How to Create a Marketing Strategy You Feel Good About

By | Business Help, How To, Hub, Julie Weldon, Marketing | No Comments

If there’s one thing that is consistent in running a business, it’s that everyone wants more clients, more members, more customers, more people buying what they are selling.

But, the reality is… more people in the door is one of the hardest things to actually get.

And it’s called marketing.

For many business owners, marketing is a mystery. What works? What doesn’t? If it works for the guy down the street, why isn’t it working for me?

The key to your business success lies in how effectively you market your services.

You run an event, it needs to be marketed. You create a new program, it needs to be marketed. You want more members, you’ve got to market to get them.

So, how do you get your message out there in a way that people want to bite the hook?

Create your Marketing Strategy.

Why does a Marketing Strategy matter?  The short answer is: because it saves you money.

In marketing, there is strategy and there are tactics. And there is a big difference between the two. Often, we see business owners doing the latter. In hope of attracting new members, they throw a bunch of things at the wall, hoping that some of it sticks. Problem is, all that takes time, and money… and sometimes lots of both.  

John Wanamaker was famous for saying, “Half of the money I spend on advertising/marketing is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Creating a marketing strategy before you begin executing on the tactical things allows you to think through your plan and apply your limited marketing budget more effectively.

Some of the benefits of creating a Marketing Strategy include:

  1. Peace of mind from being proactive, rather than reactive with your marketing efforts
  2. Confidence in knowing you are prepared
  3. Structure in your business so that you can budget for what’s ahead
  4. Organization for your team so they know what’s coming

How do you begin creating your Marketing Strategy?

First, it’s important to spend time getting in the head of your potential client. Who are they? What do they value? When you can get clear on the specific factors that drive their choices and behavior, you will be that much closer to planning events and communicating in ways that speak to what they will buy.

Once you understand who you are messaging to, get out a calendar and think through the next 3 months. Look at the holidays, and see what events you can plan around the holidays. Decide what challenges you want to run, what specialty classes you want to offer, and what events you want to host both for your members and to attract new people in the door.

Once you schedule these in your calendar, list everything you need to do to make each one of those things happen. Focus on one event at a time, starting with the ones that are scheduled to happen first. Answer questions like… How are you going to promote it on social media? What do you need to order/reserve? Who can you bring on board to help you and delegate things to?  What email automation do you need in place to ensure good communication, leading up to the event and afterwards?

For the month of May in Hub, we are focused on helping Hubsters create a Marketing Strategy so they can realize the benefits listed above. If you’re all over the place with your marketing and never confident that what you’re doing is achieving the results that you want, join Hub. For only $99, you can get in there where we’ll walk you through step-by-step in creating your Marketing Strategy.

It’ll be the best $99 you’ve spent in a while, trust us.

If you’ve got questions, we’re always happy to jump on a call with you. Use this link to schedule at your convenience.

4 Things to Maximize Your Chances of Success in Your Business

By | Blog, Business Help, Financial Help, How To, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Marketing, Starting a Gym | No Comments

We’ve all heard the sobering statistics from the SBA that only 50% make it to the five-year mark and just one-third get to celebrate their 10-year anniversary.

If you’re reading this and you’ve made it to your 2 year mark, your 5 year mark, or maybe even your 10 year mark… huge congratulations!  We all know getting to any of these milestones is no small feat.

Because, let’s be honest… the road of an entrepreneur is never an easy one.

It often feels like going on a hike… barefoot, through a densely wooded mountainous forest, at night, with no flashlight, no food or water, and certainly no cell phone reception.

Even for the ones who seem like they have it all together.

What about the road for those who don’t make it to the 5 year mark? Or, maybe even a better question… for those that do? Starting a business and staying open 5 years is a monumental undertaking.

We’ve spoken with countless gym owners who are tired. We’ve spoken to ones who look like they’ve built a huge business because of the number of members they have, but they’re not profitable. For those people, business isn’t fun, it’s stressful. These owners got into the business because they loved helping others, and now it’s turned into the exhausting business of well, running a business.

So how can you make sure that you’re in the small percentage of folks who actually succeed and don’t get burnt out along the way?

Here are a few of the key things based on our experience:

1. Pay Attention to Your Cash Flow. This is the number one sinker for small businesses. Most people who start a business aren’t a “numbers person”, so they don’t ever really have control over or understanding of their numbers. Huge mistake. As a result, they don’t pay themselves, and are constantly focused on not having enough.

