Want New Clients? Pay Attention To These 10 Things…

By | Blog, Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, Culture, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

Your business is probably changing lives, I will certainly give you that. The fact that every day you open your doors to the world in an effort to help them become better humans is nothing short of amazing. You may work a full-time job and then also run your business because it’s your passion, and that’s incredible. Or, you’ve sacrificed everything so that others can benefit from the thing that you’re an expert at, and that’s admirable.

But what if you could capture more leads?

Most of us get so immersed in our businesses that we forget what it’s like to be the new person just discovering us. We don’t think about how someone actually sees us for the first time. We fail to put ourselves in “their” shoes. If you’re a business owner, there are a few things you’d do well to keep in mind when you think about how a new potential client may view your business.

Here are 10 things I’d like to say to business owners to help them gain my business:

  1. My first impression of you is formed by looking at your website. Unless I hear about you from a friend, 9 times out of 10 I will find you through your website. There are 3 things I’m processing as soon as I click on your .com… #1 – “Does your website look current and fresh?” (if “no”, I actually don’t even consider the following 2 questions, I just move on to check out your competition). But if “yes”, I ask #2 – “Does it look like I would fit in there?” (by looking at your pictures), and #3 – “Does the vibe you’re communicating through your website look like something I would want to be a part of?”. All this happens in the first 7 seconds.
  2. If your website passes the 7 second test, then I go to your “About Us” page to see if you look like the kind of people I want to connect with. Your About Us page definitely matters to me… Do you look fun? Do you look relatable? Your staff pictures (videos are even better so I can get to know you a little) and how you write your bios are decision makers for whether I’ll reach out to you… or not.
  3. I found your website because I googled something. Maybe it’s “best workout in Charleston”, or “fitness gyms in Charleston”, or something similar. If you don’t show up in the top 5 (or better yet, top 3) when I google these things, I’m not going to find you and I’ll reach out to someone who does show up.
  4. When I search for you, I’m definitely going to read your reviews. What are people saying about you? How many people are saying nice things? What are the negative things? (I may even look at these first, if there are any.) Subconsciously I’m thinking that what other people say about you and how many say great things will most likely reflect the experience I will have with you.
  5. Written testimonials don’t matter nearly as much to me as video testimonials. Written testimonials, while ok, can sometimes feel contrived. They don’t feel nearly as genuine and engaging as being able to watch someone (in under 90 seconds) use emotion to talk about why they love being a part of what you are providing. They make me want what they have.
  6. It’s intimidating to come into your business for the first time. I’ve most likely been “researching” you for a while (weeks or even months). And, now I’m here because I’ve liked what I’ve heard, seen, and read. But, we all remember what it’s like to be the “new kid”. It feels like all eyes are on you. Everything feels awkward, but exciting. It’s hard to not know what everyone else knows – the culture, the language, who likes who, what the staff is like, am I wearing the right things, will I fit in, etc. It feels like the first day of 5th grade at a new school all over again. You make me feel welcome (and not like the odd man out), I’ll be forever thankful and stick around.
  7. I’m not necessarily looking for friends at the place I do business. Especially in the service industry, like fitness, often times we proclaim how great our community is and we say that’s what differentiates us. But, for the most part, people aren’t coming into your gym looking for new friends. It will be a by-product, most likely, but it’s not what I am focused on initially. Don’t tell me how great your community is, show me.  
  8. If I email you and get an automated reply (“Thanks for writing. We’d love to talk to you. Blah blah blah”), that doesn’t feel genuine to me. Automated email replies feel just that – automated. I’d prefer it so much more if you’d just reply back to me within 24 hours (the sooner, the better) with a personalized email, making me feel like you really were glad I reached out.
  9. If you don’t answer the phone when I call, I’m probably going to move on to your competitors. I know we all are busy and it’s not always feasible to pick up the phone every time, but when you do, it makes a huge difference. Oh and when I call, I’d love it if I felt like you were really glad I called (smile when you’re talking).
  10. No one cares about your business like you do. I’m checking out your business because of what I need. I have a “problem” and I think you may be able to help me solve it. But, honestly, I only care about your business to the point that it serves me. I know that may sound selfish, but it’s the truth.   

