Facebook Ads and the COVID Crisis: Early Advice and Observations

Mateo Lopez-Blog



Mike (00:02):

Gyms around the world are shut down or set to close due to the coronavirus. So how should you adjust your digital marketing strategy? Advertising expert Mateo Lopez will tell you right after this. The coronavirus is hitting everyone hard and Two-Brain Business would like to invite gym owners to join the private Facebook group, Gym Owners United. It’s a positive place where people can share ideas and help each other get through this period. We want interaction among actual people, not business accounts, so please use your personal account and be sure to answer all the intake questions because you won’t get access if you don’t agree to play nice. I’m actually a mod there and I can tell you many people are waiting for access because they have not answered the questions. Again, that is Gym Owners United on Facebook. It’s a positive place to work through this issue.

Mike (00:44):

All right, this is Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin. I’m here with marketing wizard Mateo Lopez. We are basically living through Resident Evil without zombies right now and a lot of people are predicting an economic apocalypse. Others see opportunity and are adjusting their strategies to adapt to the current climate. Today we’ll talk about the plays the smart kids are making on Facebook. Mateo, what’s the situation in New York?

Mateo (01:05):

The situation is we’re getting pretty close to lockdown here, I guess. I don’t really know what lockdown means. But it’s getting close to that. I know my family’s in LA, Los Angeles, and I know the whole state over there has officially been put on, what is it, shelter in place or not shelter in place, self quarantine or yeah, one of those things. So they’re locked up. They’re going to get pretty cozy with one another. Let’s see. Emergency order. All residents to stay in their residencies immediately, limit all non essential movement. So I think New York is pretty, pretty close to that point, I imagine we’ll probably get the same mandate in the next few days here. But I haven’t been outside, people tell me that there are people outside.

Mike (02:03):

You’re a digital marketing guy. You’re not like a physical marketing guy. You don’t need to go outside.

Mateo (02:08):

Yeah, no people, I’ve talked to a couple of friends and they’re like, yeah, I went on a walk. People are walking. I used to live in Harlem. And I called my buddy who still lives there, who I used to live with and he was like, yeah, no one even knows what’s going on. I’m like, oh cool. I think that will change. I’ll probably relocate soon. My soon to be in laws have, you know, they’re on Long Island, so I’ll probably move over there at some point. Wait out the storm. But what’s going on in your neck of the woods up North?

Mike (02:43):

Yes. Yeah, it’s crazy. You know, I was talking to guys in the Bay Area yesterday and they said it’s nuts down there. Obviously they’re getting it harder on the coast and probably where you’re at as well. Here we’re kind of in the middle. Like I’m up in Winnipeg, Canada, so it’s a lot more isolated. We got a lot of space and not as many people. So we’re having cases, but it’s like under 30 right now. So we’re basically in prevention mode. But just as of today, gyms, date of recording is March 20th here, but they just shut down gyms. So we were already shut down. Most of the gyms in the city were already shut down. So they’ve just done that. Day cares, there’s limits on how many people can be in certain spaces and stuff. And everybody’s adapting. And so we’re doing the same things.

Mike (03:20):

We’re trying to figure out, you know, how to stay, you know, how to still sell stuff and do things. And if you check our archives, you’ll see a show with Jeff Burlingame, where we talked about the fact that businesses still have to sell, we have to sell, we have to survive, we have to generate income and so forth. And I’m looking forward to talking to you about some ways that we can do that and how we can generate income even though a lot of us have had to change our business models a whole lot. So I’ll get right down to it. The question I want to ask first right off the bat is, should a gym owner stop running ads right now? Why or why not?

Mateo (03:49):

Well like most things in these turbulent times, it depends. It’s a complicated answer. No one, it’s unclear, but hopefully we can kind of point you in the direction and give you some clarity. So I guess just a couple of things. It was just so crazy how fast things turned. Like last week, I go to a gym in New York and I was talking with the guys there. I was like, yo, like you guys aren’t shutting down, right. He’s like, I mean the city says we have to, we have to, but like I don’t anticipate that’s going to happen in a little while here. And then on Monday got the email, it’s shut down. And then everyone, I’m on a couple of newsletter lists. Just everyone shut down, all gyms all across the city just shut down instantly.