Suggestion: If this is you, stop putting this off. Commit now to focusing on getting comfortable with and knowing your numbers. First things first, order a copy of Profit First today, and set up your business using this financial system. It will get you in control of your numbers, have you paying yourself right away, and radically change your cash flow challenges. But, be prepared to work the system. There are no magic bullets!

2. Have a Marketing Strategy in Place. You would never (or very rarely) start a vacation or a building project without a plan. So, why do so many small businesses open their doors without a plan for how they are going to grow? Many owners we talk with are years in and haven’t created a marketing plan. Working without a plan will only get you so far. With so much competition rising up, those who have a plan that they’re executing on will be the ones who get out in front of the pack.

Suggestion: Join Hub. For the month of May in Hub, we’re focused on helping all Hub subscribers develop and execute on their Marketing Plan. We provide the how to, templates, courses, resources, and the expertise needed to ensure Hubsters are focused on the right thing.

3. Surround Yourself with Other Like-Minded Owners. A strong, supportive group offers you the ability to positively change. To see what others are doing, and use their experience to make changes in your own business, can be a game changer for your business. It gives you the accountability to actually make the changes. And then it provides encouragement and high fives when those changes happen.

Suggestion: Again, join Hub. Our Hub subscribers have come together to form one of the most powerful communities of gym owners that exists in the industry. They are quick to say that our private Facebook group has been one of the biggest benefits of being a Hub subscriber. It’s a safe place of question asking, idea sharing, and high fiving. Just being a part of this group is worth the price of admission. To take it a step farther, you can apply to join a M3 (Momentum MasterMind) group. These are small groups of 6-8 like-minded gym owners who meet weekly. They are led by a 321Go Business Coach and are all in similar places in their business.

4. Admit What You Don’t Know and Get Help. Another big reason businesses fail is because of the incompetence of the leader. This is not meant to be a derogatory statement at all, it’s just that many gym owners aren’t equipped to run a business. They just don’t know what they don’t know. And none of us know everything. But, the ones who admit what they don’t know and are willing to invest the time and money into really learning and applying what they learn are the business owners who will be around for the long haul.

Suggestion: Find a business mentor, join an accountability group, listen to podcasts, read blogs, and become a part of a motivating and inspiring FB group. The resources are there, you just need to tap into them. Invest your time and money in ways that will grow your knowledge, and ultimately your business.

Your business is your baby. Your creation. It’s everything to you. It can become everything you dream it to be, you just have to choose the best ways to invest in it. And then, execute on what you learn.

We very much want you to succeed. So much so that everything we create and offer here at 321GoProject is geared towards that. Want to jump on a call with us? Click here to schedule one. We’d love to chat!

The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from everyone else.  – Brian Tracy

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!

Is A Goal Setting System Possible For Your Athletes?

By | Building Community, Business Help, Culture, How To, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

If we were to have a candid conversation, we would admit that for the majority of people, if not all, personal goal setting is tough. Actually, the setting of goals isn’t the hard part, We all know what we want to do differently – more, or better, or less. It’s the follow through where many of us drastically miss the mark.

But it’s even harder to do with your athletes.

It’s hard because you can’t control them. You can’t control what they do and don’t do. You can’t make them get in their car and drive to the gym. You can’t be with them every meal to help them make good choices. You can’t force them to read your blog posts and increase their learning.

I’ve spoken to a large handful of respected gym owners to get their take on setting goals for/with their athletes. Their responses have ranged everywhere from “I have tried having goal setting meetings but it just never picked up traction.” to… “We just have them post on a whiteboard in the gym.” to… “We’re trying something a bit new since we haven’t had success in the past. We’re going to assign a coach to each member….the one they tend to see the most, then we’ll have quarterly 10 min meetings to set goals at the beginning of the year and update them as the year goes on.” to… “We have them complete a 13 week success guide where they have to attend 3 sessions/week and they have to reach a goal; if they complete this, we’ll sit down with them for a longer session.”  The actions and comments varied as much as the weather, but for good reason, what works for one may not always work for another. What everyone agreed to though, is the importance of knowing – and listening to – your athletes.

