If you run a fitness bootcamp, box, or studio, you should save this post.
That’s because this post is literally a blueprint for any trainer to grow their business and enjoy more freedom & wealth.
Let’s start with the reason trainers fail to make the money they could: lack of focus.
If you’re not making the money or the freedom you want, then STOP all the things you’re doing and focus only on the steps in this guide.
These are the steps that will get you floods of new clients, grow your income & allow you to take time off without having a panic attack.
To keep this simple, there are 3 things you need to spend your time on:
- Getting Qualified Leads & Phone Numbers
- Convert a Higher % Of Those Leads Into Higher-Paying Clients
- Maximize The “Lifetime Value” of Each Client So You Make More With Less
I want you to focus on these 3 things until you’re generating over £20k a month.
Let’s go deeper into each of these areas:
How to Get More Fitness Leads
Here are the most successful ways I know to generate a consistent flow of interested prospects:
– FACEBOOK ADS
No doubt about it – Facebook ads are the fastest & most efficient way to drive leads for your fitness business. If you aren’t investing at least £10 a day into this, its time to start.
But what’s the best way to use Facebook ads to grow your gym, I hear you ask?
- Create a super attractive Front-End Offer that gets the prospect a result in a short time frame.
- Create a lead form or website link Facebook ad that captures the email address and phone number.
- Once they’ve submitted their basic details, further qualify the prospect by having them complete an application form on the following page.
- Call the prospects with the most in-depth applications submitted. Make the sale over the phone, or invite them to see you in-person if required.
This is the exact process I’ve used to generate thousands of bootcamp & semi-private training clients since 2012 when I first started using Facebook ads. Virtually every single campaign I’ve ran has produced profitable ROI’s for me.
To learn this Facebook Ad Funnel process in full depth, read more here (opens in new window).
^^^ That time 93,000+ interested local prospects went to my fitness blog
– CONTENT MARKETING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Use your Facebook, Youtube and Instagram as a “window to your business” for outside prospects. Every week upload images, videos & posts that demonstrate your gym culture and experience.
Do NOT make the mistake of posting scientific tips and jargon. Don’t argue or bitch about other professionals either (not even Mr Wicks, leave the dude alone!).
Instead keep it fun & positive so prospects can see what they’re missing from their boring, usual gym or trainer.
Also get as much user-generated content from clients as possible. Have them share their wins and case studies.
As much social proof as you can show is great. And I don’t mean the generic “before / after” pictures of clients standing uncomfortably in their underwear! Instead, show real pictures of real people – demonstrate their positive emotions, smiles and happiness!
This demonstrates the true change your prospects wish to make – on the inside. Ben, and our other coaches at The Transform Hub do this incredibly well (see image below).
Remember that when using social media – show proof of results, and a window to the experience!
– GET REFERRALS FROM YOUR EXISTING CLIENTS
Always be asking for referrals!
Every month run an “open week” where clients can bring a select friend or partner.
Run referral competitions once a quarter and give prizes based on how many leads and successful new sales your clients help you get.
Ask for a referral any time a client shares a win / result with you. When they tell you about their results, say to them, “That’s so awesome! Hey Suzie, which of your friends or work colleagues would also love to get results like you are? I’d love to give a couple of your friends a complementary week at bootcamp as a special gift from you...”
Take their numbers, call them! Simple – buy you must do it consistently.
Don’t waste time or money buying business cards.
Instead, get plastic gift cards. You can sell them, or even just donate them to other businesses, schools or charities and they’ll distribute them to their audiences while thanking you for it!
^^^ These are my gift cards for the studio in Cyprus I launched.
In this video I reveal a few ways you can use these gift cards to get floods of new clients!
– DAILY DEAL SITES
Daily Deal sites can still work extremely well to fill your fitness business. The trick is knowing how to play the game and attract the most qualified prospects – without losing money on the discount they expect.
In this post I outline exactly how to package your daily deal offer & actually make MORE money than usual!
-BUILD YOUR EMAIL & MESSENGER BOT LIST
So many fitness pros are failing to build a local list of email subscribers. Huge mistake!
Just think about it – what would happen if you had a list of 5,000, 10,000 or even 20,000 local prospects who engaged with your emails and newsletters each week?
Whenever you needed a surge of clients you can simply put out an offer and BOOM – sales come in! A responsive list is like having your own ATM – because it literally prints money!
Capture emails when a prospect expresses interest in one of your front end offers. Have an email capture box on your main website. Let people subscribe for updates and a weekly tips newsletter.
Before long you’ll have hundreds or even thousands of prospects at your fingertips.
The best part is you can automate 99% of this relationship nurturing process!
–HOLD INFORMATIONAL SEMINARS IN YOUR LOCAL AREA
This is without a doubt the fastest way to establish yourself as the “go to” authority and expert of your area.
