Andrew (00:00:02):

Welcome to another episode of the Two-Brain Radio with your host Chris Cooper. The fitness industry has evolved at warp speed over the last months. Now as gyms reopen or prepare to reopen, their owners are looking for ways to create new services and present them to clients. On May 17th, Chris led an online group of entrepreneurs through discussion on how to do exactly that. The overarching message: Your services must be expensive or free. There’s no middle ground. What follows is the audio from that presentation. Now here’s Two-Brain Business founder, Chris Cooper.

Chris (00:00:35):

Hey everybody, good morning. Feels great to be here with you this Sunday morning. It kind of feels like the first day of spring, you know, a lot of us are emerging from the COVID captivity and rubbing our eyes like wow, daylight and people and noise and life is coming back. And I’m really, really, really thankful to everybody who’s kinda stuck with the gym business in this industry. I think that the opportunity is massive for you, but more than anything else, I think that you have borne and the responsibility of leadership just tremendously well through this crisis and I think you’re going to get repaid for it now. All the Two-Brain gyms who have reopened have found that people were really, really eager to come back, including past members who quit or put things on hold before COVID hit.

Chris (00:01:24):

And we’ve seen this over and over in a lot of different markets where people are suddenly prioritizing the health and fitness part of their life and the community part of their life and just trying to get back to this vital vibrant state of being again too. So there are a lot of forces connecting right now and that’s like, you know, spring is always really great for the fitness business, getting outside, but also the captivity part. You know, people are rebelling against that and they’re ready to be healthy and you know, around people again. And so I think that you’re about to witness this phase of early adoption in some gyms. The struggle is really just, you know, how do we fit everybody back in. Our current members want to come back and former members want to come back and you know, how do we handle everybody?

Chris (00:02:13):

So today what we’re going to talk about is if you’ve repackaged your services, if you’ve made any kind of pivot at all, maybe you’ve gone through the whole Your Gym 2.0 exercise and you’ve done the NGPO stuff that we’ve been talking about for the last couple of weeks. Maybe you’ve just decided like I need to reprioritize or maybe you’re just going to take advantage of this great opportunity to change your rates or highlight another element of your service. Or maybe you’re trying to bridge the gap between online and in person coaching. So today we’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about taking it to the people and actually delivering on this new service. This has been a great question that’s come up in the Two-Brain Business growth group over and over. If you’re in the ramp-up phase or in the incubator, you’re not ready for this conversation yet.

Chris (00:02:57):

Don’t worry, you’ll do this one on one with your mentor. If you’re listening to this publicly and you’re not sure what this means, NGPO, restructuring your business, Your Gym 2.0, you can go back and we’ll link to our previous podcasts, webinars and blog posts that will help you through this exercise. So first guys, if you have questions, feel free to just ask them and I will get to them as we go. Before we get going, usually I don’t just wear a T-shirt when I’m doing these things. So today I am though because I’m wearing my Signum shirt and I’m wearing it for my friend Rob Connors. This was his founder’s club shirt when he opened up Signum. And now today he’s embarking on a new journey and he’s taken some bold steps. He’s informed his landlord that he won’t be renewing his lease and he’s slowly informing his clients that he’s moving his business entirely online. Business leaders become great, not by inventing something, but by reinventing themselves and their business when it’s necessary. You’ll have to become a great leader to evolve your business here. But with models like Rob around and Signum, the journey is going to be a lot easier for all of us. So thank you, Rob. Now let’s talk about connection to set up today’s conversation. Innovation is a really hot buzzword in business, right? There’s a certain romance to that Eureka moment when an inventor creates something new or finds the answer to a vexing problem, right? And we need these people. We need the inventors and the creators and the innovators. But most of these people aren’t actually successful in business. The people who are truly successful in business are the connectors, the ones who can take this idea and connect it to an audience. And that’s what we’re here to talk about tonight.

Chris (00:04:48):

Health, fitness, mindset, constantly varied functional movement across broad time and modal domains, comorbidities, I can’t even say it let alone invent it. Elegant solutions to the world’s most vexing problems. None of these can change anything unless we, the gym owners and coaches can connect those ideas to an audience. And that connection is best done in person. So over the last few weeks we’ve talked about how to determine what your best clients need and then what the rest of your clients need. We talked about packaging your services and pricing them using the NGPO strategy tactic. Today we’re going to talk about getting your clients on the right prescription. We’re going to talk about how to introduce your new packages or prices or rates or concepts to your clients. Now the first thing is, point one, goal reviews are the nexus of this new service. In the Twobraincoaching.com courses, first degree, second degree,

Chris (00:05:50):

Josh Martin talks about the process of learn, design, deliver, refine when it comes to training people. And this is very, very simple, but it’s profound the more you think about it. You must constantly measure people’s starting point and their progress and then you must update their prescription. Now we’ve talked about goal reviews and the prescriptive model for years since twobrainbusiness.com was even a service. You know, I think that the prescriptive model first appeared in stuff I was writing around 2014. It wasn’t in my first book, but it was the crux of the second book Two-Brain Business 2.0 and this prescriptive model means constantly learning, designing, delivering, and refining. And that’s what’s key to this new NGPO model is having a really a robust learning process when you bring somebody in. Designing, that’s the fun part for most of us, you know, designing their plan.

Chris (00:06:48):

But that also means telling them here’s what your prescription is, and then delivering that prescription and then the part that most of us miss, which is refining and updating that prescription. So let’s start with learn and then we’ll get into design, deliver and refine. We’ve always taught since the dawn of time, this model of no sweat intro and the no sweat intro is like an abbreviated version of motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing has been a really, really hot topic recently, which is been amazing. You know, I love this topic. The challenge of motivational interviewing is it takes a lot of time. And so there are a lot of places out there now, that try to simplify motivational interviewing. What is motivational interviewing? It’s basically the process of getting people down to their core reason for coming to see you. So for example, all of us have had this experience.

Chris (00:07:43):

You’re talking to a brand new client, right? And Hey why did you come to see me? Well I just decided it’s time to get fit or you know, I just, I need to lose a few pounds. I’m not what I was in high school. I slipped a bit, right? That’s the surface level why? That’s the why that they’ve prepared in their head as they were driving over to the gym. You want to ask them, why do you want to lose five pounds? You want to get a little bit deeper and we’re trying to get to the root of their motivation. And this is what motivational interviewing is all about. Now, Precision Nutrition has been teaching motivational interviewing for quite a while, right? They call it the five whys. And you’ve probably read about the five whys in other books too, Simon Sinek uses it.

Chris (00:08:28):

Top sales coaches also use motivational interviewing, but they’re going to call it something else. I first heard about motivational interviewing a few years ago when I was in the Dan Martell group and these high level software manufacturers were talking about getting to the root of their clients’ needs using motivational interviewing and how well it was working for them. And when I got into it, I said, Oh no sweat intro. Yeah, that’s motivational interviewing. But motivational interviewing might not go deep enough, or no sweat intros might not get deep enough. Motivational interviewing requires you to ask why, why, why? Several times, at least three. The no sweat intro only asks why once. Now that’s way better than what most gyms were doing before we started doing the no sweat intro. When I started writing about the no sweat intro, it was because most gyms were just doing like a free trial class.

