If you were an attendee at Fitness Business Summit 15, if you’re a member of the 7 Figure Mastermind, or if you’ve recently joined the new Fitness Business Ignition Program, then you’ve heard of the incredible trainer who will be gracing us with a guest blog post today.
Anna Larson is one of those rare trainers and business owners who comes along and, with a bit of direction, obliterates every obstacle in her path. She’s a coaching client of mine and I couldn’t be more proud of how she’s been able to completely transform her business.
Pay extra close attention to her blog today because she’s going to walk you through the 5 steps that took her from losing thousands every month to dominating her competition as one of the most successful trainers in the country.
(And if you like Anna’s style then make sure you check out the Fitness Business Ignition Program. She’s one of the coaches for this incredible new program where you can get some of the same lessons and teachings from my 7 Figure Mastermind but for a price you can easily afford. Check it out here.)
Take it away Anna!
So tell me, how is your summer going? For a lot of fitness professionals, summer is a slower time in our businesses with people going on vacations, getting outside more, and not thinking as much about getting their workouts in.
Until a couple of years ago, I really dreaded summer— for me, it meant struggling to pay my rent, sitting inside my empty studio as my personal training clients would cancel all the time because something better came up, and wondering how I was going to be able to pay rent that month.
Summers depressed me, to be honest.
Now I love summer, though! I always have 15-20 new people starting every Monday at my boot camp. I don’t lead any sessions anymore because my trainers are doing that.
I get to talk to people in the community about doing things like fundraisers and giving back. I’m busy all day long with clients wanting to enroll in my program, and calls about people hoping there is a cancellation so that they can get in to my packed schedule.
What changed? Well, I’m going to share with you my top five systems for packing your fitness business full, no matter what time of year it is and making it massively profitable. Yes, as you might imagine I’m a coaching client of Bedros and in his 7-Figure Formula Mastermind group.
1. First, people need to know who you are and what you do.
In years past, I was trying to diversify myself way too much. I had as many different types of classes at my studio as I could think of, just to provide the variety that I thought I needed to compete with those big box gyms.
We had toning, pilates, yoga, aromatherapy stretch, SUP paddleboarding, running, boot camp…in fact I almost bought some of those hammock things to have that flying yoga that was the new thing a few years ago.
This was before I got a business mentor, and I guess more importantly, before I started listening and implementing what my mentor told me to do. He said to stop all that nonsense and focus on ONE program that got the best results (that people actually wanted).
Well, that was easy— my boot camp classes. I mean, when you can take a sedentary, middle-aged woman and show her how to get her first six-pack, well, that’s empowering to people. Getting really fit changes lives. And so that’s where I focused.
Now, don’t get me wrong— there’s still a lot of temptation to do something new. People ask me weekly if I would let them teach the flavor-of-the-week in my studio, but the fact is, my success has come from providing killer results to my clients with my boot camp. I hear every day from someone how “everyone’s talking about this place.” Yep, that’s what you want, right there.
2. Systematize your marketing.
Back before I figured this stuff out, I thought marketing was putting (expensive) ads in the newspaper. It was frustrating, because the only people who ever called from the ads were the radio people wanting me to place (even more expensive) ads on their stations. Mind you, I minored in marketing in college and was in the Advertising Club and even did very well in competitions— but they never taught me the stuff that I learned from Bedros. Stuff that actually works.
I remember the first email sequence that B had me send out— I had 7 people sign up within about ten minutes. It was like some sort of magic voodoo was cast over my community where they all of a sudden wanted to train with me.
Now my marketing is systematized and I have a constant stream of leads flowing into the studio from all types of media. I’ve learned that relying on just one source will burn that out fast, much like fishing in the same spot every day would start spooking fish. The marketing systems I’ve learned in the Fitness Business Ignition Program and the Seven Figure Mastermind keep me ahead of the curve and in control, rather than desperately trying to catch up and find clients when I need them most.
3. Building a team— this is vital.
In fact, just about a year ago I was leading all my sessions each day except for two nights a week when I had help. I was getting up at 4am every morning, dragging myself to the studio, frantically trying to answer emails while coaching my clients, then working through until 7 or 8 at night and then sitting on the computer until midnight answering more emails. You might be reading this and nodding your head— this isn’t unheard of in the industry for anyone trying to start their own training studio.
And if you’re like me, your own workouts and healthy eating habits really slip— and family time? What’s that? I realized one day that my husband can’t think I’m the greatest wife on the planet with all my working— and since my business wasn’t even profiting, I couldn’t consider all the work I was putting in something to make up for the fact that I wasn’t home, barely slept, and was getting terribly out of shape.
Now, with the help of the mentors and coaches in the 7 Figure Mastermind, I have a full staff. I have trainers who cover all the sessions without me having to even schedule them— they are excited and eager to lead the sessions. I have an assistant who answers my emails and phone calls, books my consulting schedule with clients, and helps clients do things like weigh in, understand the software we use, and get them on track with their meal plans.
I also just hired a sales manager who is honestly rocking my business, so now I can leave for even months at a time and the business not only works seamlessly, but it grows. That’s when you can call yourself a business owner and not just a self-employed slave to a low-paying job you created for yourself.
4. Automate everything you can.
I used to use an excel spreadsheet to weigh clients in and record their stats. I used to do my bookkeeping by hand (okay, I’ll admit it— in April, right before tax time). I used to run myself ragged writing email newsletters, trying to come up with content for blogs, and writing my own advertising that in all honesty, didn’t even really work.
Now, ALL of that is automated and done for me, without me even having to think about it. What’s amazing about this is that I can focus my energy on the 5% (the stuff that Bedros always talks about) things that will actually grow my business so that I can help more people get in shape and feel good, rather than the 95% of the trivial “busy work” I was chasing around and often avoiding each day.
5. Here’s my biggest tip: you MUST get yourself around others in your industry who are doing well so that you can learn from them.
You know the problem— it’s like you have this job that you created, and there is no one to ask for support or help or advice because everyone you know in your town who owns a fitness business isn’t going to give you the time of day. There are no mentors in an environment where you are competing against someone else for the same business.
It’s a really isolating feeling. You know that there has to be a path to success—a formula—but you have no idea what that is. You see fitness businesses doing well (or seemingly doing well), but there is no way to understand what they’re doing. When I opened my studio, I was also working on an MBA— and I’m going to tell you straight up that I have learned MORE in the past two years to put me on the straight line to success with Bedros than two years of business school. That’s no lie.
My introduction to mentorship came at exactly the right time, when Bedros sent out an email for something he called the Fitness Business Ignition Program. At the time I badly wanted to join his 7-Figure Formula Mastermind group, but I didn’t have the $26,000 for it.
That’s when the Fitness Business Ignition program came in… it bridged the gap between being a confused, stressed out, and broke trainer and someone who wanted high level coaching but could not afford it at the moment.
The Fitness Business Ignition program is a coaching program designed to mentor and help put you on the path to success— it wasn’t out of reach to afford it, and it launched me into success.
I increased my revenues 400% in the first month of it. But more than that, I had a support system of like-minded business owners who either were going through the same struggles as me, or had already been through them. I learned that nothing happening in my business was unique or unheard of. Every problem seemed to be solved in a 20-minute phone call or on one of Bedros’ live training webinars.
There was always someone to give me advice or show me what they did— and that has been the single most important factor in getting me from making less than $20,000 a year to multiple six figures, and having the opportunity to help clients get their lives back, provide good-paying jobs in my community, and being able to give back through charitable causes.
I love my life and everything in it. You can do this too. Just take the first step and then be brave and start applying massive action. There really is a formula to success, and Bedros invented it.