Two-Brain Radio: From Backyard Boot Camp to Profitable Multi-Gym Business


Mateo: 00:02 – Hey, it’s Mateo of Two-Brain Marketing. On this edition of the Two-Brain Marketing podcast, I’m talking with James Mawson from Tribe Mvmnt. You’ll learn about his experience from starting with a boot camp out of his backyard to building a business that’s been around for over seven years. You’ll also learn about his advertising system and how he spent $1,100 on ads and generated $21,000 in front-end sales. So you don’t want to miss this. Make sure to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio for more marketing tips and secrets each week.

Greg: 00:28 – Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

Chris: 00:44 – One of my favorite finds has been I linked up with Matt several months ago at Forever Fierce and he had some fantastic ideas and so he and I have put together a couple of packages that we think are really gonna help CrossFit affiliates everywhere. Two-Brain mentoring clients use Matt almost exclusively. He’s got fantastic designs and he takes all the work out of it. All that time that you spend searching the internet and Pinterest and junk like that for great CrossFit tee shirts. You don’t have to do that anymore. Matt has fixed that for you. You can put your logo on one of his templates which are fantastic and your clients will never know the difference. It saves you so much time that you could be using on other things like real marketing. He’ll also go so far as to remind you when it’s time to reorder. He’ll give you suggested order sizes, he’ll help you set up preorders so you’re not even fronting the cash from the inventory. It’s all amazing stuff built to help affiliates and that’s why I love this guy and this company they do all of catalyst’s, shirts, all the Two-Brain shirts, all the ignite gym shirts. They do everything for every business that I own.

Mateo: 01:53 – Hello, welcome to the Two-Brain Marketing podcast. I’m your host Mateo Lopez, one of the digital marketing mentors at Two-Brain Business. Thanks for tuning in to weekly dose of digital marketing magic. In today’s episode, very special guest James Mawson from newly branded, Tribe Mvmnt. We’re going to talk about his experience operating a multi-facility business, about the rebrand and how he used the techniques from the Two-Brain Marketing system to generate sounds like 21,000 in front-end sales in the first five weeks. It’s a pretty big number. James is gonna walk us through it in a second. How are you going mate?

James: 02:32 – You’ll get there, mate. If you haven’t picked up my accent by the end of this, you’re in trouble, I can tell you. I’m doing well. Early in the morning here, but I’m going very well.

Mateo: 02:44 – So for those tuning in, tell us a little about who you are, where you’re from, and a little bit about your business. I know before we started recording you said you’ve been around for seven years, so that by itself is a feat and an accomplishment all on its own. So congrats on that. So tell us a little bit about that and yeah, the floor is yours.

James: 03:05 – Excellent. A little bit about us, my wife and I, like to say us, because she’s the true boss. I just work for her, really, and she’ll have a laugh at that when she listens. To give you a quick rundown, we started in the backyard in a small country town, 25,000 people. We started at the back, started with one person. I started with no equipment. We built the business to our first location. It took us about two years. From our first location we then went to our second location. So a little bit bigger, like everyone thinks you need to be bigger, bigger, better. Went to a second location. Which we’re still at currently now. Been there at our second location, five years. 2013 we opened our affiliate, so what’s that now? Six years, six years plus two years at the back. So nearly eight years now. We still have—and we talk about when we do this stuff in the big shit, all you guys should know what the big shit is, they talk about length of engagement. We’ve still got members that we currently had out in the back eight years ago. So, our length of engagement’s up near four and a half years per member. So, and that’s obviously we’ve had members, a lot of our members, probably 15, I think I’ve counted have still been there from the original. So there we are. We started, we were just at the back, we were called Horsepower Strength and Conditioning. We branded, we were CrossFit Wangaratta then we rebranded to Tribe Mvmnt in August this year. Big decision, 12 months. Like you and I were talking about earlier, big decision.

James: 04:34 – We did it, with the stigma attached to CrossFit, we wanted to I guess get rid of that and stop spending 45 seconds of a minute with a new member defending what CrossFit is and 15 seconds saying, hey, come and check us out. Yeah. So we decided to go with the rebrand Tribe Mvmnt and we also want to be known as our own identity. We follow a lot of things that you guys do over in the States. We believe here in Australia we’re about two years behind what happens in America. Well, I do personally. So I do follow a lot of the big boxes/gyms in America. And we sort of watch what you guys do over there, and we see a lot of the bigger big gyms over there are rebranding, AG, NC with Jason Khalipa, a few of those guys.

James: 05:24 – You’ve got Stuart Brauer, who just got Urban Mvmnt. We follow all those guys and we watch you guys really carefully over there and we thought, well, you know what, if it works for you guys, then we’re gonna have a crack as well. So we did that. Best thing we ever did. We didn’t want to just offer CrossFit, which we don’t. We offer a lot of things, which has been the best thing, we offer online nutrition, nutrition in the box. We also offer personal training like most other boxes these days, we do a light class or a sweat class. So yeah. So that’s sort of why did the rebrand. And it’s been, as I said, it’s been the best thing that we’ve ever done. So yeah, if people are thinking of doing it, do it.

Mateo: 06:07 – Tell me a little bit about, if you don’t mind, the early days, the backyard. I’ve heard a lot of garages, but I haven’t heard the backyard, so tell me a little bit about that. There’s still people who are, you know, getting into fitness, get into personal training and thinking about opening their own business and are going to start from scratch. You know, they’re going to start with PT first out of the park. Like, you know, my partner John, he started out of a park. So what was that like back in the early days? How did you acquire and attract new people and then how did you just, you know, keep it going to the point where you could get your own spot?