Chris (00:09:22):

Come show up. I’m going to throw you into this class. And if you like it, hopefully you’ll walk up to the desk and tell me so and then you’ll lay your credit card down so that I don’t have to ask you for money. The no sweat intro started the process of asking people what their goals were and why they had them, but we didn’t really get deeper. Motivational interviewing is taught in the first degree and second degree courses on twobraincoaching.com. Bonnie Skinner has done a couple of great motivational interviewing videos for us that we’ve built on something that’s called the personal roadmap that we haven’t released to you guys yet but we think might be useful for clients. Precision Nutrition uses it in our new nutrition coaching course that’s coming on the Two-Brain Coaching platform in the next couple of months. You’re going to get into motivational interviewing and the online coaching course that you already have access to on the Two-Brain Coaching platform.

Chris (00:10:14):

Brad Overstreet talks about motivational interviewing. This is getting more and more important. It’s not just a matter of measuring what people care about. It’s a matter of knowing why they care. When I got on a call last week with Kevin Wood, who’s been using motivational interviewing for a while, he says that he can predict how long a client’s going to stick around by whether or not they cry in that first intake. The challenge of using motivational interviewing to that depth is you’re going to have to spend like an hour with a brand new client. However, with this new model of the prescriptive model and NGPO and higher value services, you’re going to have to get deeper. So start with a no sweat intro, absolutely, but plan for a no sweat intro to take twice as long. Instead of 15 minutes, it’s going to take 30. You’re going to have to ask why more and more.

Chris (00:11:05):

And as you start to get deeper into people’s motivations, you’re going to start to form that bond of trust. Brad Overstreet calls this building team Chris, you know, or if the client’s name is Cindy building team Cindy. Getting everybody on the same page and working together. And that’s where that model of trust comes in, which is so key to the prescriptive model. So I said that you have to constantly measure before and while designing your prescription. After you’ve done the motivational interview of getting to their real why, now you can make a prescription following NGPO. As a quick review, NGPO is the four cornerstones of your coaching business, N is nutrition. G is group coaching, P is personal coaching. O is online coaching, which is more like accountability. So after you’ve gone through, your no sweat intro, you make your prescription. The key though, the nexus of this I said is goal reviews and that your prescriptions must be renewed or updated at least every three to six months.

Chris (00:12:11):

Now the process for doing this is on your roadmap and I wish I could share my screen more easily on a Zoom call, but I’m going to try here. The process for this is on your roadmap. Let’s take a quick peek here. OK. And I’m going to give you a brief view of the actual objectives on a roadmap. This is client focused highway, so if we get to client focus here, OK. Your process is first doing the seeds and weeds module. You guys have done that, that was the first step, then your seed responses. Then you know, practice making upgrades. Here’s where we really are. Milestone four in the client focused highway on the roadmap is upgrade five clients with new prescriptions after goal review sessions. So a lot of the questions that spurred this webinar were how do I pivot my current clients who I’ve been training online to this new model or to these new services when I come back into bricks and mortar. This is how you do it.

Chris (00:13:13):

You set up a goal review. If you’ve been doing goal reviews all along, fantastic. Hey, we might as well use our remaining time in captivity to talk about your goals. If you haven’t been doing goals reviews all along, this is actually the best opportunity you’re ever going to have in your life to start them. So what you say is, dear client, as we get ready to come back into the box, our time together is going to become more precious because you know we can’t fit everybody in every day. And so I want to make sure that we are optimizing your progress through the time that we have together. What I’d like to do to really dial in your plan is to get on a Zoom call with you. Do you have 10 to 20, 30 minutes where we could get together for a coffee over the next week?

Chris (00:14:07):

And so you know your timeline for doing this is like the time that it’s going to take to get from where you are now to fully open again, you might have a week, you might have three months, you know, none of us are really sure, but start with your seed clients. Book this conversation with them, go through some motivational interviewing and then make them a new prescription. It’s important to understand here that the right prescription is the goal. This is not necessarily an upsell. While many clients will be presented with an option that allows them to pay more and get more value for your service, it’s also true that some clients are overpaying for what they’re currently getting. You have to accept this, that if somebody is, you know, they’re coming to your gym five times a week, but that’s not really what it’s going to take to get them to their goals.

Chris (00:14:57):

You might have to back the office, Hey, you know, your goals are to perform better at cycling. You should really only be coming to the gym twice a month through the summer to maintain your strength and mobility. And you know, you’re doing your cycling four times a week or whatever it is. If you’ve got an athlete who’s in season and they’re a basketball player, you know what, you should really only be coming to the gym twice a week for half an hour at a time. We’re gonna work on your mobility and recovery to keep you strong through the season. These are what top coaches do. So the reason that a lot of people don’t do regular goal reviews, number one is it does take some time. But as you’ve experienced with online coaching, this one on one connection, it does take some time. We’re going to have to adjust your prices so that that time is worthwhile.

Chris (00:15:46):

Absolutely. The other thing that stops people from doing goal reviews is they feel like it’s a sales meeting. Like they’re going to have to upsell. That’s not the case at all. There’ve been many times when doing goal reviews that I’ve actually told somebody, you know, you need to back off a little bit or you need to switch to something that’s less expensive. Or even you need to take three months off from the gym. Here are five books, I want you to read them before you come back. And the books were like fiction, you know. So how often should you do goal reviews? We say every three to six months. These are not surveys, these are not like an email. How are you doing? Tick off the services that you want to do. These are more like motivational interviewing where you’re saying to a person, are you completely satisfied with your progress?

Chris (00:16:33):

You know, are you tempted to speed it up? Do you have questions about your progress? Are you happy? It’s not, Do you like the service? Do you like the coaches? How would you rate our programming? That’s not it. It’s are you happy with your progress? This client centric approach has never been more important than it is right now. This is what we’re trying to teach in Two-Brain Coaching. And this is what we’ve always taught through the prescriptive model and goal reviews. So, this also opened up the opportunity to grow your client base, but I’m going to get to that in a moment. So the client focus row is really, you know, where you want to focus as you’re going through this. So let’s take a brief break here for questions because I know we’ve got some comments. So please, if you have questions, by all means just, you know, ask them in comments.

Chris (00:17:26):

Here we go. All right. All right, so all the questions are people saying good morning and hello Rob. By all means, if you have questions, please ask them and we’re going to be moving on to the next thing. OK. The question I just got was how often should we really be doing goal reviews? So when you went through ramp up or incubator, you saw a plan, a goal review for every three and that should be like your default expectation that you’re going to meet with somebody at least every quarter. The truth is that people who have high value clients and are making a living off like 10 people online, they really start every session with motivational interviewing. How are you feeling, what do you need today? And that’s the crux of their delivery. And then they make up the program based on that.

Chris (00:18:13):

We have been saying do it every quarter because we want people to get into a regular routine and not forget to do it, not overlook it. The truth is that you want to have a goal review as a client is starting to think about what’s my next step or definitely before they start doubting their progress. So it’s like as often as that, but not too often because somebody’s going to have to do this. It’s going to take up a lot of your time. The smaller your client base, the more frequently you should do goal reviews. If you have 10 clients, you should be doing a goal review, you know, basically every week. It’s less formal. It’s more part of that conversation. If you have a big client base, you’re going to do them less often. Right. Brandy, can coaches do the goal reviews the coach that knows the client best?

