Better Boot Camp Marketing vs. Opening a Second Location

At a recent meeting with several Fit Body Boot Camp owners, the question of when to open a second Fit Body Boot Camp location was a hot topic. This was completely understandable, since everyone present had attained a comfortable level of success. By this I mean that they had a decent membership, they were paying the bills and making a decent income. But almost none of them were happy when I suggested that they really needed to consider whether they needed another location or just better boot camp marketing.

Here’s why.

There were basically two groups of FBBC owners thinking about opening new locations. One group was asking because they were making decent money and figured that opening a second location would double that income. The second group was asking because they weren’t making enough money and figured that a second location would double their income.Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 5.29.21 PM

There are two problems with this thinking: 1) When you open a second location, you also double your expenses, roughly speaking. 2) When you open a second location, you potentially double the amount of time you spend running your business.

So I asked the group these two questions:

First: Have you absolutely outgrown your first location? In other words, are you full to capacity, taking care of as many clients as you can with the space and staff you have?

Second: Have you completely maxed out the income potential of your present location?

Every single one of the boot camp owners considering opening a second location answered “No” to at least one of those questions. None of them were all that happy when I told them that, in this case, what they really needed was more and better boot camp marketing, better sales and closing strategies and maybe to explore opening up other streams of income instead of opening another location.

If you’re not struggling to squeeze in more trainers and more sessions and more new clients, then you probably aren’t ready to expand. The word “expand” indicates that you’ve grown to the point where you can’t function well in your current space. Read the rest of Better Boot Camp Marketing vs. Opening a Second Location

3 Keys to Massive Boot Camp Marketing Success with Groupon

If you haven’t yet availed yourself of the boot camp marketing possibilities working with Groupon, then you need to get on the ball. Thousands of businesses (including fitness businesses) are already making a fortune marketing on Groupon, but some of the biggest moneymaking boot camp marketing campaigns we’ve done at Fit Body Boot Camp have been on Groupon as well.

When I say that these campaigns have been hugely successful I mean that we’ve been able to convert at least 30% of our Groupon buyers into ongoing clients who either paid in full or signed up for automatic debit.

There are 4 keys to success with a Groupon campaign:

  • The deal.
  • Your on-boarding procedure.
  • The experience you give the client.
  • Your conversion process.

Making the deal

First of all, the deal has to make sense for you and for the client. You don’t want to give away too much, because it undercuts the financial benefit of doing the Groupon deal. Also, people are more likely to take your offer seriously if it isn’t ridiculously low.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 2.48.37 PMBut your deal does have to make great sense to the buyer. People go to sites like Groupon because they want a great deal. That doesn’t mean they’re cheap or that they’re automatically going to split as soon as the deal is over. They just enjoy getting a great deal.

When we were setting up our 23-region Groupon deal, we set a few rules right off the bat.

We wanted a very low cost 15-day deal and a higher-priced (but better value) 30-day deal.

We did this because we knew that about 80% of Groupon buyers would take the 30-day deal which would give us the chance to do two very important things:

First, we could give the buyers a much better experience, get them better results and also build a better relationship with them……all of which would make closing much easier later on.

Second, we could offer to absorb the cost of their 30-day deal into an ongoing program, which would effectively give them their first month free. Remember, these people love a great deal.

By stacking the deals this way, it’s much easier to command and get the higher price than if we just ran the higher-priced deal. Read the rest of 3 Keys to Massive Boot Camp Marketing Success with Groupon

What Walt Disney Can Teach You about How to Start a Boot Camp

No, Walt Disney wasn’t in the fitness business, but I dare anyone to say that they know of a businessman who was better at creating a brand that was recognizable all over the world, in any language. Disney World and Disneyland may have gone through some transformations and expansions since Walt passed away, but Disney will always be Disney and it will always dominate the amusement park field. No one can touch it. So I think there is something very important that Walt Disney could teach you about how to start a boot camp.

He would teach you that you need to focus on doing one thing and doing it better than anyone else, anywhere.

Think about the other amusement parks in the US. Busch Gardens, Six Flags, Knott’s Berry Farm or a bunch of regional, nameless parks you can’t think of off-hand. What are they known for? How many iconic images or names do you associate with them? Yet, say “Dumbo Ride” or “fireworks” and everyone knows which parks you’re talking about. Disney.

Disney Parks have rides, shows, restaurants and hotels, but they do one thing and they do it better than anyone else: they create magical family memories. When you walk into any other amusement park, you think, “Wow, cool rides!” When you walk into Disney World or Disneyland, you think “Magic!”

