Starting a Fitness Business the Way Richard Branson Would

One of the best things we can do when taking any kind of risk or starting any endeavor, including starting a fitness business, is to take some of our guidance from what very successful people have done before us. While we don’t necessarily want to copy what others have already done, we can learn a lot from how they did it.

I just finished filming a video on some very successful people and the way they think and one of those very successful people was Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic. Two completely different types of business, a record label and an airline, but he did a lot of the same things with both and they’ve both been hugely successful.

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 10.30.57 PMSo I thought I’d point out a few of those things and sort of draw a picture for you of starting a fitness business the way Richard Branson might do it.

Don’t let anyone else decide whether you can do it.

Nobody thought Richard Branson was going to make a success of his record label. A lot of people who supposedly knew what they were talking about claimed it would fail. But Branson didn’t let other people decide if he was going to make it or not. He decided that he was going to succeed and then he did.

Whenever you go out on a limb to follow a dream or further your goals, you’re going to have to know how to deal with people who don’t believe in you. What you have to do is make your belief stronger than their disbelief. The truth is that if you have the strength and commitment to do that, you have the strength and commitment to handle anything that might cause you to fail. Continue reading

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Fitness Business Coaching

Who really needs a trainer when all the information to get in shape is already out there for free?

That’s what the passenger sitting next to me in first class said when he struck up a conversation by asking: “You obviously workout, what do you do for a living?”

Since his comment rubbed me the wrong way… and since the plane had just taken off which made me his captive audience, I used the opportunity to school him on something he clearly had no clue about – our industry.

I told him a trainer or coach does more than just provide you with workout information. A coach is more than just a workout buddy to hold you accountable and motivate you when you’re at the gym.

A good coach will help you break the self sabotage cycle that causes you to lose weight and then gain it back.Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 1.28.26 PM

A good coach will help you overcome your self limiting beliefs so that you break though all of the glass ceilings and barriers that are holding you back from your success.

A good coach will help you crush your excuses and teach you how to stop falling into the “trap of tomorrow”, where tomorrow never comes and you continue to get further and further out of shape.

And as much as our job is to tell you what to do… it’s also to tell you what NOT to do, so that you don’t get sold into harmful diet scams and fad workout programs that waste your time and money.

And when you hit a wall and feel like quitting and giving up a good coach is gonna get you back in and right back on track, because that’s what we do. Continue reading

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3 Awesome Boot Camp Marketing Ideas You May Not Have Tried Yet

Even though you should always have a boot camp marketing plan in place and tried and true tools that you use repeatedly, you also need to shake things up a bit from time to time. You’ll never find great new strategies that boost your business if you’re not looking periodically for new things to try.

The various boot camp marketing strategies that I share with you on this blog, in my videos, during Fitness Business Summits and in my packaged marketing products all came from trying out new ideas and seeing how they worked. You need to do the same thing with your business.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.56.25 PMIt’s easy to get stuck in a marketing rut. It’s easy to keep working the same four or five marketing programs and neglect new strategies that might breathe new life into your marketing plan and multiply your membership and your income.

I want to share with you three boot camp marketing strategies that have done very well for me personally and for some of the highest earning boot camp owners I know. There’s a decent chance that at least one of them will be something you haven’t tried yet. For some of you, all of them will be new. They’ve proven to be extremely effective and you should consider implementing them ASAP.

The Gift Card Promotion
Several years ago, I realized that I was ignoring the marketing strategies used outside the fitness industry, which meant I was neglecting a potential goldmine of marketing that would set me apart from other fitness businesses and their marketing strategies.

Fitness boot camps, gyms and personal trainers tend to copy each other when it comes to promotions and marketing. Pretty soon, every fitness business in town is doing the same thing and your boot camp is lost in the crowd. But if you look outside the fitness industry, to businesses like beauty salons, tanning salons, even restaurants, you’ll find they’re doing completely different things, things that can be adapted to your business, things every boot camp in town isn’t already doing.

This was how I hit on the idea of using plastic gift cards as a marketing promotion. I had a bunch of them made, right down to the magnetic strip on the back. They were good for $100 off of a training package. I passed them out to prospects and I handed some to each of my clients to give to their friends. They had a much higher perceived value for those people than a paper coupon or voucher, because to those people, it was like a gift card with $100 on it. These cards did very well for me. Continue reading

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7 Facts You Absolutely Must Know…To Have the Online Business and Success That You Want.

Guest Post by Craig Ballantyne

1) Know Your Vision

You must know what you really want and that’s having your vision.

The vision is for your business and your family life. Know what you want out of life.

It’s interesting when people are beginners, they’ll say a sales goal but don’t really know how to get there. It’s one thing for you to say, “I want to have a thousand sales of my product” but if you don’t have a blueprint for it, you won’t get there. You need a complete vision like, “Here’s how I can actually achieve 50 sales from 20 people or 500 sales from 2 people.”Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 5.29.33 PM

So think about it. Three years from now, where do you want your business to be? Where do you want your family to be? What kind of relationships do you want to have or need to repair? What kind of workday do you want to have? Once you know what you want to build, then you can determine the tools and avenues to take to get there. That’s the most important part of the equation.