James: 06:38 – Yeah. OK, cool. We started in the back and it was a passion. I was working out at the local YMCA. It was really frustrating. I was a sales rep before I was a personal trainer, always been into fitness since I can remember. Problem is I was in the city. So I was in Melbourne. And I know you’ve been in Melbourne, I heard you talk about that on your last podcast. And I was in Melbourne and I got my ticket to be a personal trainer, but the problem was I moved back to the country thinking, oh awesome. This is gonna be great. Everyone’s gonna pay some good money to get personal training. Go back here, all of a sudden everyone wanted the training for free. I had to go and get a job. So the personal training and the fitness business was put on hold and I just kept continuing concentrating on my own fitness. As I said, I joined the local YMCA, I was working out there, it was just a joke. I ended up coaching more people in the gym as a gym member than I actually did in my own training. So it was becoming frustrating. So I said, OK, someone said, Hey, would you coach me? I said, yeah, cool, sweet. Let’s go. We’ll go to the back of my house. So I began, $10. I used to charge $10. Yeah, $10 for 45, and I’ve still got the original $10 from eight years ago.So it was like 45-minutes session to an hour session for 10 bucks.

James: 08:00 – And back then that was like, I got paid the 10 bucks and I was like, holy hell, I just got $10. This is all awesome. And we began by throwing a rock around the backyard. It literally was the only piece of equipment I had, body-weight stuff and a rock. Got some good results.

Mateo: 08:14 – Some strongman.

James: 08:14 – So I got some good results, and then we went from one and then I had another friend and then—and they were females, they were all females. The males don’t want to know about us. So I went from one to two, to about five and every—I was still working full time and every bit of money we made from that put aside. I didn’t spend the money because we didn’t need it. It was money that as you know, I didn’t have before so I didn’t needed to continue when I had a full-time wage.

James: 08:49 – So I saved that money. Every time I got money I’d go down and head down to Melbourne, drive the 500-k round trip and buy some equipment. So I bought kettlebells, just stuff that you’d use outside in a boot camp scenario setting. From there we started to get a bit of traction. I ran my first six-week boot camp, actually advertised it on Facebook back in early 2011. Put a bit of a banner together and actually you can still see it, I’ve still got the site open on Facebook, and basically started the boot camp, got 30—might have been 15, 15 people through a boot camp. I think it was like $33 a week. Other than the first initial $10, man, we’ve always sort of said, OK, we want to make money from this, what’s cheap and what’s not cheap.

James: 09:35 – And we were charging, three days a week training for half an hour period. We were charging back then, that’s 2010, we were still charging about $12 a session in backyard. So I’ve always been one to charge what I’m worth. So that sort of thing has never been an issue for us. And people paid it. So we built it to—when we did everything, we did social events, we treated it like a gym. I made it, I got a set of pull-up bars made out in the back that I saved and got ’em and I set them up. And we had some rings, we attached rings to it. We had box jumps, like steel boxes. We had tractor tires, we had kegs from the local pub. We had everything, man, and we build it from one person to 53 people at the back of my house.

Mateo: 10:19 – Wow.

James: 10:20 – Yeah. It was like, whoa, this is getting too big.

Mateo: 10:24 – Well at a certain point, yeah. Now you got a liability going on. Now you got so many people. You gotta go legit at a certain point.

James: 10:31 – Yeah, don’t worry, we had no overhead, fucking tell you what, the money was awesome. I remember counting, the money was coming in and almost some weeks it’d be like we’d be making $1,200 cash, you know, it was coming in. It was like, this is ridiculous. So yeah, we did that and then we went to our first box. We went from 53 to open within six months to 90 members, it was just, seriously, it was ridiculous how quick it just sorta went.

Mateo: 10:57 – So did you affiliate right then or it sounds like you affiliated later on?

James: 11:02 – 2013 we affiliated, so we took about 18 months to affiliate and that was due to the fact that, oh, I had to get my Level 1 ticket.

James: 11:10 – Also obviously getting the money because right from the beginning, and this is the biggest thing that now I know, listening to some of you guys’ podcasts and stuff about you’ve got to go to one of the companies that help and do lending cause you got to borrow money for the right things at the right time. To the guy starting out there, my opinion, this is a nugget that I like to say, don’t borrow money when you start, do not borrow money. Build it. I’ve owned two gyms. We just recently sold the second gym, we got rid of the second year. I own everything. I don’t owe a cent on any of my equipment. And we’ve got over a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of equipment. I do not borrow anything for it. You don’t to be paying off your loans before you pay yourself.

James: 11:55 – In the beginning, as you get bigger in your cashflow, different story, because you can use tax breaks and all that sort of stuff as you. My biggest advice is don’t borrow against it. Don’t put yourself in that hole when you don’t need to because then all of a sudden you’re working for somebody else and not for yourself. So we built right from the start and if we couldn’t afford it, we didn’t get it. You know, it was like, I’m going to wait a week. I don’t need it right now. Let’s just build this business and do it the right way, because then you know, you working for people, not just for the money then, and then passion still stays there. And that’s where it comes from.

