On this episode, we are joined by Mike Warkentin. Mike is the owner of CrossFit 204 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the new co-owner of Two-Brain Media. Mike has been involved in sports for his entire life. After eight years in the media industry, he was able to make his hobby into a career by becoming the managing editor of the CrossFit Journal. When he left the Journal, Mike founded Two-Brain Media with Chris Cooper.
Be on the lookout for Chris’ new book coming out on May 7: Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief!
Don’t Forget about the 2019 Two-Brain Summit, June 8-9 in Chicago! This year we have some amazing topics and guests for both yourself and your coaches. Click here to register and sign up now!
4:06 – Introduction to Two-Brain Media and Mike Warkentin
7:49 – Mike’s experience working at the CrossFit Journal
11:15 – Opening a gym while still working for the CrossFit Journal
18:20 – The launch of Two-Brain Media
27:18 – The ways that Two-Brain Media will be helping gym owners in the future
32:20 – The different types of content and avenues that Two-Brain Media can offer
36:11 – Creating relatable content for your target audience
40:06 – Contacting Mike to book a consultation call
Announcer: 00:02 Welcome everyone to Two-Brain radio. It is our mission at Two-Brain to provide 1 million entrepreneurs the freedom to live the life that they choose. Join us every week as we discovered the very best practices to achieve perfect day and move you closer to wealth.
Chris: 00:26 Everybody hates their insurance company until they need their insurance company. My insurance recommendation is Vaughn Vernon of Affiliate Guard. Before I get into this story, I want to make it clear here that I don’t get any kickback for recommending Vaughn, but I’ve done it so many times. Whenever anybody online asks a question about insurance companies, I always say affiliate guard. Here’s why. Years ago when we affiliated with crossfit, my insurance company dumped me, citing, quote unquote tractor pulls that we were going to be doing, whatever the hell that is. I’ve never pulled a tractor in my life. Um, I’ve driven lots of tractors and I can tell you, I don’t think I could pull one if I wanted to. But that’s besides the point. At that time, the person who swooped in and saved crossfit gyms in Canada was Joanne Legal. And if you’re in Canada, I recommend talking to her period.
Chris: 01:15 You don’t have to talk to her first. You don’t have to talk to her last. Just talk to her period. If you’re in the states though, I recommend affiliate guard because the program that I get through Joanne and Canada is really, really awesome and all inclusive. Joanne’s personality though is what keeps me with their company in the states. Affiliate guard is run by Vaughn Vernon, a massive personality, a crossfitter, a Jujitsu guy. He drives dirt bikes, he has good looking kids, all that stuff and his policy is the best. It’s really, really tough to tell when you’re reading your policy if the benefits are the same as someone else’s because they obscure stuff on purpose. It’s just like taxes. However, when I’m looking at my policy, I ask myself, well, that guy get up in the middle of the night and helped me out and this weekend was a great example of Vaughn’s personality.
Chris: 02:07 One of my friends and clients down in Florida had their garage door smashed open, by a Mustang that was doing donuts in the parking lot and they texted me at 6:00 AM on a Sunday and I wanted to help so I texted Vaughn, he’s two hours behind me and he responded right away. Your insurance company is not going to do that. As I said at the start of this, everybody hates their insurance company until they need insurance and when you do need insurance, you want them to answer the damn phone on a Sunday morning and you want to talk to the head man and you just want to know everything’s going to be okay with affiliate guard.
Mike: 02:43 Hey everyone, Chris Cooper here, I’m really thrilled to see you this year in June in Chicago at the 2019 Two-Brain Summit. Every year we have two separate speaking tracks is one for you, the business owner and there’s one for coaches that will help them make better, longer, more meaningful under your umbrella of your business. This year we’ve got some pretty amazing topics like the client success manager, how to change your life organizational culture or the business owner’s life cycle, how to have breaks, how to have vacations, how to help your marriage survive. Owning a business, motivation and leadership. How to convert more clients, how to create a GM position that runs your gym for you and leaves you free to grow your business. How to start a business owner’s group in your community. And more. The point here is to do the right thing that will help gym owners create better businesses that will last them for the long term. Get them to tinker phase, help them be more successful, create meaningful careers for their coaches and give their clients a meaningful path to longterm health. We only do one big seminar every year and that’s the Two-Brain Summit and the reason that we do that is because a big part of the benefit is getting the Two-Brain community together and and welcoming strangers into our midst and showing them how amazing gym ownership really can be. We’ll have a link to the Two-Brain summit, including a full list of all speakers and topics on both the owners and the coaches side in the show notes. I really hope to see you there.
Greg: 04:06 All right. I’m here with another fantastic guest. Mike Warkentin. He has come on board with us for Two-Brain Media. So welcome.
Mike: 04:15 Thanks for having me Greg. I appreciate it.
Greg: 04:17 Happy to. So let’s kind of, people don’t know you too well. Let’s kind of give them a little bit of synopsis about you and where you came from and what you’ve been up to and then we’ll kind of go into the whole Two-Brain media side and what were, what are in the plans for the future?
