15 Fitness Business And Life Lessons From My Time With Richard Branson

I just got back from Necker Island and spending a day with Richard Branson and the Maverick DNA crew. The invitation came from Yanik Silver after being awarded the trip for running an Evolved Enterprise business.

Even though it was inconvenient with the things I had going on, I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to meet someone I have looked up to since I was young and have followed this whole time – a true game changer and inspiration in the world of business, adventure (living life to the fullest) and philanthropy.

Richard Branson

But first let me ask you something because it will bring context to what I’m writing about.

Can we all agree business as usual sucks?

If you don’t think so here’s the numbers….

Out of 28 million small businesses, 97% don’t make more than $250k a year in revenue. More than 50% of those make only around $25k, some of which are hobbies and many, which fail.

We’ve all heard the numbers of how many small businesses fail in the first 3 years – pretty much over 80%, and very few last past 5 years.

Fitness businesses more or less fall into that category.

Why does this happen?

There is many reasons, one of which is that over 70% of the time the owner doesn’t take it up on themselves to become better at business (marketing, sales, fulfillment, automation) and team leadership.

I believe small business can change America, I truly do, which is why we’re committed to helping fitness business professionals succeed as small business operators. But it can’t be done doing business as usual.

So if business as usual sucks then we should Screw Business As Usual.

screw business

With that said, I wanted to share my lessons from the time I spent around Richard Branson and his insights, as well as things I have learned from studying the way he does business for over the last decade of my life. These lessons are from business and life and one’s that are in no particular order as I was taking notes and voice recording (along with doing research on the back end and taking some powerful lessons from his books).

 

1. How To Build The Foundation Of Your Brand

Ultimately the brand is only as good as the product/service behind it. The business’ top priority is to get the product/service right, then wrap the brand around it. “You can’t kid people,” Branson said.

How many times does a fitness business try to create a marketing campaign and cool branding before having an exceptional service that deliver value, results, experience and great customer service?

Sit down to and really write out what you’re doing right now and whether the branding and marketing for your business has more resources going into it then the result, experience of the client.

“Outstanding brands are built around great people who deliver consistently great customer service every single day.”

Can you say that above quote for your business?

I know I’ll be digging deeper and making things better at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance and The Pack Fitness Business.

 

2. Challenge The Status Quo

I just shared the numbers what business as usual means statistically. Not good. But this is the average. This is the status quo.

You must challenge the accepted wisdom and also get your team to do the same. Look at things through your customer’s eyes and what they want (and sometimes what they don’t even know they want because they can’t think of it yet).

Here are just two examples you may not have heard yet where Virgin took a different perspective on things:

Virgin Money is a bank in Britain where the branches look more like living rooms than banks. There are work table’s with wi-fi, comfortable seating, newspapers, etc. and it eliminates lines and teller windows. How is that for looking at it through a customer’s perspective?

Virgin Airlines Terminal 2

Then there is Virgin America terminal 2, which has a yoga room, a wide variety of foods and just about everything to make the customer comfortable.

Are you having in-staff and team meetings to discuss what you can improve in your gym to stand out and deliver and incredible experience for your client?

When your team is empowered they can also have great ideas that improve the business.

P.S. This week Virgin America sold to Alaska Airlines for $1 billion. Richard Branson was upset with the deal, as he didn’t have enough say to keep it, and is hoping that they continue with the high standards for customer service that built the brand up.

 

3. Create Value In The World

Richard Branson will only start a business if it improves people’s lives.

We start companies to create income for ourselves and take care of our families, create the lifestyle’s we want and work hard for; but the truth is if there is no higher purpose behind the business you start, you’ll eventually (sooner rather than later) lose touch with it – and if you don’t focus on it, it won’t grow.

The best way to have longevity is to connect passion and purpose to your business(es). If you’re not fired up about it then you won’t go through the risk, investments and years and years of hard work to build something that matters.

Richard Branson was unhappy about the customer service he got from British airways, so he started a new airline, Virgin Atlantic, which was built around and focuses on customer service.

How can you create value and solve a problem someone else is missing?

Or how can you make something better than anyone else, make yourself “the only one” in that category?

 

4. Create An Environment That Allows You To Do Your Best

Necker Island was created with a purpose to be the most optimal environment for Richard Branson to enjoy time with the people he loves, stay in great physical shape and also be inspired to create and grow his businesses. Essentially to support everything that is important to him.

Maybe we can’t buy and island (yet), but what environments are you in that are supporting what matters to you and building your dream, and what environments are derailing it?

From the office you work in, to the people you spend time with, to the foods you eat, the training you do – does it support your dreams or does it hinder them?

Make a serious honest breakdown of where you are right now and where you want it to be in a perfect world.

