a 401 K, for somebody else to manage for you and hope you get rich one day, there's gonna be a rude awakening, you have to be an active participant. And that's where if you're going to bother to try and play this game, or think about this, how do you know if the text message just text me and giving them a phone number, or DM me, you don't know what's going to work and what's not, especially because the goddamn goalposts get moved by the platforms all the time, which is why you never should be married to any one thing, because you don't know,

Tyler 16:53

by the way, this is a thing that marketing people talk about running ads all the time, which is, what's the best way for me to get the most money? Well, you're gonna start and you're gonna do one thing, and then you're gonna do two things, and then the one that works better, you're gonna do that, and you're gonna get rid of the other one, and then you're going to change something about that one, you're going to run on both at the same time, and you're going to constantly do that forever, you're going to constantly try a bunch of stuff, and you're going to find trends that don't work and dump them on. And you're going to keep doing that. And by the way, you have to be willing to revisit those things. Because eventually, the thing that didn't work five years ago is going to be the thing that works now, because everybody has been doing what works now over and over and over again, and you look and sound like everybody else. But in my opinion, I think I've had a lot of good success doing this lately, with some of my own stuff. I'm opening up some personal training stuff locally here for myself, taking on a few clients with some very specific things that I want to work with them on. And it's worked really well. And all I've done was take posted testimonials from clients I've worked with in the past, that's it like their quote in their words, and then just say what I'm doing 12 six week packages, but focus on weight loss, like training with everyone to work with me to do it. And it's very simple. The DMV thing, if you want to get sued, has worked really, really well. Because people who are trying to who are interested in making a change don't want in my opinion, the reason it's worth, I guess, they don't want to post in the comments. And emails seem like too many steps a little bit. So that was my logic for this, I would have gone with a text number to be honest with you also, or left them both there. Because a person can do either of those things and feel like they're just talking to me. Because there was a moment of vulnerability there. Sure. So expecting too many steps to be vulnerable is to slow down that momentum that someone has, when you're when you're thinking spoken to them, you need to make that slide very smoothly from that feeling to the action. And if you create too many barriers, too many apps, I gotta open too many things. I gotta remember it goes away very, very, very fast. I would have done as well had I had put up a separate Google number or something, but I was going to my personal number, especially around here. But that's my logic, right? I will say this, I think four years ago, five years ago, DME for this or DME for that is kind of wack. Sometimes it's the best you can do. Two years ago, three years ago, I would have I would have almost really doubled down to make sure there's a link I would have on the link in the bio we'll go to either a landing page or something very simple that would pull up my email contact or pull up a messaging like but beyond that point. Now I think that might be a little bit convoluted. The truth is people hear Lincoln bio too much. Now they want to DM, maybe they want right. But that's but literally that's the thought process I go to but I can tell you this for sure that I generated about 19 leads off of three phase four Facebook posts, and I just reposted them to my store. And that was it. I didn't fucking hustle anything too hard 19 leads was able to kind of handpick who I wanted to work with. And I still have a bunch of them who I could reach out to once we're able to open up again and can scoop them up again. So that's the nice thing is I still have all these people kind of sitting in the wings that I don't know how many would take action if I want to make it happen. But that's all from posting organically about And so the other side, John that I want to make sure we talked about the organic leads personal and your business. And this was the other podcast that kind of confirmed that the things that are working the most need to be testimonials. Yeah, testimonials, transformations, that's the thing. So you need verbal testimonials, video testimonials, you need photo transformations. We've talked again about having data sculpts, that sculpt stuff, body scans showing reduced body fat, whatever that is, your results. And your testimonials got to be the centerpiece of what you're communicating, because everything else is you talking about yourself. No matter what you're talking about your community to the outsider, you're talking about yourself talking about your equipment or your coaching philosophy. To the outsider, you're talking about yourself, you're talking about if you're letting a client who you had say I love this place, they're talking about you, they're talking about their results, they're talking about their experience, that is something they can relate to because they are them, they are not you. They are your other clients, they are not you. So you want to find lots of clients from lots of backgrounds with lots of stories, some that want to get strong, put those forward, I put on X amount of muscle put on if you want to have someone that lost 50 pounds, put that one on there to those you want to make sure they'll identify with one, right and not the other. So diverse testimonials really matter. Now. That is why it's extremely important to have testimonials as a system in your gym. Meaning results, data, photos, you can't make people do them. You can't make them weigh themselves, you can't take the words out of their mouth, you can ask and you can recommend and you can do it frequently and politely and explain in the context. We love delivering results. I really want to make sure that you can appreciate the full extent of your results, take some before pictures, keep it for yourself, weigh yourself if you want the day, he wants to stop coming and get some scans because it's important in six months you'll wish you had and then in six months, when they have the results you can go through you can re up and you can get them to deliver that stuff all again. But that needs to be systemized, you can't just expect if you have 200 people, you can't expect half of them to be social media savvy and want to brag about their transformations because that requires an ego that I have that maybe other people don't. So you need to extract the form you need to make it comfortable. One more thing is that when you do that, now you have a chance you've asked 200 people and when you do this, you may get 50 instead of three, because that's the truth is if you just let people run your only people who are kind of social media, people who really put their lives out there are going to do that are going to post a picture of themselves with their shirt off or something, you know what I mean. And so it's important to just foster that type. And by the way, what that is, is confidence at that point. So you want to foster that confidence in their own results.

