How to Leverage the Boot Camp Business Model for Massive Success

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve probably heard the name Craig Ballantyne before. For those of you who aren’t familiar, let me give you the short version: He’s the author of Turbulence Training and 24/7 Fat Loss. Those are both 7 figure generating information products. 

Craig BallantyneSo, my good buddy Craig knows what he’s talking about when it comes to fitness marketing…and he’s graciously offered to do a guest post here. Because he believes so strongly in his Turbulence Training program, he’s going to let two of his certified trainers do the talking. Below is a transcript of Derek Wahler interviewing Dani Woodrum for a special TT call.

Derek Wahler is a Certified Turbulence Trainer and affiliate manager of Early To Rise. Dani Woodrum is a Master Certified Turbulence Trainer and a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owner.

Dani’s had such massive success with his first FBBC location that he’s now looking to open a second one. Check out his interview to learn how he combined FBBC and TT techniques to overcome customer hang ups, close sales, and grow a huge client base in the first few months after opening. Also, you’ll see how Dani used Facebook and Groupon like a pro.

Click here to listen to the interview, or keep reading below to see the transcript.

Derek: Hey there, this is Certified Turbulence Trainer and ETR affiliate manager Derek Wahler and today I’ve got a really special guest for you. Usually, this Southern gentleman is on the other side of the interview but today he’s actually the interviewee. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing this young fellow for a couple of years now and we’ve become really good friends.

Master Certified Turbulence Trainer Dani Woodrum was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina which is about an hour away from Charlotte, North Carolina. He had a huge passion for sports growing up and had a dream of working in the front office for a major league baseball team. Dani attended the University of South Carolina to pursue a degree in Sports Management. During college, he did the internship at a specialized training facility that focused on training high school and professional athletes and fell in love with it immediately.

Shortly after graduating from college, he got an incredible opportunity to move to Charleston, South Carolina to open up a kickboxing gym. That is where he met his future wife Brittney, who is also a TT superstar. Dani ended up running two kickboxing gyms for several years before selling them earlier in 2015 and opening up a Fit Body Boot Camp with his wife Brittney and Craig Ballantyne. They’ve quickly built their first Fit Body to over 100 members and are already looking at their second location in Greenville, South Carolina. If that wasn’t enough, Dani also recently became the Director of the TT Certification. Even though it’s a lot going on, Dani’s loved every second of it because of his strong passion of helping others. Wow Dani, thanks for joining us, buddy. It sounds like you’ve had quite the journey over the past couple of years.

Daniel: Hey Derek, it’s great to be here man. Just hearing you say all that is just awesome to hear some reflection of the last five to six years. I’ve certainly had a lot of ups and downs and many setbacks and failures but I’ve always gotten back up and kept pushing and I can’t wait to share with you guys my experiences and hopefully help you not make the same mistakes that I’ve made over the last few years. I’m excited to be on this call.

Derek: Yeah, I think a lot of us can relate to that. We’ve all had ups and downs while going through our journey so I’ll be excited to talk with you about that today. I just want to start out and ask you how your partnership with Craig came about and what’s it been like to be in business with the Godfather?

Daniel: Oh yeah, anytime the godfather is on your side, you’ve got a great chance for success. I think I first came across Craig, it was back on the internet in college. I actually believe I was sitting in my apartment or in my bed with the computer. I should have been doing homework but like always, I was not doing homework and I was actually on the internet browsing how to get six-pack abs or something like that. Then I came across one of Craig’s programs online. Looked over the program, I actually didn’t buy the program that day but I hopped on his email list and just started following his emails and just really fell in love with his training methods and all the awesome tips that he gives you, not just in the fitness realm but just in life in general, productivity tips and just how to live a better life.

push-tillIt really resonated with me and I actually took the certification online, the TT Certification online before it even had live events. I believe I was one of the first four or five to get certified. I believe it was me, Mike Whitfield, Scott Rawcliffe, Chris Lopez and Ray Ortiz. Thankfully, I passed the certification and I attended the very first TT Summit out in San Diego a few years back. I got to meet Craig and all the other CTTs and all the awesome Turbulence Training followers. And from there really just built a relationship with Craig.

I tell everybody that besides my mom, Craig’s had the biggest impact in my life both personally and professionally and for him to trust in me and my wife Brittney to do business with us, it really just means the world. It just really lights a fire in me every day to not let him down and keep pushing. The really great thing about doing business with Craig is he’s not necessarily involved with the day-to-day operations. He lets you do your thing. He lets you make mistakes but he’s always there to hold you accountable, to give you advice and to give you guidance. Obviously, it’s been working really well and I’m excited to continue to build our empire with Craig and see where we can take this thing.

Derek: Nice. So back in February, you officially opened the doors for your Mt. Pleasant Fit Body Boot Camp. I know you guys took off immediately and started getting people in the door and signed up. I kind of watched it from afar just through your Facebook page and seeing all the cool stuff that you guys are doing. Specifically, what kind of things did you do early on to help you get your name and brand out there?

Daniel: Let me first say obviously it was certainly not easy. There were a lot of sleepless nights, wondering if we made the right decision to join Fit Body Boot Camp and doing some second guessing. Originally we were trying to decide if we wanted to kind of do our own gym or if we wanted to hop on with Fit Body Boot Camp. We knew a lot of Fit Body Boot Camp owners and really just saw the success that they had and loved the fact that they just had that kind of family environment. Everyone was there to support each other and it wasn’t like a competition but everybody was there to try to make each other better. I think that’s why we decided also to go with Fit Body Boot Camp.

Obviously, it’s natural to second-guess yourself making such a big decision. But throughout the entire process, we just kept the positive attitude and knew that we’d be a big success if we just stayed focus and followed our game plan. But it was really hard at the beginning just for the fact that I was still involved with my other two kickboxing gyms at the time and I was trying to sell them.

