The Real Reason I HATE Bait-And-Switch Advertising

The Real Reason I HATE Bait-And-Switch Advertising

If you go read the message boards all the way back to 2001, you’ll find questions about marketing.


The very first affiliates struggled with marketing. Affiliates in 2014–during the highest-growth period of CrossFit affiliates worldwide–still struggled with marketing. And in 2018, affiliates were still struggling with marketing.


So when some gym owners started to find success with various Facebook marketing strategies, I was thrilled. FINALLY, we could talk about actually running a business! FINALLY, more affiliate owners could afford the service that would really make a difference: mentorship!


And it happened: on more and more “Free Help” calls with affiliate owners, I heard: “I ran this six-week challenge and now I can afford mentorship!”


It appeared that the marketing problem was solved–at least, temporarily. No Facebook strategy lasts more than a few months, but I hoped that gym owners were being given some breathing room to work on the stuff that works forever.


But then I started hearing about the “bait and switch” advertising (I refuse to call it “marketing”.)

You know how it works already: “FREE challenge! Sign up here!” Then the potential new client is told the challenge is actually $499…but they’ll get their money back IF they leave a good review…and check off a bunch of other boxes.


I heard stories about coaches leaving, because they no longer trusted the box owners (“If they’re lying to clients, they’re probably lying to me, too.”)


I heard stories about great, long-term clients being “washed out” of the gym by the tidal waves of short-term, in-and-out groups of 30 or more.


I heard stories of burnout by owners. Stories of clients who thought they had “done CrossFit…and now I’m looking for the next thing” because they thought CrossFit was an 8-week mass challenge.


Stories of marketing companies charging tens of thousands of dollars for this stuff!


But what really broke my optimism was this: “People have commitment problems. They never stick around after 8 weeks!”


That’s not a commitment problem. That’s a leadership problem.


What kind of leader promises something to get you in the door, and then tells you the truth later? Not one that I’d follow.


What kind of relationship starts with a lie?


Since starting TwoBrain, I’ve wrestled with the question “What do gym owners actually NEED?” many times. It’s my mission to make gym owners wealthy–because I am one. I’ve asked the question about data sources; about booking and billing software; about handbooks and templates and courses and seminars and mentorship.


But what gym owners actually NEED is the ability to change lives. That means leadership. It means business strategies that stand on their own: logical, replicable, and honorable.


What gym owners don’t need is tricks. That’s what made the industry so corrupt BEFORE CrossFit!


So when two members of the TwoBrain family–John Franklin and Mateo Lopez–told me about their success with Facebook marketing, I was eager to hear their story. I love these guys. I trust them. They’re great leaders. They do things the right way.


They showed me their strategy. They’d taken years (and over $80,000 of investment) to learn how to market their four gyms well. I loved their method, but I don’t sell ideas; so we tested it. First in mentors’ gyms, then in a dozen TwoBrain gyms, then in a hundred. Their Facebook marketing strategy proved SO successful that we built it into the Incubator permanently. Every gym owner who works with TwoBrain receives mentorship in Facebook Marketing now.


Our strategy isn’t a swipe file or one specific campaign. It’s not an over-promise-and-pray plan. It’s mentorship.


What works in my market might not work in yours. Hell, I wouldn’t WANT another gym running the same ads in my city anyway. But John and Mateo have built a mentorship program for marketing on the TwoBrain platform that makes me proud. It’s one-on-one help (not big group calls); a help desk; tons of samples; coaching on ad spend and mentorship on testing. And it’s a fraction of the cost of these challenge-brokers, because I think that’s the right thing to do.


We also make gyms fix up their operations, retention strategy, coaching development plans, and pricing before teaching them marketing…because that’s ALSO the right thing to do.


I want to make gym owners wealthy. That means the ability to stay in the game for 30 years; to build long-term relationships of trust; to lead. Does your marketing make you proud…or does it make you a fraud?



How Much Time Does It Take To Run A Gym?

How Much Time Does It Take To Run A Gym?

What’s your job?


When you start working out, your job is to become as fit as possible.

When you become a coach, your job is to get others as fit as possible. That comes first. Your workouts–though necessary–come second.

When you open a gym, your job is to make the gym profitable. That comes first. When your primary work is done, you can coach. And when the coaching is done, you can train.


This is a message I’ve repeated very often, because it’s a fundamental concept–AND it’s often forgotten.


Some gym owners refer to “the business side” of owning a gym–as if there were any other side. Owning a gym is owning a gym. Coaching is coaching. They’re not the same. Business isn’t what you do if you have time left over between appointments. Business is what makes the appointments possible.


Other gym owners are running their business upside down: they open a gym so they can train first, coach second, and worry about “the other stuff” in the time left over. Of course, these gyms don’t last long.


But most gym owners started a business to buy themselves a coaching job. And if your dream is to coach for 5-8 hours every day, working only with high-paying clients one-on-one or in very small groups of 2-3, then sure: the model can work. I started out this way. But someday, you might want some time off; or a raise; or a business that doesn’t close its doors when you get sick. And when that time comes, you’re going to have to work ON the business instead of IN the business.


Not sometimes. ALL the time.


It’s not hard to spend 50 hours per week running the business. There’s more than enough to do. And if someone isn’t dedicating at least 40 hours to managing and growing your gym, it will take YEARS to become successful.


Let’s say it takes 2000 hours per year (50 weeks x 40 hours) to run a great gym. That includes time spent meeting new clients, training your coaches, collecting money, stocking toilet paper, building your processes…I can’t even list everything.


A gym owner who coaches 20 classes per week will have, at BEST, 20 hours per week to work “on the business”. Because she also has to eat, and sleep, and train, and talk to clients before and after class…


That means she has a maximum of 1000 hours to invest in business operations and growth per year. And that means it will take her twice as long to become successful as a full-time owner.


What if she’s tired from coaching? What if she spends some of that time following bad advice she found in a Facebook group? What if she spends 10 hours designing a new t-shirt or arguing about the profit margin of Kill Cliff vs FitAid?


The more she coaches, the less effective her time will be on “other stuff”.


If she has 500 productive hours per year–or 10 per week–it will take her FOUR years to reach the level of a full-time gym owner. And probably more. As someone who’s tried to grow a gym on ten hours per week, I can attest: those ten hours are not very productive. The only thing that saved me was having a mentor, because then I maximized those ten hours to get a LOT done. But Catalyst’s recovery and growth still took years longer than it had to, because I was coaching too much.


Running a gym is a full-time job. Now I have an amazing GM at Catalyst named Jamie. He likes to coach a couple of classes per week (literally two.) But his job isn’t coaching; it’s running and growing the gym. And he’s great at it, and his hard work creates jobs for the coaches.


What’s your job? As soon as you take responsibility for the welfare of others, your job is to make them as successful as possible. As a coach, that means making your clients successful. As an owner, it means making your staff successful. That means building the business first, and coaching in your “free time” after the work is done.

Why Your Rules Don’t Work

Why Your Rules Don’t Work

Have you ever tried to sue someone for their gym fees?


I haven’t. And I don’t want to. So I don’t have contracts.


“Never make a rule you won’t enforce” is something my first mentor taught me. But he didn’t tell me the harder lesson: that you have to enforce the rules that you make. And you have to enforce them the same way every single time, or they won’t work.


