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Smart Marketing: Getting Leads on a Shoestring Budget

A photo of Kieran O'Dwyer with the title "Smart Marketing: Getting Leads on a Shoestring Budget."

John Franklin (00:02):
Welcome to this episode of “Run a Profitable Gym.” I am your host, John Franklin, the CMO here at Two-Brain. And it’s a good thing I am the CMO because today we are going to be talking about getting leads on a shoestring budget. With me, I have a very special guest, Kieran O’Dwyer—emphasis on the “w” and the “y,” so I’m told—of Bathurst Strength and Conditioning in Bathurst, which I didn’t know of until 20 minutes ago. It appears to be a very tiny town of 30,000 people that’s about three and a half hours from Sydney. So, a lot of these strategies today will apply to gym owners who are operating in smaller markets. But I’ve personally seen a lot of the work that Kieran puts out. If you are running this playbook in a bigger market, it’s going to work as well because a lot of these strategies are evergreen. Now, I will stop talking and let Kieran introduce his gym to the gym world here.

Kieran O’Dwyer (00:59):
Thank you, John. That was beautiful. You got my name down pat. Introducing my gym to the gym world: I run Bathurst Strength and Conditioning. For the audience who listens to “Run a Profitable Gym,” think of it similar to a CrossFit gym. We just focused a little bit more on the strength side of things, but everything else is quite similar: the community, the vibe, the onboarding, the personal training. It does very well in my town. And I also own another one in a smaller town, as well, called Orange City Strength and Conditioning. There you go.

John Franklin (01:32):
Yeah. A lot of people think that Two-Brain is all about selling personal training and doesn’t necessarily like a group model, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Kieran operates a group model. He has over 200 members. His gym is pushing over three quarters of a million dollars of Aussie dollars. So, I don’t know, that’s probably—I don’t know the conversion rates, and I’m not going to look it up, but it’s a big number, and it seems like the overwhelming majority of his leads come from organic, and he still manages to have a very high average revenue per member. So, based off of the conversation we had, it sounds like you are pushing around 300, and how do you get to that number?

Kieran O’Dwyer (02:16):
300 in terms of average revenue per member a month?

John Franklin (02:19):
Yeah. How does that break down, and how do you package your price?

Kieran O’Dwyer (02:22):
Yeah, so we have a group training for 69.95 a week, which in monthly is 300. We also have our weightlifting club, which goes from anywhere from 50 to 90 per week, which would be 300+. Sorry, in Australia we do everything weekly as well. We also have—

John Franklin (02:40):
You guys were early to that trend. You guys were ahead of the time.

Kieran O’Dwyer (02:42):
Yeah, yeah, 100%. But mainly in terms of that is the group training and then the other variations of group training, weightlifting and youth, which kind of span around that number. And then of course, our high-ticket onboarding, which starts at 550.

John Franklin (02:57):
And do you live—is Bathurst just like a loaded town? Is it like the American equivalent of the Beverly Hills? Is everybody just super rich out there?

Kieran O’Dwyer (03:06):
Not, not even slightly. No. Every small town considers themselves not well off. And I’d say that we’re the same.

John Franklin (03:14):
So, a lot of people will say 300 to 400 a month in a small town for group training sounds astronomical. How do you sell that?

Kieran O’Dwyer (03:23):
We just do a really good job. And from the whole funnel, man. So, in terms of the brand building, we’ve done a really good job of being professional, number one, getting people interested, demonstrating authority, and then through that, from the second they speak to us, by the time they get into the sales consultation, because they’ve just been hammered with love and communication and professionalism, if they need it, they’re going to pay for it. Some people obviously can’t afford it, but pricing is not—it is an issue. People say it, but if people—you know, the doctor has told them to go to the gym, right? The doctor has told them to get their health in order, or they have an injury they need to fix, or if they need it for their mental health or whatever: Pricing for them then is not the main thing even if they present it as the main thing; the main thing is health.

John Franklin (04:13):
So you consider yourself—or you are known around these parts as a positioning and branding expert. You said that is one of the two most important parts of your process that you’ve used to be successful in your town. Maybe talk about the thought process that goes into how you brand and position yourself. And if you need me to pull up stuff from your site, your Instagram, whatever, just shout out at me. I’m your assistant. I will pull up whatever we need to help the people out who are watching on YouTube. And if you are listening on the podcast, I will do my best to explain what I’m seeing.

Kieran O’Dwyer (04:50):
My own assistant. This is awesome. OK, so I like to think the brand awareness piece from three different angles, essentially: So firstly, you have simplifying—keeping things simple. So, let’s use Instagram. And if you want, you can just pull up Instagram at any point during this conversation. But let’s use Instagram as the main concept for our conversation. It’s that firstly people make it too complicated from an action point of view. So, gym owners do, “I don’t know what to post. I don’t know how to go about it. Do I use reels versus posts? Do I use stories versus—What cameras should I use?” Honestly, it should be just, “I’m going to get my target market onto my screen and show them winning.” That’s the first step. So, as you can kind of see here, if you scroll down a little bit or you get my face out of the picture, you just see who we’re trying to hit. So, John, what would you say our age bracket is? If you go up a little bit.

