Literally Make Money in Staff Meetings (This Actually Works!)

Dan Visentin and title text

Mike (00:02):

Staff meeting adjourned. Let’s take action. Anyone? Is anyone going to do anything at all? Anyone? If this happens to you at your gym, keep listening to find out how to get your staff members fired up to take action. And here’s a tip. Dan Visentin is going to tell you how to make money in your next staff meeting.

Chris (00:25):

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Mike (00:58):

It’s Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin here with Dan Visentin of 416 Fitness Club, which is located in the very locked down city of Toronto, Canada. Dan is also a certified Two-Brain fitness business mentor. Welcome Dan, can you teach us how to use staff meetings to actually create some motion?

Dan (01:16):

Well, that’s what I’m here to do, Mike. I hope I can help.

Mike (01:19):

That’s good. I’ll tell you a quick story about my staff meetings back in the day. You know, I’d have this huge list of things that we’d sit down as a staff group and all of a sudden it would just turn into a complaining fest, right? Like I’d probably start with one thing that was bugging me. And then it was like some other member or a client would pop up. Oh, I hate it when he does that. And who’s not changing the toilet paper and all these things just created this giant snowball of just disaster and nothing happened. And 90 minutes later, no one was doing anything. No one was taking notes. We were just complaining. So tell me, you’ve been at this for a long time as a gym owner. Describe how staff meetings went for you when you first started and did they motivate staff members to do anything? Because I sure didn’t succeed at that.

Dan (02:00):

I mean, I think early on staff meetings for me were mostly about, you know, service quality, probably programming. Maybe I’ll get some confidence and do a little bit of coaches’ education, but at the end of the day, they really mostly looked like a lot of disinterested kind of staff members with, you know, not much structure in what we were talking about. And, you know, the result of that ended up being people walking away, you know, being no more smarter than when they arrived, if you want to put it that way.

Mike (02:33):

Yeah. I specifically remember one where I was just watching this one dude, and he’s just staring off into space, like, and then after a little while he started staring at his lap and just like literally comatose for, I think, like 40 minutes. And he wasn’t sleeping. That was the incredible part, unless he was sleeping with his eyes open, but he was still like moving and sort of stuff was happening, but it was unbelievable. And like, I’m sure when we said, OK, we’re done. I’m sure. Like he came back to reality, but nothing had been absorbed and no action was taken of any kind. So let me ask you, what are the key elements now that you’ve learned all this stuff? What are the key elements of a staff meeting that actually creates that?

Dan (03:09):

So I think first and foremost, it’s preparation. You know, beforehand identify some needs, you know, what are some of the things that need to be improved in your business, that your staff can have a significant impact on. Then with that, you know, having an agenda is also going to be critical, and educating your staff. So sending that agenda out to your staff before the staff meeting so they can come prepared if they need to. If there’s things that you want them to bring to the meeting, everyone shows up with a little bit of preparation before you start.

Mike (03:45):

That’s a really good one, cause I never did that. Like I started getting agendas in place, but I never sent them out. So that’s a really good one that would actually have prepared my staff to be educated on the thing we want to talk about. That’s a great point.

Dan (03:55):

Yeah. And I mean, it doesn’t need to be, you know, a formal kind of document. You know, sometimes we do that in my gym, but most of the time it’s just a Slack message to all the staff with everything that we’re going to be going over in the staff meeting. And again, if there’s anything that we need them to bring, then they’ll be well aware of it beforehand and everyone will be prepared.

Mike (04:17):

Be prepared to talk about changing the toilet paper roll.

Dan (04:24):

Yeah, exactly. So like that moves to like the other parts of the meeting, which are key objectives. So what do you want to get out of the meeting? I know typically for me, there’s some things that are standard within each meeting. We’ll talk about program updates. We’ll talk maybe a little bit of coaches’ education. A lot of the times, you know, we’ll look at our systems and any process updates that we’ve made or are thinking of making. And then we all always talk about any issues that our staff may be having. Whether that be with them, with members, with each other, with me. But all in all, you know, one of the most important things that I’ve found with staff meetings is keeping positivity within the meeting. You know, it’s not necessarily a time to be negative. It’s not necessarily a time to be reprimanding staff members. You’re looking for involvement. So if you start sort of reprimanding for not changing the toilet paper roll in the bathroom, then I find that you lose people pretty quickly.

