Mateo: 00:03 Hey, it’s Mateo Lopez of Two-Brain Marketing, and on this edition of the Two-Brain Marketing podcast I’m talking to Rob from CrossFit Simsbury. You’re going to hear about their specialty programs and how he and his wife, Denise, were able to completely sell out their Diapers and Dumbbells program for new moms. You’re also gonna learn about how they were able to take $300 in advertising spend and turn it into $4,000 in new-member revenue. Make sure to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio for more marketing tips and secrets each week.
Greg: 00:29 Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms `profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics, interviews in the business world each week to find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at twobrainbusiness.com.
Chris: 00:47 I linked up with Matt several months ago at Forever Fierce, and he had some fantastic ideas and so he and I have put together a couple of packages that we think are really gonna help CrossFit affiliates everywhere. Two-Brain mentoring clients use Matt almost exclusively. He’s got fantastic designs and he takes all the work out of it. All that time that you spend searching the internet and Pinterest and junk like that for great CrossFit T-shirts, you don’t have to do that anymore. Matt has designs for you. You can put your logo on one of his templates, which are fantastic, and your clients will never know the difference. It saves you so much time that you could be using on other things like real marketing. He’ll also go so far as to remind you when it’s time to reorder. He’ll give you suggested order sizes, he’ll help you set up preorders so you’re not even fronting the cash for the inventory. It’s all amazing stuff built to help affiliates and that’s why I love this guy and this company, foreverfierce.com. They do all the Catalyst shirts, all the Two-Brain shirts, all the Ignite gym shirts. They do everything for every business that I own.
Mateo: 01:49 Hello, welcome to the Two-Brain Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Mateo Lopez. I’m one of the digital-marketing mentors at Two-Brain Business, and thank you again for tuning in. This is your weekly dose of digital marketing magic. Every week we go over marketing campaign strategies, useful tips, updates, and listen to cool stories about people who are doing it in the real world, you know? And today we have a special guest Rob from CrossFit Simsbury. Like a fruit, but I think it’s spelled with a “U”. It’s a little tricky. And today we’re gonna earn a little bit more about Rob, and I’m really excited to hear about his Diapers and Dumbbells program. He’s been able to sell it out pretty much every cycle. The first time, he ran some paid ads, he spent only 200 or 300 bucks, was able to sell out the program. So we’re gonna learn more about that and how he was able to do that. I want to know what happened, so I’m excited. So thanks for, thanks for joining us today, Rob. So tell us a little bit about who you are, where you’re from, and a little bit about your business.
Rob: 02:55 Well, my name is Rob Olson. I own CrossFit Simsbury, we’re about half an hour north of Hartford. I’ve owned it for about six years now. Before this I was in the Navy and when I got out I decided to open a CrossFit, no background in business, marketing, even fitness per se. Kind of learned it all on the go.
Mateo: 03:13 Did you learn about it from being in the Navy?
Rob: 03:16 Yeah, we had did CrossFit in the Navy; actually had Dave Castro as one of my instructors.
Mateo: 03:21 Oh, really?
Rob: 03:22 So that’s where I originally learned about CrossFit.
Mateo: 03:25 Was he just like visiting a camp or what, how did that happen?
Rob: 03:28 Yeah, he was one of my instructors at the time. So when he was doing his instructor duty, I was one of the students.
Mateo: 03:33 Oh, right. I forgot, he’s a SEAL, right? Something like that. I forgot about that. OK. Cool.
Rob: 03:36 Yep. So we’ve been open about six years now and I started with Two-Brain back in November with Greg. And since then it’s been night and day difference. I mean, I can’t say enough good things about Two-Brain and Two-Brain Marketing; it’s really revolutionized the business.
Mateo: 03:52 Awesome, man. So you say you’ve been open for six years, I guess, when you got out of the Navy, what made you decide to open the business? That’s a pretty big jump, you know?