I know you can move the dial more towards a better environment in many areas of your life.

For me it’s the new building I bought and creating a team lounge area for them to have a better environment (including a TV for studying videos and course, books, fridge with shakes, healthy food, etc.) along with an office for me that will be made to fit exactly what I want. We also will have massage, chiro/ART, dry needling, meditation room, so that the team can get relax and recovery time in.

I signed up for boxing and BJJ with coaches to never skip training, nutrition meals so that I can stay more focused and eat in line with my goals.

Just some examples of shifting to a more optimal environment that will deliver better results for our team, our clients, and myself.

How are you going to change your environment to help lead you closer to your goals?

Where do you need to go?

Who do you need to surround yourself with (team members, masterminds, coaching programs, groups)?

To have a conversation about being part of The Pack Family Mastermind click HERE.

Necker Island

 

5. Skip The PowerPoint And Have A Conversation

A quote I read somewhere about Richard Branson saying “I believe in conversation and eye to eye contact” and that he prefers conversation over PP presentations.

I found this out while at Necker seeing how personable he was with everyone, down to earth and genuinely interested in people.

In the world of social media and feeling like we are connected all the time, we forget to truly spend time with people and connect and meet up. Sending a message on Facebook is not the same as sitting down with someone and being present and finding out more about them, where they’re at, what are their goals, dream, aspirations – and why.

Technology can be great and it’s also got you stuck to your seat and when I talk to fit pro’s they have significantly dropped (if not completely eliminated) lunch and learns, live seminars, workshops, spending time meeting people.

I’d say the majority of great relationships I have built have been based on spending time together with people and making the extra effort to find out more about them, have breakfast/lunch/dinner, invite them to train with you, go out after an event and buy a round of drinks, take a group of people you respect and want to connect to and organize a small get together that’s fun (on your dime).

Don’t do it for “something”, do it because you want to and you’re curious about other people and genuinely want to ad value to their life.

Getting leads through Facebook ads is great and all but we should spend some more time being human, have more conversations while looking people in the eye.

What do you commit to doing weekly or monthly that gets you out and around people?

 

6. You Can’t Innovate When You’re Trying To Copy And Follow

I’m a fan of mirroring success and learning from it, being around it and modelling it. But…

…..the context of everything Richard Branson does is that life is always fresh and new. The way of the future won’t rely on the old way of doing things, I’d have you consider that letting of even following or copying others will open up new possibilities for you.

Thinking outside of the box, embracing change, and innovating, taking risks – these are the hallmarks of success in all facets of life.

 

The Pack Fitness Business Syndicate

Discover what fitness business owners are doing to differentiate themselves from other gyms that are doing “business as usual” – implementing marketing, sales, systems, fulfillment strategies of the worlds most successful gyms…

Imagine if you had a group of coaches and other successful fitness business entrepreneurs helping you where you’re stuck and providing action steps and accountability with what works in the real world with gyms that say “screw business as usual” and dominate.

APPLY FOR THE PACK FITNESS BUSINESS SYNDICATE HERE

 

7. You Must Take Care Of Your Body And Health

I can’t count how many times Richard would mention the importance in staying physically fit. It’s one of the reasons at age 65, he’s still able to go at the pace and temp that he does.

He plays tennis daily as well as works out and takes care of his nutrition. Now you may say he has the resources to do whatever he wants, but it’s how he has lived his life, period.

Getting wisdom from someone that has not only accomplished what few will do when it comes to building businesses but also conquering Guinness World Records when it comes to daring adventures, while changing the world with his charitable efforts – and having him consistently hammer home the importance of keeping yourself healthy and in great shape.

It’s hard to think clear and have abundant ideas and actions when your body is broken and in scarcity.

You body is the vehicle that gets you from where you are to where you want to go. It gives you the energy and capacity to work hard and produce – consistently.

The Branson family sets up challenges every year from climbing the Matterhorn and trekking the Alps, to cycling through France, etc. No small feat. But it makes them train for it and they do it together as a family.

Running a business and taking care of yourself is hard but it has to be a priority, especially if we’re coaching others to take care of themselves while having jobs, families, hobbies, etc. – be what you coach, be an example.

Vigor

 

8. A Question Entrepreneurs Should Ask Themselves

Continually ask yourself,

Is this how I would want to be treated if I was a client?

Every time I have dropped the ball (and I’ve done it quite a bit), it was because I didn’t keep that question in the forefront.

We are there to serve our clients and get them a result and build a community that support the. It’s hard juggling all the things we must do as coaches and business owners, and yet we MUST keep that question at the core of all that we do.

 

9. Learn To Delegate

An entrepreneur must learn the art of delegation.