You’re probably no different. Start paying attention to the process you go through when you are in need of someone’s services. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings that a new person experiences.

There is a lot of competition out there. When you show up in big ways (which are often creating by doing a lot of little things right), people will take notice and want to be a part of what you’ve built.

 

In summary, here are the ten things. How are you doing on each of these?

  • Invest in an awesome website (this will pay you back in dividends).
  • Make your About Us page fun.
  • Show up in the top 3 when people search for you.  
  • Have great reviews, and a lot of them (at minimum 25-30).
  • Put video testimonials on your website (at least 3-5).
  • Make people feel “at home” at every point of contact with you.
  • Show the power of your community.
  • Get rid of automated response emails when someone first emails you.
  • Answer your phone.
  • Keep clients needs always at the forefront.

Stuck on some of these things? We can help. Check out how.

If you want to schedule a quick call with us, we’d love to chat. Just click here to find a time that works with your schedule.

 

This post was written by Julie Weldon. (julie@321goproject.com)

You May Not Want To Hear This, But…

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership, M3 | No Comments

You’re Fat.

And so am I.

Let me prove it to you.

List out how many articles you’ve read in the last week. Name the podcasts you’ve listened to over the past 7-14 days. Write down how many pages of a book you’ve consumed recently, and how many video tutorials you’ve watched lately. Think about the conversations you’ve had that have spurred you on in the last few days.

Now… write out what you’ve actually done about all that information you’ve consumed.

What action items have you completed that brought about a change in your business or yourself?

If you’re like me, you can’t even name all that you’ve listened to and read… even just in one week.

(think about all the articles you’ve stopped on while scrolling Facebook.)

We live in an information overload age. It used to be hard to get a book or blog published. Not now. Articles are a dime a dozen, and many of them are really good. Self-help books line the bookshelves, maybe your bookshelves. Business books abound. Just this past week, I’ve been referred to 9 of them, every time someone saying, “You have to read this one.”

So, why do we do it? Why do we keep consuming like our life depends on it? Why do we feed our minds an excessive amount… all. the. time?

Because learning is good, and consuming is easy. It makes us feel like we’re improving.

But, unless we’re actually doing something about what we’re consuming, the simple truth is our minds are just getting fat.

In the fitness industry, we fight obesity every day, but what about our minds? As a business owner, if change is going to happen, it has to start with you.

How many journals have you started that only have 15 pages written in them? How many goals have you set that just continue to remain un-hit? I cleaned off my desk yesterday and had 7, yes SEVEN notebooks that I had started. Like a new notebook will somehow help me be more diligent.

So, how do you tighten up? How do you get your mind fit?

Do something about what you’re consuming.

Decide today that you’re not going to allow yourself to read another article without acting on one takeaway. Just one.

Don’t listen to another podcast without writing down the one thing you’re going to do as a result of sacrificing 20 or 45 minutes of your day.

As you’re reading a book, take notes. Write out your action items from your notes, and then do them.

m3logov1Join a MOMENTUM Master Mind (M3) group of like-minded business owners and a 321Go Business Coach who will hold you accountable to actually GSD (get sh#t done).

It’s time to take action.

We’re already 1 month into 2017… how’s your year going?

Are you making the changes you hoped… or is it just more of the same?

Doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results only breeds frustration and more of the same.

It’s time for me to clean house, friends. Maybe you too. Let’s get rid of the proverbial chips and ice cream, and start working out our minds so that our businesses will be healthy and strong.

Schedule a quick call with us to see how we can help.

 

This post was written by Julie Weldon (julie@321goproject.com).

Is a Mastermind Group Right For You?

By | Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

m3logov1For the past few months I’ve had the privilege of being a part of a Mastermind group. It’s become one of the highlights of my week because I get to join together with 8 very smart people to talk business… and get real. Not the surface-y chit chat that happens at networking meetings, but real conversations about challenges, opportunities, and solutions that will propel our respective businesses forward. Joining this group has been – hands down – one of best decisions I’ve made as a business owner.

