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How to build your marketing strategy.

I wrote in yesterday’s email I would be making a big announcement today. The announcement is really about an opportunity to radically alter the path of your business for the better.

First, let me give you a little background. As most of you know I have a lot of years’ experience in the fitness business in a variety of careers.

I started dabbling with the idea of developing a business by working as a part-time personal trainer. Build up my client base and then go full-time.

I was constantly looking over my shoulder for the next member or client for my programs. This was on my mind daily. It always seemed that just one or two new clients would completely alter my world for the better.

New people would show up and my excitement level would also rise. Then, someone would leave the program for one reason or another. Usually having nothing to do with the quality of the program. At the end of the month my net gain was in the “still struggling” category.

It was discouraging that this pattern repeated itself all too often. Sometimes I even wondered if the career was worth it. I loved what I did, and I know I made a huge difference in people’s lives, but at what price to me and my family?

I even went as far as taking on other careers and jobs in order to pay the bills. But this did not make me happy.

My heart was in the fitness business, but I had not cracked the code on how to make a good living running my own fitness business.

The as luck would have it, I lost one of my other income sources (a job). This was traumatic at the time, but I soon saw it as an opportunity to do what I really wanted to do, own my own full-time fitness business.

Here is where I made a quality decision.

It was not about owning my own fitness business. It was about owning a profitable full-time fitness business. At the time I still had one client in my part time training business. He was an ideal client for me. I knew I needed more clients like him.

It was obvious that I needed a marketing program to build the business. I needed new clients fast and the pressure was on.

Eighteen months later I was making $92,000+ from my business, working reasonable hours, taking 3 weeks a year off, and I had a very low overhead. If I can make this happen, so can you.

Step #1 was that I built the foundation for a marketing program. These are the same steps any successful business goes through.

I liken the marketing foundation to a three-legged stool. My value proposition, ideal client avatar, and the right marketing channel are the three legs. In a little more detail:

My value proposition: How well can I articulate what I do in a few words as possible? This took a long time for me to figure out. Once I had it, everything else was much easier.

Ideal client: Must get 100% clarity on this. Not everyone is ideal for your business.

The right marketing channel (media). The way to determine this is to figure out where my ideal clients where hanging out and go there with my marketing efforts. For instance, my ideal clients were not on Facebook, so why go there?

Complete these three steps and you will have a solid foundation for all of your marketing efforts. knowing this information brings you an unbelievable peace of mind and confidence. This leads to more business.

The challenge is that you can do all of this on your own. Or, you can let us guide you and work with you.

Working alone is largely a process of trial and error. With enough determination and persistence, you will get it right – eventually.

Working with us allows you to focus on proven strategies that get results fast. Either way, take the time and commit to getting your marketing foundation set up for success.

To say I am excited about this program is an understatement. For more information on how the program works, go here.

Remember, you will only get results if you take immediate action on your ideas.

How To Create A Cash Surge, Step 1

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to raise a lot of cash quickly?

Is there anyone who has not been in that situation is probably a more accurate question to ask.

I was faced with a predicted shortfall of $50,000 one summer. I had just bought a turn-key fitness business and the cash flow history painted a clear picture that we were in for a rough time. And I had a plan.

But this is not about me. This is about you. What I am about to share is something that you can do too. Starting this afternoon.

There are many steps in the process, too many for a single post. The most important step is the first one, the one I am about to outline.

First, you need to understand that this first step, properly executed will cause an immediate response in your team and your existing customers. It will create a buzz, people will be talking, and this is exactly what you want.

The exercise is to create a level 10 experience.

You need a piece of paper or a whiteboard. You can do this alone or you can involve your team. I find it works the best with a team of people.

Make a list of numbers from 1 to 10. Describe in detail what a level 1 experience would be like for your customers.

Then brainstorm ideas of what it would take to make the experience a level 2, then 3, then 4, and all the way to a level 10.

The key here is to brainstorm and write down all the options. Level 10 will likely be something so extravagant that you will never really do it, but the purpose is to stretch your imagination.

Some examples:

Level 1 – The customer comes to the facility, unlocks the door with their key, goes to the workout area and exercises in solitude and silence, avoiding the broken equipment. The bathroom is dirty, and they try to avoid using it if possible. They quietly leave when finished with their workout.

Level 2 – The customer enters the facility and is greeted with a friendly smile and asked how their day is going. They are handed a freshly folded clean towel. A trainer greets them by name in the exercise area and guides them through the workout with pleasant conversation and feedback.

Continue this brainstorming through all the levels,

Level 10 may look like this. A limo picks up the customer at their home or office and drives them to the workout facility. Their trainer is holding the door open for them when they arrive at the facility and greets them by name while handing them a water bottle filled with their favorite beverage. After the workout the customer is offered a protein shake, a coupon for complimentary cocktails at their favorite restaurant, and the limo return them to their home or office.

Level 10 is so “out there” that you will probably never do it, but it’s there to get you thinking big.

Once your list is completed, figure out which things you can put in place right away.