Basically, Brittney was all on her own at the gym because I couldn’t physically be there since I was still under contract with the other gym. I would sneak in there at night time when we were closing and help her out. But I couldn’t really be in there with the day-to-day operations in the beginning. It was really hard for her because she didn’t have any experience as far as running a gym. She was a manager at one of my kickboxing gym but as far as building a gym from scratch, she just didn’t have experience. Of course she did an amazing job and she really held it down. Then once I sold my two gyms and I hopped on board with her.

But to get back to your question, it all really started well before we even opened our doors. We spent weeks and months preparing for the big opening. We reached out like I said to other Fit Body Boot Camp owners who had the success that we wanted just to kind of pick their brain and see what really works for them. I tell people you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just simply follow what other successful people are doing.

We started a Facebook page right away. We started really adding value on there. We all know the importance that Bedros says to get people to know, like and trust you. We started adding value by providing home workouts and recipes and just kind of giving an inside look in our lives through Facebook. Also we worked on building our email list right away. We used the opt-in page on our Facebook to give away a free reports in exchange for their email. We just started adding value in email as well.

make-friends-with-peopleThat’s really where my passion is. I love writing emails and copywriting which I think we’ll get into a little bit later. That really helped us out as well and I think it’s really important to remember too, to have a game plan. Write out your first 30-day goals and how you’re going to get there. The whole process that Craig talks about with process and outcome goals, which is very important and it really helps you stay on track.

So like how many members do you want in the first 30 days? What are the three action steps that you’re going to take to get there? Since you know you’re all going to come and face obstacles along the way, what are some solutions for every obstacle? Things like that really helped us out.

Once we opened the door we did a lot of different things as well to grow our business. We ran a Groupon, which I know we’ll talk about next so I’m not going to be touching that too much now but the Groupon was a really huge success for us. It helped us kind of jumpstart our member base. We went to other local businesses in our area, introducing ourselves and just offering all their employees a free three-week membership with us. We then would leave lead boxes in their business. For the most part everyone was very responsive and let us put flyers and brochures out.

Then we also got involved with the Chamber of Commerce which I would say every single person on this call should be doing. It’s just a really wonderful network group and provides you with a ton of access to a lot of community events and networks with people inside the Chamber of Commerce who want to do business with you. It can really help build your brand.

While all those marketing tactics got people in the door, it was obviously our job to get them signed up as well. I would say that’s where our top-notch customer service comes into play. We’re all about giving people that ultimate experience in our boot camp. That starts in the moment they walk in the door. My entire team, every week we have a weekly staff meeting and we have to role play for when people come in that door for the first time.

I tell people you only have basically two to three seconds to really make a first impression on somebody who comes in your door so you better make that hand shake, that eye-contact, that greeting the most important move you’ve ever done because that’s really where the sales process starts. People think the sales process starts when you get them in the sale or the nutrition consultation. No, it starts as soon as they walk through that door. You’re already selling them and they’re going to know within the next 6 seconds if they want to do business with you or not.

So all those things combined really helped us kind of jumpstart our business. All those tactics that I just told you about…we use those today as well so it doesn’t matter if you’re just opening up or if you’ve been at it for two years. All those marketing tools can really help grow your business.

Derek: Wow, that’s a lot of great information you just gave guys right there. I want to touch on a few things that you said. You mentioned building your email list through the opt-in on Facebook. Now were you just posting things on your page or were you running adds to it? Could you describe that process a little bit?

Daniel: At the time we were not really running ads. We were just posting free tips. I think we had like a 21-day meal plan give away so we just drove traffic to that and then and them opt in to our email list. But we really didn’t start doing Facebook ads, which I know we’ll talk about later until probably a month or two in our business which was something we should have done earlier.

get-strongGoing back on that I would definitely recommend running a Facebook ad to your page right away to try to get more opt ins. Get more emails just to build your list and start building that relationship with them right away before you even open the doors. If they already know, like and trust you before you open your doors, as soon as you open those doors they’re going to hopefully want to do business with you.

Derek: Sure, and one thing that I noticed you and Brittney have done really well is just getting out there in the community. It can come easy today is to just stay on Facebook or kind of do everything online through email but you guys really have gotten out there and you’ve done workouts inside those actual businesses, in strip malls and going out to the Chamber of Commerce. I know that’s one thing that some people are maybe a little hesitant to do but it can pay the huge dividends, just getting out there and talking to people face-to-face, shaking some hands and you’re actually getting your face out there so people know who you are and are probably a little less intimidated coming into a gym once they know who you are beforehand.

Daniel: Absolutely. It’s like you said—you hit it right on the head there—it’s easy to sit behind a computer, get into Facebook and write emails. That’s the easy thing to do. It’s a lot harder to get out to the community like you said and actually talk to people and really try to sell yourself and your brand. But that’s where you’re going to make the most impact. Yes, you can do really great with Facebook ads and email which we’ll talk about later, but getting that face-to-face contact and having people see your face and get to know you on a personal level and not through the computer makes a world of difference. So I 100% agree with you right there, Derek.

Derek: Alright, you mentioned kind of Groupon doing really well for you. Most people actually have a negative attitude towards Groupon. They think people are just coming in to get their free deal and then you’re never going to see them again. Why do you think it’s done so well for you and can you kind of briefly take us through your process when handling Groupon members coming in?

Daniel: Yeah, I really get excited talking about Groupon just because like you said people always have this negative thought process with Groupon. It’s like “Oh, it’s for tire kickers or it’s for people who just want a deal.” Yes, some people just buy all these Groupons and never actually redeem them or go into business. Yeah, that’s true. A lot of people do that and those are the people I don’t want in my gym anyway so that’s fine. Let them buy it and not ever come in. No harm to me.

But there are a lot of people who buy Groupons because they do want to test drive your program before they commit long term. That is a great tool to get people into your doors and let them try it out. But if you go into Groupon with a negative mindset it’s not going to do well for you. Think about it. Let me give you an example.

