Two Brain Marketing Episode 7: Coty Bradburn
Today we are joined by Coty Bradburn of CrossFit Mountain Island in Charlotte, NC. Coty grew up with a very sedentary lifestyle and it wasn’t until his late teens that he decided to change his lifestyle and start eating healthy and exercising. After losing 60 pounds, Coty dove into CrossFit full time in 2014. Coty soon bought his own gym and now enjoys helping others reach their exercise and fitness goals through nutrition, community, and empowering a healthy lifestyle. Join us today as we learn about Coty, his gym, and how he leverages paid ads to grow his business.
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 hereto register and sign up now!
2:38 – Introduction to Coty Bradburn
5:33 – Going from 6 Member to 50 in two Months.
8:09 – Advice for people thinking about buying a gym
11:45 – Initial outreach and gaining customers for a new business
13:00 – What made Coty decide to join the Two Brain Family?
16:06 – In Coty’s words, what does he sell at his gym?
18:33 – The sales process at CrossFit Mountain Island
21:02 – How did CrossFit Mountain Island’s metrics change after the Two Brain Incubator
23:52 – The key to growing a successful CrossFit gym.
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 discover the very best practices to achieve perfect day and move you closer to wealth.
Chris: 00:26 What makes a good gym website? The answer to that question keeps changing. Five years ago I would’ve said that you need this rotating banner image. Three years ago I would’ve said that you have to have one splash page highlighting the benefits of your service. That’s true. The problem is that the benefits of your service change by the client you’re trying to target and so you need to be able to adapt. You need to be able to add your own landing pages. Your main cover page should reflect what your most important clients want. That’s going to be different from what my most important clients want. So a website is based on a template with the same kind of rotating image is not going to work anymore. I use ForTime Design for the twobrainbusiness.com and catalystgym.com Websites because those are the most important websites I own.
Chris: 01:12 I want responsive design that’s going to work well on mobile. About 60% of your clients are going to come through mobile and more in the future. I want a responsive designer which means I can contact them to make changes and I want to know how to change my own oil. I want to know how to get in there and add my own post. I talk a lot about content marketing and that means I have to know the medium through which I’m delivering my content. Using ForTime Design has been my choice now for about three years because Teresa and her team are super responsive. She can answer questions for me, she can show me how to do it myself if I want to or she can do it for me if I don’t have time. She’s created a big series of videos for Two-Brain clients in our incubator and growth stages to watch so that they can do stuff like build landing pages themselves.
Chris: 02:01 A lot of website companies try to pull the curtain in front of their knowledge. They try to hold a lot of stuff secret so that they can charge you to do the basic things. Just like in car maintenance, changing your oil, rotating your tires. If you want to do that stuff, awesome. If you don’t have time to do that stuff, take it to the garage. Theresa at ForTime Design gives you both options and she’ll even teach you how to do it yourself if you want to. I use ForTimeDesign.com and what made them an official Two-Brain partner is our firm belief in their commitment to helping first and a strong sense of service value.
Mateo: 02:38 Hello and 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 this is going to be your weekly dose of digital marketing magic. Every week we’re going to go over marketing campaign strategies, useful tips and updates to keep in the loop on the ever changing landscape advertising on the Internet for Your Business. And in today’s episode we have a very special guest, Coty Bradburn. And you’re going to learn a little bit about him and his gym and how he spent, he was able to spend $2,000 in paid ads and generate over $12,000 in front end revenue. So we’re going to figure out exactly how we did that. And so, Coty, how’s it going?
Coty: 03:20 Thanks. Awesome man.
Mateo: 03:22 So tell people who are listening, tell us a little bit about you, where you’re from and, and your gym.
Coty: 03:28 Yeah, so I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina. My gym is crossfit Mountain Island. It’s right outside of the city. We’re actually in a pocket, it’s not super saturated yet. We’ll see. I got the gym September of 2017 it ha
d been a crossfit gym for four years already. It had been through three different owners. And when I bought the gym, a, the guy had a six members that were active. So I took over the lease essentially just paid for his assets because he didn’t have a business I was buying and then negotiated with the land Lord to give me three months of no rents to build up the membership and that was it. It was just kind of like I’ll see what happens.