John Fairbanks 22:45

And once you build it into that system, there are key milestones during someone's kind of fitness journey as they're jumping into a program into a challenge into a new gym, start working with a personal trainer, whatever, there are key moments that make a lot of sense, that aren't a lot of work to be able to extract that testimonial, or be able to establish that baseline that if done out of sequence feels weird, feels salesy feels uncomfortable. So it's key to make sure you're hitting those important milestones when it matters. So then it's super fluid, it just happens and nobody even thinks anything about it, there would be no reason to feel uncomfortable for how you execute that.

Tyler 23:36

You're gonna build it and build. So build it into your programs, your programs, your launch any specialty programs or specific tracks you're going to have, you should build that into the process, but the way and let's get some thoughts, I'd like you to do this again after the fact. That's great. Build it into things, build it into correspondence, when an email goes out to set expectations, it should be the same thing as when someone joins the gym. And by the way, if you do that, if you automate it like that, not only will it happen, it'll be more successful because it's weird to talk to people about that in person, right? In a class or even one on one. That's weird. It's Hey, will you go when you go home like you can do it, I suppose. But you're not gonna connect to everyone on the I want to see a half naked level. To be professional, it can just be that some of these things can be interpreted strangely, like, go home and take your pictures. Everybody has different backgrounds and different belief structures also. So asking via email is a lot less pushy. It's a lot less forward and it's a lot less. I don't know it just for me, that's how I do it exclusively. But when you do that now you've got the loop, the feedback. Now you have people giving you testimonials,

John Fairbanks 24:40

when it comes to so there's a great phrase that a coach that has worked with you and I for our businesses as we've done stuff together. Even before you and I started working together, her coaching of my wife's business has helped us do things with the different clients we've worked with. She has talked about when it comes to testimonials, the idea of when my story becomes their story. Their story, then allows others to come in and have it become our story. You can only brag about yourself so much. When you have the ability because you've done it so many times, you've been so successful, that you can now let others that haven't worked with you see them there, that person that person was successful. Let me show you them. Let me show you, Tim. Tim started here. This is where Time is now. It's like Well, damn, if I'm not working with Tyler right now. And I see that Tim kicked ass. Well, now Tyler can do it because Tyler is special. He's huge. He's super Jack has been lifting forever. It's whatever, you're special. But Tim doesn't seem that special. Tim seems like me. And their story now becomes our story. So you have these people come and they're attracted. And it does more for your business ever to where it's like once you see people that truly evolved in this game, they don't talk about themselves anymore. It's one testimonial case study after another after another after another.