Mateo: 12:31 – Yeah. I think that’s a good little nugget there because you’re right, if you can’t focus on the people and having debt hanging over you, it’s going to take a lot of your focus. It’s gonna—your business will hurt and then you’ll never be able to pay it off. So yeah, everything we built was bootstrapped as well. So I come from definitely that camp, for sure. Awesome. So, all right. Tell me a little bit about then what happened—well, I got a lot of questions. OK. So, I just asked this on a previous podcast, so I want to get your take on it. You know, being around for seven years, that’s a pretty big deal. What advice do you have for longevity, especially with building your staff? You know, I know for some people staffing is a problem when they go through the Incubator. It’s something that we spend a lot of time working with. What was your experience in learning on how to build a team to basically last, you know, build a team that help you build a business that can last seven years?

James: 13:40 – Yeah. OK, cool. Well this is a good question. And, I knew you were gonna say this because you asked it. It’s a great question. When we starte, it was me, myself, and I. I had my wife, Dee, to the extent where—Dee didn’t want to have anything to do with it at the start. She couldn’t see—I’m the vision. I see future, I make things happen. She’s the sounding board. She’s the realist. So she like, it’s been hard because it has just been me to start with and we did everything. Like I was working my full-time corporate job earning good money. I’ll tell the story because you’ll actually enjoy it. I did a PT, she’ll enjoy it and she’s never gonna forgive me for it.

James: 14:34 – This is how passionate about how I make things happen. I think that the person, when you’re coaching, and I’ll get back onto the question you’ve asked, but when you’re coaching, it’s a passion. When you run a business, it’s a passion. If you haven’t got the passion, you need to get out now. All right. And don’t just run it because you think you’re going to make a million dollars from the gym industry. Yeah, you can, but you gotta have the passion. So if you haven’t got the passion, get out. Now the reason I say that is I remember doing a PT. We had a new client come through and doing a PT. It was basically a free trial as such, cause that’s what we did. I was teaching a PT and I’ve got Dee in here with our third child, due, not third child here, due, leaning over the bench at 6:30 p.m., me coming inside, I’ll be two minutes, darling. I’ve got to do this. I can’t cancel a PT. It’s just not professional. That was at 6:30. I finished the PT. Our third son was born at 8:30 that night. She’ll never forgive me for it. But it’s created on a passion. Yeah. And not letting people down at all. Ever. Because as soon as you do that, they’ll remember that. They’ll tell 16 other people. It’s not a good thing. That goes into my coaches. So we’ve always had that and tried to instill that in my coaches and instill a passion with our coaches. And when we choose staff, they gotta have a passion. If they haven’t got the passion, they haven’t got the work ethic, I don’t want them. OK. So when we opened up a gym, like out of the backyard, I straight away employed someone. So I’ve actually been employing someone for like since we started. Now, I was running a boot camp. I had 10 people. But I knew that I was going to need someone to manage that when I went away. We’ve always had the—I guess the thing is you have to work hard, but you gotta work smart, too. So we’d still go on holidays even though I had a boot camp and he’d run this, my partner at the time, he’d run it for me. And look, you run into these things. You employ people and then you’ve got the risk of them going and open up their own gym, which we’ve had. We’ve had that multiple times. He sort of left us, our first employee left us to go and open up his own gym and he left with another employee. So in terms of hiring, we’re pretty lucky. I had this discussion about staff last night.

James: 17:00 – A lot of the mentoring and stuff that we’ve had over the years has been hire within. To me that is the best piece of advice in terms of staff and hiring that you can possibly give, because you hire within, they know how you work, they know your culture and they know what to expect. You don’t have to spend as much time training these guys up. So when you’re employing staff, we look at that first, their passion, I guess. If they’re loyal to me that’s main thing. And we had our first employee, his name was Troy. He was there with us for a couple of years while we got started. We served a purpose and he did well. I wish him all the best. We employed our second one, who worked for us for five and a half years. She’s to be honest, she was given the keys to the gym she’s got—now, she doesn’t work for us. She’s been gone about 18 months. She’s still one of our best members. She comes, she coaches. She even fills in if I need it. She was basically left the business, if something were to happen to Dee or I, she was left the business. Still is to this day, you know. This is the relationship we had. Now you’ve got to be a boss. You’ve also got to be a friend. You can’t micromanage. And that’s something that I’ve had to learn.

Mateo: 18:27 – Yeah. Finding that balance I think is the really tough part. Especially if you do hire within, because I think you’re right. It has its advantages because they’re already fanatics about your service, already passionate about it cause they’ve been going to you for three, four years. So they already love it. So for them to—if you want them to sell, for example, it’s going to be easier because they’re big fans so that enthusiasm will come off in the sale. But you’re right, you’ve developed a close relationship with that person. And so finding that balance between, you know, confidant, close friend, whatever you want. And then having to be the boss is, I think it’s tough for a lot of people, especially in our neck of the industry, in our niche.

James: 19:09 – Yeah, look, I totally agree. Just in regards to where we’ve gone now with staffing. We learned a lot initially through the Incubator stage. We didn’t have job descriptions. We didn’t have—we did. It was in my head. Anastasia, our mentor, she’d be kicking herself right now because she knows that I had all this—it was all done, but it was in my head. And apparently you can’t run a business like that. So we put together job descriptions, job roles on a big bit of paper. We sat out, we put our sticky notes on it all over it and we’d come up with description, job roles, descriptions, all that sort of stuff.

