“If you know how to build an audience, you’ll never go hungry.” —Todd Herman
There are really two parts to a gym business: operations and audience building.
The “operations” side is your service (CrossFit, personal training, nutrition coaching, bootcamp, whatever). It’s also how you deliver your service (your systems, your pricing, your location and setup). If we were selling a product, this side of the business would be the actual product.
The other side of the business is building an audience for your service. Building an audience is different from “lead generation”—though lead generation is part of it. Building an audience means attracting attention but also establishing long-term trust. It means leadership. It means keeping people attached and engaged. And it means willfully excluding people from the audience when necessary. That last one might make you a bit uncomfortable—but I’ll explain more later in this series.
Picture your business as a big wheel you keep pushing forward down the road. There are really six things you can do to turn that wheel, or six “handles” you can grab onto and push:
If you look at those handles, you’ll see that half of your time as a gym owner should be spent on delivery and improvement of your service, and the other half should be spent building an audience.
It’s not a coincidence that our Incubator program is set up to do exactly that.
The brain is often described as two parts: the left hemisphere (responsible for analysis, sorting and math) and the right hemisphere (responsible for creativity, communications and relationships). That’s why we’re called Two-Brain Business.
Marketing is fun to talk about. Sales is fun—well, it’s fun to get paid. But those are merely chapters in a long story. In this series, I’ll tell you how to build an audience (including how I did it for my gyms and how I did it for Two-Brain).
In Part 2, I’ll talk about how to build an Audience of One and then how to duplicate that ideal client over and over.
In Part 3, I’ll tell you the story of how I built an audience for Catalyst (my gym) step by step. I didn’t use a single paid ad from Facebook or the Yellow Pages or newspapers.
For Part 4, Per Mattsson will be on Two-Brain Radio to tell us the story of how he built an audience of 280 for an event in Stockholm, Sweden, and how their trust got him out of a jam.
After that, I’m going to do something different: host a live webinar on How to Build an Audience. You can watch for a few minutes and then ask questions. Go ahead: I’m an open book. After 10.5 years of publishing every day, I have no secrets left—but you might have missed some of them along the way if you haven’t read every post.
As always, you can email me if you have questions or if you think I left something out!