If you don’t have an established process for setting goals with your members, know that you are not alone. Many in this industry are trying to figure it out just like you.

But here’s the thing you have to let sink in… Your clients aren’t buying your product, they are buying a feeling.

Read that again… Your clients aren’t buying your product, they are buying a feeling. As awesome as you make your gym, that’s NOT what they’re buying. They’re not buying a great coach, or the best programming, or a clean gym, or whatever else you’d fill in the blank. There may be the rare few who are specifically buying good coaching because they want to compete, but even that I would argue is them buying a feeling.

They are buying the feeling they get (or have created in their minds) by utilizing all those things above. So, sure… all those things matter. They matter a great deal. Especially when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from the guy down the street. But, once again… that’s NOT what they’re buying. They want to be known. They want to matter. They want to feel better about themselves. They want individualized attention (which is why they don’t choose the big, inexpensive gym down the street).

What all that means is you have to be able to identify the feeling they are looking to achieve. You have to know how to ask the right questions to get to the root of why they want to come to your gym. Is it to fit better in their jeans? Is it to feel attractive again to their significant other? Is it to have better sex? Is it to be able to keep up with their grandkids? Is it because they suffer from depression and working out is one of the few things that helps? Is it because they want to not follow the same path of unhealthy living that their parents took? Whatever it is, if you get them to name it, you’re 85% there.

Ultimately, you want to help them with a mind shift. If they keep the same attitude, doing the same things the same way, they’ll never change.

So, as we think about 2017 and how to go about helping our athletes be known and make changes in their lives, we encourage you to start small. Push yourself, but start small. Don’t try to create and execute on a totally new system where you meet with every one of your 150 athletes in the next month for individualized goal setting sessions so you can track them throughout the year. That’s too much. You’re going to get overwhelmed, frustrated, and your efforts are most definitely going to fizzle out.

Just take one or two steps forward. What did you do last year? Nothing? This year, do something. And then once you start seeing progress, you’ll find yourself beginning to think bigger and bigger.

So let’s break down a few points of entry where you can start. There are many, many ways you can go about helping people set goals – many apps, templates, etc. –  but let’s just look at three different levels of approach, depending on where you currently are today.

If you have nothing in place, start with Level 1.

Level 1Begin by having a 1-on-1 10-15 minute conversation with your athletes.

We’ve learned that it’s not safe to assume that every gym owner gets out and talks with their athletes beyond the programming. So, if you don’t regularly interact with your members, start talking with them. Break them out into manageable groups (maybe 10/week) and then intentionally determine times to meet/talk with them. Can be a scheduled meeting, or it can be an after class conversation where you focus specifically on asking them questions. Be curious. Enter in. Invest. (Remember, they want to be known by you.) And, when a new member comes in, sit down with them and ask questions like “Why did you decide to come in?’, “What’s something you’d like to get out of being a part of what we’ve got going on here?”, “When was the time that you felt really good/your best?”.

One idea for this is get a notebook that is specifically for jotting down notes about those people you have conversations with, or create an Excel spreadsheet, or make notes in your Hatchbuck CRM software. It doesn’t have to be difficult, just write their name and a few bullet points about what you heard. Then each week or month, review your notebook and remember to ask how they’re doing, or write a note. You can automate it by creating reminders. Just be intentional with this and do it. I promise you, this will produce a significant return on your investment of time.

Realize that some people have no interest in you helping them set goals, they just want to get face time with you.

If you’re already intentional about meeting with your athletes and “hearing” them, then consider Level 2…

Level 2Get a whiteboard (or paint your wall to create a whiteboard) and begin having your athletes write their goals.

Having visuals is always good and helpful. You’ll want to be sure to combine this with Level 1 activity because on the whiteboard they’ll write public goals, but in the 1-on-1 time, if you’re asking good questions, they’ll share their more personal goals. The two combined can be a powerful agent of change.

If you’ve already got some kind of visual representation of tracking people’s progress in place, check out Level 3.

Level 3 – Set 1-on-1 quarterly 10-15 minute meetings with each of your members to track the progress of their goals.

These meetings can be with you or you can assign athletes to coaches for regular, intentional conversations. You have a structure you follow for these meetings. You can set up an automated goal crushing campaign with regular reminders for check-ins and automated emails to keep them on track and motivated.