Mateo (04:35):

It was fast and things I think can change really quickly here. And I think, I mean I’m not a journalist or pundant or a representative of the CDC or Congress or the Senate. So I’m in no way in a position of authority here to speak on the issue at large. But like, I do think as testing increases, like there’s going to be more cases and there’s going to be more cases, like people are going to get a little bit more freaked out and we’ll see even more restrictions just like you’re seeing in California, kind of everywhere. And, if quarantines get more strict, you know, I think you’re gonna see a lot of businesses and especially in our industry where, you know, it’s a lot of people meeting in a place, touching each other and sharing barbells and equipments and, you know, high-fiving and fist bumping and yeah, those businesses aren’t going to be able to continue.

Mateo (05:37):

So, yeah, like you said, people are gonna have to adapt, in our industry. And I think we’re seeing that, you know, we’re putting out a lot of good material out there. Chris has been pretty much live almost every day answering gym owner questions and like you said in the beginning of the show, the group I think is going to become invaluable, the Gym Owners United for any all who are listening out there, to have not only the support of other people going through what you’re going through but also—

Mike (06:09):

In that group of, there is a free guide in the files section. How to add online training in 24 hours, it is the Two-Brain business step by step plan. It’s based on, we have clients all over the world. And so Chris talked to these guys and figured out what was working, what wasn’t working and put together the stuff that was working into a guide to help you guys figure out exactly how to respond to this as quickly as you can. And the early data shows that if you follow this plan, you can retain up to 90% of your members and we’re tracking everything around the world so you can get this guide for absolutely for free. You just have to join that group again, answer the questions on the intake or won’t get in. You gotta to tell us you’re going to play nice.

Mateo (06:45):

Yeah. And I encourage everyone to go in that group and read that guide. To me, it’s just the first step. But you gotta be able to pivot quickly because if you can, if you can take advantage of the situation and weather the storm and kind of hunker down and keep your cash reserves at the end of this, there’s going to be, I think a lot of opportunity for everyone who makes it out on the other side of this. I mean, you know, there’s research out there that shows, you know, a natural disaster and this is a little bit different, but it’s similar, right? Can cost 40% of small businesses to fail and to close down. So, for those who are quick and nimble, there’s going to be a lot of opportunity on the other side I think.

Mike (07:31):

There is, I mean you got to think that like there is a human cost to this. We’re not downplaying that in any way. We want as many people live through this as possible, but there is also an economic reality and there are some people who get through this that are not going to have jobs and businesses. And so the goal here is to help those people, give you the best shot as you possibly can to come through this with a business that’s, you know, that can survive. And also a business that might look different and maybe even better than it is right now. Now that’s going to be tough. But we are seeing gyms right now make some incredible pivots that are very fast. And who knows how long this lockdown is going to go. It’s gonna get harder the longer things go. But as long as we still have the internet, I think we’ve got a shot.

Mateo (08:12):

Exactly. So yeah, I know you asked about the internet, so let’s talk about it. Should you turn off your ads or should you, what should you do about your ads? Right. Well, you have to look at where you’re at in terms of your positioning in terms of what you’ve got in cash. You know, you gotta kind of pick and choose your battles here. And you know, everyone’s kind of landlord situations are going to be different. Everyone’s, op expenses are going to be different. Depending on if you’re going to try and provide for staff if you’re not able to or whatever it is, right? So you kind of have to make the call for yourself, but, you know, I don’t want to prescribe to anyone to say, you got to pour all of your cash into client acquisition right now. Cause you know, that may not be the wisest.

Mike (09:06):

You got to evaluate every expense and look at return on investment. At this point, every expense has to generate ROI. And if that’s advertising, maybe it’s for you, but if it’s not, don’t do it.

Mateo (09:15):

Right. So, I will make a couple of comments though on the ads front. You know, like right now, a lot of people have turned off their ads in every industry across the board, right? And so because of that, ads are kind of cheap right now. You know, historically if you’re looking at CPMs, you know, they’re down.

Mike (09:38):

What is CPM?

Mateo (09:38):

CPM cost per impression, right? So the cost to get a thousand eyeballs on your ad is really, really low. So if you’re trying to get exposure right now, you know, it’s really cheap to do that. If you want someone to get an eyeball, if you want to spend some money to get eyeballs on your ads or on your posts or on your business, that’s cheap.

Mike (10:00):

You want a real time stat on that? I just hit refresh on my ads manager. And so I’ve got a campaign that I just started for online training a little while ago and I shut off the six week challenge campaign at the same time. And my CPM is down by about 30, a little over 30% from where it was before.

