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  • How about when you come across an old, outdated website?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.

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).

Marketing Doesn’t Work

By | Blog, Branding, Branding & Website Advice, Building Community, Digital Marketing, Matt Scanlon, Social Media | No Comments

I’ve heard it plenty of times and I’m sure you have too: If my product (gym, coaching, programming, community) is good enough, it will market itself.

I agree.

So Marketing doesn’t work, right? I’ll submit to you my favorite Family Guy clip as it pertains to Marketing:

Obviously, this is over-the-top. But, it’s not too far off from the gut reaction most have when they think of Marketing; Don Draper with his feet on his desk, on his 2nd Highball before noon – scheming of ways to manipulate the masses into purchasing products they don’t want or need. Kind of a nasty picture, isn’t it?

I have new obsession. Fine, addiction. Alright – problem. Spikeball. Not a day has gone by in the last month where we haven’t played a pick-up game at the gym.

I first saw Spikeball on an episode of Shark Tank. It looked cheap, cheesy, and far too difficult to play. Then, my brother-in-law sent me a video of some guys playing it in a park in Denver. I searched for it on YouTube and found that they actually have a board that sanctions official events. I sent a video to a coach and asked him if he’d be down to play if I bought one. 48 hours of Amazon Prime later, and I’m a proud owner of a Spikeball set.

Did Spikeball “market” to me? Honestly, who knows. Yeah, Shark Tank is a HUGE platform to make consumers aware of products. But, I didn’t immediately go online to buy one. Was my brother-in-law a paid ambassador for the brand? Not that I know of.

After I searched for a YouTube video of the sport, I saw other cool videos “suggested” to me as I visited other websites – including Facebook. Did they drop a cookie in my browser to follow me around the internet? I’m sure of it.

But, the videos were actually really cool. The people in the videos looked like me, were having fun, and appeared to be social and active. Check. I saw myself in their shoes. I related to their story.

Once it came in via UPS we broke it out immediately. I assembled the rig, attached the net, and began to read the rules of play. We were instantly hooked. The cool YouTube videos and social proof from my brother-in-law all lived up to the hype. I’ve had so much fun with the product that we even played it as an ice-breaker at a recent seminar at the gym. I post videos on Instagram almost weekly. I send Snaps to my teammates. Members of our gym have even begun to joke that it’s all we do all day long.

So, was this “Marketing”? Honestly, I don’t know anymore. Thankfully, social media and access to information has created the most savvy consumers ever in recorded history. “SMOKE” is no longer effective because I have access to hundreds of studies to the contrary at my fingertips.

Does internet marketing work for your gym? I don’t know… Do you share pictures of your members having fun? Do you post inspirational quotes on social media? Do you have opportunities for your members to bring their friends to social events? Do you send out a newsletter? Do you have a referral incentive (even if it’s a thank-you note)? Do your coaches high-five your members after a job well-done? Do you ask members to give you a review online?

These are all stories. Stories of your business. Stories of results. Stories of your product. The harsh reality is that there are a million things competing for our attention. You could have the best programming, coaching, community, results, members, and events of any gym in your city. Actually, I’m sure you do; the fact that you’re reading this means you give a damn. But, who hears those stories if they’re never shared?

A good product must be given a platform to be shared. Had Spikeball been a complete bust, it’d be in the trash and never spoken of again. Quality of product matters. Sharing the story of that product matters.

So, maybe we need a name change? Maybe instead of Marketing we call it Storytelling? Sharing? Social Proof? Branding?

Whatever you call it – share it. You, your members, and your community must have multiple opportunities to know your Story. I know your product is spot-on. Give your heroes a platform to share.

Check out our New MOMENTUM Marketing Plans >

Introducing our first business seminar

By | Blog, Branding, Business Help, Financial Help | 7 Comments
When we talk about improving fitness across broad time and modal domains, it’s simple to figure out where we’re weakest.

When it comes to our business, though, we sometimes struggle to know what we don’t know.

  • Tighten up our billing system?
  • Write clearer staff contracts?
  • Keep clients around longer?
  • Buy new bars?
  • Change our phone plan?
  • Sign a new lease?
  • Which comes first, which isn’t necessary?
  • When do I take more risk, and when do I take more money?
The answer: YES!
  • Keep people happy
  • Bill them on time
  • Offer extra services
  • Simplify your relationships
  • Grow
  • Reduce stress
  • Spend less time
  • Make more money
  • Do them all
The secret is to start from the ground up

Begin building a business, step by step, that reflects who you ARE, and gives you what you WANT from life.

Start from Square One (we’ll help you find it!) and finish with a gym that works for you…instead of the gym where you work. We’ll help you draw a map, and guide you down the path to the true entrepreneurial lifestyle. On January 26th & 27th, we’ll take you through the process, step-by-step.


321GoProject will be at CrossFit Proper in Corona, CA on Jan 26 & 27, 2013

PRESENTERS: Clay Weldon & Chris Cooper, along with a guest speaker soon to be announced!

Some of the topics covered during the seminar:

  • Why branding builds trust
  • Using website to turn visitors into clients
  • Practical tips to optimize your current website
  • Creative ideas you can use to promote your box
  • Identify weak areas – where are you literally leaking money every day?
  • Find ways to increase revenue without increasing costs
  • Train your staff to think and act the way YOU do
  • Build a system for growth
  • Clearly see the opportunities you’re missing every month
  • Sleep in, take a long weekend…or retire
  • Clone yourself
  • Become the go-to Expert in your area…or the world
  • Help your clients find JOY in your gym

You have two options for the weekend:

  1. Attend both days for $449
  2. Attend one day for $249

To maximize the experience of our participants, we have limited registration available.
Register here >>

BONUS: We’re starting our first Fuel group immediately after the seminar, and participants in the seminar will have first chance to sign up. Our Fuel group consists of no more than 6 affiliate owners who will gather online weekly via a video conference to work through our 10 week mentoring program run by Chris Cooper.

A Great CrossFit Website: Where Design Meets Content

By | Blog, Branding, Branding & Website Advice | 3 Comments

Fran’s old car is just not cutting it anymore.

She realizes it’s doing more harm than good, so she begins the process of searching for a new one.

Fran heads down to the local used car dealer and begins to walk the car lanes, looking for the perfect car. She wants something that looks good. She’s got a reputation to keep up. But she also wants something reliable. The shiny red convertible catches her eye, but when she opens the door, cigarette smoke fills her nose and she sees the interior has been trashed.

She moves down the line and walks past a few boxy, gray station wagons. Not bad cars, but they lack the excitement and appeal she is looking for. Fran wants a car that looks and feels good.

Your website is like the car. Maybe it looks good on the outside, but the interior is confusing, unclear, or poorly written. Maybe your website is boring. You may KNOW that a new client would love your Box if they made it past your website…

How well does your website encourage new visitors to take the next step?

  • Does your site have a great design, but lacks some serious content or clear calls to action?
  • Does your site need some serious design help, but the content is clear and easy to understand?

Your website must be a cohesive mix of both design and content

A good design attracts people, but good content keeps them. You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of your audience before they click on your competitor’s site.

It works both ways: if your website looks amazing, but the content on it isn’t well written and easily understood, then a potential client will still leave your site. If your site lacks a solid design, then your audience won’t even stick around long enough to consume your content, no matter how well it is written.

At 321GoProject, we believe both design and content play an integral role in attracting new clients

When a visitor clicks on your site, you want them to like what they see, make it ridiculously simple for them to find the info they are seeking, and tell them what action to take next.

photo credit: mikebaird via photopin

What if you were the trusted resource in your area for all things that relate to box programs? Like most Affiliate owners, you’re probably 10x more knowledgable than your average client. Why not use your own website platform to share your knowledge with the public?

We have built our business by sharing the information that we use ourselves. We don’t “market” by sending mass spam emails on a regular basis. We build our business on referrals from delighted clients. By providing content on a regular basis, we have built trust within our community. You can do the same.

If you want to separate yourself from your competition, here are things you can do:

  1. Make sure you show up on the first page of Google Search. This is where people find you. If you don’t show up, you might as well not even exist. Start by making sure your free Google Places account is setup here.
  2. Have a well-designed website. You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of the viewer. If your site isn’t perfect, use us or find someone who can help. You are missing opportunities EVERY DAY.
  3. Evaluate your site content. If you’re not proud of your posts, no one else will notice them. If you know anyone who can write some professional content for you, ask them to start right away. If not, we have a professional copywriter who understands what your visitors are looking for.

Your website is your welcome mat

If a client will open the door, you can share your passion with them and convert them into a client. Take some time to create a website that welcomes visitors into your house. And, of course, if you just don’t know where to start and feel stuck, we are always willing to listen and offer any support where we can. Feel free to give us a call: 435-901-2173