Should You Give Things Away For Free?

By | Branding & Website Advice, Building Community, Business Help, Digital Marketing, Financial Help, How To, Hub, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Marketing, Resources, Social Media, Staffing & Coaches, Starting a Gym, Tips | 2 Comments

We recently wrapped up an online Gym Owners Growth Summit with 3,000+ participants from almost every country in the world. THREE THOUSAND. That’s pretty amazing, especially since we were hoping for 500 this first year. The speakers were the best minds in the industry and they were curated to give some of their most solid advice for growing a gym. Three days of advice from the best. And, the most incredible part about it… it was free (except for the time needed, of course, to attend the sessions).

They say nothing in life is free, but this Summit really was free. Because, here at 321GoProject, we know many gym owners can’t afford all the expenses associated with traveling to a weekend seminar or the costs associated with hiring a mentor to grow their gym. Or, they live in other countries and don’t have as many resources available as we do here in the U.S.

People have a wide range of opinions about free. The majority are thankful, but of course you also have the naysayers. Some of these critics say things like, “People won’t value it if you give it away for free.” or “The content can’t be as good if it’s free.”, or “Paying money holds people accountable to take action.”

While I agree with these sentiments, I also know and have experienced firsthand that when you can give something of high quality away for free, it nurtures a relationship and fosters trust. Good people conclude, “wow, if they’re this committed to giving something of this quality away for free, what value must their paid services offer?”

What if you went into a coffee shop and connection to wi-fi wasn’t free?  Of course it costs the shop something to provide it, so following the arguments above… people wouldn’t value it (or you), or they won’t use it properly, or whatever. But, we all know a coffee shop offering free wi-fi only draws us in and makes us a more loyal consumer than one that doesn’t.

The reality is the challenge of free lies with the person actually receiving the free, not the free itself. (You might want to read that again.) If someone is a GSD (get sh!t done) kind of person, they will understand the value and maximize the potential of what’s being offered, whether it’s free or not. If they are not a GSD kind of person, they will have lots to naysay about why it’s ridiculous to give something away.

What’s more important though is being able to answer the question – does giving something away for free align with your values as a company?

Our values at 321Go are the following:

  1. We learn. We create. We give.
  2. We will be financially sound so we can invest into relationships.
  3. We will never assume because we know that clarity wins.
  4. We will lead by example.
  5. We will be the leader in delivering an incredible client experience.
  6. We will be ethical in our decisions and won’t compromise or take shortcuts.

So, you see, giving something as huge as 3 day access to a Summit fits right in line with a number of our values. When values and actions align, let all the critics say what they will.

Given that, we know many don’t have time to sit for 3 days watching training sessions so we decided to offer a 30 Day Pass for only $69. Literally, hundreds are seeing the crazy value in this.

So, here we are in an industry where, admittedly, many gym owners are incredible people and amazing trainers, but know very little about actually running a gym.

And, for just $69, we’re offering 25 sessions with the experts on how to grow your gym.

I’m not sure if this is for you, but just imagine how your business would change if you committed to watching just 1 session a day for the next month.… You’d have tools on marketing, how to create Facebook ads, creating a strategic plan, how to create videos that convert, how to set up effective retail, what insurance options are right for you, how to set up Profit First in your business, actionable tips on how to hire and how to be a good leader, to name just a few.

Most won’t do this because they will get caught up in the urgent of the day.  And 3 months from now, their business will be the same (or worse).

But for those of you who do, you will have a completely different business 3 months from now for only $69.

To what extent you are willing to suffer or sacrifice or be disciplined to get the growth that you want in your gym?

Sometimes free really is good.

5 Tips & Tricks To Get Found Online

By | Blog, Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, Digital Marketing, How To, Hub, Joshua Sturgeon, Julie Weldon, Marketing, Matt Scanlon, SEO Help | No Comments

We’ve spent the month of August in Hub focused on SEO and getting found when people are looking online. We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again…

It’s virtually pointless to invest time and money into a website if you’re not also going to invest time and money into making sure that website gets found.

It’s a little like having a mailbox, but not putting an address on it. You’re probably not going to get much mail.

Matt Scanlon, founder and owner of CrossFit Memorial Hill has done the work with SEO, using the SEO resources provided by Josh Sturgeon in Hub. Because of that, he now shows up everywhere online when people are looking in his area for a gym, or fitness, or nutrition, or anything to do with the services he offers.

We asked him to give us the top 5 things he drilled down on when getting himself ranked high in the Google searches. The list below is his Cliff Notes version of where you should focus your efforts for the biggest bank for your buck. He even ranked them according to Cost, Time, and Technical Know-How (1 being low, 5 being high).

Most Impactful Things To Focus On For Overall Rankings:

1. Reviews – Cost: 0 | Time: 1 | Technical Know-How: 1

Reviews are singlehandedly the most important thing you can do to show up online. We wrote another article on why they are so important. If you focus on nothing else, focus on this.

Tips:

 – If you have a a lot of drop-in’s, offer their 2nd drop in free with a Google review.

 – If you’ve done (or are doing) the Bingo game, make “leave a review” a square.

 – Simply ask your members… they most likely think you’re pretty great!

 – Biggest thing: Create a system for getting reviews.

 

2. NAP: Name, Address & Phone Number – Cost: 0-2 | Time: 4 | Technical Know-How: 2

Google doesn’t like inconsistency. If you have different addresses in different places, it confuses Google. Even down to if you have “Street” in one place and “St.” in another. Make sure you use the exact same address anywhere you show up.

Tip: Use https://moz.com/local to get a score for your consistency. You can then opt to go and change everything manually or pay to have Moz do it for you (in Matt’s opinion, it’s worth paying for).

 

3. Local Listings – Cost: 0-2 | Time: 5 | Technical Know-How: 2

This is, basically, just getting your website on other local websites – Chamber of Commerce, fitness center listings, City Visitors page – ANYTHING you can think of. This will take a tremendous amount of time on your part.

Tip: If you have free interns – set them to this task. If not, pay the money to have Whitespark.ca do it for you. It’s a few bucks a listing and well worth your time. Their set-up doc takes a long time, but they use it for any projects going forward. (again, Matt’s opinion, it’s worth the cost)

 

4. Guest Blog Articles – Cost: 0 | Time: 4 | Technical Know-How: 3

Is there a local website that gets a TON of traffic?  If so, ask them if you can submit some content for them. Establish your expertise. Or, if you’re not a writer, have one of your coaches write something.

Tip: Make sure that your website is listed in the content or your bio.

 

5. Yoast SEO Premium Plugin – Cost: 2 | Time: 5 | Technical Know-How: 4

This is a last line of defense. You can optimize pages and blogs with this plugin, but it can feel a bit tedious and overwhelming if you’re not comfortable on WordPress and with blogging.

Tip: If you don’t have a regular blog, don’t bother here, focus on #1-4 first.

 

These tips are not magic bullets, but they do work if you’re disciplined to make them happen. And you will see, there is a good amount of low-hanging fruit that you will find if you commit yourself to doing the work.

Want step-by-step help? We’ve got and handful of exceptional video courses in Hub that teach you how to optimize your website so that you get found, every time. Check them out for only $10 for the first month of Hub.

 

 

Also… if you haven’t registered yet for the 1st Annual Gym Owner’s Growth Summit, do so today!!  It’s FREE and it’s 3 days of content from some of the greatest minds in our industry!!

How To Be Sure You Are Showing Up Online When Potential Leads Are Searching

By | Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, How To, Hub, Julie Weldon, Marketing, SEO Help | No Comments

Ever wonder if your gym actually shows up when people search for a gym online? Well, you’re not alone.

If you ask the majority of small business owners how well their website is performing in online searches, most don’t have a clue. But, it’s important to remind you that if you’re not getting found when people are looking, you’ve thrown good money after bad when you invested in your website. One of the main points of a website is to market to your potential leads, so if you’re not showing up, your website is like a dull blade.

Each month we release new content in Hub. For August, the content is all about Local SEO and Getting Found Online. And you can check it out for only $10 for the first month.

Here’s a sneak peak into the content you’d have access to once in there…

INTRODUCTION

Everybody wants to show up on the first page of Google, right? Of course! It makes no sense to have a website that doesn’t get viewed. But, the truth is, not many gyms are showing up in those prime spots. Why? Because no one really know how to make it happen.

Is this you?

  • Not 100% sure if your Google Places page is optimized.
  • Not sure where you rank on Google for the keywords you want to rank for and definitely not sure how to take actionable steps to increase their ranking.
  • Not clear on the key drivers that affect your ability to rank higher.

This month, we’re committed to walking with you in helping you understand what it takes to get your website found.