Mike (05:41):

And Chris has written about this in a lot of blogs where I think a mistake a lot of gym owners do, they do everything themselves. And then when they start getting some staff members, they start offloading jobs, they don’t put systems and procedures in place, inevitably things don’t go according to plan because no one can do it as good as me. Right. Quote unquote. And then after that, you don’t have a staff meeting until you’re angry. And then when you get there, you start just swinging punches and you do more damage, I think than you probably make any progress. Like nothing happens because people just feel like you’re just laying and then, and then, and then, and they’re just feel castigated and that doesn’t really motivate anyone. Have you seen that kind of thing happen either with yourself or with mentees?

Dan (06:18):

Absolutely, both. I mean, so here’s the thing about staff meetings, especially with the micro gyms, you know, we all have, or most of us will have a lot of part-time staff and you know, a lot of the time our staff won’t even see each other just based on scheduling, right. You come in and coach this class, they come in and coach that class. So it’s really the only time when all of your staff members are in one place. So, you know, a lot of people are like, OK, we got to get through as much as we can and, you know, make sure we’re fixing all of this and make sure, you know, these system issues aren’t happening and you know, everything that’s my fault as an owner I’m now going to, you know, kind of blame on you and make sure that it doesn’t happen again, that sort of thing. But in reality, it’s probably not the best time, like I was saying, to reprimand. Those should be more things you do on a one-on-one basis.

Mike (07:11):

So let me ask you a couple of nuts and bolts questions about this. How often would you schedule a staff meeting or how often do you do it? And I’m asking like, would you recommend mentees do something different than you do because you’re a very long-term owner, but what would you recommend for staff meetings?

Dan (07:24):

So I think at minimum, an all-staff meeting should happen once a month. We do it at my gym every other week. And this is going to be very dependent upon your staffing structure. You know, sometimes I find with mentees that have a lot of part-time staff, it’s really hard to schedule all of your staff together in one place more than once a month. But that’s OK. You know, I find that you need to be able to create a solid communication rhythm with your staff. Part of that rhythm is going to include staff meetings, but you know, other parts of it are going to be, you know, whether it’s on Slack or Facebook messaging, however you communicate, whether it’s in person when you’re passing by them in the gym or whether it’s through formal either one-on-one meetings or full staff meetings.

Mike (08:18):

That makes sense. And that reflects my experience. We used to do staff meetings Sunday mornings at 8:00 AM before our first class. And I don’t know if we ever had a complete turnout, right. You know, it was tough. And we had the same thing we had part-time people. And like, I’m not blaming anyone, certainly because it’s tough to ask, you know, a new dad to get out of bed at 8:00 AM on Sunday, or even more like 7:00 AM to drive, to get to the gym for 8:00 AM for a staff meeting and so forth. So that’s definitely something that I struggled with a little bit. The other thing I’ll ask you is how long would you make a staff meeting?

Dan (08:49):

So I find the sweet spot is about an hour. Typically I’ll try to get it done even faster than that, but I think anything over an hour is when you start losing people, losing their focus. So we stick to about an hour.

Mike (09:03):

So there’s a saying in advertising one spot, one thought, and what that means is one radio commercial, or spot as they’re called in the industry, you can only say one thing. So when I used to work with businesses and they would try and write commercials, they would want to say, and we’ll have a discount of 10% and we have this new car on sale and we have this and no one remembers any of that stuff. The best thing you can do is just one thing. And you just say it over and over again, and you’ll see it on good commercials, call this number right now. And they see it five times, right? One spot, one thought. How many thoughts, quote, unquote, should you have in a staff meeting? How much stuff can you actually cover functionally in an hour?

Dan (09:36):

That’s a very good question. I think a lot of what you’re going over won’t necessarily be things that, you know, your coaches need to, you know, remember off by heart or memorize or anything like that. You know, a staff meeting should be made up of a bunch of different things. You know, we start all of our staff meetings with bright spots. So we talk about bright spots with our members, talk about bright spots with our coaches. And then from there we usually move into any systems or process updates, and that’s where, you know, they’re going to need to have their focus directed towards us so that they remember things. But other than that, those are really only the only things where I would say, you know, either me or my general manager is up there kind of dictating the meeting. The rest of it is OK, let’s engage. Like let’s have everyone be a part of this meeting. And so what are some things that you can do in a meeting and bring to a meeting that is going to be engaging for your staff? And they’re going to take part in the meeting.