My favorite example is that we noted that we had a lot of Moms with young children and all the strollers. They had a lot of things to manage, especially when it was raining as they left the gym. Our solution that came out of this exercise, was to place a container full of umbrellas next to the door for their use.

The young Moms loved it. Everyone noticed the umbrellas and to our surprise most people went out of their way to thank us for the attention to this detail.

It was an immediate win-win. The customers loved it. The staff team was so excited to be part of the solution that they kept coming up with more ideas and we implemented as many as we could, as fast as we could. We became more and more sensitive to the needs of our customers, and the customers became raving fans.

This energy and excitement formed the foundation we used to engineer a $50,000 surge in cash flow in 30 days. I’ll share those details at another time.

You may not need the cash flow like we did. But, I am certain you need raving fans to stay competitive in your market.

Have fun with creating your level 10 experience and share your success with us.

Remember, you will only get results if you take immediate action on your ideas.

To your success!

The Fall Explosion

As I write to you, I feel so energized – for two reasons.

For the first time in my life I came down with food poisoning about a week ago. It has been 5 very difficult days. But things are better now, and I have a restaurant I will never go to again.

The second reason I am energized is because this is the PERFECT time of the year to reboot and restart a fitness business.

Some schools are already in session, others will be starting very soon. Along with the school calendar people settle into their lives and routines for the next 9 months. They create habits for the next 9 months, and this includes their fitness habits.

Early in my fitness career I learned that people joining my programs in September would be needing lockers for the year. They would be in for the long haul, not like the January resolution crowd.

The September people are looking for a good program. They are looking for real results. They are looking for a location that fits their lifestyle.

In short, they are your potential ideal clients.

It’s magic when opportunity and preparation meet. some people call it luck.

The opportunity is the people in your neighborhood who are ready, and in many cases, actively looking for a quality fitness program to help them reach their goals.

And before I forget to mention it, the economy is the best it has been in years. My friends in other various business all confirm that people have discretionary cash and are spending it. People are in a position to afford your programs!

The preparation part is in your hands, your responsibility. Are you prepared for this natural wave of interest in what you have to offer? Or do you not fully grasp the opportunity?

Perhaps you are simply tired and look forward to this renewed interest and believe you don’t really have to do a lot right now to get some new people. I understand because I have been there too.

If you feel that way, you are correct. However, the smart professional who digs deep and puts a few key things in place can take advantage of this natural flow and double, or even triple the impact on their business. Doubling the natural flow of people joining you in September has a HUGE impact on the next 9 months.

The preparation phase that I am referring to has a name, marketing.

Marketing your programs right now means putting strategies in place to take advantage of the natural interest in your program, and then figuring out how to double or even triple the impact on your business. Think of it as a wave coming at you that you can make even bigger.

For most fitness professionals, the biggest problem with marketing their business is they don’t know what marketing is, much less how to go about it.

At 6 figure Trainers we teach how to market your business. The size of your marketing budget does not matter. There is always something you can do, today, to improve your marketing. Here is the overview of what you need to do:

First, market to your existing customers. This is where you will get the greatest return on your marketing efforts. Marketing effectively to this group can make all other marketing unnecessary.

Second, market to your neighborhood. Club Industry Show statistics are clear that most people, who routinely attend fitness programs, travel 15 minutes or less to the program. Focus here!

Third, focus on other areas of marketing, only if you still want/need to after the two above. Unfortunately, too many fitness professionals believe this is where marketing starts. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are controversial by taking that stance. But the results speak for themselves. We don’t teach theory, we teach what has worked for us and for our clients.

Want to learn more?

Join us on a free Webinar today at 11:30 am.

We will show you the key elements of what to do to build your customized plan to add 5 -10 new clients & members to your business every month.

You do not have to be owned by your business. All you need is a path to turn things around. We will share the path with you.

You can sign up for the live webinar at the bottom of this page.

Remember, you will only get results if you take immediate action on your ideas.

To your success!

10 Minutes A Day Will Change Your Life!

10-minutesWhen I was swimming yesterday I noticed my feet like never before!

As a triathlete, I’ve swum many miles over a number of years but what was interesting about yesterday’s swim is that I noticed my feet in a way I have not noticed them before. I could feel the water moving around my feet in a pattern that I was not used to. I was surprised and thrilled.

As one of the early adopters to the sport of triathlon in the early 1980s, I was a huge fan, and student of, the long-distance training model. It was what we knew then, and believed to be the best training model. The long-term impact, as we know now, is wear and tear on the body, especially the connective tissues. My feet and lower legs have paid the price of that long-distance training and I have not been able to run any kind of distance in many years.

I decided in January of this year that one of my New Year’s resolutions would be to work on the condition of my feet. I reached for my copy of “Ready to Run“, by Dr. Kelly Starrett, on my bookshelf and began in earnest the study of my feet. I like very much what Kelly says in his book about the power we have to heal ourselves. And most importantly I wanted to believe what he said about being able to recondition the body to be able to run again.