Chris (00:19:04):

Yes, absolutely. They can, as long as they’re doing it the right way. And you’re just going to have to hedge a little bit against the icon problem of like the coach being that client’s only point of contact because if the coach ever goes to start their own business, they’re basically going to own that client. That’s our problem with the whole concept of a coach’s book of business. So if the coach is coaching group classes and they’re doing some goal reviews, that’s fantastic. If a coach is doing personal training and doing the goal reviews with their clients, that’s also great. You just have to make sure that the brand is also in constant contact with the client too. I hope that makes sense. Other than that you have to understand like how long clients are usually around before they drop off. So if we’re trying to optimize goal reviews or deliver them when necessary instead of every quarter, then you have to look at your LEG and you have to say, OK, when do people drop off?

Chris (00:20:05):

So if my average length of engagement, my LEG is like 13 months, then I know that I should do a goal review or a no sweat intro or a motivational interview, whatever you want to call it, at intake, after they come out of my intake program, when they finish on ramp basically, at the 13 month mark and then probably halfway in between. So for example, if somebody, if my LEG is 13 months, then I better be having a meeting with everybody at the 13 month mark to try to get them to 18 months. Right? And I know that that meeting is worth hundreds of dollars, whatever my average ARM is. If my LEG is 13 months, I should also be having a goal review with them like halfway to that mark to make sure that they’re on the right track, right?

Chris (00:20:56):

Because people will start to doubt their progress or doubt your service for months before they actually cancel. So to determine when you should be doing goal reviews, look at your LEG. OK, that’s goal review. Divide that LEG in half, that’s another goal review touchpoint. Then keep working backward. When you reach the end of your on-rmp program, that’s a goal review. And when you reach your intake program, your intake process, your no sweat intro, that’s a goal review too. So that’s four. Let me give you an example. When ww took some sample data from 50 Two-Brain gyms, and this is the start of our deeper data analysis that we’re using from the dashboard and the roadmap, what we discovered was that there are certain points when people tend to quit gyms. So that first point is right after the on ramp, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Chris (00:21:48):

It just means that people haven’t been converted well. So we know that every gym needs a consultative process goal review at the end of on-ramp. Then we noticed that people tended to drop off just before the eight month mark. So if they made it through your intake process, they were likely to stick around for about eight months. And again, guys, this is just example, this is not prescriptive. This is a sample of 50 random gyms. It might not be true for every gym. You have to do this analysis for yourself right now. But let’s say that you know, if this were true for everybody, we noticed that people dropped off after about eight months. Well, if we put a goal review of the seven month mark and we could keep people through that eight month mark, they were likely to stick around for 14 months.

Chris (00:22:33):

So that’s another six months. And if you multiply that by your ARM, that means that that goal review to you is worth six months times your ARM. So if your average revenue per month, your ARM is $200 and you multiply that by another six months of retention, that’s a $1,200 10 minutes that you’re spending or you know, 30 minutes if that’s what it takes to do your goal review. And the really interesting thing was that if a client was around for 14 months and they didn’t cancel at the 14 month mark, they were likely to stick around for another 10 months. They were likely to be there right up until their two year anniversary. So the goal review at that point, the 14 month point is even more important because you’re keeping them for another 10 months. So 10 months times your ARM, that’s a $2,000 appointment.

Chris (00:23:22):

Now it’s not an upsell really except that if you consider that retention is really just like reselling people on your service every day. So how often should you do a goal review? Every quarter unless you’ve been tracking your LEG data over time and you see when your dropoff points are, then your goal review should happen about a month before each of those drop off points. Now the next hire at Two-Brain HQ is a data analyst so that we can provide this data, you know, as a whole, but also for each one of your specific gyms. So within the next several months, we hope to be able to say to you like, Hey Justin, your dropoff points are at seven months, 11 months and 17 months. That’s when you should do your goal reviews. All right, that’s a great question. I don’t think anybody anticipated going that deep down the rabbit hole.

Chris (00:24:11):

Let’s see here. Erin has a great question. She’s driving and so she might not be able to type. I understand. When doing these motivational reviews, since we aren’t doing a hard sell, how do you present the new prescription? Erin. Yes. So let’s say that you ran into somebody on the street and they said, what should I do to lose weight? And you said, there’s no way I’m ever going to make money off this person. What would you tell them? And that’s how you present it to your client. So you would say, well, if I was in your shoes, I would focus on my nutrition first and then I would try to get exercise three or four times a week. What kind of exercise do you like? All right, the most effective exercise for your goal is constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity or you know, whatever your exercise philosophy is, if CrossFit is your exercise philosophy, then you know that’s part of your prescription.

Chris (00:25:03):

If Pilates is your exercise philosophy, then that’s part of your prescription, whatever. Then you say, would you be more comfortable doing these workouts and this nutrition at home or in the gym? And then if they say in the gym, you say, would you be more comfortable doing these workouts in a small group setting or one on one with me? And then you make the prescription. So you say, OK, well look, if I were in your shoes, here’s exactly what I would do. If you flipped your pricing binder and you say, this is exactly what you just told me, and if they say, Oh wow, that’s too expensive. Then you say, OK, what budget would you like to fit this service into? And I’ll give you your new priorities and then you work backward through your pricing binder to say, OK, well you know, you said that $200 a month is your budget.

Chris (00:25:56):

If my budget were $200 per month, I would focus on nutrition as I said earlier. So you go to the nutrition pricing page and you say, here’s this, but you know within your budget we could also fit in one personal training session per month. I think that would be really useful. I could give you some walking homework to do in between. OK. Now it takes practice to make it feel that natural and I’m going to have to record me doing it, which means I’m going to have to do some more because when I’m talking to a client, it actually sounds that natural to the client and the only reason why is reps. I am the most awkward person in the world when it comes to asking people for things or help or money or favors. Trust me on that. The only reason that I got over it was reps.

Chris (00:26:41):

All right, so, next. So goal reviews are the answer. If you have more questions about goal reviews, by all means ask them. But the process is laid out in the client focus highway on the Two-Brain roadmap and you can work your way through that. Now, how to promote these new services. Let’s pivot to this. We want to get more clients using these new services. And over the last few months since we moved to everything online, we spent about $40,000 testing Facebook ads and digital marketing strategies in gyms. And what we’ve been saying to people is like, don’t go out and test a bunch of ads. Don’t guess, don’t throw money at Facebook. Let us do that. And so what we’ve been delivering is, you know, here’s what’s actually worked and we’ve been delivering that to people in ramp up and in growth along the digital marketing sections of the online coaching highway.

Chris (00:27:37):

But here’s what we found. Number one, even though costs are way down on Facebook, like we’re at 2015 advertising costs, it’s really, really not expensive to get people to book a free consultation, organic marketing right now, including like just your own Facebook posts, is incredibly powerful. So it’s not that digital marketing is less powerful than it was before. It’s that organic marketing, referrals are way more powerful than ever before. And I’m not sure if that’s because your audience is looking harder at trust or your audience trusts you more right now. Or maybe they’re just getting bombarded by Facebook ads. But right now you really need to focus on asking people for referrals. You really need to focus on affinity marketing because this is what’s most powerful. What’s interesting is a lot of you have just posted the Hey, I’m looking for five women in Saint Marie Ontario to join me for this.