Mike (10:45):

So to summarize that, you’ve got staff meetings every two weeks to every month, something like that, depending on the nature of your business. They’re going to be about an hour long. You’re going to have an agenda in place and you’re going to send out some sort of preparatory message ahead of time. It might be the complete agenda, or it might just be a, you know, a simple Slack, like be prepared to discuss X. Then you do have a structure in place. And one of the structures is really important, that you noted is bright spots. And I think a lot of us, like I said, make that mistake of we’re starting with the stuff that makes us angry. It sets a tone for the meeting, but really by starting with bright spots, you get a chance to celebrate your staff, tell them what they’re doing right.

Mike (11:22):

Kind of get a good feeling going on and then address maybe if there’s an issue or something to address. But again, I think you hit on that too, where a lot of the issues that you want to address, there’s a huge mistake I think, to be made where you’re mad at one person and so you yell at everyone and everyone doesn’t understand that they all feel like why is he yelling at me about this? And it’s just the one person, and there’s an old saying praise publicly and, you know, chide privately. And that might be an interesting one. Tell me, do you agree with that? Would you try to, like, for lack of a better term, just target individual issues outside of a staff meeting, so you can keep the general stuff prominent in that hour-long session.

Dan (12:00):

I mean, the short answer to that is yes, I would. Generally, you know, I don’t like to bring too much negativity to staff meetings. But there’s also different ways to go about kind of talking about any issues. It might not be an isolated to one staff member in which case then maybe it is something that can be brought up within an entire staff meeting. Again, it’s going to depend on the issue and if I was to do that, it’s not about, Hey, never do this again. It’s kind of saying, OK, this is what we’re seeing, and then this is your solution for it.

Mike (12:39):

  1. So let’s talk about a few mistakes. I’ve mentioned a few here and there. Most of the things that I’ve done, what are some of the things that cause staff meetings to be very unproductive, either stuff that you’ve done yourself or things that you’ve heard from your mentees that are like, wow, that was a huge mistake.

Dan (12:53):

Yeah. I think like the ones that come to mind are, like easy lack of preparation. So if you’re not preparing for the staff meeting and you just kind of go in there, you’re most likely to talk about things that are going wrong, that’s what’s going to come to mind. Right. One of the other things is, is like a monologue. Your staff don’t want to come to a meeting just to kind of hear you talk. It’s not going to be a very effective meeting in my opinion. Again, having interaction with them and, you know, getting their opinions on things I think is going to be a more effective way to have staff meetings. And like I said before, if this is one of the only times that they’re in one room together, then utilize that, use them. Then another mistake that I think a lot of gym owners make, or maybe just businesses as I’ve talked about several times is kind of the whole reprimanding idea and just kind of getting angry at your staff for things they’re not doing well.

Dan (13:52):

And then the last thing I would say is probably inconsistency in the way that you run your meetings. So if your meeting is different every time that people come, then the expectations are going to be all over the place for your staff. And that’s probably not going to lead to an effective staff meeting. OK.

Mike (14:10):

Yeah. So those are good things. I’ve definitely made a number of those mistakes. I’ve laid out a number of them, but we used to get bogged down in so much stuff. And one of the things that I really struggled with was at the end of a meeting, you go through a bunch of stuff and I was bad for like, you know, and then, and then, and then. We’d get to the end of the meeting and everyone would kind of get up and leave and nothing ever happened. So I’ll ask you another sort of nuts and bolts question. Do you send out meeting minutes or do you like go over action items or how do you get people to start doing stuff based on what’s discussed?

Dan (14:47):

So the follow-up is important. And the meeting minutes won’t be on everything that we talk about, it’ll mostly just be on any action that we want the staff to take. And then usually that’ll fall on my general manager for more of the follow-up of any action items that need to be done. And I think the key there is, if you are going to, you know, talk to your staff about taking action, you give them things to do, it’s important that you have deadlines for those things. And then they leave the meeting with that deadline. And then you have a system in place where if it’s you, it’s you, or if it’s your general manager, they’re the ones following up on that deadline with your staff member.

