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Lead generating for a couple of bucks November 02 2016

Forget mailers, door hangers, and newspaper inserts.  Just for a moment, forget those things.  Not because they don’t work.  They do work, but they also cost money.  And if I have learned anything as a fitness business coach, it is this:  Business owners, especially fitness business owners do not like to spend money on marketing.   And when they do, they expect a huge number of people to contact them and say something like, “Hey I just got this thing in the mail.  I want to come give you money right now.”

I used to own a gym, so I understand.

So, rather than try to convince you that by having a consistent, year round plan of attack, tracking responses from your efforts, and from there sales, let me instead, see if I am able to get you to jump on board with a less expensive form of marketing first.

Purchase 5000 3 inch by 5 inch passes.  Get them by clicking here:  http://hipgym.com/products/1-000-passes

This will be the best $300.00 you have ever spent. 

Now, get out a pen and paper.  Or open up word.  Whatever you prefer.

Write down all of the businesses near you.  Retail businesses. The same type of business you have, where anybody can walk on in anytime.  Hair salon, nail salon, cell phone place, convenient store, clothing store, etc.

If you have to drive around, which you likely will, do it.  Get all of these businesses on paper.

Add them up.  How many do you have?  75?  150?  122?  Whatever the number is, divide it by 8.

Example:  123 total businesses.  Divided by 8 equals 15.375.  Rounded equals 15.

Why 8?  You are going to visit each one of these businesses ONCE every two months, or roughly 8 weeks.

So, in my example, we need to visit 15 businesses per week.  Okay, now what?

Monday and Friday.  Those are the two days that I want you to visit these businesses.  Take the number of businesses per week (in my example, it is 15) by TWO. 

7.5, I will round it to 8. 

I need to visit 8 businesses on Monday and 8 businesses on Friday.

Record how many 3 inch by 5 inch passes you provide to each business.

Who are the passes for?  The employees of the these businesses.  Most of these businesses will have around 10 to 15 employees.  Give enough for 75% to 100% of employees.

Some businesses will allow you to leave passes on counters.  This is awesome.  But don’t ask on your first pass.  Get to know them a bit, but if they offer, take them up on it.  Get some cardboard holders for this scenario.

Jason, I can’t get my employees to do this.  Fire them.  Seriously, fire them right now you pussy.

Okay, before you hand them walking papers, make sure you have tried the following:

“John, our awesome salesperson, I need you to grab 100 or so passes and get outside the gym on Monday from 2pm to 3pm and from Friday 10am to 11am.  Here is the list of businesses you will visit with these passes. Simply walk in, “Hi, my name is John and I am with Awesome Blossom Fitness right down the street, and I have some awesome passes I wanted to give to you and all of the employees here at Mings Nail Salon.  How many people work here?”

Find out how many people work there, and hand somebody who works there enough passes for almost everyone.  Smile, say thanks, walk out. Record how many passes you provided.  Do this for 8 businesses. Come back to gym.”

If you do this two days of week, 52 weeks per year, going back to each business every 8 weeks, you will meet new people, including customers, you will increase “impressions” a lot and you will sell more memberships.  And then, when you do send out 5000 mailers, or 1000 newspaper inserts, or have the boyscouts distribut 1000 door hangers, those mediums will be more successful because the folks receiving them will have maybe seen some passes on counters or in their employee break room, or seen John the salesperson walking around town in his staff logo shirt and name tag.

If they still won’t do it, fire them and get employees who will.

Keep changing lives.


How to design a marketing plan. April 23 2015

Let’s say you decide to paint your home. Do you do it? Do you hire a professional? Painting is not rocket science. Yes, there is some skill and carefulness, and knowledge involved, but it isn’t like overhauling an engine.

Me, personally, I hire a professional painter. To me it is more about time. My time is worth more than the cost of hiring a professional painter. Plus, I get to help out a small business owner. Win/win.

Designing a marketing plan for your fitness business is similar, in my opinion. It isn’t the hardest thing to do. But there are professionals out there who will do it for you, and charge you a few bucks. We, at hip gym offer that service. We have a fitness business expert on our team who will design, for you, a 12 month marketing plan. The cost is only $149.00.

So, if you feel that your time is worth more than $149.00, shoot Mike an email. Mike@hipgym.com

But for the DIY folks, let me help you as it may be simply a matter of you needing to understand the basics and how to get started.