It will be like me going to a gym and let’s say I’m trying to go for a personal record on a back squat. Let’s say my record was 225 and I’m trying to go for 250 and that’s what’s on the bar. Right before I go on that bar, if I’m saying to myself, “I’m not going to get this. I just don’t have a chance. I’m going to try it anyway, oh well.” More than likely it’s not going to turn out well and I’m not going to get that personal record. It’s the same thing with Groupon. If you go into Groupon just thinking it’s not going to work, well yeah, it’s probably not going to work. But if you go there with a positive mindset it can do wonders for you.

when-you-catchNow with that being said, there are some things that you can do to ensure that Groupon is a good return of your investment. First off, you must treat your Groupons like a regular member right away. Talk to them like they’re already part of your regular program. For example, let’s say a lady named Suzy came in for the first time and I was talking to her. I’d say, “Hey Suzy, welcome to Fit Body Boot Camp. We’re so excited for you to join our fitness family. You’re actually going to love it here. Over the next three months you’re going to see some incredible changes and realize that fitness is a really fun and rewarding experience.”

What I did there was even though Suzy only paid for a 28-day Groupon.  Already I planted a seed in her head that she’s going to be with us much longer, for three months and beyond. Little things like that can go ahead and make them feel like they’re part of your program and really kind of planting that seed in their head that this is a long term investment. It’s not a 28-day investment just in the Groupon.

Anytime somebody comes in your program whether it’s a Groupon or another trial membership, those first two weeks are the most important. People are most excited when they start something brand new. If you get them great results and really give them value right away they’re much more likely to see results and stick with you for the long term. That’s what’s really important.

I tell people, too, to get these Grouponers in a nutrition consultation right away. As soon as they come in for that first visit go ahead and tell them that they get a free nutrition consultation and that you want to get it set up ASAP. I usually recommend the first ten days getting them a nutrition consultation. So let’s say you get somebody to schedule a nutrition consultation. Once they come in for that consultation you’re going to provide them with great value by giving them a lot of great nutrition tips. Listen to them and see what they have to say and what’s worked for them in the past and then provide value to them. After that you’re going to try to sell them on a regular membership offering them a really great discount that they can’t turn down.

For example, we did a five-week Groupon. It was like $50 or something crazy low. What we did was Brittney does all the nutrition consultations. Once we got them in a nutrition consultation and after she gave them value Brittney said, “Look, I know that you’ve only been here for two weeks but we want to go ahead and get you to committed long term. That way you don’t have to worry about anything. You just keep getting results and we’ll be providing you awesome workouts.”

So what she would do is try to sell them on a membership. Let’s say we a have 12-month membership for $127 a month. She would offer the first month for half off and say, “Hey, instead of the $127 in the first month, we’re going to give it to you for $50 and we’re also going to add an extra month at the end of the 12 months. So basically you’re getting 13 months for a 12-month value.”

The key is though they have to sign up that day. To kind of take the risk off them, Brittney would say, “Hey, listen if at any point you decide that you don’t want to continue with this after this Groupon is over, we’ll just rip up this membership form like it never happened.” That way there’s no risk on them.

So all those things combined really helped us have a great success with Groupon. I think the average Groupon conversion rate is like 25% and we were actually at 68%, which is pretty incredible. That just goes to show you that if you have a positive mindset and you have systems in place, Groupon can work.

Another thing Derek, if you think about it, basically a Groupon is nothing more than a low barrier offer. Everyone loves low barrier offers and they love low barrier offers because it gets people in your door and you usually have a pretty good chance of converting them over. Well, it’s the same thing with a Groupon. The Groupon is a low barrier offer just in a different platform. So why have a negative thought process behind it?

groupon_gAgain, it’s all about going into it knowing that you’re going to convert these members and following those systems like I laid out for you. That’s really the key to success. If somebody doesn’t sign up for me on a Groupon, I get mad at myself. I don’t blame them; I blame myself and my team because we didn’t do a good enough job of selling them on a membership. So don’t blame the Groupons. Blame yourself because you didn’t provide them enough value. You didn’t sell them enough to continue with you. So yeah, that’s a little bit about the Groupon and how we approached it.

Derek: Yeah, I think as long as you can really provide a lot great value and get them results rather quick on the first week or two, have them feeling great about the workouts, it’s a lot easier to kind of convert them and show them what they can actually do if they commit to that long term.

Kind of switching gears a little bit here, what would you say is the biggest mistake you made in the beginning and something you would change when you open up your second location in Greenville? As a follow-up, what would you say is the best thing you currently do that you’d like to duplicate in your second location?

Daniel: That’s a good question. I would say the biggest mistake we made was not reaching out to more people. I recently read a book that Bedros recommended actually in the last TT Summit. It’s called The 10X Rule. Basically, the book talks about taking what you’re currently doing and then multiplying it by ten. Did we reach out to a lot of people and tap into their networks? Yeah, we did. But could we have done even more? Absolutely, there’s no question about that. So I’d say our biggest mistake was just not reaching out to more people and just going out to even more businesses and tapping into more networks and really getting out on those streets like you said earlier, Derek. Getting as many people as we can and tell them about our brand and our mission.

I think the best thing that we did that we could duplicate with our next locations is just opening up as soon as possible. Everybody wants to wait for that perfect time but there’s nothing that irritates me more than hearing them saying that “I want to wait for the perfect time” or “When should I open my doors?” Well, how about tomorrow? Seriously! Every day you wait to open your doors, your completion is getting that much more of a lead on you and taking away your potential clients. Usually when you look at it that way, it usually will kick your butt in gear and answer that question for you.

When we opened we certainly didn’t have everything in place that we needed. There were a lot of things that still needed to be done but I knew as long as we had electricity and we had a permit to open our business, it was go time. That would be my biggest advice. Just don’t wait or sit out, trying to plan out when you should open. The day you are physically able to open the doors. that should be the day that you open. It doesn’t matter if it’s in December or July. Just take action, open the doors and the rest will follow.grant-cardone-book-the-10x-rule

Derek: Great. I remember when I was opening my own boot camp about a year and a half ago, I was getting ready to open up my first location and I remember one thing you said that always stuck with me was I was still kind of looking for a place to have it. If I was going to do it in a gym or become a contractor somewhere and rent a space. I was kind of mainly just wasting time trying to make all these decisions and you told me just to go to a park, get as many people as you can and start training people there and then figure out the rest of the stuff out later.