Mateo: 04:10 How did you do that?
Coty: 04:11 How did I negotiate that?
Mateo: 04:13 Yeah, just your southern charm or how did you do it, you know?
Coty: 04:16 Yeah, the southern charm was a factor, but the guy that was managing the property knew that the dude that owned it wasn’t doing well. I’m not even sure how he was floating the business. He must’ve had other assets coming in, but I just thought about was, I was like, hey man, there’s not a lot of crossfit gyms out here. I think the market can handle it and it needs it, but as of right now, I’m going to sign this lease. I’m not going to pay you rent because the money’s not there from the business. I’ll say, I can take over and I can fix it. I know I can fix it. I just need some time. So he agreed to, that gave me from, let’s see, he gave me October, November, December. So I didn’t even have to pay rent for the first of 2018 and at that point, I mean the first thing I do want to bought the gym.
Coty: 04:57 I remember the first day I took over, I called Chris Cause I knew I was going to go into Two-Brain. I just had money put back that I could use to pay for incubator, but it would’ve dug into my safety net from our first month’s rent. So I told Chris this situation on the phone, he suggested I wait until I’ve got enough cashflow to pay rent and then do incubator. So I did that, waited until about, I want to say it was January or February. I had grown from six up to probably 40 to 50 members at that point. Uh, I was coaching a lot of classes. I had one other coach helping me out.
Mateo: 05:33 Tell us a little bit about that. How did you go from six members to 50 in six months?
Coty: 05:37 Uh, so I was following Two-Brain already. I was reading all of Chris’s love letters, listening to the podcast following along the Facebook page. So a lot of this was warm marketing. I mean I reached out and connected with all of the ex members cause at one point like this first or second owner had gotten the gym up to like 70 members before. But then he had some issues with the space. And, well we all know the story, coached, all the classes didn’t want to do anything as far as the business side and then burned out and sold it. I reached out to all the old members, kind of wrote up a bio about myself, gave them my story, connected with them. I then went around put mailers and mailboxes and all the local neighborhoods, you know, walked around and met a lot of the local business owners. A lot of my, I mean I see, I say a lot the six members that were still there told all the old members that, you know, it was moving into a better direction. Yeah, warm market. Mostly it was all warm market and then a lot of old members and then a handful of just local, I mean members of the community I guess came around.
Mateo: 06:39 Okay. So were you a coach before or were you a member before or how did, how did that,
Coty: 06:44 oh dude chills. Weird man. So like I was having coaching for five years. I’ve actually got to get my level two here soon because my other one’s running out. I was managing a CrossFit gym in the city at the time. I’d been managing it for a little over a year. I would say. I was managing coaching. They’re, the owners were remote. They lived out in Nashville, they’re not members. The Gym was about 10,000 square feet. I mean our membership was hanging out around one 80 to 200 for the most part. But I didn’t really know a lot about running a business, especially a CrossFit gym. I’d coached prior to that, but it was a lot of um, experience. I gained managing that place. Right. So how I found about, about my gym now, it was for sale. My mother, her friend was a member at that gym. So then she told my mom that, hey, this gym is for sale.
Coty: 07:34 Mom told me, I was like, well, I can’t afford to buy a gym but I’ll go look at it and see, you know, like, I’ll check it out. And it was actually really close to my house and it was about 12 minutes away from where I live, which was half the distance of the gym, I was managing and it was in a good spot. I did some research, met the members, met the owner and yeah man, it just kind of the way it’ll happen, it was a blessing, but it was um, one of those stories is like, it was meant to be right in quotation there because just the way, the way that it happened was just loud. But then I bought the gym and then within, within two months I was owner.
Mateo: 08:09 We talked to a lot of people who are thinking about opening a gym, or thinking about buying a gym. Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about buying an existing business versus just starting from scratch?