The benefits of regularly connecting with your athletes are many. To name a few… they feel heard and understood, you keep close to the pulse of what they want and need, you know them better so you notice when they’ve been absent, you differentiate yourself from the gym down the street (because 9x out of 10, they will not be doing this), and you can use these conversations to let them know of all the services you offer that would be helpful to them in a non-salesy way. It is an investment of time, to be sure, but what is a greater deposit into the relational capital of your gym than you being purposeful in helping each member get where they want to go?

Investing your time and energy into your members isn’t only about seeing the rewards you get from it within your business. It’s more about determining the costs you are willing to pay to get those results. What is their success worth to you?

An Opportunity to Implement Change in your Business

We are going to be launching, through our Hub platform, a Set & Crush Your Goals Challenge at the beginning of January. We’ll create a course in Hub where we’ll walk you through Setting & Hitting Goals. It will include templates, tools and resources to help you create and track your goals. The first two weeks, we’re going to be helping you set and develop a routine for your personal goals. The following two weeks, we’re going to be walking you through setting up a system to help your members determine and hit their goals. This Challenge will include the accountability you need through a private FB group and regular emails to make 2017 the best yet. More info on this to come!

 

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

7 Steps to Setting (& Crushing) Your 2017 Goals

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

As 2016 quickly comes to a close, many people begin to set their focus on “out with the old, in with the new”.

If we were to ask 20 people what a new year is all about, most likely at least 17 of them would say “Starting fresh and setting goals”. The other three would roll their eyes and say “that crap doesn’t work.”

Let’s be honest… most of the time goal setting doesn’t work. We get to the end (or middle) of the year and look at the list of the 25 goals we excitedly wrote down in January with great expectation and we can maybe check 3 or 4 of them off the list. Frustration and disappointment with ourselves sets in. Great that we got a few things done, but why weren’t we able to check more things off that were important enough to make the list? Why is our business still not close to where we want it? Why do we wrap up most years feeling discouraged?

Three reasons: 1) We lose focus; 2) We don’t have a plan that we’re relentlessly committed to; and 3) We don’t put the accountability structure in place to hold our feet to the fire along the way.

What has 2016 been like for you? Are you a goal setter? In our private FB group with our motivated and driven clients, there’s been a lot of talk about this topic. Especially after our 30 for 30 Hub Challenge where gym owners made some giant leaps forward in their businesses. The questions involve – How do I set personal and professional goals? How do I help athletes set goals and hold them accountable? We all want to make this new year the very best.

In this blog post, we’ll lay out a plan to help you set personal and professional goals. And then next week we’ll tackle how to help your members set and achieve their goals.

Many people have written about setting goals. Some giving a step by step plan for creating goals, some saying goal setting doesn’t work. The concepts I’m about to spell out for you aren’t new. Goal setting processes have been around since the beginning of time. As humans, we’ve been created to crave progress. What you have in the blog post is the consolidation and repackaging of some of my favorite ideas from a handful of really smart and successful people (Michael Hyatt, Donald Miller, Chris Brogan, Chris Marhefka, to name a few). It’s a result of my countless hours of study on how to best set goals that I can actually hit and celebrate.

This is only one way. But it’s a way that works.

First let me say… You have to attack this as if you were creating a plan for a new business. Resolute. Determined. Creative. Focused. Give yourself permission to think about all your options. Set aside a block of time. Take off 3-4 hours (during the time you’re most fresh and creative) and go somewhere where you can think. A coffee shop. Your kitchen table. A friend’s house (when they’re not there). Somewhere quiet and comfortable. Somewhere free from distractions. And be sure to keep your email closed and put your phone on airplane mode.

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-9-34-29-amAlright, ready? Let’s dive into the 7 Step Approach…

These steps should be completed in one sitting and each step should build on the previous.

Step 1 – Write down 3 creative words (or short phrases) that you want your life to be about this year. Think big. Mine for 2016 were “Find a Way. Inspire. Be Thoughtful.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come back to these three “words” this year to reset my thinking. Maybe for you it’ll be words like Reinvest. Untangle. Equip. Build. Home. Conduit. Focus. Magnet. Consistency. Say “No” More. Pause. Adventure. Lean In. Think of areas in your life where you want to take action. What do you want to be known for this year? Choose only three. Once you’ve chosen them, be sure to put them in places where you’ll see them often. Use these 3 words to inform all your work in the rest of the steps.