2) Know Your Marketplace

The second thing you need to know is your marketplace. You have to know your marketplace inside and out. You have to know what they want. You can’t take a square peg and try to put it into a round hole. You can’t force your product idea on the marketplace. You have to know what they want.

This is why I tell my coaching clients to write their sales copy first before creating their product because they’ll have a good idea if they can sell it or not. It’s much easier to put a couple of hours into thinking about your sales message than it is to putting a couple of months into creating a product that nobody wants.

What you think the world needs is probably not what they want. Don’t make that mistake. I’ve seen it made too many times. Even Amazon writes before creating. Amazon writes press releases for all their products before any is created, before any specs are even written up because they know they have to be able to sell it and hype it up before anybody is going to be interested in it in the first place. That’s very important.

Getting to know your marketplace is as simple as subscribing to magazines. For example, if your product deals with women and nutrition, subscribe to Women’s World magazine. It shows up every week. Get a subscription to Oxygen. It shows up every month. These are golden for getting to know women and nutrition.

3) Know Where Your Customers Are

You also need to know where your customers are, who’s got them and how you can get them. That’s the most important aspect of what you need to know about your customers. That might mean advertising to somebody else’s Facebook fan page or getting somebody else to be an affiliate for you.

Dan Kennedy had a good quote that said, “People’s problems are their hobbies.” Make Sense? If you buy one diet book, you’re going to buy ten diet books. Many people often don’t have success because they keep buying different books and they’ve turned their problem into a hobby.

Now you want to come along, solve their problem and be the last person they ever need to go to for information. But, it’s very important for you to understand that other people have your customers. Continue reading

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How to Deal with Haters and Negative Thinkers When You’re Starting a Fitness Business

It’s inevitable…..when you’re starting a fitness business, you’re going to have at least one person you know, maybe even more who will hate on you and your goals, bash your business ideas or your business model, criticize your training methods or just doubt that you’ll be a success.

Some of these people (mainly family members or friends) will mean well and believe that they’re just trying to keep you from making a mistake. Others will just be haters who can’t stand for anyone to succeed where they haven’t. Others will be competitors or the clients of competitors or even social media trolls with nothing better to do.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 12.15.44 AMNo matter who your haters or negative thinkers are you need to work past, through and above them if you’re going to succeed. You’re going to need some tough skin.

There are enough challenges with starting a fitness business. There’s hard work, a million details to take care of and a mental and financial transition to be made. You need to keep your focus on the things that matter and keep moving forward. This can be hard to do if you’re letting negativity get in your head, divert your time and zap your energy.

It’s essential that you not only keep your attitude and mindset positive, but also keep your time protected. Dealing with negative people can suck up a lot more time than you might think, and this means you’re losing time you need for tasks that move you toward your goals. You have to focus on the things that shout, not the things that whisper and even though the haters might be loud, they’re not important.

Dealing with friends and family who don’t support you is different from dealing with strangers and the two have very different effects on you that you need to avoid.

First, let’s talk about dealing with people you know. One of the most important assets you have as a new fitness business owner is people who believe in you and your goals. You need to surround yourself with those people and let their support push you forward when things get tough. But these same people can also be those negative thinkers. In this case, limit your contact or establish some boundaries. Continue reading

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How to Start a Boot Camp While You’re Still Doing One on One Training

Not everyone has the luxury or good fortune of being able to save up enough money so that they can devote themselves fulltime to the launching of their fitness boot camp business. Many people have to continue training their established private clients for a while until the boot camp is generating enough revenue to support them. Thankfully, the boot camp business model is one that can generate a lot of income very quickly, but if you need to continue training one-on-one for a while as you’re getting started, you need to know how to start a boot camp business without compromising your success, your sanity or your health.

I have three very important pieces of advice that can help keep things balanced, get things done and get your boot camp off to a great start.Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 9.36.17 PM

First of all, don’t go overboard on the spending. It’s very possible to start a boot camp on little money, but you can still overspend on things that aren’t necessary. Focus your finances on the things you really must have in order to be up and running and let the extras wait until you have some money to reinvest. That means insurance is a must and fancy espresso machines for the break room are not.

The more you spend on start-up costs, the longer you’re going to have to keep training private clients and the less money you’ll have for unexpected expenses. If you keep your budget tight in the beginning and spend only what you need to when you need to, you can start cutting the one-on-one training hours as your boot camp membership increases Before you know it you will be able to let go of that last private client. Continue reading

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Do You Have the Six Traits Needed for Starting a Personal Training Business?

Some people aren’t meant to be entrepreneurs. I’ve met a lot of those people and they were all great, but just not cut out for running their own businesses. Other people just seem to naturally possess the qualities they need to do anything they set their mind to, including starting a personal training business. I’ve met a lot of those people, too, and many of them own one (or more) of the Fit Body Boot Camp franchises. In getting to know many successful fitness entrepreneurs, I’ve realized that there are certain traits they all share; things that just make them ideally suited to running a boot camp or other fitness business.