Chris (00:28:39):

A lot of you have had a lot of success from that and then been frustrated when you turn to the next step and started doing digital marketing. Well what should happen is that when you’re working your way through the roadmap and you stumble on something that’s working for you, you just keep doing that thing and you slowly add other things on top of that. But you don’t stop doing that. So affinity marketing is working better now than it ever has. Some of us haven’t been doing enough of it. We should never have stopped. So when you’re working through the affinity marketing strategy, there’s a specific highway for that on the roadmap. OK, I’ll just buzz over there and take a peek and share my screen here. OK, here we go. So when you’re on the roadmap under the get more leads section, that’s the first line affinity marketing, right?

Chris (00:29:30):

And you’ll notice milestone one in affinity marketing is book three goal review sessions with your clients. So we’re right back to the goal review. Now the strategy here is when you’re having this review and you’re talking about people’s goals and you’re saying, are you happy with your progress, that you follow the process from there. If the person says, I’m not happy with my progress, or I’d like to speed it up more, or what else could I be doing? You pivot into a new prescription. If they say they’re totally happy with their progress, we pivot toward asking for referrals. And the way that we do that is through affinity marketing. So we know the people that they live with, the people that they work with. We know a few things about that client. And then we say, you know, how can I help your friend?

Chris (00:30:15):

Do you have a friend who this service might help? How can I help your coworkers? Do you think that this service is something that could help the other people at your workplace? You know, the other people at your golf club, we go through that process. That’s all laid out step by step, starting with people with the tightest affinity and working our way outward, like you’re starting with the bullseye at the center of a target and then working our way out from there. So affinity marketing is really like what’s working right now. The thing is that affinity marketing is always what’s working and that’s what digital marketing should build on. Every new person that comes in through digital marketing should lead to three or four other referrals. It’s just we can’t be complacent. We can’t wait for this to naturally happen. We have to take charge of that conversation through affinity marketing.

Chris (00:31:05):

And that’s really what the strategy is. OK? So if we think about your new business as if you’re starting over from scratch and you’re back in the founder phase, and you know what works in the founder phase is really building on your personal connections. So you should be posting to your personal Facebook page right now. You should be sharing tips freely with all the people who are paying attention, but not paying you money. You should be reaching out to people personally. Who were your former clients? You know, if you look at the people who said, we’re getting new clients back in the Two-Brain business growth Facebook group over the last week, a lot of those people were former clients and the box owner kept a connection with them. They would check in with them during COVID, but also before, how are things going?

Chris (00:31:56):

How things been going since the move? How’s your new schedule at work working out? You know, how are you feeling post-injury or whatever. Those are the people who are coming back right now. If you haven’t been doing that, start right now. You know, start today, text all the people who put their memberships on hold at your box and say, how are you holding up? Just start building that relationship of trust. There’s no upsell. There’s no automated text message or email that’s going to bring those people back. All you’re going to do is build up that platform of trust until you can finally say, I think the right thing for you, my friend, is to come in and do some exercise. All right? Now you can follow this step by step on the roadmap, in the affinity marketing highway. There’s a section called the gold standard in goal reviews, and that tells you when you’re doing a goal review, how to pivot to affinity marketing.

Chris (00:32:51):

All right, so let’s look at questions here. All right, so this affinity marketing is the answer that you need. It might not be the answer that you want because you know, again, people are less than comfortable saying, do you have a friend who might benefit from this service? Or you know, do you think your husband could benefit from this? But when you’re doing it now I want you to think of like your NGPO, your cornerstones, as different options that might help the people surrounding your favorite clients. So you know, if you really want your client to succeed, you have to take care of the people who surround them. You have to create an environment where they can be successful. That environment exists in your bricks and mortar gym for one hour a day, three times a week. That environment might not exist in their home 23 hours a day, seven days a week.

Chris (00:33:46):

The best thing that you can do to help your clients be successful is to create that environment in their life. And that means creating change in their spouse, in their peer support group, and the workplace. If you really, really care about a client, you’ll take those extra steps to create the environment in which they can succeed. You might think of that as affinity marketing. You might think that as help first, you might think of that as coaching or leadership, you have to create fertile ground for success. And that’s what happens through affinity marketing, right? You’re giving people everything that they need to be successful, including support and environment. All right, our third topic is the be expensive or be free strategy. Now what I’m talking about now is the audience building highway on the roadmap. So first we looked at the client focus highway to do goal reviews, to talk to people before they come back into your gym.

Chris (00:34:42):

You’re not raising their rates, you’re not sending out an email saying these are our new packages. Pick one. You’re not doing a survey. You’re booking a conversation with every single client and you’re planning for more Google reviews in the future. Then we talked about the affinity marketing to promote your new services and that’s the affinity highway, affinity marketing highway on the roadmap. Now we’re going to talk about building a bigger audience for this service or for your gym using the audience building highway on the roadmap. The reason that we’re focusing on this again right now is that organic marketing, organic lead gen is working exceptionally well and it’s mostly because people are looking for answers and they’re looking for answers from people that they can trust. And so now we’re going to talk about audience building. So on the roadmap on the get more leads category, there’s an entire highway dedicated to audience building.

Chris (00:35:36):

And the thing that you need to understand is authenticity and publishing content. Because what we’re going to talk about right now is your platform, being in the spotlight and you know, staying in front of your audience. I wrote about this a ton in “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” and right now people who publish actual content are doing better than people who are spending money on ads. So you’re at home, you’re hearing from your clients more often than ever. You’re more in touch with their questions, you’re more in touch with their concerns and what they actually need. Now is the time to start answering those through content production on the roadmap. You have a good lesson on authenticity and publishing. Then you have our entire social media playbook with templates. Then you have some prompts. Now, I just started Seth Godin’s storytelling course. Honestly, I signed up for this course because I thought like I owe some money.

Chris (00:36:36):

I’ve been reading Seth, I’ve been following his model basically using what he does as a template since 2008. I’ve been publishing since before that, but I write in the model that Seth writes, you know, I repeat a lot of his messages and I just tailor them to my audience. I felt like I owed this guy something. So I signed up for this storytelling course just basically so I could give him $450. And the very first thing that I saw in the course was that awareness doesn’t work. Affinity does. There’s like the headline of the first lesson. And that’s amazing to me because all this time, you know, if you had a business, even before Facebook, all the advertising salespeople were selling you was awareness. We can put your sign up at the football field, we can sell you a block in the yellow pages.

Chris (00:37:32):

We can sell you a radio spot, a TV ad. We can basically sell you awareness. The problem is awareness doesn’t create any kind of desire. Sure, it helps people who are looking for a gym already hear about you, right? And they used to say stuff like, you’ve got to get your name out there, but that doesn’t solve the problem. Affinity solves the problem. Your relationship solves the problem. Trust solves the problem. And trust is based on authenticity. So now what we’re going to talk about is how to build that trust through content production. And we’re going to talk about our ethos and what I’ve learned about from being a content producer for the last, you know, 15 years, 20 years now, because when people try to sell an online service, they try to sell a product, right? And you can’t sell a product.

Chris (00:38:29):

You can’t sell your programming. You can’t compete with 19 bucks a month. The best programmers who are selling fitness programming out there are charging 19 bucks a month, first free, you know, I’ll even send you some demo equipment worth $300, you can send it back if you don’t like the program, right? You can’t compete with that. Don’t try to. The most successful service providers online followed this maxim: Be expensive or be free. The fitness industry is being driven by technology more and more. This creates new opportunities to reach mass audiences really quickly. So it’s tempting for us to say, I’ve got this new product, I’ve got a thousand followers on Facebook. If 1% want it, now that’s 10 people. I’m rich. But that’s not how it works. In the tech world, they call this scaling up. Building a product and then selling it to as many people as possible.