I have a fantastic team who run Virgin companies who have a lot of freedom to run the companies as if they were their own companies, I give them freedom to make mistakes…”

I’ve made more mistakes on this end than I can count and learned valuable lessons.

You must some find someone better than you to do the day-to-day running of your business so you can think about the big picture and do the things you’re best at.

There’s a number of things that can get in the way:

  1. Ego, letting go of tasks thinking that you can do them best
  2. Thinking its an expense

When you bring the RIGHT person on board it will change your world. And in all honesty, if you’re working to build a predictable and sustainable business with a vision that helps change people you have to take actions in line with that and not just “how can I make more right now.”

The key is getting the RIGHT people in the right positions and this is where a lot of focus should be centered.

When I went to Traffic and Conversion Summit this year I finally realized I’m doing way too much and need more help.

And if you’re asking for some tips on hiring I’ll share what Richard Branson recommends.

Hire people who are:

  • Smarter than you
  • In agreement with your vision, goals, and values
  • Friendly and eager to have fun
  • Motivated to be successful
  • Able to see their work as a mission

^^^ Yes, smarter than you in the areas you need help with!

Even if you’re a solo-preneur right now, there are things you can hand of to people that love doing that task more than you and are better at it – its worth the investment, trust me.

Where can and must you delegate right now?

Go ahead, write it before you move on.

 

10. Everything Trickles Down From Your Team/Staff

Put your team first, clients second, and shareholders third.

If the person works at your company is 100% proud of the job they’re doing, if you give them the tools to do a good job, [if] they’re proud of the brand, if they’re well looked after, [and] they’re treated well, then they’re going to be smiling, they’re going to be happy, and therefore the customer will have a great experience.

“If the person whose working for your company is not given the right tools, is not looked after, is not appreciated, they’re not going to do things with a smile, and therefore the customer will be treated in a way in which they don’t want to come back for more. So my philosophy has always been, if you can put staff first, your customers second, and your shareholders third, effectively in the end the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and your staff is happy.”

When I was on Necker Island I couldn’t help but notice the energy and cheerfulness of all the staff. I talked to one of them and they said that they work hard but they love the brand, the way they are treated and that they are blessed to be able to do this.

The Boss

I take the same approach with our Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance team. I’ve made quite a few mistakes along the way but always come back to this.

The pre-requisite is that you have the right people and that brings us back to hiring and internships – put a lot of time, effort and focus into this or the result will be having to constantly find new people – and have turnover like the rest of the industry (what you water, grows!).

 

11. On Partying And Spending Time With Employees

“We encourage as much partying as possible” are some of Richard Branson’s words. The main reason is that the team gets to know each other on a personal level. The other thing he mentioned was that “You’ll get honest feedback at the bar.”

If a big company like Virgin can employ this type of thinking there is certainly room to ad components of this to your small business.

I have partied with my team many times and try to do a lot of things together and work on building a unified team where everyone is looking in the same direction and understands that growth for us is growth of each individual.

I’ll ad that team building and educational events are great ways to grow as a team.

I’m always looking to be first improve myself as a human being so I can be, and provide more for my team and understand where they are, what they want and how we can get to our vision together.

 

12. On Hiring

This builds on what I mentioned earlier but delves a little deeper. It’s some of the best advice I’ve heard on hiring (after many, many years of experience in messing up).

What To Look For

Hire people who are:

  • Smarter than you
  • In agreement with your vision, goals, and values
  • Friendly and eager to have fun
  • Motivated to be successful
  • Able to see their work as a mission

Great Employees Like To Learn

Hire people who want to learn. Branson says, “The day you stop learning is the day you stop living.” When you hire people who want to learn, you are getting a competitive edge over your competition. As a team you start creating fresh approaches in how to help people and as a collective you’re that much more powerful.

The question I ask before my internship is what books have you read and what courses have you gone through in the last 6 months? 

Take Care Of People

Take care of employees and let them grow in their job.

“If your best people aren’t growing in their careers as your business gains traction and expands, they will quickly lose enthusiasm for their work. And before you know it, you’ll be dealing with unsatisfied customers as well as unsatisfied employees.”

One of the values at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance is Constant Expansion and it shows with having had over 20 seminars and in-staffs in just the last 25 months (that is not including the seminars, courses we attend, mastermind we do or the in-staffs and meeting I take the team through – this is external presenters, the best of the best, coming to Vigor). I want to make sure that we have best environment for growth in every area of life and take care of my people.

I know I can still improve a lot here. What more could you be doing to take care of your people? 

Don’t Hire People Looking For Money

“For more than 40 years, I have felt that one of my most important jobs is to attract and motivate great people who genuinely feel their job is more important than just money.”