Tyler 26:20

And we talk about as coaches right our inclination coaches and gym owners and fitness people we talk in fitness speak and coach speak very often we talk amongst ourselves with the director very different. Great coaches are good at this not only using dumbing down, but like translating things into a language or potential action that makes sense, or pushing coaching cues, or like this, if you're talking about specific muscles is weird, right? But if you can poke somebody in that muscle, and they can feel it go, oh, oh, yeah. Okay, that makes sense. And then remember, like, now they get whatever it takes to bridge that gap is important, right? But no matter what, we always have to make an effort to speak in a language that those people are going to understand and the people who haven't made the move into fitness are going to understand or relate to them. And to communicate those terms is hard. Because it's just not where we're at. So don't have to try it. You don't have to try that hard. When you let other people who are them who were them who were in their shoes, use their own words. And that's the language that you need. If you're going to try to write ad copy, you literally want the words of people who came in and weren't and didn't know what was what and came in and started because that's what you're trying to attract. So that is the real value of testimonials. That's the key testimonials are key transformations are key. Referrals was the other one. And now that's very obvious. By the way, He's the other thing they said on this podcast, which I loved a lot for the kind of because you're leveraging your organic and your personal or your organic business and personal social media platforms. Transformations, of course, and all that stuff are very important and testimonials, but results have to be at the centerpiece of this. And results are the centerpiece of referrals as well. So if you're going to get recommendations from somebody, you really want it to be from somebody who everybody at their office has seen them lose weight, right everybody at their office has seen them walk around with the shaker bottle with your gym, or, or whatever, whatever swag bag you gave them. Everyone at their office hears and talks about it. Every one of their friends and family isn't talking about their new gym. Everyone there is asking them how'd you lose all this weight, you're looking great. Or they're like man, Bob has really been in a better mood lately, he is not such an insufferable prick anymore, what is going on and he looks great. I hate Bob a lot less than I used to. That's okay. They don't even need to like Bob, they just need to like the results but they need to like what you did to Bob. Sure, it's great. And so that is really important. So as long as you're able to reinforce results as the centerpiece of your thing, make sure that that is because otherwise your lead generation tanks, you're gonna have a great place where people come and have fun, and it's wonderful. But if you want to grow, that's where you're losing it by not having enough testimonials to drive referrals, not having good enough results, testimonials and transformations to drive referrals and get good organic action.

John Fairbanks 29:14

We see so many gym owners, personal trainers, anyone skills trainers, and they always want me at least when we're talking to them, they want to make more money. And the mistake has been that more money means doing more. And we've talked about this so often that it's stop doing more, right, more is not better, better is better. And that concept. At its core is what you've just described, which is testimonials, referrals, all these people that you already have. If you want to make more money or be more successful, there is money that is found. It's like digging around on your couch at your house. And the reality is these people are there, these opportunities are there, you're just not executing on it. And if you just start building these pieces, you don't need to build a new program. You don't need to roll out something new. You don't need to go get a mobile app, whatever, you have those things, all the power to you, that gives us a lot of tools in our toolbox. But if you don't, don't overthink it, start sharpening the tools that you already have, and start using those better. Because as people get results, everything you've just laid out, not sort of summarized. And so it's just it's, yeah, find that money by taking action on what you already have.