When we sold Open Gym memberships at Catalyst, we had a full page of rules:

Clear out before group starts
Don’t come near the floor while there’s a group going on, even to warm up
Put your stuff away

I don’t have to spell it out for you. You know what’s on that list.


The problem was that no one really followed the list. So for awhile, members using Open Gym would show up while class was on, and discreetly their warmups in the corner. Sometimes they’d walk through class to get a foam roller. Eventually, their warmups involved a barbell. And then they began to involve the AirDynes…and then a coach snapped on them, and everyone felt awkward and bad, and I had to placate people who were in the wrong.


They weren’t bad people, and it wasn’t their fault. It was my fault for not showing them where the lines are.


When the rules are gray, there aren’t any rules.


If you give people five extra minutes of personal coaching after class for free, you’ll never sell personal training as a service.

If one coach starts class late, your clients won’t show up on time.

If “Open gym” runs during class time, your students will have a lesser experience.


If you aren’t saying “no”–and saying it clearly every time–you’re really saying “yes.”


Consistency is greater than everything else. Even when it’s painful.


The irony is that upholding your rules consistently and clearly is only painful once. In the long run, it’s far LESS painful.


I once had a client decide to row a half-marathon during Open Gym. Great guy, he’d been around for over two years, and he was choosing a tough option.

But five minutes before class was set to start, he still had nearly 5k to row. There was no way he was going to finish.

The coach told him to make sure he finished rowing before class started. Period. He said, “I’m over 15k in! I can’t stop.”

The coach said, “You will stop. That’s the rule.”

He stopped. He got off the rower, picked up his bag, and left the gym. He never came back. In the moment, it sucked.

But we’ve never had the problem since. That was six years ago. One hard conversation saved us from dozens of hard conversations, awkwardness and apologies down the road.


When the rules are complicated, they won’t be followed.


Imagine you’re a new client, and you you’re not really sure what the rules are. You see others showing up early and warming up while another class is running, so you do it too. Then a coach barks at you. You’re in a new place with strangers, and you were just embarrassed in front of them. Why would you ever come back?


Clear rules and consistent delivery teach your clients how to fit in. They save you from frustration and burnout, and save your clients from confusion and awkwardness.


If your rules aren’t being followed now, it’s probably because you haven’t enforced them before. Or because they’re just not clear. Or because people don’t know them.


Good pet owners, good parents, and good parents do it the same way every time.

Episode 155: Driven Nutrition, with Jason Rule

Announcer:                            00:02                       Welcome everyone to to brain radio. It is our mission at TwoBrain is to provide 1 million entrepreneurs the freedom to live the life that they choose. Join us every week as we discover the very best practices to achieve perfect day and move you closer to wealth.

Announcer:                            00:26                       This episode is brought to you by ForTime Design. The real focus of this episode is talking about the value of your time. Is it worth it to outsource your programming and what I started to bring to bring I built these sites myself from scratch because I wasn’t satisfied with what else was out there. It’s important to know how to build a website yourself. It’s important to know how to change your own oil. It’s important to know how to rotate your own tires, but the value of your time is what’s most important. I’m not a graphic designer, I’m not a website designer and so I trust liquid state design to take care of all this stuff for me. Check them out. Toxic Teresa, they do some pretty amazing work and a lot of two brain gyms are already using them. To huge advantage in their local market.

Greg Strauch:                        01:10                       All right. I’m here with Jason Rule, owner of Driven nutrition. Jason, how are you?

Jason Rule:                             01:15                       I’m good. Thanks for having me on Greg. I appreciate it.

Greg Strauch:                        01:18                       Happy to. I know personally within my gym, I love the products that Driven nutrition has been able to offer us. I would say as a business owner, I love the profit margins as well. Uh, before we get into all that, let’s kind of start with your story. Let’s start with kind of what led you up to open driven nutrition and uh, Kinda expand and we’ll go from there.

Jason Rule:                             01:37                       All right. Right on. We’ll dive into it. So about 20 years ago, I bought my first supplement store and then shortly after that, about a year after that, about another one and got pretty entrenched inside of the supplement industry working with the franchisees. And what I found in the industry was a lot of times a company will come out of nowhere, build itself up, and then start charging a lot higher premium for their product or they’ll start selling out the people, the businesses that actually built them. So after about three years of doing that, I decided to open my own shingle and I figured, okay, at least I can control if I, if I start my own brand, I can control not only the quality of products but retail distribution as well as the wholesale price of it. So not having to worry about a manufacturer’s undercutting me or anything like that.

Jason Rule:                             02:30                       And that rolled around, that was about 14 years ago when I started tight. And, and then once crossfit came about, some of the supplements, uh, took a big jump again cause people started focusing on health and wellness and all that. But as crossfit gyms started reaching out to us saying, hey, we’d like to carry your product lines. I kept hearing over and over again, we don’t care if we make a profit, we just want a really good product offer our members. That struck a chord with me because that’s really how, well, that’s not exactly how I ran my company, but I’m a big believer in there’s no amount of money that’s worth giving up your reputation for. So when someone came into my stores, I trained all of my guys like, Hey, these are the products that we recommend for these situations. We’re not here just to make a buck or to sell a product, but instead to help these guys achieve their goals.

Jason Rule:                             03:21                       So the compassion and the, and the relationship that crossfit gyms had with their members really compelled to me. But it scared me really bad cause they’re saying I don’t care if I make a profit. So you know, keep in mind, this was seven years ago, I was flat out telling people like, look dude, you just bought a hobby. If you’re doing something for the sake of just, hey, I want to do this cause my members are telling me I should do it, then you should generate revenue from it and not, you shouldn’t do it. Focus on a part of a business that can be profitable, that can drive the metrics forward. So we worked with, we worked with a handful of gems and we just basically said, look, if we created a brand that was exclusive for affiliates, what would you need? And of course they started with protein, you know that it needs to taste great, it needs to be amazed and he said mix easily and it just needs to be a really straight forward product.

Jason Rule:                             04:10                       So we started with that and then amino acids, a creatine, glutamine, fish oil and nighttime sleep aid and recovery product, post workout, pre workout. The list goes on and on and now we’re up to 60 or 70 different products. And as we started developing the products, it stayed in the back of my mind. It’s not just the products that these affiliates need, but it’s the support and the training. And I caution to say this, permission to make a profit. And you know that at the time there were, there were some brands in the space, but they were, they were very expensive and there’s only so long you can overcharge for a commodity. And that’s what, that’s what supplements are, their commodities, you know, I’ll be at high grades depending on what company you work with, but they are, they are commodities. So eventually if you’re charging a lot of money for a product that a member can walk into a local retailer for and buy for 30 or $40, eventually the koolaid wears off a little bit and then like, oh, it’s proteins protein.

Jason Rule:                             05:12                       Right? Well that’s a tough business model. If the prices are really high, it’s just not something that can be sustained. So the, besides the teaching and the, the approaches that we take to retail of teaching Jim’s how to create a successful business unit. Inside of that, we wrap it around a model that allows the affiliates to sell the products at a reasonable price point. In fact, a lot of our affiliates will sell it a little bit below our retail price. So you’ll find our products on our, on our website as well as on our Amazon store and that’s at full blown retail and I encouraged the affiliates to sell it just a little bit below our retail price point. Then that way you can say as an added value of being a member of our gen, we’re proud to be able to save you money on these products.