John Franklin (05:46):
So, as I look through—well, let’s go from the top. You got the top line here, which I like a lot. So, your three pinned posts are “How to start,” “What people say” and “How we help.” And so, you’ve got coaches who are smiling; they’re wearing collared shirts with the logo on it. So, instantly I’m getting a whiff of professionalism. I already think this might cost a lot of money just based off of these fancy polo shirts. We go down a little bit—our next row, I’m seeing some mom vibes.

Kieran O’Dwyer (6:18):
There you go.

John Franklin (6:20):
And then I see a lot of kids, so there’s some family-oriented stuff, so it looks like you can bring the whole fam. But as we continue the journey down, it seems like the overwhelming majority of the people that you are targeting, I would say, are in the 35 to 45 mom category, and it looks like you encourage them to drag their husbands along based off of what I’m looking at.

Kieran O’Dwyer (06:44):
Yeah, man, that’s 100% right. So, the idea is to keep it simple for the audience to see what you’re about. So like when someone looks at your Instagram, they should kind of know that they’re welcome. Your target market is welcome, number one. I should also kind of know where it is. So, Bathurst. 100%. They should also know how to talk to you: “Book a No Sweat Intro.” And here, we’ve taken the guesswork out even more and just pinned it. “Here’s how to start, what people say, how to help.” So, the idea is that whether I come from a Google ad, whether I come from seeing a friend’s tag—which we’ll talk about later as well—I jump on here, and it’s simple for me. They do exercise; they’re obviously professional. They’re in Bathurst. If I want to talk to them, I click there, and it’s people my age.

John Franklin (07:31):
I’m with you so far. And a lot of these pictures, are these professionally done, or are these done by a coach at the end of the class here? Because it looks like you got a mixture going on here.

Kieran O’Dwyer (07:43):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, it’s all done by the coaches. We have one camera that we just bought for $900 that I use. So, anything that kind of has—

John Franklin (07:52):
So, that’s a coach pic, this guy deadlifting? That’s all—

Kieran O’Dwyer (07:56):
Yeah, that’s a coach pic. Yeah. He—my coach brings his camera; he likes it. He’s got a pretty good camera, so we use that for a lot of those. And he just does it during the class sometimes. And then—

John Franklin (08:06):
This guy happens to be a photographer. The guy you photographed with the good-looking photo.

Kieran O’Dwyer (08:13):
Oh, he happens to be a photographer as well. But the coach likes photography at the same time. So, we got lucky there. But most of them are done on an iPhone or a camera that I bought that I just take or the coaches take as part of their SOP.

John Franklin (08:27):
OK. So how do you do that? How do you go about collecting these photos that you post on the social here?

Kieran O’Dwyer (08:33):
So in your class SOP it says on it: greet everyone with a smile, say hello to everybody, get three photos or get three videos. And then we post them to the Instagram stories after that, and we tag the members. And it’s just part of the daily class checklist really.

John Franklin (08:50):
So this is all stuff—let’s see.

Kieran O’Dwyer (8:52):
Yeah, so you click through the stories—

John Franklin (08:53):
I’ve got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 stories going on right now. And so, you maintain that rhythm?

Kieran O’Dwyer (09:02):
Yeah, 100%. So, we have three to five per coaching block. So, there’s two coaching blocks a day. That’s 10. And another thing that is very—

John Franklin (09:11):
So, it looks like he did squat yesterday.

Kieran O’Dwyer (09:13):
One hundred percent. Another thing that’s very important, John, that I try to hammer down to gym owners is that you need—when you get stories up there, you need to be tagging people. Because let’s say I get 300 eyes on this, and then young Scotty puts it on his story. That’s another 200 to 300 eyes. Now that’s done like five to 10 times a day; that’s near a thousand eyes, and all I’ve done is taken a story and popped it up.

John Franklin (09:39):
So for those of you who are listening to this, we are walking through the gym’s story. Looks like they did squats yesterday. They have about 15 different things on the feed. Most of them are just members squatting. They are tagging the member and saying something funny or insightful about that member. The idea is the member then shares it to their story. So, you guys will get about 300 views. The member will get some views, and that just creates a lot of like inbound eyeballs to the gym on a consistent basis in a way that you’ve like systematized, right?

Kieran O’Dwyer (10:13):
Exactly. And that’s all done during the class and then 10 minutes after the class, and it’s just on clockwork like that all the time.

John Franklin (10:21):
And so are the coaches the people putting it onto the story, or do they feed it to somebody else who manages the account?

Kieran O’Dwyer (10:29):
Nope, the coaches do it. We all do it in-house.

John Franklin (10:31):
So everyone’s logged into the Instagram account and manages it collectively.

Kieran O’Dwyer (10:36):
Work phone. We have a work phone, and the Instagram is on the work phone.

John Franklin (10:40):
So there’s a burner. Yeah. So, you’ve got a burner phone at the gym that everybody operates off of.

Kieran O’Dwyer (10:45):
Yeah, 100%, a burner phone. And that’s kind of the point I’m maybe trying to make here is that there’s always an answer to how to go about this because a lot of people say, “I don’t know what to post,” or “How do I get my coaches to do it?” Just put it as part of the SOP and get a work phone and then—

John Franklin (11:01):
Alright, so it sounds like that is a thing you do. It’s just: Every coach is required to get collateral during the class and post. And so that creates some inbound stuff. What else are you doing, and how are you thinking about the actual posts themselves?