Rob: 04:01 So my main thought was what can I do every day that I would enjoy? That was my main qualifying criteria. And then I was trying to think, you know, what small business could I open that would allow me to do that. And I had heard about CrossFit and I’d heard how it only had a small affiliation fee and it was a relatively easy step into entrepreneurial-ism and so I kind of made the jump when I got out.
Mateo: 04:23 Awesome. So I mean, six years, that’s a long time. Like kudos to that. Just being able to have survived. What was it like in those early days?
Rob: 04:34 Oh my God. I remember back, you know, having one person at the 6:00 a.m. and me being the only coach and basically just hoping that people would drive by and see us and sign up, and thinking back to those early days, I was giving away every discount, every free month, everything that I could to try to get people in.
Mateo: 04:52 Wow. And were you doing it solo for the whole time or what was the—
Rob: 04:58 Yeah, so I’ve been solo. I had coaches that started with me on Day 1 and I had to teach them how to be a coach and teach them about CrossFit, the whole bit. So I’ve been the only, I guess, owner personality per se, but I have had coaches that have helped me along the way.
Mateo: 05:12 Awesome. So tell me a little bit about business pre-Two-Brain. I know you’d been running it solo, small classes, giving away discounts. What else was life like, you know, running the show by yourself?
Rob: 05:26 In one sense it was very enjoyable being an entrepreneur, but in the other sense it was very frustrating because I was still doing the majority of coaching. I did some cleaning, I would do, you know, the finances, everything that everybody talks about. I was wearing all the hats, and so there was definitely some burnout. Definitely some frustration and now I’ve just got more clarity.
Mateo: 05:44 Awesome. Well you were able to survive. I mean, I’m assuming you make enough to pay your bills, correct?
Rob: 05:50 Yeah. So looking back to the early days, there were some—I want to say twice I had to borrow money from my grandmother because the oil bills were higher than I expected. The the town I’m in has very little industrial space. And so the spot I’m in, it’s actually almost a 10,000-square-foot building, which I’ve been in since Day 1. And so that’s obviously way too big for a first-year affiliate, but we’ve made it work. The biggest thing has been that heating bill, to get over, but now that we’re kind of established and I’ve got a rhythm to the whole thing, and I do profit first now, which has been huge as well, but now we’re kind of grooving, and everything’s working out pretty good.
Mateo: 06:27 OK. So what was the first kind of changes you saw once you started going through the Incubator? You know, it sounds like you were wearing all the hats; what was the first action you took working with Greg that kind of enabled you to start to say, “Oh, wait a second. I can reverse this burnout effect if I just do x, y, and Z.”
Rob: 06:46 Creating the roles and tasks. And that was a bitch. I did not enjoy doing that. I”t was a lot of work. But now just even six months later, it’s so easy hiring someone and being like, “All right, you’re going to be a cleaner. Here’s exactly what you’re responsible for.” You just hand it to them and they’re like, “All right, got it, done.” And everything’s so much easier.
Mateo: 07:06 Yeah. Roles and tasks is huge. How many people do you have on staff now?
Rob: 07:10 Well, let’s see: It’s myself. My wife does the nu
trition with HSN and she does Dumbbells and Diapers and the kids and teens program. We have two other coaches and we’re bringing on one more coach who’s gonna take over the teens program and do the 4/9ths bit next month, actually,
Mateo: 07:27 Did you have to work with your coaches at all? Be like, “Hey, you know, we’re going to maybe have some staff evals now,” “Hey, actually, you know, we’re going to have to write out what some of these responsibilities are,” like, what was that process like when you were starting to go through roles and tasks and trying to get your team on board?
Rob: 07:44 So that’s a good question. And 90% of the staff has been on board the whole time; the evaluations, the roles and tasks. And we did actually have one coach quit. And I would say one of the bigger reasons was he was one of the original coaches, so he was here Day 1. And I would say that was back when everything was more club atmosphere and we were more buddies and he probably just didn’t like the direction that we’re going of being more professional.
Mateo: 08:09 Yeah. Like, the early days it’s like, hey, you know, you can hang out on the couches and just do whatever. And then—
Rob: 08:15 Exactly. We had a lot of that.