-Figure out your budget. Take your gross annual revenue. All the dollars you bring in in one year. Take that number and figure out what 7% is. Between 5% and 10% is recommended. Personally, I recommend 10%, but because I have never met a gym owner who feels comfortable spending that much, asking you to go with 7% is acceptable.

Example: Gross annual revenue: $310,000.00

7% of $310,000.00 equals $21,700.00

 

-Figure out how you want to divide it up over the 12 months. We have a formula. Email jason@jasonlinse.com with “formula” in the subject line and I will get shoot it back to you.

To give you an idea, you will spend more in January, February and March than you will in June, July and August.

 

-Break your budget up into 3 month chunks. This makes it easier to plan and to spend.

-Count everything. Door hangers, inserts and passes all have hard costs and few bucks shipping. But getting a group to distribute door hangers will also cost and so will getting a newspaper to place inserts. Social media also has costs. You have to pay someone to handle it.

-Make adjustments along the way. Your revenue may start going up a lot, thus allowing you to spend a few bucks more in the second half of the year.

-Track everything. You need to know how many phone calls come in from your marketing efforts, and how many tours.

-Do not conflate marketing with sales. Please don’t only look at the end result. A marketing piece, or electronic ad is designed to elicit a response. A phone call, an walk-in, or an email. That’s it. Track your numbers so you know if you have a marketing message problem, or a sale problem.

Keep changing lives.


How to use Facebook effectively March 25 2015

As a fitness business, you must have a Facebook page. More importantly, you must update it regularly.  But what do you say? How do you use Facebook to get more customers?

I have been studying the four quadrant theory of personality for over four years. Using this scientific approach, it’s actually simple to write sentences, ads and updates designed for these quadrants.

The world is made up of Energizers, Organizers, Harmonizers and Analyzers. We are parts of all four, but we have a primary, and we respond to certain words based on that primary quadrant.

Organizer buzz words: dependable, plan, organized, serve, manage, consistent, program, loyal, list and check.

Energizer buzz words: fun, exciting, challenge, adventure, compete, change, discount, action, variety, risk and freedom.

Harmonizer buzz words: friendly, welcome, create, amazing, good, love, supportive, family, engage and unique.

Analyzer buzz words: analyze, concept, think, logic, direct, learn, excel, self, professional, discuss, motivate, effective, experience and solve.

So, all you need to do is make sure you have at least one or two words from each quadrant in your Facebook status update, especially when you are using it to sell, which is something you should only do once in a while.

Here is a great example: “Do you need help with a workout plan? One that is fun and challenging, with friendly, supportive and experienced professionals? If so, come try us out for 30 days for only $19.00! Experience all the programs we have to offer here at Awesome Blossom Fitness for 30 days for only $19.00 with no obligation to continue. Simply call or stop in and mention this post!”

Organizer words: plan and programs. Energizer words: fun and challenging. Harmonizer words: friendly and supportive. Analyzer words: experienced and professionals.

Email me with “personality” in the subject line to get your free e-book with more info.


Inexpensive and effective marketing January 14 2015

No business likes to spend money on marketing. But every business needs to spend money on marketing. The main reason that gyms don’t like to spend money on marketing is because it is hard to measure results sometimes.   And most gyms don’t give it the proper college try, which is 120 days of pounding your message before you are allowed to say, “we tried that and it didn’t work.”

I could go on and on about the numerous discussions I have had with gym owners and how NOT ONE of them ever had a marketing plan before I designed one for them. But I would only come across more smarmy than I probably already sound. So I will move on and give you some solid suggestions for marketing that don’t involve a lot of money and don’t involve much of a plan.

Guerilla marketing:   Shake the bushes, get your boots on the streets, pound the pavement. This style of marketing involves some time, some physical movement, and some 3 inch by 5 inch passes.

3 inch by 5 inch pass: On the front, have your offer. 30 days for $19.00 is a good one. On the back, a map to your location and a testimonial. You can purchase 5000 passes for $300.00 at www.hipgym.com

Seriously, that comes out to 6 cents apiece. These 5000 passes will last you for about 6 months in most markets. That comes down to about 50 dollars per month.

What do I do with these passes? Hump it. Get your ass out of the gym and walk into your local retail business neighbors and hand them out. Simple as that. If a business is kind enough to let you leave them on their counter, do it. Get some cardboard holders so they can be propped upright.

