Two-Brain Radio: Expanding Beyond CrossFit With John Bartholomeo

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Mateo: 00:02 – Hey, it’s Mateo of Two-Brain Marketing. On this edition of the Two-Brain Marketing podcast, I’m talking with John Bartholomew from Mohawk Valley wellness. You’ll learn about his experience and what it was like to rebrand his gym. You’ll also learn about his advertising system and how he signed up 33 new members in less than eight weeks, 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: 00:24 – 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 We would like to think one of our amazing partners, Healthy Steps Nutrition. Are you struggling with creating a nutrition program from scratch? What about looking to save time on building another revenue stream? Are you looking for ongoing support on growing your program? HSN has built an amazing service to help guide you in building your very own nutrition program. They start with an on-boarding training course that gives you one-on-one time with a mentor that’ll help you build a nutrition program, not only to help you with additional revenue, but help your members reach their goals. They’ve helped over 400 gyms build profitable nutrition programs. Go to to check out their free resources and to book your free call today.

Mateo: 01:22 – Hello and welcome to the Two-Brain marketing podcast. I’m your host Mateo Lopez. I’m one of the digital marketing mentors at Two-Brain Business. Thanks for tuning in. This is your weekly dose of digital marketing magic. And in today’s episode we have a very special guest, John Bartholomew, owner of CrossFit Mohawk Valley, now Mohawk Valley Wellness. You’ll learn about his experience, the rebrand and how he used the techniques from the marketing system to grow different programs within his business. So John, how’s it going?

John: 01:56 – Great, amazing, beautiful day here in upstate New York.

Mateo: 02:00 – Awesome. Yeah. Well now that you brought up upstate New York, tell us a little about who you are, where you’re from and a little bit about your business.

John: 02:11 – Awesome. So we have run our business for eight years here in February and we’re in central New York. So everybody hears in New York and they think New York City, that’s not the case. We’re about four hours outside of New York City in what we would call, you know, a suburban area, Utica, New York. And we’ve been going at it for eight years. We started as a CrossFit, much like most people do, in a garage. And then we went to 1,300 square feet and then we went to 8,000 square feet. And then we just continued to expand and expand and expand. And then like you touched on, we had a rebranding about two years ago to Mohawk Valley Wellness because we realized that we had more under our roof than just CrossFit. And at that time it made sense to have a bigger umbrella to cover all these different programs. So that’s where we’re at.

Mateo: 02:59 – Awesome. Eight years, man. Congratulations on that alone. That’s a feat in and of itself. What was it like in those early days in the garage? Tell us a little about trying to grow from out of a garage and then how things changed once you moved to a physical location.

John: 03:18 – Yeah, that’s a great question because in the beginning for us, it was easy. It was super easy.

Mateo: 03:23 – Even out of a garage, it was easy?

John: 03:23 – Yeah. Even literally out of the garage, it was easy. And then out at the first location it was easy. And then, you know, as time went on and there were more gyms in the area, there’s more competition, there are other options for people, it became harder. It really did. And then we had also built a great reputation for our CrossFit program, but these other programs that we were developing and trying to bring new members into, we were really struggling to do that because again, there was lots of other competition and we were really, really relying on the reputation we built for one program. Long time ago, it was always easy; open the doors and men and women were walking in left and right. And then, you know, word of mouth was great and then, you know, we wanted to push these new programs, but there’s nobody in there to do word of mouth for those programs. We really struggled to find a good systematic, reliable way to bring men and women into these new programs.

Mateo: 04:20 – Awesome. And so, yeah, I mean, I think that’s happening with—that has happened and will continue to happen as time goes on because, you know, especially in New York, too, where, you know, there’s all these different concepts and different franchises opening up. I mean, the growth of Orange Theory Fitness alone and F45, I mean, even excluding that, there’s still so many other people opening up garage gyms and starting from scratch like you were and then trying to do what you did, I think because of the growth of CrossFit and functional fitness and all this stuff. So yeah, I mean, if you type in any one of the gyms we all own in the Two-Brain family, if you type in the location on Google Maps, you’ll probably see 20, 30 gyms, different gyms, just all around them. And so, yeah, I think—and if you’re in a small suburban, not small, but if you’re in a suburban area like a town in upstate New York, yeah, you’re probably not dealing with, you know, a million people that you can choose from, right? Like how many—what’s the population density where you’re at?