Tyler 30:43

Now, I want to make another recommendation based on what we talked about the challenge thing, right? Use what's working out there to help you because you don't have the data, right? So come with challenges, challenges are working, cool, give it a shot, have almost no consequence, right? Get some of your existing members fired up. Same thing with social media stuff, themes. Trends are great on social media for what works, right it does. This is a thing that I use for every business, every podcast, every gym, whatever that I recommend is whatever the newest format on social media that it is whether I remember when Instagram so Instagram, let's talk about this, I'll be I'll be over the course of my five, six year, five years, six years social media management career, if you will, we built a lot of brands from nothing and built some from something to more and launched a lot of new products and stuff out of those days. So I do know generally what I'm doing the thing that I've done alone that the whole way is not do the slimy thing and not farm it out. So I've had to do it hands on and really figuring it out with my own hands and being the Normie that's a lot more than people that just send it off to somebody else. So when I talk about this stuff, every trend, every new feature that a platform rolls out, you should be doing the most right , meaning Instagram started out doing just regular posts, you could post your food then they started doing videos, you could do some videos. At that point they were prioritizing video because they wanted to start competing with other things like YouTube and shit like this. To further compete with YouTube. They launched the next IG TV. When they launched IG TV. They were prioritizing Instagram TV a lot. I think then you could go over I think up to three minutes I think was the thing on IG TV. Yeah, and so but man, if you posted on IG TV, of course, there's a whole new set of rules that they launched when they wanted to make this new feature successful. They'll notify everybody who follows you and some that don't that you posted a fucking IG TV as well as putting it in your feed. That's the same, that's really high value. And you don't have to be the slimy one Instagram is and then IG TV expands from three minutes to five minutes to 10 minutes to an hour. Now you can pretty much do full length content on IG TV and then eventually dry up because nobody wants it at all. Now they've kind of rolled that in two reels. Well, first they went from that to then the Instagram story. Instagram Stories existed. So they compete with Snapchat, something in, something out. But it offered a whole other new way of communicating, you put it there, it's less committal. It's less than your face, and it doesn't live forever. So you could do 10 calls to action on your Instagram story. And it feels like you're being less pushy. 10 calls to action in 10 days. 10 asks, whatever you want to call it, that's fine on an Instagram story, it really isn't an issue at all when people see it, they move on. It's whatever if you did 10 in a row, or you're trying to just solicit on your regular posts on Instagram. That's a lot. Seems like that's pushing right. But stories were extremely successful again, because Instagram wanted it to be successful. So it doesn't have anything to do with the platform as a whole or that feature. It's just like they're gonna give you the most legs if you do this. They did the same thing again to try to compete with Tik Tok with Instagram reels. So why don't we start making Instagram reels and make them in that format. It works. I don't recommend this for fitness businesses unless you have thick skin. But other businesses we've done it where then you take the answer. We already have the content made in the same format and length and style that works for real works for tick tock. So we start going tick tock and that blows from zero to 100,000 followers, you have two and a half million views on some things growing a lot. But in doing this, the strategy is not Instagram reels Do or die. The strategy was not Oh, IG TV is the future. No, it's IG TV now and we're going to do what's easiest, what gives us the best chance now. And that is the lesson I want you guys to extract from all of this. Look around. Where are these platforms shoving for what works? Some of these like meme formats just are great because they're hot for a week and then they die. And that's fine if you want to get on like if you want to just move something along and use a meme format use a tick tock format or a real video format that works use a bit a gimmick that is working kinda now while it's hot and then move on don't overstay your welcome. But that is really really important to do, but also in doing so don't rip everything off completely. We start seeing stuff now we're like, this is the value of things like can VA. Yeah, that kind of free. It's kind of web based, you don't get to know everything about photo editing, you don't get to know Photoshop, you don't have to, like know all of this stuff, you can kind of come in, and there's good templates and you can make a lot of shit. And you can really do a ton, you can do almost anything, you can do it free, and you can do it fast. It's super high value. I don't hate it. But I feel very similar to everybody else who kind of does some actual photo editing in their life and digital graphic designers. Like, there's so much garbage now, because people are making stuff on Canva. And now everything looks and feels the same. It just feels like it was a thing that they're trying to make so it looks like a professional made it instead of trying to make it. So that's interesting for another person. That's the thing, quit trying to make your shit look professional, it probably should. Or maybe it doesn't. But just try to make it interesting, or at the very least separate you from someone else. What was the one we saw the other day? I don't want to go into specifics. The calling went out but like, the exact same template, the exact same format, the exact same color, same font, but he else and by the way, it's a simple thing. It's just like, here's the words on the thing. And it was okay. But like, we see a lot of this stuff out there. We're like everybody's using just changing the color. I'm okay with this. It's like using the meme where Kanye is holding up the site and then you just replace whatever's on the sheet with whatever words you want. Sure, you could do that, that's fine. But that's that if you're trying to put it out as your brand and your thing like you can't just rip off templates after templates after templates, you do get it put your business's colors on it, you ever

John Fairbanks 36:33

do that. That's what you call that with the Kanye thing is a little bit like the meme concept that you grab those memes grab what's poppin water, whatever's hot, when you miss the heat, right? It's not whatever you happen to put on the piece of paper. That is where when you see folks where it's like, and it comes back, think, think about it, put a little bit of brain power into what you're doing. If you want to put an announcement post out, or you want to call attention to a really great quote that you love. It's don't just swipe the next template that you see, just update the language and push it out. Because you end up looking like everybody else, when I go through my feed. If I see three different gyms using the exact same Canva template, you got a problem man, like, don't buy across that way.