Kieran O’Dwyer (11:16):
One hundred percent. So, scheduling. So, the way I like to go about it is I kind of follow this schedule, which is Momentum Mondays, Technique Tuesdays, Winning Wednesdays, Testimonial Thursdays, Feature Fridays and Super Saturdays. Just the alliteration makes it easy for me. And then every day I kind of know I can just clock on in my mind and be like, “Oh, I’m going to post that.” So, for a Momentum Monday, it’s easy. It’s just a group video of people working out with a nice tune, tag them on it, say something motivational, say something happy, and post that. And if the person likes how they look, they’ll repost it, and there’s more eyes. So, scroll down to—go to maybe “Remember the Goal.” Oh no, don’t go—no, go down. Yeah. “We Love Getting Stronger” with Brooke right there.

John Franklin (12:00):
Did I go past it? Oh, here’s a Monday. “We Love Mondays.”

Kieran O’Dwyer (12:03):
There you go. So, then it’s just—see: iPhone videos, people benching, people using the cables.

John Franklin (12:09):
Cool. And then it’s just like a little affirmation here, and then it says, “Train with intent, live with purpose,” and then you tag all the people in the video.

Kieran O’Dwyer (12:16):
Yeah, so this kind of goes back to the idea that you are just trying to—when people click on your page, and they want to see what you do, you need to be showing them what you do through videos. Not just like Canva images all the time or whatever, but videos of the people working out.

John Franklin (12:32):
And then Tuesday is the tip.

Kieran O’Dwyer (12:35):
Yeah. Technique Tuesday. So there, “Help. I feel my back.” There’s yours truly being incredible.

John Franklin (12:41):
Alright. So now you’re telling people how to do barbell good morning here.

Kieran O’Dwyer (12:46):
Exactly right.

John Franklin (12:47):
Alright, there we go. And then this will be our Wednesday one.

Kieran O’Dwyer (12:53):
Yeah. Which is like “Winning.” There’s Caesar; he had to clean a PB three times. And there are also, other winning ones with people holding whiteboards as well, which really, really helps because they reshare it.

John Franklin (13:09):
So, they’ll be holding a whiteboard listing out some social proof that they got going on.

Kieran O’Dwyer (13:14):
That’s exactly right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, it’s actually—I’ve essentially been listening to you and Kaleda talk for a long time, and you say about—you know, you like before and afters; you need proof that your gym actually does something. You need to show your results. Before and afters can be a bit tricky with some of our members. So, “Whiteboard Wins,” where they explain it themselves, like you can see Donna in the top right or Paul right there, it just works really well. Person smiling.

John Franklin (13:37):
So this is a guy holding the whiteboard, says, “Gone from no training to five sessions a week since joining. Bench press increased 35 kg to 50 kg. 50 kg times eight in that time. Feel so much better mentally and physically.” So, just explaining all the benefits of going to your gym.

Kieran O’Dwyer (13:58):
That’s exactly right. And we probably do that once or twice a week. Yeah. And then you can see the testimonial to the left there.

John Franklin (14:05):
Yep. It’s just right off of a Google review, I’m assuming.

Kieran O’Dwyer (14:09):
You’re exactly right. Nothing complicated about it. That took five minutes. Yeah, that’s really—

John Franklin (14:13):
What did we miss? What did we miss? Does that get us through Friday? What was the weekend? There’s a—what are all these group shots? This looks—

Kieran O’Dwyer (14:20):
The weekend is where you do group shots or just anything that you kind of want to chuck in.

John Franklin (14:26):
OK. Yeah.

Kieran O’Dwyer (14:28):
So, I just—

John Franklin (14:28):
So, if you’re someone who doesn’t post a lot on social, group shots always do well. Like, it’s very tough to beat a group shot, especially in gym, right? Because members like to see themselves and so—and they like to feel like they’re a part of something. So, these are always easy to get if you got a packed class and always going to perform well.

Kieran O’Dwyer (14:49):
That’s exactly right.

John Franklin (14:52):
Alright, let’s pop over to your Google map because it looks like you’ve put some thought into that. You got 145 five-star reviews. How are you getting all these five-star reviews?

Kieran O’Dwyer (15:01):
I ask people every single week as part of the SOP.

John Franklin (15:04):
And what does that mean? How does that work?

Kieran O’Dwyer (15:08):
So, technically I’ve got this marketing operating procedure that I kind of follow. It says post five business profile, Instagram posts a week, post on my personal Facebook five times a week, do the stories—and then part of it’s also outreach to kind of build the Google SEO and then also just to build the brand awareness around the gym. And that includes asking five members a week for a Google review, and maybe one to two do it. They all say yes, but one to two do it. And it’s a nice easy stream of Google reviews. And then I can use that to post on social media as well.