Mateo (10:22):

There you go. There you go. And for others that might be more, for others it might be be less, but it’s going to be, it’s a lot cheaper right now. And the double advantage of that is everyone’s at home so they’re probably on their phone and scrolling. Right. So, not only are more eyeballs probably on the platform, but it’s cheaper to get your ad in front of them right now. So, if you’re in a position to take advantage of that, I would consider it.

Mike (10:50):

Even other stuff. My cost per link click is down 20%.

Mateo (10:55):

There you go. Cost per click is probably going to be down as well because again, you’ve got more people scrolling. And they’re bored at home. And again, not a lot of people—

Mike (11:06):

I’ll give you one more cause I know exactly what you’re going to say and I’ll tell you, my leads though. My cost per lead has gone up by, it’s more than three times. So 300%. So, and I’ll qualify that by saying that I made this campaign very quickly and my landing page is not optimized. I’m going to do coming up as fast as I can, but we had to put her our training business online. I didn’t have time to do much more to get this thing up. So there are some issues there, but it’s flat out truth right now is I’m getting lots of clicks but I’m not getting a lot of leads.

Mateo (11:38):

And that right there is cause of the offer. Right? I’m going to make an educated guess and say it’s the offer or the way in which the offer is presented, which is exactly what you’re saying. The landing page may not convey the message of what I’m trying to give to people right now in a way that’s adequate. Right. So, yeah, if you’re still using a six week challenge ad people might click on it, but then they’re going to have a lot of questions scratching their head like, I’m not going to go to the gym. Right. So, yeah, I would not be surprised if your opt ins are going down. Now.

Mateo (12:22):

The key there is that you gotta like we’ve been talking about, you have to pivot your offer, right? And so, you know, I think something that y’all need to think about doing is yeah, how can I position my online offering and create an offer or my online program I should say, and create an offer that’s compelling enough to get people to want to inquire about it in this time. And it’s going to be tricky because for us in our niche, we can’t try and say, Hey, we’re going to put all of our classes on Zoom and y’all can watch them in real time every day at 12 and 6:00 PM and it’s going to be great. Like you can’t really compete on that kind of a front because Beach Body, P90, all the P90X and Sandy stuff, all those people, Peloton, like they are all way more equipped to compete with you and offer that.

Mateo (13:18):

They’re going to offer a superior product than you are, if you’re going to try and compete on that front, right. So, you can’t really just take, you know, your coaches and start filming them and try and compete against those big companies. So if you’re not going to offer at home streamable workouts, you know, what do you do? I think Chris will probably be the better guy to talk to you about that. And he’s creating a kind of a solution. The first step again is that opt in that Mike was talking about. But yeah, you gotta you gotta position yourself as like, we’re going to give you coaching and it’s going to be more one-on-one. It’s going to be more custom to you and what you’ve got at home. If you’ve got a couple of dumbbells in home, great. I can actually live with that and create a program totally around what you’ve got. If you don’t, OK, that’s fine. Let’s, you know, adapt here. And that’s really what you have to, that’s the value you have to present right to these people and it’s going to differentiate yourself a little bit more.

Mike (14:18):

And there’s accountability, right? The accountability aspect of that too where it’s like you’re providing coaching, you know, programming and accountability. And the real big part that I’m hearing from a lot of people is that it’s that contact and accountability, the trainer checking in and saying, Hey, did you do the workout? Why not? OK, do the workout. Text me back as soon as you’re done. That kind of thing. Cause people are in a funk right now.

Mateo (14:39):

Yeah, you have to be able to explain that in a short little piece of ad copy and an efficient landing page. Cause otherwise, yeah, people probably won’t opt in because they won’t see the value. Right. They can go, they’ll see the ad right after that for Beachbody and saying the whole beach body catalog right now, two weeks for free, you can get on demand. You’re not going to be on the beat that right. So you’ve got to highlight the one on one coaching aspect. The other thing I would advise you all to do is if you are going to try and run some ads for your online training programs is look at who is advertising right now and look at those ads for inspiration. So look at Headspace.

Mateo (15:22):

You know, the meditation app, they have only increased their ads right now. Look at Talkspace, which is the texting therapy, like therapist app. That’s I think Michael Phelps is like their spokesperson or whatever. They’ve got a ton of ads up right now and all of it’s like, Hey, are you feeling anxious or alone? And you know, everyone’s like, yeah, I am. You should talk to a therapist. I mean, your ad can very much say the same thing. Like, are you stuck indoors? Are you going, you know, are you pulling your hair out or you like feeling stressed? Like, a great way to distress is like getting together with a one-on-one coach who can help you work through this. And, you know, fitness is a great way to do that. You know that I’m just riffing.