Coty: 08:18 From what my experience from buying the gym. I mean I think there’s pros and cons. The big pro is that it was already, you know, it was a brick and mortar location. It was already set up. The equipment was there. I just literally, it was turnkey, right? I mean turnkey as far as the gym goes, not turnkey as far as business goes. I had to learn a lot about how to run the business because I was used to coaching and just some low level managing prior selling it. But the con would be that it had the brand had a reputation that I had to overcome. Right. So I went through the process of considering, you know, completely rebranding, changing the name.
Mateo: 08:52 Did you do that or you know, end up keeping it.
Coty: 08:55 Yeah, I kept it, I kept the name and just did a lot of work overcoming people’s perception mostly with advertising myself.
Mateo: 09:04 Yeah. So cause it sounds like you did a lot of direct outreach. It sounds like you, you kind of sold yourself to the six people you had and then said, hey, go spread the word to the other people who maybe have left. Yeah, so it seems like that was really effective for you. When people came back, did you, what did you offer them to try and get them to, to to try it out again?
Coty: 09:26 I don’t remember offering, I mean I’ve never done discounts. I don’t remember offering discounts. I don’t remember. I think for for x members, because this was prior to me going to incubator for x members, I offered them a free class. Those that have done crossfit so they can see my coaching style, getting experience as far as how class structures were going to go now versus how they had been prior. And then just talked to them. We just sat down for coffee and just chatted about me, answered their questions, but I didn’t have a lot of, oh I didn’t have a very hard time overcoming those objections as far as old members coming back because when they left they left because of the coaching style and the management, the previous owner. And I think it was pretty apparent when they met me and saw how I ran a class experience that that it was going to be different. So I guess, those are pretty easy sales cause they came back, tried a class, were like, Yup, this is what I want. And then they signed back up.
Mateo: 10:18 So then what was different about your service?
Coty: 10:21 Well, I don’t want to like to speak badly about the previous owner. He wasn’t into crossfit for crossfit. He was in, it was interesting. He didn’t do crossfit, he didn’t exercise, he didn’t understand the methodology. He didn’t have any, he didn’t even have a level one. He had the affiliate in a coach’s name that had a level one. So he was like bringing in random trainers, some without certifications to run classes with that didn’t have experience crossfitting. I mean I’ve, I’ve, I’ve been told stories about members having keys to the gym that when the coach wasn’t there, they were just open up and work out by themselves and lock up anywhere from, you know, from that too. You know, the coach coming in, turning on the lights, play music, and then going and sitting in the office and on their phone for the duration of the class while numbers worked out to, you know, them trying to run like a kid’s program simultaneously with the class without a coach being there for the kids program. It was, yeah, it was. It was gnarly.
Mateo: 11:17 Oh Wow.
Coty: 11:18 So when they walked in and met a guy that was like passionate about crossfit, you know, opening up everyday, closing every night, you know, the whole romantic concept of owning a crossfit gym. And that’s not sustainable. But they met me. They could tell I was passionate. They saw me all the time, you know, they could tell I cared about the gym and I was invested in them.
Mateo: 11:36 Yeah. So just coming in and coaching the class seems like that was a big step up in in the right direction. And tell me a little about the outreach you did with the people in the community. So you said you went to other businesses and just kind of introduced yourself. What was that like?
Coty: 11:54 It was um, interesting because prior to me owning this business, I’ve never had any experience in sales and I didn’t realize at the time it’s all essentially selling myself. But I mean, I wrote the Bio about myself, for the gym as far as like vision for the gym, what the goal was to accomplish and then just drove out to businesses and took these flyers
like apartment complexes and local restaurants and small mom and pop shops and just talk to them, told them, you know, I, I’ve taken over the gym, where we were at, what we were doing and then encouraged them to come by and just try it.
Mateo: 12:30 Awesome. And okay, so you took over this business, it sounds like it was just you, was it just you or did you have …
Coty: 12:39 I had one other coach, coach that was,, really an intern because they went and got their level one, like a mock prior to me taking over and then they wanted to come and just learn everything is on it.