John Franklin (15:45):
Yeah, it looks—this page looks fairly built out. So, you’ve got all your Google reviews, you’ve got question and answer from the community. So, it looks like somebody’s there. You’ve got your popular times, got some information published from the owner. Looks like that’s been updated in the last 22 hours, which is great. You’ve got your phone, your address, your email, your hours, your calendar, and then if we go to photos, you got a ton of them. And the first one is just a big smiling image of all the coaches, again, looking professional with their polos. And then you’ve got photos of your avatars doing lifting. These are still coach photos here? Because these all look pretty good.

Kieran O’Dwyer (16:21):
Yeah, yeah. Just happens to be. Some of them are the camera that I use and some of them—the camera that my coach uses, his camera is better. But that camera was done by me; that was done by me. To most people, you can’t really tell the difference. I know you can.

John Franklin (16:36):
I—no, that’s why I’m asking. So, we’ve got some group shots, we’ve got some—a bunch of members lifting, smiling. We’ve got kids, we’ve got—looks like we’re hitting all the avatars with this one. So, definitely showing a wide range of ages and body types. And then stitching in photos of your coaches here. So, yeah, looks good. You see this place, and it’s not—you know, the gym looks clean; everybody looks like they’re smiling. Everybody’s having a good time. Definitely feels like a more premium facility. Even though I haven’t done a thorough market analysis of the Bathurst gyms, I’m assuming this would rank on the better side of the competition in terms of positioning.

Kieran O’Dwyer (17:20):
Yes.

John Franklin (17:20):
Awesome. All right. What else do we need to know for brand? It looks like there’s some consistency here with your colors. You’ve got this baby blue color and black. Seems like those are—you maintain consistency across all the different posts that you make in all the different places you post. Is that just something that happened accidentally, or is that something that everybody knows to focus on?

Kieran O’Dwyer (17:45):
It happened on purpose, but like, number one, the gym is just the colors that they are. So that helps. And then when we use Canva, we just set that—the standard template we use is the … colors, and we just press that button on everything, and then it auto-populates. And it’s just really easy.

John Franklin (18:02):
So you have a gym Canva account with all the social media templates that you run, and then all the hex codes are pre-populated in there. So, everybody knows you can instantly click and have your colors show up. So, there’s consistency, right?

Kieran O’Dwyer (18:16):
Yeah, 100%. That’s it.

John Franklin (18:18):
OK. All right. I think that this stuff’s all—the stuff that you can see here, that’s the tip of the iceberg, right? And so, from just the tip, it looks solid, but we’ve got to go a little deeper, right? That’s the top of the funnel. What are we doing to push people down? How are we turning these pretty social media posts into some people we can reach out to? How are we starting conversations?

Kieran O’Dwyer (18:44):
OK, so number one, obviously, if we’ve done a good enough job with somebody already, then they’ll click on the post and then they book a No Sweat Intro. That’s good, and for some people that works, especially if they’ve come from Google and then they’re already looking. But for other people, that’s not enough because they’re not ready yet. So, we do a couple of things. We either make Instagram posts such as, “Hey, I’ve got 10 keys to fat loss to give away.” Or “I’ve got a six-week running program. If you want it, drop a thing down below or DM, and I’ll send it to you.” Now, that’s most usually where I either send it to them via email, or I add them personally on Facebook—just get their name and type it in. And then I have them on Facebook. And that’s kind of where it really gets juicy, so to speak, as in the idea is to get people off of that storefront into a container of some sort, however you do it—email, website, Facebook. I just happen to use Facebook—Facebook groups, and my VA—

John Franklin (19:46):
Just so people can see if you’re listening along, this is “Five Keys to Fat Loss.” And then if you want a free download, DM us with the word “keys,” and then you’ve got a lot of people commenting “keys” here. So, here’s some hot old leads. Alright? Cool. Got it. We’ve got a visual.

Kieran O’Dwyer (20:04):
Yes, exactly. So, we have that. Some people write under it, but where it gets really vast is if we were to go into Facebook, and my virtual assistant is adding every new person who follows us on my personal Facebook. So, then I have them. So, then they say the stuff that I write as well. And then my virtual assistant also, for the longest time—and I was as well—just typing in the word “Bathurst” into Facebook search and adding like 25 people a week. And I just find it; if we have mutual friends, I add them, so then they can kind of see some of our stuff first. I can invite them to my free Facebook group, and that’s where I can really send them things. So, to condense all that, I’m trying to get everybody off Instagram, onto Facebook and into my Facebook groups, so then I can talk to them personally.

John Franklin (20:52):
So you’re pushing everybody here; you’re adding people. So, it looks like all the stuff you’re posting’s about your gym. I see a lot of the same photos that were over on the Instagram, which is cool, so you’re repurposing a lot of that content. And so, I guess the second piece of the funnel is move people from Facebook over your personal profile, get them on there, and then you invite them over to your Facebook group, correct?

Kieran O’Dwyer (21:18):
That’s exactly right. Should I share my screen and show you how that works?

John Franklin (21:22):

Let’s do it.

Kieran O’Dwyer (21:23):
I just press share. Are we on? Oh, right. Cool. Sorry, I couldn’t say it. So, then this is my Facebook group—the one that I run: Bathurst and Orange Free Fitness Tips. This is part of the organic funnel. It’s in the toolkit on Two-Brain as well. Now I add 50 people to this a week. Just go to invite and just add people. Some people don’t accept; some people do. And then once per week, I give them something, such as, “I’ve got a chin up program for you.” And they write under it, “Chin up, please. Chin up, please.”