Tyler 37:28

And by the way, if you're in an isolated market, it's probably not that big of a deal, right? Because in your market, people are not seeing lots of other gyms. But if you're in a market where there's like, I don't know, fucking 2030 gyms within 50 miles of your place, or more like, it's a problem. And so because we've also many gyms, I look in to see how much of that is going on. And most of it doesn't bother me except for when really the colors and all the stuff are the same guys, you gotta you gotta try, one of the best pieces of advice I got from somebody was in social media was just take, this doesn't work. By the way, if you're self managed, you can't do this for everything, right, you can't always do it for photos or whatever. But just if something, if you have a post, it's important. So this is good for your image, for your text for whatever you're doing for your copy, for your call to action, all the stuff, if it's important, make it sit, sit there, think about it and leave it, then you're going to come back and you are going to spend 90 minutes working on it. Afterwards, you make it get it all kind of into its first form, you're gonna walk away and go do something else come back the next day, whatever it is, if it's important, right, selling something is whatever. And then you're going to come back and you're going to spend 90 minutes tuning it up. It's about the time, not the result, not the outcome. So if it's like what could I make better, what do I like, but you might try 10 different things before you like, Oh, I like this box better, or I like this one better, but whatever. In that time, you're gonna learn what you like, you're gonna learn how to bridge the gap between what you have and what you like, you're gonna learn what else is out there, you're just gonna learn a lot of things. Your copywriting will get better, your calls to action will get better, you're gonna have to put yourself down if you spend 90 minutes on one thing, you're gonna have to spend your time thinking about things like, what is this type of consumer gonna think when they see this? How does this work? How can they get it? Have you tested your call to action for yourself? Does this make sense? If I mean, if I hear this, am I gonna jump in and DM this guy? Maybe the tone isn't exciting enough or it isn't accepting enough? It was the tone of your copy? Is it upbeat? Or is it mechanical? Try different versions, but spend that 90 minutes on it. Just try it by the way, just give it a shot. Because in the end, what you're going to have will be the best chance of success that you can do. Very often people just like I wrote the copy. I said, whatever you need to do to get to me and then I did it I posted it's done because I don't like doing it. I don't know what I'm doing either. Now you should have just paid them to have that done. Because you wasted your time and now you're not going to get any action.

John Fairbanks 39:54

I would say I liked the idea of the mental exercise of doing that. The problem is, when you do this, listen to Tyler, do this mental exercise, do it on the next hire

Tyler 40:06

it went out very quickly.

John Fairbanks 40:08

Yes, but what you do is you're gonna spend whatever the amount of time is to do the first version, step away, come back. Now drop, now dump another 90 minutes into it, you're gonna post it, and only your mom is going to comment and like it. And that's okay. And that's why the other end of the spectrum is a volume game, to just play, participate. Don't act like every post that you put out there is going to have to hit a grand slam. I love the analogy of our job, your job is to hit singles, for using baseball, right, hit singles, get on base, just get it out there, start putting some thought into it. Put

Tyler 40:55

that on the fucking ball. That's it, figure out how to do that often enough, eventually, you're gonna send one out of the park. And that is the nature of the 90 minute exercise. You're gonna get out there and you can learn how to put the bat on the ball.

John Fairbanks 41:08

Right? Yeah, another big thing that I saw was the turn when shit really went south for 99.8% of the world, except for South Dakota, and Florida. I had a lot of gym owners and personal trainers that I was affiliated with through the work Tyler and I did for years together. Yeah. And as soon as everybody got locked down, I got the most common message that I received was, how do I build a course. Now the only reason why I received that message is because I had so many people see me assist another company that was a fitness company right through strong fit, helping them build courses and manage tons of shit online.

Tyler 41:58

Which was hilarious because we were building courses, predicting what not COVID but predicting the fact that at some point going constantly to in person seminars that trend will dry up eventually so we need to start diversifying a little bit. Let's put eggs in another basket. So we were making seminars having no idea that or making courses, plenty of them pivoting to this thing not having an idea that COVID was coming

John Fairbanks 42:22

we were doing everybody

Tyler 42:25

wants a fucking seminar right everybody wants to wants to know so everybody wants to find online course now. And Willem said the same thing to remember this. He was like every gym now because they were doing the content. They were doing remote workouts. They were doing all this stuff. And they were everyone's like, Oh, we're gonna pivot to this endlessly scalable, infinitely scalable online coaching model. And that was appealing. While people had the content and couldn't have anywhere to go. The world opens back up and people like Nah, fuck all. courses don't sell anymore. No courses have a scarlet letter on them now in my mind, one because I made so many of them. But two things like zoom calls are so unappealing to me. If I had a thing where I had to coach people on Zoom, I would almost never do it. Because I'm like, I would get an offer that for two years now seems like a chore, not a value. It's not a thing I want to do. So now that experience is not a motivator to detract.

