Old School Hip Hop, New School Hip Hop, And Your Fitness Business

I’m a big fan of hip-hop

I love old school hip hop (before Y2K and some after). Matter of fact I listen to more old school then new school hip-hop. A lot more!

(Now you see why our product was the Fitness Business Mix Tape.)


I feel like new school has somewhat lost its way.

The people that I listen to that are around nowadays are the people that respect the old school and pay attention to the foundations of true hip-hop. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t pushing the boundaries and being creative; I’d say the opposite, they are the ones re-inventing themselves and constantly growing and succeeding, yet they never forget where they came from and are true to hip-hop and its culture.

They are blending the old with the new.

Like Bruce Lee, discarding of the unessential and keeping the essential, all while keeping integrity and following their core values. Always exploring and pushing the boundaries; while keeping a strong foundation.

That’s how I look at fitness business. Any business.

Shit, it’s how I look at life!

I see things being built left and right with no foundation, no core values, nothing solid to stand on.

The newest marketing strategy, cool equipment, and a “hoorah” attitude and things “will happen.”

Not really.

Or even worse, the marketing strategy you learned works so people start coming through the doors of your business, only to find out that it is “ok” (good, ok, so-so, pretty good, average, mediocre are ALL words you should avoid like the plague – and not ones that should be associated with your business). Seriously, which product or service do you rave about or return to purchasing that was any of the words I mentioned (especially if it has a higher price point)?

Thought so.

Since when did getting amazing results get old? I didn’t say, “good ones,” or “pretty good.” Amazing results! Day in and day out.

That’s the foundation.

What about treating people like they are the most important during that session and getting them to believe they can achieve anything? Appreciating them? Knowing how to speak, understanding body language, reading other people’s body language, and being able to best help them that day?

Too old school?

I don’t think so. The FOUNDATION.

Treating your team amazingly and helping them grow to be the best, and investing time, energy, money, and resources into them so THEY can empower their clients and build the vision?

Too old school?

How about having core values and living them as well as running your business with integrity and in line with these core values? Do you have core values? Have them written down and share them with your members so they know what you are about and why?

You think that it doesn’t matter that you don’t have core values that say who you are, what you stand for and against, and actually live those values day in and day out for people to see?

Damn right it matters!

I can keep going but I hope you get what I’m saying.

The other part of this conversation is improving these foundational skills. Not just getting really good at them and then letting them be and moving on to the “next thing.” Once you get great at your craft you still have to maintain it and make sure you study it because it is ever changing and improving. At Vigor we never feel like we have arrived, and we have a thirst to continuously become better so that we can help our clients better.

All the greats in hip-hop always honed their craft and continued to work on the “basics.”

This goes for training, coaching, nutrition, marketing, positioning, communication; you name it.

No one said building a legendary legacy was easy. When you do it right, though, it doesn’t matter what your competition does because you are unique in so many ways and it attracts the exact clients you are looking for (this is part of the marketing which I will touch on in a bit…).

With “all that” said, I’m the furthest away from trying to say you should not be learning and pursuing new technologies; actually the exact opposite. You should embrace them and use them to amplify the foundation of your business.

Platforms to get your resources to your clients in a better and easier way. Social media marketing. Improving systematization processes through technology. Outsourcing things that can be done better by someone else who loves to do it (where you may hate it) . And many more…

Those are all GREAT and important, and ignoring them is a mistake. I have scheduled time weekly to stay on top of what is new, relevant, and can be applied into my business to go in line with what we are doing. Looking at my schedule, it takes up quite a good chunk of my time and has been real important for growth. Yet none of it would have had the impact that it does without making sure everything else was at least great (although my reference point is “best in world” – B.I.W.).

Alwyn Cosgrove has talked about the Hierarchy of Marketing and how it applies to the principles of building a great business. I’m just adding a couple of points in how I treat Vigor Ground and what my beliefs are when it comes to marketing knowing what I know now (this is after making the mistakes I have in my business in the past 9 years).

Here we go….

1. Get amazing results. Two words matter here, amazing and consistently! This to me all falls under the “coaching” skill-set. The knowledge of training, periodization, coaching cues, nutrition, and everything else that falls under that aspect, as well as (just as important!) emotional intelligence that includes self awareness, communication, client management, story telling, and a number of other things.

No matter how good I get at the coaching aspect, I’ll never feel like I have “arrived”…neither should you.

And read the book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You.”
2. What’s your message, what do you stand for, and what do you stand against? What are your core values? What will you be known for and build your legend around? Having clarity in that helps you not only relay your message but also act in line with it.