John Franklin (21:55):
So looks like this gets a little more, a lot more attraction than the stuff you’re posting on Instagram—looks like it’s pretty vibrant.

Kieran O’Dwyer (22:01):
Yeah. And this is where it really starts to take shape is that Instagram and Google, in my opinion, is your storefront, but you need to get people into the store, which is your world. So you can give them free things, give them free samples—not your service, but eBooks. Things that they may not do, but they give them that feeling that they’re going to take action before they then talk to you. So now I try and get everyone here. So here: 8-week program download, lots of comments; nutrition care package, lots of comments.

John Franklin (22:35):
For those—these all have like 60, 70 comments. And there’s not a ton of members in this group. What does that say? It’s like 900ish.

Kieran O’Dwyer (22:43):
Yes, yes.

John Franklin (22:44):
Yeah. So, these things are churning up a lot of leads. That’s a lot—like obviously some of those comments are replies to people sending out stuff. But to have essentially a 3% conversion rate off of a random Facebook post for a lead magnet, that’s very difficult to do. That’s high engagement. So, it sounds like you got your finger on the pulse. So, how do you make these lead magnets, and how do you know what’s going to do well?

Kieran O’Dwyer (23:13):
I’ve really no real idea what’s going to do well. I have determined that things like recipes and things like body weight—anything that’s easy—does well; things that are like, “Why strength training is good for you,” and things like that that people can just find on the internet by typing it in, they don’t really do well. They won’t opt in. But if it’s something that they can do, like a running program, that works really well. And the way I write it is I go into ChatGPT, and I say, “Write me a program.” They write me a program, I chuck it into the Canva template, I then edit that template, just make sure it looks good, make sure the metrics are right for Australia and everything, and make sure it looks OK. And then I post it. And that roughly takes 40 minutes to an hour max.

John Franklin (24:02):
To make something from scratch is what you’re saying.

Kieran O’Dwyer (24:05):
To make something from scratch. When I didn’t have ChatGPT, of course it took me a lot longer because then I had to do the typing, but now I just ask ChatGPT to do the bare bones for me, and then I make sure that it’s good, I edit it and we’re good to go.

John Franklin (24:18):
Did you know Canva has its own GPT now? So you might be able to save a little time from that.

Kieran O’Dwyer (24:24):
Oh, there you go. See I’m learning on this as well.

John Franklin (24:27):
Here, if you stop your share, I can show you where to find it. Just so maybe other gym owners will benefit from that because if you have something prompted up or in the system already, you can connect your Canva account directly.

Kieran O’Dwyer (24:39):
Cool. There you go. I’ve stopped it. All yours.

John Franklin (24:41):
So you just go over to “explore GPTs” here and then “trending GPTs.” You just go to the “Canva GPT,” and then it gives you special prompts that you can give it, and it’ll interface with Canva and help you out there. So, maybe we’ll do a full tutorial on that one day, but just FYI, that’s a thing that’s there. It’s definitely not perfect now, but like everything else, it’s getting better every single day.

Kieran O’Dwyer (25:06):
Yeah. So that is one piece—

John Franklin (25:09):
Throw your screen back onto that group. Let’s see that. Let’s see that sucker. So, we pop it on there, we write a little—are you writing the captions, or are you using ChatGPT for that as well?

Kieran O’Dwyer (25:20):
I write the captions, but a lot of it is copy and paste from what I’ve already written in the past. So, I’m spilling the secrets here—hopefully members don’t see this—but if I’ve written one maybe like a year ago, I’ll scroll down, grab that, come to the top of the page, pop it in there, and just change the words to match the thing.

John Franklin (25:40):
I don’t think that is—like a lot of people think that you have to always come out with fresh stuff over and over again. I was at a conference this weekend; one of the speakers was a fitness influencer with close to a million followers across all the social media platforms. And he said, that’s just like a—and he’s been doing it for a while, like over 10 years. And he said that’s the cornerstone of part of his content. If something works, he republishes it literally every three months. So, he’s just got this big backlog of stuff that’s gone viral for him, and he just hits it over and over and over again. And he said he’ll get messages from people who’ll be like, “I’ve seen you post this like 20 times, but every time you post it, I needed to hear that today. So, I appreciate it.” So, and the idea that people care enough about your gym’s social media platform to know everything you read and consume, everything that you write, is ridiculous. So don’t feel bad about posting or reusing content, especially if it’s something that works well because stuff that works well will probably continue to work well for a very, very long time.

Kieran O’Dwyer (26:41):
Yeah. There is one more piece of this puzzle as well, which is really important. So, I use the Facebook group and then whatever I post here, I then go to my town’s Facebook group, which has 28,000 members. Everybody has a town Facebook group. Yep. If I show you my name, I just post that same thing. Sometimes I get—sometimes I get like only a few hits. And then this is also where I do things like 5130 posts for all our promotions. And then it acts like this “Connect the Dots” thing as well. So, I post in here, anybody that likes or comments, I send them; I start talking to them. I also add them on Facebook, and then I try and get them into that Facebook, the other group, at the same time.