Mike: 04:33 Sure thing. I guess a, I’ve been in media for about 20 years and I was that guy who saw the, the local paper and always wanted to be in it. And now when I got into university, I was playing volleyball there and I just submitted an article to the sports section and all of a sudden I became the sports editor and that kind of was a slippery slope that sucked me into a street magazines where I started just doing bar listings for, you know, club gigs for bands, delivering papers, scraping stickers off newspaper boxes and things like that. And then I ended up being the assistant editor of a street mag that led into a brief career in radio. And then at the end of that, I wasn’t very good at writing radio commercials and I needed to get out. So I decided to be a fitness writer.
Mike: 05:15 I went to San Diego to take the crossfit level one certificate course. Uh, I met some of the people involved with the crossfit journal and I got sucked into the crossfit journal for the next 10 years after that. And along the way, I opened crossfit 204. We started that, we started doing a boot camp in 2009. And then, uh, in 2010, we became an official affiliate. And then in 2011, we got our actual, our own building that we are still run out of now. So it’s been about 20 years media and about, 10 years in fitness as well now. I’m sorry. Pardon me, 20 years in media and 10 years in, in crossfit.
Greg: 05:49 Gotcha. Now with you said that you wanted to write fitness articles. Was it due to your, your fitness background and volleyball and playing for university or was there some kind of shift, uh, in your life? I know a lot of people, especially, I mean, you know, the crossfit stories better, better than I do. I bet. Uh, at this point of somebody comes in there are type II diabetic, they lose all this weight and now they want to be a crossfit coach and they go on to opening their own gym or something else along the fitness industry. So what was kind of that change or what was something that happened that, uh, that made you want to start writing fitness articles?
Mike: 06:23 Well, I was good enough to make the university volleyball team, but I wasn’t good enough to start. So I didn’t get on the court very often. So I realized that, well my friends were, you know, getting the tar kicked out of them during the games. I was just standing there most of the time. So I got into a, I started working out and so I would work out pretty hard before games cause I knew I wasn’t ever going to play. Uh, and I really got into fitness and one of the years there was a guy on the team that really loved working out. So I would meet him in the weight room every day at like 10 o’clock and every once in a while we’d skip a class or two and we would just work out. And I got really addicted to that and it became a passion of mine.
Mike: 06:57 After I stopped playing volleyball, I left university and it just became almost the focus of my day. And so when I got further along, I started thinking about what would be a better career than writing radio commercials. And I thought, man, I don’t know if there’s anyone out there who can really, really write about fitness. And there were certainly were, you know, Muscle & Fitness and things like that. But I wanted to really become the guy who knew, who could write about fitness and my first step, and that was I started doing the NSCA CSCS course. I never finished that, but I did all the studying for it and I instead went to crossfit level one. I went to San Diego, I took the course and I was just so infatuated with that. And you know the story, you get to start your new trend and all of a sudden the rest is history. And so that happened for me and I got the chance. Then I wrote an article about that and I submitted it to the crossfit journal. And then, uh, there was an opportunity to work for the crossfit journal. So I ended up being the fitness writer that I wanted it to be, but I didn’t know it’d be about crossfit when I made that choice.
Greg: 07:48 Gotcha. Now you’ve worked, I mean, you worked for Crossfit, crossfit journal for a very long time. And what, I mean, what was, what was it like being able, did you have your own kind of choice of what you wanted to write about or, I’ve never, I’ve never been able to interview anyone that has worked for the journal. Of course. Uh, Chris has, but I’ve never asked him that question. And so I was, I was always curious, are you able to do, do you write the articles the way you want to or is there like, Hey, uh, let’s, let’s write on this person. We just found out on social media, they lost 200 pounds or something like that.
Mike: 08:20 Yeah, it’s a really collaborative process and it evolved over the years. When I started, it was a very small publication and we, you know, I would sit there waiting for the submissions account for someone to send something in, you know, and it was like, wow, somebody sent something in and you check. And there would be a great story from wherever, a gym, anywhere, you know, there’s so many amazing crossfit stories. And as we slowly started to get going, I would write more articles and then we developed some writers, regular writers who we could assign things to. Uh, and then we eventually, we went from almost 90% submissions to almost 90% assigned articles. And those assigned articles could be anything from, you know, there was a collaborative process between a lot of different people. It’s like, oh, I heard about this person.
Mike: 09:01 This would be a great story. Or an affiliate owner would contact us about a great story. Or, you know, I remember being in one of the crossfit tour events in Texas and bumping into a guy behind me in the brisket line, uh, named Rob Davis told me an incredible story about how his crossfit journey started. And I was like, wow, we need to write about that. So it was, you know, a lot of serendipity and then also a careful plan, uh, togenerate things that would support, the topics that we wanted to cover at the time, which could be anything from, you know, obviously training and affiliation issues to a specific initiatives by the company. And so many good ones like, you know, like Hope in Africa for example. It was a good one that I really enjoyed.
Greg: 09:37 Oh yeah. Yeah, I remember, I mean, I remember hearing many, many stories from not only Chris,, but then one of our mentors on the team Oskar, and, and kind of how he found his daughter, uh, adopting his daughter and kind of a meeting everyone long time ago and then kind of coming back, which was an amazing story and I can’t wait to, for it to be shared on the podcast here.
Mike: 09:59 Awesome. What was it, was, he contacted me about that and it, the coolest thing about this, this whole media thing was that he, he contacted me a little while ago and sent the message of saying like when I went to Africa, I downloaded the crossfit journal and started reading this stuff and he said it was life changing. And he ended up getting on Level one seminar staff and opening a gym and finding a daughter. And it was just this fascinating story that really kind of showed me the power of media. And that’s why I’m so passionate about it is that kind of connection is just such a cool thing that you never saw coming. But it happens.
