WHY? SOMETHING WE’RE NOT ASKING ENOUGH

Why? Why? Why? …It seems to be rolling right off my tongue (or through my fingers, or something). But why am I talking about, “why”? And why should you care?

Well…I’m talking about the “why” because when something perplexes me, I often dive into why (there it is again). So, we live in the “age of information”, “connectivity”, “innovation”, yada yada yada. I’m not saying this isn’t true, because I believe it to be, but as a whole…What are we doing with all this information at our fingertips?

Let me put you in the right frame of mind.

When we were kids, we asked questions like, “why is the sky blue?”, or “what’s that?” (453 times a day), or “why do farts smell bad?”. But as we get older, we start to take issues, statements, people, business, emotions, relationships, places, “as they are”. We just don’t ask “why” as much.

Why is this?

I believe it’s because we have been so inundated with information that we go one of two ways…It’s “all true” or it’s “all shit” information, and we have stopped looking for the shit in the truth and the truth in the shit. Say that five times fast!

If you’ve ever read another piece I’ve written, you’ll know I try to relate things back to business, and especially the business of fitness. So here it is!

Varying slightly on what data you look at , the “average online marketer” makes $92,000/year. The “average personal trainer” makes $47,000/year. I understand these may be an odd career comparisons, but look at it like this…Personal Training is a knowledge based service, Online Marketing is a knowledge based service. Soooo, WHY exactly does the massive income gap exist?

Scale.

Personal Trainers, there are 80 million obese Americans in need of your services, desperately! You need to start asking “why” am I only reaching 25 people on average and “how” do I take my service and scale it?

Love,

Liam

DON’T BECOME JUST ANOTHER “FLAVOR OF THE WEEK”

One of our biggest issues as a startup… And more so my own, was articulating who our customer is, and what we sell?? That may sound funny and somewhat ridiculous, but it is a real issue for many business owners, marketers, and sales people. No one wants to “limit” their potential market reach by defining their perfect customer, but as the old adage says, “if you’re trying to please everyone, you’ll please no one.”

Take just a minute and try to come up with as many people/brands that had their fifteen minutes of fame, then fell off the face of the planet! I bet you can think of at least 6 or 7. Now let’s look at this happenstance with business in mind… If you just created the “greatest workout program of all time” (we all think our shit is the best) and now you’re ready to start selling it/sharing it/utilizing it, how are you going to do so with hopes of not becoming the “flavor of the week”?

For simplicity sake, we’ll say you are SELLING this program as a 3 month digital program someone can purchase and follow on their phone, computer, etc. So again, who are you selling to? Men? Women? The already active? Overweight? Higher income? In Dallas? Los Angeles? Minneapolis? How are is your customer? Have they heard of you before?

Starting to get the point? If you cannot articulate who your exact customer is, how can you articulate what this program will do for them?

I use this analogy quite often (this helped me tremendously). If you’re at a bar and you see a pretty/handsome girl/guy that you just have to go approach, are you expecting this person to immediately take to you just by introducing yourself? Maybe if you’re some model/actor/perfect lookin mofo! But for us normal folk, this is a outrageous idea… Some level of rapport must be created/found before this pretty/handsome human feels comfortable with you.

Though we constantly see this outrageous idea being assumed in business. “Just introduce my wonderful workout program and thousands of people will want to purchase it”. NO! INCORRECT! STOP THINKING THAT! As much a mom says you’re special, you’re not! I mean, you are… Just not when it comes to business, selling, etc. You have to realize there is sooooo much noise out there, and for your “workout program” to be something special you must articulate the value to your perfect customer. The 25-year-old, female health enthusiast, that is interested in content from bodybuilding.com, likes your Facebook page, and lives in Portland, Oregon.

That’s when you’re able to really speak to the needs of lil Mary Jane from Portland… Create the “rapport” and give yourself the best chance to ask for the sale, and that’s all you can hope for. Progress can be made when you’re able to gain insight. You will know if that demographic is a fit or not, and you will start to figure out if your messaging is appropriate. All very valuable links in the chain that should lead to success if you and your product or service is good enough!

So just remember… find your niche, speak to one person, build rapport and value, then progress from there. Good things will happen!

Love,

Liam

HOW REJECTION TURNED INTO MILLIONS... A VIRAL TALE

For some, virality is not just an occurrence but an actual business model…But don’t be so quick to “jump” on that train!