Chris (00:39:25):

And this usually means the incremental cost of production goes to zero after the product is built. So like the first one costs a billion dollars, but the second one costs nothing. Or it costs you five hours a week to write your programming, but after the first person buys it, the incremental cost to produce that programming is zero because you can sell the same programming to many people, right? When you’re selling a product, volume is the only play now. You have to get scale really fast, but that’s not you because you’re not selling a product. You’re selling a service. You’re intention is finite, right? No one is making more hours or more focus or more care. You have this relationship of trust and authenticity with your clients and you can’t scale that to a thousand people. That means that coaches can’t compete on volume. They can only compete on attention and care.

Chris (00:40:22):

All right? So yes, there are people out there in the CrossFit world, people who are CrossFit famous are selling programming and they’re selling skipping ropes for cheap, and they’re getting this large audience to pay for it, but that’s not your best move for three reasons. Number one, they’re selling a commodity. That means downward price pressure. Even if their product is getting sold at 19 bucks right now and they’re making money, a year from now, that’s going to cost nine bucks. Second, their stars are fading by the day, right. Their reach declines every time a new CrossFit Games champion is crowned. If you haven’t won the CrossFit games, it’s going to be harder and harder to sell your advice as a product that scales. And the third is you don’t have an audience to start with. So if you’re CrossFit famous or you’re famous because you are a trainer on the Biggest Loser, or you’re a competitor on Survivor, or you were in the NFL, you can sell something to that audience, but your star is going to fade over time because you’re no longer the world champion or the first round draft pick.

Chris (00:41:23):

OK, we’re going to do this for 30 more years, so we have to build an audience for ourselves. But that’s their plan. OK? Selling a product. Our plan is to be expensive or to be free, not to be in the middle, not to be cheap. That means you give out your knowledge for free, but your coaching is expensive. OK, so Stuart Brand famously said on the one hand, information wants to be expensive because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other. Stewart said that to Steve Wozniak at the first hackers conference in 1984. There was no Facebook, there was no Gmail, there was really no internet back then.

Chris (00:42:14):

But what it means and why it’s relevant today is you can build trust in your audience without asking for anything in return. And trust is the new currency for what we’re about to sell. It means you can be generous to build that trust and it means you can ultimately earn what you deserve. So I’m going to give you two examples of this expensive or free strategy. The two examples are crossfit.com and twobrainbusiness. So crossfit.com started publishing a free workout of the day every single day in 2003. It’s all the information that you need to get fit and healthy. There’s a workout to do. There’s some diet tips. There might even be a link to like a political rant or something else, right? But if you want to become a CrossFit coach, then that’s the most expensive certification on the market. And when the first L1s came out at, you know, I don’t think they were a thousand dollars, but when they reached a thousand dollars a decade ago, they were triple the price of the most expensive certifications back then, which was the NSDA CSCS.

Chris (00:43:20):

And they also required travel. You had to actually show up and be there for more than just a test and they actually required you to demonstrate your knowledge and not just tick boxes on the test. Now, I took the NSCA certification back in like 1994. I showed up. You didn’t talk to anybody. You had a Scantron sheet, whatever it costs, 250 bucks. We thought that was expensive. Then CrossFit came along, made the price of an L1 way more expensive, costly in time and social risk because you might fail in front of people when you’re demonstrating and from a price point, but it was way better. So if you want to be a CrossFit certified coach now, that’s expensive. CrossFit, but they don’t sell the knowledge. Information is the tool and informed audience is the advantage. You all took the L1, everybody listening to this podcast, thousands of people took the L1 because of the free knowledge that built your trust and your esteem in the brand and your desire to become a CrossFit coach. Let’s look at twobrainbusiness.com. We’ve published free information every single day since 2013 when I started don’t buyads.com. There’s a huge amount, over a thousand blog posts on twobrainbusiness.com alone. I also publish on businessisgood.com and twobraincoaching.com. I have a monthly column on elite FTS, like medium. LinkedIn, there’s a lot of content, our YouTube channel.

Chris (00:44:48):

But if you want mentorship where the most expensive, at least I hope we are, as an actual mentorship company in the fitness industry. We don’t sell information. Information is our tool. Information builds trust, an informed audience makes our entire industry better. Informed audience is also our best friend because when people have read our stuff, read my books before they book that free call, before they go through the incubator, then they understand the concepts, but also the ethos of Two-Brain Business. That also keeps the wrong people out. Can you imagine what our Two-Brain Business growth group would look like if there was like, you know, five negative condescending attacking people in there? It would not be the same. There are zero of those people because we give away the information for free. And the people who who want to be critical, who want to attack, they’re filtered out by that information or they can get all they want from that information.

Chris (00:45:48):

They don’t have to go any further and join the Two-Brain family. All right, so before we get to a publication strategy here, we’re going to get there. I want to give you a few notes on free that might answer some of your questions in advance. So notes on free. First, your free information should still be valuable. Your free information should still be true. If you’re doing a bait and switch marketing promise that doesn’t build value, it erodes value. And finally, your free content doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be consistent. Consistency is still more important than anything else when it comes to publishing free content, building trust in your audience. OK, it’s fine to have a couple of typos. It’s not fine to skip three months. Notes on expensive. The value of your attention is what’s important, not the value of your time.

Chris (00:46:42):

So the more one on one attention you provide, the more expensive your service should be. That’s true even if you’re providing one-on-one attention online, but you spend less time coaching overall. It also means that in a physical gym, group training is your discount option because you’re providing very little one-on-one service to a client in a group training class. Does it still have value? Absolutely. Should you discount your prices further to sell it? No. Group training is the option that you sell for people who cannot afford your highest value service, which is your one on one attention. And finally, my last note on inexpensive is before you can charge what you’re worth, you have to actually be worth it. And so I’ve given you some links here this morning in the Two-Brain Business growth group, I shared a link to a Seth Godin article that talks about value and the example that he gave was two of his books, one of his books took him 10 years to write, working two hours every single day on it. The other book took him like three weeks to write. It just poured out of them. And you know, which book is more valuable? Well, if you look at the market, the market actually likes the second book better. They’re both priced the same. The second book that took him only a few weeks to write has outsold the first book was took them 10 years by like six to one. Now, if you look at price and value, for me, most people will say that Two-Brain Business, the original book, was the most valuable thing that I’ve ever written. Help First took less time, right? Two-Brain Business 2.0 is more tactical. Like you could, technically in my mind, that’s the more valuable book. But I wrote both of those books together in 70 days.

Chris (00:48:28):

They just poured out of me. “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” took almost a year. It cost me $20,000 to have editing and layout and production and all that stuff. It’s probably the best book that I’ve ever written, but it’s very few people’s favorite book. So what’s more valuable? Two-Brain Business, the original book, is more valuable. So here’s the foundation of content marketing, which I learned, and that’s like the free part of this equation from testosterone.net and its editors. Before T Natinon, and now it’s called like T Nation.com or something. Nobody had ever heard of Dave Tate, John Berardi, the founder of PN, right? This was their first public platform. This is where they built their audience. Before they had started writing free articles on testosterone.net, nobody had heard of them, including me. So I started publishing every single day on Catalyst Fitness in 2005.