Greg: 10:27 Yeah, no, completely. I think when I first found the, the crossfit journal was actually on my first deployment to Afghanistan. Uh, we had, we had our own camp within, within one of the bases and there somebody had pre printed off . I’m guessing they, I mean we had Internet access of course, but they, they printed off probably every article in the crossfit journal that was around during those times. So it was about 2010, which was still a ton and ton of articles. But that’s how I originally found the crossfit journal and started looking at it and reading about it and seeing the different things that were getting posted. So it’s kind of kind of that same journey, just, uh, not, not the same way Oskar did with, uh, the way he went, which was again, I can’t wait to have his, uh, his episode on here cause it’s, it’s, it really is amazing and awesome. Awesome journey and a story of his, yeah, he’s a neat guy. Now you said that, I mean, you were, you were, were, you were working for the crossfit journal and you opened your own gym. What made you think of wanting to do that? I mean, of course you’re in the fitness industry, you’re writing about it all the time. But what was kind of the catalyst to say, Hey, you know what? We need to open up our own gym as well as still writing about this stuff.
Mike: 11:33 Yeah. I’ve always been like a sports coach. So growing up, I was always coaching volleyball and running summer camps and things like that. So coaching was really, really natural. And then once you take the level one certificate, of course it’s all you can do to stop yourself from annoying every person, you know, with a broomstick and teaching them how to dead lift, right? Like you just, it just happens like that. So it, you know, at the time, quit that radio job in, uh, I was working actually literally handing out towels for minimum wage at a, at a global gym. And the manager there was kind enough to allow me to use the space twice a week to, uh, to run a boot camp. So we just blew out all the benches, moved them aside, and then, you know, we kind of hustled the bodybuilders over to the side and we started doing crossfit stuff and I would drive up there twice a week through the park with kettle bells rolling around, like, you know, cannon balls in the trunk of My car, you know, the sound.
Mike: 12:19 Right. And we, so we did that and I still remember that we, I think I charged people 7.50 a class or something like that and we’d do it twice a week. And I slowly realized that this wasn’t quite crossfit because I only had a couple of barbells. We couldn’t drop things, we couldn’t go heavy, didn’t have a dedicated space and people were starting to be really into it. So we had a growing number of people bursting at the seams and I said, I think it’s time, it’s time to take a jump. And we, I was honored, I was actually talking to crossFit founder Greg Glassman one time and I told him about this and he’s like, well, are you an affiliate? And I said, well, no. He says, well, just do that. It was such an obvious thing to do that I needed that the CrossFit founder to tell me. So we did it, we became an affiliate and then we started looking for a space and that was a big jump, but I kind of did the math in a city of, I think it’s 750,000 we have here in Winnipeg. There was one other gym or two at the time. One was shutting down. So basically one, there was a huge opportunity because I knew that people in a city like this needed more than one crossfit gym. So we opened it and the rest is history, as they say.
Greg: 13:18 Yeah, exactly. I mean that’s, I, that’s definitely a, it’s funny that you, uh, had to have that conversation with, with the founder to then realize that, yeah, you know what? That is a good idea. I should do that.
Mike: 13:31 Oh, it’s funny. He said it and I was like, I was ashamed. I’m like, I don’t know why I haven’t affiliated this sooner.
Greg: 13:37 Exactly. But it’s only obvious once it, once it gets presented to you. So you had that, I mean, you were, you started off in university, started writing, then you went to the, to the radio. Then from there started writing for the crossfit journal and throughout this process, opening a gym. Did they ever, did you ever have any kind of time restraints or time restrictions with, with running a gym? I mean, opening a gym is not easy. I mean there’s, there’s a lots of lots of, of gym owner that will tell you it is not easy. And my favorite phrase now, and I forget who I got it from and I’d love to give credit, so if anybody out there is listening to this, but the easiest way to get unfit is to open a crossfit gym because the processes and the structures and everything you need to put in place is definitely something that is not easy or for the feint of heart. So what was that like with still writing and I can only imagine, I mean your workload is probably getting more and more with the Journal and opening a gym and trying to figure out these systems. Uh, how did, how were you able to make it through that at that time?
Mike: 14:36 No, it was, it was, it was a tough one. I’m like, we, when we started, of course your business plan is we’ll just coach every class so we’ll have no wages. Right? You probably, you probably know that one. And so we did that and it works like for a while you’re so you’re so fired up and passionate that you can do it. And I remember days where I would work, you know, nine or 10 hours on the journal and then we would coach all evening then wake up the next morning and coach the 6:00 AM class. And you know, we did that for a while, but man, it started to, it started to wear pretty quickly. Uh, so we, you know, my wife luckily was, she was doing hairstyling at the time, but she was an excellent coach and a really good athlete. So we got her up to speed and she became the gym manager.