John: 05:24 – If we were to go 10 miles it’s probably 60,000, 90,000. So it’s not super, super small, but it’s definitely not, we’re not looking at millions.

Mateo: 05:33 – And then are there other CrossFits around you?

John: 05:36 – There are, right? So even in this, you know what I would call maybe a smaller density. There’s three to four different CrossFit boxes within a 10-minute drive along with your traditional big box gyms right? Some non-affiliated training-type gyms. So even in a market there’s plenty of competition.

Mateo: 06:00 – So that’s probably 10 right there without even having to look on Google for 50, 60,000 people. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s really tough. But yeah, it sounds like you still found your groove and are still continuing to grow. You’ve been around for eight years. How long have you been with Two-Brain?

John: 06:17 – We’ve been with Two-Brain since, when was the Summit? This summer. Was it June or July?

Mateo: 06:24 – It was June.

John: 06:24 – So, June. You know, interestingly enough, I think I was probably one of the few people that said, “Hey, you know what I’m going to do? I’m gonna fly out to Chicago and we’ll see what these Two-Brain guys are all about and I’m going to bring my general manager with me and we’re gonna sit right up front.” And within the first hour or two of being there, I was like, I need to work with these guys. They’re legit. The whole thing is legit. This is something that I should have done a long time ago. So since June. And it’s been a phenomenal ever since.

Mateo: 06:51 – I mean that’s, that’s awesome. And you’re not the only one. A lot of people fly in for it who aren’t in the Two-Brain-o-sphere, so that’s cool. So, but eight years on your own, did you at any point try to pursue some kind of business coaching along the way or was it kind of you just survived until this point and then decided to take the plunge?

John: 07:15 – We had worked with some other companies and I wasn’t super thrilled with professionalism, was something that some of them lacked, and yeah, I had worked with one or two before and I was not over the moon with the service they provided. And one of my things is I’m always looking for mentorship. I’m always looking for somebody that can teach me something, but I also want it to be done in a professional and well-organized manner. And you know, the companies I worked with before, they didn’t really provide that.

Mateo: 07:49 – And so what was the kind of motivation, I mean, I know you said you’re always looking for coaching, but what was the real catalyst that was like, I gotta buy this ticket to go to the Summit and see what they’re about?

John: 08:00 – I think it was realizing that we were coming up on eight years in business. We had a lot of framework. We have a large, amazing physical building, lots of equipment. We’ve got a great staff, but there was a lot of little holes, a lot of things that we needed to tighten up, right? There was a lot of things that needed to be squared away, improved upon and going out and just seeking, you know, some guidance on that. Some mentorship was massive to help with that. Right? We had an existing structure, the existing framework, the existing membership base, but there were just tweaks that I knew in my head, like, this can be done better. This should be done. It needs to be done better. So I’m going to go out and see what these guys have to offer and see if I feel like they’re gonna help me tighten everything up. And I said all right, time to book the ticket. And I definitely don’t regret it.

Mateo: 08:53 – Awesome. And tell me a little bit more about the—well I have a question for you, a different question kind of, but it came to mind when you were talking about you know, your staff. What has been your kind of key to longevity? Like you’ve been around for eight years. How do you continue to have staff buy-in? How do you continue to have member buy-in? What do you think, you know, is the secret sauce there?