Jeff Goldblatt, Founder & Creative Director of the Rejection Hotlines which developed multiple hotlines that drew over 475 million calls worldwide(check out his new new THE WHATEVER NETWORK) talks with us how a little rejection turned into such a phenomenon. And why gaining virality may be just as much a science as an art.

So I’ll give you the quick overview of how Jeff and team actually turned “rejection” into a business. He and friends are sitting, eating, drinking, being merry, and notice a guy (maybe a bit toolish) hitting a girl…who just wasn’t having it and she kind of made a scene. Jeff and friends think, there’s gotta be a better way for both parties…girl can deflect what she doesn’t want, and guy can rid himself of public humiliation.

The Rejection Hotline was born! Jeff decided to create a funny voicemail , that started something like this, “Hello. This is NOT the person you were trying to call! You’ve reached THE REJECTION HOTLINE® because, unfortunately, the person who gave you this number did NOT want you to have their REAL number…” check out the full version here . Jeff’s friends thought it was such a riot, they started passing it around to other friends…The army grew from there.

The Rejection Hotline + Humor Hotlines grew to over 2500 lines, and 7 figures in annual revenue, all run by a small team that took the idea of going “viral” and turned it into a science. Jeff spoke with us about the science, the creative, and why everyone thinks they can go “viral”.

Let’s say this right up front (well, 5 or 6 paragraphs in) being funny, engaging, entertaining, captivating all the time is a shit load of work, and that’s where the science/data came into play. Jeff and his team were constantly creating new content they thought could hit a different pulse, but what so many people miss in the “viral game” is that they (you/me) do not get to decide what is cool…THE MARKET DOES! The viewer decides, “do I want to give 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes to this random shit?”

Jeff and his team understood this, and had a plan of how to execute, distribute, and test what would click and gain traction. It was not a post and pray mentality…Which is what many do out there! So rule number 1 and most important…Have a plan. Even if it’s shit, you’ll still learn that the plan was SHIT and not do it again. Another important piece of the equation is understanding your metrics, if you’re looking to turn attention into business.

I’ll use simple metrics for those that say they are going to build their massive business on YouTube. Assume the CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) of the ads placed within your content is $4.00, then assume your first video crushed it and received 20,000 views…Your booming business just made $80.00. Well done! Did that pay even pay for the production of your video? I hope so, but most of the time it doesn’t. What the real players in the game (like RH) understand is that one video may have the bones to be something great, so they tweak it…Change the length, the punchline, the CTA, the medium used to distribute, then throw it out there again. Maybe this time, the video takes hold and get’s 1MM hits…and with that same CPM you just made $4,000, not so bad for a few tweaks!

The point is this, just saying you are going to create a viral video, blog, meme, gif, does not mean a damn thing. Saying you have a plan to help make your engaging content potentially go viral is very different. Do your research, be creative, track your results, and make adjustments…You just may be the next person to turn Rejection into millions!

Check out our full episode with Jeff on BRICKS 2 BANDWITH here .

Love,

Liam

PATIENCE. IT’S NOT A CURSE WORD.

Marketing: (as defined in the business dictionary)
The management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 P’s of marketing:

(1) identification, selection and development of a product.
(2) determination of its price.

(3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’splace. 
(4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.

Just reading and comprehending that takes patience. I get that. 
But why do so few people practice patience in the game of business? 
Far too often I hear from current and prospective clients that their “marketing” efforts fell short and are down on whatever tool, tactic, or medium was used. My first question is always the same… what was your approach? My second question is usually something like… how long did you stay at it?

Here are the normal answers. “I posted my service/product/offering to Facebook” … “I must have posted at least 3 times…I didn’t get one client/sell one product/receive one call from the post, it just doesn’t work for me.”

This is where I want to insert an LOL, but again I don’t because I’m polite…most of the time. Yes, I understand I’m speaking in generalities, but only because I don’t feel the need to put individuals on blast for having ZERO plan or patience in regard to their “marketing initiatives.”

The moral of the story is this… Develop a plan, understand you’re playing the long game, and stay patient. There are NO SHORTCUTS!

A great resource for anyone looking to learn more about marketing as a whole, check out KISSMETRICS blog .

Love,

Liam

WHY YOU’RE FULL OF SH#T… you’re NOT too busy!

I hear it constantly… “I just don’t have the time” …what I really want to say is YOU’RE FULL OF SH#T. But I don’t, because I’m polite… Most of the time.

Let me say this, no one is too busy to do something that really matters to them! But in business, I constantly see people making decisions based on their unwillingness to make sacrifice in their personal/party/eating/movie-watching/beer drinking schedule. Then these same people whine about how they can’t pay their bills, wish they could afford vacation, a nicer car, a new place, etc, etc, etc… This mind boggles me.