And as an added bonus of being in this group where everything remains confidential, I’m developing lasting friendships with some really amazing people.

Mastermind groups are a relatively new concept for many, even though it was 80 years ago that Napoleon Hill solidified the concept and gave it its name in his book Think and Grow Rich. A whole chapter of this fantastic book was devoted to the importance of being in a mastermind group if you genuinely want to be successful.

Another exceptional book that is worth reading is The Slight Edge. In it, the author says, “Successful people are always asking, “Who am I spending time with?” Are they the people who best represent where I want to be headed?” Successful people form powerful relationships with positive people; they join mastermind groups, work with those people regularly, and take them seriously.”

The benefits of being a part of a mastermind group are profound. If everyone truly understood how it could transform their business, there would be no question whether the investment of time and money was worth it.

7 benefits I’ve realized from being in this group in just a few short months:

Confidence that comes from the knowledge that other people are “in it” with me. There is nothing about running a business that is easy. And the challenges double when you feel like you’re doing it alone. A mastermind group reminds you each week that you’ve got a team of people behind you who understand and are in it with you.

Ability to admit and talk through fears, and begin to replace those with action. Running a business is often scary, and anyone who says otherwise is lying. Every day, people are counting on you to lead them and grow something that they can benefit from. A mastermind group helps to minimize these fears, doubts, worries and apprehensions because you are able to say them out loud in a safe place.

Gain insights from others in the trenches of business ownership. Business owners are a different breed of people. They think differently, they react differently, they have different “problems”, they celebrate different wins. If you’re not a business owner, all that probably doesn’t make sense. But if you are, you know exactly what I mean. To be surrounded weekly by like-minded people is worth its weight in gold.

Get the collective wisdom of many. Having one business coach is great and there’s certainly a need for this type of help, but being able to tap into the power of a mastermind group with all their combined knowledge and experience is exponentially different (and in my opinion, typically better). One person never has all the answers. The counsel of many is wise.

Others brainstorm a solution with you. I’ve often found myself staring at my computer, wondering what I should do next. I can only brainstorm new ideas so much by myself. When I add 8 other people, the brainstorming gets really fun. There is nothing like navigating through challenges using the collective brainpower of others to arrive at a great solution.

Accountability and direction. Maybe you’re different than me and you don’t need someone to hold you accountable to do what you say you’re going to do. But, when I have accountability stuff actually gets done. Being a part of a mastermind group is a powerful tool in your toolkit that keeps you grounded, laser-focused, and on target with your goals.

Permission to think bigger. Being in a mastermind group forces you out of your comfort zone and gives you permission to dream big. When you meet consistently with like-minded people who are doing great things, you can’t help but think bigger and stretch beyond your self-imposed limits and boundaries.

My business (and my personal life) will absolutely be different this year because of my weekly interaction with this powerful group.  

Tired of spinning your wheels and feeling like you’re not getting where you want to go?

Remember this – as long as there is breath in your body, it’s never too late to change your story.

Mastermind groups can often be expensive to join; but here at 321GoProject, we’ve worked hard to create an affordable option so that anyone who wants to can benefit from them. We’re excited to announce a new offering called, MOMENTUM Master Minds (M3). These small groups of like-minded gym owners will be no more than 6-7 people plus one of our 321Go Business Coaches, and will commit to meeting weekly to provide insight and accountability, share resources, and strengthen and grow businesses.

We are offering a limited beta launch of M3 with a reduced $99/month cost, plus your current Hub Monthly (because the groups will be utilizing the resources offered in Hub, you must first have a Hub monthly membership to join). So, for example… if you are currently paying $49 for Hub and add M3, your fee will be $148 per month. Once this limited beta launch is complete, the monthly M3 cost to join will increase. 

These groups will start February 2017.

If interested in hearing more, either check out this link to see a short video or click here to schedule a quick call with us. We’d love to talk with you!