To do this, people need to know the mission of the company. They also need to be fully onboard with making the company a success.

How much time have you spent on your mission, values, vision and communicating it with your team (and people you want to bring on board)?

After going through the Evolved Enterprise book from Yanik Silver, the Coalition program and listening to Richard Branson – I’ve been spending weeks re-doing the clarity of our mission.

Create A Culture Of Opportunity

Let people run with their ideas. Let people know that they can move up within the company. Once they see this, they’ll work that much harder to master their current job so they will be considered for promotion or further development.

When I see someone has a passion for something and is willing to build that skill-set, I want to help them develop it and show them the possibility of “what’s next.”

If your team constantly see people from the outside taking top jobs in the company, they’ll become discouraged and work will suffer. You’re also more likely to have high turnover. Why work at a place if you’ll always have the same amount of responsibility and never be promoted?

When you know you have the right team, help them, support them, and guide them to the next level.

A rising tide raises all boats.

 

13. Dream Big Then Catch Up With Them

In Losing my Virginity Branson says:

Because I sometimes think in life you’ve got to dream big by setting yourself seemingly impossible challenges. You then have to catch up with them. You can make what people believe is impossible possible if you set big enough targets. Flying from New York to Australia in, say, two hours. Can we do it in our lifetimes? I’m determined to try. If you don’t dream, nothing happens. And we like to dream big.

How big are you dreaming?

Most people dream small and then achieve it. I’d rather dream insanely big and miss it but achieve more than I ever would without those huge goals.

The best part of life is the chase, the pursuit, the process of becoming. Setting small goals and achieving them because they’re easy is not living (they do come into play when we break down big dreams into small achievable goals – but that’s a story/blog for another day).

 

14. Keep A Notepad With You

Anyone who aspires to lead a company must develop a habit of taking notes. I carry a notebook everywhere I go.”

Richard Branson is an avid note taker and list maker. He recommends it to keep you focused and productive. It can be done for day-to-day or monthly goals.

I have multiple notebooks for things such as study, to-do lists, and a small one I carry with me everywhere just for ideas or conversations with clients, team members, that give me insight on things to improve.

Just remember, all the notes don’t mean anything if you don’t take action on them.

And feel free to get a cool notepad like this…

Notebook

 

15. Keep Things Fun

Branson advises to do activities outside of the office. Companies need to bring a sense of play to the office. This pays off long term since the team enjoys what they do, they’re more likely to perform better and stay with the company.

If people feel trapped and stuck in their job, performance suffers and clients don’t get the best.

Work hard but have fun.

I know I must put more play into what we do at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance – this was a big lesson, seeing how much people at Virgin make it fun. They get results and they have fun doing it.

I had pages of notes but these were some that resonated with me in the moment and ones that I went back to from all the books I’ve read from Richard Branson.

Being around him inspired me to push the boundaries and continue to change the way fitness business is done and lead the new fitness entrepreneur into a future that is full of abundance rather than scarcity and one where you work in your passion while helping others and making the profits you deserve.

If you are committed to that future, join other entrepreneurs that are changing their fitness businesses through The Pack Syndicate. Find out how you can change your year and your life by running with people that are saying “Screw fitness business as usual” and helping clients transform, helping their communities and being a beacon while making serious profits (not revenue, but profit)!

Click on the banner below to find out more about the Pack Fitness Business Syndicate…

The-pack_Syndicate-banner

Why You Should Listen To Kanye West When It Comes To Your Fitness Business

I have a powerful question to ask you.

But it can only be powerful if you answer it 100% honestly. Not what you think it is, what others think it is, what is presented on Facebook or what you’d like it to be. Just the real, raw and relevant facts…..

“Where are you at right now?”

The dreaded questions many don’t like to answer in their business.

What I mean by that is where are you at with your numbers, the experience you provide in your gym, your team, your marketing plan, your systems, your passion for what you do (has it dwindled because of stress and overwhelm), your life outside of the gym (do you have one? Do you do what you want to do? Do you spend the time you want with your family and provide for them like you believe they deserve?).

When it’s all said and done only you know where you are and where you want to go.

I’d have you consider that it all starts with knowing your Long Game. Not the next 30 or 90 days but the next 5-10+ years.

What is the vision for your ultimate business long-term? What is the purpose and the gravity behind getting up every day and putting in work rather than going to work for someone else?

Find out why Kanye West will be successful because of the long game and why you should consider changing your strategy to implement the long game….


If you don’t know your “Long Game” and the actions you take today are focused on the desperation of where you are at then you can never truly create the business you want (both one you can be proud of and one that generates some serious profits and can be sustainable

I remember struggling and making decisions from fear and scarcity and just “bringing in the next buck” to cover the bills which made me take actions that were not aligned with my long game. This led down the path if creating a business I wouldn’t have loved and wouldn’t be successful long term.