So there’s really this mindset of don’t waste any time. The longer you wait, the less action that you to take. Just get people out there. Get people knowing who you are. If you’ve got to train them in your backyard or your home or even at a your local park, just start doing it and start getting people results and building rapport with people so you can work on not only your people skills but also just getting people results with your workouts.

Daniel: Absolutely. We just tend to as a society to overthink everything. Don’t overthink it. Just get open. Like you said, just get people. It doesn’t matter if you’re outdoors or if you’re renting out a space or heck, if you run it our of your own garage. Just get people in front of you to train them. Show them great results. Train them for free if you have to and try to help them help you spread the word. Like I said, the rest will fall into place. Just take action. Take action. Take action. That’s the biggest thing I could say.

Derek: So back in May you had your big grand opening event that brought you guys a lot of buzz in the community. Could you give us just a little bit of information about that and tell us about the grand opening and how you made that a really special event?

Daniel: Yeah, absolutely. We actually opened our doors in February but we didn’t actually have our grand opening event until May. That’s something you can do, kind of like a soft opening. Maybe the first month or two is considered a soft opening so you’re kind of getting your feet from under you and trying to get things in place before you actually have like a big grand opening event where hopefully you draw a big crowd. We didn’t have our grand event until May but we knew that we wanted to make it a really big and fun event obviously not only for our current members but also for those new people who wanted to come and attend an event.

So first off, like I told you earlier about the Chamber of Commerce, we tapped into that network and reached out to the Mayor of Mt. Pleasant. The mayor is a lady named Linda. We got in contact with Mayor Linda and shared with her our 10,000-pound mission by the year 2020 and told her about our big grand opening event. We were thrilled because she was more than glad to come out and cut the ribbon which was really great because it got a lot of buzz.

Secondly, we wanted to get other businesses involved. Again we tapped into our network and reached out to about a half a dozen local businesses. Basically, we ask if they wanted to set up a booth at our event. Of course, they all said yes because we were providing value to them as well for letting them help get their brand out there to our members and to everybody who was attending the event.

We were sure to get businesses which aligned with us. Businesses like sportswear, supplements, chiropractic. We even had a café come out there and give out some food. Each booth at the event gave away prizes to our members by having them enter a raffle. So they got our clients’ email as well. Again, it was providing value to us and it was providing value to them so it was a great working relationship.

We did run a big Facebook ad talking up the event and just basically offering the entire community to come out for a free workout and enjoy the day’s festivities. Finally, we partnered up with a local radio station that helped us promote the event for free actually on some type of special deal that they were running. That got us a lot of buzz as well. I think the radio ad ran for a week or so and it was a good amount of radio air so that helped us out as well.


Really all that stuff combined with our members just telling their friends as well—we had two classes. It was about three hours long and I think we had over 60 people come out. It was a lot of fun. We had a lot of foot traffic stopping by as well. We had a bunch of balloons outside to kind of draw people in. Yeah, we got eight new members out of that as well so it was overall a really event. It helped us build our brand and get the name out there.

Derek: Great stuff. You mentioned having the 10,000-pound mission. How do you think that plays in and how important do you think having a mission for your business is in terms of being successful?

Daniel: I think it’s big. Anytime you get the whole community involved really helps out. It might not be so much for your actual members but when we’re in the Chamber of Commerce and we’re introducing ourselves in front of targeted businesses, we’re sort of telling them about our mission because people want to align themselves with something bigger than just them.

Getting getting that brand and mission out there helps other people involved and they want to do business with you and they want to bring people to your gym because they know that having the town of Mt. Pleasant lose 10,000 pounds is going to improve their business as well to make everybody better and make the community better. I think that’s really how we’ve kind of approached it. It’s great to have our members tell others about it as well. When our members lose weight they can put their name up the wall. We kind of build it up all the way to the 10,000 pounds but it’s more about getting the whole community involved. That’s really where the mission comes into play. Like I said, it helps other businesses and people want to bring more people to you because they want to be involved with something big like that.

Derek: Right, it’s kind of them being involved in something bigger than themselves where they obviously want to lose weight and get in shape personally for themselves, but once you have this big mission where you’re trying to bring the whole community together, people really kind of push that little extra bit and really kind of stay committed to you as well as they go through the program. From listening to a lot of your interviews and being on the other end of the few of them, I know you like to ask other fitness owners what their three top marketing strategies are. Now it’s your turn to spill the beans and let us know what your top three are and kind of explain each one briefly.

Daniel: Yeah absolutely. I’m sure these are all things that other people we’ve interviewed have said because I’m not reinventing the wheel; I’m just following what works. But our number one marketing tool for our Fit Body Boot Camp hands down is referrals. I can’t stress enough the importance of pushing for referrals onto your current clients. Like I’ve said, they already know, like and trust you and they really want to tell their friends, family and co-workers about your boot camp but sometimes they just kind of need that little friendly push or reminder about telling their friends and family how awesome your gym is. That’s where referral incentives come into play as well.

So for our gym, every time a client brings us someone who joins our program, the client gets $25 cash. Essentially, they can get well over half off each month just by referring three or four people to our gym each month. When a client does refer someone to us, we always make sure that either we write them a thank-you note, a nice email, give them a shout out on Facebook or even thank them in front of the entire class. I think that’s really important is to have referral incentives.

A lot of times gym owners make the mistake of just thinking that their clients are going to refer other people to them but sometimes need that extra push and you just condition them from the very get-go to send referrals. We actually have an auto-responder set up. Every time somebody joins our program, they automatically get an auto-responder and part of that auto-responder talks about referrals and how they can get $25 off and basically get a free membership if they just refer three to four people each month. Again, it’s all about conditioning your clients right away to bring you referrals. That’s number one.

arms-thighs-tummyNumber two would be Facebook ads. I must admit that I did not run my first Facebook ad until several months ago. The entire four years I had my two kickboxing gyms, I never once ran a Facebook ad. I just always thought it was a waste of time but I could not have been more wrong. I have to give a special shout out to a fellow Turbulence Trainer, Scott Rawcliffe, who hopped on the phone with me and Brittney several months back and really helped us run our first Facebook ad. Since then, I don’t know, we probably ran over a dozen Facebook ads with lots of success.