Your goal is to visit very single retail business in a 15 minute drive time once every 4 to 6 weeks.

Yes, you will be back. Over and over and over and over. I am going to repeat this: You are going to revisit every retail business once every 4 to 6 weeks. Why? Because these passes will get tossed, 99% of the time. You walk into jiffy lube and give 15 passes to the boss man who has 15 employees. Some part time and some full time. He hands them to his team and they all toss them aside. But next month, you come in one day after one of his employees has a doctor visit. Doctor tells him he is fat and out of shape, has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Now that pass is important to him.

Get it? Good.

Keep changing lives.


How to design a marketing plan December 23 2014

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This is a quote from Ben Franklin. I agree with Mr. Franklin, and I like to think that anybody reading this would agree with me. But I also know, being an expert on personality, that about 50% of the population struggles with planning. And in my experience, less than 10% of gym owners actually have a 12 month marketing plan.

Whether you are a person who loves to plan, or somebody that despises it, you have two choices when it comes to marketing your fitness business. 1. Create a marketing plan, be proactive and have a good chance at success. 2. Don’t plan, be reactive, and almost guarantee failure.

Here’s the deal: We at hip gym can help. We can design a marketing plan for you, no problem. Yes, it will cost you a few bucks, but trust me, if you are not somebody who likes to design marketing plans and/or you don’t know where to start, the $149.00 you spend would be worth it if were $949.00.

If you want to design your own, here is how you go about it:

Step one: Calculate the budget. The formula we recommend is to spend between 5% and 10% of gross annual revenue on marketing. So, to make it easy, take 7%

Step two: Calculate the breakdown monthly. Some months require more money spent than others. Email mike@hipgym.com for a document that breaks down the monthly percentages.

Step three: Decide where to spend it. Print marketing works, and is necessary. We recommend a combination of door hangers, direct mail, passes, and inserts. If you purchase in bulk, you will get the most bang for your buck.

Step four: Track it. Before you decide that direct mail pieces don’t work, be sure you track how many phone call, tours, and emails come from the campaign. Not sales. The marketing piece is designed to solicit a response. Salespeople turn these leads into sales.

Step five: Make adjustments along the way. Design a plan for 12 months, but be prepared to possibly make adjustments based on increased revenue or lack of results.

To get started on us building you a marketing plan, simply order through www.hipgym.com and a representative will contact you to set up a 30 minute call. Within one week of this call, you will have a plan in writing ready to be implemented.

Keep changing lives.


How to do a door hanger campaign December 09 2014

Door hangers can be an effective way to get more leads for your fitness business. They can sometimes be even more effective than Direct mail marketing. But being around this fitness industry for 19 years, I know that it takes a bit more thinking through to pull off a successful door hanger campaign than it does a mailer. Let me walk you through the key points so you get the most bang for you buck.

-Cost per piece. Print marketing always comes down to cost per piece, and it is always based on purchase volume. If you want to order only 500 door hangers, you are going to pay much more per piece than if you order 10000. I get annoyed when gym owners purchase a small amount. Do you have a closet? Then order 10000 or more and store them. They aren’t going to rot. They don’t have a shelf life. You can get the cost down to 6 cents per piece if you order enough door hangers.   The Hip 10000 package is a good example. The Hip 10000 package includes 10000 hangers, 10000 inserts/flyers and 10000 passes. 30000 total pieces for $1800.00. 6 cents per piece. Customized, no design fees, no hidden fees. In upcoming blog posts, I will cover inserts/flyers, and passes, but for this one, I am only tackling door hangers. Take the 10000 door hangers and put them in the closet. Grab 1000 hangers, leaving 9000 in the closet.

-Find a youth group to distribute. Here is where you are going to add to the cost per piece. Your goal is to distribute 1000 door hangers for between $50.00 and $100.00. Call the boy scouts. Tell them you are looking for 10 boys, aged 10 to 15 to each take 100 hangers and place them in neighborhoods that you designate. Then ask them if $50.00 is an acceptable donation. I used to pay $100.00 at a gym I owned a few years ago. $100.00 brings the total cost per piece up to 16 cents, which is still about half of what a good size direct mail piece would cost you. If the boy scouts say no, call the girl scouts. Then the high school athletic director. Maybe a church group.

-Don’t do this alone. To get the most bang, you need to get 500 to 1000 out in one shot. A 3 to 4 hour campaign on a Saturday morning, and you are golden. Work out a deal to have the scout group do it once per month for the year and you will get your 10000 out before you know it.