So let me restate…NO ONE IS TOO BUSY TO DO SOMETHING THAT REALLY MATTERS TO THEM.

So what really matters to you? This may be an easy question to answer, but do you backup the answer with action? I know how hard it really can be, so do one thing for me. Audit yourself, your day to day activity and what you’re getting out of it… really look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. Are you managing your time appropriately, or are you making yourself “busy” with bullshit that doesn’t matter? If you fall into the latter category… Make an adjustment, because excuses are like (well, you know what they’re like).

Here’s the proposition I will present you with… If you had one additional hour in the day, how would you utilize it? Because here are a number things that could be accomplished in that hour. A workout, six 10 minute calls to prospective clients, developing your first Facebook advertising campaign, one additional client service, write a blog article, make a healthy meal, etc, etc, etc.

These are just a few things off the top of my head that can help push your career and health forward. So skip that happy hour, wake up an hour earlier, go to bed an hour later, spend less time on Instagram, and start making yourself the best, most productive version of you!

Love,

Liam

HOW TO REACH THE “UNREACHABLE”

Unreachable… It sounds like I’m making up words, right?? Well I’m not, I looked it up… in a book!
 
 Ok, so anyways… I’m talking real stuff here, so listen up. Better yet, watch up on YouTube.

Last week, we had a special guest on our weekly web series and we talked business, Jerry’s (guest)weight loss journey, and interestingly, how they collide. Jerry is a former collegiate (Jerry would say he’s still an athlete, I would argue) who spent years training his body to perfect the crafts of his sport. But after college, the sport stopped. So as many of us former athletes tend to do, Jerry replaced gaps that were filled with practice, games, workouts, etc, with less “healthy” habits. Beers may have been included!

Years later, Jerry found himself in a place he was just not happy with. So he decided to make a change, and here’s where things got interesting for me and should be interesting to YOU (personal trainers).

For most personal trainers, Jerry falls into the category of unreachable due to his extensive knowledge and experience around the gym. So why pay for someone else to tell you what you already know, right? But Jerry says something along the lines of, the biggest pain in the ass throughout the process was figuring out my daily workout. Quite the light bulb moment for me. 
 
 So here’s that moment where I think, does the “unreachable” have a kink in his armor? The answer is yes.

Though there are thousands, even tens of thousands “unreachables” to all you personal trainers, you can still provide value, and generate revenue by connecting with these individuals in the right format.
 
 As we’ve said, the “unreachables” like Jerry are comfortable in the gym, and they don’t see the value to pay for a trainers time, energy, and motivation, BUT… if you (personal trainer) can make their (unreachables) lives easier by presenting super defined workout plans, nutrition plans, get swole plans, etc, you may have your “in”. This is coming right from the source, Jerry said he spent endless hours searching Youtube, Facebook, Bodybuilding.com, to find new ways to push past plateau’s during his long transformation. As he stated, if he could’ve just found a clear and concise 3-month online program, he would’ve given it a run!

And that’s that, folks! It’s not rocket science, and I’m no scientist of the rockets, but life is like a box of chocolates… and Zebra’s freak me out!

Sorry, I think I blacked out for a minute. The moral of the story is this, there are millions of people out there searching for the right path to take on their fitness journey. As a trainer, wouldn’t you want to throw your hat in the ring as someone who can help steer those searching onto the right path?? CREATE VALUABLE CONTENT…

And in the words of GARY VAYNERCHUK (look him up if you don’t know) “Content is King, but context is Queen and she runs the household!”

Love,

Liam

A LOVE LETTER...TO ALL YOU PERSONAL TRAINERS OUT THERE. GET WITH THE TIMES! BECAUSE THIS COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!

Unless you live under a rock, you’re aware of the #fitspo craze has taken over social media in the last couple years. But as a “REAL” fitness professional, have you really paid attention? Because the #fitspo is WINNING the attention game!

Personal trainers, fitness coaches, whatever you call yourselves…you are working your asses off, day and night in the gym providing your service to anyone in need and we know that. But what is the end game? 
Let me put it like this, consumers are on the go and only getting busier. Do you plan on working 24 hours a day to meet needs? Because that’s not going to turn out well for you, cupcake.