James: 19:54 – To be honest, we didn’t even have contracts. It was just like, Hey, shake your hand, high five thumbs up, you’re in. Yeah. Or if you’ve got a tax file number, yup. Cool. Or we’re gonna pay you through the books. You know, it’s like it was just seriously it was still a backyard. And that was the biggest thing we went through with staffing and stuff like that. You can’t run it like you ran a boot camp at the back of your house. Just doesn’t happen, you got to the next level. And it’s been the best thing we’ve done. So we went from myself, Dee, wife who was doing everything back of house, everything. Plus running a very successful online nutrition business and trying to do that plus run a family of three kids to now having a general manager who’s working for us 22 hours a week. Plus having a full time, pretty much soon to be head coach. He doesn’t know that now, so if he listens to this, he’ll probably know that.

Mateo: 20:46 – You’ve got a couple weeks. Don’t worry.

James: 20:48 – Yeah. Cool. And we’ve also—so we had our first real team meeting last night, and we had seven of us there. So gone since we started the Incubator process, we had myself, my wife and Joey who’s been with us since 2013 as a member. He’s now 18. So he’s been with us since he was 13 and now works for us. So we had three stuff. We had three staff man. And now we’ve got seven, soon to be nine.

Mateo: 21:17 – That’s awesome. So then you’re bringing up the Incubator and the kind of going through some of this stuff. So what was the catalyst, right. What made you decide to—you’ve been around for seven years. It sounds like you’ve gone through some kind of business coaching maybe before or have you, I’m not sure. What was the kind of catalyst for taking the plunge with Two-Brain?

James: 21:41 – So a local person here said we’re running a business seminar, would you like to come? It’s free. And I’m like, absolutely. I love business, I love business, I think business is fantastic. It’s great. And to be honest, fitness is my passion, but business is my second passion. I’ve told Anastasia she’s gotta watch out cause I’m coming for her job. Because honestly and, mate, I’ll tell you this is a job interview, I want Chris to know I’m coming. If he’s looking for a business mentor over here I’m his man. So definitely it’s a passion. I went to the meeting with her and I got excited. But I didn’t want to pay what she was charging, you know, it was always the money thing.

James: 22:32 – And I’ve been to a few different seminars, business seminars and stuff because as I said, I’ve always been passionate about business. And I think there’s a wealth of knowledge over there. We’ve got a few big ones today. We’ve got Mark Burns, he’s quite good to listen to. I spend a lot of time following Gary Vaynerchuk, Joe Monray from Australia as well. I saw this and I thought, you know what, if I’m going to do this, I’m not going to go with someone that’s going to charge me X amount that’s not in our industry and has to research our industry. So I looked through who was available at the time. And to be honest there was a few options out there, as we all know.

Mateo: 23:05 – Oh, there’s more every day.

New Speaker: 23:08 – Yeah, there is.

James: 23:09 – And I don’t think they can do it, which is funny because they all can’t do it, you know? Yeah, you can get nuggets off everyone. So if people I really like listen to this, you know what, we’re with Two-Brain, that’s cool, awesome. But there’s also, and I think you guys would as soon say it too, there’s little nuggets and wisdom everywhere. So take it and put it in as a whole, don’t just say hey Two-Brain’s eating a bit, which it is, but you’ve got other options, listen, listen, listen. So we just said, you know what? We need to do this. We want to take it from where we are and we want to turn this into a long-term future. And we had to do it because we were stagnant. When I say stagnant, we had initial growth like a lot of the CrossFit gyms do.

James: 23:46 – We had the initial growth. We had two gyms. We’re beating the head against the wall from the other gym, our Wangaratta. So, Tribe, it was struggling. It was falling behind our other gym. We just said, you know what? It’s time to make a change. So we needed to do something. Yeah, let’s do it. It hurt cause it was a lot of money. But it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. We now have systems in place. So the reason I did it is I wanted to move forward and take my gym to where I see it.

Mateo: 24:17 – And so we talked a little about the systems, the contracts, we talked about staffing. Let’s shift gears now to the marketing side of things. I know we were talking a little bit earlier, sounds like you were pretty skeptical, but how did it go?

James: 24:31 – -Skeptical is not the word, as we are speaking a bit earlier. Skeptical is definitely not the word with this. I like challenge.

Mateo: 24:38 – Flat-out resistance.

James: 24:42 – Yeah, I did. And you can ask Anastasia and my wife. We’re going through this process, Incubator process, and I’m like how many weeks in? I’m like, this is garbage. Like, oh yeah, great, fantastic, awesome. I’m getting back-of-house stuff put in place, putting my operations, procedures put in place. I’m like, I already knew all of these. This is to me 101 stuff. Dee’s like, well why haven’t you done it? Anastasia’s like why haven’t you done it then? I’m like, yeah, cool. All right, so I’ll do this. So I humored everybody. I took a bit of a pill and swallowed the pill and said, right, let’s do it. I’ll follow the process. I’ll do it. I’ll put all this structures, everything in place and I’m still like, this is not happening. Like I’m not seeing a return on investment.

