Category Archives: Marketing

9 Ways to Ramp Up Your Marketing Efforts on the Cheap

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

Most (ok, all) small business owners don’t know everything. Maybe they come from the financial world, or the marketing world, or the business world, or whatever world in their “previous life”, and, as a result, their skills are more specialized. So, when they reach that glorious day of becoming their own boss, they find themselves having to wear every different hat… and it can be a bit overwhelming.

No more things being done for you. Now everything has to be done by you. Growth. Understanding the numbers. Managing social media. Sales. Creating content. Referrals. Partnerships. Maintenance. Hiring/Firing/Training staff. The list is long, and often times endless.

For every entrepreneur, two things are constant: 1) there never seems to be enough money, and 2) there never seems to be enough time. BUT… you have to grow your business. You have to get sales, and in order to get sales, you have to do marketing.

So, we thought we’d tackle the often illusive topic of marketing and give you a list of things that don’t require much of either time or money. Below are a handful of key activities that will create awareness and exposure of the business you’re working so hard to build.

  1. Create Partnerships in the Community. Your reputation among other businesses in your community is vital to your success. Any business close to you can be a good “target” to develop a relationship with (e.g., dog groomer, child care, wine store, restaurant). If you’re located among other businesses, spend a morning walking around and introduce yourself to the business owners. A few ideas: 1) Offer all staff members something special (like a free drop-in) and ask if you can place a flyer/business cards somewhere in their business; 2) Create a banner in your gym with a list of local partners in order to help them to promote their businesses; 3) Have a board dedicated to promoting ‘Community Partners’ and you could arrange for all your members to receive a percentage off their products and services; 4) Invite the business owners to your big events. Tell them they can set up a table/booth to promote their businesses in exchange for some freebies on the day; and 5) Have them put your logo (with link) on their website and you do the same. The ultimate goal is a win (for you) – win (for the business owner) – win (for your members).
  2. Get More Online Reviews. Social proof means so much these days. We all look at the reviews before making purchases. Focus on Google primarily (FB doesn’t measurably move the needle and Yelp is not as valued), but be sure this is slow and steady. Too many reviews at once will send a red flag. An idea is to give drop-ins a 2nd free class after leaving a review. Another idea is to email your members, asking for a review and giving them the link to click on – make it simple! Use this tool to help. 
  3. Put a Video in your Email Signature. This idea comes from our resident SEO & Social Media expert, Josh Sturgeon. Film a short (>60 second) video sharing a little bit about what gets you up in the morning. You can give it the title #MyWhy. The idea here is to place a video thumbnail in your email signature that leads anyone who clicks it to a landing page where they can watch your video. On the landing page there’s a Call to Action below the video where they can book a time to chat more about their fitness/health goals. The goal here is to make that personal connection to foster trust early on. At the end of the day, people do business with people…and people they trust.
  4. Reach Out Personally to your Clients. Set up a system where each client is hearing from you (or a member of your team) at least once a month. No agenda, just a “Hey Sarah, thanks for being a part of what we’re doing here. Let us know how we can help you better reach your goals!”
  5. Conduct an Exit Survey for Cancelled Members. This can be a short email that people get when they decide to cancel. It will give you lots of insight into why people cancel, so that you can address these things for the future.
  6. Organize Monthly Athlete Challenges. People love healthy competition – things like most meters rowed, most cals on the Assault Bike, etc… This doesn’t have to require a lot of thought or energy. You just need a big whiteboard, and a few inexpensive prizes at the end for the winner/s.
  7. Send Out a “One Pain Point” Email to all Your Members. The email would go something like this – “Hi! Could you do me a huge favor and hit reply and answer this one question to help us continue to build up our services and serve our community as best as possible? Question: What is one major Pain Point (problem/challenge) with your health and fitness that you are dealing with right now? Thanks for helping us make [company xyz] better!” Our suggestion – edit this with your gym info and send to your email list. What a great way to hear what people’s pain points are! Word to the wise though… if you do this – be sure to respond to each one, offering value.
  8. Play Bingo. This idea was shared in our private client FB group by Joe Minichino and got a great response. Your members will strategize on what boxes to fill out and classes to attend (see image at right). Run it for a week, and then give prizes for things like one bingo ($10 gift card – 3 winners), three bingos ($25 Merchandise Credit + $25 gift card – 2 winners), and a blacked out card ($50 Merchandise Credit + $50 gift card – 1 winner). Cards should be checked at end of the week and they get entered in for the prize determined by how many Bingos they get.
  9. Offer a 6-8 Week Program for Other Businesses. This idea is from Matt Scanlon, member of our 321Go leadership team. He says your approach to the business owner would be something like this… “We will run a 6-8 week course designed to Ramp Up [Company Name] Employees to a healthier lifestyle at a special [Company Name] discounted rate. This will be limited to [__] people per class and people must sign up for the entire program ahead of time. We encourage companies to provide incentives such as cost-matching and rewards for most classes attended to drive adoption.”