Greg Strauch:                        05:58                       Yeah. Which is usually a different approach that a majority of supplement companies we’ll talk about with the people that are going to be supplying the supplements to the members. They definitely don’t, don’t do, don’t do that same justice that you guys do have of really making sure that they’re getting the benefit of being able to carry the products within their facilities. Right, right. So you guys take a different approach to onboarding. Anyone that, that, that decides to start with driven, what does that onboarding process look like?

Jason Rule:                             06:28                       Well, it uh, anybody who is interested, they can go to our website and fill out the form to become an affiliate. And then the next step is we’ve got a gate there intentionally. The next step is for them to schedule a call with me and then we jam for 1530 minutes to see if we’re a good fit. And we go over the process of how do I talk to my members about supplements? How do I come off as though I’m not being salesy and you know, and then how do I talk to my members as well as my coaches about it? And how do I make it part of my community and what we do here. So it’s kind of laying out that overall framework. And then we have emails that kind of are follow the bouncing ball. Everything from a script that an affiliate can use to post up when they first announced about it to a coach’s newsletter that has 60 to 70 different emails.

Jason Rule:                             07:15                       And, and in that we just drip emails to the coaches every seven to 10 days. And that’s a mistake that I made early on. A couple years back, I realized some of my onboarding calls were taking two and a half hours. And not only was I getting hungry during these things, but I, you know, the trickle down the lane, there’s only so much information you can absorb in and a certain amount of time. And what I found was, hey, I could create, I can create an article. So I started documenting our processes like any good business will. I mean, you guys do a great job of teaching that. And I was just winging it. You know, here’s what I know about retail. And I was just puking all over it.

Jason Rule:                             07:55                       And uh, so I started documented like, here’s, here’s a ball, just follow it. And we, we integrated that into infusion soft that we use for followup and it just kind of follow the bouncing ball and um, hopefully, uh, we’ve done a good job. I always say, hopefully because I believe that we’re just one version away from being better and that includes whatever version we just made that’s better. Uh, so we’re constantly improving those processes that here’s how you introduce products to members, here’s how you introduced it to coaches and here’s how you create a successful business unit inside of your gym. Instead of just buying products to help us pay for the products you take yourself, it should be a profitable venture.

Greg Strauch:                        08:36                       Agreed. Agreed. And with that, I mean, you guys do even more unique things with, with the onboarding, but also with a presales. I know, uh, Bryan Alexander did this and in what kind of interests me into driven was the fact that you guys do more of like a preorder. So if is buying shirts

Jason Rule:                             08:56                       or other kinds of apparel companies kind of do this, hey, put out a list, let everyone kind of pick what they need and then a kind of forward that to you guys with payment to get, get the order placed. Is that correct? Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Brian. Brian crushed it and he actually helped us develop the sop is for it. I was sitting there at my desk and I heard the printer just go and go and go on and had like an $8,000 order and I just picked up the phone. I said, what did you just do? It said all, I’ve been building up for that for a couple months. And I was like, okay, we need to hop on a call. And that’s one of the things that I do is if a, if an affiliate is crushing something, I’ll hop on a call, I’ll record it, and then I’ll turn it into a podcast and they’ll spread that out to the rest of our affiliates.

Jason Rule:                             09:34                       Then that way we can all kind of get up to speed and also accelerate, you know, the hive mind mindset. So we, we took what Brian was doing and then we implemented that into not only an email series but also a mini cha using Facebook messenger. You know you mentioned doing things different, I call it weird, you know, things that stand out that kind of make people go, what was that? What did I just look at? I get real heavy into Facebook messenger and so we have a link then an affiliate you can click on and then it’s just basically a follow the bouncing ball, nine day process of here’s what you post, here’s what you say, here’s the links to the assets that you need. And then nine days later you, you have this big list of members that need products and you go place the order.

Jason Rule:                             10:19                       And then two days later you’d get the order and disburse it out and you have profit in the bank. And that’s amazing to be able to do, cause I’ve, I first handed been able to do that and allow for us to have excellent margins on our products in the industry. There’s definitely different models throughout supplementation of how people should, should be selling it and all that kind of stuff. Can you talk a little bit about the difference between what driven has done compared to maybe the conventional business model of supplements? Uh, sure. I mean that’s part of the reason that we, we created a new brand completely out of by driven nutrition instead of taking the original brand than we had and saying, hey, here’s, here’s a traditional southern, that company, you know, it’s normally dealing with body builders, fitness competitors, weight loss, that type of thing.

Jason Rule:                             11:05                       And a lot of those companies were advertising at crossfitters as well as at owners. You know, some went directly to the gyms, they have sales forces for wholesale and everything else and then they will call you and hey Greg, are you looking at selling some supplements? Sure, send me some samples and then they hound you and pound you until you either buy or die. And we don’t, we don’t do that. We, we’ve grown strictly by word of mouth. And part of that was through being broke and you know, simply through desperation of hey, we can’t, the margins that we have that aren’t anywhere near what the affiliate can have. So we had to get more creative with how, how we grew our brands. So you know, working with affiliates, one of the first things I tell them, and I encouraged, I can encourage affiliates to do the same thing, is I expect to do such a good job for you that when somebody says, Hey, what do you do for some months?

Jason Rule:                             11:55                       Or what are you selling your gym? It’s a flat out. If you’re not working with Jason had driven, you are missing the boat. And I know that by saying that, then I’m, then I’m establishing the level of quality that you as an affiliate expect. So if, if we ever drop the ball, if we screw up, if we mess up an order or we can improve our process, you know, all of all of the affiliates we work with have my cell phone and I expect a text like, Hey Jason, you’re dropping the ball or you could do a better job here. And if it’s something that is possible or within with our, in our abilities to learn than we, we build it and then we implement it and then we test it. So I think that, you know, working directly in with affiliate owners and letting them know, like you’re the, you’re the ones growing our brand. You’re the ones that are, that are talking to your members, that you’re the ones that are trusting that when you sell them one of our products, that they are getting a good product. So we’ve, we’ve stayed very loyal to that and we rely on the affiliates to help us spread the word because I don’t think there’s anything like what we do.

Greg Strauch:                        12:57                       No I I 100% agree and I can attest to anyone out there listening to this podcast that a, I do have your cell phone number in my phone and if anything like that does come up. Definitely being able to reach out to you, which is unique because it’s not like you can reach out to a lot of other supplement companies. Their CEOs are even have their cell phone number to say, Hey I need help with this. Or Hey I think the system could be streamlined this way or that way and giving you feedback directly. So that’s definitely a unique thing that you’re able to do and continue doing at a high level with, with all the other things that you currently do within the business and still be able to keep that personal touch with affiliate owners and gym owners.

Jason Rule:                             13:36                       Well for me it’s very honestly it’s self serving because we serve the affiliates and if I, if I build a wall between you guys and I don’t have that line of communication, then I’m just going and I’m going to start mentoring stuff as far as what is my opinion is that everybody should be doing instead of listening to what are the best ones out there doing. We can just move a lot faster altogether. Then we can just individually, so for, it’s part of it’s lazy by me is I don’t want to have to think of all this cool stuff that everybody’s doing out there. I just want to be able to take it and be like, hey man, good job. How do we, how do we duplicate that this out with, you know, a thousand other affiliates.