Tired of doing the same things, the same way, and hoping for different results? Yeah, I was too.

A M3 group may just be what you need to take your business to the next level.

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon (julie@321goproject.com)

Is The CrossFit Industry At Risk?

By | Branding, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Starting a Gym | No Comments

This weekend I stumbled across a story about Pando, aka the Trembling Giant. Maybe you’ve heard of it, or actually “him”. I probably had before, but I certainly hadn’t given him the attention he deserves.

Pando is an incredibly massive male colony of aspen trees spread over 106+ acres in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. Every single one of the approximately 47,000 trees shoot up from a single organism as they share a giant underground root system. It’s estimated that Pando collectively weighs 1.3 billion pounds, making it the heaviest living organism on the planet.

And it’s under threat.

As I read this, I started to think about the CrossFit industry. The massive organism that is known, recognized, and respected as the world of CrossFit… started with one dream, one vision, one passion. This one simple idea began to grow roots in 2000, and then just like the definition of “Pando”, it spread. It spread so much that, in less than 20 years, there are more than 12,000 affiliates across the globe. In many ways, it’s like one big ecosystem, interconnected underground.

While there are no two CrossFit gyms alike, there are strong commonalities that bind each one together. The same language, the same movements, an understanding, and a connection that people outside the affiliate world just don’t get.

My fascination of this massive organism of trees, known as the “quaking aspens”, drove me to dive deeper in my learning, and I realized some incredible facts that are interestingly parallel to the CrossFit industry.

A handful of the roots of this ecological system go down 100+ feet deep. Only a few of the roots have pushed their way to places where many haven’t gone. They form the base for the entire system. Over the past 2.5 years of having literally hundreds of conversations with gym owners, I’m struck by the fact that while there are a large group of gym owners who are doing incredible work, there is a select top percentage of the “high impact” gym owners who are making profound differences across the industry. Their roots are deep. They can be traced back to a rich legacy of empowering others. Jason Khalipa, Ben Bergeron, Chris Spealler, Matt Scanlon, are a few that automatically come to mind. Their gracious and powerful impact and influence has spawned countless new “shoots and trees” all over the world. Together we are all stronger because of their commitment to this industry.

The roots near an abundant supply of water often carry nutrients to the roots and shoots in drier areas. We can learn a lot from aspens. Those who have “more” carry health and vitality to those who are less fortunate. But the fascinating thing is only the trees that accept/receive the nutrients will grow from the nutrients shared. The others quickly die off. Same is true with CrossFit gyms – those who admit they need help and actually receive the help they are given are the ones who will last.

Quaking aspens flourish in unstable environments like mud, snow, and fire. These marvels of nature thrive in difficult environments and the biggest growth happens after devastation. For example, if a large number of the shoots in a “stand” are wiped out, the roots that are left produce hormones in extreme excess to compensate. This hormonal imbalance triggers a profound increase in new, rapidly growing stems. And amazingly, this new section of growth often dwarfs what once was. Similar in the CrossFit world, hardship has often produced extreme goodness when people rally around – Steve’s ClubMurphBarbells for Boobs, competitions for charity, etc. are all beautiful examples of this.

If a grove of quaking aspens doesn’t regularly experience some hardship – fire or some other “disturbance”, its days are numbered. To carry the point in the above paragraph a little further, research says that eventually conifers will pop up all around the aspens, providing abundant shade, which will kill the aspens because they can’t tolerate low levels of light. Like all businesses, CrossFit must continually reinvent itself. While the fundamentals stay the same, the marketing, packaging of services, branding, etc. all must continually evolve or its days will be numbered. Giants like Kodak, Blackberry, Motorola, the phone book, Sears, Blockbuster, etc. all fell prey to this as they refused to pay attention to the changing world around them; and as a result, they lost their power and influence.