Chris (00:49:22):

And then a member said, you’re just like Seth Godin. So I looked up Seth Godin and started reading him. In 2009, I started a little blog about the gym business called don’buy ads.com in 2012 I was hired by CrossFit media and invited to their media summit and the ethos of CrossFit media in those days as explained by Tony Budding, was we publish every day. Those were literally the first words that he spoke when we met in San Diego. Same meeting. Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit Inc says, talk to the smart kids and they’ll tell everyone else. So that kind of shaped what I put in my messages. I didn’t worry about writing for everybody anymore. I worried about writing for the industry leaders. And that’s why the industry leaders are the people who are in the growth group right now and in the tinker phase and coming through ramp up.

Chris (00:50:10):

So I think you know the same thing is true if you talk about writing for the caring people, right? If you write for the caring people, those are the people that you attract. And if speaking personally, if we can help gym owners leverage their care better and leverage that care for decades instead of for years, then we can have a meaningful impact on the world. Now that doesn’t mean that we sell mentorship cheaply or that we give it away for free. We don’t. It means that we provide information for free. It means that we share enough secrets to actually help gym owners thrive. Some of those gym owners then use the profit from those secrets or from our free material to pay for mentorship, which is our real service. You’re going to find the same thing in your gym. People will take your free information and they will be use it and they’ll act on it and they will tell it to their friends.

Chris (00:51:00):

They might even copy you and start a fitness blog and they’ll get a little bit fitter. And that is great because an informed, educated audience who’s a little bit fit and interested in taking the next step is your target audience. These are the people who are closest to buying from you. So when you’re producing this content and building this audience, you need to be supportive. You need to understand that people are going to take this information for free and start on their own, but that’s what’s going to prepare them to buy from you in the future. That’s what’s going to prepare them to trust you and that’s also what’s going to stop them from buying from anybody else. Our motto at Catalyst when I started producing content was teach our clients to know more than any other coach in town. That meant that our clients and the people on our email list knew too much about fitness to fall for the stuff that the other guys were selling.

Chris (00:51:56):

They weren’t falling into the trap of the pyramid scheme supplements. They weren’t just going to the gym and doing, you know, chest and triceps day anymore. They were actually trying new things. Maybe they weren’t paying me money yet, but they were paying attention and that meant that they were too smart to fall for all the traps that pulled many of my best future clients away. Does it take a while? Yeah, it does. There’s a reason that I started talking about CrossFit in 2003 and don’tbuyads in 2009. Audience building and trust is a slow play, but it’s the difference between finding the love of your life and getting married to them and using like a onetime dating app to get laid. This is the longterm play and this is actually the best time to start it. So before I get into tactics to start content production, I’m going to take a look and see if we’ve got questions here.

Chris (00:52:50):

So let’s see, questions. I see a few. All right, so Eden’s got one as an example for me, if my husband isn’t on board with nutrition, then it’s a hundred percent harder to stick to my goals. If I’m your client and you can get my husband bought in, I’d be thrilled. Yeah. So you really need to like create that environment in the household too. Especially right now. You know, a lot of your clients are paying attention to you, but their biggest struggle is creating that environment in their household because they are three feet from the carb cupboard all day. Their kids are sleeping later, right? They’re eating breakfast later and that means they’re staying up later at night and you know, they’re getting naps in the afternoon that they didn’t get before. And so if you think about your service as creating the environment for your client to succeed in, then you might be able to prescribe NGPO a little bit easier.

Chris (00:53:43):

You know, or get another client. You can’t sell Zoom classes to two people in the same house. You can’t do it. You can’t say, Hey, your wife is in the screen. Get her out of the screen. She’s got to pay for her own subscription. You can’t do that. What you can say is, I noticed your wife has been paying attention. Why don’t you invite her to do some of these workouts with us? Now, her needs are going to be different from yours, but this is a great starting point for her. And I’ll tell you what, do you mind if I talk to your wife about her nutrition plan? Because it has to overlap with yours and support yours. But it’s not going to be the same as what you need because she has different needs than you do, right?

Chris (00:54:25):

And that’s how you differentiate. That’s how you use affinity marketing online. All right. So if you guys have questions, guys, feel free to post them here. I want to talk about starting to produce content that builds trust in your audience and why this is the best opportunity and prompt you’ll ever have. Use the COVID crisis as a catalyst to produce content. It’s funny that the people who start with Two-Brain are told, you know, produce content and they rarely do it. The people who have been in the Two-Brain family for a long time have tried every other option that we’ve given them and finally come back to this consistent content production. And that’s what’s working to build their audience. So Sharday asks, is it better to be posting free content on your personal page or as your daily weekly Instagram posts?

Chris (00:55:18):

So Sharday we need to talk a little bit about content and your platform and your amplifiers. So your content should live on your website. Think of your website as a boat and you’re in the middle of the ocean and you’re fishing. And your goal is to get as many as many people, as many fish into your boat as possible, and then roll them back to the dock where you can sign them up or sell them. Your boat is your website. OK? Because nobody buys a fitness membership or books a no sweat intro off Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or any social media platform. Those are your amplifiers. Your number one goal on Facebook or Instagram is to get people off Facebook and Instagram and onto your website. So if you think about Facebook and Instagram is like the lures that will bring people to your boat, that’s how you use them.

Chris (00:56:13):

So look at what we do and follow our model. We publish on our blog, we post links to that blog on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, everywhere that you can think of. We also have a net because our lures, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, will bring people close to the boat, but it might not convince them to come aboard or we might not be able to land them. And so our net is our email list and our email list is just basically we give people free things that will help them. They sign up to hear more from us and then we send them our a copy of our blog every day because they might not see it on social or they might not be coming on our website every day. That net reinforces our message and gets it right into their inbox.

Chris (00:57:04):

So hopefully that answers the question. Post your free content on your website, share your free content on social. If you’re more comfortable in front of a camera, you can use YouTube if you want to. But again, YouTube should link people back to your website and that can be a hard jump to make. Nobody in the fitness industry makes a living on YouTube. They might be selling workouts or subscriptions or something on YouTube, but people have to go to their website to pay for it. If you’re selling ads on Facebook because or on YouTube because you’ve built a massive audience, you might make dozens of dollars doing that. But the bottom line is you have to get people back to your website to sign up. OK. And if you go into the audience building highway on the Two-Brain roadmap in the very first section, maybe in the second milestone, you will download our very specific social media playbook.

Chris (00:57:59):

And that’s very step by step. OK. And the first page in big red letters says your number one goal on social media is to get people off social media and onto your website. OK, thanks. Andrew says exactly. We’ve been posting Monday to Friday for the last year. Blog is on the website and then share it through Instagram feed, Instagram stories, Facebook feed and email list. Perfect. I’ll tell you exactly what we do at Two-Brain. So I write, you know, usually about two weeks in advance. Warkentin would love it if I did it three weeks in advance. And then, those are saved his blog posts, he cleans them up and edits them and Tiffy adds graphics. I record them or parts of them for YouTube. And then when they’re published, the links to those things are shared on Facebook, Facebook stories, Instagram, Instagram stories, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah by our media team. You can do this yourself. We have an editorial calendar that we follow through. Through the COVID crisis. The strategy is exactly the same. Tactically, it was sped up because things were happening every two or three hours. That meant we were writing the blog posts like an hour before they were published and that was just due to necessity. Right now, you know, we’re able to plan out in advance. So what do you write about? What do you talk about? Right now you are in more constant contact with your clients one on one than ever before. So I want you to write down, keep, you know, open up a notepad or Apple notes or whatever on your phone, on your laptop, and I want you to start a new note called questions. And what I want you to do is every time a client asks you a question over text, through messenger, through email, over the phone, on LinkedIn, whatever, in your public Facebook group, I want you to write that question down.

