Three Fast Ways to Make Connections With Media

A closeup of two red ethernet cables connected to the back of a large computer.

Don’t ever forget about your contact list.

And don’t ever forget to keep building it.

As social media becomes increasingly cluttered, it’s your direct line to current and prospective clients. It’s insulated from algorithms and competition, and it allows you to do what every marketer wants: start real conversations with people.

Yet working a contact list isn’t as sexy as posting on social media, so some gym owners let their hard-earned lists wither and die.

That’s a huge mistake.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

I remember when Facebook posts always got lots of likes and comments. Years ago, before the algorithm completely took over, you could actually go on Facebook and see an un-curated stream of posts in the order they occurred.

But as the volume of users and posts and advertisers increased exponentially, Facebook decided to “help” users by selecting what they see. According to the Washington Post, the algorithm “has evolved in complexity to take in as many as 10,000 pieces of information about each post.”

That’s why a post from your grandma might be hidden but top-of-feed placement might be given to an ancient acquaintance who makes a post about Macho Man Randy Savage. Facebook knows you’re more likely to engage with the post about wrasslin’, so that’s what you see.

Your Facebook feed is also crammed full of “sponsored” posts and “suggested” content. I scrolled through 20 posts just now, and here’s what I got:

  • 14 posts from real people.
  • 4 sponsored posts.
  • 2 suggested posts.

Stories are worse. For every two real people in my stories feed, I get stories from one advertiser.

All that is to say it’s very tough to reach people on social media, and if you play the ad game, you’ll face stiff competition (Two-Brain can teach you how to win, BTW).

But you have a shortcut around all this: your contact list.

Real Connections

An interested person’s email address and phone number are more valuable than a hundred likes on Facebook—yet our brains love those likes. It’s really fun to make a post with a funny picture and then get those bright red notification icons that demand to be clicked.

It’s harder—and less sexy—to write a letter to your mailing list. And sending a text to a contact is scary: You’re directly engaging someone and starting a conversation. That’s 10 times more stressful than making a post and smiling to yourself as people leave comments on it.

But your audience is more likely to read an email from you than see one of your Facebook posts. Sure, you might have to duel a few spam filters, but I’d take that fight any day if my other option is a death match with the Facebook algorithm.

And text messages? They’re probably even better than actually going to a person’s house and ringing the doorbell.

Check out this info from “Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails. And, on average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email.”

And remember: These people gave you their contact info and permission to use it. With email and text, you aren’t “cold calling” random people. You’re connecting with someone who already knows who you are. In some cases, you’ll be connecting with valued clients who dearly love you.

Using your contact lists can result in huge wins, whether you’re trying to make sales, retain members or nurture leads.

So take action today.

Do This Now

Here’s a simple plan to get some momentum on your contact list. Each email should take about 20 minutes—or less. Don’t overthink anything. Just get the email out the door.

Email 1

Tell your audience of clients what you’re up to over the next month. Include:

  • Your holiday schedule.
  • A list of upcoming events early in 2021.
  • A gift of some sort—like a link to a helpful blog on healthy holiday eating, a great recipe, a video with double-under tips, etc.
  • Best wishes from you and your team.
  • A P.S. that reminds people they can always book a Goal Review Session with you before the New Year by “clicking here.”

Email 2

Send your non-client contacts this stuff:

  • A few simple tips for eating or moving during a busy holiday season.
  • A link to a quick-and-easy recipe for a healthy meal (it’s even better if this recipe is on your own site).
  • Best wishes from you and your team.
  • A P.S. that reminds people they can always book a free consultation with you before 2022 by “clicking here.”

SMS Bonus

Send this message—words or a video—to your three most recent leads:

“It’s [COACH] from [GYM]! My schedule is filling up and I want to make sure I connect with you before the holidays. Can we meet up this week to talk about your fitness goals?”


Right now Chris Cooper is running a 100-Lead Challenge for Two-Brain clients. He’s created a detailed but simple process that gets results. Pre-challenge testers made thousands of dollars, and gym owners were adding leads just hours after the challenge started.

So here’s your challenge if you aren’t a Two-Brain client:

Add 10 email addresses or phone numbers to your contact list.

I’ll give you four easy ways to do it:

1. Review your list and note obvious absentees: your friends and family. Ask if you can add them.

2. Go through the list of people who follow your Facebook page and DM those who aren’t on your mailing list to ask if you can add them.

3. Ask your five best clients if they would e-troduce you to two people who would be interested in regularly getting health and fitness tips by email or text.

4. You’re likely to meet some new people at holiday events in the next month. Anytime you’re having a conversation with anyone and your business comes up, ask if you can add the person to your contact list.

Use Your Shortcuts

Remember: Facebook is like an obstacle course between you and your audience. You should learn how to navigate it.

But you should also hit the “easy button” and regularly take the direct path to your audience.

Use your contact list regularly—and add to it as often as you can.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.