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.

We Asked One Question…

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

Last week we asked CrossFit/Personal Training gyms and Cheer/Gymnastics/Dance clubs one question and got 200+ thoughtful, individual emails back.

The question was this:

What is one major Pain Point (problem/challenge) that you are dealing with right now as a gym owner?

We asked because we wanted to do a quick pulse check on the fitness industry. We asked because we always want to make sure the content we are putting out is helpful and speaking to things that matter.

Because we asked for their pain point “right now”, the responses covered the gamut of creating an exit plan to managing retail inventory to maximizing profit to paying themselves a salary. There were a few themes, though, that rose to the surface for the majority…

Getting leads, time management, and finding (and keeping) qualified staff were three of the consistent big ones.

It’s obvious to say, but if you don’t have leads coming in your door, can’t prioritize your important things to do, and have a hard time finding good people to work with you, it’s tough to run a good business. No surprise, right?

But what is a surprise is how many gym owners just allow themselves to get (and stay) stuck in the quicksand of their pain points.

So, what is your pain point?

It’s funny how that one question can evoke such emotions. When you think about your pain point, which of these feelings surface – anxiety? fear? inadequacy? being “found out” for being… you fill in the blank? frustration? hope (that if you get it figured out, your life will be so much better)? anger? These are just a few of the emotions we’ve felt as business owners. So, we get it. 

Here are the responses we got, broken out by categories and percentages: 

Pain points are real.  We all have them. The difference between the successful and the not as successful is that the successful actually do something about those pain points. They brainstorm with other business owners to get ideas about how they are recruiting good staff, they aren’t afraid to take calculated risks and change course when the outcome of the risk isn’t want they hoped for, they make that call to a company to help them in the areas where they are struggling. They understand that while paying money out for a service will require sacrifice in the short term, it will (hopefully) produce a good R.O.I. in the long term. They know that you often have to be wise in your spending in order to make money.

If we went back and asked every person who responded, “So, what are you going to do about your pain point?”, how many do you think would have an answer?

Likely, many are stuck. And will remain stuck for far too long.

So, if that’s you and you’re stuck, what’s the best thing you can do? Stare that pain point in the face and get creative.

It most likely won’t go away on it’s own. Have that hard conversation. Get involved in a mastermind group. Hire a mentor. Work with a company who can help you get leads in your door.

We’re certainly not the only company who can help, but we are one really solid option. We’ve been there, we’ve felt the pain of running a small business, we’ve dealt with staff conflict and the pain of trying to find good people, but one of our core values is that we build a relationship with you so that we can really be “in it” with you.

Here are 5 ways we consistently offer help at no charge:

  1. weekly blog on all things related to running a fitness business.
  2. weekly podcast with people who are in the trenches.
  3. free call with one of our team to talk through your pain points and offer ways to help.
  4. One of our Hub courses – the Business Checkup course – is available for free so you can see what you’re doing well and where you need to improve your business.
  5. Try 7 days of Hub at no charge. No strings attached. Just dive in and try it, and if you like it, keep going.

It doesn’t matter if you’re running a gym with 2-3 locations and 500+ athletes, or are just getting ready to open your space, pain points are inevitable.

There is a quote that says “Happiness is only real when shared”, which I wholeheartedly agree with. But I also believe that most pain points are best solved when shared. Find someone or a group of people to be in it with you.

An old proverb proclaims that “The counsel of many is wise.” Make the sacrifice (of time, money, or ego) and let someone else in. The smartest people in the room, know that they are not the smartest people in the room.

It’s amazing how much lighter your burden will get when you don’t feel like you’re in it alone.

 

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

9 Things to Give Up On If You Really Want To Be Successful

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

It’s easy to think we need to add things to our life if we want to hit our goals – more time, more money, more resources, more, more, more. But, sometimes we don’t even realize how many things we’ve got plugged in that are unnecessary or have a negative effect. The truth of the matter is that in order to get the more you’re hoping for, you may need to give up on a few things first to make room for what’s better.

See if any of these 9 things resonate with you…

1. Give up on the short-term mindset.
Far too many people want that quick fix. If I just had more athletes. If I just got more likes. If I just had more money. If I just… These things are all short-term thinking. What’s your why as a business owner? Who do you want to become as a person? And what do you want to become as a business? Back into these things by determining what needs to happen to make these a reality. And start thinking bigger and for the long-term today. Dream a little.