Mike (16:06):

I’m actually copying that down. You’re gonna see that in my ads in like 10 minutes.

Mateo (16:09):

Yeah. Yeah. And again, like you know, this has all happened so quickly that it’s not something I can say, Hey, I’ve got an ad vault ready for you guys to go copy and paste. I know it converts. Because there hasn’t been enough time. We’ve all been in the situation for a week, but these are kind of things I’m thinking about. And that I would encourage all of you all to do if you are trying to start—.

Mike (16:36):

And I’ll tell you by the next virus that we are going to have that ad bank.

Mateo (16:40):

And the second wave that happens in September cause everyone starts going outside in July we’ll be ready to go. So yeah. The other thing is, you know, there are definitely some other people out there who are already starting to do it. You’re starting to see some 21 day at home challenges.

Mateo (17:00):

You’re starting to see those ads. You know, they’re out there. Again, I’m not going to tell you to go do them cause I don’t have hard data that I know it works, but I’m going to start trying that out very quickly here and report back. But yeah, you’re starting to see 21 day at home challenge, opt in here, is a cool video and then you get on a call, right. And on that call, you know, it’s back to the old days of you got to sell people over the phone. You know, that’s where we’re at now. And if you have social proof, if you can do a Zoom call, if you can provide some kind of presentation with before and afters and preview the meal plan, I mean, I think you gotta go to that back to that kind of model. I mean, that’s what I used to do in person, like back when I first started, I had a computer out and I had a slideshow that I would try and sell someone into a program with. So go back to that and do the same thing, but just do it over Zoom. I mean, that’s what it was made for. Right. I don’t know if that’s what it’s made for, but it’s definitely capable of doing that for you.

Mike (18:00):

So would you, we’ve advised clients to keep taking no sweat intros, our introductory program that we always have Two-Brain businesses do. How, so you just same process. You just Zoom that stuff and away you go or do the phone. Correct?

Mateo (18:17):

Whatever’s, you know, easiest for you and the client. Right. If you can get someone on Zoom call, I think that’s going to be really helpful and effective in converting. But people may not know. It may be an extra step that, well actually that’s not true. Everyone’s talking about it now. Like it’s in the zeitgeist, like everyone is like talking about Zoom Hangouts right now just because you can see it on Instagram and Twitter. Like people are just drinking with their friends, like hanging out, but just via Zoom. So actually more and more people know what this platform is. So actually you probably would have a better chance of getting someone to use it now than you would have previously. Like if it was not this and you’re trying to sell it, just get someone scheduled for a phone call. But you actually might be better off trying Zoom. I’m not sure. That may just be the bubble I’m in. But yeah, more and more people are using these video platforms so you’ll probably have a better shot of getting someone on a sales call with.

Mike (19:14):

So what you’re talking about, let’s go back to compelling offers here and let’s talk a little bit about what are, what pain points when we’re trying to put this stuff up there and make people click this stuff and ultimately sell a service, what kind of pain points are we going to solve right now? Like it’s not, we’ve obviously got the same ones as weight loss, strength, conditioning, things like that. But things have shifted a little bit. Like, are people looking for something else you think? I know you don’t have the data yet, but what’s your hunch?

Mateo (19:43):

Well, I got made fun of today cause I had a landing page that said, you know, one of the benefits of the program is that you’re a social distancing compliant workout program. And I got, that that idea got shot down. I’m obviously not sure why. I thought it was pretty funny.

Mike (19:59):

People are worried right now, I’m not gonna suggest it isn’t going to work.

Mateo (20:02):

Yeah, I mean that could be a benefit. That could be a benefit of your program. Hey, you want to want to stay compliant with your local social distancing protocols? Sign up for this program. You’re going to be good to go. The pain points are the same man. It’s like, well, if anything, there’s more benefits, right? Because now you know, everyone’s stressed out. You know, everyone’s stressed out, everyone’s probably going bored. So if anything, you have more benefits to highlight, Hey, this is gonna, you know, make your day a little more exciting. Hey, there’s some people you’re gonna be able to talk to every day. Hey, like you’re going to get a shot of endorphins coming in and oxytocin and you know, the whole like, Oh I don’t have time objection’s out the window. I don’t know if I can fit this into my schedule is totally out the window at this point. So, but yeah, so those are kind of the pros. The cons are yeah, you’re going to have to work a little bit harder to, especially if you’re gonna charge a premium, to explain the value and the value is, I think what you said already is pretty much the go-to point here is like it’s going to be one-on-one.