I’m certainly not an expert on the subject and I’m really far from it, but I do feel that my writing skills have helped a lot with that. One thing that Scott told me was to treat my Facebook ad like a sales copy. You want to have a strong headline that stands out. Try to put your headline in all caps and really make it stand out. After a strong headline, you want to share a problem that probably the audience is experiencing and then you want to offer them the solution to that problem as well. And then offer them a really great deal that they can’t pass up. That’s all we focus on the Facebook ads and it seems to have worked so far.

Also the picture in the ad is extremely important. It’s got to match up with your message. If you’re trying to sell a fat loss program, you don’t want to have a guy on there that is benching 300 pounds. It just doesn’t add up. It just doesn’t match up with the message so you really need to make sure that aligns with everything. We had a beach workout boot camp about a month ago. Brittney made this awesome video out of it and ran the Facebook ad to it. It got us a ton of buzz and helped us build our brand. You don’t always have to sell something on Facebook. If you have a great testimonial, run a Facebook ad to it and get people to see your message more so they get to know, like and trust you and see that it does work. So that’s number two.

I would say the last marketing strategy is probably low barrier offers. With my other gym as well, I never did a low barrier offer. I guess I didn’t have the resources like Fit Body provides us. I would do a low barrier offer. You can do a 14-day, a 28-day, it doesn’t really matter. The great thing about Fit Body Boot Camp is they provide you with already done-for-you low barrier offers. It works great because they allow people to test drive your program for a discounted price and for a shorter term. So again, it’s a lot like Groupon but you actually get full control over the offer.

But here’s the thing with low barrier offers: you can run them all the time and have a lot of people take advantage of them but if you don’t convert those low barrier offers to regular paying members, they won’t really do you much good. Again, you need to provide incredible service, a ton of value, get them a nutrition consultation right away and then try to offer them a really great deal and as soon as they sign up even before their low barrier offer expires.

They’re all the same process; just different methods of getting people to the door. Again, I’m really super proud about our conversion rates. I would say that we’re probably around 90% right now converting low barrier offers to regular memberships. It’s all about providing amazing value, making them feel like they’re part of your family right away and having systems in place so everything is done for you and each person that goes through that system gets the same results and the same value that everybody else that has gotten before them. Does that make sense?

Derek: Yeah, definitely. Just using those three strategies alone, you can really blow up your boot camp starting from ground zero and build it up really quick. Just pick one or two of those, really focus on it and kind of become an expert in that area and you can really make a lot of progress really quickly. Going back to that Facebook ads for a second, I know a lot of people kind of have questions on targeting and who you target with the ads. One thing that I always wondered is in terms of location, if you have a boot camp, you obviously are targeting people within a certain maybe mile radius of your location. Do you target specific zip codes? Are you targeting like ten miles within your address? How do you guys run your ads?

Daniel: I usually will do ten miles radius within our location. That seems to work the best. Where I’m in Charleston is different because it’s more of like a peninsula so traffic’s a lot worse. Even though somebody might only be five miles away, more than likely they’re probably not going to travel to you because it could take them an hour of traffic and there’s only one way in and one way out.

But yeah, a ten-mile radius is good. With the interests and behaviors, I’ll kind of play around with it. If I’m running a low-barrier offer for a 14-day say fat-burning furnace, I’ll try to target down interests for running, weight loss, parents, boot camp, extreme fat loss, extreme weight loss, and things like that. Anything that lines up with fat loss or weight loss or boot camp or bodyweight exercises. You’re going to have to play around with it. I’ve tried a lot of different things and I’ve certainly run some ads that did not do so well. But if you find one that works, do it again. Use those same interests and try to use the same marketing strategies that you used for the ones that worked. Just rinse and repeat.

I will say that I always recommend, like some people will run a Facebook ad for five days and spend $200 on it. That is fine but I would recommend starting it out for just two days and pay $20 first and see how it runs. If it runs well, you can of course run the same ad again. That way you’re not going ahead and committing all that money upfront. If you’re doing it for two days and it doesn’t work, well then you can change it up and start a new ad. That’s my biggest recommendation. Just start out with a couple of days, see how it runs first and then take it from there so you can make any adjustments. You can run the same ad again if it did do well for you.

Derek: Sure. Kind of moving on to the low barrier offers. How many do you normally run? Can you kind of share your process on how you convert so many of them to longer paying clients?

Daniel: Yeah, as far as the low barrier offer, we don’t really have a set number or a calendar of when we run them. But I will say that I try to run them around certain events such as holidays, celebrations, or anything that you can tie a low barrier offer into. So basically any excuse you can use to run a low barrier offer, I would suggest doing it.

remember-goalsWe’ve done Valentine’s. We’re doing one right now which we’ll talk about in a minute. We did a Father’s Day one. There are a lot of different ones that you can do. Any type of holiday, just tie it around that.

As far as the process is concerned, it’s the exact same thing as the Groupon,. Get them into the program. You provide them with a ton value. Also get them results within that first few days. Get them set up in a nutrition consultation and then take them through the process of nutrition consultation and try to offer them a really great deal that they can’t resist.

As far as the deals are concerned, you have to be really careful because you don’t want to discount too much of a membership. If current members find out, it’s like well, it’s not fair that she’s paying this and I’m paying this and I’ve been here longer. We try to only discount on the first month. Another cool strategy that you can use is to add on a month at the end of like the 12-month membership. That way it’s not really costing you any money upfront and it’s just adding an extra month to them. It sounds good because you get 13 months for only a 12-month price but at least you’re not losing money upfront on that part and other members are not going to find out that they’re getting a huge discount because they’re still paying the same monthly rate. Does that make sense?