The “Fitspo” Professional vs. The Offline Trainer

Yes, both of you are helping your clients reach their fitness goals, but that may be all you have in common. Ok, we’re being a little bold in saying such a thing but we’re trying to make a point. Here’s how we’re defining the difference. The offline trainer is someone with no real digital presence. Limited social media presence, a poorly designed website or worse, no website at all. In contrast, the “fitspo” is driven by digital marketing, and exposure is the name of the game.

Go Digital or Die

The key to growing your brand is simply (though we know it’s not simple) showing people what value you bring to the table. If you are an in-person trainer, there are only so many people you can help in a day. Your time, energy, and resources are greatly limited and adaptation is the key to survival in this game called business. Why not decrease your limitations by bringing what you do online? 1.8 billion people are already active on social media, make your presence known!

I understand that I am oversimplifying all this stuff, but I’m just trying to get a point across. There are far too many dedicated, knowledgeable, talented personal trainers in this country that are LOSING, because they are not valuing where the consumers attention is being focused. This is not good for either party, I promise that!

Utilize Resources to Reach Your Target Audience

Hashtags are your friend. Seriously, the easiest way to ensure you are engaging with your target audience as a trainer is by using targeted hashtags. By adding tags like #fitness, #personaltraining, #fitspo, #fitfam, #mondaymotivation, #health, to the end of your posts you can join the conversation in the fitness community.

New to the “social media game”? Breathe easy, there are free resources a plenty that help you optimize the content you’re putting online.

Take a look at a few.

http://iconosquare.com/viewer.php

https://hootsuite.com/

https://www.crowdfireapp.com/

https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/

Taking your business online as a fitness professional is crucial to your survival in the industry, period. STOP MAKING EXCUSES!

Love,

-Liam

STRONG IS THE NEW SEXY

1. What or who do you credit for your start in fitness?

When I first started out this fitness "journey" I guess I could say I was inspired by many other women along the way. It actually started back in high school believe it or not, when I saw how dedicated my sister was to working out. She was always very athletic and at one point was doing two a days in the gym. That's what originally sparked the interest for me. As I got more and more into fitness I met some other inspiring people, one was a spin instructor and the other, my running partner. They are both insane when it comes to working out and will push you to the limit mentally and physically. My running partner and I remain friends today and she is one of my biggest motivations. She has done four marathons thus far and got me into weight lifting as well. She has been a wonderful support system for me always and continues to amaze and prove to me that I can do things I never believed possible. Then I got into competing through other friends back in Boston. I then learned how important diet can be because it goes hand in hand with training. After competing in my third show this summer, I have learned a lot about the industry and made many friends along the way who continue to inspire and share my passion. 

2. If you were stopped on the street and asked, “how do you stay so fit/healthy” what would your one piece of advice be? 

I would say that nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. The game changer for being fit is diet, and I stress that to people a lot. No one is perfect but what is the point of busting your ass in the gym day in and day out and not properly fueling your body? It won't perform at it's peak when you need it to. 

3. Do you buy into the idea of “dieting”?

Kind of. Yes and no. I consider myself constantly on a "diet", but that's when we shouldn't refer to it as a diet. It is a lifestyle. Unfortunately you can't always have your cake and eat it too, literally, there needs to be self control. It's just about making healthy choices, not so much dieting. 

4. What’s the one unhealthy item you just can’t live without? 

I love ice cream and peanut butter. Now they are not terrible for you in moderation, but peanut butter is high in fat and when you can eat an entire jar it's most definitely not good for you. 

5. Where do you look for motivation? 

I used to look at others for motivation when I was first starting out. Seeing other people's progress, passion, and struggle is motivating. It lets you know that you are not alone, and to keep pushing because the results are so worth it. Now I look to myself sometimes for motivation. That sounds a little conceded but I don't mean it in that way. I think about how far I have come and the obstacles I have faced which keeps me going. I know that even in "off season" when I don't have low body fat and six pack abs, my motivation is that I am building a better body underneath the excess weight, so when I do lean out the results will be that much more satisfying. There is always a goal for me, whether long term or short term, you need to keep that goal in mind.

6. What are a 2 of your biggest passions outside of fitness? 

I love to draw, I wish I could do it all day everyday. I love it because it's relaxing and satisfying for me, just a mindless activity where I can really zone out. I also love animals, I used to be into horseback riding before I got serious about playing golf. I would like to go back to that someday because having a sport/hobby that involves animals is kind of cool to me. Since I am passionate about animals I hope to get back to volunteering at the humane society, it's nice to give back especially when you can do something you love as well. The only problem is I would want to adopt them all and I already have one to handle.