3. Referrals. If this is not your #1 source of leads there is an issue! If you have #1, #2 and a system for #3 down, it will seriously enhance any other marketing you are doing. Make sure you have a system for this; don’t wing it.

4. Website (including squeeze pages), Facebook Fan Page, Facebook Ads. A website is very important in that it relays your message, shows success stories (in a verbal, visual, and kinesthetic way (trial)), gives value to build a list, offers a trial, and preferably has a blog where you can have people consistently coming back to deliver value to them by writing (or doing video) and giving solutions to their frustrations (what keeps them up at night).

Pretty much all your clients and potential clients are on Facebook…a LOT. To not be on Facebook with your business is pretty crazy (actually very crazy). There are ways to organically grow your fan base through Facebook, but honestly, you will be doing yourself a big disservice if you do not use Facebook ads (this is whole subject in and of itself which can truly put your business on steroids if you have things in place).

5. Systems. You can only go so long before you put great systems in place. The more you grow, if you don’t have systems, you will start getting bottlenecks and not only lose clients but also drop the service you deliver to your current clients. Once you start generating more and more leads it is crucial to have a system in how people get treated, greeted, appreciated, scripts for the phone, gym, and selling, etc.

From my own experiences and our coaching, I can’t tell you how many potential clients fall through the cracks and how service gets affected when you don’t have systems in place.

6. Build a list. Email marketing is still a killer way to communicate with your followers, deliver value, share your personality and your thoughts, and…sell. If you don’t believe it then talk to Paul Mort (he may disagree with you). Becoming better at email marketing helps you better communicate in life. And the other way around.

The great thing about it is that you can do FB marketing and build a list; it goes hand in hand. There are many, many ways to build a list (more about that next time).

Another list that is beneficial is something Krebsi and I call the “Sparta 300” (because we like shit like that), which is a list created based on your network, from your family, friends, colleagues, businesses, people you met, etc. This is separate from your email list but something you build as well and is crucial in building an incredible business long term.

7. G.I.F.T. – “Get In Front Of Them.” With the power of the internet, “getting in front of them” can mean many different things such as social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, …), emails, webinars, Google Hangouts, and may other forms.

I’m not a fan of spreading yourself thin and trying to do everything. Do more of less and do it better in the above examples.

Here’s the deal though, to me the true meaning of “getting in front of them” is meeting people face to face, shaking hands, and having them truly be able to get to know you and experience what you do. For this, I am the biggest fan of:

– Seminars
– Workshops
– Lunch and Learns
– Speaking
– Events


Become great at presenting and public speaking and you can literally grow your business just from doing seminars!

We also make sure to be at mud runs, 5/10k’s, sporting events, everywhere we can to support our clients and have a presence (just make sure you can capture leads and that it is the best use of your time!).

8. Network. Connecting with other businesses and like minded individuals doesn’t necessarily reap instant results like a FB ad can but strategic partnerships and alliances can seriously make an impact on your business when you develop them with a “WIIFT” (what’s in it for them) mindset.

I schedule time to network on a weekly basis, whether it is with members, people from my “Sparta 300” list, complementary businesses, local business owners, or other opportunities that arise.

Quick tip; don’t network for the soul purpose of financial or other benefits to yourself. Connect with the purpose of adding value to other people’s lives and the world and great things will happen for you.

This holds true though – your network is your net worth.

9. Local Press, Magazines, TV & Press Releases. This is any media that can help you with becoming a local celebrity. It’s more important to be a local celebrity when it comes to the growth of your fitness business than being recognized in national magazines, etc. There are ways in which you can use national exposure to get into the local media, which enhances your positioning.

The key with local media is positioning yourself as an expert and also having ways for people to contact you and ways to track it so you know it is being successful.

The first three are the absolute foundation. Some may call it old school but without it you’ll be building on quicksand and you won’t be able to grow a strong, unique, results- and experience-based, profitable, long term business that ends up creating the “snowball effect” (as the ball gets rolling things get easier because of your positioning and strong foundation).

Matter of fact, one of my rules is, if you’re not getting at least a couple referrals a week in your business then you need to step your game up on #1!

Can’t ever get too good at that “old school.” When you do that and blend it with the new school…then you’ll start to hear some really good music.

Learn from this and apply it and start creating the mix tape to your life.


P.S. If you need help with DJ-ing and mixing the fitness business strategies together for your business, then Krebsi and will find time in our schedule to get on a strategy session – if you’re serious and committed to either turning your business around (because you have to!) or you want to take it to the next level of multiple 6 and 7 figures. Click on the banner below and apply.