John Franklin (27:30):
Who—like did you get permission for this? Or do you know the owner? Like I know some of these town Facebook groups run different rules. Like how do you go about that? Or is it just like in the Wild West of Australia, you can post whatever shit you want on the town Facebook group?

Kieran O’Dwyer (27:47):
So, there’s like five town Facebook groups. So, this one—there’s like four others. This was the only one that didn’t get mad at me, so I just kept doing it. The other four didn’t like it.

John Franklin (27:58):
So, it was an ask for forgiveness type situation—is the approach you took with it?

Kieran O’Dwyer (28:04):
Yeah, man, especially when I started this—and where a lot of gym owners are at now—is that I needed money, and I needed members. So, it didn’t matter. Like, I just stopped thinking, stopped caring about what I posted really, or where. I just needed—and I put it everywhere. And this is what’s happened.

John Franklin (28:24):
And I think that’s a very important point. Like creating the content is only one piece of it. In the beginning, distribution matters a lot. You have to be able to scratch and claw for those eyeballs, right? Just because you make the best piece of content in the world, you post it to the internet, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to get seen. So, you really have to grind out for every single comment, every single eyeball, every single lead. And then you kind of fall into a system like this where it runs itself and looks like you got leads on autopilot, and all of this aside from a VA, who I’m assuming—is that someone out of the Philippines or something like that? Or is that somebody local in your gym?

Kieran O’Dwyer (29:04):
Philippines. Yes, exactly right.

John Franklin (29:06):
So that costs you a couple hundred bucks a month, I’m guessing?

Kieran O’Dwyer (29:10):

Yeah, yep. Exactly right. She—in terms of this, she just sends the PDFs. I could, but I do the rest of it, but she sends the PDFs.

John Franklin (29:21):
So this is something where—I don’t want to say—we said shoestring budget in the beginning. That sounds like a shoestring budget to me. The reason a lot of people don’t do this is because it takes time, but in the beginning, your time is worth next to nothing. And if you don’t have members, it’s even worse. Probably every hour you’re spending in your business is a negative return. And so, and then once you’ve built a system like this and you have traction, this is still—it becomes higher value because every time you make one of these things—I mean, you said you do one of these weekly or monthly?

Kieran O’Dwyer (29:54):
I do—I post one weekly. I don’t need to create as many anymore because I have ones from like a year ago, but I post one weekly. I probably create once a month or once every two weeks.

John Franklin (30:06):
And across Instagram, this group, your other group, what type of traction do you get every time you do one of these? On average?

Kieran O’Dwyer (30:13):
A lot. So, if I scroll down—this group, so the town’s group is the most, the Facebook group, which I run, is the second most, but I get a lot—like this one here. And here’s actually another point is that the PDFs are to, again, build brand awareness. Like people like us, people know that we’re giving away free stuff in the exact same way that Chris Cooper has done his forever in Two-Brain. Like that’s how everybody joins Two-Brain: They get a free guide; they do a little bit of it themselves, then they can’t do the rest, and then they get coaching. So, I just took that same idea, and then when I post this, the 5130 post, “I’m looking for five teenagers,” people have seen everything else, and then they jump on it. So, I had a lot of comments on this one.

John Franklin (31:03):
Almost 100 comments for those who are listening there. Basically, looking for teenagers who want to improve their sports performance without injury is more or less the hook.

Kieran O’Dwyer (31:13):
Yes. Exactly right.

John Franklin (31:15):
And calling their parents. Got it. Cool. Alright.

Kieran O’Dwyer (31:17):
And talk to them.

John Franklin (31:19):
And then what happens?

Kieran O’Dwyer (31:20):
Then I get them into my DMs. Some of them book in; a lot of them don’t, for whatever reason. It’s just—you just go through the process, and then you just kind of talk to them. So, every now and then, the ones who don’t do a No Sweat Intro straight away or maybe the pricing is too expensive or whatever after we’ve had a little conversation, and then about six months later, I just have it on my checklist—or no, it’s not six months. Sorry, like six weeks later. And then again, in six weeks or six months, I then check on them: “Hey, how’s your fitness going? How’s this going?” Almost like a friend checking up on a friend, you know what I mean? And then I get a little view from them and then they see our posts, they see what I do here, and then when they’re ready, they book in. And a lot of the people who book into a No Sweat Intro I already have on Facebook.

John Franklin (32:07):
And how do you do the reminders, right? Because a lot of people forget because there isn’t really a great way to automate Facebook messaging or Instagram DM nurture, right? It’s not like email or text where you could use a product like Kilo or Gym Lead Machine to help you do one of those things. This is something you really have to tackle manually. So, how are you doing that?

Kieran O’Dwyer (32:28):
Yeah, I have a lead list just on Excel. We have a similar version to Gym Lead Machine, an Australian one that I’ve had for years and years, that we kind of use. My mind just works better with the spreadsheet, so pop them in that, and then there’s a little column that says if I followed up with them or not. If it’s unticked, I’ll then follow up with them and tick it, and then I go to the next column, which is “follow up with them again.” Yeah.

John Franklin (32:55):
So you have your own manual CRM?

Kieran O’Dwyer (32:58):
Yeah, manual CRM. I should probably use the digital one; I like the automated one better. But yes, at the moment, it’s manual.