Once I recommitted to the vision and what I wanted long term then created a path and a plan to achieve that, things became smoother. It didn’t mean that there wasn’t a lot of work to do but I was in line with what I knew I wanted and putting in the work became exciting rather than stressful. The dread became an exciting challenge just like an artist chipping away at an awe-inspiring statue.

What is your masterpiece?

What business do you want; from what it looks and feels like to how many team members you have, how many clients, how much revenue does it generate…?

Do you lease your building, do you want to own one, are you looking to move everything online,…?

What is your day like and what does your life look like?

If you are truly clear on your vision, can you say that you are currently taking action in alignment with that vision?

If you are, keep doing your thing!

If not, what’s stopping you?

If you can answer that question honestly, it’s the first step to making a change.

P.S. If you’re serious and committed to making a radical change in your life and business then reach fill out the application to get on a call so we can see exactly where you are, what is your vision, long game and ultimate goal – outline the path and plan to get you there; and see if working with us in The Pack Fitness Business Mentorship is the right fit.

Click on the banner below and it will take you to the application.

WARNING: The Pack Fitness Business Mentorship family members are asked to take serious action and if you’re not committed to do the work required to build your ideal life then please do not apply.

8-STEP FACEBOOK ADS CHECKLIST FOR YOUR FITNESS BUSINESS – SO YOU CAN CREATE GOODWILL, POSITIONING, TRUST AND HELP MORE AWESOME PEOPLE (WHILE MAKING $$$ WITH YOUR SKILL-SET)

Facebook has changed in a big way and continues to change.

Many fitness business (and other) owners are complaining about the changes but in reality all Facebook is doing is constantly working on creating a better experience for the user. If you’re still running ads like you could in 2014 and earlier in 2015 you’re not only most likely losing a lot of money and throwing your hands up in the air frustrated but you’re also risking getting your account shut down.

I created this 8-Step Facebook Ads Checklist so that you can generate more traffic, leads, goodwill, and customers – and also keep your account long term; not to mention not coming of as a douche online (this will have it’s own separate article). I use this system at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance as well as teaching it to our Pack Fitness Business Mentorship program. I’m not going to pretend like I invented any of it as I’m a part of many marketing groups and invest heavily in coaching to always stay ahead of the game (and I actually implement this in my own businesses). You can easily start implementing this in your own fitness business now!

But before we go there…

Are you “That Fitness Guy”?

The fitness guy that is pretty much just throwing out “buy my shit” type ads without anyone even knowing you or knowing what you can do for them. Whether its shirtles pictures, you lifting, meme’s that tell everyone that their leg day wasn’t hard enough if they aren’t rolling around in a wheelchair…..and other dumb shit of that nature.

This brings me back to the 3 levels of influence we can employ:

1. What we say about ourselves

How we tell our story is important but in the grand scheme of things it becomes white noise when everyone is saying “work with me because I’m the man and I can get you results.” No one is handing you over money just because you say you can get them results. So this level of influence is the least important.

2. What others say about us

This is social proof, case studies, testimonials, before and after pictures. This is VERY important and you should have it anywhere you can to show your results through the stories of your clients. BUT nowadays even that can be a lot of white noise online where everyone is showing only their best before and after’s and informercial’s have thousands of them even though 80% of the people trying the program may never achieve any result.

So what I’m saying is make sure you constantly ask for before and after pictures testimonials and invest in video work to get case studies, but also make sure you crush the competition by doing this…

3. What we demonstrate about our service/product

(the most underutilized) → This triggers an internal decision

This is what we demonstrate through content whether its blogs, e-mails, videos, webinar’s, seminar’s, etc.

We not only educate people but we instill belief in them that they can do it -and as they apply the knowledge and inch away towards their goals, they also start creating an internal trigger to work with you.

Ok, I had to explain that because it will lead into the 8-Steps.

Facebook is social, we all know that. So think of a coffee shop, an event, a conference, a place you hang out with “friends”, so just like no one likes “that guy” at the party or gathering, no one will like the 30 second pitch, buy my shit person, on Facebook either. What do you think about when someone tries to pitch you something instantly without you even knowing them, without even knowing its what you want, without demonstrating that it works and that they have had success stories?

Exactly!

You want to ninja kick them in the throat.

Or do this…

Ok, maybe I took it over-board, I just like Samurai’s so I wanted to throw in there.

When you think about it some of the biggest deals and sales were made at coffee shops, parties (it’s how Steve and I started the Pack), events (it’s how we decided to do Changing The Game and even hired our event planner)…

But the reason WHY sales were made was because of the natural process; two people that had something in common met, got to know and trust each other, helped each other, became friends, etc. After a few times they set up a meeting that led to a new client relationship, project, co-operation,… and the deal was sealed.