Mateo: 08:16 Yeah. And it’s definitely hard; it’s a culture shift, you know, and it’s tough. And especially when the whole gym feels like everyone’s a family, it’s nice in that respect, you know, you want that community. But at the same time, you know, it’s hard to, to run a business, make the hard calls if everyone’s feeling that kind of sense of entitlement or that sense of, not entitlement, but you know, informal kind of relationship, you know?
Rob: 08:41 Absolutely. I remember, I think it was just a year ago and coaches were still allowed to work out during open gym. But people will come in and then—the coach would have his shirt off and it’ll be like the most intimidating environment to come into ever. So it’s like we were killing ourselves. And I was trying to be too friendly with the coaches.
Mateo: 09:03 Yeah, that’s a great example of what I think I was trying to say, not successfully, but yeah, just small things like that. And you know, when you have prospects walk in and, or even your current clients, if they’re walking in for a service that they’re paying for, you know, at least in my gym, they pay for open gym, you know, you want a coach to be delivering that part of the service, hopefully clothed, you know. So great, awesome. So, OK, so roles and tasks, that seemed to be really big for you, it seemed to give you the headspace and the ability to delegate. What else? What was the next kind of thing that you saw or that you were able to implement and see a positive difference working with Greg?
Rob: 09:41 I’d say the next biggest thing was more of a fundamental shift on my end of that old cliche of working on the business instead of in the business. So one big thing is when you join Two-Brain you get the CEO mug, and every morning when I have my coffee out of that mug, it reminds me that I am the CEO and my job is to run the business. And so I think it’s such a great part of Two-Brain, this simple reminder of being the CEO is what drives the business.
Mateo: 10:09 Yeah. And I think I couldn’t have said it better. That’s awesome. And I think the other really important part is your job is to put the right people in the right seats. That’s your job. And if you’re doing everything, you know, you may not be in the right seat yourself. You know, you’re not if you’re doing all the tasks and all the classes, and so your job is to get people in the right places. And I think it sounds like you were able to do that, which is amazing. And so, all right, so you’ve been working with Two-Brain, you’ve able to level up a little bit and delegate and really see some growth. In your own words, what is it that you sell and how do you sell it?
Rob: 10:47 I’d say we sell fitness and happiness. You know, obviously, people come to us looking to improve their health and wellness. What they don’t expect though, is to find so much happiness from the community within. And I think that’s really what keeps them around.
Mateo: 11:01 And how do you sell it?
Rob: 11:02 So, and that’s another big mindset shift that I’ve had recently, is I followed the help-first mantra. And once I adopted that, I kinda got over the fact that I’m selling something and that I’m actually helping people because I have to remember that they’re coming to us for help. And so what I’m selling now, a 100-day transformation, you know, for $500 a month, a year ago, it would’ve been no way. But now I’m thinking this person’s coming to me for help. I’m providing a service, I’m helping them if they want to choose to do business with us; that’s the value of the service.
Mateo: 11:35 Yeah. I mean, that’s exactly right. When you put it that way, yeah, it’s as simple as that. And I think that’s so true. Well, so speaking about some of your services, talk to me about the other stuff that you guys have that you offer.
Rob: 11:52 So, we do CrossFit we do personal training we do nutrition with HSN. We do kids and teens and one of the big new self-sustaining programs is Dumbbells and Diapers.
Mateo: 12:01 I want to talk about that. With these programs though, how do you structure it? How do you, how did you get them off the ground first of all, and then how do you pay your staff? You said it’s self-sustaining, so how do you pay your staff to deliver that service?