John: 09:23 – I think it’s the basics of any business, right? You’re going to hear this with anything is the relationship-building. Right? And for me that has to be my relationship with the GM and my relationship with all our staff. And then the staff and the coaches and the gym need to know that their role is the relationship maintaining and building the relationship with the members. Because with our facility, there’s two to three, sometimes four different programs going at the same time. I physically can’t be there building, maintaining relationships in four spots at one time. You can’t do it in two spots at one time. So really communicating that to the general manager, to our staff and saying, “Hey look, you guys are—remember what I used to coach your class and I would come up and ask you how your day was and would just really get to know you and really show that I care about you as a member. Well, you guys are now John, you guys need to do that for me, right? I need you guys building and maintaining those relationships.” So when I sit down, which I do, sit down with our members and say, “Hey look, you know, what do you love about our business?” One of the first things every single time is that they get greeted by name and that we know more than, you know, what their deadlift is. We know that Mary is a high-school principal and we ask her how the school year’s going and just, you know, the basics of business for anybody, whether you’re an electrician or own a gym, building and maintaining those relationships. But as the business has grown, and I can’t be in every single spot at one time, I have to make sure that that is passed down as like, this is 101, this is like one of the most important things is making sure that these men and women that come through the door are treated more than, you know, more than a number and you know them and you make sure they know that.

Mateo: 11:18 – And is this done through like any kind of, you know, weekly meeting with your staff or is this done with one-on-one meetings with them? How do you make sure to keep those lines of communication open so that you’re keeping tabs on the relationship you’re forming with your staff?

John: 11:34 – That wasn’t one of the biggest things that I immediately took away from the Summit was literally when the speaker was presenting about hey, look, you guys gotta be in touch with your staff. I started scheduling sit-downs with the coaches because I had become sporadic. I had become, hey, I’ll do a quarterly meeting with all the coaches. We’ll sit down and we’ll see how things are going with them in the gym, outside of the gym. And then fast forward it’s 18 months later and I haven’t done it. So we do quarterly sit-downs with the coaches where it’s myself and the coach and we’re just going through, hey, what’s going on inside the gym? What’s going on outside of the gym? What can we do for you? You know, just checking in with the coach. And doing that now two quarters in a row has been awesome, has been great. And then below that, then we do a quarterly coaches meeting where everybody comes in all together at the same time. And we just did something that’s kind of cool for the first time maybe two or three weeks ago was we did a coaches clinic where I brought in all of the coaches and I ran the class and said, look guys, if you want to know what’s in my head as far as what a really well-run class is, I’m gonna run you through one. And, you know, I’ll kinda pause and explain why did I do that? Okay. Resume, right. And have them as the members and me as—so, yes, absolutely. Having at least scheduled times and actually doing it has been a massive, that was one of the first things that I took away from being out in Chicago.

Mateo: 13:08 – That was awesome. That was my next question, but you answered it, so it’s perfect. Tell me a little bit more about the way your gym operates and the different programs. And I guess when you went from just offering CrossFit to starting offering other things and how that kind of grew as time went on.

John: 13:27 – Awesome. So the space we went into—we’ve moved twice. We went from 1300 square feet to maybe about 8,000 square feet when we moved. And that was about six years ago. And believe it or not, when I went to that space, I’m like, man, I’ll never—this is too big. I’m scared. I’ll never outgrow this. And then we were growing and growing and growing. And the way that space was set up was it was essentially two big rooms; two really, really big rooms. And we used one for CrossFit basically throughout the entire day. The other room we used for some auxiliary, you know, some rowing, fundamentals, things along those lines. And then the CrossFit program grew and grew and grew and grew. And we had the opportunity with our space to expand in two directions.

John: 14:20 – Right. So it went from, hey, you have one service offering, which is essentially a group class, which is CrossFit. And then we expanded 3000 square feet in one direction and then like 3000 square feet in another direction. And we launched two new programs at the same time, which was wild and crazy and challenging. And now after a couple of years has finally kind of come full circle. But what happened was we had a lot of members that love CrossFit, but we knew that there was a market out there for men and women that didn’t want to deadlift, didn’t want to overhead squat. That said, “Hey look, I want to train in a group setting. I know that I probably could benefit from dropping 20, 30 pounds. You guys seem to have this great reputation for what you do. My friends come here, but I don’t want to back squat and I don’t want to do that.”