Step 2 – Write down these 10 categories – Health. Family. Friends. Love. Joy. Business. Spiritual. Learning. Finances. Fitness. Choose one big goal for each of these. Only one. Be specific. Make it measurable. Want $20k in savings? Want to remember people’s birthdays this year with a handwritten card? Want to take 2 weeks off without being completely stressed? Have you always wanted to take salsa lessons? Want to read a book a month? Think through each one and choose one big goal for each category.

Step 3 – Create one 60 Day Power Goal. Review all your 10 goals above. In this step, you’ll create one (only one) goal that you’re going to get done in the next 60 days. This will be a goal that will make a lot of those other 10 goals possible. Once you accomplish it, a handful of the 10 goals will be closer to being done. For example, maybe included in your 10 goals are something like the following… you want to be more present with your significant other, you want to not work 16 hours a day, you want to go out at least once every other week with a friend, etc. A Power Goal might be to create (and stick to) the habit of spending 30 minutes per day working on your business. This would get you focused and will directly affect a handful of your 10 goals. Your Power Goal needs to be accountable to a number. Thirty minutes every day. Don’t make this goal “comfortable”. Very little worth talking about happens inside our comfort zone. Comfortable, easy goals aren’t really goals. They are a to do list. Think big for this Power Goal. It will have a domino effect on your 10 goals.

Step 4 – Do a massive brain dump. Don’t focus on your 10 goals, focus on that one Power Goal. Write down everything you can think of that it will take for your Power Goal to become a reality. List the challenges, the steps that need to be done, the potential barriers to accomplishing it… just brainstorm for 10-20 minutes on that one Power Goal.

Step 5 – Write down how life will be different if you hit your Power Goal. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this one… just brainstorm for 5-10 minutes. Continuing with our example… if you hit your goal of establishing a 30 minute routine every day to work on your business, how would your business be different? Maybe you’d get a handle on your marketing efforts. Maybe you’d create an event calendar for the year instead of haphazardly throwing together events last minute. Maybe you’d finally get your systems and processes documented. How would your personal life be different? Would you have more time for your own fitness, friends, family, etc. if you developed laser-like focus?

Step 6 – Break your Power Goal down into 2 week sprints. This is where you begin to back into making that goal a reality. Over 60 days, you’ll have four 2 week sprints (8 weeks total). In this step, you lay out your action steps. Daily/weekly action items to move you closer to your goal. First week might be setting up reminders on your calendar, finding a template to follow (if you need that), finding and setting up accountability, etc. Second week might be identifying what you want to accomplish during your four 2 week sprints of (using our example) 30 minutes per day. The key is to work backward. You’ve got your Power Goal, now lay out the small action steps of what needs to happen to make it a reality.

Step 7 – Set up your accountability structure. First things first, set a daily reminder on your phone to determine the two things you’re going to do today to reach your 60 Day Power Goal. Next, find other people to hold you accountable. Who are those few you trust to help keep you on track?

Once you complete the first 60 days and hit your Power Goal, you will celebrate (this is important!) and then create another 60 Day Power Goal. Keep going like this throughout your year, setting 6 individual Power Goals, and by this time next year, you will have hit all 10 of your big goals.

To help with Step #7, we are going to be launching -through our Hub platform– a Set & Crush Your Goals Challenge at the beginning of January. We’ll create a course in Hub that we’ll walk you through on Setting & Hitting Goals. It will include options and templates to help you create and track your goals. The first two weeks, we’re going to be helping you set and develop a routine for your personal goals. The following two weeks, we’re going to be walking you through setting up a system to help your members determine and hit their goals. This Challenge will include the accountability you need through a private FB group and regular emails to make 2017 the best yet. Would love for you to join us! More info on this to come.

This step by step plan is not a lazy man’s way of getting things done. It requires work. It requires the discipline to not only do the work up front, but to revisit it often (at least every 60 days) and keep at it on a daily basis. The sad reality is that few will set goals that they actually achieve this year. Be different.

When you combine an insatiable drive to set goals that make an impact on your world with a refusal to throw in the towel, you give yourself the best chance of hitting that success you’ve only dreamed about before.

Join us in making 2017 the best yet!

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.  ~Pablo Picasso

 

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