Rob: 12:14 So that’s a good question. So, Dumbbells and Diapers, we’ve actually been doing for about a year now and it’s gone through some phases, I’ll say, we started off with it being just a monthly membership and we found that the mothers did not prioritize it when it was just kind of an open membership, so to say. So we started off pretty strong with about 10 or 12 people in a class and then after maybe six months we got to a pretty dark spot where it was only like two moms in a class, one mom in a class. And we started having conversations about, you know, is this worth continuing? You know, your time is better spent doing something else. And we started getting to the holidays of this past year and we were like, “All right, let’s take kind of a hiatus during the holidays.” You know, moms aren’t going to really come in much around Christmas and New Year’s. And then that’s when I was going for Two-Brain. And so I learned the Two-Brain Marketing and I was talking to Blake and I was like, or he was talking about promoting CrossFit and doing CrossFit ads. I was like, “Actually I’d like to try and get this program really off its feet again.” And so we specialized all our ads towards Dumbbells and Diapers.
Mateo: 13:14 Yeah, I want to talk about that some more, but before we do, so how’d you first get off the ground? Like how did you first get those 10 moms and why did you want to start it?
Rob: 13:23 So my wife was, she was a pediatric nurse. We had our first child, he’s 15 months now. So she had gone through the whole having a baby and then trying to get back into fitness, feeling the struggles and we were talking about it. And like this is a great service to offer people because nobody offers it around us. It’s just nobody wants to touch it. And I was like, you have great experience, we have the means to offer it. I was like, let’s do it. So she started researching programs, you know, finding out some, I don’t want to say they’re certifications, but she did some homework on how to really bring the women back into fitness and improve their pelvic floor and their core strength and all that stuff. And so she felt comfortable running the classes. And I want to say when we first started, I honestly just, I probably did do paid advertising, but I did it blindly, I’ll say. In that I kind of just threw money at Facebook. Maybe it was boosting ads, maybe I did an ad, but back then I didn’t have landing pages. I didn’t have any kind of lead management. And so thankfully word got out ’cause moms did come, but there wasn’t anything organ
Mateo: 14:25 And what is this? Is it for people who just recently had a baby or who is this for?
Rob: 14:30 Yeah. So we like to say it’s for new moms and that’s kind of a broad term and we kind of want it that way in that most of the moms who join have had a baby within the last two or three months, but we do have some moms who are coming to us like nine months out, a year out. And that’s totally fine. Most moms bring the baby to class with them, and it kind of gives them another bonding experience, and most moms don’t want to be separated from their baby at that young age. So it kind of encourages them to do fitness with their baby. And so most of the moms, you know, they’d run their kid to class and they’re in a Pack ‘n Play or in a stroller or something like that. And there’s definitely some crying babies in class, which makes a unique environment, but with all the new moms out there and with my wife Denise running it, it really is a good program and they all enjoy it.
Mateo: 15:15 Awesome. So, so Denise runs this, babies running around, they’re crying, moms are working out. That’s amazing. And so let’s say if you want to have, I mean Denise is running this for you, but let’s say you were going to have another coach do it or add another class. How would you structure that? How are you, how are you compensating that coach?
Rob: 15:33 All right, so right now, Denise, she’s my wife, so obviously all the revenue just comes to us, but if I were to have a coach take over, I would do the 4/9ths program. Denise, actually, she runs the kids and the teens, and we’re bringing on a new coach and we’re going to do the 4/9ths program with the kids and the teens program.
Mateo: 15:50 The 4/9ths model with the other coaches, as they’re coming on.
Rob: 15:53 Correct.
Mateo: 15:54 Gotcha. Cool. Amazing. So then let’s talk about working with Blake. You know, how did you guys revitalize this program and get new bodies in the door?
Rob: 16:02 So Blake helped me set up my Facebook advertisements, kind of went through and he was looking at some of my pictures and then we tried using some stock photos and we talked about how to target in the local area. And honestly I think it’s still pretty amazing about how Facebook does it and how you can dial in down to the zip code. And I can target literally moms who’ve had a baby within the last two years. Pretty amazing. So obviously the ad gets out in front of these people, they still have to click it. But Blake helped me dial it in for the wording and everything and it’s been very successful.
Mateo: 16:32 So what happens: A new mom sees this ad, they click on, they inquire, that their email, their number comes to you. What happens?
Rob: 16:40 So what we actually do is kind of different from our regular CrossFit in that we do not do a No-Sweat Intro with Dumbbells and Diapers.