John: 15:13 – So, you know, we had been watching the market and watching men and women do non-barbell type classes. So the big one that we had launched was our MV Fitness, Mohawk Valley Fitness, and it’s much like what other people run. It’s very, very similar to a CrossFit class minus the barbell, minus high-level gymnastics. And there’s a lot more longer steady-state conditioning in there. Men and women love it, men and women love it. But where we struggled was to get anybody that was existing to try it out and we really struggled to get anybody coming through the door to go into it. We really struggled for a long time. I actually tried to give it away. This is how bad we were. We tried to give it away during New Year’s time and we couldn’t give away a gym membership at New Year’s time. We’re like, all right. Something’s wrong. This is not working. We can’t give away a gym membership at New Year’s? So we started to say, OK, there’s gotta be a better way. There’s gotta be something to go at it. But yeah, we struggled to get men and women into that program for a while.

Mateo: 16:13 – So you have your CrossFit class, it sounds like you have your, I guess we’ll call it a CrossFit lite, MV Fitness, whatever class, and I guess the rest of the space is used for auxiliary stuff?

John: 16:26 – So we talked about, there’s another space that we had to expand and build out and we have a kids program. We have high-school soccer. I mean we have basically two to three large revenue-producing programs and then we have a lot of smaller ones that are a little bit more specialty. We have a collegiate-level soccer coach who has a soccer program in there. So there’s a lot of other smaller auxiliary programs.

Mateo: 16:54 – Wow. So you have like your three big ones and then you’re cycling in I guess seasonal or whatever, specialty courses. How do you—who manages all that? How does that all happen?

Chris: 17:04 – Hey guys, it’s Chris Cooper. If you’ve ever run out of money, you know that it affects every single corner of your life, all of your relationships, your business, even your self-worth. And so when I found a mentor in 2009, I said, I want to share this gift with everyone. Since then, I’ve been building and refining and improving a mentorship practice that we now call Two-Brain Business. We break our mentorship into several stages. The first stage is the Incubator, which is a 12-week sprint to get your foundation built, to get you started on retention and employee programs and finding the best staff, putting them in the best roles, training them up to be successful, and then recruiting more clients. It’s an amazing program. It is the culmination of over a decade of work. It’s also the sum of best practices from over 800 gyms around the world. These aren’t just my ideas anymore. What we do is track with data what’s working for whom and when, and we test new ideas against that data to say, is this actually better? Then when ideas have proven themselves conclusively, then we put it in our Incubator or Growth or Tinker programs. I just wrote “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” to define who should be doing what in what stage of entrepreneurship. But no matter where you are, the Incubator is your first 12-week sprint to get as far as possible in your business. We’re a mentorship practice for one reason: Mentorship is what works. We work with gym owners for one reason: Because you have the potential to change the world with us, and I hope you do.

John: 18:33 – That’s between myself and the general manager. That’s why bringing Christie on, who is our general manager, has been massive. Right? Because, you know, I look at a lot of the gyms that are in Two-Brain and I look and you know, the majority of them, I don’t know, but I would think the majority of them are just running a CrossFit box and you know, they’ve got that, which in itself is, believe me in itself is a plenty of enough of a challenge. But then let’s throw in there a massive new program plus four small programs. Plus we have two subleases with people inside of the building. So there’s a lot to manage and take care of. And for six years I did it all by myself. And at that turning point with the massive expansion and growth, I was like, all right, I can’t. I cannot physically do this myself anymore.

John: 19:23 – And we brought her on, so she helps a ton with that. She takes a lot off my plate so that I can step back and kind of look at everything from a little bit higher up.

Mateo: 19:33 – How big is the facility again?