Mateo: 12:48 So, okay. So it was you and a part timer. You worked, you worked your butt off to try and salvage this business. You’re able to have some amazing growth come from six members to 50 in six months. Before that, you had already put in your call to Chris. But right about that time, six months later, you’ve decided to pull the trigger. What motivated you to, to make that decision and then, you know, what was kind of the, the change you saw after going through the incubator?
Coty: 13:16 Um, the motivation for me was that I didn’t want to be that guy that was, you know, five to 10 years deep into the business with a CrossFit gym and still coaching all the classes, getting by worrying about the next steps. As far as like business growth, I didn’t want to get caught. I didn’t want to pay all of that money every month, to burnout or to be confined to my business. I don’t, I don’t think that entrepreneurs own businesses to be slaves of the business. I think if I wanted to have that kind of a schedule, I would just pick up a nine to five somewhere and have the stability of that without the stresses of business ownership. So I went to Two-Brain, because I knew that it was gonna give me the freedom to lead the lifestyle I want to lead. I needed a coach.
Coty: 14:07 I knew how to be personable, I knew how to relate to members. I was invested in them. So that was all easy and, and we all do that. But I had no idea how to run a business. So what I learned in the incubator was Chris’ mindset and the Two-Brain mindset as far as how to separate yourself, how to create value, how not to compete with other gyms on price. Um, the reason not to give discounts, it was like a total perspective shift. Right? So it was understanding that if we want to be at the top of this business model, we have to do things at other gyms don’t do. So I learned all those things that we do that separate us.
Mateo: 14:50 Amazing. And how, you said lifestyle was important. How did your lifestyle change from before to the incubator and then after going through it?
Coty: 15:00 Well, I mean it’s 10 o’clock in the morning right now. I just had breakfast. I’m getting coffee talking to you and I’m not freaking out about the gym.
Mateo: 15:07 I guess that there you go. That’s it.
Coty: 15:09 Yeah, we’ve got, I mean, every day, Monday through Friday, we’ve got six classes that run a day with personal training time slots opened up throughout this, between those classes as well as our time slots. I mean, I’ve got eight employees, all of, so I mean really, I’m responsible for three classes a week and that’s because I want to, I mean, I’ve got a waiting list of employees that like want more classes, but I’m still in a place where I want to have a presence in the gym. I’m trying to figure out how I can replace myself that doesn’t negatively impact the member’s experience. So I’m not there yet but not a long way to go with that. But yeah, I mean like I know that if I want to coach classes I can, but I don’t have to. If I want to spend my time doing things, that are going to grow the business. That’s been the biggest change is I’m not, I’m not imprisoned in that. What the business has to have to stay sustainable, you know?
Mateo: 16:04 Yeah, totally. I totally get that. That’s amazing. And so in your own words, it sounds like you’ve, you’ve really upgraded the service from the previous ownership, from the, the way it was previously run. So in your own words, what do you sell and how do you sell it ?
Coty: 16:21 I mean I sell and I think we sell a fix to people’s problems, right? That’s, that’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to genuinely change lives, right? So we sell an experience and information that is going to impact not just the member but the entire members like close circle, right? So those are their family, right? So we impact a mom. I mean like last week my girlfriend and I, we had power hour nutrition consult with this lady, she was doing the six week challenge and we were facetiming. And like we were giving her advice that was going to directly impact her husband and her kids because she’s the one that does the grocery shopping and the cookin
g, right? So if we can change her experience and her mindset on health and fitness, I mean we’re going to impact a lot more than just her. Right? So that’s what we sell.
