Chris Cooper (00:01):
Hey guys, it’s Chris Cooper, and today I want to tell you the difference between do it yourself, done for you, and a third category that we as coaches all fall into, whether you’re coaching business or fitness, or CrossFit or yoga or boot camp or Pilates or whatever your methodology is. This is a great reason for us to be optimistic, but it’s also a clarifying lesson in what we’re actually selling and what makes our service more valuable or valuable at all to people. My editor, Ann, is more than a spell checker. She’s more than a thesaurus. She doesn’t just do line editing and put my commas in or take my extra commas out or fix the apostrophes on stuff. She doesn’t just do formatting and layout. She’s really a coach. And so I use an external editor, even though we have an amazing editor on staff at Two-Brain in Mike Warkentin, even though we have incredible writers on staff at Two-Brain. I use this external editor because she’s not immersed in Two-Brain land all day.
Chris Cooper (01:00):
She doesn’t just automatically fill in the gap. She doesn’t really have context on what I’m talking about when I write a new book for gym owners. And so she asks questions from the eyes of an expert but also from a beginner who isn’t really familiar with the world of gym ownership, and that’s why I use her. But more than that, the value of her service really comes from coaching. So instead of saying like, “Chris, you are not capitalizing your T’s,” she’ll say, “Chris, I think what you’re trying to say here is this.” And then she helps me say it better. And then the end result is that you, who read my books—thank you—wind up getting a better book that’s clearer and more coherent. And I was thinking about this a lot on my drive today because right now Anne is helping me rewrite “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” to make it more clearer, more actionable to give you more concrete goals.
Chris Cooper (01:50):
But we’re also in the process of writing a new book for people who are just about to start a gym, for coaches and trainers who wanna open a bricks-and-mortar location. And one of the key lessons in this book is that there will always be a need for these physical locations. When all the gyms got kind of forced online, some gym owners said, “Holy crap, this is the future. Why do I have this $10,000 a month albatross around my ankles when I don’t need it? I could make the same amount of income from 10 clients online, or maybe I could even make more money without the staff and without the overhead and the loans and the landlord and the noise complaints and all that garbage.” So some gym owners actually pivoted online and stayed there. And you know, I think we kind of helped them.
Chris Cooper (02:38):
We went out to external experts and we found how to do great coaching online, but our intent was always to help gym owners train online with the goal of coming back to their bricks-and-mortar gym. And I think it’s really important—I think that there will always be a place for a bricks-and-mortar gym. I think that there’s never been a better time to start a bricks-and-mortar gym. And I wanna tell you why. There are of course, a growing number of online coaches. The value of the online coach is rising. The attraction to an online coach is rising among a certain clientele population. But there are more people coming to our type of coaching business in a bricks-and-mortar location than ever before. And there are more high-ticket offers and programs and success with that stuff than ever before.
Chris Cooper (03:29):
So people are now selling like a $3,000-dollars-a-month gym membership, and people are now selling like $3,000 front-end offers. And that’s great because what it does is it teaches the bricks-and-mortar gym owner exactly what they’re really worth instead of just anchoring their price to the hundred dollars that the gym down the street used to charge. Now they can see like, “holy moly, I am this valuable to people.” And the reason that you are that valuable that people will pay $3,000 for a high-value service is because what you’re selling is not a do it yourself. What you’re selling is not a done for you, it’s this other thing in the middle: It’s done with you. Great coaching is done with you, and that’s the service that you’re providing at your gym. And I’m providing it at my gym.
Chris Cooper (04:18):
It’s the service that I am providing with a mentorship practice. It’s done with you. So let me break down. The difference here for you: done for you is when a service comes in and just takes over one part of your business. So let’s say that you hire an ad agency to come in, you hand over control of your Facebook ad accounts, and they run that for you. Okay? Now there’s pros and cons to this. Pro: You don’t have to learn Facebook advertising, and you don’t have to spend all day figuring it out. That’s great. Con: You have no control over your advertising, and it’s expensive, and if things go wrong, you’re not gonna be able to fix it yourself, okay? You have to abdicate responsibility to them. Another done-for-you example is when you buy a franchise. The pro is that you don’t have to make decisions about branding and websites and you probably don’t really have to figure out advertising on your own. You don’t have to think about programming. You don’t have to even buy yourself a job coaching. You just pay for the franchise. Those decisions are made for you, and you set it up according to their guidelines. And then you just kind of like, maybe you work in the franchise for two years and then you can walk away and start the next one, right? Pros: You don’t have to make all the decisions that often go with owning a business. Cons: It’s crazy expensive. You know, most franchises in the fitness industry cost between a quarter million and $2 million a year just to start up. And then you have to have another million or so in liquid assets just in case you don’t make money right away, so you don’t just go bankrupt. On the other end of the spectrum from done for you is DIY, right?