Mateo (21:15):

We’re going to hold you accountable. Like it’s gonna you’re easy for you to like eat bad food, keep ordering Thai food and drinking wine and like watching Netflix all day, especially if you don’t have work and you haven’t like had a minute to catch up on your shows. It’s going to be very easy for people to just do that and skip their at home, work out. So your pitch to them is like, Hey, we’re going to make sure that you don’t skip it and we’re going to make sure you like, don’t just eat, junkie chips all day while you’re just at home doing nothing and like stress eating, you know what I mean? Like those are the things I think you need to highlight.

Mike (21:50):

Yeah. And we’re not recommending, Two-Brain Business is not recommending that gyms start running Zoom classes. What, you know, Chris Cooper has been saying is you really need to connect with your clients, your current clients, talk to them, offer them coaching, individualized attention, you know, talking regularly and staying in contact. But I have seen a couple of things where we started doing that 100%. We also run some Zoom classes. We’ve noticed that people were kinda skeptical at first and they’re getting on and then they’re saying, man, I really felt kind of crappy before this and I feel better seeing your faces. Right. And like, I don’t know if it’s going to last. The data that we’ve seen is that the Zoom classes kind of peter out a little bit. That’s what Chris has told us from the gyms abroad that started them. For me because we doing both approaches, the value right now is that I’m seeing smiling faces and they’re like, wow, it’s good to see my buddies, you know? And I think for people who are getting cooper up, the longer this goes, having a trainer check in on you might be a good thing.

Mateo (22:45):

Yeah. That’s really what you have to highlight. It’s like you can, I mean, someone can get the P90X program, but like the value you’re providing is like, you’re going to make sure that person does it. You know what I mean? That’s your job as the coach and that’s the value.

Mike (22:59):

I did a workout actually today with our lunch class and I can tell you like there was a moment in the workout when the coach said I was lying on the floor as I often do, and the coach is like, Oh, Chris has already picked up, his a milk jug. And I was like, God dammit, I gotta pick up my milk jug now. You know, and like, I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t heard that. And so the idea of like some interaction with, even if it’s just that text that says Mateo, you need to do a workout today. I know you’re busy. You have to do a workout. Just that is something.

Mateo (23:29):

Yeah. You know, they’re not busy.

Mike (23:31):

I know you are.

Mateo (23:33):

Oh, I am. Yes. No, yes, but yeah, I mean I think that’s it right there. I mean, you can also lean back on what we know. It’s like, you know, it doesn’t have to be six week one, right. Make it a 21 day kind of a program, because that at least says, Hey, we’re hoping this’ll be over very soon. So make it a 21 day and you can always, once they see the value, you know, upsell them later on after, you know, we’ll be able to know like, OK, you can come back or not. But, make it a 21 day transformation or some kind of at home corona program and you know, talk about all the results you’ve gotten your clients, and just run with it.

Mike (24:24):

We had a client today get a plank PR. We got a plank contest at the end and we were giving away a roll of toilet paper. She posted that was the longest plank of my life and that was pretty, you know, pretty awesome. You mentioned something that I want to ask about because your partner John Franklin at Two-Brain Marketing, you mentioned this to me, I understand that Facebook is tightening up regulations, their rules on coronavirus ads and so forth. How does that affect the gym space? Do we get hit with some of that stuff where ads are getting long, taking longer to get approved or are there any restrictions or where are we at?

Mateo (24:55):

I again, I haven’t experimented too much with this, but yeah, I think you do have to be kind of, I would just like not mention it. Just you can allude to it. Are you stuck at home? Are you like stressed out? You know, the answers yes. Like you can talk about it without using the word. I have seen ads that just mentioned it and you know, like, you know, again, that may change, like I’m sure they’re going to get more strict about it. But if we kind of take a look over here, like I mentioned Talkspace.

Mike (25:34):

Facebook is banning ads that promise to cure coronavirus. That’s a headline from February 25th. That’s business insider.com. Can’t cure it.

Mateo (25:42):

I mean, here’s an ad right here from Talkspace. We’re donating 1000 months of free online therapy to medical workers on the front lines responding to Covid-19 outbreak. So this ad has not been flagged. There’s another one during times of uncertainty, we all need support we can depend on, Talkspace is here to help. I mean, that’s a way of talking about it without talking about it.