Derek: Definitely. I remember I think it was Craig who said, “Every day is a good day to have a sale” so if you can tie in something that’s going on in your community or, as you mentioned, holidays, anything that you can kind of tie in to a low barrier offer will really get people interested and excited to try out your program. Staying on the low barrier offers, can you give us a specific example of one that you ran recently that did really well for you?

Daniel: Yeah, I’ll tell you right now actually. We just launched on Monday a back-to-school low-barrier offer. Here at Charleston kids started back school this week so we decided to run a 28-day low barrier offer for $48. We know that most people really struggle to exercise and stay on track during the summer months and that’s especially true in Charleston where we have the beach right here and there are a lot of things to do outdoors. People have a hard time staying in their routine during that time.

Obviously when school starts back the parents can finally get back to that normal routine. That’s why this promos is really focused around school being back and now it’s time to put the focus back on you. Again, we’ll run them through the whole process that I’ve talked about over and over again. One thing cool we’re actually doing with this low barrier offer is we’re running a referral contest for our members to go along with the back-to-school promo. This should make it that much more successful. I know we just started Monday and we had 13 people sign up Monday already and we’ve had several in the last two days. We’re going to try to run it for a couple of weeks but if we get too many people in such as 30, 40 or 50 people, we’ll probably have to shut it down because we do have a limited space on the floor and in our classes.

But again, that’s one of the low barrier offers you can do. It’s the same process I’ve been talking about but again, you’re just tying in some type of special occasion to it. A back-to-school special is a perfect example. Most people just really struggle in the summer months and now the kids are back or teens are back. Everyone’s excited to get back into the groove of things and that’s why we decided to run this 28-day low barrier offer. I think it should tie in well with our referral contest.

Derek: That’s great. Dani, I’ve known you for a couple of years now and one thing that I’ve really noticed is you’ve become a really great writer, kind of when I first met you to where you’re at now. I know doing the info products helped with that and just communicating with your staff and your clients in the boot camp helped with that as well. I know it’s kind of a hard question to answer in an interview but can you just talk a little bit about how you create your emails and maybe provide a couple of tips that people could use to become a better writer?

Daniel: Yeah, sure. Derek, I was really never a great writer. In fact, not too long ago I went back to an old blog site I had started I think it was my last year of college. I just was like I’m going to start a blog; it’s a cool thing to do now. Some of those articles that I wrote were just horrendous, man. They were embarrassing to even read but it’s just a great stepping stone for where I’m at today.

First off, it really all comes down to practice. With anything, the more you write the better you become. So I would suggest spending like 15 minutes each morning or during your magic time and then just write. You can write about anything. It doesn’t really matter but just put your thoughts down. Don’t worry so much about the grammar or formatting. Just practice putting your thoughts down on paper. That’s the first thing I would suggest.

The second thing I would do is study other great copywriters. When I first started my online business, I guess it’s been a year to a year and a half ago, I really wanted to focus around copywriting so I studied people like Craig, Shawn Hadsall, Tyler Bramlett and others who were at the top of their game when it came to copywriting. I read, practiced, I read more and I practiced more. I think it’s also important to talk directly to the reader. I can’t tell you how many emails I get back from clients who actually think that I’m directly talking to them even though I’m sending out to hundreds of people. That’s really what you want. You want people to feel like you’re directly talking to them.

As for certain examples, I would try to start my emails off by either asking a question or making a statement that makes them really think. In other words, you want to engage your reader right away and then hook them to continue on reading your emails. Most people are only going to read the first couple of lines of an email and if they don’t like it, if they aren’t engaged, they’re going to go to the next email. So it’s really important to capture their attention right away.

Another thing I always try to do is give them a real life example, usually something that involves me or Brittney. People love to hear stories about you and your life and then you can kind of tie them into theirs as well. That really works great. Then finally, I always try to add some humor in my emails. People love to be entertained and adding some humor to your emails is always a good idea, I think.

Man writing with a penOf course, obviously you want a great subject line. That’s really important. I know Bedros is a genius at subject lines. I like to read his subject lines and see if I can kind of copy it and turn it into my own. That’s all I would say to really craft your emails. Again, it all comes down to practice. I was a terrible writer in school. I never did well in writing or English or language. It all comes down to practice and studying others. That’s it.

Derek: You mentioned telling stories. I think that’s kind of one of the biggest takeaways that you can really use to improve your writing and your emails. Just kind of spouting off dry facts will kind of get people to tune out pretty quickly but if you can tie those into a story, even a personal story of something that happened to you will really get people kind of interested and looking forward to opening your emails rather than people just deleting them and never opening them.

Daniel: Yup.

Derek: You’ve also kind of in last month’s TT newsletter, you talked about the importance of offering everyone a free week instead of just a free workout. I know a lot of people are kind of hesitant to do that. They don’t want to devalue their service and they think if people get a free week, maybe they’ll be less likely to join later because they’re just looking for everything for free. So can you kind of go into that a little bit more and talk about why you should offer a free week instead of just a free workout?

Daniel: Yeah. Absolutely. I think it’s the best thing we’ve done. From the very beginning of our business, we were just offering a free workout. Like you said, it’s certainly nothing revolutionary. It’s pretty standard in our business to offer each new person that comes through the door a complementary first workout. But what I started really noticing there was that people were not getting a good feel for our program based off the very first workout. For example, people would say, “I really enjoyed the workout. I just don’t know if I’m ready to commit” or, “I like it but I want to try a couple of other gyms in the area before making a long-term commitment.”

What I realized was most people’s first workout is really nerve-racking. They don’t quite understand the system yet. They don’t understand the program and obviously they’re nervous and intimidated. Seeing their first workout is not always the best from an exercise standpoint was a downfall. However when you give them another three times in your gym, they can really start to see the value in it. They see the different trainers. They get to meet a lot more of your awesome clients. After the first visit, they feel like another person who walks through the door but if you give them an entire free week, they really get to start feeling like they’re already a part of your family and that’s really huge.