Greg Strauch:                        14:13                       Yeah, definitely. Now you guys have the typical supplements. You have the protein, you have the BCA A’s, but you have some unique supplements to. Can you expand a little bit on some of the stuff that is kind of outside of the normal protein and bcas that that most Shim cell?

Jason Rule:                             14:32                       Yeah. You know, our top sellers are two bound protein. Then we’ve got posed quad, we’ve got prewired, which is a lot of, lot of crossfit gyms and not a lot. I’d say some of them are like, no, I don’t want to sell preworkout great. So another product we have is called disrupt. So it’s our branch chain amino acids. It’s BCAS plus one gram of an energy formula. So you know it has about 120 milligrams of caffeine. So not enough to really give you much energy at all, but it’s just kind of a smooth, smooth product that you can take to help increase pain tolerance. So there’s no pump product. You know, if you’re doing a metcon or something like that, you don’t want your heart rate up if you’re doing a long rowing, you don’t want to get a pump in your legs. So disrupt as a cool product that really doesn’t fit the, the space of normal supplements.

Jason Rule:                             15:16                       But it falls into the crossfit space. Well along with post one. And then, you know, we got into, Jeez man, Greg, we’ve got, I think we’ve got 60, close to 60 some odd skews just with, and that’s just products. And then you get into apparel, you know, shirts, uh, men’s shorts, uh, ladies shorts, you know, and all of those are brand. And we set those up at a pass through cost. Some affiliate can sell our apparel and generate a really solid revenue stream. And then, you know, when somebody is thinking that they need to take a protein or something like that and they see a coach or an owner, other members walking around driven nutrition tee shirts, what are they going to buy? You’re going to buy what everybody else does. So that’s one way that we kind of help drive interest into the brand and keep that, keep that internal marketing going without a lot of effort from the affiliate owner.

Jason Rule:                             16:04                       So apparel is great. And then, I don’t know, lower year ago I created a, a good relationship with Charlotte’s web who’s the industry leader in CBD. In fact, they’re the ones that created the, the rush for CBD. You know, Satya gooped in 2014 the an expo say on them called weed, and he documented the, the medical refugee crisis that was happening in Colorado of people hearing about CBD and what it was doing for these, the two first patients, Charlotte figgy and a Secai Jackson. So this, these Stanley brothers or seven of them, they started as Stanley brothers, his name of it, and eventually that the name got out so much about of what it was doing for Charlotte figgy that they ended up naming their entire company Charlotte’s web off of the strain of him that they were growing. So as I started looking into it for personal reasons, there was a lot of misinformation.

Jason Rule:                             17:03                       It reminded me of, it reminded me a lot of when a new supplement comes out and there’s all this amazing sexy marketing on it, and that just makes me raise an antenna of bullshit antenna like that doesn’t make any sense there. So I started digging into it and digging into it, digging into it, and every, every form that I found, everybody that actually was needing CBD for what, what they consider medical reasons, whether it’s dealing with epilepsy or depression, PTSD, that type of thing. Every, every legitimate source that I found was pointing to Charlotte’s web. And the more I dug into the company and more I realized like all of these other companies are private labeling their buy in bulk oil from Israel, from China, where China, you can, you can pet spend 100 bucks and get an organic certification. There’s no validity to it whatsoever.

Jason Rule:                             17:54                       So the market, you know, the big CVD market that is, is what it is now was scaring me a year and a half ago because there’s, you know, there’s no one at the wheel of this industry except for Charlotte’s web because they grow. So every, every bottle that is produced comes from the exact same strand of him. So if you can imagine the Fido chemical properties of a plant, it’s going to vary from one batch to another. Hemp is such a, such an untapped market that we still have unique strains. And that’s what these guys did was they, they, they bred this strain up until it’s CBD content was higher than anything else I’ve ever found were a lot of times, you know, four years ago, everybody was growing hemp plants to increase the TNC to get people more high. They had read these studies in the sixties about what CBD can do and the studies are coming from Israel and you know, what the endocannabinoid system is and you know, uh, all of that, we can spend hours talking about CBD.

Jason Rule:                             18:53                       But these guys believed in the benefits of it. So they started breeding this strain that they own that genetics for now. And not only do the hand plant every plant in Colorado on their own farm, but the hand cultivated. So there’s no synthetic pesticides, no synthetic fungicides or anything like that. And in the end product, every batch, every product is exactly the same, has the same fido chemical properties. And you know, the scary thing about CBD, the scary thing about hemp oil is hemp as a reclamation plant. Uh, what that means is, is they’ll plant it around like mining operations, uh, to pull the, pull the contaminants out of the soil to get the, to get the, to get the levels out to where they’re not going to get sued by the EPA. Well, I mean, like, uh, in Japan, after Hiroshima was bombed, they planted him all over the place to pull the radiation on the soil.

Jason Rule:                             19:46                       Now it’s going, it’s coming out of the soil, but it’s going into the plant. So if you’ve taken, if you take these huge roomfuls of hemp, grinded up that have been grown in less than stellar conditions are polluted conditions, all of those contaminants are going to be inside those plants. And now they’re getting to get this entire roomful of him is going to get processed and put inside these two gallons of oil. So now you’ve got an incredibly concentrated level of contaminants. And so instead of doing what a lot of well a lot of companies do is, you know, buying raw products, putting your label on it, I felt I was really doing a disservice to the industry. But more than that, our clients, because I can’t make a better product than Charlotte’s web.

Greg Strauch:                        20:28                       Yeah. Oh, I was gonna say, so you basically turned around and said, okay, if gym owners are, are selling supplements and this is something that can benefit them, which we can go into the benefits of, of their members in them of what CBD oil can do. But because you couldn’t develop a better product to, you wanted to get the best of the best, which was, uh, what Charlotte’s web was.

Jason Rule:                             20:48                       Right, right. Or his right, right. Yeah. Yeah. And uh, you know, the CBD concentration is a factor of seven times stronger than most of the other brands out there. And it’s the same price point. The cost per CBD mall milligram is a fraction of most brands. So an affiliate, I’ve had affiliates bring it in, you know, one of the, you know, we talk about how do we, how do we promote it, how do we do all that? And a lot of times affiliates will, we’ll spend a lot of time researching and everything allows to get like that. I’m really just teaching affiliates. Hey, if you can get out of here, get out of the numbers way and like just make it available, ask them a question. So one of the ways that we taught affiliates early on to to see if it was a good fit was I took a picture of the bottle and then I just put this question mark on it.

Jason Rule:                             21:31                       And so I sent affiliates of the script and said, ah, just post this, post the picture and say, do you take CBD oil and why? And then listen, listen to your members. Uh, we had, we had one gem get 37 comments on it. Yeah. Like, I mean like do Murph, you’ll get that many comments or program, a three mile run for time. You know, you’ll get a bunch of comments. But people, now, this has been a year and a half since we’ve been into it, but when we first started it was pretty divided. You know, people were passionate about it one way or the other and um, you know, that that is starting to die down. The acceptance of it and everything else. People are starting to realize this product doesn’t get you high. You know, there’s not enough THC in it to do anything. Psychoactively but there are benefits that, that people are getting.