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, only to get you thinking about how you can see your business grow by putting in a little effort. Feel free to use these as is or tweak them to better suit your business and needs. 

Here’s the secret: while many people may read this article, few will do anything about it. Choose a few of these things that make most sense to you, actually make them happen, and you’ll be steps ahead of your competition.

We specialize in helping gym owners excel at all things marketing and growing your business. If we can help you, schedule a free call with us here.

For the Love, Please Sweat the Small Stuff

By | Branding, Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Marketing | No Comments

I’ve got some (maybe tough) news for you… you’re not struggling with getting new clients because your services are too expensive (there are plenty of people out there who will – and do – pay). And it’s not because new businesses like yours moved in down the street and you’re now in a saturated market (those paying people are going somewhere, right??).

There’s a deeper issue in why you’re not growing like you want to.

Your message isn’t connecting with the right people. You’ve gotten passed by for something that connects better with their emotional and psychological reasons for saying “yes” and buying.  

Here is a crazy idea… try seeing your business like a new person would see it.

You know the feeling of being new somewhere – all of your senses are heightened. Your excitement level is (usually) high because everything is, well, really new. Relationships haven’t been formed. Habits haven’t been created. And your experience is waiting to be discovered.

Let’s try some examples, thinking about other businesses…

  • What do you think when you see dirty/old bathrooms?
  • What’s your feeling when people don’t welcome you right off the bat?
  • How about when you come across an old, outdated website?
  • What about when the staff is less than kind and knowledgable to you?

I was introduced this weekend to one of the most ridiculous (yet effective) stories in changing the perception of a brand.

A Post cereal in Canada, called Shreddies, had painfully low sales. They decided to reach out to a marketing firm to help them turn that around. An intern for the marketing firm somewhat tongue in cheek suggested that they rotate the cereal to change it from a square (boring) shape to a diamond (exciting!) shape, and rename it “Diamond Shreddies”. Thinking there might something to that (crazy simple) idea, they hosted focus groups where they got their validation, then developed a new website and changed their marketing efforts with the diamond shape in mind.

The result? The brand sold out a four-months supply in two months and boosted sales by 18%.

Check out this 3 minute video that shows the rebranding of Shreddies (do your best to listen past the moderators’ dramatics).

Perception is everything. Shreddies added intangible value to their cereal without changing the product in the slightest.

So, let’s go back to your business. What’s the perception you’re giving others with your business?

  • How’s your customer service?
  • How’s your website?
  • How’s the appearance of your building (outside, front desk, bathrooms, etc)?
  • How easy is it to buy what you’re selling?
  • How do you address the objections that potential new clients are going to have?

Your brand is made up of hundreds of perceptions that create an emotional connection with consumers.

You have to be able to answer questions like… Why do people like your brand? Why do they use it? What emotions arise when they think about your brand?

If you went to a Michelin 5 Star restaurant and the floors were dirty or the bathrooms were disgusting, it would most likely drastically change your experience with the food. The cost and quality of the food would be incongruent with the care (or lack of) given to the facilities.

You want new people buying what you’re selling?  Maybe it’s time to look underneath the hood.

We can help. Click here to schedule a free call with us.

How to Use Video to Generate Leads

By | Business Help, Digital Marketing, Julie Weldon, Marketing, Social Media, Videos | No Comments

So you say you want more leads.

That would solve a lot of problems, right? More money, fuller classes, you could hire another coach, etc.

Alright then, I have one question for you….

Just how much do you want those leads?

To get more specific, what are you willing to do to get them? How uncomfortable are you willing to get?

Are you willing to consistently put out content so that people come to know you as the expert?

So many know they need to create consistent content, but let’s be honest, few are willing to commit to it on a regular basis. Everything else somehow takes priority. 