John: 19:35 – The actual square footage is about 13,000 square feet. The layout is very, very conducive. It works really well for the way that we do things because it’s almost sectioned off and partitioned off in 24 or 2,500 square foot squares. So you can run, like, tomorrow’s Friday, right? So with the Open kicking off tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m. there will be a large group all excited to kick into the Open. In another portion of the building at the same exact time will be an MV Fitness class, which will be going, in another portion of the building will be a—we have a program called Co-movement, which is a lot of body weight, that’ll be going. At any given time there could be a PT or a one-on-one or a fundamental, so it works really well versus having a 13,000-square-foot rectangle where all of these things are trying to go at the same time and you’re battling over music. And so they’re almost partitioned off just enough where it almost feels like it’s all a separate entity, but it’s not, you don’t have to like walk outside to go to the other piece. So the layout has worked really well to allow us to run multiple programs at the same time. Interesting side piece of that too, for retention, is that we’ve had men and women that have done CrossFit for six, seven years. They’ve said, hey look, I want a breather from the barbell, and we’ll let them go kick into MV Fitness. So instead of saying, hey, look, John, you know, I’m just going to put my membership on hold and we never see them ever again, they say, hey, you know what, this is really cool. I can plug into MV Fitness and I can still get a great workout. I can still see the coaches that I love, still see the same people. So it’s almost—not almost, it’s definitely helped with keeping men and women that have not—they’re maybe a little tired, maybe a little beat up from CrossFit to stay with us. And on the other side of it, now that we’ve utilized marketing to a much better capacity, we’ve had men and women that will come in and join our MV Fitness program that will then come out front and do CrossFit that would have never signed up if the only thing you had was CrossFit. So it’s been interesting. Definitely been a challenge, but it’s been interesting to see that too.

Mateo: 21:55 – So then in your own words, what is it that you sell and how do you sell it?

John: 22:02 – From the really really top, I sell smiles and laughter. Because I think we know that if people, you know, get into a good routine, they’re around amazing people and start to eat better and exercise, they’re going to smile, laugh more. But right if you came in—somebody came in and we’re gonna sit down and talk about nutrition first, right. Personal training, then into group class. And that’s something that Two-Brain has helped us with a lot, right? Because we always had fundamentals. But we never really touched on the nutrition piece. We’d kind of be like, oh, just do that, you know, come back to us and do it at some point. So the way it works now is somebody sees our marketing, they come in and we have a really nice process. We have a really nice system.

John: 22:48 – I’ve worked with Sherman, Sherman’s been the man, has absolutely helped me knock it out of the park. Where we sit down and essentially explain to them, hey look, you know, the first thing we ask them, well one of the first things is what’s your goal? What do you want to do? And the most common answer is, I want to lose 10, 20, 30, 40 pounds. That’s, you know, eight, nine, 10 out of 10. And you know, that’s what we’re hearing the most, right? So then we have to explain to them, OK, great, we can absolutely help you with that. And the best way to do it is to sit down and start with nutrition. So we basically go through five PT sessions. One of them is on nutrition and then they’ve got a month of a group class tied into that. And that system has worked much, much better than what we’ve done in the past; substantially better.

Mateo: 23:35 – -So are you filtering people and prescribing based on what they’re talking about? Like, hey, you’re going to go into this one, or hey, you’re gonna go into this one?

John: 23:45  Correct. So that’s another really nice thing about having these multiple programs is that we can, number one, we can see what the member—so we just had the other day somebody came in and they’re like, CrossFit, CrossFit, CrossFit, CrossFit. All this person wanted to do is CrossFit. Okay, we know where you’re going to go. You’re still going to do nutrition. We’re still going to do personal training before we get you into CrossFit. But you’re going to end up in the CrossFit group class, you came in with your nanos and metcons on, you already know, okay, great. But a prospective member, Mary comes in and she doesn’t know CrossFit from anything and her main goal is she wants to lose 30 pounds. It’s probably going to be a better fit to put her into an MV Fitness or a movement program and allow her to, number one, just get back into the routine of things of getting into a gym three days a week.