James: 25:27 – I’m going backwards, like we lost a couple of members and you know what it’s like, no one wants to lose a member, blah, blah blah. And I’m still learning about finances and all that sort of stuff. And I’m saying that, it was like I was saying to you earlier, man, over here in Australia you have to do the conversion, right? It’s not $5,000 for us, it’s bloody eight, whatever it is. That’s a lot of money. And I just challenged it so many times and they said we’re not to the marketing, we’re not to the marketing, slow down and get the back of the house. I couldn’t see that. So we got on our call and we started it. And it was still like, oh my God. So advice out there for people that don’t know how to do the marketing side of things, the click funnels, the ads and all that sort of stuff. Do yourself a favor, if you don’t know it, go and hire someone that does.

Chris: 26:15 – Hello my friends. It is Chris Cooper here. Since 2009 I have been writing daily blog posts, producing podcasts, videos, all kinds of stuff on social media with one mission in mind: to make gyms profitable. I came to that mission because I was an unprofitable gym owner. It almost ruined my finances and almost ruined my career, my marriage, everything. And since that day, since I made my recovery, I have wanted to help other gym owners become profitable, too. It’s part of my mission to the world because if you’re profitable, you’ll be here changing lives of thousands of your clients for the next 30 years. I think together we can have a tremendous impact. When we started mentorship, I did every single call myself. I was doing up to a thousand free calls a year and I was doing 10 calls with people who signed up for our early mentorship program, but the Incubator has been updated and improved a dozen times since then. Now the Incubator is really the sum of all of our experiences with over 800 gyms worldwide. In the Two-Brain mentorship program, we can now learn from everybody. We can collate data, we can see what’s working where and when and what the new gold standards are as they emerge. When somebody has a great idea, we can test it objectively and say, “Will this work for everyone or will it work for people on the West Coast or on the East Coast?” We can do that with little things like Facebook ads. We can also do that with operations and opening times and playbooks. All the questions that you have about the gym, we can answer them with data and with proof now. That’s the Incubator. It’s more than what I wrote about. It’s more than my experience. It is the best standard in the fitness industry, period. And I hope to see you in there.

James: 27:57 – We thought we did. We thought spending $35 on a Facebook ad was gonna kind of bring us in 10 people and it’d bring in none and we now know why. We might as well have got $35 and just burned it because it doesn’t do anything. So it took us, to be honest, it took us eight weeks to actually get the ball rolling on the marketing side and this was the moneymaker and I still couldn’t see it. I just couldn’t grasp the fact that this was going to—we’ve done it before. Why is it not gonna work? All this sort of stuff. We did it, and was on a Friday night and we put it all together. We put out videos, and we didn’t just do your backyard videos, I spent a bit of money.

Mateo: 28:39 – Yeah. I want to highlight this. You took eight weeks to get the whole system set up. You know, it’s designed so you can move it pretty quickly. But you know, I think we’re skipping ahead. But I do think a big part of why you saw the results that you did was because you took the time to make your assets look professional. You got a program, video sales letter that looked good and clean and you invested a little bit more time and money into it. And I think that’s why you’re able to see, you know, exponentially different results. But keep going.

James: 29:10 – Yeah. Look, it’s one of those things guys. When you take your time, like I say, take your time when you’re doing it, it is a good point, but it’s—and I was talking about the process. And you just made a point there, Mateo, we did take our time. It’s a pretty simple process. Do you know what? I’m gonna argue that it’s not. It’s not a simple process and it might come across as a simple process to someone who’s done it before. For someone that hasn’t done that marketing sort of thing, it’s a scary process, and you’re gonna find that a lot of the guys that have gone through the Incubator our probably in our boat, they’re a one-man band, they’re doing it all themselves. When you’re trying to run a gym and you’re trying to do everything else you need, the Incubator, because it’s a lot of work as we know, it’s pretty intense. It’s not easy. And I want to say that so other guys that are doing the marketing stuff, it’s not easy. So if someone says it’s easy, it’s not easy. Don’t feel that if you’re not understanding this, don’t feel like you’re a failure, because it’s not easy. Go and get some advice. Get someone to, like you say, get someone to do it. Don’t just do what we were initially going to do and just say, let’s just hit click and go, take your time doing it. Ask the questions, get advice, spend a little bit of money. If it takes you a couple of weeks to save up a bit of cash. Get someone that knows what they’re doing cause that’s the best thing you going to do.

James: 30:33 – Save your click funnels, all that stuff. You know what man, I’m a coach. I’m not a guru. I don’t pretend to understand things I don’t understand. We’ve got a good general manager that loves this stuff now. We employed a videographer to come in and shoot some footage, but not only for the footage, that’s not just gonna be for the videos. What’s a No-Sweat Intro and what’s a walk through the gym, what’s our offer. That’s videos that we’re going to use in the future. So it serves a couple of purposes. So we got all that together. We’re sitting down on a Friday night, it was 7:30 over here. We hit go, I said to you, I still was skeptical at this stage. I was like, ah, whatever. It became a game.

James: 31:17 – I start watching the emails come through for No-Sweat Intros and I’m like, are you serious? By Monday, we’d had, seriously, it was the Monday or Tuesday of that week it might have been, we had seven No-Sweat Intros booked in. Now we hadn’t had six leads in six months. Like we had seven come in. And I was like, Whoa, Holy crap, this is exciting and I get excited about that, coming from a sales background. That’s exciting. And like it finally clicked why we put the prices in place. Why we put the No-Sweat Intro, why we don’t free trials anymore, all that sort of stuff, everything started to make sense. Yup. And it clicked. And I was like, OK, cool. We got seven in and I don’t know if you want me to go through this, but we’ll keep going on it in terms of—we got seven and I’m going to tell the story. We had seven No-Sweat Intros. I let my coach, he took them, and he got three of them out of the seven and he was still zero from three and I’m like oh. Being a sales person, I’m like, okay, I’ve got to give this guy a chance, but this is killing me here. So he’s seven in his first day, and he nailed zero.