Far too many gym owners want the quick fix. Write a blog or two. Shoot a couple videos. Do a Facebook ad. Run the newest, hottest, lead-generating tool/event you just read about on a group page. Then… hope (actually, expect) the leads will pour in.

But, the problem with quick fixes is that they’re just that. A quick fix. They’re not intended for long-term, consistent results.

The hard truth is that a quick fix is often the abandonment of responsibility. That statement may need to be read again for it to sink it.

In business, CASH is king.

In marketing, CONTENT is king.

These days in content, VIDEOS are king.

All the current research and studies are proving that video is where it’s at (and our experience wholeheartedly agrees with this). Not where it’s headed, but where’s it at now. A few statistics from an infographic by Hyperfine Media prove this point:

  • Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.
  • Video in an email leads to 200-300% increase in click-through rate.
  • 90% of users say that product videos are helpful in the decision process.
  • Enjoyment of video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%.

These are some big numbers. You don’t have to have a degree in content marketing to know that video ruled the web last year. And, experts believe that video content will account for 74 percent of Internet traffic this year. 74%. Wow.

So the question, then, that begs to be answered…

How are you using video to increase your leads?

Good videos can differentiate you from your competitors because they open up people’s hearts. They evoke emotion. Unlike a blog or Facebook ad, or even an image, videos make people feel something. Once your marketing crosses over into the feelings territory, people want to do business with you. Because they can connect with you. As a result, videos become a massive win for your content strategy.

Using videos produces a number of benefits: 1) they can help boost your customer engagement, 2) they can increase a person’s time spent on your site, and 3) they can help you convert your leads into paying clients. If you use video creatively and with a purpose, it can transform your website into something that is dynamic and interactive and, most importantly, will establish you as the expert. Helping you transform your website and combine it with effective marketing is our specialty.

So, how do you make and publish videos with creativity and purpose?  

Here are just a few thoughts to get you started:

  • Don’t overthink it. Practice makes perfect. Like riding a bike, the more you do it, the better (and more comfortable) you get at it.
  • Speak in a language that even (or especially) the beginners would understand.
  • Be relatable and fun.
  • Pay attention to your backdrop and the level of background noise.
  • Be consistent in creating content.
  • Keep the majority of your videos short. Under 2 minutes and for Instagram, under 60 seconds are the good rules of thumb.
  • Add in music. You can get free licensed background music here. And you can easily edit in music to your video using iMovie or Quicktime.
  • Get an inexpensive lavalier microphone to connect to your phone for better sound quality.
  • Anytime it’s appropriate, include a call to action. Make it stupid simple for them to take the next step with you.
  • Whenever possible, tag people in the video and encourage them to share.

It is important to remember, though, that your ultimate goal of creating videos shouldn’t just be to capture a bunch of “stuff” for the purpose of checking it off a list. You want to build a purposeful library of videos (and other content) that establishes you as the expert.

Here are several ideas of what you could shoot in your videos:

  • Explain how to do something. How to videos are a good way to demonstrate your “product/service” while helping people get better at something.  
  • Highlight your athletes. Video a wide variety of people to show that everyone (in your target audience) can benefit from what you’re providing. The Rule of Social Proof says we’re much more likely to do something if we see someone else successfully doing it.
  • Promote your events. Short, fun videos to promote things that you’ve got going on in your business.
  • Raise awareness. Highlight important things going on in your community.
  • Give quick tips. On eating better, buying groceries, cooking meals, keeping moving at work, etc.
  • Record a product/software demo. Software is usually a learning curve for people, so why not help your clients by recording a short screencast (can use Loom or something similar) of someone using the system.
  • Do video testimonials for website, emails, or newsletter. These will add a different dimension and more trust to your client testimonials than just an image and text.
  • Highlight your business. Welcome visitors to your site on your homepage, introduce members of your staff or shoot a quick “day in the life”. This type of content allows people to feel like they know you before they even meet you and could be the deciding factor in helping someone take the next step in wanting to do business with you.
  • Repurpose your text content. Turn your blog entries into short video blips of content.
  • Facebook Live is a great tool when you’re in the middle of a fun event. Let people know what they’re missing out on!

These ideas are just scratching the surface, of course. If you haven’t yet determined your content marketing strategy for the year, make that a priority and be sure to include lots of video.

Biggest thing in getting started? Step outside of your comfort zone and shart shooting.

If you need help, schedule a call with us or email me at Julie@321goproject.com!  We’d love to help.

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon.