Can You DIY the Marketing of Your Business?

By | Business Help, Digital Marketing, Hub, Julie Weldon, Marketing, Social Media | 2 Comments

Marketing exists for the ultimate purpose of getting leads in your door and turning those leads into sales.

We’re a company who specializes in marketing, so we’ve seen it all. Everything from… logos done on Word, websites still live that were cobbled together back in 2010, Facebook ads that aren’t producing leads, not showing up until 4 or 5 pages into a Google search, businesses trying to grow without any marketing plan in place.

And these people wonder why they are in the same place they were this time last year (or 3 years ago).

Truth be told, there is a lot that goes into effectively marketing a business, including things like a dynamic website that works just as well on a mobile device as it does a computer, promoting and delivering fun events, producing quality videos, capturing testimonials, a creative and professional logo and brand, an engaging newsletter, writing blogs, managing social media accounts, creating landing pages, writing eBooks, showing up in the first three of the Google search, banners, t-shirts designs, email automation software with campaigns, scheduling software, FB ads that actually convert, understanding solid analytics. To 95% of small business owners, this list is both overwhelming and exhausting.

But the problem is… if you don’t pay attention to these things, you will get left behind.

So, can you DIY your marketing?

I recently started a podcast. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I spent (wasted) trying to learn how to publish a podcast. Just creating the website alone and connecting it to the hosting software and iTunes took me an embarrassing amount of research and time, only to finally throw my hands up in frustration. I don’t even want to think about how much that DIY cost me. My intention was to save money because we were on a limited budget (like $0), which clearly did not happen. In my frustration, I reached out to my nephew who does this for a living. $50 and 2 days later (obviously, that’s the family discount), he had me up and running. But, more than just “up and running”, his work gave me the confidence that it was actually done right.

It needs to be noted that there is a big difference between something that is an expense and something that is a critical value add. Cable is an expense. Electricity is a critical value add. Starbucks is an expense. Vegetables are a critical value add. LuLuLemon clothing is an expense. Clothing is a critical value add. You get the point.

An expense is an added nice to have or luxury, a critical value add is imperative for success.

How can you know if investing in the effective marketing your gym is an expense or if it’s a critical value add?

Given the fact that based on the majority of conversations we have with gym owners, the number one thing they need help with is getting leads, I’d say marketing is a critical value add component of your business.

We’ll ask the question again… can you DIY your marketing?

Sure, but only if you have the right tools and know how to use them. When learning new skills, you have to ask yourself the question, is this something that will benefit me in the long run? Or is it a “trendy” thing, like Facebook ads, that always changes and I’m going to have to keep re-learning it to stay current?

Setting up my podcast was something I only needed to do one time. It would have made a whole lot more sense to hire it out in the beginning rather than waste my time – and essentially money because time is money – trying to learn it myself. (and I should know this.)

We want to help. That’s why we’ve spent the last year and a half developing the Hub platform. It’s our solution to you being able to save money while upping your marketing game. The affordable monthly cost gives you access to an extensive library of video courses, and a litany of plug-n-play templates. If you only watched the step-by-step “How to Create Facebook ads” or downloaded the Staff Handbook template and applied it to you business, that’d be well worth the amount of a year subscription to Hub. Instead of searching Google for hours, Hub is a one stop shop. It also gives you access to our private FB group, which is unlike any other FB group page resource in the industry. 

So, one more time… can you DIY your marketing by piecemealing and Google searching and cobbling together what you’ve learned?  Sure. Anyone can do it. But, you have to look at what results your current efforts are producing for you. How many leads are coming in your door? The real question then is should you DIY your marketing?

Check out a Free 7 day trial of Hub today!  If you don’t like it, you can cancel. No strings attached. 🙂 And for only $99 more/month, you can add a M3 group for weekly accountability with peer gym owners and a 321Go Business Coach to make sure you’re implementing what you’re learning.

You’d probably never attempt to build a house – even if you had the blueprint and tools – if you didn’t have any experience. Surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing and the going will be much easier… we promise.

How To Make Videos That People Want To Watch

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

There’s a lot of noise out there in social media land. Everybody is wanting to jump in and contribute their two cents.

“Blogs are popular? I’ll write blogs.” “Videos are the new thing? Let me get out my phone and create some.” Problem is, a lot of times two cents equals just that… not much. Just more noise to clog up your feed.

We wrote an article a month ago about How to Use Video To Generate Leads, now let’s take that blog post a step further.

One thing is certain, all videos are not created equal.

So how do you create a video that stands out above the noise and gets people to want to click and watch, and ultimately buy what you’re selling?

I googled the most viral YouTube videos of 2016 to see what made them so contagious. I wanted to know the themes, the components that made them irresistible.

Here are a few things that stood out to me:

  • They tap into an emotion – either hilarity, happiness, cheering for the underdog… viewers love having feelings and emotions stirred up.
  • They make you smarter – they educate, inform, and give you useful knowledge to be the hit at the next dinner conversation.
  • They have cute kids in them – because who doesn’t want to watch a cute kid be cute?
  • They are like a bad trainwreck – you know you should look away, but something makes you keep watching until it’s over.
  • They are relatable and personable – you usually find yourself wanting to become friends with the person or people in the videos because you are “so much like them”.
  • They are authentic – your videos actually don’t have to be perfect and professional, but they do have to feel “real”.
  • They are entertaining – humor is a great addition to any movie. Add in bloopers, keep in “mistakes”.

Another point to note: it’s an extra bonus if you make your video engaging without any sound. You can do this by avoiding dialogue altogether, or making sure that you include high-quality closed captioning (you can outsource this or do it yourself).

The truth is that nobody will care (and click) if you just turn your video on during a class and do a pano of the activity. What they will care about is if you do a close up of someone (who looks real and relatable) hitting a PR while everyone around them cheers. Or if you do a fun educational video about nutrition that is funny and endears them to you.

Like all things in business, your videos need to have a strategy and serve a purpose.

If you’re not shooting videos to promote your business, now’s a good time to start. And if you are capturing things on video, take your video’ing up a notch and include at least one thing from the list above.

Don’t just add more noise for the sake of “doing videos”. Instead of being noise, make your videos sing and be like music. When you do, people will watch and want to be a part of what you’re doing.

Need help with your marketing? We’d love to talk with you. 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.

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Gym

By | Branding & Website Advice, Clay Weldon, Digital Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

I have a love-hate relationship with social media. My guess is you do too.

So many businesses, friends, and groups fighting for our attention wanting us to be part of whatever they are up too.

You also have a growing business which relies on brand awareness, and in case you’ve been living under a rock, social media is the way we give people a glimpse into what our business provides as well as the culture around it.

Here are 5 ways you can overcome your social media fears and turn them into action:

Develop a Simple Plan.

You don’t have to overthink this one. You don’t have to be on all the platforms, just the ones where your customers are, which are typically Facebook and Instagram. Now think about what type of content you would want to see. Go take a look at what your competitors are posting and ask yourself if it’s compelling, interesting to you, or is the same old boring stuff you see from all the other other gyms. If that’s the case, then don’t follow their lead. Stand out.

Use Good Visuals.

Think about what makes you linger on a post, what makes you stop scrolling up or down and read something. Usually, it’s the visuals. A captivating image, a video that looks worth your time, an infographic that has info you’re interested in. We are in an age where people are willing to spend less and less time on reading long prose. Flavor your posts with images and video like salt and pepper and your chances of generating interest increase ten-fold.

Pay Close Attention To Your Headlines.

Your headline is the first thing a potential reader sees, and if it’s not engaging enough, it may be the last. It’s often said in marketing circles that 4 out of 5 people will read your headline, but only 1 out of 5 will read the body copy. Upworthy co-founder, Peter Koechley, says, “The difference between a good headline and a bad headline can be just massive. It’s not a rounding error. When we test headlines we see 20% difference, 50% difference, 500% difference. A really excellent headline can make something go viral.” Think about what makes you click when headlining your posts or web content.

Pay to Play.

Gone are the days when you can share a post on your Facebook page hoping it shows in someone’s feed. Did you know that even if you have lots of people who have “liked” your Facebook page, only a very small percentage (approx. 1-3%) even see your posts unless you pay for them? With that said, you still don’t have to invest a large budget to get in front of the right people. Just remember if you want to get your post in front of people, you have to pay for it. Fortunately, Facebook has made it really easy to target the right people and run ads. Good resources can be found here.

Build Relationships with other Local Businesses.

You are a local business. Most likely you don’t have any desire to open 25 more gyms across the country, or even across your state. There is power in developing genuine relationships with other local businesses where you cross-promote each other’s services. Think outside the box – pet grooming services, wineries/breweries, day care facilities, restaurants, massage therapists, jewelry stores, chiropractic offices, etc. Any place where your members (or potential members) visit/shop. Maybe highlight one local business a week on your social media, tagging them. The more you help (promote) others, the more others want to help (promote) you.

In this day and age, people live on social media. If you want to grow your gym, it’s worth your time to be on there as well.

6 Quick & Easy Tips To Improve Your Website

By | Blog, Branding & Website Advice, Digital Marketing, Julie Weldon | No Comments

Website

We want to help you make the most of your website. Your online presence is your most important marketing tool.

If you do it wrong you’ll confuse, and ultimately, lose people. The goal is to make it be a warm and inviting place where people enjoy their visit so that they want to come back again and again.

There are a number of technical things – like faster load time, backend optimization, A/B testing, unique title tags and meta descriptions, h2 tags, etc. – that would dramatically improve user experience and your website’s effectiveness, but those aren’t our focus for this post.

We want to focus on the exterior of the house and the interior decorations, so to speak. Here are a few tips that can help skyrocket the level of engagement of curious searchers.

Replace your current expert athlete website images with “normal” smiling faces.

Visitors who come to your site want to see that they can be successful in achieving their goals by seeing people who look like them. They need that emotional pull. They’ll connect with fun, not grimacing and pain. The average Joe or Jane looking for a new place to work out probably wouldn’t to be able to visualize themselves doing the majority of things most business owners have displayed on their websites.

Change your About Us page.

Most of the fitness websites I’ve visited have pictures of coaches hitting their PR’s. That’s great that your coaches are strong and are hitting records, but it does little to nothing for your visitors. And THAT’s who your website is for. If these are the types of images you have on display, replace them with one of two things: 1) a happy, fun picture of you/your coaches doing something you love outside of the gym, or 2) a 1-2 minute video that captures your personality. This will make a visitor feel like they “know” you before ever stepping foot in your business.

Make the words on your site fun.

Your business has a personality. It most likely stems from your personality, but it also comes to life with your coaches and members. Choose your words carefully and make sure they evoke the kinds of emotion you want to capture.

Simplify your message.

Your understanding of your business is most likely a 9 or 10 (out of 10). You get it. You know the lingo, the terms, the product, all of it, like the back of your hand. Quite the opposite, the understanding of those visiting your website is most likely a 1 or 2. In order to get them to stick around, speak their language.

Treat visitors like a first date.

You wouldn’t tell everything about yourself on a first date (hopefully). That’d be overwhelming. Some things are saved for the 2nd, 5th, and 200th date. So goes with your website. Tell them the important things, and then let them ask for more information.

Capture the email addresses of those who want more.

Sticking with the theme above, if you liked the person on your first date, you want to know more. So, you find ways to engage with them to learn more about them. Have places on your website where they can download things to give you their email address so that you can take it to the next date.

In this day and age, having a good website is critical. But having people really connect with your brand when they visit your website is what separates the exceptional businesses from the others down the street.

Don Miller, founder of StoryBrand, has a 3-pronged “Grunt test” for a website:

  1. What do you offer?
  2. How is it going to make my life better?
  3. What do I need to do to buy it?

Take a minute now to check out your website…  are the three things above super clear?  If not, we’d love to help.  We’d be happy to jump on a 15-20 minute call with you talk through your site and give you pointers on how you can make it better – just click here to schedule!