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

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!

If You Build It Sorry But… They Probably Won’t Just Come.

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

If you don’t focus on marketing your business, your business will not be successful. It’s as simple as that.

Your network of friends and family will only go so far to keep you afloat. Then what?

Here’s the common progression for many aspiring small business owners… they have a dream, they invest significant amounts of money (and time) into making that dream a reality, they finally get to the point where they have their grand opening, and then… they embrace (to whatever degree) the “if you build it, they will come” mentality.

After they’ve exhausted their network, they enter the stage of “desperation” – whether it’s 3 months or 3 years down the road. We’ve all seen it, and we know it when we are the ones living it.

Desperation appears in three all too familiar behaviors: 1) trying any new “thing” that comes into view without even doing the homework to see if it’s really a fit, 2) doing the same things and expecting different results, and 3) clinging onto the hope that things will turn around.

But, we all know none of these things actually work – in business or in life. Unfortunately, desperation is rarely attractive.

Since the majority of small business owners have very little experience in marketing, the “if you build it, they will come” mentality is understandable, but in no way is it a successful path for growth.

So what do you do?  

Let’s look to Starbucks for our inspiration. Whether or not you are a Starbucks fan, the fact of the matter is Howard Schultz and his team are brilliant marketers. What have they done? They have built a wildly successful business around a cup of coffee. Their idea was once the size of your business. So, how have they grown from approximately 7,000 stores in 2003, to more than 25,000 stores in 2017?

They have converted coffee into a luxury item.

They have transformed an everyday beverage into an experience that tons of people gladly pay (probably more than they should) for.

Here are a few things, in my opinion, they do extraordinarily well.

  • They get personal with their customers. You are not a number in Starbucks, you have a name. And you are known and called by your name. This matters to people. A lot.
  • They add value. I recently went to a local coffee shop to do work. I got my cup of coffee, got all settled in my spot, went to connect to their wifi, only to realize that they didn’t have free wifi. While maybe a “little” thing, this messed up my day of work. I get it. They don’t want people sitting around for hours on one cup of coffee, but I haven’t been back there since, and I’ve been to Starbucks (with free wifi) a countless number of times. The added value keeps people coming back again and again. If Starbucks took away the free wifi,  they would more than likely see a significant drop in customers. A small price to pay for loyalty.
  • They do their research. Here’s a tip: if you want to know where to invest in real estate, see where the new Starbucks are popping up. They relentlessly study the trends and move to an area before it’s cool. And when they bring in a new store, they often add more than one. This makes it feel like they are everywhere. They know that “competition” is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s helpful for the consumer to see your business as a “movement” – something that so many people are buying into that more providers are needed.
  • They are known for doing one thing really well. Starbucks is undeniably known for coffee (again, whether you like it or not). If you come in for a cup of coffee, you may also want a snack, or a bottle of water, or a pound of coffee to take home. They have these things, but they are hyper-focused on providing many variations of their “one thing”.
  • They aren’t afraid to charge more than people think it may be “worth”. I recently heard a statement that has left a deep impression on me. “Price conveys quality”. Think about how true this is. If you have a $10 bottle and a $50 bottle of wine in front of you, you will automatically assume that the $50 bottle will taste better in a side-by-side comparison. If you pay double for a cup of coffee at Starbucks than at a gas station, you will most assuredly expect a better cup of coffee.

A smart small business owner knows they don’t need everyone to buy their service or product. Instead, they get really clear on who and how many they want to serve and then go after finding these people and making them raving fans.

Sales (profitable sales) pays the bills. Marketing is what brings in those sales. Make sure you are focused on the right things.

Are you sending the message that your services are a “luxury” item? If you build it, and market it well… people will come.

Need help with all this? This is why we are in business. We help you make the complex world of marketing simple. We’d love to talk – just schedule a call here with us.