Mike (26:03):

Yeah, it’s just the finger on the nose. It’s like we’re all on the same page here, but we’re not saying it.

Mateo (26:07):

While our routines may be disrupted and the world feels tumultuous, remember that your feelings, whatever they may be are valid and it’s normal to feel unsettled in uncertain periods. Here at Talkspace, mental health resources for Covid-19 related concerns. Click here to learn more. Like, you know, they haven’t shut those down yet, but I’m sure they’ll get a little bit more strict about it.

Mike (26:32):

This one here, again, this is the same old article, the social network, will now bad ads, the mention if they promise to cure or prevent the virus or attempt to create a sense of urgency about it. So again, older article but still, if you’re probably using that to you, we always talk about urgency and numbers and things like that, like 12 spots remaining, all that. You probably want to stick to that kind of stuff rather than like growing a virus related calls to action.

Mateo (26:56):

Yeah. But like I think you’ll probably be all right. It’s not like your ads are going to say, like you have to get this fitness program now, otherwise you’re going to die of corona. As long as you don’t say that.

Mike (27:09):

I wonder what will happen if they put in like social distancing where it’s like, OK, gyms can reopen with 10 clients, you know, or one client per every 12 feet or something, 12, you know, whatever it is, 144 square feet and then you have to be like, man, the coronavirus social distancing regulations mandate, we only have 12 actual physical spaces.

Mateo (27:25):

Now those ads are real. yeah man.

Mike (27:37):

So we’re kind of in the gray area right now. We’re still kind of feeling it out to figure out where those walls are, I guess. But you know, just probably from like a, just common sense and courtesy and so forth. It seems like we probably as fitness people don’t want to drive stuff with coronavirus because that’s not really what we’re all about there.

Mateo (27:55):

No, but you want to talk about the pain points that are, you know, are relevant. And I think I kind of wanted to mention one more thing. You know, we’ve been talking about like, Hey, you got to look at your expenses and you know, you kind of have to make a judgment call here, but if you do want to survive, you have to find some way to acquire clients.

Mike (28:14):

Cause you’re going to lose some right now.

Mateo (28:17):

New blood, you’re gonna lose some, a hundred percent. You’re going to lose some. People are losing their jobs. They might not be able to afford your membership anymore or you know, it just might, you know, for people it might not be worth it to pay for this thing right now. Cause it’s not the same thing they were getting before. I mean, you know, it’s just going to happen.

Mateo (28:35):

So you have to be able to acquire new clients. So if you’re not going to invest in ads, you know, that’s, you know, your choice and your decision. But, you have to have a plan in place to acquire otherwise. And the other things we talk about at Two-Brain, affinity marketing, networking, going to local businesses, partnerships, you can’t do any of those things right now. You can’t go door to door, you can’t hold events, you can’t do workouts at the park that are free that you can attract new people. You can’t do any of those things we normally can. So I think if you’re going to choose a route to try and get the word out about your new program, I think you’re going to need to think about how to incorporate advertising.

Mike (29:19):

Think about this, like what you just said synched up with something that I’ve experienced where we’re running these Zoom classes and I’m watching our clients do these workouts at home and I’m seeing like, you know, spouses and partners and buddies and like kids walk through and I’m like, this is actually like almost embedded marketing at this point, right? Where if you’ve got a spouse that’s like, Oh, this CrossFit stuff is scary, this fitness stuff. I can’t do it. They’re literally like sitting in the background, having a cup of coffee while the spouse is just hammering out a workout that’s not that bad, you know, so they’re actually forced to watch the stuff and like now might be the time to say, Hey, you know, would you like to do the workout with your husband or wife?

Mateo (29:58):

That’s true. That’s a very good point. I didn’t think of that. You’re a hundred percent correct. You can definitely probably get some more spousal referrals in this time period. Potentially. But no, it definitely something important to think about. But I do think like the other kind of strategies that require more like outreach and events and things like that, yeah, you’re not going to be able to rely on those. So you’ve got to find a way to get new blood.

Mike (30:27):

So it’s a bit of a thing where you have to, like at this point it’s kind of a gut check, right? Where you have to look at your expenses and obviously we prioritize retention of current clients before anything else. But you have to kind of decide, look at your expenses, look at your budget, you know, risk tolerance. And say, I am going to lose clients no matter what during this situation because the economic effects are going to start that trickle down situation. But I need to find new clients and then you have to figure out whether you, how you’re going to do that. Right? So we are probably for those gyms that are thinking longterm and survival and even thriving, you need to find those clients and that might be through an ad.