Yeah, with the just one free workout we were probably converting around 60% of the people but now what we’ve started offering an entire free week, we’re definitely hovering around the 90% conversion mark. So that’s a 30% spike just from offering a couple more free workouts so obviously I would say that it’s worth it.

Now here is my suggestion. Don’t come out and tell people right away that you get a free week. I always say hey, we’re going to give you a free workout. Your first workout is free. Come by and try us out. So if somebody calls or emails you, just say yes, you get a free complimentary workout. Then after their workout, that’s when you offer the free week. This way it kind of feels like they’re special and they leave the gym feeling that they almost got a present from you. You basically upsold them and showed them more value. “Hey, you did an awesome job. By the way, I want to give you an extra three workouts so come back any time this week and try us out for another two or three times to really get a feel for our program.” So yeah, that’s where we’re at right now. The free week has worked wonders and I would suggest to anybody doing it, at least try it out to see how it works for you but it has worked really well for us.

Derek: Yeah, that’s a really great way to do it, too, offering the free workout and then kind of upselling them after the workout, saying, “You did such a great job and we had so much fun having you here, we want to give you another three workouts on top of that.” I think for me it just kind of shows them how they can make this like a habit in their lives. Most people can do a workout and they’re like, “I don’t really know if I can stick to this” or, “I don’t know if this really fits my schedule” but if they come in two or three times in that first week, they can really see how they can maintain this and do this long term and start actually seeing results. So it’s really great.

Now I want to switch gears a little bit. You just ended your very first six-week challenge and I know these are really becoming popular in the Fit Body world. So could you just explain to us your six-week challenge a little bit and how it was able to bring you great results, both bringing in more money and more exposure in your community?

Daniel: Yeah, absolutely. Most of the time we only associate making more profit with signing up new clients. That’s the main way to make more revenue. However, you can’t neglect upselling your current clients. Like I’ve said over and over again, they already know, like and trust you so you don’t really need to do too much selling to them. Things like supplements, apparel and a lot of merchandise are all ways that you can get more money out of your current clients.

And then there are the challenges like you said. I can’t take credit for this because I learned this from other people before me but we have put some twists on the challenge and it really made it a great success for us.

got-goalsBasically, here’s how it works. We ran a six-week challenge for our current clients and anyone else who’s interested in joining. I basically kind of called it like a jacked up Fit Body Boot Camp program. You still get the same bells and whistles as a regular program but you also get a lot more value such as access to our private Challenge Facebook group, Sunday outdoor boot camps workouts, new and never before seen meal plans, more accountability and lots more value. Again, it’s open to members and non-members.

Now if members want to hop onboard, you can just charge them an extra one-time fee on top of their monthly draft. For example, you can charge $100 extra for the challenge for members and then non-members you can charge anywhere from $170 to $200 for the six weeks, which sounds like a lot but is still an incredible value. All in all, I think we had 46 people enter into our six-week challenge which we’re really happy about considering it was the very first one that we ran. I have to look at the stats but I believe 30 of those 46 members were current numbers and then 16 were new folks who have never tried us out before.

Here’s the really cool part though. Whoever wins our contest at the end of the six-week challenge gets a really awesome prize. We gave out first, second and third place money. I think we gave out $300 for first place, which you know is awesome. You’re losing weight and gaining more money. What’s better than that, right? But then we also had a whole point system in place as well. It included things like you get points for checking in on Facebook, you get points for referring someone, points for turning in your weekly progress report and so on. It’s hard to explain in this format but we want everybody to have a chance to win. That’s why we really tried to add more points. It’s not just about losing weight. It’s about other things, trying to get as many people involved so that everybody feels like they have a chance to win and they’re just more excited to do more things with the challenge.

At the end of the challenge we threw a really sweet VIP red carpet party at a local restaurant. We actually had an actual red carpet. We had a Fit Body Boot Camp backdrop. We had gift bags for everyone and just a lot more. It got us a lot of exposure. It helped us earn some extra revenue and most importantly resulted in some really awesome transformations. We had a couple of people lose up to 20 pounds and 10 inches. We are going to use our transformations to help sell our programs.

So we haven’t done it yet but we have an idea of basically getting like a hall of fame wall, a transformation wall in the office so when Brittney takes the nutrition consultation in there and people are kind of reluctant, she could say, “Look at this wall. Look at these 20 people who have seen incredible transformations. This could be you. This could be you in six weeks. This could be you in 12 weeks.” We will have tons of transformations and it’s just living proof that what we’re doing is working.

So yeah, the challenge is great. It was a lot of fun. We’re probably going to run four to six a year. We’re actually thinking about running one in October/November of this year because just like the summer most people struggle during the summertime so we figured hey, why not run a challenge in the summertime to try and help people stay more committed. We might run one during the holiday season as well to help with Thanksgiving and Christmas. That way, we can try to help people, help hold them more accountable during the holiday months which is obviously tough for people to stay committed.

Derek: That’s awesome, man. I know like if you just started out and you might not have the money to give away for prizes and things like that, you can always give away maybe a free month or something else that doesn’t necessarily need to be money or an actual physical gift. So there are plenty of options if you’re just starting out and don’t necessarily have the cash behind you to kind of give that out.

So kind overall through this interview, you kind of clearly showed that you guys are getting a lot of people through the door, getting a lot of them signed up but how are you keeping your current clients happy? I know you mentioned writing thank-you notes but what are some of the other things that you do that really make your customers feel special?

Daniel: That’s a really good question. Sometimes, I think we lose focus. We’re so worried about getting new people in the door that we lose sight of our current clients, which is your best marketing tool. So yeah, you can never neglect your clients and we have to show them a lot of value.

Again it all starts out with amazing customer service and awesome value. We take pride in knowing all our member’s names, we know their family member’s names, what type of jobs they do. We want to know as much about them as possible. We genuinely care about them outside the gym. We’ll send them text messages each week. We’ll write them thank-you cards or randomly give them gift cards, send them a happy birthday shout out on Facebook. Just little things like that can go a long way. I guarantee you no other gym in Mt. Pleasant are doing that type of service.