Mateo: 16:47 Interesting. Tell me about that.
Rob: 16:48 So, I was talking about that with Denise, and moms with young babies do not want to make an extra stop if they don’t have to. If they’re out doing errands, an extra stop, you know, that can make or break the whole thing. So we didn’t want them to have to do that. So when they go to our landing page, they fill out our UpLaunch lead form and when they go to the thank-you page, they do have the option just to sign up right then and there. So capitalizing on just the spur of the moment, yeah, I want to get back into fitness, here’s the sign-up link. If they don’t sign up right then and there, then they go on our UpLaunch campaign of where we do have a Dumbbells and Diapers specific journey.
Mateo: 17:27 Yeah. You have a specific nurture sequence for that.
Rob: 17:29 Yup. And then Denise will obviously reach out for the one-on-one touch. We do find that the women either sign up right away or like one day before the program starts.
Mateo: 17:38 Yeah, I know, for sure. For sure.
Rob: 17:41 It’s very quiet, and then like right before it starts—
Mateo: 17:43 The day before they’ll get three more sign-ups. That’s that scarcity and urgency mindset for sure. Amazing, man. OK, so first time around like that first, I guess, was January the first month you guys started running ads?
Rob: 17:58 Yeah, so in January started running ads and then the first session after the paid ads were out, I think we had 12 moms in.
Mateo: 18:05 Awesome. How much revenue were you guys generating?
Rob: 18:07 Oh, well we’re charging 250 for a six-week session. And so with 12, moms, that’s probably just over 3,000.
Mateo: 18:14 And how much did you spend on ads that month?
Rob: 18:16 Gosh, I’m going to say 250 bucks.
Mateo: 18:19 Wow, that’s awesome. And what you were telling me before we hopped on, you were saying that this most recent cycle, you’ve just been able to retain a good chunk of people, right?
Rob: 18:30 Yeah, so it was pretty incredible. The session that we have right now, I want to say eight out of the 14 moms are repeat customers. So they’ve stayed on for another six-week session.
Mateo: 18:41 Wow. So that’s even higher return on that initial 300 bucks on ads.
Rob: 18:47 Not only that, but some have also opted to come into the regular CrossFit classes. So we’re getting full-time members out of it.
Mateo: 18:53 There you go. There you go. So why do you think they’ve stayed on? Like what is the process after they finish, after they’re close to the end of that six-week Dumbbells and Diapers cycle, you know, what’s Denise doing, what kind of outreach or goal-setting is happening that you think is contributing to the high retention rate?
Rob: 19:12 So I think part of it is just the culture that she has developed within the program. She has a Dumbbells and Diapers-specific Facebook group where all the moms are chatting and they’re talking and they’re having fun and they’re posting memes and everything. And so I think that it just stays current in their newsfeed. And so they’re like oh, the next session is coming up, and as long as the moms aren’t back at work, because we do find that a lot of them do go back to work, but the ones that stay home. They’re staying on with the fitness.
Mateo: 19:39 Amazing. Wow, that’s awesome. Yeah, no, I think that’s great that you’re kind of continuing the conversation going, giving the opportunity for mom memes is always great. Yeah. So that’s awesome. That’s great, man. And so, so I guess, what do you think has been the key to your success so far? You know, it really sounds like you’ve been able to make some meaningful changes in your business and your staff and you’ve been able to really grow with some of these additional revenue streams. What do you think has been the key to this—you called it a revolution, in your business?
Rob: 20:10 Yeah, revolution or revival. I guess there would be two big things and it would be having the right person in the right place. So I think Denise is, you know, a perfect fit for this program. She’s a fit mom, she has a health background. She’s really a role model for these other moms and she’s really driving the happiness and the success in that program. So I think just having the right person there is huge. I think if you had, you know, I don’t think a guy would be able to run that program; it has to be a female. And I think ideally it should be someone that’s had a baby so they can relate. So the amount of, you know, potential coaches that you could have run the program is fairly small. So I think just having her in there and then obviously having the marketing to bring the new moms in and make them aware of the program is phenomenal. I’ve found it interesting. Even though I target our zip code, just by people liking and sharing the post, we have moms coming from 30, even 45 minutes away.
