Expand Your Personal Trainer Image from Fitness Expert to Local Fitness Icon

Posted by on November 17, 2014 at 8:18 am

Best in the BizThe biggest and best names in the Fitness Industry (you know, the guys and girls whose names you always hear floating around the gym or popping up in your Facebook sidebar) are more than just teachers or workout experts. These iconic figures, who spend their time sitting atop the industry’s tallest mountains and making the biggest bucks, are way more than just personal trainers.

Ever wondered how they reached such lofty heights? Sure, it has a lot to do with work ethic and personal situations and maybe a bit of luck, but there is one tool, one strategy that each of these giants uses to reach the tip-top of the Fitness Industry leaderboards.

Want to know what it is?

It’s storytelling.

Or, said differently, StorySelling.

Each of these greats has mastered the art of leveraging his or her personal origins and anecdotes to establish professional ethos (reputation) and, more importantly, make money from it.

O.K., let’s backtrack a little here and take a look at some examples.

Take, for instance, Jason Ferruggia. Jason is obviously an incredibly talented and knowledgeable teacher, author, and fitness expert. There is no doubt that his mastery and expertise are the driving forces contributing to his success. But there are certain tricks, strategies, and nuances that he uses to transform him from personal trainer to fitness celebrity.

Everyone knows Ferruggia for his incredible blog and his awesome products. He’s huge because he produces great content, but he’s a celebrity because people like, adore, and emulate him: his personality, his image, his story.

When you hear “Jason Ferruggia,” what sorts of thoughts and images immediately jump into your mind? Is it “Muscle Gaining Secrets?” Maybe you think of “The Renegate Diet?” Or, do you think hard ass, no B.S., straight shooting and hard-hitting writer, blogger, and fitness personality?

Thought so.

You see, Ferruggia doesn’t just have the awesome content and top-notch talent, he has created an image of himself that builds rapport, gains customer trust, and sells product through generating fascination and fandom within his audience.

Let’s take a look at a more understated example.


Would You Be Happy to Make $5,000 in One Week from Your Boot Camp Marketing Email List?

Posted by on October 1, 2014 at 9:03 pm

$5,000 in extra revenue in one week. All the result of doing nothing more than sending out three short emails to your boot camp marketing email list. Does that sound pretty decent?

What if that $5,000 in turn led to an extra $83,000 this year?

Josh Carter did it and he’s put the entire promo together in a package for others to use, including the three emails for you to cut and paste. Let me tell you what he did.

Josh wrote up these three emails and sent them all out to his email list over the course of a week. The offer he made to the list was for his 28 Day Fit for Fall Challenge, which sold for $98 (two payments of $49). In that one week, he’d gotten 55 people to sign up, netting him $5,390. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 8.58.28 PM

Based on Josh’s conversion rates, he’ll turn those 55 people into 35-40 new clients paying $197 each month with monthly recurring billing (EFT). At minimum, that’s an additional $82,740 revenue. From three simple emails that you can get here.

Like I said, Josh put a promo package together to make it easy for you to duplicate his results, whether you’ve been in business two months or two years.

Here's what you'll get with it.... (more…)

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

Posted by on July 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm

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. (more…)

Boot Camp Marketing vs. Boot Camp Selling

Posted by on July 10, 2014 at 9:40 pm

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. (more…)

How to Sell Personal Training with the Retention Built Right In

Posted by on July 1, 2014 at 6:32 pm

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

Posted by on June 25, 2014 at 1:54 pm

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?
9. Awesome hook up (no strings attached)
10. The #1 way to lose weight (more…)

Why Your Fitness Business Needs to Be Set Up on EFT – and How to Do It

Posted by on June 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Wouldn’t it be great to know that you had at least a baseline income coming your way each and every month, with no effort on your part? Of course it would.

In the fitness business, it seems like the first of every month is spent playing bill collector, but I’m going to tell you how you can skip all of that hassle and focus on the business of fitness, not banking.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 3.23.59 PMWe’ve already discussed the value of using EFT in some of our other posts but today I’m going to show you what you need to do to automate most of the billing for your fitness business.

When you have everybody set up on recurring billing, you’re starting every month with a base income. You already know that you’ll have X amount coming in. If you draw in new clients, then that just adds to the pile. When you do business by selling single sessions or small blocks, you constantly have to convince the client to keep buying. That’s stressful and it’s spending time maintaining your business rather than growing it.

Using EFT gets you away from all of that. It not only stabilizes your business by providing a predictable income stream, it also helps you to focus on long-term client goals instead of how you’re going to keep them coming back.

You may have to make a few modifications to the way that you run your fitness business, but trust me – you’ll be glad that you did.

Stop Selling Single Sessions or Small Blocks of Training
When you run your fitness business like this, you waste a ton of time just trying to re-sell the client when the end of the session or the end of the block is approaching. Instead of focusing on immediate goals, shift your focus to long-term results-oriented programs.