Mateo (31:04):

100%. Beyond just your ad, you know, your online presence, something that’s included in there is your website and your website right now probably is not helping you. If anything, it’s probably hurting you because everything’s telling at least if you’ve designed your website following kind of the principles that we teach at Two-Brain, it’s like book a no sweat intro, come into the gym or book a free intro or a consultation, come into the gym. If anyone sees that or if anyone lands on your site and clicks that button, they’re going to get to the next step where it’s schedule a intro at the gym and they’re going to stop right there.

Mike (31:46):

Report you to the government, too.

Mateo (31:47):

So y’all need to pivot and make sure that— everything’s a pivot at this point.

Mateo (31:55):

But one of the things that also needs to move is your website. You have to make sure that the offer that is front and center on your site is relevant to the current situation here. And it’s got to be an offer that people can actually like, Oh, that actually kind of makes sense for where I’m at right now versus what you’ve probably have right now, which is, you know, buy your two day free pass at the gym. No one’s gonna do that. That’s not a good offer right now. So yeah, your website is probably doing little to help you at this point. And on top of that, your automation probably as well is probably hurting you too. If you do get an opt in, I bet right now, especially if you’re using some of the other, more niche solutions that we have in our space, it’s probably saying, yeah, come by the gym. When can you come? Like, Oh, like I got some spots open right now. Like you probably do have some availability, but I’m not coming over to see you. So again, your stuff’s probably not relevant. So y’all need to change that.

Mike (33:15):

So if your automations are messed up or maybe you set them up once and don’t know how to do it, or maybe somebody set them up and you haven’t a clue how to adjust them, how do you sort this out?

Mateo (33:24):

Well, Mike, I might have something for you.

Mike (33:28):

Good, cause I don’t really like all that work on that end to be honest.

Mateo (33:33):

Yeah. We have a website company, it’s called Gym Lead Machine. I mentioned it on here before and we have a brand new page. It’s prebuilt and ready to go for our clients that we can upload very quickly that’ll talk about, it’s optimized to convert for an online program. And all the automations are already built out that are going to direct people to inquire or schedule a phone call or a Zoom call depending on how the client wants to do it. And the automations are all geared towards booking that and they’re also a little bit more like understanding of the times. I mean, you helped me write some of the things.

Mike (34:19):

I did. How fast can you upload the stuff? How fast can you get someone going on this thing?

Mateo (34:24):

We can get them going really, really quickly here. Almost in probably less than three days, we can get someone up and running with their site, with the brand new, kind of a homepage call to action and automations that actually make sense for the times. Because, yeah, you probably don’t want texts going out being like, Hey, I got some spots open tonight at the gym. Just come, come by. So we can get this switched over for people.

Mike (34:52):

That’s good. Cause I mean, I’m on a bunch of mailing lists. I’m sure you are, hundreds probably, and some of this stuff that’s preloaded into them is coming in right now. And it’s like, it’s not people’s fault, right. They’ve got all these different automations, it’s tough to find everything, but some of them are just like comically off time, you know, and it’s like, huh, really not the right time for that one.

Mateo (35:14):

Exactly. Yeah. I don’t want the supplement pitch at the smoothies. I don’t want the smoothie at the gym pitch right now. Yeah. So we’ve got that going on. If anyone’s interested, check our gymleadmachine.com.

Mike (35:29):

I like it. Let’s talk. I’ll give you another one. Engagement campaigns. Is this a time to run an engagement campaign where we’re just educating, showing people who we are talking about people maybe not asking them to buy, but just asking them to learn about us or anything like that. And then hoping to capitalize maybe at the end of this thing, is that something that people can or should do?

Mateo (35:50):

Yeah, I mean you can definitely do that. I understand the rationale there, especially because like we just talked about, CPMs are really, really cheap, so yeah, you can probably build a pretty big retargeting list from that. Or rather you can probably season your pixels, what we call it. You can probably, take advantage of that for sure. But, you know, if it were me, I would probably try and get some actual opt-ins first. If I’m going to spend some money, I want to try and get some contacts that I can hunt down.

Mike (36:29):

That engagement thing that’s going to be, I mean, you gotta have a war chest for that, right? Like, that’s a long game where you’re going to have to try and capitalize.

Mateo (36:34):

Yeah, you gotta have a war chest and it’s a long game. And right now we’re playing the short one. We gotta, we gotta make rent, we gotta be able to pay staff and we gotta get some cash. So, that would be my advice. If you’re rich, go for it. Get a gigantic retargeting list on your pixel, rock and roll. But if not, you know, I wouldn’t—.