John: 24:40 – Really focus on that nutrition, get her to lose eight, 10, 15 pounds and maybe over time she realizes, hey, that CrossFit stuff isn’t so scary. There’s men and women out there my age and my ability level doing it every single day, and maybe she transfers into CrossFit. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she stays in MV Fitness for six years and that’s her route. She loves it. She hit her goal, she’s lost 20 pounds, but she’s not trying to chase a back-squat PR and she’s in the facility having a great time. So it allows us to number one, help the member go into a program that we think will be the better fit for them, which as a business owner, helps us, because if we just plug her into the wrong program too fast, too aggressively, she’s probably not going to stay very long, which doesn’t help. It doesn’t help her and it doesn’t help the business.

Mateo: 25:30 – Beautiful. And I mean I think that’s the way you have to do it, right? Because for those—exactly. For Mary who doesn’t know the difference between CrossFit or MV Fitness, it doesn’t matter then, you know. So for you, your job is you need to, you know, prescribe the right program that’s gonna get her to lose the 30 pounds she wants to lose. And for the first guy, he may have come in with his Nanos, but you need to still put him through that one-on-one training because you don’t know where he was working out before and you don’t know who told him to get those knee sleeves, but he probably doesn’t need them. So you got to put him through your own kind of movement assessment and one-on-one training so that you know what you’re working with. So then kind of last last couple of questions here as we’re nearing the end of time, walk us through the paid-advertising system that you set up through the Two-Brain Marketing system. So you mentioned before we started recording, you’ve used this system to advertise some of your auxiliary programs as well. So walk us through that and then walk us through the results that you were able to seize in the system.

John: 26:37 – All right. So before I started working with you guys, it was very sporadic. It was really hit or miss, more miss than hit and not educated on it. Right? So believe it or not, through mentorship and education, things get much, much better. So we’ve built out our Facebook marketing, right? We have our pictures, we have our ad content that are consistently generating leads. So we’ll go back to prospective Mary, you know, Mary’s on Facebook on lunch break, she sees the photo, she sees the ad content that says, hey, come in for a six-week challenge. And she clicks on it, right? Takes her to the landing page. Landing page has our success stories, our testimonials, lots of pictures of men and women from our facility that have lost 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 pounds. I think there’s like six to 10 of them on there.

John: 27:30 – Everything from school teachers and between. She says, hey, let’s get started. It’s going to grab her information. It’s going to plug into our Google sheet, which is really nice. As soon as it goes in that Google sheet, two people instantly know about it. Christie and my general manager and myself, the task of reaching out to them is delegated to Christie. So Christie knows, bam. It’s on that Google sheet. She fires a phone call. Hey, Mary, super excited. We saw you clicked on our ad for the six-week challenge. We’re super excited to get you in and you know, can you come in today, tomorrow? She’s done an amazing job of that. We have it color coded so we know, you know, of Mary says, “Never call me again!” OK, we know that. Or she says, yeah, “I’m coming in tomorrow at 2:15,”

John: 28:10 – I can look at it so I can check in on it and make sure it’s working well. Christine makes the appointments, either for myself or Christie predominantly do the majority of sales. So prospective Mary has an appointment tonight at 5:45, I know that I’m going to be there to greet her at the door. I’m also, if it’s my appointment, I’m going to send her, I think it was Brian did a video yesterday talking about like are these people excited to come into your facility? Right. So I’ve been doing that for, since we kicked it off, I’m like, I’ll send her, “Hey Mary,” an actual photo message. “Hey Mary, it’s John from Mohawk Valley Wellness, super excited to meet you tonight. Look for this big sign.” And I’ll like go outside and point to the sign. “Look for the big sign. I’m super excited to meet you.”