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 3.43.32 PMSo how do you translate what Walt Disney and what he did with the Disney Parks into you and how to start a boot camp that emulates his success? You do one thing and you do it better than anyone else.

This is what has made Fit Body Boot Camps the fastest-selling fitness business in this country. We do one thing. We don’t do Zumba, we don’t do Pilates and we don’t run a social club. We do killer workouts that deliver maximum results in minimal time. We do this at a price that people can afford and we do it in a supportive, motivating and even entertaining way. Boom. That’s what we do.

Even if you’re not a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owner, you can still take your cue from Walt when it comes to how to start a boot camp that becomes known for doing one thing and doing it better than anyone else in your area. Read the rest of What Walt Disney Can Teach You about How to Start a Boot Camp

Advanced Personal Trainer Marketing: Launch Your First Info Product in Less Than 2 Weeks

One of the very best personal trainer marketing tools in the world is your own fitness info product. With it, you can build your email list, build up a customer following for future products, set yourself up as a subject matter expert, bring attention to your skills and your business and earn some impressive cash. How many tools can you do all of that with? That’s why fitness info products are one of the hottest fitness business trends of 2014.

A lot of people who have great ideas for topics or really useful knowledge about one favorite topic are still held back from launching their first fitness information product because they think it takes months to do. But I can tell you that you can very easily create and launch your first fitness info product in less than two weeks.

How do I know this?

Shawna Kaminski, owner of Calgary NW FBBC did it on a dare from Craig Ballantyne. He challenged her to launch a new jump rope program info product in twelve days and she not only did it, she exceeded the sales goal by 50% and made $8,000 in one week.

What’s really important to note here is that she didn’t have this kind of success after brainstorming for a few months, then creating for a few months and then spending another few months getting everything set up.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 9.34.24 PMShe just did it.

It all goes back to what Bedros calls “imperfect action.” Let it be less than perfect, just act. Just get it done. You cannot make money on anything until it’s done. That project sitting on the back burner until you get it perfect? It’s making you no money at all. All of those fitness info products that are out there making money? Almost none of them are perfect.

So here’s how you can get your first info product into customers’ hands within two weeks, just like Shawna did.

Decide on an idea or topic.

You probably already have a few ideas in your head about what you’d like to cover. Even if you don’t, you can spend a few hours on Google finding out what people are looking for. The time of year has a huge effect on that. Fat loss programs and diets are hot anytime, but especially in January, when people have set their New Year’s resolutions and feeling that holiday weight gain. Summer is a great time for outdoor workouts and spring is a great time to launch a bikini transformation program.

Along with deciding your topic, you need to decide on the delivery method. Will it be a downloadable e-book? A video workout program? A “course” you sell by subscription?

E-books are simplest, but choose the medium that works best for your topic or change your topic to utilize the medium that’s most available to you. Read the rest of Advanced Personal Trainer Marketing: Launch Your First Info Product in Less Than 2 Weeks

How to Start a Fitness Boot Camp Using the 5% Rule

You’re not going to do everything right when you’re starting your boot camp business. You’re going to make mistakes, just as I have and just as every other successful boot camp owner I know has done. Nobody’s born knowing how to start a fitness boot camp business. That’s one of the purposes of the annual Fitness Business Summit – to allow very successful people to share what they’ve learned so that others can avoid many mistakes and do some things right from the beginning.

One of the most popular speakers at the Summit has been Corporal Sean Francis and one of the most popular talks he’s given was about working with what Bedros calls the 95/5 or the 5% Rule. What that boils down to is focusing your time, energy and attention on the things that are priorities in your business and also working as much as possible within your zone of genius, doing the things that you love the most and are best at. This is the key to constant growth of your boot camp business.

Granted, in some ways, this is easier to do once your business is established and your income allows you to hire a full staff of trainers and other help. But there are a number of things you can do now, to not only get your business started on the right foot but also go into it with a 5% mindset that will help you at every level of success in the years to come. So I’d like to share with you two important things about how to start a fitness boot camp business using the 5% rule, with credit to Sean Francis for many of the ideas he shared at a recent FBS.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 5.46.43 PMHire an assistant as soon as possible.

An assistant may sound like an expensive luxury that a new entrepreneur can’t really afford. But one of the smartest things you can do, even as a start-up, is find even one person to take care of less important or less demanding tasks so that you can focus on the things you really need to do, like getting clients signed up for your new boot camp. The more you’re able to market your boot camp and sell new memberships, the sooner you can afford more help, like great trainers. You don’t need an executive assistant, at least not yet, so you can find plenty of people who would rather make halfway decent pay in a fitness center than make it in a fast food place.