Greg Strauch:                        22:15                       Yeah. I like to always say to people that are worried about that with, with the being in CBD oil. I say it’s a, it’s about the equivalent of the alcohol in Cambridge show. Jay Is, I mean it’s fermented tea. It’s going to technically, but nobody’s drinking that and a drinking and driving. So it’s like that. It’s, yes, technically it could have a trace in there, but it’s such a, such a minor level that it will, you could drink the whole thing and I’m pretty sure it’s still wouldn’t cause that much of an effect. But I mean, and, and CBE CBD you can get into to the benefits if they do have members that are taking this or don’t know about it. What, what exactly are the benefits that people that would be telling their, their members of what this could do?

Jason Rule:                             22:59                       You know, there, we have to be careful with, um, you can tell stories, you can say why people take it. But you can’t say that it’s fixing it because then you get into, then you’re telling people that it is a medication and that’s, that’s really, that’s another reasons that we work with. We decided to work with Charlotte’s web is I want us to make sure that we’re staying on the right side of, of this particular industry because right now the pharmaceutical company, they were able to produce one CBD product. Apple dialax I believe is the name of it, so if, if we as an industry of people who are offering as well as gems that are offering CBD and hemp oil and then they start saying, well, this can cure this or this can cure that. They really get themselves in a tough spot of where they’re prescribing and unapproved medication.

Jason Rule:                             23:48                       I’d be doing everybody a disservice to answer that question. What I will do is there’s, there’s a nonprofit and we talked about this before we got on the call. Greg is, it’s called the realm of caring. The t h e r o c. Dot. US. It is the best source that is available on the planet that I’ve found of. What are the studies and what are the studies pointing to for different conditions? What impact does CBD and humble having on these and out of out of the studies that have been done and it’s, it’s, there’s a huge library, like you can go to the resource and there’s, there’s hundreds of conditions that studies have been done and they’re linked up on there. So I would recommend any affiliate, use that as a resource not only for to learn about, but also if a member has a question, plugged them into it.

Jason Rule:                             24:35                       Since since we work with Charlotte’s web, who was one of the original founders of who was the founder of the realm of caring. Now it’s a nonprofit that works with other oil companies and it recommends other hemp oil companies. But since we’re connected to that, our gym can use the realm of caring. Our gyms can use the realm of caring as a resource to pick up the phone, to hand the phone to a member and say, hey, you’re dealing with this condition. Please reach out to them and have these conversations. And the beautiful thing is, is the real caring is run by people who have dealt with, you know, sick kids. They’ve been sick themselves, they’ve used these products. And so no matter what condition someone is dealing with, they have people who have dealt with that themselves and they’re able to plug you in to that resource so you can use it. So I, I’ll the, I believe that on better serving everyone that’s listening to this, by sending them in that direction, then doing what all these other companies are doing of, Hey, this is what CBD oil does or cures this or cures that. There’s, that’s not doing the industry any justice.

Greg Strauch:                        25:38                       Yeah, no, I agree. We definitely appreciate that. We’ll make sure we link that in the show notes so that everyone, if they’re doing the research for that, and that’s just one of the products that you guys have to offer that’s a little bit more unique because a, a lot of supplement companies aren’t going in any other route, uh, besides the protein, the preworkout, um, possibly even the creatine. But even further into that, you guys, I mean, let’s, uh, let’s talk about a unique product. I remember at the summit last year, you brought it up. You were, you were, you were eating a bag of them and we’re a little confused on what they were, but I think it’s called the meat snacks. Is that correct?

Jason Rule:                             26:11                       Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Um, so I made snacks is made from chicken isolat. So this, this company not too far from us. In fact, if you buy Campbell’s soup or any, any type of a chicken bullion, anything, it comes from this company and what they, what they were trying to do is figure out how, so as they’re refining chicken processing chicken, they had some byproduct, which was chicken protein. So they’ve started refining the process of chicken protein isolate and then having this, this powder, which it doesn’t sound very, and by itself it’s not, um, you know, just basically it’s, it’s cooked chicken with very little seasoning or anything like that, but it has unbelievable health benefits. Chicken is one of the highest things in branch chain amino acids products out there by a factor of almost two. So chicken protein has some great benefits for athletes.

Jason Rule:                             27:02                       So as they started developing products, I started buying these meat snacks. So I, last year I set a goal, I wanted to travel and go to five different events or masterminds or anything like that. And as I travel, I don’t like eating crappy meals, Mcdonald’s, anything like that. So I try to control, okay, I need a snack here, I need a snack there. So I was traveling with these things and, and eating them. I was eating three or four days sometimes when I would travel. And I was like, these are delicious. So created a relationship with the company and said, hey, we’d like to offer these to our affiliates. And um, and we do. So when we, the thing is when we create those relationships with the affiliates or with these companies, we’ve been very careful to vet them. Uh, not only from the standpoint of their Ra’s and their products, but their business. What’s their business goals? Do they align with ours? And is this something that, that their members are going to be able to buy it? The costs that they’re getting an ad and a few months. If so, I tell people flat out, look, if that’s the path you’re going down, let’s, let’s just part friends because we’re not going to get along and it’s not going to go well if you start selling us out and our, and our retail partners,

Greg Strauch:                        28:10                       which is very unique because I mean supplements, you’re looking at margins and you’re looking at what you guys are able to make and look in numbers really is what it comes down to. And that’s definitely a different take that you guys go about within the industry of it’s not chasing the money, it’s more of chasing what’s going to benefit the end user the most. Along with the gym owner, the, the crossfit affiliate owner.

Jason Rule:                             28:33                       It’s a, it’s a lot longer game. You know, there’s not, there’s not a flash in the pan. We’re not looking for instant revenue, um, incident profits. You know, we’re, we’re in this for the long haul and it’s, you know, the crossfit owners that were telling us six or seven years ago, you know, I don’t care if I make a profit, I just want a good product off of my members. Um, we just kind of flipped that on its head a little bit, but I know how, how are trusting, you know, a lot of these guys are past military firefighters, law enforcement. My Dad’s a retired highway patrolmen. My brother’s a trooper. I got a nephew that’s a trooper, another one that’s going into it and Kansas. And you know, I just grew up with that mindset of, you know, tell people what you’re going to do and then do it.

Jason Rule:                             29:11                       And then crossfit goes a step farther of that vitality of, hey, this is, this is really unique. This can help your business. And then, you know, there’s been a lot of consultants that have come out and they’re saving a lot of these gems by teaching them how to make profit. And, um, and thankfully I’m grateful that they’re helping us spread the word as far as, hey, this is what driven does pay attention to them and you don’t have to sell supplements, but if you do, I feel that uh, driven is probably the best model out there. I hope.

Greg Strauch:                        29:42                       And coming from an experience, I mean we’re almost five years in now, uh, with me owning the gym and I can definitely tell you that, uh, it’s, it’s the way the process you guys have made, um, which is what I want to get into next of somebody being able to onboard with you to the point of selling the supplements and how easy you guys make it. Almost like a plug in play to do along with, I mean, looking at it from a business standpoint, the margins that you make on the products are, I’ve yet to see something better and we can break down the difference between, I mean, whey protein and the different types of it and casein protein and all these other things of what’s going to be the most beneficial. But you guys do a great job of not only instituting a learning process of what you guys have and how to show what to offer so that people don’t have to go out and do the research themselves if they haven’t yet.