Mike (15:28):

Yeah. Cause I certainly, like I went overboard where I was doing like the Robert’s rules of order, where it’s like, coaches present, regrets, coach one, you know, stuff like that, where it’s just like silly. Right. And I sent this stuff out and nothing really happened, but it would probably be just be way more effective at the end of it, to just say, coach one, you know, a Slack message or email or whatever your system is, by January 15th, you need to get an inventory resupply system in place. If you need any help, talk to general manager report back when you’re done or whatever it is, like, something like that would have created action. Whereas all the stuff that I put in place really didn’t, it just created paperwork.

Dan (16:04):

Right. Well, accountability is important. Right? And I think leaving a staff meeting, if your staff realize that they’re being held accountable to what you’ve talked about and what you’re having them do, then there’s going to be more higher likelihood of it actually being done.

Mike (16:20):

Before we get into even more details on making people take action, I’ll ask you, how do you start educating people? And this is with Two-Brain systems and so forth. How do you start educating mentees on how to run a staff meeting when they’ve never done it before? What resources have we got for them?

Dan (16:34):

Chris has written a lot about it. And I think reading books on, like “The Five Levels of Leadership” is a very good book. With regards to how to kind of lead your staff. I think there’s also some stuff if you’ve ever read the book “Traction,” he’s very big, Gino Wickman’s very big on structure in staff meetings and he shows that every staff meeting basically consists of the same structure going through it. And so that again brings consistency to your staff, but usually when I’m talking to mentees about staff meetings, it really goes into a bigger picture of communication and how they’re communicating to their staff. Cause I don’t feel that a staff meeting, like as an isolated sort of communication piece is enough to really have your staff do exactly what you need them to be doing and ensure that they understand exactly what’s happening within the business. There needs to be more than just one staff meeting. So going back to your point of when, you know, you used to just brain dump on your staff when they would come to your meetings, that may have been because they weren’t hearing from you enough outside of that. And so we want to utilize staff meetings as a piece of our whole communication strategy.

Mike (18:01):

On the Two-Brain Growth ToolKit, we’ve got all different, everything is broken down by section. And under the operation side, we have operations and audiences, the two big sides of your business, on the operations side, you’ve got improve operations. And so within that section, there are a whole host of things there. It’s everything from, you know, staff roles, responsibilities, policies, and procedures, but it’s also got communication, right. So have you seen people really improve as they work through that improved operations section of a Growth ToolKit and start getting the stuff in place that like these communication strategies, these staff meetings, all the stuff that they need to do to get the business moving?

Dan (18:33):

I mean, it provides a step-by-step approach to communicating and operations with your staff. And so anytime that I’ve had a staff member that that’s seen issues with the whole idea of a communication rhythm with staff and even hosting staff meetings, that would be the first place that I get them to look, and follow. And generally you see light bulbs come on because like I’ve mentioned, structure is one of the missing pieces. And just what to talk about. At the end of the day, you don’t want to overthink it. And I think a lot of the modules in the operations section of the Growth ToolKit kind of are more to the point. You know, it’s not telling you, you know, to try to solve PI in every staff meeting. It’s more, OK. You know, what are our biggest issues? And, you know, how do we engage staff members to take action on those things?

Mike (19:40):

Yeah. Listeners, if you’re confused as to what to do with your staff and staff meetings, give us a call. You can book a call with one of our staff members and we’ll talk to you. The point of this whole thing is that on our Growth ToolKit, we do have step-by-step instructions that are going to help you establish clear communication patterns, policies, procedures, and roles with your staff. We can teach you how to do it. So if you are struggling right now, we can help give us a call. Let’s talk specifically now about taking action. We talked a little bit about assignments or follow-up and deadlines and things like that. What are some other stuff? And one of the things that you said earlier I really want to kind of dig into is having like an engaging staff meeting where it’s not just a monologue. Is that element of a staff meeting something that you find helps create action after the fact?

Dan (20:26):

Yeah, so we actually choose to take action within our staff meetings. And one of the reasons for this as I was mentioning, you know, it’s one of the only times that you get all of your staff in one place at one time. But one of the other reasons that I’ve found as a gym owner, and you know, I’m going into my 10th year being a gym owner, as I came off the floor from coaching, and I, you know, I haven’t been a coach for about three years now. At my gym, what I realized was that the relationships with members now shifted to my coaches and that I no longer held the key to the relationships with members because some of them I didn’t even know.