Start creating systems for everything now.

Once Sean hired an assistant, he started following great advice that he’d gotten from the summit. He started creating systems for every single thing that needed to be done, whether it was answering the phones, entering new members into the computer or paying the bills. Then he taught those systems to his assistant so that he never had to deal with those things again. Read the rest of How to Start a Fitness Boot Camp Using the 5% Rule

Boot Camp Marketing vs. Boot Camp Selling

Marketing, or at least targeted, effective marketing, is pretty much the foundation of your boot camp’s growth. But you don’t live on the foundation of your home, right? A foundation is simply the stable base on which to build something.  The stuff that sustains you is the stuff you build onto a great foundation. Boot camp marketing is the foundation, but boot camp selling is the house itself. It’s the whole point of laying a foundation in the first place, but a lot of people never get to the actual building.

A lot of new fitness entrepreneurs spend a ton of time and energy on marketing and yet their revenue just creeps along, with the occasional dropout and the occasional new client cancelling each other out. They look around at the explosive growth of other boot camps and think that more and better boot camp marketing is the answer. Usually, it’s not. Usually, they need to spend 90% less time on marketing and 90% more time on selling what they market.

There are several reasons why many new business owners market like crazy and then hope that hordes of people will walk in the door and ask to sign a contract on the spot.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 5.17.47 PMSome trainers actually think this is what’s supposed to happen; that great email marketing or press releases or Facebook posts will bring in all the new clients they need to be successful. But that’s just not the case. Many hope that this is the way it will work, because they either hate or are afraid of actually trying to sell these people anything.

First of all, a lot of the boot camp marketing personal trainers are doing is probably for great low-barrier offers that last for perhaps six or ten weeks. Those are great marketing tools, but if that’s all you’re doing, then you have to run these kinds of offers every month or so and you have a revolving door of temporary clients. The problem is that this just isn’t sustainable and it certainly isn’t going to get you the growth that means serious income, multiple locations and a great lifestyle. It will condemn you to working like crazy to replenish one group of deal-takers with the next and doing it for a very unsatisfying income.

Boot camp marketing is not a sales tool…..it’s a tool for finding people to sell to. Selling by means of marketing is like hunting with a shotgun without actually seeing anything. If you keep shooting up the woods, you’ll eventually hit a few things, just maybe not enough to make a meal. When you count on low-barrier offer deals for all of your income, you’re shooting scattershot everywhere and grateful for the few people that come in each month for your offer. Read the rest of Boot Camp Marketing vs. Boot Camp Selling

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Avoid These Two Huge Mistakes When Starting a Fitness Boot Camp

There are any number of mistakes that new entrepreneurs can – and will - make when starting a fitness boot camp. Most of them are fairly minor things that can be counted as part of the learning curve. What you really want to avoid are mistakes that cost you serious money or growth in the beginning.

My years running Fit Body Boot Camps and working closely with both Bedros and the FBBC owners has taught me that there are two really significant and really damaging mistakes to avoid at all costs when you’re starting a fitness boot camp. It could take months or even years to make up the lost opportunities and revenue.

Trying to be a fitness generalist

There are all kinds of fitness generalists in your area. The last thing you want to do is be one of them. There are a couple of really important reasons for this. First of all, if you’re a generalist, you have to compete in a field of many. Some competition will be well-established in the community or have big national brand names. All of them will be offering the very same thing you’re offering, which is general fitness help. Do you really want to enter this market?

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 10.49.18 PMSecondly, finding a niche or specialty market (such as athletes, new moms or Baby Boomers) means two very important things to your bottom line: a) You can target your marketing, which makes it more effective and less expensive and b) people are willing to pay more for the services of a specialist.

Let’s say you identify your target niche as middle-aged women. When you approach them as a specialist in anti-aging and metabolism boosting nutrition and hormone balance through exercise and nutrition, you suddenly become much more valuable than Bob over at Big Box Fitness.

Don’t try to be all trainers to all people. Start out targeting a specific group of people who want and need your specific areas of expertise and you’ll spend less time marketing and your marketing returns will be much higher. Read the rest of Avoid These Two Huge Mistakes When Starting a Fitness Boot Camp

How to Sell Personal Training with the Retention Built Right In

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. But how many of you can look over the last couple of months and admit that you’ve spent more time wooing possible, potential new clients than you have wooing the ones that have signed up for your latest body transformation challenge? How many of you spend all your time after a session trying to sell personal training to the people that came in for a free session and almost no time at all interacting with the ones who are on their second week of a challenge? In other words, you set down the bird in your hand so you could reach for the two in the bushes.