Mike: 15:13 And so that allowed me to step back a little bit and just recover. And you know, the crossfit journal job was my main focus. The gym was a secondary thing. You’ll undersatnd this as a Two-Brain business mentor. I wanted it to be a hobby. And My, my catch line was, it’s a hobby. I don’t need it to make money. I more than 100% accomplished that goal. And then I got to 2015 and I looked, I’m like, wow, this is not, this is not the most sound business venture I’ve ever seen on paper. And Luckily I had a, I had worked with Chris Cooper at the crossfit journal for probably 10 years. I think I edited the first article of his in 2009, if I’m not mistaken. And then Chris, he worked, uh, worked with us for a year and you’re even more than a year, but we’d been in contact throughout the whole time, just, you know, learning and talking and just being friends basically.
Mike: 16:01 Uh, and he had started the Two-Brain business. And so we started doing the incubator. And I remember I’d get up at 5:00 AM every day and I would do two hours in the incubator and realized that I had not set this gym up for success. I had, I had not priced things properly. I hadn’t done staff development properly. I hadn’t created roles, responsibilities, and I certainly hadn’t created a plan to replace myself. I got very lucky that my wife was intelligent and she learned fast enough to pick up all the stuff that I just pushed out her. But I didn’t help her a whole lot. And so we went through the incubator. We fixed things, we change things, we got the gym on solid footing. Uh, and you know, I can’t say enough to, to Chris and the two brain mentors who helped us do that because they really, they saved the gym and then now the gym is in a good spot and is growing and has much better. But it wasn’t on that path until I started working with, with Two-Brain business. I just didn’t know what I was doing.
Greg: 16:51 And I think that’s the story now that I jump on the free help calls and, and do plenty of those, which I love. I love doing those because I love hearing the stories of where gyms are at and what they’ve accomplished or what they need help with. But I hear that story way too often of of, and that’s why I laughed earlier, is they set up the gym and they don’t need it to make money is what they say. And they will teach all the classes so they don’t have to do payroll. And they realized that becomes a slippery slope and now they can’t grow the way they want it to. So it changes.
Mike: 17:19 You can’t afford to replace equipment and you, you know, you’re so exhausted and your service is starting to slip and you know all, you’ve seen it all. It’s very, that’s why I’m so thrilled that there is, you know, a mentorship program like this out there that can help people. And you know, Chris has said he’s made more mistakes than anybody else. And I don’t know if that’s true or not, but you know, the combined, the combined mistakes in our group are so powerful because it now helps everyone else figure out how to stop doing those things. And it’s really cool to see gym owners now coming to Two-Brain first and taking the incubator and figured out to set up a gym properly and avoiding all the mistakes that you know you and I made.
Greg: 17:53 Exactly, exactly. And, and getting people on the right track is, is always our main focus. So if anyone is out there, this is a, this is a time call for action, make sure that you guys are jumping on and book in that free call if you guys have questions or have issues within your gym and what you guys are trying to do or be any business, uh, in that matter because we have started to kind of branch out and help a more service based businesses, not just, uh, not just gyms. So let’s kind of jump into now that you guys, we’ve created this new thing, uh, which is Two-Brain Media and let’s kind of talk about what your role is within Two-Brain media and kind of what you see as, as, as things that we can start accomplishing and opportunities that we can start providing to gym owners, to business owners, to anybody out there that a is looking for them.
Mike: 18:40 Yeah, like I said, I’ve been in media for 20 years and it’s always been a passion of why. Like I’ve always felt the need to, to just write and create things, whether it was just, you know, writing quotes on a white board in the back of a shipping and receiving warehouse when I was, you know, 19, like it’s just, I’ve always wanted to create stuff. And I know Chris has a number of, I mean he’s got so many balls in the air and so many things that he’s doing, but he’s always been a creator as well. So He’s been very passionate about, you know, writing. And that’s how we met was he wrote an article for the crossfit journal. So just two guys who were really passionate about media, and I love the idea of, you know, gyms first but entrepreneurs second, every business has a story and we talked about that on the two brain business or Two-Brain media website.
Mike: 19:22 Every business, especially a small business has a story. And we want to help people tell that story so that they can connect with their clients. And I’m inspired when I look around at some of the amazing media that our, our gyms are creating and the two brain business family is creating. It’s, it’s really cool. We have this unbelievable pile of people in our facilities that have all these amazing stories and there are just no end of great stories. How people accomplish the goals, found fitness, changed their lives, weight loss, confidence, all this stuff. And that applies not just to gyms but other businesses as well. There’s amazing stories in there and our people are becoming more and more media savvy. So we’ve got, you know, back in the day, TV studios and print presses and all this stuff. Now with your cell phone, you have a media empire literally in your pocket and you can do amazing stuff just with a cell phone. And we’ve got all these other options from podcasts, blogs to videos to Instagram to, you know, live broadcasts. It’s just incredible. So we, we really wanted to start Two-Brain media to help our community figure out how they can leverage the stories they have either with professional media has done for them or media that they do well themselves. And so we’re trying to educate and connect people to providers when they need it.
Greg: 20:33 In your line of work, I mean you’ve, you’ve written articles, you’ve, you’ve been on the radio, you’ve created videos. What have you seen as something that is your, I mean, let’s, let’s say biggest bang for your buck. What do you think the biggest thing that a gym owner can do or a business owner can do right now to leverage the media that they currently have? Like you said, you have a phone in your pocket. This technology wasn’t around to a 10, 15, 20 years ago now and you’d have to pay so much more for production studio if you want to do video or even getting your blogs like a blog post, uh, that a lot of people would actually start reading. Um, it was a lot harder back then. It took a lot more money. So what do you feel like the biggest advantage people could take today to start leveraging their media within their gym or within the business?