What he was asking for wasn’t much, simply 10 minutes a day. I began on January 1 committing to 10 minutes a day each and every day. The first few days the exercises I decided to work on were very painful. Undeterred I kept up with the program and in about 10 days I noticed a little improvement in my flexibility and a lot less pain. I have continued with the 10 minutes a day program, although many days it expands to 20 minutes. Frankly, I am motivated to spend more time on the exercises because of the positive results I am getting. My feet are becoming more flexible! When I was swimming the other day the sensation I felt of the water moving around the outside of my foot was a result of the increased flexibility.

I am truly amazed that the impact 10 minutes a day has had on my feet. More importantly, the 10 minutes a day routine has had a huge impact on my attitude. I have decided that each month I will add a new 10-minute habit to my routines. At the end 12 months, I know I will have been able to tackle some things that have been on my mind for a long time.

In the fitness industry, people are always interested in making changes. Often times I see that they want huge changes very quickly but are unwilling or unable to change their habits. Usually, this is because they perceive that the new habit will take more time than they have available in their day. I believe everyone can find 10 minutes in their day.

When you set goals for yourself or help your clients set goals, try the 10-minute guideline. Get your client, or yourself, to commit to 10 minutes a day for a minimum of three weeks. Based on my experience, and what I’ve seen from other clients, I believe they will see some success within the three weeks and, therefore, they will be motivated to continue. If they don’t see success something isn’t quite right and I would recommend trying a different goal. When a person sees success, they become even more motivated to put in the time to solidify the habit. Once the new habit has become a routine, the results are guaranteed.

Besides noticing my feet when I swim, I have actually been able to do some running again. It has not been for a long distance and it usually consists of a running/walking combination. The exciting thing is that I can see that in a few more months I should be able to run again.

Perhaps most importantly I am super motivated about finding results in other areas where I apply the 10-minute rule.

When you’re helping your clients set new goals, try the 10-minute plan and watch what happens. I’m positive both you and your client will be thrilled.

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Improving client retention by helping with the New Year’s Resolution.

goal starts on MondayPeople struggle with New Year’s resolutions. Almost all of the good intentions on January 1 have been lost in the day-to-day activities of having a life. This is a perfect time for you to have a conversation with your clients. Everyone in the fitness industry knows the value of a high retention rate for clients. One of the best ways to improve retention in the fitness industry is to establish rapport so that the client knows that the coach/trainer truly cares for them and their situation. There is perhaps no better way to show how much you care about your people than to review and revisit their New Year’s Resolutions with them during the month of February. Here are three things to keep in mind as you do that review.

1.) Schedule a meeting with your client.

Your meeting with your client should be a face-to-face meeting with no distractions. First and foremost, it is a signal to the client how important they really are to you. It also signals to them how important their goals are to you. In your meeting, start by discussing their goals and what they’ve accomplished so far. Take your time and focus on being understanding and patient. In all likelihood they have accomplished almost nothing significant toward their goal and they may be uncomfortable telling you this. Perhaps they have the wrong goal. As you talk with your client about their successes, or lack of, try to find one or two things that they have done that are successes. Be aware that these steps will very likely be very small steps, however they should be the focus of your conversation.

2). Make adjustments to the goals.

If the goal is not the right goal, now is the perfect time to either adjust or start completely over. Talk openly with them about the price they will pay and the reward that will follow. In short, this comes down to having them create new habits. Usually this involves first carving out a few minutes of each day to work on the goal in small steps. It should be energizing to the client. If you notice it is not energizing, but rather seems to be a burden, find something else that actually energizes them. Remember, you don’t want to be misleading them. All goals and resolutions are going to require work. It is important that the client embrace this work. I would recommend that you take a look at my article posted in Linkedin. There you will find more information on goal setting.

3.) Schedule another meeting.

The next meeting you schedule with your client will again be face-to-face. It should be approximately three weeks from your first meeting. Remember to discuss and include action steps that will become the basis of your conversation at your next meeting. The action steps must be small manageable pieces of the puzzle that can be accomplished through short periods of time. In other words, your client will need to develop a couple of new habits. You are the professional and you will easily spot some things that your client can be successful with. These are the things you will celebrate in your next meeting. Before you leave this meeting, make sure you both agree to the day, time and place of your next meeting. Make sure they know you are going to hold them accountable for the small steps you have agreed on.

Summary.

Meetings like this take time and are often overlooked. Connecting like this with your clients is critically important to your client’s success and in turn your success. Clients who are successful in achieving their goals give your business a huge advantage over all of your competitors.

How do you know how successful your meeting was? That answer quite honestly is the mood at the end of the meeting. Is the atmosphere more energized than when the meeting started? What is the client’s energy? What is your energy? If the answer is that both of you have higher energy, it was a very successful meeting. Successful meetings and interactions like this signal to your clients how important they are to you. Meetings like this also re-energize you and remind you of why you got into this business in the first place. These people will become successful and in turn raving fans and that is what you want in your business. Here is a link to my other article on goal setting that should be helpful additional information as you meet with your clients. Here

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