FBBC SM7It might seem not like a big deal to you but to them, it can make a world of difference. I tell trainers you don’t know what clients are going through outside the gym and when they come to the gym, that is their 30 minutes or an hour of time away from real life. That’s your job to make them feel great themselves, to give them that encouragement that they might not be getting from their spouse or their co-workers or their bosses. You always have to keep that in mind, that they come to you because they know that you can give them positive energy and positive vibes.

And we also love hanging out with our members outside of the gym. We’ll do hangouts once or twice a month at a local restaurant or we’ll do fun activities outside the gym like paddle boarding, bowling or something like that. We’re just trying to get everybody out in the community. We’ll have them bring their family members as well.

Probably the most important thing that I learned from Bedros, which I’ve learned a lot of him, is always go above and beyond everyone’s expectations. In other words, do what you promised and then over-deliver times ten. If you do that and you show your clients that you really care about them, who wouldn’t want to join your gym, right? It’s all about going above and beyond what’s expected of you.

But it has to be genuine as well. Brittney and I and our stuff truly care about our members. I sat down after class with a member for 30 minutes just to talk to them about what they’re going through and see if I can help them. It’s not just about the training aspect. It’s about improving your overall lifestyle and trying to help them any way we can. I would say that was probably our biggest thing, keeping customers happy and showing them that we truly care about them.

Derek: Yeah, that can really go a long way. This might be a tough question to answer for anyone but if you had to pinpoint the one area that has made your Fit Body Boot Camp so successful this early, what would that be and why?

Daniel: Say that again?

Derek: I said what would be the number one thing that you would point to that made your Fit Body successful so early on?

Daniel: I would probably just say just hire a great staff. Obviously, we can’t do it by ourselves and I’ve made a lot of bad hires in my day, especially in my other gyms and I now understand the importance of having people in your gym staff that are committed and that have a passion for fitness like you. That would be the biggest thing that helped us have success. It’s having great staff in place. It takes a while to find that good staff. You might have to go through some bad staff and to make some fires but at the end of the day, especially if you’re looking to grow your business and you want to work on your business, not in your business, you’ve got to have really amazing people that work for you and that can help you out.

Derek: That’s great. So what advice would you give to someone who is just starting out and maybe doesn’t really know what the first step is to take and really isn’t sure what they’re doing? What advice would you give to them?

Daniel: I mean it’s like I said – just take action and also find a mentor. That by far has probably been the best thing I’ve done in my life. It’s no secret that Craig has been a mentor over the past five years. He’s grown me into a man  and an entrepreneur today. Reaach out to someone who’s doing what you want to do. Email them, give them a call or write them a letter asking if they’d be willing to spend a little bit of time and help guide you to where you want to be. More times than not they’re going to help you or if they can’t, now hopefully they can find somebody else who can. I didn’t really have a mentor in my life growing up but thankfully Craig came into my life and has been a mentor figure to me.

The best part of it is now I can pay it forward and I can help mentor others like Nestor, Shawn, Brent and Chase, all the other CTTs who are hungry to succeed in business. So I would just say take action and find a mentor, find someone who can guide you. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of people who are willing to help you because they’ve been helped as well and I would not be here today if it wasn’t for people helping me. So now I want to pay it forward and help others.

Derek: Alright, Dani. So unfortunately we are running out of time here so just one last question. With you having so many things going on in your life right now, how do you stay on top of it all? What do you do to stay organized and allow yourself from free time away from work?

Daniel: That’s probably the million-dollar question here, right?

Derek: Yeah.

Daniel: How do I stay organized and on top of things? Yeah, I mean my life is pretty busy between my boot camps and my second location on the way and all the things I do for ETR and Turbulence Training. My schedule can get pretty out of control if I don’t stay on top of things. Here’s kind of what I do. Each night I write down my top three priorities for the next day. What three things, it can either business or personally, are the most important to me that day and what tasks do I need to do to get those done in order to accomplish those things? I call them the MITs, the most important tasks..

Basically, I write them down in a little journal and keep it by my nightstand. Once my alarm goes off bright and early each morning, I grab my notebook and I’m going right to work on my top three priorities. I try my best to not do anything else until those three things are done. I know whatever happens the rest of the day, as long as I can get those three important things done, preferably first thing in the morning for me because I’m a morning person—that’s my magic time—if I can get those three things done, I know thatI’ll be moving forward in my life and in my business.

FBBC SM1That’s really all I do. It’s pretty simple and straightforward but it works. These areas we can have a list of over 100 things that we could be

doing each day but usually 95 out of those 100 things are really not that important. They can either wait, they can be crossed off the list or you can delegate to somebody else. But those five things that really do matter should be your focus and that will move you forward with your business. Obviously, that’s probably the biggest thing. Tackle your top three priorities right away or make a list. Everything else that’s not a top priority, you can still write it down but you don’t need to worry about that so you get the most important things done each day.

Derek: Yeah, I think it’s really important to just kind of identify a few key things to focus on because once you have a list a mile long, you end up not getting anything done rather than just getting the most important things done. I just wanted to say thanks, Dani, for really sharing all this great information on the call. You really built up your boot camp with Brittney really quickly and shared basically the behind-the-scenes action plan that you guys use to really have a lot of success. Before we go, do you have any last words?

Daniel: Just follow the TT motto, “Never ever give up” and I promise you can reach your destination. Just use those resources that you have. You have a ton of resources being a CTT with our private Facebook group, our newsletters, all the ETR articles and the Facebook. Reacy out to us. We’re here to help you utilize those resources. Don’t be scared to ask for help because I certainly reached out for help all the time. I just had Nestor help me with something the other day and it helped me out tremendously. So use us as resources. We’re here to help you. And just never ever give up.

Derek: Alright, those are some great words to end, Dani. Thanks again, Dani, for being so generous with your time and sharing all this information that has worked so well for you and Brittney. Thank you all for listening and we’ll see you on the next CTT call.

Daniel: Thanks, Derek.

Hey guys, Bedros again. Hope you enjoyed the interview.

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