John Fairbanks 43:17

And what Tyler the seminar, the seminar really only started if we went way back even before you and I got involved with a strong fit. It started with only in person culture, cu in person coaching, and a man my brain just workouts sending monthly workouts. So template programming. Yep, yeah, programming. Thank you. Yeah, so that's where it started, was programming. And eventually it was then seminars. And then as we saw the seminar was like, well, there might be a better way to do something like a course that's here to get. That's honestly, that's how I got into the game. I think you should get your content out for more people to be able to see that shit that can't come pay to see you in person. So then we build the course. And then we realized, well, an endless forever course. seems terrible. What if we did this for a particular topic for how long?

Tyler 44:23

Six weeks? It would take six weeks? Yep.

John Fairbanks 44:26

So then we started doing that online. So it was this slow evolution as we saw. And what's important is that constant movement and thought, as a team, collectively as a team is constantly talking about it and saying what should we do? What should we test? Wasn't that we knew it was working? No, it was just that we were willing to try it. And holy shit, fail and fail fast. Just be damned to go for it.

Tyler 44:54

But look at now in the fitness space over the last five, six years look at what has become less relevant or Over time, less appeal, right? Programming has completely sunk. I don't know, I see almost none of it. It's of almost no value, maybe online direct, like one-on -one coaching, maybe, but I'm just buying the program. No, there's so much of it out there for free. Everything that kind of can be done that is low value, and easy and scalable. Someone with deeper pockets will give away something of the same value to attract somebody. So like, there is a million I have what do I have, like 300 I sent you think like three or 400 Full on training program, fucking spreadsheets and templates in one single folder. It's gold. It's everything. It's every program. By the way, this is like stuff that's been given away free everywhere. But these are things that have been tried true and tested for a fucking century. What some other guy likes there's no value for me to buy programming from anybody, I don't care, I would just rather think and look at the thing. And so that has gone by the wayside as the fitness space has kind of soaked up in the internet seminars have just gone down quite a bit. Beer was a big appeal to the growth of CrossFit because they had their education, it got a lot of people into fitness education, more than it did before. Because level one was approachable. You could get into coaching people, you could coach a couple classes a week at your thing, a huge new pot of people, how many couple million CrossFitters or whatever in the world, whatever popped up very quickly. Now those people are learning things. And that's where a lot of the seminars Lisa spaces were built off of that demand, there was that demand, I want to transcend just doing fitness and I want to learn more. I'll do level one, I'll get in a little coaching. I'm dabbling in coaching, let me learn that works that way. Until eventually that gets very saturated. CrossFit HQ has their little meltdown stuff, their undeserving thing, their issue with publicity misrepresents. So that whole thing kind of gets weird, right? COVID hits, crushes everything that's in person, everything gets castrated all of it right? Online courses were a kind of a thing before they were growing, they grew from the marketing space from all the other things, but then eventually it dried up as well, because of COVID. Because COVID made online courses the only way to do it, and now everybody's selling an online course, which is kind of like if you look up a gym in your area, everybody's selling a 20 day challenge, right or whatever. Like I said before, you still should try one, you still should do it, you still have work, because it works. But know that the 28 Day Challenge probably isn't going to be the centerpiece of your business's attractor for very long, or at least for five years. I've never seen anything like this in more than a couple of years. So it's okay, but play that game, right, see what's working, think about what could be next, have ideas, and then try to play that game too.

John Fairbanks 47:38

And I would say the biggest thing, the idea is like it's the centerpiece, the cornerstone of your business. What if you were a company in 2019, that your whole sole revenue was dependent upon in person events. I work, one of the jobs that I have done for years is working for people and helping with software for people that want to put on in person events. If that is the only way that you make money, yeah, it has been a rough 36 months.

Tyler 48:19

And so that's for like a billion dollar organization as well. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, this is even an organization like that. It's now scramble, you know what I mean? That sends everything into a tailspin. So your business model should be flexible. Your thought should be flexible, this is why we do the same thing in nutrition and in coaching and everything. This is like my personal philosophy is no dogma. There is no dogma. The only Bible is you should be the only Bible in my world that fitness you should think and try things and do what works. And don't do what doesn't. And then later, try what didn't work before and see if maybe it was you. And just continue. That's the game. And that is the game bouncing from one thing to another to give enough consistency to something to give it a chance. Always have your eye on what the next thing could be.

John Fairbanks 49:05

And this is why we're going to continue to refer and continue to try and turn all of you on to folks that are writing books that we are reading and podcasts that we are listening to, because you should for the love of God, don't have us be the only people that are helping you figure your shit out. There's a reason why we stay in our lane. Why do we share what we are having success with right now with the people that we're working with? But it's also why our shit isn't built on fitness principles. No, there's that was a purposeful choice that we made as we started introducing our principles into Jim hacking university into gym audits that we do into the perfect quarterly concepts that we built with clients. It's not. It cannot be built off of only fitness principles. Otherwise, you're going to be totally susceptible to the ups and downs of the fitness world.