James: 32:37 – So that’s a running joke now. Whether they were tire kickers or whether they were cold leads or whatever. Whatever we want to say, he didn’t nail any of them and that’s not his fault. He’s young. I haven’t trained him. I haven’t coached him. He’s not employed to do No-Sweat Intros, you know, like we wanted to teach him and I thought, well, you know what, who better to do it than the best person to do it? The salesperson. So I jumped in, too over and I said, right, let me show you how it’s done. I’ll put it out there. I said it to you earlier, it’s a game. It’s a challenge. So I get a buzz out of sales. It’s like seeing someone lose five kilos.

James: 33:14 – That’s what it’s like to me. It’s exciting times. So I took over, I nailed seven out of seven. So that conversion right went from 0% to 50% and I was still not happy about that. So I started taking these numbers and he’s at zero and I’ll started at the a hundred percent so he started to play a game. But that’s not to say that he won’t do them again, we just need to train him up. So guys out there some advice on that. Get your best salesperson in that position. OK, you get one shot with these guys, one shot. Convert them straight away.

Mateo: 33:52 – And then typically, like you said, if you’re a one-man band, that’s gotta be you. And if you’re not good at sales, you gotta get better at sales, especially before you turn these ads on. I want to talk to you a little bit more about that. You came from a sales background back in the day. Obviously operating your gym for seven years tou had to continue to do that. So you know, in your words, what is it that you sell? And how do you sell it?

James: 34:15 – I sell a service, it is a service. To me now it’s about results. So we sell results probably more than anything, we sell more results. We know going in, we’ve also learned through the whole process. So you’re getting them in, they’re requiring, we run our ads for 90 days of transformation. We’re selling a 90 days a transformation, but we’re not, because we’re getting them in for a No-Sweat Intro and they match up to that. And the first couple I actually did was, I can sell them up to a package, but I’ve got all these other things. So guys, when they come in from those leads, just cause they come in for 90 days of transformation, don’t just take it as that, take them to say I don’t want that. You’re doing a No-Sweat Intro, the reason why we do a No-Sweat Intro is to find a good fit for them and sell them not what you want. Sell them what they want. Yeah. Tell them what they want. They’re giving you the answers. If you’re using the template that we’re provided with, the questions are there, they’re telling you exactly what you want. So what you do is when you’re reading the answers on the form for the No-Sweat Intro, they’ve given you everything. Just my best advice is shut up, ask questions and listen. Cause they’re telling ya. And then when it comes time to selling them a package, you turn around and say hang on, these are your answers, not mine. And at the end of the No-Sweat Intro, this is the biggest thing anyone struggles with in sales, is the closing. Don’t be afraid. Get to the end of it, turn around and say well, how does that sound? Yeah, it sounds good, but—no no no buts, these your answers. Let’s do it. When are we doing our first PT? And just lock ’em in there. Don’t be afraid to ask it.

Mateo: 35:55 – So how do you handle objections or do you not have any, cause you’re just pre-framing and in the discovery phase you’re spending a lot of time so you’re not even dealing with those.

James: 36:07 – Yeah. The biggest objection you’re going to get and I think you’re find through a No-Sweat Intro regardless is time. They’re going to give you the time factor. And that’s time and motivation. So the two of the biggest things I also learned to—they give you money, like they give you money as a response, but you know what? You sell it to them properly it’s their answers, their help, money’s not even an issue in the end. It’s seriously not an issue. And to be honest, the first thing I do when I show my office is I turn around and say, your time is valuable so don’t waste your time. If you have a tire kicker there, you can find it whether they’re interested or not.

James: 36:48 – Go through the process, spend half the amount of time on it. Go straight to the price. Yeah. That’s what I do now. I go straight to the package. I didn’t tell him what package deal, I tell them the price. Look at their face, look at their expression. If I give you an expression is like, oh, it’s too expensive. They’re not going to say that. So you look at that and you go, oh, well they’re not interested in that price. You know what, you’ve just saved yourself 10 minutes by having to go through a package they’re not even interested in. So you go, OK, cool. Well we do have this other one here, yeah. And generally nine times out of 10 you say their face, it’ll change straight away. It’ll go, yeah. And you’ve gone, OK. Nailed it. Cool.

Mateo: 37:24 – That sigh of relief comes over them. Oh, there’s that. OK. I’ll take that one.

James: 37:30 – And you can see it. Sales is about—look, to be honest guys. Yes, we’re in the business of helping people, that’s cool, but they don’t know that they need to be helped. It’s our job to tell them they need to be helped. Yeah. And I guess you’ll ask a question about our financials and how we’ve gone all that sort of stuff. Sales is easy. Like Colm explained to me that No-Sweat Intros, did it come through the funnels? Regardless cold leads. Cause we have to do the work. They’re not actually being referred, so they’re not coming in cause I wanna join. Well I don’t call them cold leads anymore. They’re not cold leads. They’re warm leads. They’ve made the inquiry, yeah? So to me, they’re al warm leads. There’s no such thing as a cold lead to a certain degree.