With this 8-Step System what you’re able to do is show up at multiple parties, events, coffee shops, conferences, etc and sit down with many people all over the world (I you have an online product) or in your local community (if you have brick and mortar fitness business) and build relationships, make friends, then smoothly transitioning some of those people into the tribe and clients. That is the power of social media (when done right and authentically).

 

Step 1: Create And Put Out Amazing (Facebook Compliant) Content

The first step is to create some amazing content which we’ll call “unlocked” since I’d like to relate to video games and it means people can access and consume this content without giving you their email. This creates goodwill and positions you.

Why do this? Because it shows you that the person who clicked on the content is interested in it and it’s a solution to a problem they are trying to solve and it’s effective because even if the visitor doesn’t take action (subscribe or buy anything) while reading or viewing your content, you’ll still be able to track the visitors and add them to your Facebook Custom Audience (magic list).

What If You Don’t Have A Blog?

You should get one. Really, you should!

But that doesn’t mean there is no solution. You can do it without a blog with call to action content video like the one below.

Don’t fret if you don’t have a blog as you can still use this strategy by creating a content rich Facebook Video Ad. The main purpose of this ad is to create goodwill and deliver value, position you as the _________ (whatever you want to position yourself as). This can be longer than a video that is focused solely on conversions, so it can be from 3 minutes to well, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or even more (I’ve seen engaging content go for over 30 minutes and people still consume it). Depends on the content.

Above I’m doing an 11 minute video which is a preview of a live seminar I did and recorded (and gave away in a…..drum roll…..blog post!)

You can and should still have a call-to-action in the video, but the main focus is to deliver valuable content, bring awareness, build trust, position, knowing that you’ll be following up this ad with more direct marketing link post image ad or short video focused on sales.

Think about it as jab, jab, jab, right hook (I’m referring to Gary V.’s book) – which means, give, give, give, ASK!

So we’re giving first then asking. The one-two punch.

One of the new features of Facebook Video Ads that is pretty ninja is you can create Custom Audiences through your “video views” objective, meaning that you can retarget people that have already viewed your content (this means they are not cold prospects who don’t know you – it turn them into warm prospects that you have built goodwill with and value your content) à basically you’re showing people you know your stuff and that you can help them with their problem.

This function is only possible, like I mentioned earlier with “Video Views” campaign objective. But since Facebook is ninja they also recently updated this to include other Campaign Objectives in “Website Conversions” and “Clicks to Website”. Facebook automatically creates two new audiences inside your Audiences section…

  1. Viewed
  2. Completed

The first one tracks all people that have watched your video for at least 10 seconds. The second one is people that watched over 95% of your video (these folks have really loved the content since they saw it all the way through and are more susceptible to buy).

In your custom audiences these will start with “Video engagement” so you’ll be able to recognize them by that and the title of the video you named.

 

Step 2: Set Up Conversion Pixels And Website Custom Audiences

Setting up Custom Audiences and Conversion Pixels is smart, well kind essential really, so you can track performance and utilize Facebook’s targeting software, which can do some pretty amazing things to a degree of “targeting” someone that likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

So to keep it simple, we have Conversion Pixels which either TRACKS important actions on your website like visitors, buys, opt-ins, etc. and measures the performance of your marketing. They also OPTIMIZE your ads. Whenever you start a campaign and people sign in, opt-in, etc. Facebook will take the data and start showing ads to similar people so that you have a better chance of it working. So they are helping you target more people like the one’s that already opted in.

Pretty crazy if you think about it but I’m not complaining about these ninja like functions.

Then you have Custom Audiences, which we use for RETARGETING. When people visit your website or specific blogs or landing pages, you can now track them as Facebook will create audiences around them.

Why is this so powerful?

Because you can put ads in front of people that already know you and have read or consumed your information. There is a big difference in what type of ads you put in front of each of these:

  • COLD prospects (they don’t know you at all and may not even care what you do)
  • WARM (they have read your blogs, read your emails, watched your webinar, been to your seminar, etc.)
  • HOT (these are most likely clients or past clients, people that love you)

Facebook is becoming more and more based on experience of user (like Google) and they are shutting down accounts that don’t provide value and “annoy” people. If your ads add value and engage the user, then Facebook loves that and you end up putting ads in front of people that you have already provided value to.

This means that people that are putting up “buy my shit” ads in front of a cold audience will get slapped by Facebook.

Why is this great?

Because it means lazy business owners and ones that are not willing to provide content, value and goodwill will no longer be competitive. SO if you’re willing to do what I’m outlining then you’ll be ahead of the game!