Chris Cooper (05:54):
It’s do it yourself. It’s how we all started, most of you—and me. It’s bootstrapping. It’s, you know, you built yourself one plyo box, and you found out how to make your own medicine ball. You know, if you’ve made your own medicine ball in the past from an old basketball that you cut a hole into and filled with sand and then duct-taped up, send me a love letter and I’m gonna send you a prize, because I did that. I remember what that was like. And that’s DIY. There are pros and cons to DIY, to figuring it all out yourself. Pro: You can work really hard, right? You could do it. You can become successful by figuring it out by yourself. My first location, a personal training studio, was fairly successful. It was paying me $45,000 a year. I knew nothing about business. I just had like an audible.com subscription, and I would try and figure it out. And that was okay until I opened a second location, which just about bankrupted me. And I wound up getting the help of a mentor, but I’ll come back to that. The thing about the fitness industry is you can start with a DIY mindset. You can set up an A-frame in the park, you can do boot-camp workouts down on the city’s waterfront, under the big tent—whatever you wanna do, right? You can kind of figure it out because you can work an 18-hour day because you have a passion for this and a passion for your clients. That’s the pros, right? You can do it. The cons are it’s actually higher risk to DIY because you don’t have the benefit of everybody else’s experience. So it’s gonna take you a lot longer to become successful. The other con to DIY is that you’re kind of an island. You don’t have any kind of support out there. So while you’re not learning from other people’s mistakes and you’re making all of your own mistakes, you also don’t have the support when things go bad. There’s no one to say to you, “That’s okay. We all have ups and downs, and you’re gonna be okay. Here’s how I fix that problem. Here’s what I said to myself as I was going through that.” So while DIY is super appealing to most entrepreneurs—because we wanna start from scratch, we want that blank canvas, we want to invent everything ourselves, and it’s also attractive because it’s cheap—it’s actually more costly and riskier in the long run. So how do you bridge the gap between DIY, just kind of figure it out with no money and bootstrapping it and having it done for you like a franchise?
Chris Cooper (08:21):
Well, that’s what’s in the middle and that’s called done with You. And that’s the service that we provide through mentorship. And it’s the service that you provide to your clients. Done with you means I’m gonna share my experience and get you to where I am a lot faster. Done with you means I am going to support you and be there day or night as you run into trouble. Done with you means I’m gonna tell you exactly what to do next, knowing that you have infinite number of choices that you could choose from, right? Done with you means I will remove all the obstacles of overwhelm. I will remove the burden of choice and make things really, really simple for you. Done with you means “I know you could figure this out. There’s an abundance of knowledge out there, but I will be the one to filter things for you and tell you what’s going to work for you right now instead of ‘here are all these brilliant ideas and options.’”
Chris Cooper (09:15):
Here’s how this works in your business. Your clients fall on a spectrum between do it yourself and done for you. There are people in your city right now who just want to figure it out by themselves. They want to go on a free website, get a free workout and do it on their own. And that’s all they’re ever going to do. These are the DIY people. When I started a gym, most of these people were doing P90X, and I actually thought that P90X was my competition. But it’s not because I don’t sell a DIY service. I sell coaching. I sell a done-with-you service. So there are always these people, even if they’re at the start of their weight-loss journey, who are just gonna say, “You know what, I’m just gonna go for a jog and see if it works.” And for some of them it will actually work. But for a lot of people, they start with DIY and then they want more. They want some help. And that’s when they shift into done-with-you services. So this DIY crowd who’s buying their Peloton bikes and trying it on their own, who’s finding workouts online—CrossFit, yoga, Pilates, whatever—and starting that on their own—Swift—a lot of them will actually graduate up to coaching. And so you don’t look at a DIY service as your competition. You look at a DIY service as a breeding ground for your future clients. Now, let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. The done-for-you service in health and fitness. This is like people who just sell you pre-made meals. It’s also people who will do surgery, right?