Greg Strauch:                        30:33                       But you guys sell top notch supplement. So it’s not like you guys are going to the the guy, like you said before, with the oils of, of going to like China and getting a bulk order of, of, of protein. You guys are actually making it and manufacturing it to the highest possible quality all the time. Right, right. I appreciate you saying, saying all of that. Yeah. You know, I, I mentioned that earlier. A lot of affiliate owners, we’ll try to learn everything that casein does or everything that fish oil does or what do I mean? I’ll acids do. And the truth is a lot of your guys as members are already taking and buying supplements. They’re just not buying them from you either because you don’t offer them. The products you offer are that, some of them don’t taste good. Right? So it has to taste good.

Jason Rule:                             31:16                       It has to taste like reward or it’s priced outside of what the other markets do with that specific product. Um, so we, we kind of focus on instead of, hey, instead learn everything in that a branch chain amino acid can do, just make it available to your members, find a product and this is, this is true of any retail. Find a product that you believe in and if it’s something that you can generate a good enough profit on to make it worth your while, make it available to them and then talk about it. Let your members know this is what you take. You don’t have to know everything about amino acids. You just have to say, hey, this is what I take. This is why I take it. This is what I perceive when I take it. And then let them taste it. If you, if you do those things and you have it on your shelves, they’ll buy it

Jason Rule:                             31:58                       without a doubt. And I think, uh, something that I’ve always done and I’ve stuck to and my head coach still make sure, um, that my GM follows this as well, is the fact that we’re never going to sell a supplement or product that we don’t personally take or willing to take something, whether it’s a workout or it’s a amino acid or protein. Everything that we have on our shelves is stuff that we take and our coaches take and we believe in. And I think that’s something that you guys also have a line in. I remember you saying it plenty of times of, and I’m not going to sell a supplement that I’m not willing to take or that I haven’t taken that I enjoy taking too because I mean supplements are supplementation. So it’s, and that’s, that’s awesome to be able to have an that care in there. So let’s say somebody right now is listening to this and they’re like, you know what? I needed to talk to Jason. I need to figure out how I can institute this. The onboarding process, you said that they sign up online on the website, which we’ll put in the show notes, there’s a link for that. But what is, what does that onboarding process look like for somebody coming on with

Jason Rule:                             33:00                       driven nutrition? Well, first thing I’d do is ask them, are you carrying supplements now? What have you carried in the past of what worked? Then that way I can get a feel for kind of where they are as far as business, you know, do we need to break down some, some preconceived notions about making a profit first of all. And uh, and then the other thing is just plugging them into the, the emails of here’s, here’s the system that you follow. And you know, once we throw the switch, all ordering goes through our website, which is very convenient. There are no spreadsheets. So when you need to order something, you just hop on the website and you order at will. There’s no volume discounts. I don’t believe in that at all. I think that I want to work with a gym that has 10 members.

Jason Rule:                             33:40                       Then that way when they have 300, they will never change because they knew from day one that, that, that we were there with them. And I had businesses when I had stores that, that were that way. Um, it always, it always aggravated me when people, as I got bigger and more successful companies would come out of the woodworks, you know, it’d be like, Hey, your movements and volume, let’s increase this and then you can, you know, we can increase your margin. Like, you know, those products don’t cost you any lesson in your warehouse. Why? Why are you charging me less? I needed, I needed a profit when I was broke, man. So, you know, we don’t have minimums. Pricing goes, you know, pricing is, it’s flat and simple and you just get on the website and order whenever you need to.

Greg Strauch:                        34:20                       That process is super easy to you guys. Definitely take the leg work out of, out of trying to figure out how to do everything. I mean you guys have that affiliate separate log into, uh, which, which makes it super easy for people to jump on in and order what they need to.

Jason Rule:                             34:33                       Right. And then, um, you know, that we go through kind of the, how do we introduce this to the members? You know, talking about the first introduction, you know, do you order samples or do you order a handful of products? Uh, I’m a firm believer that samples do nothing but delay a purchasing decision. You know, if I hand you a sample and say, here you go bro, let me know what you think, you know. And then in a couple of days I see a, hey Greg, what did you think of the products? And like a, you know, things are going to get awkward cause you haven’t tried it or your dog ate it. It fell between the cracks, your seat, you know, instead on day one, like here, Greg would just getting in this protein, let me grab a scoop, go grab four or five ounces of water, throw it and shake it up. Let me know what you think and you’re going to buy that product that day if you like it.

Greg Strauch:                        35:14                       Yeah. I think, Jeff Burling had the chocolate peanut butter. And uh, I was like, all right, let me try it. Like I’ve had chocolate peanut butter proteins and he was like, man, I love this stuff. Like I can’t, I can’t keep it on the shelf and I’m buying it personally. And I tried it and I was like, Yep, that’s a, that’s exactly what I’m doing now. Um, that’s awesome. So if somebody wants to reach out to you guys, um, what’s the best way to contact you if they want to start up or if they have general questions for you guys? What’s the best way?

Jason Rule:                             35:45                       Uh, well, I’m on Facebook and my name is Jason Rule. You can reach out to me personally if we’re not friends. Um, and they hit my spam. So it may be a better idea to go to the Driven Nutrition page and then send a message that way. We do not have a wholesale price list. I’ll warn you ahead of time. Um, we do not send out samples. So the process to learn more information and we keep those behind the gate intentionally. So if he remembers or you have a coach that’s going rogue or somebody selling, wanting to sell products out of their garage, we don’t send that information out. So you fill out the, become an affiliate form. And then once we see that we’re a good fit and then I open the gates and you’re able to access the wholesale information. And then, uh, another way that you can do that, that I think any Jim could benefit from and should is we have a Facebook group called building retail in your box.

Jason Rule:                             36:31                       And we try to, you know, like on this call, I try to stay very agnostic as far as, you know, as far as brand, anything that we teach can be applied to any brand that you have in your gems. So, even if you’re not wanting to jump on board with a driven in building retail in your box and take some of those steps and implement them, you know, recreate some of the assets that we have and um, and, and use that to, to increase retail there. There’s, here’s one thing I just want to add and I know we’re running short on time. It’s your, your members want you to be successful. They want to buy products from you that, that you trust. And if as a gym you don’t talk about supplements or you don’t, if you don’t want to offer supplements, that’s fine. But talk about supplements, be a conduit for that information because when they do have questions about it or they get marketed to on Facebook or on Amazon or anything else, I can’t imagine in five years the number of people you’ve had walked through your door, Greg, after they’d been with you for two months and they’re bringing in a pile of crap that they have no business taking cause it’s not right for them where they are on their fitness journey.

Jason Rule:                             37:35                       So I highly encourage any gym that’s listening. If you’re, if you are carrying a product, offer it on day one, make it available on day one and make it part of the conversation and not something that’s just sitting on the shelf collecting dust until a member comes along and buys it from you.

Greg Strauch:                        37:51                       No, I agree. I agree. And I think, uh, that’s a perfect place to wrap it up. So thank you Jason for Bml jump on and uh, your time for sharing everything, uh, all the products that you guys have. I mean, they can always jump on the website and there’s plenty of different things that we didn’t even get into on here, but I definitely appreciate everything you guys do and uh, thank you so much for your time.

Jason Rule:                             38:11                       Oh, it was a pleasure. Greg. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 6:                               38:18                       As always, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We’d really appreciate you and everyone that has subscribed to us. If you haven’t done that, please make sure you do drop a light to that episode. Share with a friend and if you haven’t already, please write us a review and rate us on how what you think. If you hated it, let us know if you loved it, even better. See you guys later.