You can see how this looks like when creating a custom audience in Power Editor.

And here are just some custom audiences from my page to get an idea.

It also means that if someone doesn’t buy or opt-in right now that you can still retarget them in the future as you know that they were interested in what you were selling.

Pretty powerful shizz wouldn’t you say?

Ok, moving on to…

 

Step 3: Research Your Avatar/Prospective Client (Target Audience)

Step 1 and Step 3 go hand in hand since you’ll want to figure out what content you will be putting out there along with who you will be putting it in front of.

WHO you are targeting as your prospective client is extremely important because you can have a great offer or content but if you put it in front of the wrong person then it won’t matter (for example if you put a fitness ad in front of someone that cares about cars – it’s the right message to the wrong marker/person).

Even though this post isn’t going in depth about finding out about your dream client, I’m still going to give you some powerful questions that will help you create/find out who your perfect client is.

These are Dan Kennedy’s 10 questions and they will really help you find out more about who you’re selling to (more about this in a separate post though).

Dan Kennedy’s “10 Smart Market Diagnosis and Profiling Questions.”

  1. What keeps them awake at night, indigestion boiling up their esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling
  2. What are they afraid of?
  3. What are they angry about? Who are they angry at?
  4. What are their top three daily frustrations?
  5. What trends are occurring and will occur in their business or lives?
  6. What do they secretly, ardently desire most?
  7. Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions? (Example: engineers = exceptionally analytical.)
  8. Do they have their own language?
  9. Who else is selling something similar to them, and how?
  10. Who else has tried selling them something similar, and how has that effort failed?

The above is fundamental for ANY business when it comes to finding out who you are focusing on serving.

Another great tip I got from my buddy Mark Fisher who recommended this for finding your “perfect client” is writing out 10 pages on the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Income
  • Goals occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Background
  • Hopes/Fears
  • What they read
  • Where they hang out

You get the point. This makes it a lot more CLEAR on who you are talking to.

————————————————————————————————————

I admit that as I’m writing this post I’m going a lot deeper than just Facebook marketing, but fuck it, my goal is to deliver the goods (…not those goods though you feel me)

————————————————————————————————————

Let’s continue back to the Facebook Research for your client.

There are 4 tools that are great to use in Target Research:

1. FACEBOOK AUDIENCE INSIGHTS

(Inside The Ads Manager)

In here you can find tons of details about your audiences whether it’s people that like your page, your e-mail lists, your custom audiences, etc. Pretty much this shows where people that like you and follow you shop, how old they are, income, etc. Information that could almost be illegal to use.

Almost.

2. FACEBOOK SEARCH BAR

With this tool you can check what your direct and indirect competition people “like.” You do this by typing “pages liked by people who like __________ (example: in the above pic its people who like Vigor Ground).

This shows what else your fans like as well what else fans of other pages like.

3. GOOGLE TRENDS & GOOGLE ADWORDS

 

A very underutilized tool for Facebook ads is… Google.

I know you may be going “oh shit, he went there, it’s a gang war.”

Truth is Google is still (by far) the most used search engine on planet earth and thus has amazing data on what people are searching for.

Google Trends is great to see what is trending and related terms while Google Adwords “Keyword Planner” will not only show you subcategories of certain key words but it will also show you suggested bids for words and which ones are used more or less (knowing how much some one is willing to pay and finding words that are still powerful but cheaper – do you think that could help you with your ads on FB? Exactly!)

Don’t have enough time to dig into this but all I can say is USE IT!

4. ADS MANAGER SUGGESTED INTERESTS

When you go into the Ads Manger in Power Editor and create any type of ad it will then give you Audience Targeting options. Based on your research in the previous three options you can start targeting your “Ideal Client” and when you get to interests and enter something (like in my case P90X), the ads manager will then suggest similar interests.

A smart thing to do is to create a spreadsheet and start saving all the data that Facebook supplies in it; as the more names you enter the more you’ll come up with and be able to target the audience that is most likely to be interested in your product or service.

 

Step 4: Create A “Like” Campaign For Your Fitness Business

     

For a while I couldn’t care less about “like” campaigns since I believe that likes will not put dollars into your bank account. Even though they are definitely not my main focus I have realized that they have 3 big benefits that have helped scale my business since I implemented this strategy.

It’s…

1. Increased Social Proof

Let’s be honest, if you come to someone’s page and they have few likes you automatically don’t believe that they are “legit.” The more likes and fans you have the more credibility you have.

2. Allowed me to re-market to my fans

When you have a fan base, they are warm or hot prospects (as I mentioned in the above examples) and you can run more promotional offers to them without pissing them off (which is how you get complaints from cold prospects when you keep sending them “buy my shit” ads).