2. Give up on thinking you’re alone and don’t have people to lean on.
It’s a fact that business owners are some of the loneliest people on the planet because typically there are very few people in their worlds who understand what they’re really going through – the pressures, the stress, the joys, the challenges. In this industry, there are plenty of good people who will get in the trenches with you. Our M3 groups are a great start if you want accountability and community support. With building a business comes inevitable pressure. You don’t have to walk this road alone.

3. Give up on your excuses.
We all have them. For why we’re not this, or that, or better, or more, or different. We all know these excuses have to stop. We don’t like it when we hear excuses from other people, so why do we allow ourselves to make them? Only you are responsible for the choices you make and the direction your life takes. I can promise you that people far less smart than you threw away their excuses and went for it. And they are now reaping the rewards of not being held back by fear, or uncertainty, or feelings of inadequacy. Everybody is scared at some level. Embrace your fear and go for it. Own your choices, your business, and your life; because no one else will.

4. Give up on blaming someone or something else for not being where you’d like to be.
One key difference between the successful and all the rest is the ability to take responsibility for all of your actions, reactions, and lack of actions. No one else is making you scroll through that news feed (again), no one else is keeping your bottom line in the red, no one else is making you react in anger, or fear, or whatever emotion you choose in the moment. You may not know exactly how to make a change, but everything is possible if you commit yourself to learning and growing one step at a time.

5. Give up on your dependency to social media.
Start by paying attention to how much you check your different social media accounts – Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter. How many times per day? Many people would lose count after 50. We just want that quick fix. You may have seen the Millennials video by Simon Sinek where he talks about how social media notifications cause our brains to release dopamine. This is the very same chemical that is released with drugs, gambling, cigarettes, and alcohol. It’s what causes addiction, which is to say we can literally become addicted to our smartphones. For many, this is probably not a surprise. It’s scary how much our phones are ruling our lives. Today, at a minimum, start paying attention to this. And, as a side note, if you’re on your phone while driving, for the love, please stop. Throw your phone in the back seat so you minimize the temptation. You have people who you matter to. A lot.

6. Give up on hoping there’s a magic bullet.
We watch gym owners every day attach onto the latest and greatest crazes. They think something like this, “If it works for him/her like they say it does, surely it’s gotta work for me!” Problem is there really are no magic bullets, and they can’t see all the work that went into making it so successful for the other person. And, the other problem is that that statement sounds like it comes from a desperate place of grasping at straws hoping that one tiny straw you grab is the magic one that will eliminate all headaches. Here’s the truth… it never does. Don’t go for the shiny objects; instead go for the tried and true options that require plain old fashioned work every day to make it happen. Not as sexy, but much more effective. Do the little things every day, and let the compound effect do what it does best of multiplying those little things to equal big success.

7. Give up on trying to get everyone to like you.

We humans are funny folks. We like what we like, and have a very difficult time with what (and who) we don’t like. Often it’s just because we’ve created something in our minds that we now believe about a certain person or thing; but for whatever reason, it’s what we do. That said, you’re never, and I mean never, going to please everyone. So, definitely listen to the voice of your customer, but then run your business in such a way that you can lay your head on the pillow at night and rest easy. It’s a losing battle to try to make happy the ones who just don’t want to be happy.

8. Give up on being the martyr.
As a business owner, you’ve got it rough. No one will deny you that. There are long hours, unhappy customers, unmet expectations, scary bank accounts, trying to figure out how to wear 50 hats… to name just a few of the challenges of owning a business. But the successful people press on, and don’t fall prey to the sword of martyrdom. At the end of the day, people are selfish. They don’t really care about how hard life is for you. They just want a good product delivered every time. ​So, instead of complaining or being negative with your team and/or athletes, lean into your community of business owners when things are hard, because they will understand. It may feel good for the moment to be a martyr with those in your business, but that feeling is not worth it for the long-term. Give your clients your best.

9. Give up on dreaming small dreams.
It’s definitely not that we dream too big… if we only knew (and believed in) how much potential we actually have, our dreams would multiply exponentially. Think of the person you respect the most. Now, let me tell you something… you have just as much potential as them. What is it that you really want? Who is it that you really want to be? None of that is out of the question. It’s all within your reach… if you apply yourself, and If you are willing to accept the sacrifices it will take to get there. It won’t be overnight, but if you work at it every day, before you know it, you’ll be living all those things that only used to be a dream.