Mike (21:08):

Who’s that guy over there?

Dan (21:08):

Exactly, and you know, it’s not a bragging point. It’s just the reality of the situation is because I’m not involved in operations as much. And so what became to be the truth was OK, well, because my staff are kind of now the front lines, you know, they’re holding all the relationships with my members. So if my staff are going to be my front lines, well, number one, they need to be seen as experts. And they also know all of the problems, issues, stresses, desires and goals of our members, because, you know, they’re with them every day and they’re building the relationships with them. And I don’t. So when you’re trying to make decisions for your business, as they relate to, you know, new programs that you’re going to offer, or which directions to go, decisions that you need to make that are strategic for your business, you want to hear these things from your members. Well, people that know your members best are going to be your staff at this point. So I wanted to use staff meetings to kind of pick the brains of my staff members as it relates to our members so that we can make good decisions and build them up as experts in the industry.

Mike (22:32):

So that’s almost like you know, fact gathering, whereas most gym owners will sit in a staff meeting and they’re doling out the information. You’re actually kind of flipping the script a little bit, and you’re getting the information from your staff members so that you can make better decisions as an owner. That’s incredible.

Dan (22:48):

Yeah, that’s right. And so there’s a few things that we do in staff meetings in order to kind of, you know, take action as it relates to you know, whether it be social media member outreach, or even member identification for things like personal training, specialty programs and nutrition. Because like I said, my member, sorry, my staff know my members the best, and they have the relationships with them. So a lot of those things are going to be better executed by my staff than me.

Mike (23:23):

And in the blog series that you’ve written, which we’ll link to in the show notes, you’ve talked about taking action on building average revenue per member, per month, producing content and engaging old members. Those are three huge things that will like, building average revenue per member. That’s what you were talking about with, you know, personal training opportunities or specialty group opportunities, things like that. Engaging with members, outreach. Getting people back because your staff has a relationship. Hey, you know, Cindy, could you message Tom and see how he’s doing on his own. He might come back. These things directly affect your bottom line. Do they not?

Dan (23:56):

Absolutely. I mean, they’re huge drivers. And so, you know, if your staff meetings or you utilize your staff means to solve big problems, well, you know, these are big problems. These are big issues.

Chris (24:09):

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Mike (24:52):

I imagine that like, if you set this up properly, just on those two elements, like average revenue per member per month, the short forms is ARM and engageable members in that hour, you could make significant money. If you reengage two old members, sell two personal training packages, you’re looking at like $2,000 or something like that.

Dan (25:13):

That’s right. And that’s why I kind of titled the blog posts, you know, taking action, cause that’s serious action. Right? If you’re able to kind of sit in a staff meeting and earn additional revenue with all of your staff sitting in one place, then I think, you know, you’re utilizing your staff meetings to the best of their ability.

Mike (25:33):

I used to just add up the cost of the staff meetings, but if they’re actually an investment and make money, that’s incredible. I want to ask you about producing content in a second, because that is a huge problem for gym owners, but first let’s make them some money, you know, tell me about like, what, how could you specifically take action in that staff meeting to build ARM and engage old members? Like just for people who have no idea about this, because again, staff meetings are often just complaining. Talk to me about how you would make someone take action, actually make money at a staff meeting.

Dan (26:02):

So the process is actually pretty simple. So basically what we do is we engage our staff during the meeting and we say, you know, we’re struggling. So I’ve identified beforehand that our personal training revenue is really taking a hit, so we need to increase our personal training program. So what I’ll do is I’ll ask my coaches, Hey guys, out of everyone that you’re working with right now in classes, who can you identify as people who would be perfect for personal training right now?

Dan (26:35):

And what I’ll do is I’ll stand at the whiteboard and we’ll make a list of about 15 to 20 people. This is really engaging because now your coaches are invested in it. They’re telling you that, you know, this person, Susie, that I’ve been working with could really benefit from personal training. OK? So now we have a list about 15 to 20 members on our board. And if you have a CSM or if you have a GM or if you want to utilize the coaches, well, now, now it’s time to engage those people. But that list wouldn’t exist unless you engage your staff members to ask them, Hey guys, who in our community right now could really use our help with personal training. And, you know, if your sales process is, you know, on point, from there having a list of leads like that is just going to turn into more personal training, more revenue for you.