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6 Steps To Grow a Successful Personal Training Business

6 Steps To Grow a Successful Personal Training Business

By Rob Connors, Signum CrossFit


It was the summer of 2017. My wife and I were searching for the perfect 3,000-5,000 sf commercial space to open our first CrossFit affiliate.


We soon learned that, due to our lack of operational history, very few landlords or agents would consider us. And it seemed the one that did merely just wanted to put us out of business with some very restrictive leasing terms.


The only thing we could find was a 1,000 sf space on Craigslist. And looking back, at the time it was the best thing that ever could have happened to us!


At the time we were also going through the  Incubator with Coop. I told him of the developments and he stated to me, “Well, you are going to have to run a Personal Training model.”


I thought to myself, “What are you talking about?!?! We want to open a CrossFit gym!”


My wife’s reaction was the same.


We have now been open a little over 1 year and have a profitable CrossFit affiliate (Signum CrossFit) that only provides personal training and nutrition coaching. That’s Right! An affiliate that does not do group classes!


But this is not about me.


I want to give you actionable steps to grow a thriving Personal Training business within your own affiliate!


Step 1 – Find a Personal Trainer (or ask your existing team)

You can sell all the personal training services in the world, but you need a coach(es) to deliver an amazing experience.


As an affiliate owner you wear too many other hats. So you can’t be the only one doing personal training sessions.


The best place to start looking is always within your existing gym. Is there a coach that is passionate about helping others? Does he or she tend to stay after class to help a member that is struggling with pull-ups?


Do you have a seasoned member that is looking to create a career for themselves inside the walls of your affiliate?


Personal training is an excellent way to supplement your coach’s income! And for CrossFit junkies like us, they will have to live, breathe, eat, blog and record videos about what they do! (More on that below.)

“But I only have part time coaches and they have full time jobs and family obligations.”


That’s fine! We had maybe 10 members and no other coaches, other than my wife and myself, when we started looking for our first full time coach!


If you are serious about building a thriving personal training business then start to look outside the walls of your CrossFit gym.


The first place I would start is with your SEED clients. Ask them if they may know of anyone that is thinking about pursuing a career in fitness.


The candidate will most likely make more under your affiliate than at a globo-gym. They will have more control over their schedule and will have more oversight on how they develop their services than the $20/month gym down the road.


Remember, that globo-gym is only selling access. You are selling an experience!


Only after you have talked to your coaches, members and have exhausted your SEED clients for potential candidates should you start to look outside for more coaches.


Start with local colleges. Do they have a sports strength & conditioning program? Could you talk to some of their undergrads? Talk to an athletic directors as well as the assistants at local high schools.


Are there personal trainers at globo gyms that you could reach out to? Hint here, reach out to the less seasoned ones.


Only after you have exhausted all of the above do you start to advertise publicly.


Post on social networks that you are looking for a Personal Trainer.


We found the perfect candidate with this simple post.


And now we are looking to find another with this one.


Don’t know what to say in your job description? Use this one as an example but tweak for your gym.


Only after you have exhausted all of the above opportunities should you then think about posting to job boards.


However, in my experience, paid platforms are getting further away from your affinity loop. So you are going to get some interesting applicants.


I remember having an applicant that is a semi-pro bodybuilder apply. Let’s just say it would not have been a cultural fit.


Does a personal trainer need to have a laundry list of credentials (ACE, NASM, ISSA, ACSM, NSCA,etc, etc) after their name?


In my honest opinion…No!


When a personal training prospect comes in our doors they are looking for us to solve their problems. Those problems can be anything: “feeling better in their skin,” “maintaining strength,” ‘stop losing functionality,” “avoid their family history of chronic disease,” “look amazing in their wedding dress,” etc.


They are not coming in the door to hear your resume. They may ask about it, but the reality is they want their problem solved.


For more on how to hire check this podcast. If you are in the Growth Stage of TwoBrain mentorship. I followed the hiring modules word for word!

Step 2 – Stop Projecting!

You have a great coach on board. They want to make coaching their career. What’s next? Well now it’s time to sell some personal training.

“Ok so $80/hour and this person wants to come 3x per week. That is….Holy Crap! That is close to $1,000/month! No one is going to pay that! I would never pay that!”


Guess what?


YOU will never pay that, but the right clients will, granted you deliver an amazing experience (more on that below).


I was in this same spot that you were. I was projecting when we first opened. But then when I signed my first two personal training clients in month one and covered my rent, well, I knew I there was something to this.


The personal training model has been around a lot longer than CrossFit’s group model. So it works!


And stop projecting! This was the biggest barrier for myself and probably you. I had zero sales experience and had to get comfortable with presenting a membership package that can be 10x the normal CrossFit Group rate.


But just like hitting a P.R. in an oly lift, you have to get the reps in!


Step 3 – Talk about it, Talk about it, Talk about it!

Ok so you have a great trainer and/or coach ready to run with it, what’s next?


First thing, ask this one question before you present pricing options to any prospect…”Do you prefer 1-on-1 personal training or group?”


That question will get you PT clients. I promise.


Second thing. Publish content! Publish content! Publish content!


The 2019 Open is a great opportunity. After it ends, figure out where your members had the most difficulty. Maybe it was bar muscle ups or double unders.


Then publish content, tips & tutorials about how to improve them. Trust me, clients will ask and then offer 1-1, 2-1 and maybe 3-1 PT options for them.


Publish content on your socials about your PT clients.


This example is Good!


This one is Better


This is Best!


Get the theme? Celebrate their wins. When your PT clients PR, shout it out from the roof tops! And you can never overpublish. If you follow my gym, the #MissFits have become legendary! To the point one of them was featured by CFHQ (HERE).


Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to brag. Just share your PT client’s experience with the world!


Step 4 – Create an AMAZING Experience!

As you grow your Personal Training business you are going to gather client that are paying you several hundred dollars a month.


Give them a service that seems to the outside world to cost several thousand dollars a month.


No, you don’t need to give away free stuff. But here are some of the ideas we use or have tried. They won’t work for everyone but maybe they will work for you.

  • Send them a personal welcome email after they sign up with a customized thumbnail (LIKE THIS).
  • Maybe give PT clients a preferred parking spot. I get how this can alienate some in your gym but it may work for others.
  • Walk every client to the door of their car and wish them off well. Dont just churn them out the door.
  • Tell them everyday how the particular workout will get them to their specific goal, no matter what it is. I have a PT client that trains horses, everyday our trainers tell her how the WOD is going to make her better at training horses
  • If you notice your PT clients tend to have similar likes or dislikes replicate the former and avoid the latter in your gym. For example, our clients LOVE dogs. We now have dog bowls and allow them to bring them in the gym. The majority are also plant lovers. We now are trying to grow ivy up the wall and have some cool fiddle leaf figs in our space. We even threw a succulent workshop. As we got to know our clients we noticed many of them were not drinkers. So our socials rarely have an alcohol component.
  • Get a sense for the music they like by asking them or checking their socials. Everytime they come in play that music for them. We have back to back PT sessions that go from banjo music to 90’s rap to 90’s grunge music all in a 90 minute window.
  • One PT client suggested keeping his protein at the gym. Guess what we did? We have a shake ready to go for him when he is done.
  • We have lockers at the gym. Maybe put their name on their locker.
  • Get clever here. Go to a high scale restaurant. Check out high touch service businesses and brands. See what they do and get ideas!