John: 28:47 – And then I’ll be there to meet her at the door, greet her. Bring her into our office. The office is nice and clean. It’s not cluttered. It’s really a nice professional setting. Sale binder is on the table, but what’s opened up is it’s opened up to a page that has the InBody and the meal plan. So she’s looking at things that she probably wants, right? Not a massive page of numbers that’s going to scare her the second she sits down. And we just go through and ask her, hey, number one, how’d you hear about us? Number two, do you know anything about our program? Do you know anybody that’s here? And then we just go through, hey, what we need to know from her. We walk her back through it and I say, awesome, Mary, you know what you told me was ABCDEFG, here’s the best thing for you.

John: 29:28 – And we just go through, hey, here’s personal training. Here’s the six-week challenge. And it’s worked really, really well. We were discussing before this coming up on probably six weeks, seven weeks of running consistent ads, and the process in place with little tweaks along the way. And I think we’re at 32 to 33 new members, which has allowed us to plug them into the programs that needed a little injection of life, because our MV Fitness program, we filled that for a while and now we want to say, okay, let’s bring some members into CrossFit. So it allows us as long as, like you said, as long as those members belong in that program and can move well, it allows us to do that. But it’s been nice to know that we have the ability to systematically increase ads, if we need to, turn them down, and then hit the nail on the head as far as, OK, can we get the men and women to actually show up for the appointments? If they show up, how are we doing as far as closing and then can we fulfill ’em?

John: 30:26 – And one of the biggest things that you guys have helped me with has been the tracking of the metrics, right? All right, well John, well how many leads did it generate? OK, it generated a hundred leads. Okay, we need to know this stuff. And that has been a massive game changer for us is the actual tracking and everyday looking at the metrics, like I have a checklist I go through every morning and one of them is to look at Facebook leads, new leads from last night, and then what are those leads costing me? And then I can look up above it and see how are we doing. Just color-coded. Is there a lot of red on that Google sheet? Is there a lot of green? Is there a lot? You know, what’s going on? So it allows us to know, track and measure what’s going on with are ads. Are we just hoping or are we being successful? Are we being super successful? Are we somewhere in the middle? So that’s been massive. That’s a game changer.

Mateo: 31:13 – That’s awesome. And it sounds like you’re following the process to a T, which I love to hear. So that’s great. And something that you said that I wanted to highlight again was you have your sales binder open to a specific page where it has the InBody stuff and the nutrition content. And I think that’s awesome. Like you want to have someone walk in and be able to sit down and see that and then not have them sweat. But like, you know, you’re kind of priming them for and setting the tone for the rest of the intro, and having it in front of them I think is awesome.

John: 31:47 – Another thing that we do is we have our InBody just outside of my office where we do the general amount of sales and I have a success board in front of the InBody that’s got 50 men and women with an average weight loss of like 30 pounds. So when Mary comes down, I say, Mary, grab a seat real quick. I’m going to grab a water. Would you like one? So I give Mary about two minutes to sit there and look at 50 men and women that have done exactly what she’s coming through the door for. So she now her head is saying this is the right decision. If I’m here to lose 20 or 30 pounds, there’s a lot of men and women who look just like me that lost 20,30, 50, 70 pounds. And there’s some young men and women that have lost 10 pounds and some hundred-plus pound weight loss. It gives her that assurance that, hey, if she says I want to sign up, that she’s making the right decision before we even start talking.

Mateo: 32:38 – Yeah. That was so key, having that little waiting area where they’re just staring in front of the testimonials while they’re waiting for you is I think so critical to the sales process. And like, I know there are some people listening who like maybe don’t have the office size or the space, but like you gotta construct something, some version of what John’s got because it’s gonna help your sales process, whether you’re doing paid ads or whether you’re not. It’s going to help your closing percentage immensely. Setting the tone and having that wall of, you know, social proof is critical. And so I guess then, it sounds like what you’re saying is you keep the advertisements and the landing page vague enough so that when they walk in, you’re able to funnel that prospect into whether it’s your MV Fitness that needs more bodies or your CrossFit class needs more bodies, you’re able to kind of steer them, because they don’t know six weeks of what, and you’re the one who’s basically telling them that, correct?