Mike (27:33):

And so you could do the same thing with engaging old members. You could, you know, I’m sure it’d be something like, OK, let’s make a list of 10 to 15 departed members we haven’t seen in a while and talk about maybe what some other goals were and, you know, can we contact them, ask if they’re accomplishing these goals on their own, or could you personally reach out, like, give me a quick summary of how that would work with engaging old members. That sounds amazing, too.

Dan (27:54):

Yeah. So that one’s even more fun because what we do is I don’t necessarily ask about old goals. What we’ll ask about is, you know, who did you have the best relationship with that’s no longer a member. And then what we do is we basically create a script and utilize video text messages. And so what we’ll do is we’ll get the staff, you know, you give them two to three members today or old members that they feel they’ve had really good relationships with. And you send them all off in a corner for about 20, 30 minutes. And you ask them to send a video text message to those members saying, you know, Hey, I miss you or, Hey, you know, how’s your training going? And the whole idea here is not necessarily to get into a sales consultation. It’s really just to start a conversation with old members. And we all know how that goes. If you can start a conversation with old members, then you’re going to be more likely to kind of re-engage them bring them back and help them with their fitness journey.

Mike (28:57):

Have you actually made sales during staff meetings?

Dan (28:59):

So I wouldn’t say the sale has been made. I’ve had, you know, verbal confirmations from old members that our staff has engaged with during a staff meeting. And, you know, the coach will reach out and then the old member will say, Hey, you know, I’ve been looking to get back. You know, when can I come in and talk to Carolyn who’s our GM.

Mike (29:26):

So that must be like almost like the steroid injection of staff meetings right there. When you’re sitting there and you’re actually like, you’ve done this stuff going off to your corners, we’re onto the next item. And it’s like, Oh, I just got a text and it’s, you know, X member saying, Hey, I’d like to come for a no sweat.

Dan (29:43):

Exactly. And that’s the power of this. I mean, like I said, your coaches are in a unique position because they sit there at the front lines and they build these relationships with your members. So, you know, we just have to utilize them in this way. And I think a staff meeting’s a great opportunity to do that.

Mike (29:59):

You know, and no one thinks of that. At least I didn’t. And you know, if I had an air horn, I gotta get one, I gotta get a Two-Brain Radio air horn where I just blast it into the mic when something happens that like should alert gym owners to important stuff. This is really something where you could take what’s often a dead hour, right? It’s just complaining, you’re drinking coffee kind of half asleep, whatever you take that hour. And now you’re supercharging it into something that’s going to generate revenue. And you’re using your coaches to take action in that hour and almost visibly creating revenue. And I’m sure if someone does this out there, he or she will make a sale during a staff meeting at some point where it’s just like, Oh, this guy just booked four personal training sessions. And the funny part is I used to get so irritated during staff meetings when I could see coaches checking their phones and, you know, they were on Instagram or whatever it was. Right. And now you’re actually—what are you doing? He’s like, well, I’m actually just booking a 10 package, personal training session. Do you mind if I just do that right now? And you’re like, dude, you could leave the meeting to finish that sale off. Right.

Dan (31:00):

Exactly. And the other part of it is, you know, it’s going to breed some motivation. I mean, if you look at other industries like stock trading floors or, you know, sales floors where, you know, everyone has that kind of brash sort of like exciting environment. And when sales are made, people are ringing bells and stuff like that, but everyone’s motivated in that environment. And I’m not saying that you’re going to turn your gym into a trading floor, but you know, your staff are individually reaching out to members and, you know, some are having success. It’s going to kind of spark other coaches to go the extra mile and take some action to do the same.

Mike (31:43):

And for a lot of these staff members, if you’ve set up your gym properly, re-engaging an old member or making a personal training sale or something that could have a direct financial effect, not just on the business, but on that staff member. Right? So it’s like, Holy cow, I just made $440 because I’m making 44% of a thousand dollar sale I just made during a staff meeting.That’s pretty good hourly rate.

Dan (32:03):

Absolutely. And you know, I mean, some of the easiest outreach that you do in these types of exercises is to your coaches’ old personal training clients. They once were working with someone potentially for a long period of time and you know, maybe they’ve lost touch and they haven’t engaged them. Well, this is a perfect opportunity for them to do that.