Mike: 21:18 This came up actually a lot of, and a lot of the calls that I did over the last 10 days with, with business owners, uh, it’s, it’s, it just a distribution plan for whatever piece of content you create. You’ve invested your time in that content, whether it’s a blog, a podcast, a video, whatever, even a photo for Instagram. I find that a lot of people post things in one spot or do one thing and then kind of forget about it. But really a lot of these pieces of content can be used in like seven or eight different ways. And I’ll give you a very good example would be uh, my wife runs a company called 204 Lifestyle, which is our nutrition and lifestyle business that is a separate from the crossfit side. So she’ll, she’ll, she loves to cook. So we’re doing lots of cooking videos and lots of things.
Mike: 21:57 So at the end of her, whenever we get a meal, we take a plate and we take a picture from the top and we take a picture from the side and we take a picture of, that’s a closeup that’s really three posts and I wouldn’t put them up in the same day obviously, but four weeks apart, the protein muffin from the top four weeks apart, protein muffin from the side close up of the protein muffin that can then be paired with a video or a short clip of the preparation or someone eating the muffin that can go on Instagram, that can go on Facebook. The recipe can go on the blog, it can be sent out to a mailing list and you see all these different ways that for one investment in time and content, we can use it a ton of different ways. And so one of the things that I’ve talked to people about as a distribution plan so they can maximize the reach of these things and we’re going to put something together where people can can get that from Two-Brain media so they can figure out how to maximize their content.
Mike: 22:44 But the piece of advice I give you now is if you get things up on social media, know that social media is a great place to funnel things to your website. And you should have that content and a lot of cases back on your website as well. Because Google doesn’t really index Instagram posts, for example. So if you put up this amazing Instagram post or write all this stuff and it’s a great video, no one’s scrolls down 15 times to find it, eventually that post should be recreated somewhere, whether it’s on YouTube or on your website so that Google can find it. And then you can still get the benefits of having that great piece of content. So I’d say get more content, get content out in more places to be as creative as you can.
Greg: 23:20 Excellent. No, I full fully agree with that cause I feel like, I mean, and I’ve, I’ve made the same mistake. I mean I always have no problem being transparent, whether I’m on a call with somebody or even on here, uh, with the mistakes that I’ve made. But I think that’s something that we, uh, we lack in our, our gym is not, not producing enough content, but also not spreading that content out to multiple media sources and constantly trying to provide a more expertise but really more knowledge to, to our members and to anyone that’s listening, that’s, uh, outside of that gym Community. But that is definitely something in Two-Brain and with Chris writing and being as creative as he has beenand stills continues to be, is a, producing as much content as possible to really help help anybody, help business owners, gym owners or anyone even thinking about starting a business or gym.
Mike: 24:08 Yeah, I constantly nag my wife about this because she writes these amazing Instagram posts, but they only are seen for a day and then they vanish down in the feed and they’re never to be heard from again. So I’ve told her like literally write these posts in an email and just send it to me. Then do your Instagram posts like cut, cut and paste. And I’ll take that cut and paste it into a blog, put up a better picture for a website and you’ve got, you’ve just doubled your content. And then you can do that in a number of different ways by pumping pieces of it out on Facebook and other places. Then you’ve got all the other options, like you know, Twitter, Pinterest, linkedin, all of these other sites so you can really maximize content. A lot of people I think aren’t quite doing that yet. And the idea that I keep telling people is the only person that sees all of your content is you. No one else does because of whether it’s the reach that’s limited by Facebook or people are busy. No one sees all your content. So you should be pumping out in a number of different places. That’s why advertisers advertise so much because you, you don’t see how the commercial the first time,
Greg: 25:03 which is that’s, it’s so funny that you say it in that way because I think I’ve had that same discussion with my coach that heads up our media side that she, she talks about, all the work to producing all this content and in my eyes I’m like, yeah, we are, but how much is actually being seen? So it’s funny you say that because I think there’s too many of us out there that, that assume, oh, we’re producing all this content. Like, yeah, but you’re right. They’re not seeing everything we’re producing no matter how much we are producing. So it’s always let’s, let’s constantly get in front of them over and over and over again in different media sources in streams to, to really get that idea across or that post across or whatever it is.
Mike: 25:38 Well, let’s think about this too. When you know, how often are you watching a football game or whatever and you’re the TV commercials come up and you’re just annoyed with them, right? Like they don’t mean anything and you wish they weren’t there. You want to get back to football game. But then let’s say you’re having a toothache and a dentist commercial comes up, like all of a sudden you’re enraptured by this commercial that might take away your pain, right? That’s the way we’re kind of looking at it from media side is that, you know, you could create a squat video. I’ll pull up video and nutrition video, a transformation video, like all these different things and they not, they’re not going to connect with everyone, but they’re going to connect with someone. And so if you just put out one type of video, you’re missing a piece of the market. If you just put out this kind of blog, you’re missing a piece of the market. Some people like photography, some people like videos, some people like reading. You need to get all these different mediums flowing, and then you need to get different content in them. So that people can find them. Because as soon as you get the toothache, you want to find out about a dentist.