John Franklin (33:07):
Alrighty. Now let’s talk about your lead-to-book-to-show-to-buy, because it seems like you are nurturing them well. They see a lot of information coming from you, and it shows based off of what your show rate looks like. So, what I have here is this strategy is bringing in about 60, I would consider, hot leads a month. From there you’re booking 25 consultations; 23 are showing, which is crazy. And from there, about 18% buy.

Kieran O’Dwyer (33:44):
Not 18. Oh, 18% total?

John Franklin (33:47):
18 buy out of the 60 is what I have on my data sheet here. Alright. And so, 18 of the 60, it looks like—for every lead you get, about 30% go on and buy, which is solid. At what point—especially considering it’s 300 bucks a month, right? And so, at what point are you dealing with pricing and handling those objections?

Kieran O’Dwyer (34:10):
Most—well, we don’t face too much pricing objection in the consultation process because most of the people, especially through this funnel, have a very good sense of what we’re doing. And if they go through the referral funnel as well. And they’ve probably already spoken to me in some capacity. I’ve given them an idea around pricing. If you’ve been talked to—so John, if you’ve been talked to by a gym owner for six months, and they’ve sent you like free guides and everything, and then you finally pull up the courage of, like, “I’ve tried everything, and I can’t do it by myself,” pricing might not be the main thing on your mind when you sit down with me. You might just be like, “Oh, I just need to do it.” And that’s kind of what I’m finding. I don’t have to price object too much, even though we have a pretty expensive onboarding. It starts at 550.

John Franklin (34:59):
We didn’t talk about that. So, your onboarding is separate than the weekly price. So, what does your onboarding look like? So, what are you selling? When I come in for a consultation, what am I buying?

Kieran O’Dwyer (35:10):
It just depends on kind of what you want, but it’s some variation of training—either personal training or it’s—

John Franklin (35:16):
I want to look good naked. Man, I want to look great naked.

Kieran O’Dwyer (35:18):
Well, you’re already there, but I’m sure I can help you with feeling better. But if anybody who—we just kind of go through the standard NSI template: find out your goals, prescriptive model, and then, yeah, it’s just based on their time. We ask them, “Would you prefer group training or PT?” They essentially let us know. If they want PT, then we pretty much get them onto a PT or semi-private membership straight away. And if they want group training, we say, “That’s great.” We’re going to do the onboarding package first, which is X amount, and there’s three levels of that.

John Franklin (35:51):
Got it. And so, it’s around 550 is what you’re saying?

Kieran O’Dwyer (35:54):
The first one’s 550. So, our bronze is 550, our silver is 1,100, and then our gold is 1,500.

John Franklin (36:02):
OK. So, 550 is the base; 1,500 is the top end. And that’s for what period of time?

Kieran O’Dwyer (36:07):
The four—so the bronze is two to three weeks, so six PTs, and then the other two are variations of six PTs plus extra PTs and then group. It’s kind of like a big paid exploration into what they need and what will work for them.

John Franklin (36:26):
Got it. And push—and then from there, they will just renew into one of those memberships that we talked about at the front end of the show.

Kieran O’Dwyer (36:33):
That’s exactly right. When they decide which route they want to go down to.

John Franklin (36:36):
Awesome. And so, I think we covered the—I think that gets us from no lead to point of purchase. Is there anything else that we’re missing that a gym owner would find helpful that we should talk about while we’re going back and forth here?

Kieran O’Dwyer (36:49):
Yeah, what they’ll probably find helpful is, although it seems robust in terms of the daily commitment, it’s 30 to 40 minutes for me a day at the moment. A little bit longer when I have to create something. But at the moment, I do most of this by myself purely because I like it and because of my own personal reach: 30 to 40 minutes, yeah, a day—maybe an hour sometimes.

John Franklin (37:14):
That’s it?

Kieran O’Dwyer (37:14):
Yeah, that’s it. That’s in terms of creation, conversation—I just schedule when I’m on Facebook. Obviously, the sales process would be another hour on top of that. But in terms of the actual marketing, 30 to an hour a day and then a little bit longer if I have to create an eBook.

John Franklin (37:29):
Wow. That’s less time than I would’ve guessed.

Kieran O’Dwyer (37:32):
It’s just because this is a lot less than it seems. It seems big now, but it’s just a few Instagram posts and then a few conversations really. And then one post, which I do the same post in all the areas, like for the Facebook group and everything.

John Franklin (37:48):
Well, it is a lot. It just sounds like you’ve baked it into a very systematized process. So—

Kieran O’Dwyer (37:54):
Yeah, 100%.

John Franklin (37:55):
Let’s go back, and you and I will summarize together everything we went through, so people understand. So, at the top of the funnel, we have the Google My Business where it is well laid out; it looks like somebody’s there. You are asking five members to leave you a review every single week. On the Instagram, you have a clear call to action in the bio. You developed a process for your coaches to take three pieces of media collateral, post it onto your Instagram story and tag your members. You post exactly every single day using a content calendar, which we laid out where Monday is motivation, Tuesday is a tip. Wednesday is our—what was Wednesday?

Kieran O’Dwyer (38:40):
“Winning Wednesday.” “Testimonial Thursday.”