Oh, and one more that’s a bonus tip…. We’ve all heard it said, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” Apply this last one and you’ll win every time, every if you don’t come in “first place”.

Give up on quitting.
Winners are not quitters. They may not always get it right, but one thing is for certain, they do not quit. They know when to adjust course. They know when to go faster, or slow down. They know when to bring in experts to help with things they don’t understand. But they do not quit. They don’t walk away when things get tough, but they buckle down and focus all the more. They know their tendencies can be to get discouraged, so they surround themselves with people who will motivate them and push them to be the best version of themselves. A quote from The Slight Edge (which is an incredible book, by the way) goes like this… “It’s in the last 20 percent of the time we invest in a discipline that [the majority] of the rewards come.” How true is this?? Far too often we give up before we actually reap the rewards. Put your fingers back on the grindstone and keep at it. A little while down the road, you’ll be really glad you did.

Success is simple, but it’s not easy.

 

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

How to Turn Your Goals into A Marketing Plan for the Year

By | Blog, Business Help | No Comments

You have some goals for the year, but don’t yet have a marketing plan for the year set. Look no further.

We all know how important having a marketing plan is for your gym, but where the heck do you start?

Most gym owners never write one down, mostly out of fear or wondering if they will get it right. By writing a plan down means commitment and accountability. On the flip side, it also means peace of mind and clarity for you and your coaches. All heading in the same direction.

How satisfying would it be to have your year planned out so all you needed to do was execute on your plan?

NOTE: Join us for a free webinar on “Creating a Simple Marketing Plan for the Year”. Signup below.

Your marketing plan for the year doesn’t have to be rocket science, it just needs to be pulled out of your head and written down on paper.

Here are 3 things you can do today to turn your goals into a written plan.

We are going to go in more detail with the execution part of your plan in our upcoming free webinar, so join us.

1. Assess

Start with the customer. They are the champion. Build your plans around your customer’s needs and goals – not around your product and tactics.

What does your target customer look like? Who is the best member fit in your gym? Who makes up your current members? Families, young professionals, soccer moms, corporate peeps. Maybe you want to increase the amount of guys in your gym? Maybe you would like to get more older peeps in your gym?

Understanding who comes in your gym will help direct your marketing efforts.

2. Identify

What are your goals for the year? My guess is you already have some goals in place you would like to see accomplished. Are they written down somewhere? If you don’t have any goals set yet, this is a VERY important step.

You would never say, let’s go on vacation out west and start driving. You’ve got a destination in mind. These are your goals. Write them down and share them with your team. Showing others helps make you more accountable. We all need accountability in our life.

So create a short bulleted list and make them measurable. Also, make them realistic – “more members” often = more net revenues. More leads equals more members, better retention.

Here’s an example:

  • Hold 1 offline retention-based event monthly comprised of 75% members & 25% future members
  • Hold 2 local fundraisers – minimum 60 attendees
  • Generate 50 new Personal Training leads
  • Create 2 new co-branded partnerships
  • Run 2 Automated Lead Nurturing Campaigns with 10% conversion
  • Sell out 6 internal programs (nutrition, endurance, and women’s weightlifting) – 2 tracks each

3. Plan

Now it’s time to create the marketing plan and tactics around your goals.

What campaigns/events during the year can you run to help you achieve your goals? Try to break them out into categories.

By planning out your year, peace of mind will come.

Click on the graphic example of a planned out Marketing Event Calendar from CrossFit Turbine. On our upcoming webinar, Stefan, from Turbine, will discuss how he created this example and his mindset behind it.

TIP: Keep it flexible. Plans change, so ensure plans are usable by a clear vision for the year and keeping detail to a shorter term 90 day focus.

This is why STRATEGY/Having a Plan will always trump one-off tactics. Tactics are the vehicle, strategy is the map.

There isn’t a perfect plan. The idea is to just have one and then execute on it.


On Feb 23, at 11am CST, we will help you create your simple Marketing plan for the year. Signup! Limited seats available.

Join Us for the Webinar!

Feb. 23, 2017, 11am CST

Full name*

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)