Greg: 26:31 Very, very true. I think. I mean that’s why do people, why are people searching for our gyms in their local area? Because they probably, they had the problem and uh, they’ve realized it so now they’re ready to go and uh, trying to find you and, and locate you. But maybe six months ago they saw one of your posts on Facebook and they didn’t have that same problem. In their mind. They may have had it, but they didn’t, they didn’t think about it at that time. So that makes complete sense.
Mike: 26:54 Yeah. I was so irritated for years about car commercials mostly cause I wrote them and I hated doing it. But all of a sudden when I was looking for a truck three years ago, I started paying attention to truck commercials and it all made sense to me all of a sudden.
Greg: 27:06 Exactly. And that’s, that makes complete sense. So Two-Brain media, we are, I mean, like you said, getting that content out there that we’re doing a done for you and then also a, a teaching version of that kind of, could you kind of explain, uh, what, what opportunities you feel like we are our avenues that Two-Brain media is going to go down to help business owners and gym owners.
Mike: 27:26 Yeah, right off the bat, the easiest, easiest aspect is, is the done for you stuff. Meaning I have a pretty good network of people who are quite talented. It can do exactly what someone needs. So as a, for instance, I talked to a gym owner this morning who said, you know, I’d really, I like writing but it’s not, I would like to get some, some of what Chris had wrote in his content email about lighthouses. I’d like to get some lighthouse content, meaning those great big standout pieces that, you know, like our beacon across the Internet that pull people in and tougher to write. And I have people that can crank that out. So that’s a service that we’re looking at rolling out very soon. Uh, just so people can get that content and done for them. Some people have the skill to do it. Like for example, you know, a guy like Chris Cooper can write that stuff.
Mike: 28:09 Other people can’t and we can get that done for them. We have the same aspects on the video end. Another common theme that we found with people is that people know that video is important and now Facebook is prioritizing video over just about everything else right now, but how many of us can, can do video, video editing? Some of us can, but some gym owners would be much better served hiring a video editor or hiring a videographer so they can go back to doing the stuff that they’re good at. And that’s, you know, that’s a pretty clear Two-Brain business principle. It’s like, what are you good at and what’s a good investment of your time? For me, blogging is a good investment of my time. Fixing a door at the gym, which I’ve tried to do is not a good investment of my time. I should hire someone for that, you know, and I’ve wasted. I remember talking to Chris on one of the last mentor calls I did with Chris. I said, man, I just wasted eight hours and $200 buying tools to try and pull a key out of a door. He’s like, just call a locksmith. Just call a locksmith dude, you know? And I did it and it costs me $30.
Greg: 29:06 Exactly. So that’s the, I think I do the same thing though too. I mean like video really interests me. So I started building, I’m using final cut pro and using premiere and, and trying to use these different software cause I just really loved creating videos. I mean ever since I was a kid, I think my fiance has told me numerous times that I’ve probably watched every movie every created. And it’s because I just love, I love video, I love how they do the different lightings and they do the different scenarios and how different lenses can change, how a story gets played out in the music. I mean if you take music out of a movie, completely changes that. So I think I’ve personally dived into that, that side of it to create content for the gym. But in the opposite or the other side of this is, is, is like what, what you said, Chris is really good at writing.
Greg: 29:49 That is probably my worst subject. English has always been my worst subject in school and it would, would not benefit me to try to write blog posts because I just would not be good at them. But having a service like Two-Brain media where I could hire somebody to write a blog post for me and create that for me and for my clients, it would, it would make it so much easier on me and I’d much rather pay for that, uh, then waste the time and basically waste money because my time is worth something, uh, on creating that. And that’s really the test. Like if you, if you say, if I said to you, okay, like Greg, I need, I need a photo of this, and you’re like, man, I’d like to learn how to take that photo, then you should learn how to take that photo.
Greg: 30:26 But if it’s like, God, I just, then you should pay someone to take the photo for you and go on to stuff that you like. And that’s kind of the options that we’re, we’re helping people with is finding, finding people who can do stuff for them. And these are people that are deeply ingrained in the fitness community and entrepreneur community so that they’re going to be very in touch with, with gyms first of all, but also just business owners and small businesses because the principles as you know, transfer over really well. And then the other side of it, we have people who are very passionate about media and want, want to learn how to do lots of that stuff. And so we’re trying to put together those ideas of, like you said, I want to get better at video editing. Okay. How do we teach someone how to do that?
Greg: 31:04 So there might be a situation, uh, I would hope to develop almost a media incubator where we can set up a plan that takes someone who’s interested, take them from say a D level to a solid B just with some basic technical knowledge and a little bit of instruction, much like you do in the incubator where it’s like we’re taking you from wherever you’re at to a greatly increased place. And then when you get to that growth phase, that’s where you start looking at like really wrapping things up and bringing in professionals for certain things. You know in that growth phase, you’re not doing everything yourself, you’re delegating and hiring a lot. I think now, now that I, I picture a, I’m putting a picture of course in my head of this and that makes complete sense. Especially if someone is interested in writing, writing more blog posts or if they have it, we could have another stream for creating podcast or another stream for creating videos and giving them the ability, like you said, going, going from, hey, I don’t really know a whole lot to at least knowing almost to where, where the professionals are at without having to go and buy a $25,000 camera or even a $1,200 camera because I’ve made that mistake before.