Mike (32:24):

So the Two-Brain Radio air horn goes off here. And guys, at your staff meeting try one of these two techniques, and you might end up making some money, do that on your next staff meeting. If you guys want some tips, again, you can book calls with our mentors to figure this out. I’m going to ask you about another problem. This one maybe doesn’t create revenue exactly. But this is a huge problem. And especially from a media perspective, I often talk to gym owners. They struggle to create content and they struggle even more than that to get their staff members to create content. So let’s solve a huge problem for gym owners right now. And in this blog you wrote, let’s just talk about how can gym owners use their next staff meeting to actually get staff members to create content? This is like blood from a stone in some cases, solve it for us.

Dan (33:07):

Well, it actually falls under a similar framework. So I usually set aside, you know, 20 to 30 minutes at the end of a staff meeting. And, you know, I think going back, why is it important that your staff are making content? Well, if you’ve gotten to a position where they’re on the front lines and they’re building all the relationships and they’re really your service providers of your business, well, you need to build them up as experts in the industry or at least your community. And so they need to be at the forefront of your content. Their faces need to be in your content. So when they’re all together in one room, I find that it’s a perfect opportunity to create some content. So what we do actually is before the staff meeting, we’ll put out a note in the agenda to make sure that coaches wear their coaches shirt to the staff meeting, if we’re going to be filming them.

Mike (33:59):

Not just a bathrobe, like I’m wearing right now.

Dan (34:04):

Well, you know, it depends on the vibe of your gym. If you want your coaches wearing bathrobes, then by all means. And then what we do is we actually have them brainstorm. We do a whole brainstorming session on either common movement faults or, you know, nutrition topics or struggles that they hear from our members. So I think in the article, I referenced common faults that our coaches are seeing with our at-home program because we’re in lockdown. So, you know, this is huge because you know, a lot of these members are just working out, not in our zoom classes. They’re just working out on their own. They could be doing movements completely wrong, and there could be lots of faults. And so we made a list of common movement faults. And then from there, what we do is we then assign a movement or topic to each coach.

Dan (34:56):

And the beauty part of this is you can kind of format, or you can give them the structure and how you want the content to be kind of created. So in this example, we told them how we wanted the breakdown of their explanation of the topic to be kind of discussed within the content that we’re creating. And then we give them about five to 10 minutes to go prepare it. So in our movement fixes example, we tasked them to come up with like, I think it was one fault. And then to explain the fault, to show the fault in the video, explain how to fix it and then show how to fix it. So a lot of the times, you know, you tell coaches to go and create content, then, you know, they’re just kind of stuck.

Dan (35:45):

They’re like, well, how, what, and OK, I guess I’ll try. But at the end of the day, if you’re able to give them a little bit more structure, then it’ll be a much easier task for them to do it. And not only that, it’ll all look and feel very similar. So it’s going to stay on brand if you will. And so from there, we then just fill in the content. So, you know, we give them five to 10 minutes to go and do what we asked and then they come back and we film it.

Mike (36:19):

And that’s what I was going to ask is exactly what you just said. One of the problems people get is often like, Oh, I’m in the gym by myself. I don’t have anyone to hold the camera. I don’t know how to film this. It’s out of focus, you know, the whole thing. So in this scenario, you can then use people who are maybe more competent with the camera, or at least even to hold the thing right, as opposed to the other stuff and just get some stuff, get the thing rolling. And again, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but this is a huge upgrade where you’ve actually got some of your more competent people making the media happen while coaches are going. And it’s, as you know, it’s very difficult to like film yourself and set these things up and be the person behind, you know, there’s a reason why on anchorman, you know, Ron Burgundy had camera people on the other side of the camera, like, it’s a tough job. So this solves a huge media problem.

Dan (37:02):

It does. And you know, I kind of liken it to personal training for coaches to create content. And that’s because I want to do everything for them except the actual workout, which is the content creation. So I want to set up the camera. I want to have the lights on them. I want to have what we’re talking about and how they’re supposed to talk about it. And then when they come in, they’re the star of the show, all they have to do is kind of, you know, act in front of the camera, spread their knowledge. And then, you know, we do all of the edits and we, you know, we walk away with five or six high quality videos from 20 to 30 minutes of work.