Chris Cooper (10:52):
“Liposuction suction, yeah. Don’t worry about anything. Just come and lay on the table and you’ll wake up smaller.” These people too are not your competition. You do not have to write hateful blog posts about the done-for-you services in fitness. You don’t have to say, “I hate the people selling pills or weight-loss potions or lipo or whatever.” In fact, a lot of these people use weight-loss pills. They use liposuction to get them started and to build the confidence that it’s gonna take to come into a gym. I learned this lesson the hard way. We used to partner with somebody that that sold an extreme diet, and she was a medical doctor. I really love her; her name’s Linda. And her goal was to get people to move away from bariatric surgery. She didn’t want them to get bariatric surgery as a medical doctor. She could prescribe it, she could write a script for them, but she really wanted them to lose weight. And so she would send them to us for exercise, and she would give them a nutrition plan and keep them away from bariatric surgery. But sometimes she said like, “Look, bariatric surgery is the only answer here.” You know, they had so much metabolic damage that nobody could turn it around. And so she would send them for bariatric surgery. And one day I was talking about this at Catalyst in front of some clients. and I said, “You know, I don’t think there’s ever a point where somebody needs bariatric surgery. Like I just, I can’t support that.” And after class, this woman who was the head of a family of people who all came to Catalyst, she was an amazing woman and, and she’s just great, she said, “Chris, I’ve had the surgery.” And I was shocked. And I said, “Are you kidding me? Like you’ve had the surgery? Like you’re super fit. You love CrossFit, You wanna compete in CrossFit masters?” And she said, “That’s what I had to do to give myself the confidence to start at your gym.” And what I learned from that is like these other services, they are not my competition. It’s just a different category. It’s done-for-you service. Now what we do is we sit in the middle, right? We sell a done-with-you service. And that “with you” is really, really, really important because the amount that we stand by your side, the amount that we talk to you, the amount that we have an ongoing conversation, the amount that we hold you accountable, that really determines our value to the client.
Chris Cooper (13:19):
That degree of with this is what really determines how much we can set our prices to. So if you are operating a boot camp and there are five other boot camps in town, and looking at your website, your Facebook, your Instagram pictures, I can’t really discern the difference between your boot camp and somebody else’s boot camp, well, now you’re selling a commodity, and I’m just gonna choose the one that costs the least because they all look the same to me. And it’s the same with yoga, and it’s the same with Pilates, and it’s the same with jiu-jitsu, and it’s the same with CrossFit. If your service is indiscernible from everybody else, you have to compete on price, right? But what makes it indiscernible is that degree that we do things with you. So what makes you indiscernible is you’re selling the exact same service as everybody else.
Chris Cooper (14:08):
You come in, you try a class, and if you like it, then you come to class. And that’s the same as everybody else. What makes the “with” have value is the degree to which I customize or personalize your experience in my program. It’s the degree to which I coach you one on one. And that doesn’t just mean like doing squat therapy for 90 seconds in inside a class or inside a group. What that means is do I tailor the journey to you? So when you come in, do we do a consultation? Do I ask about your goals and take a measurement of where you’re starting from before I make a prescription? Or do I just sell everybody the exact same thing after I make that prescription? Do I check in on your progress? Do I track your progress at all? Do I measure the things that you care about, like your weight and your body fat?