Mike (36:54):

I’ll put you on the spot here, can I do that? So I know that we have not had enough time to test all this stuff out. And so keep that in mind. This is not like the recommendation from on high, this is just putting Mateo on the spot right now. Imagine you are a gym owner Mateo. I know you run gyms and been at ground zero for these things. If right now you were going to try and create an ad to generate some cashflow for your business because you had rent due in 11 days and you might not make it. What would you say? What would you pitch? What’s your offer?

Mateo (37:29):

Stay home, stay fit. You know, we’ve got our new workout from home or transformation, home transformation or home fitness challenge. You know, it’s a great time to get fit if you’ve got time on your hands. If you’re looking for a way to relieve some stress, stay healthy and build your immune system in this stressful time. We’re here to give you a helping hand, virtual one-on-one fitness coaching. It’s going to keep you accountable and keep you healthy and keep you indoors so it will keep you safe. If you want to learn more, click here, learn more about our 21 day online

Mike (38:21):

Like it. And I’ll ask you this. I know you and John test all sorts of images and so forth and you guys just throw it all in there, see what works. Then run with it. Just give me some ideas of if you were, again, just, if you were going to go with your gut and pick an image or two for thing thing, what would you show? What are you looking for?

Mateo (38:39):

Honestly, I would do like a cell phone video, 10 seconds of you doing, you know, Bulgarian split squats with your foot on the couch, you know what I mean? Or, or like, you know, some kind of like, I saw one really funny. This is my buddy, he’s in Australia. Shout out to Alex. Miss you, hope you’re safe. He took a towel and looped it around the door handles and then he used that as a ring row. So you could do that as I was demonstrating it. That’s why my audio went in and out. Yeah, you can do a quick little Giphy video of that and use that as your ad. If you’re gonna use stock images, stick to like running people or lunges. Cause it’s probably the only two things. Lunges or pushups, anything with a yoga mat cause people probably have that at home. I would do quick little videos of like actually demoing some movements in your house, you know, an elevated split-squat with the couch. Maybe if you got two jugs of water doing some deadlifts, with some Arrowhead water jugs and try that out. That would be my first.

Mike (40:05):

And as always, I’m going to guess that you’re going to tell people to evaluate their data, and if it doesn’t work, punt it, and if it does work, run with it.

Mateo (40:15):

That is correct.

Mike (40:15):

That’s the thing I’ve learned from you guys, from you and John talking to you guys is that there doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet for stuff. There’s only best hunches and then you test it in the marketplace and then you figure it out and go with that. Any advice? Any final words for our audience here? Again, we’ve got scared gym owners and people are listening to this that are like, they’re going to try and be aggressive trying to figure out what to do with ads and maybe try and capitalize or even try and save themselves. You have any final words of advice for these guys?

Mateo (40:42):

Stay golden. Like I don’t know, honestly, like these are some uncertain times. I would say take a minute. You know, you’ve got a little bit of time here. Take a minute, take a breather and then figure out what’s important and then once you’re there, get back on the horse and you know, you gotta you can help people in this time, right? So just make that message, put that message out there. Like, I’m here to help. I can help you, let’s talk. I mean, I think that’s what you gotta tell people. And I think that messaging’s gonna resonate and you’re gonna be able to keep on keeping on.

Mike (41:29):

And you are, you’re testing stuff right now. Correct? You’re researching, firing, and you’ve got the lab going to try and figure out what’s going on.

Mateo (41:36):

We are about to, we just finished up the new page for the new kind of website template, the new automations. The next thing on the docket is yeah, we’re going to start testing this on some client acquisition stuff and some ads and we’re going to have a little bit more info for you guys on that front.

Mike (41:57):

So you need to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio because Mateo will be back once he starts figuring out what’s going on here with ads. We’ll talk to you about it and we’ll give you some options, some ideas. So definitely subscribe to Two-Brain Radio and Mateo will report back whenever he’s got more data. So we will have episodes coming up about how you can adjust your ads, things that are working. We will tell you what’s going on. Thank you for listening. I’m Mike Warkentin with Mateo Lopez, this is Two-Brain Radio. Please remember to join Gym Owners United on Facebook. Use a personal account, answer the intake questions, and then enjoy some peer support from gym owners just like you. We’re all stronger together. Thanks again for tuning in to Two-Brain Radio. We’ll see you next time.


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