Email jason@jasonlinse.com for a free marketing guide.

Keep changing lives.


About you! April 01 2014

Gyms, fitness centers, trainers, and nutritionists all have websites. Well, at least they all should have one. Now, some people who pay more attention to the internet than I do, predict that in a few years, websites will not be very popular, perhaps even obsolete.

But as of today, they are still necessary, and can be a very effective marketing platform.

Go to a gym website. Seriously, do it now. It can be your own a competitor, or www.planetfitness.com if you just want to click on a link.

On the home page of a gym’s website, can you see a tab that reads, “About us”? Or maybe is just reads, “About”.

Don’t click on it. Instead, take a minute and predict what you think you will find when you click on that tab.

Okay, now for those of you reading this who track your analytics, therefore you know how many people click on your website daily, weekly, monthly etc: For every 100 website hits, how many click on your “About us” tab?

I predict that you will find it to be a very low percentage. And why do you suppose that is?

Nobody cares about what you think about yourself. They care about how they think and feel about themselves.

So, here’s what I want you to do: Get rid of the “About us” tab, and replace it with: “About you!”

Yes, I think you should add an exclamation point, but you don’t have to.

Under this section, I want a video to pop up. I want someone who is good in front of a camera (I am happy to do this for you. I have a $7000.00 movie quality camera and a fitness studio) to say something like this:

“Thanks for checking out Awesome Blossom Fitness, the gym that wants to help you reach your health and fitness goals whether you become a member, or not. Start by telling us a little about you and what you are looking for regarding your health and fitness needs. Simply click on one of the boxes below, whichever one most closely matches your interests and goals. Whether it be weight loss, weight maintenance, strength training, nutrition advice, social activities, or two or more of the categories, we’ve got you covered. We have e-books and videos that will provide you with free information, including tips and support to help you reach your goals. All we need is your name and email and you will be on your way to getting support from Awesome Blossom Fitness at no cost, and without ever being a member. Of course, we would love to have you come and take a tour, and get started on a 30 day trial membership with no obligation to join. But the first step is to tell us about you, and we can go from there!”

 

Shoot some videos on weight loss, strength training, etc. and /or author some e-books or have a professional write them for you.

I know that this concept will work if done correctly.

It is never about you and your gym. It is always about them. It always has been and it always will be.

This idea came to me recently and it will work for any business. www.jasonlinse.com will have a “About you!” tab in the near future. Nobody clicks on About Jason. Okay, people do, but not as much as they click around on other parts.

When people click on the “About you!” tab, a video will play and they will watch me say something like:

“Thanks for checking out jasonlinse.com, the website that exists to help gym owners maximize profits. Please tell me more about yourself so I can best understand how to help you sell more memberships, more personal training, get more leads, retain more members, etc. Simply click on one or more of the boxes below and I will get you some awesome FREE information on that topic.”

I will have categories like: Telephone Inquiries. Tours. Referrals. Marketing. Number Tracking. Training Centric systems. And more.

With a name and an email, I will get them free content on their preferred topic. Videos, e-books, articles, etc.

I already do this on my home page, and I think you should do it there as well. But even if you do it there, doing it under the “About you!” tab is still recommended.

With a name and email, I have them on my newsletter, and perhaps one day they will want onsite training, or telephone coaching. Or to purchase one of my for sale products.

And speaking of that, check out my store page over the next few days. It will be chock full of cool stuff to help your gym run on all cylinders. Videos, PDFs, e-books, scripts, etc.

All awesome content, and all inexpensive.

Okay, back to the “About you!” concept, to finish up: I think it will be effective and it won’t take much work. You could start with two topics: Weight loss, and strength training. They can choose one or the other, or both. You could easily get your hands on two e-books on these respective topics.

And please contact me to set up a complimentary business review call if you have not before. Jason@jasonlinse.com

Oh, and www.personalityandfitness.com is still happening and my web person said by April 7th. He has made promised before, but claims this time it is for real. We shall see. I am super pumped and you should be too because using this personality tool to help make more sales and retain more members is real, really easy, and inexpensive.

Email me jason@jasonlinse.com if you want to be on a list of the first 100 gyms to get special pricing. You don’t even have to do it. The first step is you will be part of a pilot program to try it out, and then go from there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV8e4QUvTd4&feature=youtu.be

Keep changing lives.