Mateo: 21:09 Yeah. So some people are sharing it and spreading the word organically a little bit.
Rob: 21:13 There’s a lot of organic because people find it, I guess, not fascinating, but like really cool that there’s a program for new moms and their babies.
< p>Mateo: 21:21 Yeah. It sounds like you’ve really been able to dial in the market and the message and just being able to provide the service. It seems like there was a gap, you know, and I think especially just having a place just to be able to bring the new baby, I think that in and of itself is probably huge for a lot of new moms.
Rob: 21:41 I agree. It was really was a perfect fit because one of the original things was, I was trying to think of how we can fill the gym during its empty time. So you know, the 10:30-a.m., there’s nothing going on. And so I was like, “Why don’t we try to get the new moms,” and then, and you know, the program took off and now it’s a perfect fit.
Mateo: 21:58 Something that we do—like something we do teach is to have additional revenue streams and different sources of income for your business so that you’re not solely relying on the group CrossFit classes or your group fitness classes, right? Offer additional one-on-ones, offer nutrition. But I also think some people—I don’t want people to hear this and be like, “Oh, I’ve got to start that right now. That’s going to cure my gym,” you know? What would you say to someone who’s thinking about adding an additional specialty course or a class for new mothers or parents? When does that person know they’re ready and when should you like pump the brakes and focus on dialing in, you know, your service or your staff, you know, what would you say to that person?
Rob: 22:41 Oh, that’s a good question. I would say one of the things that spurred us to start the program was, it wasn’t just my wife that had had a baby, but there were a couple of other members who had had kids recently. So we knew that we could get at least, you know, three or four moms into the program. So it wasn’t like we were just jumping in the deep end. We knew we had a couple moms that would come in.
Mateo: 23:00 You had a little bit of demand already starting. You had a captive audience already.
Rob: 23:05 Yep. Yeah, that was definitely one thing that encouraged us to, uh, to jump in, was the couple of moms that we already had.
Mateo: 23:11 Awesome. Awesome, man. Well, I think that’s all we got for today. I mean, if people want to talk more about you and learn more about this program, how you were able to get it off the ground or some of the other ones, like, we didn’t have a chance to talk about your teens program, but you know, if people were curious about adding these additional services because they have a lot of families in their area, where can they find you?
Rob: 23:32 So I think the best spot to start is our website, it’s cfsimsbury.com, and we have a whole landing page dedicated towards Dumbbells and Diapers and you know, thanks to the Facebook marketing with Blake, we have a great intro video with Denise on there and our son, Fitzgerald, and all the information about the program. We do six-week sessions. We run it Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 in the morning. And we do have a Saturday class, which has been very popular. We find that Saturdays the moms come without the babies because they’re with the dads. So it’s kind of like a freedom class. They’re kind of, you know, having more fun with it and we do allow drop-ins the Saturday class only. And we charge 20 or 25 bucks for that and that provides a nice, you know, revenue stream there as well because a lot of the moms who go back to work can’t come Tuesday, Thursday. So they come Saturday without the kid, they pay the 20, 25 bucks, and I just bumped the revenue up right there.
Mateo: 24:25 Awesome man. Well thanks for hopping on today, and I’m excited to see what the rest of the year holds for you and how this program develops.
Rob: 24:33 Thanks Mateo, I appreciate all your guidance, and Blake as well. It’s been a great journey so far and I’m not even a year into it. So I’m really looking forward to it.
Mateo: 24:39 Awesome.
Chris: 24:40 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. There’s one for you, the business owner, and there’s one for coaches that will help them make better, longer, more meaningful careers under the 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 owners group in your community and more.
Chris: 25:31 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 with their coaches and give their clients a meaningful path to long-term 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 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: 26:09 As always, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We greatly appreciate you and everyone that has subscribed to us. If you haven’t done that, please make sure you do. Drop a like to the 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.