3. I was able to increase my target reach with “Friends of Fans” connections

This is best demonstrated in an example. You can target someone who not only likes P90X but has a friend who likes Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance. This is Connection Targeting. This is powerful as is gives you social proof instantly – which in turn gets you higher relevant scores (if these are low your ads wont do well and can get your account shut down over time), higher click through rates, and…wait for it… more SALES!

 

Step 5: Create Your Facebook Ads (That Deliver Content And Create Trust)

This step includes creating a post and boosting it. You can boost it to the people that are fans and their friends or you can get more specific and target your ideal audience (the more you know about them the more specific you can get – like we discussed in the previous points). Below is an example of a post that lead to a blog with a whole seminar video which also had some opt-ins inside. So with it we:

  • Created value and goodwill (a LOT!)
  • Created a custom audience of everyone that clicked and read the blog (warm prospects)
  • Gave people an opportunity to opt-in and get even more value with a free e-book → so we can communicate with them through email marketing

 

Step 6: Create A Focused Campaign For Sales And/Or Opt Ins

Now you’re going to repeat what you did in step 5 except that you are going to design the ad specifically to get sales or generate leads. You can have your ad link to:

  • A low barrier offer or front end offer
  • A landing page to give something away (e-book, video course, infographic, webinar sign up, etc.)
  • A high end program page with application form
  • A physical product
  • Etc.

Below is an example of an ad that leads to one of our low barrier offers.

The key here is something I already mentioned earlier. You must understand what frame of mind your audience has, what do they think, feel and know about you – and how much do they trust you at this point. Although you can put offers in front of a cold audience, if you’re not trying to waste money I would recommend building custom audiences and putting your offers in front of people that know you and have consumed your content.

Right message to right market.

Make your campaign strategic and not just throw something out there because someone said it worked for them (just the ad). Build rapport, likeability, trust, goodwill, just like you would in the real world face to face.

With that said I’d recommend (if you’re just starting or haven’t had success) to start by only targeting your “warm” traffic – people that have already been introduced to your fitness business in some way, whether that is being a fan, have been to your website, are on your email list, have read your blogs, attended a webinar, etc.

That doesn’t mean you should not run ads to cold traffic but they are going to be quite different than the ones you would for warm or hot traffic. This is a discussion that can go much deeper and we’ll leave for another day.

 

Step 7: Assess And Adjust Course

Just like assessing your client’s performance and nutrition on the regular to then make the necessary adjustments, you must do the same with your Facebook ads or you can start burning up your investment pretty damn fast. The great thing is that inside Facebook’s reports you can see things such as reach, clicks, cost per click, video views, cost per video view, cost per conversion, etc.

You can also split test multiple ads, target markets, and much more. When you analyze you can see which picture is working best or which audience, and easily eliminate the ones that aren’t and/or scale the ads that are producing.

You can pick and choose where to place the ads (right column, newsfeed, mobile,…hint: mobile is growing and most people are watching your videos seeing your ads on their cell phone!).

There is so much you can do in there that it’s like a marketers wonderland. And because you can assess statistics and results immediately it means that you can learn from smaller mistakes and apply and scale the winners.

There is so much functionality and Ninja stuff you can do with this and it’s things we simplify in the Pack Fitness Business Mentorship.

But to get to the last step… which is THE most important step after you gain knowledge from anything, and that is…

 

Step 8: DO the damn thing!

Don’t be an information gatherer and say you “know” this now and feel good about it. If you don’t apply it and take action then its all worthless and in the next 30 days instead of having 50 new leads you’ll have the same stress, frustration and anxiety about your fitness business.

“To know and not to do, is not to know.” – not sure who said that, it wasn’t me but it’s powerful!

You may fail and make a mistake but it’s really just a lesson and if you learn and apply the lesson then you are closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be. This doesn’t go just for Facebook ads but for every area of business and life.

If you are tired of being where you are and are ready to stop being stressed out by not having a predictable and sustainable fitness business that you love and are looking for the highest level…

Accountability

Support

Knowledge (strategies, tactics, systems, programs…)

Association (with other bad asses who are crushing it in their gyms)

Access (to coaches that are there for you and not unreachable most of the time)

In the areas of Marketing, Sales, Fulfillment, and Systems so that you can finally build the business and lifestyle you want and give yourself and your family the life they deserve, then fill out the application form (by clicking on the banner below) to find out if The Pack Fitness Business Mentorship is the right fit for you.

Imagine it’s a year from now and you have multiplied your business, take more time off, have more profits (take home money, not gross!), have more meaning with a team and business you love, and get to spend more time with your family.

How does it feel?

The first step to getting that is to commit to it. It’s a choice you can make right now…