Chris Cooper (14:58):
Or do I just measure these independent variables that you probably don’t care about, like your time on Helen or Murph? Do I follow up with you when you’re not right in front of me? Do I send you a text when you’ve gone missing? Do I send you a text to say, “Hey, send me a picture of your lunch today.” Do I send you a video text? Say, “Hey, I was just thinking about you. And this message really resonated with me when I was going through what you are going through right now.” Is the pivot to online really, really easy? Am I giving you accountability? Am I giving you one-on-one attention between classes? Am I customizing your approach? One of the longest-time clients I’ve ever had, her name’s Robin, same as my wife, one of the prescriptions that I gave her early on was, “I need you to take three months off from the gym.” She was overwhelmed, she was stressed, and her cortisol levels were just through the roof. She was coming into the gym about five times a week, and she was also an accountant at this crazy big company that was shutting its doors. They were going bankrupt, and she was trying to manage that. And just her life was a massive ball of stress. And so I said, “Look, I have a client-centric business. I have to tailor my prescription to the needs of the client. What she needs right now is not more intensity in her workouts to take her mind off bookkeeping. What she needs is a frigging break.” And so I said, “You’re gonna take three months off. Here’s your homework. It’s like a walking plan. You’re going to read five books and we’re gonna sit here in September, and you’re gonna tell me the books that you read, and we’re gonna take some measurements, and you’re gonna tell me how you’re feeling.”
Chris Cooper (16:43):
And that was it. You know, we booked her follow-up appointment, but she wasn’t a client for three months. She took three months off, and when she came back, she said, “I’m ready. I feel good. And I am your client for life because you told me what I needed. Not just, you know, what you thought would like, make you more money.” And that was really important to me. That to me is what it means to come alongside a client and sell a done-with-you service. It means having a client-centric business. It means tailoring or changing your business even to suit what the client needs, right? Now how does this lead into the discussion on selling high-ticket coaching? If you wanna sell a service to a client that’s worth a couple thousand dollars a month, then you have to sell a high-value service.
Chris Cooper (17:29):
The way you make more money is by increasing the value that you deliver to the client. How do you sell a higher-value service than what you currently sell? You know, your method already gets results. You add the things that will make them more successful. You add accountability, you add more frequent visits, you add more frequent one-on-one touchpoints, you tell them exactly what to do, and you change your prescription more often. So if your client, you know, is at a different point in her menstrual cycle, maybe you alter her nutrition that month, or maybe you alter her workouts for that week, right? I should have said “week.” And that’s what some people do. “Your workout needs to change today because of this thing. And your nutrition needs to change today because you’re in a different phase of your menstrual cycle right now.” That is what high-value coaching is. That’s what done-with-you service to a high degree is. It’s the “with” that determines our value as coaches. How does that work at Two-Brain? Well, in case you’re interested, Two-Brain is a mentorship practice. We’re a done-with-you service. We could just sell you a course and say, “Here’s how to do it. Go do it DIY.” But that’s not effective for most people. We could sell a done-for-you service, like, “We’re gonna run your ads for you. Or I could try setting up a sales call center for you.” But that’s also not effective because that’s not a 30-year strategy. If you don’t know how to set up your own advertising, if you don’t know how to sell yourself, I’m not doing you any favors.
Chris Cooper (19:14):
And so what we do is we coach you through all those things. We coach you through building a playbook. We coach you through retention strategies. We coach you through sales and marketing and advertising strategies. We coach you through leadership because this is what makes us most effective. This it’s mentorship. It’s not like a book. You know, if you think about the books that you’re reading on leadership right now, which one of those books is actually going to make you a millionaire? Or which one of those books is going to make your staff say, “That’s it. I’m signed up forever. I believe in you so much.” None of them, right? It’s the sequence of books that you read but also how you apply them, how you curate that knowledge and deliver it as you need it. Having a mentor is like reading every business book on the planet, remembering all of them verbatim, and thinking up strategies on how you can use them right now. And that’s why we’re a done-with-you service—because that’s the mentor’s job to curate, to identify, to diagnose and then to prescribe. I hope this helps you understand the business that you’re in and how people can sell a higher-value service or how you can even increase the value of the service that you’re currently providing to your clients. You do it by providing done-with-you service.
That was Chris Cooper on Two-Brain Radio. Thanks for listening. Before you go, hit subscribe so you don’t miss a show. Now Coop’s back to close it out.
Chris Cooper (20:39):
We created the Gym Owners United Facebook group in 2020 to help entrepreneurs just like you. Now, it has more than 6,200 members, and it’s growing daily as gym owners join us for tips, tactics and community support. If you aren’t in that group, what are you waiting for? Get in there today so we can network and grow your business. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or gymownersunited.com. Join today!