Businesses compete on one of 3 things: price, time to market or quality. You can only win one.


Personal training has to compete on quality. The $20/month globo-gym wins at price. Online training wins when it comes to time to market.


You have to compete on quality and service!


Step 5 – Affinity Marketing

Now you need to replicate your current clientele. Find more just like them. Two Brain has plenty of strategies when it comes to Affinity marketing. We use them all but here are a couple that have worked well for us.

  • Partner Nutrition Challenges – Have clients bring their spouses in for 6W partner nutrition challenge. We did this and one of our clients signed up fo 3x/week PT.
  • Valentine’s Day – Have PT clients bring their spouse/partner in for a workout.
  • Goal Reviews – Once a year you should be taking personal training clients out to coffee or lunch. Actively listen to them. You will learn so much more about them in that hour. You will learn more about their struggles. Then try to find a way your service solves these problems. We have a client that wants to retire and run a Yoga class on the side. Guess what we are looking into offering?  One client that golfs a lot was complaining about his regular 4-some not being able to do 36 holes a day on their annual trip to Myrtle Beach. So we offered a “Myrtle Beach & Muscles” clinic. Get creative!
  • Ask your clients where they like to shop and why. Then reach out via email to those local businesses stating. “My clients love your services because <insert reason>. I would love to talk to you about what you do.” Brainstorm events and activities you can do and co-sponsor together. We are reaching out to a high-end spa. I hope to bring a nutrition & wellness workshop to them.
  • Raise money for a charity your clients are passionate about. Put it out on social media, create a FB Event page. Make it public and invite non-members to come. It doesn’t have to be workout related. But you do have to get emails! Make sure your clients are there so they can sell your business for you.

Step 6 – Only after all this should you look at paid for advertising.

If you are starting here with Facebook ads….STOP. Go back to step 1 and exhaust everything!


Out of our current clients here is the current break down of the channels they were “acquired.”

  • 17% Facebook Ads
  • 22% Search Engine/Paid for ads
  • 61% Referrals & Organic


Referrals & organic is the best. Financially, it’s the lowest cost per acquisition and the longest length of engagement.


But it’s the hardest and requires the most patience.


Personal training is just that….personal. People need to know like & trust you before they are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on your service. Get out and meet people face to face.



The Problem With “Balance”

“Part of this balanced breakfast!”


What memory does that stir up?


For me, it’s something from 35 years ago: little Chris in his Transformer pajamas, eating his Frosted Flakes and watching The Smurfs.


In those days, as now, sugary cereals marketed to kids when they were at their most vulnerable. And they got their ads past the censors by using confusing language. They couldn’t say “healthy” or even “good” breakfast, so they used another term: balanced. And, over time, we all started to believe that “balanced” meant “good”.


Balance doesn’t mean equality; it doesn’t mean tolerance. It sometimes means “as much evil as good” or “just enough of X to justify all that harmful Y.” It’s worth noting that healthy food producers don’t have to talk about “balance”, because they can legitimately say “good”.


Our duty as coaches is to help our clients reach health and fitness–not to help them reach “balance”.


My role as mentor to fitness business owners is to help them achieve wealth. That means, instead of presenting all possible opinions, I serve as a filter. I fight infobesity (thanks Brendon). I don’t want to overwhelm or paralyze; I want to activate.


There are a lot of fake gurus and consultants out there who would love to sell you something. But a sales platform requires some authority, and authority requires a platform. Credible platforms take a long time to build (it’s taken me over ten years.) So they get themselves booked on podcasts or published on websites as a shortcut. Listeners tune in to hear a balanced perspective. And their misinformation blunts our collective progress.


Let me give you a more specific example: the best way to sell supplements is to show them beside steroids.


You might not have fallen for this, but I have: as a new trainer in the late 90s, I saw ads for spray-on Testosterone boosters. The ads always trumpeted them as “The Next Best Thing To Steroids!” And there was always a picture of the supplement bottle beside a bottle of mystery pills. The label said “andro-” something, and the article mentioned Mark McGwire, and the PayPal link was just so easy to click…


So you assumed: this stuff is SO CLOSE to steroids that the bottles are practically touching! Because that’s how your brain works.


In reality, the “next best thing” to steroids doesn’t exist. The “next best thing” is not really effective at all.


But I bought the spray-T, followed the instructions, got heckled by my roommate, and smelled like ammonia for a few weeks. I fell for it.

Because when a publisher puts two things on the same stage, they appear to be almost the same. Our consumer brains can’t differentiate. And that’s a huge problem.


Most of the media around gym ownership tries to portray a “balanced perspective”. So they’ll ask one gym owner: “How much revenue did you collect last year?” And he’ll say, “One. MILLION. Dollars!” And the interviewer will say, “Wow!”


Then they’ll ask another, “How much revenue did you collect last year?” And he’ll say, “ONE million dollars.” And the interviewer will say, “Wow! Two experts! Their opinions are equally valid.”


But they’re not.


If the first gym owner had three locations, twenty-seven part-time coaches, 30% monthly turnover, two ex-wives and a 5% profit margin, is that really the same as the gym owner who nets $300,000 on ONE location and two hundred clients? Not even close. This will sound funny, but the million isn’t the hard part: the profit margin is the hard part. But if you aren’t told the difference, then the spray-on andro looks a lot like the steroid bottle.


Now, we all accept that everyone’s equal on Facebook. We all put our best foot forward, and when we look at the long line of shoes, it’s hard to tell who the experts actually are.


But in larger media – like the CrossFit Journal, podcasts and various magazines – we trust there’s some kind of filtering process going on. And there’s not: the spotlight shines equally on anyone who will step onstage. There’s no fact-checking or proof. And even worse, opposing points of view are sometimes promoted in the name of a “balanced perspective”.


Publishers need to fill up their platforms. If they stop producing, listeners and viewers will go elsewhere. Trust me on this: it’s hard to publish a podcast every week. Many podcasts PAY recruiters to find them guests. And when you’ve paid $350 to get someone on your show…how critically will you assess her claims?


I don’t blame podcast hosts for wanting to have interesting shows. But we, as listeners, must learn to critically evaluate their messages.


We don’t need all possible opinions. We don’t need to hear every perspective. What we NEED is facts.


Facts require filters and proof.


When we launched the TwoBrain podcast, I invited guests who had relevant messages for gym owners. I didn’t invite guests just for the sake of having guests. And it’s still our rule: “Is this person’s opinion borne out in practice, or are they just machine-gunning guesses?” Because I think it’s my duty as publisher to give you ONLY what works.


This means we turn down popular guests all the time. It means we’re invited to appear on fewer podcasts, because we won’t agree to a reciprocal hosting agreement. It’s not the fast way to build a platform of trust. But it’s our responsibility, as leaders in the movement, to actually ask: “Does that really work?” Because our mission isn’t to make the most money or get the most “likes”. It’s to make gym owners wealthy.


Magazines have to fill pages between ads. Blogs have to sell supplements. Podcasts need a good lineup of entertaining guests. That means selling “balance”.


Now, what’s CrossFit HQ’s responsibility here? As the licensing brand for our businesses, should they be sharing advice? Should they be sharing more, or less? Should they be filtering, or providing a balanced perspective? Whose responsibility is it?


I have my own opinion, but I also have an obvious bias. I’d love to hear your opinion!