I’m not coming down on you for it; it’s understandable that you’re so focused on bringing more people through the door that you lose sight of the ones that are already there. It’s a natural mistake to hope that the results of your transformation challenge or four-week special will somehow automatically result in those people signing up for six months or a year of training. But if you see yourself and your interactions in this scenario, then I’m betting your retention rate from those challenges and limited-time offers is much lower than it could or should be.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 6.18.10 PMWhen you stop “romancing” your clients, the trainer around the corner starts looking really good. Even if your training is getting the results, they’ll eventually go somewhere they feel valued. I promise you that if you don’t deliver a sense of community and actual relationship, most of the people your marketing brings in will be gone before you know it. This leaves you having to reinvent the wheel every few weeks or months because you’re constantly trying to replenish your membership.

So how do you sell personal training in such a way that the retention factor is practically automatic?

Here’s a blueprint for turning that transformation challenge or low-barrier offer customer into a long-term client:

Make sure the customer is acknowledged and welcomed every time they walk in the door. Nothing is quite as alienating as walking into a group setting and feeling invisible. A smile from the person working out next to them isn’t enough. A wave from the trainer from across the room isn’t enough. Make sure that you or the trainer welcomes each and every customer.

Whenever possible, also try to make sure that one of you speaks with the customer after the session as well. Ask them how they’re doing, how the class was is there anything you can go over with them one-on-one.

Give special gifts and treats to the customer. Welcome them on their first day with a goodie bag full of stuff like water bottles, recipe cards, hand towels, supplement samples, anything you like. Every week or so give them a small token of your appreciation and their progress, such as a gift card for a smoothie or a free fat loss report you’ve written. This is one of the least expensive tools there is. When they fill out your questionnaire, make to put their birthday on your office calendar so that you can give them a card signed by the staff and can acknowledge their special day.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 6.26.09 PMKeep in touch. One of the fastest tracks to dropping out is when a customer misses a couple of workouts and no one bothers to check on them. All of that talk you spouted about community and family and working together flies out the window. If someone misses more than one session, make sure you or one of your trainers calls to see if they’re okay. And use that call to get them back in the door. They might have a reason completely unrelated to you for missing a couple of sessions, but if they miss any more, there’s a good chance they’ll either lose their momentum (and drop out).

If they’ve been going into work early and couldn’t make their early morning sessions, invite them to come to your 7PM workout. If their boyfriend/girlfriend just dumped them, encourage them to come to a session later that day to work it off or just hang out and have a few laughs. If they’re too sore to work out, explain that you can easily modify their moves or weights so that they can ease into it a bit more slowly.

When you deliver a sense of community and of belonging to your low-barrier offer guests, you make it so much easier to sell them one of your long-term training programs. Not only will they want to keep getting results, but they’ll want to remain a part of the community you’ve built for them.

10 Personal Trainer Marketing Emails That Your Readers Will Open

One of the issues I hear a lot about is that trainers and fitness boot camp owners are using all kinds of great strategies in their personal trainer marketing emails, but they’re not seeing a return on investment that makes the hard work worthwhile. Believe me, I’ve been there as well.

You work your tail off creating amazing emails. You fill your emails with valuable information and great offers. You build your list and send out your emails regularly. Then you check your stats and those awesome emails aren’t even being opened by most of your subscribers. What are you doing wrong?

Chances are good that you’re not grabbing them with the subject line. Personal trainer marketing is a competitive niche and if your subject lines aren’t stellar, your subscribers aren’t going to click.
Obama actually did some in-depth marketing to determine which subject lines got results and the answer was…ready? “Hey!” Yup, that single little word seems to be the magic one when it comes to catching a reader’s eye.Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.44.19 PM

You worked hard to generate those leads for your email list and your subject line needs to attract as many of those leads as possible.
Surprisingly enough, it’s the easy, simple subject lines that are opened the most. Then of course, you have the ones with a little shock factor. Bedros Keuilian, fitness marketing genius, sent out an email with the subject line, “The morning of my heart attack”. He got some of his highest open rates ever.

Just remember that when you use that tactic, you actually have to write about it or else your readers will feel cheated. It’s a great example of thinking outside the box though.

If you’d like to stick to the tried and true subject lines, here’s a list of ten that net me above-average open rates, in no particular order:

1. DUDE!
2. Bad news (and some good)
3. Sorry
4. Hey
5. Meet Marvin, the world’s richest trainer
6. Thank you
7. Can I get your opinion?
8. WARNING
9. Awesome hook up (no strings attached)
10. The #1 way to lose weight Read the rest of 10 Personal Trainer Marketing Emails That Your Readers Will Open

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