If you’re thinking about opening a fitness boot camp or starting a personal training business, you should take a look at these common traits. They are shared by every one of the most successful fitness business owners I know.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 2.56.53 PMA no-quit attitude

No matter what type of fitness business you want to own, you’re going to face challenges, long hours, people who don’t believe in you and a whole bunch of other stuff that sucks to one degree or another.

You have to have an absolute, no-quitting, can-do attitude from the onset. If you do, you’ll be able to get over those first hurdles and create a successful business. If you don’t, you’re more likely going to bail when things get tough.

A problem-solving mindset

Entrepreneurs see a problem and work on it until they come up with a solution. People who try to avoid problems work for other people because that way they can let someone else deal with the headaches.

Listen, problem solving isn’t just about dealing with things that go wrong. It’s also a way to make great money. Problem-solvers are great at identifying niches that can occupy an unmet need to fill. Non-problem solvers try to be everything to everybody and end up being generic and unsuccessful.

Problem solvers know how to focus on the important things and delegate or ignore distractions. Non-problem solvers focus on the little things so they don’t have to deal with the big ones, and miss opportunities. Continue reading

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The Best Personal Trainer Marketing

I think we’ve discovered the holy grail for getting new clients into your boot camp and personal training business.

See, a few times a year I go through these spells where I’ll just spend a lot of time trying out new and out of the box ways to get more leads, prospects, and clients…

…that’s why I haven’t been sending out a lot of emails to you in the last few weeks.

I guess you can say that I’ve been in the “lab” experimenting, lol.Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 4.56.40 PM

Most of my experimenting has happened with my own Fit Body Boot Camp location (we’re getting an average of two new clients each day, which I’ll tell you about in a moment).

Of course with over 160 coaching and consulting clients and hundreds of Fit Body Boot Camp locations worldwide I get to test out my most successful experiments across a bunch of different types of fitness centers around the world to see how they really work.

And the three client getting things that have been working best across the board right now are Facebook marketing (NOT BUYING “LIKES”), email marketing, and referral generation contests.

With Facebook we’re running ads to fans of our location as well as targeting them by gender, age, and zip code/code. I know I just said that we’re not buying “likes”, and we’re not. But we do have a fan page and our fan page has organically gotten a couple hundred likes that we’ve gotten organically, and they’re super targeted prospects. Continue reading

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How to Focus on the Things That Matter

Rabbit holes are everywhere. Whether you’re starting a fitness business, getting ready to launch your first fitness information product or you’re in your fifth year of a successful fitness boot camp, you’re susceptible to falling down any number of rabbit holes because you get distracted by the nonessential and take your focus off of the things that matter.

Sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve lost our focus. Other times we subconsciously allow it to happen because we’re afraid to do the thing we should be doing – we’re afraid we’ll fail, afraid we’re not ready or afraid that it if we do it, it won’t be perfect.

manifesto-focusListen, failure is always a possibility but it’s an absolute certainty if you don’t get off you’re A**…..and nothing is ever perfected before you actually do it.

When an Olympic track star is running the hurdles, he’s not second-guessing whether he trained enough, he’s not wondering if he wore the best deodorant and he’s not looking ahead to the third hurdle he’ll be jumping. He’s focused on pumping his legs and on the next hurdle in front of him and then on finishing the race he’s started.
Don’t allow yourself to be diverted from your goals by procrastination or confusion.

Don’t be so focused on the seventh step that you don’t take the first and don’t hide behind the details so that you don’t have to deal with the important things.

Look, I understand self-sabotage and fear of failure. I had to learn to stay focused on the things that matter. And when I did, I started getting better at what I was doing and getting more done and I started succeeding.

So, let me tell you how to get out from under the unnecessary and start focusing on the important.

First, learn to tell the difference between the things that whisper and the things that roar. The things that whisper are all those little details, some of which are important, but not urgent and some of which aren’t important at all. The things that roar are the things that need to be done immediately or that have a direct impact on you making money or furthering your number one priority. Continue reading

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How to Be Really Productive When You’re Starting a Fitness Boot Camp

You’re starting a fitness business. You’re excited, you’re anxious; raring to go. But if you’re not a master at consistently being productive now, you’d better figure out how to do it before you open your doors. Starting a fitness boot camp requires you to manage your time and mental energy very carefully. Learning to be productive now will get your business off on the right foot and will also mean that once your business is wildly successful, you’ll know how to get sh** done efficiently so that you can enjoy your life.Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 6.48.00 PM

Entrepreneurs are creative, fluid people. We’re always on to the next thing and thinking up the next great idea before we’ve even finished the last. But that energy needs to be reined in and harnessed, so that:

- We’re able to accomplish everything, instead of accomplishing half of everything.

- So we’re not stuck working 80 hours a week because we fell down a hundred rabbit holes every day.

- We’re focusing our time and energy on the things that make us money, make us happy and achieve our goals.

It took me years to finally hone my productivity skills in such a way that I could get the most important things done each day, get them done in the shortest time possible and get rid of the stress caused by my day ending before my to-do list did.

I’m going to tell you the four things that help me stay at the peak of productivity each day. These tips helped me almost 15 years ago when I was starting a fitness boot camp for the first time. They still help me today, now that I’m running several successful companies. Continue reading

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