Chris (00:59:55):

And then tomorrow I want you to write them the answer. This is what love letters are all about. So pre-COVID, the questions that we would get from gyms is like, what’s my best marketing strategy? How do I get five new clients? How do I keep clients longer? Right? Big broad questions that required three or four posts to answer. During COVID, the questions that we were getting were more, uh, abrupt. You know, man, how does, how’s Chris stay motivated? How’s he not getting depressed? We got that a lot. How do I lead my team? You know, yesterday we got a great question. How do I talk to my clients about these new services that I’m about to offer? This morning I got a fantastic question from Justin about should I start using my personal brand instead of my gym’s brand, right? And when we see these questions, we think about it.

Chris (01:00:47):

We say, who is the best in the world? Or what’s the data say? And then we create a response and that gets posted later. You have an opportunity right now because of all of your extra work, one on one with clients to identify what these top questions are and to post the response. People try to do too much. They try to jump from first date to wedding, you know, and create perfect media. Man. If you go back to don’tbuyads.com and you’d go to the very first posts on our page, they’re crap. Like they don’t even make sense. I’m all over the place chasing different rabbits. I don’t make a good point. Your best blog posts are probably 200 words or less. They answer one question and that’s it. If you find that you need to give a deeper response or this question begs another question, make that a separate blog post.

Chris (01:01:40):

You know, I like to set some time aside each week to really think through a problem. I write the question that I’m trying to ask or answer first. Sometimes I have to answer it in several steps and that’s basically the title of my blog posts. And then I fill in the blanks from there. You know, luckily we have such a massive library of work that I can sometimes lean back to stuff that we’ve previously written. Like this week, the series that you’ll read is called be expensive or be free. I wrote two of the blog posts and I modified a previous blog post for the third one. Eventually you’ll get to that point. And Andrea asks, how often do you dust off old posts and republish? Not as often as I should. The thing is, Andrea, like sometimes I forget stuff that I’ve already written about.

Chris (01:02:36):

Or sometimes like the answer needs to be updated, but in the gym those answers don’t actually change. Do they? Like the pendulum of fashion in the fitness industry swings left and right, but the answers don’t really change. And so if you’ve written a good answer one time, you can republish that several times. One of the best practices if you read blogs like HubSpot is to update your best post from before each year. So for example, HubSpot might come out with like top 10 CRM software for the health care industry, 2019, and then what they’ll do is they’ll pull that article up again in 2020, they’ll revisit it. They might write a new intro and they’ll change the title of 2020 and they republish. Right? One of my most popular blog posts of all time is how to sublease your space. I wrote that three years ago.

Chris (01:03:32):

There’s a very simple equation we share that publicly. It’s also in our modules. I haven’t had to update that, but if I wanted to, what I could do is reopen that and say how to sublease your space after the COVID crisis. How does this help you? If you’re writing for your gym and you’ve written stuff before, you’ve done a video before, you’ve made a good post before talking about like the plate method for eating. You could republish that as like how to stick to the plate method during COVID or how to stay on track with your eating during COVID and reference the previous material. The thing is like, you will get tired of your own voice and you’ll get tired of these messages long before your clients will. So you need to take that same message and repeat it. You might tweak it a bit.

Chris (01:04:21):

You might put it on a different platform like YouTube instead of your blog. But the bottom line is like nobody reads everything that you write. Nobody hears everything that you say. Nobody is dipping into your back catalog. Nobody’s listening to all your previous podcasts. The best thing that you can do is repeat your key messages at least every quarter. All right. And, honestly, like this is what we try to do too. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve talked about the prescriptive model on our podcast, in our blog and on YouTube. It’s not enough to just have that information out there today. We talked about the prescriptive model and goal reviews and affinity marketing stuff that I’ve literally written books about, but now it’s more relevant and we could reframe it as how to use that during the COVID crisis to help your business and why it’s more relevant again too.

Chris (01:05:15):

Alright, Elsbeth asks, what you suggest is a good strategy to manage consistency. I like offering free content because it’s free. No one complains, but on the flip side I get lazy and struggld to be consistent. I’m going to share with you, OK. For the first time ever, I’m going to draw back the curtain here. OK? And I’m going to share with you my actual tool. This is what I do and this is what I’ve been doing since 2009 maybe. OK. This is 750 words.com. OK. Now I did cut and paste some stuff here to get myself started, so I was doing some blog post editing this morning. I cut and pasted some of my edits here to get going. This is an old Ernest Hemingway trick. What Hemingway would do is he would stop writing in the middle of a sentence on one day.

Chris (01:06:04):

So the next day all he had to do to get going was finish the sentence. And that kind of greased the wheels for him. What I do if I’m struggling to get going in the morning is I will look at like, a previous blog post, make a couple of edits, and then actually cut and paste my edits in here. And then what you’ll see at the bottom of the screen here is my word count. So that’s what I’m at today. You can see that it was saved just basically right before I started this podcast is webinar. And you can also see my history, right? So here’s the days when I hit 750 words, and here’s the days of when I hit 449 words, you know, and here’s the days that I skipped. My best streak of this was almost two full years, but I’ve been keeping track of this stuff, you know, daily.

Chris (01:06:53):

And what you see if you went back through all my days here is now at first the most important thing for me was showing up and typing something and getting the little X, doing 750 words no matter what because that built consistency, right? Seth Godin says there’s no such thing as writer’s block. Just like there’s no such thing as plumber’s block. A writer shows up every single day and writes and it’s 750 words and that’s it. It might be crap. He might never open it up again. It doesn’t matter. They show up and write, there is no such thing as writer’s block. You might have a stretch where you’re not writing anything good, but those stretches will get shorter the more often you write, right? So just keep a diary. All the best writers in history kept a diary. So that’s where you start.

Chris (01:07:41):

What I find write now though is I will have bigger questions to think about than ever before. Justin gave me a huge question to think about today using personal branding versus gym branding. And so I’m not gonna write anything about that for a few days. I’m going to talk to a few contacts that I have in the industry. I’m going to think about it on a couple of bike rides, I’m going to think about it while I’m doing my flow state exercise, like cutting wood, but then once I feel confident in here’s the answer or here’s the direction that you need to go, I’m going to write a lot. And what you’ll see on some of those days, especially Sundays, is like 3000 words, 10 pages of written notes and that’s because I’m ready to write about that. Brand new content producers, that’s not going to work for them.

Chris (01:08:29):

They’re not going to be able to do a week’s worth of content on a Sunday. That’s not going to happen because you’re looking at the blank page and you’re like, how am I going to write 10 pages here? That’s why the essay writing assignments and stuff that we get in high school, they’re counterproductive. They teach kids like that writing is painful and it’s hard and you have to be focused for hours at a time and you have to stay up all night and you know, that sucks. Just like reading should be fun. And you teach people to make reading fun by reading whatever you want, including comic books. Writing should be fun. And you should teach people to write consistently by teaching them to write whatever they want. Write a rant. You know, you want to write a political rant about how your governor should not be locking down gyms?