Not only is this in your financial best interest, but it’s also the best thing for your clients, too.

Establish goals and then develop different programs to meet those goals. For example, you may offer 6-month and 12-month programs and, based upon the goals that you help your client set, you may offer 1, 2 or 3 sessions for each program. Each package will have a set price, and that price will be broken down into monthly payments, withdrawn automatically via EFT. (more…)

The Essential Steps of Effective Personal Trainer Marketing

Posted by on June 12, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Though the prospect of opening up a personal fitness center and developing your business plan may seem like daunting tasks, there are steps that you can take to make the process much less stressful. Your business plan should clearly outline exactly what your goals are and your marketing plan should be the steps to accomplishing those goals. There are two ways to market your business: the hard (time consuming and expensive) way and the easy way. I want to help you get your personal trainer marketing on the right track the easy way.
Today I’m going to share what I’ve learned are some of the essential steps to building a business that pays you what you’re worth as well as some tips to help you get started on your personal training marketing habits.

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 8.31.02 PMLaser Focus on Your Specific Niche

Every personal trainer has a specific niche that they’re more drawn to than others. Take a close look at who in the community is most likely to be attracted to your style of training. Do you prefer to focus more on strength training or weight loss? Do you enjoy working with younger people or would you prefer to focus on the senior population?
Narrow your market down to a laser point so that you know exactly who your target market is. Be as specific as possible in order to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. By identifying exactly who your niche market is, you’ll be able to identify exactly what their needs are and how to meet them. That’s the most essential element of a successful personal trainer marketing campaign.

Find and Track Your Top 3 Strategies to Generating Leads

Blindly marketing your business is like playing pin the tail on the donkey. You never know which pin is going to hit the mark. Also, it’s a tremendous waste of effort and money to pay for advertising that doesn’t work when you could be funneling your time and marketing cash into the methods that do.

To know what’s working for you, though, you need to track each marketing strategy. That way, you can really focus on what’s working and stop wasting resources on what’s not.

A great way to do this is to use different phone numbers. If you’re running a Facebook campaign, assign it an independent phone number so that you know that every single call that comes in on that number is from Facebook. If you run a newspaper ad, use a different number unique to that ad. Track each method and narrow your results down to your top 3 lead generating strategies.

Googlevoice and RingCentral are both excellent options for multiple numbers, and they’re both free, so all you’ll have to invest is your time.

Once you’ve found your three best strategies, really start focusing on those strategies and make them a significant part of your personal trainer marketing campaign. If newspaper ads were working, buy a bigger ad or increase the number of days per week that your ad runs. If hanging fliers is really bringing in the masses, then hang more fliers!
Your goal isn’t to market in a million different ways; instead you want to find a few extremely effective methods and pursue them aggressively. (more…)

How to Create a Transformation Program That is a Boot Camp Marketing Goldmine

Posted by on June 3, 2014 at 10:10 pm

The big box gyms in your area are advertising two-for-one sign up deals and forty different types of classes. So how do you tailor your boot camp marketing efforts to compete with them?

You don’t.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 10.50.58 PMYou’re not a big box gym. You’re an awesome personal trainer and what you have to offer is something the big box gyms can’t: incredible results. People join gyms because they want to change the way they look and feel and most of them want that change to be dramatic and fast. The big box gym isn’t the answer.

Very few people who sign up for a big commercial gym will ever get anything close to the results they’re seeking. Most of them will drop out of the gym with very little to show for their money or their time. Those people are absolutely primed for an intense body transformation program. If you can offer that, you won’t need to spend much time on boot camp marketing – your clients’ results will do the marketing for you.

So how do you create a transformation program that really stands out and puts you in a whole different category from the big box gyms? I have five tips from boot camp owners that have used these programs to propel their businesses to the next level.

Promise results and then deliver. This may seem overly simplistic, but nothing will kill your success like mediocre results. Nobody posts on Facebook that they lost ten pounds in just six months. Nobody brags about the personal trainer who helped them carve an inch from their waistline and that was it.

We live in a culture that expects everything right now, if not sooner. Use your skills and expertise to deliver the most dramatic results in the least amount of time. Give your clients the workouts and the results of their lives and they won’t be able to keep quiet about it.

Offer something unique. Don’t just advertise that you’ll help clients lose fat or build muscle. The fitness businesses that have excelled are the ones that found a way to meet a unique need. One of the best examples of this is the Body for Life program, which many consider to be the foundation of transformation programs. Body for Life made itself unique by saying it was a program that would work for anyone of any age. Another good example is P90X. That program stood out and sold like crazy because it’s uniqueness was that it offered a hard-core intensity workout that could be done at home in a short amount of time, yet produce great results.

You have to have something unique to offer. It might be a baby-to-bikini transformation for new mothers or fat burning for Baby Boomers. Find it, market it and then deliver it. (more…)