Greg: 32:09 And, and being able to realize, hey, you don’t really need all of that, but hey, this is how you do it. Here’s some templates, here’s all this information and let’s walk you step by step to keep you accountable to creating this content with, with all of this, what, what is the different types of content, or better yet, what are the different types of, of avenues that we’re going to have for these gym owners or business owners that are wanting to get this content and, and learn. And like you said, having kind of like an incubation on how to teach them how to do these things. What do you see the future of Two-Brain to brain media doing for these gym owners or providing the content for these gym owners?
Mike: 32:46 Well, I’d like to, the first thing I’d like to be able to do is, is, and we’re, we’re very close to that already, is just being able to connect gym owners to highly skilled professionals who can get stuff done for them really quickly and properly. And you know, that’s, that’s actually kind of the easy one because that network does exist and we’re just slowly making those connections now as we start. The longer term thing is that education component and that’s where we start looking at, uh, like a broad kind of media education where it’s just like the simple stuff from, you know, how do I, how do I focus a camera properly? No, just little stuff like that, that makes a huge difference. And how do we take, you know, how do we take a picture and make it three times better without doing anything different with equipment?
Mike: 33:24 And that’s one of the things that I look at. Uh, when I look through gyms Instagram accounts, you could improve a lot of the photography pretty quickly with just some really basic stuff. And I’d like to be able to share that with people. We do some of that on our free, it’s called learn to connect on the Two-Brain media site . So there’s one article in there that says, you know, the one thing that will help your pictures be better immediately. And we’re talking about food pictures in that case, but that sort of, that component could be part of a media incubator. And then after that it becomes more of a tailored, you know, maybe even a mentorship education component where it’s like, Greg, I want to know how to do a podcast properly. How would I do that? And that’s where you step in and start saying, okay, look, here’s how we’re going to set up your podcast. You need this software, you need this hardware and here’s how you script the thing out so that you know you don’t have dead air and you don’t have Mike’s landline ringing in the background as might have happened earlier,
Greg: 34:15 which nobody on here will hear, but we will definitely make sure we edit that out. But yes, the technical, yeah, exactly. Exactly. No, that makes complete sense though. It’s I think a, that’s how I’ve always learned. I mean I, I have a camera that has, that is decently expensive. I’d say $1200- $1,500 camera with lenses, but I don’t know how to take photos on it. I’ve always done video and if you listen to, if you talk to people that have done just, uh, the photography side of it, they don’t know how to shoot video with their cameras and vice versa. So you always assume, and I still get the question of, hey, why don’t you take pictures with the camera? And I said, I don’t know how I can do with my phone, but I don’t know how to do with the camera. So being able to learn that kind of stuff. But I like something that you hit on earlier was the ability, uh, we actually have some of that content kind of built out for you of of different things that you can find. Where is the best place for people to find that content?
Mike: 35:03 So right now we’ve, uh, we launched the Two-Brain media website and so if you go to that and it’s a twobrainmedia.com if you head there, uh, on the upper right, you will see, learn to connect as our blog section and what’s in there right now. There’s nine articles and they’re just various different media tips and it covers everything from basic photography to linking your social media to your website to love letters, to how to create a quick video in 60 seconds that’s going to be bulked up. Chris and I have committed to pumping that up as much as we can. So there’s a constant stream of content for people. Uh, so that’s the first place to look. And uh, he’ll related to that. One of the other things that we want to do is we do want to create some things for uh, you know, for the Two-Brain family specifically where we can create, you know, really good lead magnets now, right? We’re trying to think of these things that we can give away to get people onto our mailing lists and so forth. So we’re working on creating more of that stuff that we can give to the, Two-Brain family. Uh, we have one that’s close, uh, that people can then use for free to put on their sites to generate leads. So we’re trying to create some, some things that are really a free resource for people if they’re struggling right now just to get started.
Greg: 36:06 Excellent. So we will make sure that we link that in the show notes too so that people can jump right now. Now Mike, I want to say I saw which if people out there haven’t seen it yet will blink this in there as well. The video you created with your clientele, you created a video that basically was showing them with their, their work attire or, or, or their normal non gym attire. Uh, and then with their gym attire on and showing them, working out, showing them that, hey these are, these are the people that work out here that they’re just like anyone else creating those avatars. I thought it was amazing. What, what kind of sparked that catalyst tot actually building something like that out.
Mike: 36:41 Yeah, there was a, a one of our Open theme nights, so we called it formal nights. So people obviously got points for dressing up and coming, you know, in we had five guys in Tuxedos for example. It was amazing and I really, I saw someone, I can’t remember the gym, so, uh, you know, full credit to whatever gym it was that I saw this, I saw them do a photo shoot in their gym and they just did like people in formal gowns. I think they had some fitness equipment in the background or the foreground or something like that. And I thought it was such a cool idea. And I was like, man, I love photography. Like that’s, I think if I wasn’t a writer I think I would try and be a photographer. So I wanted to try and recreate a photo shoot and at the very least I wanted my clients to come in and get a few of them dressed up to the nines with makeup and hair and nails and the whole thing and their best attire and leave with like a portrait.