Chris (01:09:14):

Fantastic. Do it on 750 words.com. Write it on a piece of paper. Don’t mail it, you know, don’t post it on your social profile. We haven’t talked about today is like the dark side of publishing content, which is you’re on a platform, you’ve worked really, really hard to build an audience to stand in the spotlight and you can use that spotlight to erode trust, right? Like if that spotlight reveals core values and character, if you let it. The interesting thing that happened to me this week was I was invited to speak at two political meetings for two political parties who are completely opposite of one another. One’s very, very conservative. One is very, very, like socialist in Canada. And I got invited to both because neither party had any idea what my political beliefs are. And I doubt anybody here knows that either.

Chris (01:10:10):

Right? So I don’t talk about politics or religion on my business platform because that’s not what it’s for. When you become a business owner, you have to understand it like your personal platforms of Facebook and Instagram, those become your business platforms, right? At first in the founder phase, you are your brand. And so if you’re doing things on that platform that makes people go, what? Or ew or I can’t believe that he believes that, or wow, that guy’s a staunch Democrat, staunch Republican. I’m not that. You’re hurting your business. And you know, the second you open a business, you become a public figure and you have to be aware of the content and the messaging that you’re putting out. You know, a big mistake that I see a lot of people using right now is they’re using their business platform as a political platform and that’s going to hurt them down the road.

Chris (01:11:02):

Unfortunately, it’s probably going to mean that their business platform goes away. All right, Brandy says, I love 750 words. Been doing it almost two years since you recommended. I’ve been able to go back and build blogs from these. I was initially hesitant to buy in and pay, but worth every penny and then some. Yeah, I mean, Brandy, I don’t know why you pay for 750 words. I’ve been using it for a decade. I think I pay $4 a month and I honestly think that like, that’s free. I don’t even know if you have to pay them, but it’s worth it, you know? OK. Next. Final question is where should I publish? You know, should I write a blog? I don’t like writing. Should I do a video? I don’t like video. The answer is that whatever makes you most comfortable or whatever is easiest for you to produce is the answer.

Chris (01:11:54):

A second ago, I said that the way you teach kids to love reading as you let them read whatever they want, including comic books. The way you teach yourself to love the writing or producing content is you do it in the easiest possible way. Don’t worry about what’s best. Don’t worry about you know what gets the best SEO or whatever. Do it in the way that’s easiest for you. If you find that you’re really relaxed with somebody standing in front of you, ask you a question and you can confidently answer, then do video. You know, pretend that I just asked you a question or get together with somebody else in Two-Brain and interview each other, right? Record the answers that you give and that can become your content. Post those things on YouTube first if you want to, and then just take the transcript of what you said.

Chris (01:12:41):

This costs about two bucks and post that on your blog. That’s all you have to do. If you like writing, if you like responding to emails better or texting, then by all means just copy and paste your responses to people in your blog. I mean, some of you know that I do this, some of you write me these very thoughtful emails. OK? And I’m like, Jennifer Worth, man, we had such an amazing conversation about unraveling the ball of yarn the week before last that turned into like three blog posts and you’ll see those in the future. How do I start those blog posts? I take my email responses to you and I treat those as the seeds and I copy those responses into 750 words or onto a blank word doc. And then I say, what if Jennifer didn’t know me? Right?

Chris (01:13:31):

So I removed the really familiar language and the references to your gym and your business and I generalize them a little bit and that becomes a blog post. So for me, answering questions just gives me amazing prompts and there are weeks that go by when I get so many good questions that I don’t have to think about topics. When I’m not sure what to write about and I really have to go looking for topics, it would be nice if that day came soon again, when this state of emergency has passed us, what I do is I go into our Facebook groups and I say, what do the people that I care about the most care about the most right now? What are they questions about? Sometimes I’ll see them asking questions and think, man, I answered that question back in 2012 or I answered that question two weeks ago and I might even share a blog post with them.

Chris (01:14:21):

But that prompts me to say, I haven’t written enough about this. I haven’t talked about this in the right way. I haven’t told a story that helps this message stick with them. And so I’ll start over and I’ll redo that content again. I’ll give you a great example guys. Back when I wrote the original Two-Brain Business, I wrote about the 4/9ths model and I talked about it like math, but I didn’t tell people how to present it and I didn’t put it in a context or tell a good story around it that made it easy to understand if you’ve just gone through ramp up, like you know, Amanda Chase is paying attention here. She heard me talk about 4/9ths back in 2013. When she went through ramp up this time she heard about the salary cap and also how to understand the math, but why it was important and how to present it to other people talking about dollars instead of percentages because that’s such a big topic and it’s so important.

Chris (01:15:19):

It’s like you’re carving a statue out of marble and every once in a while you got to go back to the statue and knock another edge off of it because that creates a clearer, more beautiful picture that’s simpler for people to understand. OK, so the key to creating content I think for gym owners is number one, don’t try to be perfect. Number two, find the thing that’s easiest for you to do. Number three, find a partner. Let somebody interview you. You know, like Leslie is in this group, three or four years ago on twobraincoaching.com we had a 30 day content challenge. She actually won that challenge. You know, she can probably provide some more tips here too. But for you, if you’re struggling to make content, here’s what I would do. I would find a partner in the Two-Brain Business growth group.

Chris (01:16:08):

I would text them every single day one question that they should answer through content. OK. What would you say if a client asks you this, ask them to do the same for you. Write out the answer in a text if you want to or shoot a little video, send it back to them and it take that as the seed for your content and build a larger message around it. Explain yourself a bit more. Add in the elements that you’d have to add in if you weren’t talking to another coach or gym owner, and then post that on your blog. Show that blog post on Instagram, on Facebook. Right now, as you move toward a higher value service, I’m going to try and bring us back to this NGPO and presenting it to your clients again, the most important thing that you can do is to build trust and affinity with your audience.

Chris (01:16:54):

That’s it. It’s not the secret Facebook ad strategy. It’s nothing except for that build trust and authority. People are scared right now. They’re still nervous. As a leader, the greatest thing that you can do is show them that they can trust you, build affinity with your audience. And so if that means paying somebody to take on one more class a day while you build content, it’s worth it. That’s the best investment you can make. It’s not a short term play. You are not going to say, if I invest $12 paying somebody to take a cleaning for an hour so that I can write content, what’s my ROI on that going to be? It’s more like a college education. You don’t look at the ROI of a college education because a college education opens the door for you. And that’s what content creation does. Opens the door. It opens the mind, it opens the heart. Talk to the smart kids, talk to the kids who care the most. Ask them, how can I serve you? Tell them the answer to their most vexing problems, build trust in your audience. And as my mentor Todd Herman says, if you know how to build an audience, you are set for life. Thanks everybody. Thanks for spending an extra 20 minutes with me today. This is a huge, huge topic and we’ll answer more questions in our private Facebook group.

Andrew (01:18:14):

This is Two-Brain Radio. Please subscribe for more episodes wherever you get your podcasts and be sure to visit TwoBrainbusiness.com and click COVID-19 at the top. On that page, you’ll find the things the best gyms are using to survive the COVID crisis. If you need some guidance, visit TwoBrainbusiness.com today.

 

Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday.

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