GAME PLAN FOR AUGUST

GSD 1: Watch the “Local SEO 100: Introduction” course (Approx 29 minutes)
GSD 2: Watch the “SEO 101: Get Your Website Fit” course (Approx 52 minutes)
GSD 3: Watch the “SEO 200 Part 1: Understanding Citations and Reviews” course (Approx 41 minutes)
GSD 4: Watch the “SEO 200 Part 2: Link Building Tactics for Gym Owners” course (Approx 40 minutes)
GSD 5: By the end of the month, make sure your gym’s Google My Business Listing is 100% optimized based off the course. Use the “Hub Google My Business Checklist” pdf for reference
GSD 6: Have a plan in place to get at least 8 new Google reviews each month

By the end of this month, you should:

1. Have completed the “Local SEO 100: Introduction” course
2. Have completed the “SEO 101: Get Your Website Fit” course 
3. Have completed the “SEO 200 Part 1: Understanding Citations and Reviews” course
4. Have completed the “SEO 200 Part 2: Link Building Tactics for Gym Owners” course
5. Confirm you have your Google My Business Listing page setup properly
6. Have an ongoing plan to get at least 8 Google reviews per month

For only $10, you could work through this Game Plan and have confidence that your potential leads are finding you when and where they are looking online. Check it out today!

 

Also… if you haven’t registered yet for the 1st Annual Gym Owner’s Growth Summit, do so today!!  It’s FREE and it’s 3 days of content from some of the greatest minds in our industry!!

Does Your Website Include These 9 Essential Elements?

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

Your website is the online version of your gym.

People will decide within 5-10 seconds if they want to give you their business… or not. Gone are the days where you can get away with an unprofessional website. If your site does not look solid and is easy to use, you are losing potential clients. Guaranteed.

We all know our website has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. But most of us don’t give it the attention it needs to make sure it’s accomplishing its purpose.

This month our Hub and blog focus is all on websites. In last week’s blog post we provided 5 Reasons a Solid Website is Important. You have to know that it’s important to have a rock solid website before you’ll actually focus on yours to make it better.

In this blog post, we will walk through the essential elements of a strong lead-generating website and how to make sure each is included.

First things first, find someone you trust who will be completely honest with you. Now, have them do the “10 second test” on your website. The 10 second test involves answering these 4 questions:

  • What is this site about? This can be communicated through logo, slogan, and the content copy you choose.
  • Does it capture my interest? Is it an up-to-date design that seems well thought out? Do the images evoke some sort of emotion?
  • What am I supposed to do? Is there a clear call to action (CTA)?
  • Do I want to share this experience? Is it a compelling enough message that one of their first thoughts is to share it with someone else?

If your honest friend struggles to answer two or more of these, it’s likely time to revisit your site design.

Once you complete the 10 second test, dive a little deeper to see if your website includes these 9 essential elements:

  1. Built for the first time visitor – You can’t convince them. They must convince themselves. Design is important, but words are what sells your services.
  2. Has a captivating one-liner that describes the service you offer. This can be created by answering these 3 questions – “What is the problem most of your potential clients have?”, “What is the product/service you offer that solves their problem?, and “What’s the resolution your client will experience by using your service?”
  3. Uses quality images of happy people. Your site should visually display what success looks like by coming to your gym. Capture those moments once someone feels like they fit in. high five, supportive, hanging out after the wod, mobility, outside the gym.
  4. Tells success stories – people love to envision themselves in the stories of success that you tell.
  5. Includes social proof – highlighting local, reputable companies you work with builds trust.
  6. Is a good user experience, on both mobile and desktop. It’s unacceptable how many people still have not optimized their website for the mobile experience.
  7. Has a clear CTA with an easy way to take the next step. Most sites are missing a CTA. Getting Started is not a CTA. Your CTA should be on every page.
  8. Has scheduling software. Do you make it super simple for someone to schedule an appointment with you through your website?
  9. Is decluttered. Less is more, remember main goal of building for first time visitor. People get confused with too many options. Avoid the curse of knowledge. Cut down on the number of pages.

How does your website measure up with this list?  If these essential elements aren’t included, you are losing leads… most likely every day.

A small investment into a solid website will pay you dividends in the future.

Here are two tools we have to help:

  1. Access to Hub – this month in Hub, our focus is all about making sure you have a lead-generating website. 321Go Founder, Clay Weldon, has created an extensive video course with a checklist to walk you through the essentials of a solid website. For access to this course (and all of Hub), sign up for only $10 for your first month today! No strings attached or commitments needed… you like it, you stay; you don’t, you cancel.  
  2. A FREE website audit. Click here to schedule a call with us and we’ll walk through your website with you to tell you the good components and the things you can improve to make it more effective.

 

Want to read more about websites? Check out these other posts we’ve written…

7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build Your Own Website

The Real Reasons People Click On Your Website

6 Quick & Easy Tips To Improve Your Website

Is Your Website Helping Or Hurting You? Find Out With Our Free Website Audit Tool

So What Exactly Does A Responsive Website Mean?

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 $10 for the first month, you can get in there where we’ll walk you through step-by-step in creating your Marketing Strategy.

It’ll be the best $10 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.