Coty: 17:11 We sell. I, I firmly believe that we sell a fix to chronic disease through crossfit and our, and our, our education and experience. And I sell it by connecting with people, right? So if someone doesn’t trust me or they don’t think that I’ve got credibility, they’re not going to buy from me. But if they come in and we can connect and I can make them laugh and they can see I’m a person that just has a fix to their problem and they can look around and see that I have credibility by the business and people that are already there giving social proof. I mean, the only question is can they afford it? After that there’s really, they know that if they know they have a problem, if you’re in my gym, if they’ve come in, they know there’s a problem that they need to have fixed. And if they like me and they can afford it, there’s no other missing pieces.
Mateo: 17:57 So I think that’s so true. I think that’s the key when you’re talking about here is, this is problem solving, right? People, people are turning to people walking into your door. People are calling because they have a problem, they may not know what it is exactly just yet. And that’s kind of our job to coach them through that and tease it out. But, but yeah, that’s really the motivating factor for, for all all of sales, right? It’s people have a current problem, current situation. They’re trying to get to their desired spot there, their desired solution. And, and it sounds like you do a good job of positioning yourself as that solution. So you said getting people to know, like, and trust you is critical. So walk us through that sales process. What happens when someone walks in through the door?
Coty: 18:39 Yeah. Uh, they walk in, they’re on the schedule. We’re expecting them. So they meet with me or my girlfriend as well, or one of the coaches and we offer them a bottle of water or a cup of coffee. We kind of show them the gym. If there’s a class going on then we’ll give a quick breakdown of like the class structure, what’s happening, we’ll tell them a few members’ names so they have some identity and then we’ll head into our office. We actually have an office that we use for No-Sweat intros as you know, some pretty comfortable leather couches or I’m sorry, these leather chairs. We have a coffee bar and desk and we’ll sit in a little, we’ll see side by side and yeah, we’ll just go over, I mean we, so we use the notes. We get to know them better We basically start with like, why are you here?
Coty: 19:18 What’s your problem? We have some direction on how to talk to them. And then we just connect. I mean we try to find out why, what’s, why health is important to them, why fitness is important to them. We try to find the real reason they’re there, not just the superficial stuff. And once we’ve figured that out, we just educate them. So we explained to them why it works, how the process works, what they can expect and find out if their desires more group or personal training. We use the help first model. So just based on what you need help with, this is how we can help you too. Then we’ll prescribe and create like a vision of how this service is gonna positively impact their quality of life and if they can envision that and we can prescribe what we think’s best. That usually gets the um, the ball rolling for them.
Mateo: 20:09 That’s awesome. The fact that you greet them and you give them a bottle of water or a coffee, it kind of starts off that yeah, you’re using that reciprocity principle where it’s like you’re giving them something now they’re kind of primed to give you something back in return. Uh, so that’s amazing that you do that. And then when you bring them into this office, it sounds like you create a, you know, you’re controlling the environment, controlling the experience and you’re not stuck in the chaoticness of the class or trying to talk over the music. I think that’s super important and it’s a lesson. It took me a long time to learn and I think a lot of others are struggling with that too. But I, I think, I think you bring a good point and I can’t stress the, of having that separate space to conduct your intros and that it’s clean. And it has a nice leather couches and then it’s it, it’s appealing place to be. So that’s amazing. So awesome. So, so now tell us a little bit about, so the last year’s lifestyle change in, in the sense that you were able to, you know, bring on some other coaches. You’re able to have coffee right now and talk with me, but walk us through some of the numbers, you know, how did your, your gym on the business side, some of the metrics change after going through the incubator?
Coty: 21:17 For sure. Most of the growth for the business was in systems, learning how to connect with a warm market. I had shown them value. I still didn’t understand Facebook or Instagram advertising. I would, you know, boost a post here and there that was having good organic reach. But I didn’t really know what that would do. I didn’t have a system in place to capture those people that saw it. So I also signed up for the marketing incubator to that was, that was back in like may or June’s is about six months after. I think better. And then, I don’t know, it was close to the end of the year, so like around August, September. But I got through the marketing. I mean I remember sitting right here at my coffee table in my house or my dinner table for a weekend, eight, nine hours a day working through the entire marketing Incubator and having it done by the following Monday.