Mike: 37:28 And part of that is I want to get better at portrait photography. So it was a multipronged effort, but I wanted to see what else would happen after that. And my basic idea was before and after pictures. So they come in looking amazing and then they leave just, and it was great. It was the handstand pushup workout where everyone spent like five minutes upside down and then they staggered over. You got a picture with me with bloodshot eyes and red faces and sweat dripping. And I thought the effect is really cool. And even if it was related to a campaign I did on Instagram, if I think about a year ago where I took a tour of a number of people in the gym and then I just put their profession on the picture and I put it up on Instagram. And the idea was saying like, this guy is a bus driver, this guy’s an account, this guy’s a lawyer.
Mike: 38:07 And the hope was was that bus drivers, accountants and lawyers out there would identify with it and say, wow, I’m that person. You know, it’s that whole relate-ability factor because as you know, so many times people see crossfit and they’re just like, I can’t do it. You know? And we know that’s wrong. Everyone can do crossfit. It’s not for everyone, but everyone can do it. I wanted people to, to see people, real people, smiling, happy people outside of that like gym, fitness, environment. And so we put up a sheet and I lit it up and we did portraits before and after. And then in the video that I put together, I did put in some workout stuff, but I prefaced it with a voiceover saying, you know, I don’t want you to look at these guys and immediately say, I can’t do this. I want you to just see smiling people, happy people, and know that they work out too, and if you’re, you know, if you’re like this guy, which you probably are, you can come to our gym. And that was the most important thing for me because I really, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, I’m sure you’ve heard the same thing. I can’t do crossfit. That’s too hard for me and my, you know, we have 80 year old clients who do crossfit at their level.
Greg: 39:07 Exactly, exactly. And I think that’s why I love that video so much is the ability to build out those avatars to look, hey, that’s me. Or Hey, I know somebody that’s looking for a gym that it relates to. That’s it. They are, they’re a lawyer. There are a doctor. And I thought it was an amazing, so we’ll make sure we link that in there too to that youtube video because I think it should spark some interest or, or even spark somebody to actually create their own for their gyms because I think it’s spot on. It’s exactly what gyms, uh, should be doing.
Mike: 39:33 Give them some options like that where we have ideas. Like some of those people are struggling for ideas or concepts, you know, if I can just write up that concept and say, here’s what you need to do. You don’t, and maybe maybe you hire a photographer, maybe you don’t, but you just line up. So people take some pictures of them smiling, put it together in a video, here’s how you present it. And if we can do that for, you know, and gyms can copy those ideas, they can connect in their own markets and that would be fantastic if we could use, and that’s where we harness is kind of the creativity of the Two-Brain family to help everyone in the family generate some leads, find some clients that they can help.
Greg: 40:04 No, I, I completely agree. Now, if, if gym owners, who listened to his podcast and they’re like, hey, I want to get, I want to get on the phone with Mike or I want to contact Mike cause I have an interest. Hey I would like to see them do this or, or any of that info. What’s the best way for them to reach out or to kind of be heard with a, their requests for us to build within this model of Two-Brain media because we, we really can go any routes. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything that would limit us, which ways we can go since, I mean you have so many connections and all the amazing people within the Two-Brain family, whether they’re doing photos or video or podcasts or blog posts or whatever medium it is, what’s the best way for them to reach out and kind of, uh, talk to you about that kind of stuff?
Mike: 40:44 Yeah. The first place is twobrainmedia.com so on there you’ll see content, and buttons all over the place. Those all lead to my calendar and you can book an appointment to talk to me at any time. And I’ve talked to 20 of the people from the family already and it’s been amazing because I’ve, I’ve learned probably more from them than they’ve learned from me. But it’s really cool to see where some people are at. Some gym owners are very advanced with their media, some are not, but have amazing ideas. And so that’s a really cool thing. So I love talking to people about that. The other thing is in the, uh, in the Facebook group and it’s really cool there. Uh, I love it when people post media projects that they’re proud of or media projects that they want feedback on or just questions.
Mike: 41:20 And one of the things I posted the other day, and like I’m trying to post as often as I can, instructional stuff in there, I posted something about imovie and how to use it to createhighlight reel videos. Someone immediately said, it might even have been you about, you know, what do I do with an android? And immediately five or 10 people jumped in and said, here’s a program I like, here’s a program I like, here’s a tip, here’s a tip. That sort of collective education is super powerful. And if there is a question that you have, you know, tag me, Tag Chris, tag a mentor. If it’s amedia related question, tag people in that group and we’ll respond. And then also you’ll have the community response. So I think those two places are really great thing and I would certainly love to see more of, the media that people are doing. I think they could post it. Like if someone creates a great video or concept or blog, throw it in the discussion group on Facebook and let’s, let’s take a look at it so other people can learn and then borrow ideas.
Greg: 42:10 Excellent. Awesome. Mike, I want to say thank you so much, not only for starting this, this new avenue for, for gym owners and business owners to start creating the media that they want a or learn how to create the media that they wanted, that they need. So thank you so much. And then also thank you for your time for being able to jump on here and a kind of talk with me about uh, all the different things that we’re going to be doing within Two-Brain media and uh, the amazing story that you had and what you’ve done so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.
Mike: 42:40 Yeah, it’s my pleasure. I’ve been so inspired a as a member of that group and the Two-Brain business group for so long to see all the cool stuff is in there and now I’m even more thrilled to be able to interact with people more in this role. So it’s, we’re really excited and we’ll have more information for everyone soon about what Two-Brain media will do.
Mike: 42:55 Awesome. Thank you Mike.
Mike: 42:56 Thanks Greg. All the best to you.
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