John Franklin (38:43):
“Winning Wednesday.” What’s Friday and Saturday?

Kieran O’Dwyer (38:45):
Feature Friday. And then Super Saturday, which is group. One thing that I probably didn’t say is that anytime I can, which is a lot of it, I’ll just schedule all those in the one block as well.

John Franklin (38:56):
OK, so you’ll make all that in a block, schedule them. Alright? About once a week, you will post a guide onto your Instagram that is a guide on a topic that is relevant to your avatar. So, “Getting Your First Pull Up” is an example of one that we saw there. And then over on the Facebook side, anybody who engages on Instagram, you have an admin who adds them personally to your Facebook account. You look for—you search for your city, and you add 25 people who have mutual friends every single day. In your Facebook group, you add 25 to 50 people a week. Is that a week or a day?

Kieran O’Dwyer (39:40):
It’s a week. It’s a week. Once a week, I jump on.

John Franklin (39:42):
Yeah. Alright. So, we do a big bulk invite in the Facebook group. In a local city Facebook group, you offer the same guide that you did on Instagram. When people comment, you start a DM conversation; you act normal and try and push them toward a No Sweat Intro, which is a sales appointment. And then once you’re at the sales appointment, you sell them on a higher ticket onboarding package that renews into one of your memberships. If you don’t hear from them, you follow up with them every six weeks. And you have just like a spreadsheet that you use to keep track of all the leads you’re working at any given time.

Kieran O’Dwyer (40:18):
Yes, I will say, where the funnel—where I lack sometimes is the follow up. But in terms of that, I definitely try to stay on top of that. I just think about it as earning the right to coach them. So, we’ve gone through this whole process, they’ve seen our stuff, they’ve seen the care and the professionalism, and by the time they’re ready, they just trust us.

John Franklin (40:40):
Got it. And that’s it. We broke down the whole process, and it took—and all that can be yours, gym owners, for 40 to 45 minutes a day—30 to 45? What was that? Is that what you said?

Kieran O’Dwyer (40:54):
It just really depends. Look, because it’s easy for me, 30 to 45, but starting out, they would need to give themself a minimum of an hour a day just to work through all the limitations.

John Franklin (41:06):
Alrighty. Any other tips? If we haven’t overwhelmed them already. We let them peek inside the Komodo. If they’re—if you’re starting from—I’ll give them a tip because this is a lot. If you’re starting from scratch, don’t try and implement all of this at once. How long has it taken you to build out this process?

Kieran O’Dwyer (41:24):
Three years.

John Franklin (41:25):
Yeah. So, this is something that you develop over time. If you try and do all this, you will burn out. If you—depending on where you are now, pick one element, kind of do that consistently for a month and add another element, and then over the course of six to 12 months, you could build a system like Kieran’s, and yeah, you would’ve done it three times faster than him. And just watch this podcast over and over and over and over again to do that. Or even better, you can become a Two-Brain client and work with Kieran directly. Anything else we should let the people know? Any other tips in terms of implementing this system?

Kieran O’Dwyer (42:00):
Two things. Number one: Don’t let perfectionism take over. Like at the beginning, you just set a timer for 30 minutes or 40 minutes or an hour and just get to work. If it doesn’t sound amazing, just post it anyway. If the photo’s not that good, just post it anyway. Consistency is key. And if there’s one thing that gym owners could do today that would be very easy for them, it would be to post Instagram stories of their members doing cool things and looking cool and tag them. Let the members do the work for them by sharing and talking about it.

John Franklin (42:37):
Got it. And so, if you were—if there was a gym member who’s like, “I’m so overwhelmed by this. I just need a starting point,” would that be the post consistently to your stories? Would that be what you would tell them?

Kieran O’Dwyer (42:48):
That. Obviously making sure that the Instagram has the basics—where they live and everything, of course. But yes, Instagram stories and then posting a minimum of three times a week as a standard post. If they can get to five or six, then that’s awesome.

John Franklin (43:02):
Awesome, Kieran. This has been super helpful. Where do people go if they want to follow you or find out more about your life?

Kieran O’Dwyer (43:11):
To Kieran O’Dwyer on Facebook, in the Two-Brain group on Facebook, or Bathurst Strength and Conditioning on Google, Orange City Strength and Conditioning on Google—any of those places. And that’s how they can find me.

John Franklin (43:23):
And so you know, listeners, “Run a Profitable Gym”: We have a Facebook group; it is called Gym Owners United. You can go to gymownersunited.com and join there. Kieran hangs out in that group as well. So, if you have any questions from the episode and you aren’t a Two-Brain client, feel free to post in there and tag Kieran, and he’ll do his best to answer. And if not, one of the other 8,000 or 9,000 gym owners in there will certainly have an opinion to put it on there. So, Kieran, thanks for taking the time to do this. This has been awesome—ton of value packed into this episode. Guys, this has been this week’s “Run a Profitable Gym.” If you haven’t, like, subscribe, leave a review. We appreciate you, and thanks for sharing your most valuable resource, your time. We will see you next week.

Thanks for listening!

Thanks for listening! Run a Profitable Gym airs twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Be sure to subscribe for tips, tactics and insight from Chris Coooper, as well as interviews with the world’s top gym owners.

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