Coty: 22:07 And I had ads, you know, click funnels, landing pages all live and going with depths texting me about new leads in a couple of days. I to do all of it. So as far as that goes, that taught me about how to get out and do it. The actual online marketing space. And that wa
s huge. That was huge. So as far as metrics go, now we’re up around like 87 and 90 members. I’m trying to break through that threshold of 100 people. Let’s see, so far I’ve spent a little over $2,054 on paid ads, my average cost per lead for women’s 6.43, for men, it’s about 8.84 so pretty low. Now we’re just trying to figure out the best systems to Improve no-shows, right? So just using uplaunch, you know, following along with you and Blake using the systems you guys preach to us, make them show up because if they come into the gym, we’ll probably sell them. But out of that 2054 I’ve put in, the front end revenue’s been $12,488 and 74 cents and that’s all solely based on like six week challenges. I’ve got a couple doing a hundred day journey and then that’s not including like ARM or membership after they finish their challenge. That’s purely front end.
Mateo: 23:25 wow, that’s awesome man. And so it sounds like you’ve had this awesome journey from taking this, this derelict business and making it your own, completely changing the way you, you offer the service. You’ve kind of made a name for yourself in the community. If you’ve done a lot of outreach, you’ve worked through your systems, you’ve hired staff, and you’ve now created a way in which you can kind of grow and control the growth of your gym through some of the paid advertising strategy. So, you know, what do you think’s been the key to your success so far?
Coty: 23:57 So One thing I would say consistency. What’s been key to success? Because saying you’re gonna do something to your members or your coaches and then following through is huge because people see that and then just consistently every day doing the things that need to be done as far as like CEO tasks and owner tasks, they’re good. They’re going to move the needle for the business so that I can positively impact the coaches and, and members without martyring myself, my quality of life. Right. So if you’re not consistent in those things, it’s not really going to push the needle for you. But consistently working through the incubator, consistently working through the marketing. I mean, right now my girlfriend , she’s helped me run the business. Now we’re redoing the incubator and the marketing modules so that we can both be on the same page. And so it’s cool for me because now I’ve been doing it for about six months to a year. I’m getting the same information from, from a new perspective because I’ve experience a lot of it. So I’m kind of, we’re redoing some landing pages were we just finished redoing our website. But I mean I think it comes back to being consistent and doing the things we all know we need to do and that you guys tell us to do because you know, it works to be able to keep advancing our businesses.
Mateo: 25:11 Awesome man. Well, I think what we touched on is holding yourself accountable and making sure you’re following through on the things you’re saying you’re gonna do and consistently growing and consistently learning. And even if you think you know something, going back again, and it’s kind of like crossfit fundamentals, you know, going through the incubator, you, you’re going through business fundamentals, which, and, and I also think a big part of that is mentorship, right? That’s what the mentor is there to help you do, is to keep you accountable, keep you, make sure you’re consistently growing and challenging yourself and pushing yourself in getting to that next level. And I think that’s kind of the key, the key difference with what we do and what some of the other stuff that’s out there. So. Awesome man. Well thanks for hopping on and sharing your coffee with me this morning. Am I going to see you at the summit?
Coty: 26:01 Yeah, we’re actually looking at airbnbs and plane tickets this morning right now. The summit and trying to find some people to stay with or just grab a meal. But yeah, that’s a, that’s on the agenda. We’re gonna make it happen so we can get out there and actually meet you guys.
Mateo: 26:13 Nice. Well hopefully we’ll see you there and then, uh, yeah, keep crushing it dude.
Coty: 26:18 Thanks man. I appreciate all the information and help.
Chris: 26:20 Hey everyone. Chris Cooper here and 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 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 and 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.
Chris: 27:11 Get them to Tinker phase, help them be more successful, create meaningful careers that 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 topic
s on both the owners and the coaches side in the show notes. I really hope to see you there.
Greg: 27:48 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 light to that episode. Share with a friend, and if you haven’t already, please write us a review and rate us on how what you think. If you hated it, let us know if you loved it even better.