Pando is at risk of extinction. Unless it quickly and continually regenerates itself, things like disease, fungus, overgrazing by deer and elk on the new shoots, human interference (new home construction, campgrounds, etc., which causes the inability to allow forest fires), etc. will overtake this natural treasure. So it goes with CrossFit. Is it in jeopardy of being overtaken by “the new thing” or the globo gym overnight? Certainly not, but those who reinvent themselves while staying true to what makes CrossFit so unique and powerful will be the ones who will keep the movement going.

How We Can Help
At 321GoProject, our goal is to do everything in our power to help gym owners continue the movement. Every service we create and deliver is so that gym businesses can be strengthened and roots can go deep.

Given that, we are excited to announce a new offering called, MOMENTUM Master Minds (M3). These small groups of like-minded gym owners will be no more than 6-7 people, plus one of our 321Go Business Coaches. M3 groups will meet weekly to provide insight and accountability, share resources, and strengthen roots. The loneliest place is often business ownership… but it doesn’t have to be. For a limited time, you can join a M3 group for only $99/month and get a team of committed, like-minded people who are in the trenches with you. These groups will start February 2017.

This may just be what you’re looking for to take your business to the next level in 2017.

If interested in hearing more, we’d love to talk with you! Click here to schedule a call with us today.

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon (julie@321goproject.com).

Do You Have The Secret Weapon For Success In Place?

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

If there is one thing that can propel a business and a leader forward it would most definitely be accountability.

Accountability is difficult to put into place for a number of reasons: 1) we don’t know who to ask, 2) it’s sometimes surprisingly challenging to set our egos aside, 3) we may feel like we “don’t have time for that”, 4) we’re uncomfortable being vulnerable, and/or 5) we don’t feel like we’d have much to offer someone else.

Whatever your reason, if you don’t have accountability in your life and you’re not making the progress you want, you might do well to put all that aside and consider this secret weapon.  

Motivation can get you started on making a change or achieving a goal, but eventually the excitement that you’re feeling at the outset will begin to wane. We’ve all experienced this.

Good accountability can help you go the extra mile when it’s just feels easier to give up.

Every day presents so many possible distractions – even an unexpected phone call or email can completely derail your initial daily plan. If you add up all of these times in your day where distraction wins and strategic thought and execution are a far off 2nd, then your path to business success slowly fades. And sadly, this could leave you among the large percentage of other businesses that just don’t last for the long-term.

The simple and unfortunate truth is that far too many small business owners have gotten used to existing on a deserted island, even if they are surrounded by a great staff. They start their business so they can be their own boss and not have to answer to anyone, but the pendulum oftens swings too far left and they lose touch with other voices who are desperately needed to help them succeed.

An accountability partner is a business peer who you start a relationship with in order to help each other grow your respective companies. You do this by offering guidance and by holding each other to your commitments. This relationship is different than a mentor because in an accountability relationship, both are bettering their businesses and giving support and feedback to each other.

A good accountability partner has a lot to offer…

  • They keep your goals at the forefront of your focus.
  • They validate and vet your thoughts, ideas, and decisions.
  • They help accelerate your performance by keeping you responsible and holding your feet to the fire.
  • They help you measure your progress.
  • They understand your challenges and joys.
  • They become your biggest cheerleader and celebrate with you.
  • They call you on your b.s. excuses and push you through procrastination.
  • They are brutally honest with you (in a kind way, of course).
  • They are in it with you.

Accountability is what separates the super successful entrepreneurs and leaders from the mediocre.

When you are clear on your expectations and you agree on consequences, there is nothing that can stop the two of you from reaching your potential.

We are just entering week 2 of our Setting & Crushing Your Goals Challenge through our online platform Hub, where 250+ gym owners are starting off this year with razor-like focus and a bang. One of the components of this challenge is to find an accountability partner among the other gym owners participating in the Challenge. The results are already unbelievably powerful, even just one week in. And much of this is because these gym owners know they are not in this alone, but have a supportive, kind, smart community that’s got their back. They’re smart enough to have tapped into the “secret weapon”.

How about you? Are you willing to do the uncomfortable to get the results you want?

“Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action-takers who care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.” – John Di Lemme

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon (julie@321goproject.com)