James: 38:24 – It’s an excuse. Oh, I couldn’t convert them. It’s garbage. You should be converting. Yeah, you’re going to get your tire kickers, you’re not going to get rid of them, you’re gonna get that, but you should be converting 95% of your people that walk through that door. Yup. Because you know what, that’s money in your pocket. And we run a business. So if someone says, oh, it’s all about the money yeah, it’s about the money. Of course. If you haven’t got the money you can’t run a gym.

Mateo: 38:46 – Can’t keep the doors open for sure.

James: 38:50 – 100% man. You can’t help anyone. Yeah, it can be all right to be passionate, but if you don’t keep those doors open, you’re not getting people coming through the doors. Then why are we running a gym?

Mateo: 38:58 – It’s interesting that you’re saying that because when earlier you pressed me, when I said I try to lay this out as a simple process, you know and you’re like, no, it is hard for a lot of people. Sales is where they struggle the most. You know sales is—you’re saying it’s easy and I get your perspective because I say it too in my videos it’s like, they’ve raised their hand, they have said, hey, I need help, and they’ve given you their phone number. You can’t ask them to do much more than that. So I like the perspective on like these are the warmest things you can ask for, they’re volunteering their info; they’re volunteering themselves as tribute. But yeah, it’s hard when people sit down and then you know, they’re afraid to ask the question. Like you said, people are often afraid to ask that closing question, they’ll waffle on it, they’ll leave it ambiguous instead of just saying all right. Ready to get started.

James: 39:49 – Here’s my take on that, Mateo. styles. Salespeople aren’t made, salespeople are born.

Mateo: 39:57 – They’re born, huh?

James: 39:58 – If you can’t sell and you haven’t got the gift of the gab, you’re not going to get it. I don’t care how much I try. You’re born. Salespeople are born. And that comes out at an early age. Like I’ve always been the guy that’s been given a raffle book, right. James, go out and sell this raffle book and then I’m the one that comes back and asks for another five because I’ve sold that one. Yup. So salespeople aren’t made. You can’t teach someone to sales, you can’t give someone the confidence to do that, if they haven’t got it, they haven’t got it, so my advice is, guys, your No-Sweat Intro person should be the best salesperson you’ve got. Now I’m putting my hand up. I’m fairly confident in myself. And I don’t mind saying that. I come across cockey.

James: 40:45 – And that’s cool. But you know what, I get results when it comes to sales. But, in saying that too, I don’t do my lead nurture on the phone. Yeah. And I’m saying you put the best person, that’s what we’ve been taught. You put the best person for that job. I’m not that good on the phone. I can do it; I don’t feel as comfortable on the phone. So I’ve handed that over to my general manager. She does all lead nurtures. She does the follow0ups. She does the hey, you’ve opted in but you haven’t given us the details and such. You haven’t signed up for a No-Sweat Intro, would you like to? She does that because she’s got good phone manner. But then put her in front of someone, no. Like she learns and listens from me. But you can’t teach that, you know? So guys, if you’re not good at it, put somebody in because you don’t want to be me and have seven walk out the first day and no sign-ups because the person wasn’t experienced.

Mateo: 41:37 – I think the part of that that I definitely agree with is sales is, you know, it’s a battle of wills and you have to have conviction and confidence, and you’re right, if you are naturally not that confident of a person, it’s going to be a lot harder to cultivate that. And so yeah, if you’re born, you know, you came up as a more confident person or having more conviction than yes, sales will then definitely be—cause that’s a big part of sales for sure. Yeah, for sure. For sure. Alright then we’re getting close to the end of time here, but since we’re on the topic of sales, how did we finish off the campaign? So I know we started off, didn’t have the right person in the right seat. You took over. What happened?

James: 42:25 – Well, I took over and I said, right, I’m gonna show you how it’s done. And we talk about putting ourselves in high-paid jobs and trying to offload low-paying jobs. I sort of started thinking, well, you know what, this is a pretty high-paying job.

Mateo: 42:36 – Yeah, pretty high right now. Yeah, for sure.

James: 42:38 – It’s like, OK, cool. These front-end offers are making me a bit of money. So why not just put yourself in that position? Yeah. So all of a sudden the leads started to come through and now we’re coming through. It works people, it works. Trust me, they know what they’re doing, these guys. Hit go and be ready to go. If you’ve got the right marketing material, which you will have because it gets looked over before it goes live, it works. So trust your mentoring people that are doing it, your marketing guys. Trust, you guys because it works. Be ready though. Have your systems in place because I can tell you, for the first three weeks—it’s slowed off a little bit now, which we expected. And that’s always going to happen.

James: 43:19 – Over that five weeks, I think we’ve had 70 contacts. So 70 hits, we looked last night and I didn’t think it was that many and I was a bit disappointed. There were some other figures, but it’s 70 actual leads. I’ve had 30, roughly 307-41, I’m not quite sure, give or take, actual No-Sweat Intros in these five weeks. The first three weeks they were coming, I could have five a day back to back to back. You know, it was pretty full-on there for a little bit. Out of that we’ve converted—we had 37 No Sweats, we had 31 actual turn up. So we’ve had about eight or nine no-shows, which is frustrating. But we all get it. Colm, he’s given us some tips there to ring the night before, all that sort of stuff.