John: 33:39 – Absolutely. 100% right. I think the actual verbiage in there does, it may say CrossFit, but I also know that if somebody comes in and says, if I say, hey, what’s your goal? And they say, lose 20, 30 pounds, everybody in the fitness industry should probably know that nutrition and sleep are going to be massively crucial. Whether you plug somebody into CrossFit, MV Fitness, co-movement, that’s kind of secondary. So really what are you going to do to help this person hit their goal? Right. And if, you know, like I said, if somebody came in with preconceived notion that I want to go into this program, then unless there’s an major reason that they shouldn’t, then okay we can, but 80, 90% of the time we’re making the decision for them as we conclude the session and say, all right, awesome. You know, Tanya, I’m going to have a coach reach out to you. We’re gonna schedule that first PT and we’re going to get ready to roll and you’re going to go into MV Fitness. Or great, Tom awesome, super excited, CrossFit’s gonna be a great fit for you. You know, we’re the subject-matter experts. There’s a reason they’re coming through our door. We should be telling them this is the program for you that will help you achieve that goal.

Mateo: 34:46 – That’s amazing. That’s wonderful. All right. So we’re nearing the end here, but you’ve been around for eight years and you’ve grown from the garage gym to this massive, you know, 13,000-square-foot facility that houses, you know, four classes going on at once and your growth hasn’t slowed down. Even now in the past eight months you’ve added 33 new members. What do you think has been the key to success and your growth so far?

John: 35:19 – I think the key to success has been not getting–it’s a balance of trying to grow and trying to, you know, predict what’s next and where we want to go. But not getting so far ahead that we don’t review and look at what we’re doing today, right? Like looking at last year’s sales, last year’s metrics. That’s something that we just started doing this year of like saying, okay, if in October ’18 we hit X amount of sales, how are we going to surpass that in ’19 and how are we going to surpass that in ’20. So yes, we want to be thinking about the future and our future growth. But how do we do that now and right, that’s a balance of keeping your customers, keeping your members that you have happy and then also bringing in new members and it’s just looking to the future but not getting so far ahead that you just let everything—you’re just too far ahead of yourself. And I think sometimes I’ve done that, but I’ve been able to step back a couple of steps and say, okay, we need to refocus on these key things. So always thinking about the future, but dialing it back into the present and then even using metrics in the past to help make sure you do that.

Mateo: 36:36 – That’s amazing. Well said. Because I think you’re right. People get caught up trying to chase the new thing, chasing the shiny object and you’ll get distracted and you’ll lose focus on what really matters, which is, you know, what you got going on right now, the current members you have right now. So I think that’s very true. So if people want to talk to you, people want to drop in, where can they find you?

John: 37:01 So if you want to talk to me personally, John Bartholomew on Facebook, there’s a picture of myself and my beautiful wife, the business,, Facebook, Mohawk Valley Wellness, email, and guys, I look to obviously highlight, you know, the stuff that we’re doing well, but as any business owner knows in eight years it’s probably 80% of what we’ve done, not ideally. And then coming back around and fixing that and cleaning that and making it better. So, you know, we just did 45 minutes of the highlight reel. There’s four hours of the, what the heck was that reel? And you know, that’s I think, humility, right? There’s another piece of it, you know, how do you stay successful? You have to be humble enough to realize you don’t know everything and be accepting of teaching and mentorship so that you can correct those things and survive another eight, 16, 24 years. And that’s how you do it. Cause if I walked around and said I’ve got all the answers, no I don’t.

Mateo: 38:00 – No, I think you’re right. It’s probably been a series of failures that you’ve just been able to learn from and quickly iterate and make positive changes from after just repeating, you know, trying something and not working and try something and not working. So I think that’s totally true. And maybe we’ll have you back. We’ll do another episode of just the eight years of screw-ups. Eight years of screw-ups.

John: 38:24 – Hopefully we’ve got lots of time.

Mateo: 38:27 – All right John, thanks for hopping on man.

John: 38:29 – Absolutely. Pleasure.

Greg: 38:32 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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