Mike (37:44):

And I imagine that if you got creative, like let’s say maybe you’re not doing videos. You could certainly create a whole bunch of photos. Like if you want to just line your staff members up and create a bunch of photos, like coaching photos, one coach is coaching, the other coaches being the quote unquote client, and you’re correcting movement faults where you could write about them on an Instagram post or something like that. You could, you could create just so much content from one staff meeting. Like, do you have an idea? Like how many videos or photos have you created from something like this? And if you don’t know the answer, that’s totally cool. But what do you, what have you created in terms of media output?

Dan (38:18):

I mean, all of my coaches, any of the media that includes my coaches will be done within staff meetings. Well, I just find it becomes too much of a struggle and an uphill battle to try to get coaches to do this on their own, and you know, like doing it in a staff meeting, as I said, you have them all in one place, you get, there’s this vibe of, OK, let’s do this. We’re in here to kind of take action. And you also get some better content ideas out of it because you have a group of people kind of brainstorming issues that our members are having. And, you know, those are the things that you want to be talking about most in your content.

Mike (38:59):

So again, I guess I should ring the Two-Brain air horn again here, like I said, I’ve talked to so many gym owners who have said, I don’t know how to get my staff to create content, or I just have nothing to post. I haven’t posted to Instagram in weeks, months, years in some cases. This is such a great way to solve a gigantic problem. And it has this trickle-down effect where now you’ve created experts. These are the faces of your business, if you have staff members, they start to become well-known. They start to establish expertise. They start to build rapport with online audiences, whether it’s, you know, people they know as a retention tool or prospective members who are watching. All of this then has a trickle-down effect because then these people can sell personal training, nutrition services, specialty groups, and they can also sell more to members where like, I didn’t know that, you know, Kim was an Olympic lifting expert. Wow. I miss snatches out front all the time. Maybe I could book a personal training session. So there is a dollar value that’s eventually attached to that media downstream.

Dan (40:00):

Absolutely. And not only that, I mean, you’re saving yourself a lot of time. So if you’re able to create six videos in a 30 minute window of your staff meeting, well, you know, if you look outside of that, how long would it take you to create six videos on your own? And now you can utilize that time to work on your business and you know, make the business a little bit more money.

Mike (40:25):

And I’ll give you a media tip. If you create those six videos, you want to put those on Instagram. You want to put them on Facebook. You want to put them on YouTube and you know, you have other options as well. You can certainly text some of those videos to a member who maybe needs to know that entire tip and say, Hey, do you want to book a session? So if you just put them on three platforms, that’s 18 pieces of media, right? Because not everyone is on every platform and sees everything. That’s huge. So all of a sudden, if you’re looking at a 30-day month, that’s 18 days taken care of from one staff meeting. So guys, if you’re listening, I would probably check that out. Dan, if people wanted to work with you, what would be the best path as a potential mentee for them to take?

Dan (41:07):

I would email me, shoot me a note at You can follow my gym too. If you want, 416 Fitness Club on Instagram.

Mike (41:21):

That’s a great one because you’ll see some of the output that Dan’s gym is putting out because this stuff isn’t just pie in the sky, you know, airy, mystical stuff. This is actually stuff that is in practice. So when they look at your Instagram and they see a video with a coach talking about whatever, you know, squatting shallow or whatever it is that was filmed at a staff meeting.

Dan (41:40):

Yes. 100% that was filmed at a staff meeting. That is our place to create content for coaches.

Mike (41:50):

Dan, thank you so much for being here today and sharing all this stuff. There’s literally thousands of dollars waiting for you to make in your next staff meeting because of the tips that are in the show. Dan, thanks for sharing them.

Dan (41:59):

My pleasure, Mike, I hope it was helpful for everyone.

Mike (42:03):

Very helpful. That was Dan Visentin on Two-Brain Radio. I encourage you right now to make an agenda for your next staff meeting and make some money in that staff meeting. Take the tips Dan gave you and take action. We track everything at Two-Brain and we just published Chris Cooper’s State of the Industry guide. This 84-page book is packed with data from over 6,000 gym owners. You can use it to make smart decisions, avoid mistakes, generate more revenue, and see where you stack up in the gym world. It’s 100% free and you can get it at That link is in the show notes. Click it right now. I’m Mike Warkentin and I’ll see you next time on Two-Brain Radio.


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