James: 44:06 – And we get that done now. So we’re trying to reduce that, but you’re never gonna stop that. So we’ve actually had 31 turn up taking out what my first coach did. We’ve now converted, out of that 31, we’ve converted, was 22, I converted another one last night and I’ve got one in about half an hour’s time, which I’ll convert that as well. I’m going to tell that here now. So we’ve converted 23, so I’ve had 23 converts now. They varied from the packages, different types of packages. They’ve done PTs, the nutrition consults, normal classes. But they’ve all come form the Facebook marketing. So we’ve converted 20, 23, now. So front-end offers for a five-week period$, 21,500 we have generated, front-end offers for a 13-week period.

James: 45:00 – Taking out staff costs, so using the new system, on the dashboard, I think it’s cost us right around $6,000 in staff wages for the 13 weeks. That’s taking out Dee’s wage as well, which we obviously don’t have to pay. We’re putting in the calculations to make it fair. Ad spend, $200 a week, it’s 200 Australian so that’s $215 dollar Aussie, they were like, that’s a lot of money. We haven’t got that. Well you know what? Find it. I’m tight, I don’t like spending money as we know, but I was concerned, I’m like, how are we going to make this back? So we spent 1,015 over the five weeks, we still have three days this week, so 1,015, so overall actual gross profit taking away the cost of advertising, I think we’re $14,000 up of profit, it’s massive man. It’s well and surely paid me back on top of what we’d already increased the business from the other changes. So not just the loan. So we’ve calculated $80,000 a year has added in front-end offers per year. And then overall, I think since we’ve been with you guys, we’re up, I think, you know, our turnover now has increased over $100,000 per year.

Mateo: 46:15 – And that’s not just—you know, if your LEG is four years, you know, you take those new people, even if it’s half that amount of time that these people that stay, all that back end is for the thousand you spent on ads, you know, it’s pretty good.

James: 46:31 – It’s nothing. So guys, don’t be afraid. If all of a sudden that your leads start drying up a little bit on Facebook, don’t panic too much. They do dry up, they slow down, initially you have a big kick for the first two, three weeks then it slows down, that does slow down a little bit. Now we’re probably average in four No-Sweat Intros a week at the moment. So you need to convert them. We’ll say four for four this week. I tell my staff number one? Hey look, it’s all a numbers game. The more you can convert guys, and it’s a game. It becomes fun. The biggest thing I want to tell people on that one there is though and I think you guys would appreciate this, we had the staff meeting last night and it was all about member attention, cause there’s no point in just getting these guys down for 13 weeks, that’s not what it’s about, yeah. It’s about a process, following these guys through from the start to the finish. We do five PT sessions over a three-week period to get them started, to take them through on-ramp. We also have their second week a nutrition consult. Week 6 they’ve got another nutrition consultant and check-in, like I guess a goal-setting. Then Week 10 of it, they sit down with me for another basically goal-setting, No-Sweat Intro again cause it is, it’s another No-Sweat Intro to say hey, we got two weeks left. Where are we going from here? So it’s our job now to keep those members.

Mateo: 47:59 – I couldn’t have said it better than that. I think that’s so important. It’s beyond just the front end, like the front end, even if you lose money on it, you’re not right now, but even if you do, you know, as long as you can retain people then it’s all worth it.

James: 48:12 – Yeah, you got it. It’s a long-term game man.

Mateo: 48:15 – Yeah. I want to make sure you have time for that No-Sweat you got coming up. But, before we peace out here, you know, you’ve been around for seven years. You’ve grown from the backyard gym to, you know, where you’re at now, in just the past five weeks, you’ve added an extra 21,000 in front-end, 14 in profit. So what do you think has been your key to success so far?

James: 48:45 – Spending money.

Mateo: 48:49 – OK. I haven’t heard that one. I haven’t heard that one. That’s awesome.

James: 48:54 – Yeah. Spending money. And when I say spending money, spend it when you’ve got it, and spend it in the right places. Don’t be afraid if you can to hire staff that are better at the jobs than you are. And I think, open up your eyes to what’s available. And also open up your services. And guys, if you’re thinking about doing it, the InBody scanner, I toyed with it three years ago and for us over here, we’ve got the InBody 570, for us over here we pay $35,000 for the machine. Again, it’s all relative. Invest in it. Seriously. Do it. Invest in that because it opens up so many avenues in terms of what you got to offer. Because if you’ve got the InBody scanner machine, you can actually sell your nutrition consults based on that. Yeah. And PT. PT, PT; it’s good money.

Mateo: 49:55 – So it sounds like invest in yourself, invest in your business, keep learning and keep rocking and rolling.

James: 50:03 – Yeah. Keep enjoying what you’re doing.

Mateo: 50:06 – Well James, this has been absolute pleasure. If people want to talk to you or if people want to drop in when they’re down under, where can they find you?

James: 50:14 – So, it is a good question. I don’t even handle this side of stuff now. Tribe Mvmnt, we’re on Instagram, so just Tribe Mvmnt, we’re on Facebook, just Tribe Mvmnt, jump on our website and had a look, again, we’ve freelanced all that cause it’s very important obviously as we’ve been taught. So yeah, Tribe Mvmnt, jump on, check us out. Always welcome for people to drop in or even send me a DM, I love business. So you got any questions guys, send them through, happy to help.

Mateo: 50:47 – Awesome man. Thanks, James.

James: 50:51 – No worries.

Greg: 50:53 Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Make sure to subscribe to receive the most up-to-date episodes wherever you get your podcasts from. To find out how we can help create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

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