Tyler 50:09

I was talking to a gym owner, we'll wrap up here, who is now 24 years in the business owning a gym. And this was a 24 hour place, you know, they do some personal training. It was very much you try to, it's a position where you got to zoom back and go like, they cannot, it's not a management thing, you don't want to manage a bunch of staff your opportunity to grow. And a lot of those verticals now would require a ton of management, a ton of staff management, a ton of training, that liability, that's risk, that's a totally different thing. But kept it simple as stayed in their lane. And they adapted where they could group fitness kind of grossest, do a little bit of group stuff. They offer more of it just as value as upsell, but it just keeps them relevant and keeps them in the game when these other things are happening. And I can tell you, this is like this, this guy knows really well as these things come and he will always respect them and doesn't fit on any of them. Which is important. By the way, you're talking trash when somebody else, when some other things come on, it's not going to represent you very well over the long haul, talking shit about your competitors. But the thing that he's done really well is he's always given the stuff what it is and knows exactly what he does well, and so box and gross stuff. Yes, because some boxing stuff, setup classes, working with some classic outdoor stuff became popular, did some outdoor stuff, kept the minimum input, but made sure his people got a taste of what was out there in the space. But to survive for 20 plus years in this industry, in the fitness industry, and to not be a snake. There are a lot of lessons to be extracted. And that is really like, just observing and knowing that these things come and these things go. And that's all you need to know. Right and just know that that is the game and like where you want to be in that where you want to edit yourself in that can change it doesn't have to. But if you want to make it work over the long haul in the game, you have to be flexible. You have to think for yourself the whole way. Don't let us think for you. Don't let other podcasts for you. That's your goal is you got to be the person who can adapt along the way without selling your soul. And that's really I think, a pretty commendable 20 Some years in any business is incredible. I couldn't work any job for 20. It's not a single job. Just know it doesn't matter what the job would be. But to work 20 years in an industry is fickle as the fitness industry is something that is there's a lot to be learned from look around in gyms in your community that have stayed open for a really long fucking time and figure out what works maybe they're philosophically they're way different than you. But something in there keeps the goddamn lights on and you should figure out what that is. So your mission, get out there and be somebody noticed that that's from the jerk.

John Fairbanks 52:38

You can be

Tyler 52:40

nominee so so get out there and start looking at things what what trends are out there that work, what works in your community, what works in your region, look into places maybe that aren't in your community, if you want to mimic another strategy, or whatever you want to do look at social media strategies Call to Action ad copy, you know what I mean? Like there's no reason to kind of like all ad copy kind of does sound the same anyways, like I'm not saying copy paste somebody's shit, but like, understand the principles that are being said, and use your voice for what that voice is, what that voice should be, what it can be, and start to practice with that stuff. And know that if it drops on its face, it's okay. But the point is that you're getting better at it and that's the goal is you're not going to hit a home run tomorrow if you can't put the ball on the bat. Also well guys just got us wrapped up. We got all sorts of cool stuff going on. Too much detail if you want to work with us directly want us to come in fix your offers your offer stacks get you rockin and rollin you can message us we kind of were doing some customers of we have a lot of businesses that are coming to us with a lot of very kind of different financial structures. And so the true opportunity for us to come in and help your introductory offer teaches you how to sell and how to take the services you're doing things you're already doing and make the most money will give your clients the best chance for results. We can put together things like that. We really want to integrate them into your whole business more than we want to just take over one little segment. So it's really important that we take a whole look. So shoot us a message we'll get on a call with you for free and talk to you about what we can do. Excuse me. What we can do and what it would cost for you. But we want to make it approachable and make you start making money right away. And then from there, you can decide to scale things up for them.

John Fairbanks 54:19

You can follow us on Instagram at the gym owners podcast. If you're only listening to this podcast, you can watch us inside of our community. So we have the gym owners podcast group on Facebook, you can actually access that at Community dot hack your

Tyler 54:38

Thanks for listening everybody. John, is that the most ranty I've been in a while that might be good. Remember, we might be in the top five rants on this podcast as a whole. We went hard. So thanks a lot for listening to everybody and we will talk to you next week. Yeah

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