Public speaking puts you in a league of your own. I launched a gym in Europe, and we filled it by holding TWO live seminars every single week (Thursday and Saturday mornings).
We speak to 50 – 100 attendees at a time, we share case studies of how our clients get results, and the principles of our program. Then we make a simple offer to join our front-end program and dozens of people sign up.
^^^ Our gym filled with 50-100 people at a time. That’s how you sell in volume!
I even trained my own coaches to lead the seminars and sell on their own! Within 4 weeks of learning my method, my coaches can convert 50% of the room onto a paid front-end challenge offer.
You too can become the leading expert and authority of your area – within 30 days – following my ultimate guide to promoting & profiting from your own seminars HERE <
–GET FEATURED IN LOCAL MEDIA – FOR FREE!
Getting featured in the media as the ‘local expert’ is super easy. Because the journalists are desperate for content and experts like you! Second, because none of your competition will even try!
Take this massive advantage now and approach local newspapers, magazines and even regional TV and news offering tips and advice for their readers / listeners. Many of the trainers in my mentorship program have followed my method for this and been successfully featured on mainstream TV, news and radio within weeks (without paying a cent for the exposure).
^^^ Men’s Health magazine featured the gym we launched in Europe – we didn’t pay a cent!
There are numerous other ways to generate leads. The key is to find the options that work best for you, and for your budget / resources.
By applying just 2-3 of these strategies consistently, you should be able to get at least 5-10 quality leads a day on average.
But the work isn’t done yet!
The next step is to convert those prospects into clients. High-paying clients!
How to Convert Your Leads into High Paying Clients
Fitness pros generally hate making ‘the sale’. You don’t want to sound cheesy, or pushy.
The great news is, I have a method of doing ‘sales’ that means you never have to ‘hard-sell’ ever again.
Its called the Expert Authority method.
We don’t ‘pitch’ – we prescribe.
We don’t offer ‘services’ – we offer solutions.
And we don’t ‘sell’ clients… we enrol clients.
The difference is in your mindset and positioning. I teach my clients to think more like a doctor or car mechanic – two types of professionals that totally get this.
You can’t go to a doctor or mechanic and say “How much is it?“. They must ask YOU questions first. They must diagnose your situation and challenges.
Then, they have a professional & ethical duty to match you up with their best prescription – a solution that will help you overcome your challenge in the best way possible.
A Revealing Lesson About “Sales Resistance” & Why You’re Scared to Ask for Money…
When a doctor has to tell a patient that she needs emergency surgery or she’ll die… and its going to cost $9,000, does the doc get ‘sales resistance’?
Does he cower from telling the patient the price incase it sounds ‘too much’? Of course not.
So why does a fitness trainer feel so much sales resistance to taking money, when a doctor doesn’t?
Simply put – the doctor believes more strongly that what he’s giving the patient is more valuable than the client’s money.
The doctor has an ingrained belief that the prospect’s health is the most important thing. He expects the patient to put their health before money.
In a similar way, the car mechanic expects you to pay whatever it costs to fix your car. Because having a car that works (and is safe) is more important than your troubling money situation.
But do you feel the same way toward your prospect?
The truth is, although most trainers logically know the health is highest priority for the client, their emotions overrun them, and they cower behind the price. They don’t ask for their real price in order to ‘help’ the prospect.
The trouble is, when we do this we’re enabling the client to feel that saving money is more important than investing in their health, fitness and confidence too.
We already created Front End Offers to allow prospects to sample what we do at a lower cost commitment. But when it comes to your regular monthly, back-end packages, I suggest you stay strong and vigilant on pricing.
A fitness trainer asked this great question on my Facebook thread the other day. Here’s my response – any fitness professional needs to read this:
The lesson here is when you believe fully in the power of self-investing… you can transition that belief to the prospect. If you don’t believe it… why should they?
That’s a small bit on mindset as I think its critical to talk about first.
However, I know you want some practical, step-by-step sales strategy to go with it 🙂
So, lets talk about the methods to close clients effortlessly…
Trainers Suck at Sales. So Let Your Service Sell Itself
Some of the best advice I ever heard was to ‘stay in your lane’. Stick to what you’re naturally best at.
When everyone in a company does this, it will expand rapidly.
So, let’s be honest – most trainers suck at sales. We hate it, and we cringe at having to learn the “NLP” techniques to make prospects agree with us, or mirror our body language or whatever.
Forget all that.
Another awesome lesson I learned from was from Steve Jobs – who said the key to the iPhone’s success was that it was a product that sold itself.
Jobs said: “The product is the marketing. The marketing IS the product.”
How does this apply to your fitness bootcamp, box or studio?
I believe in making the Front-End Offer give such a fantastic result and experience to the client, that they can’t help but want to stay.
They have to stay. How could they possibly quit?
That’s the key to sales here.
If the short-term “test drive” with you is so life-changing, they will see no way they cannot continue. Emotion will overcome any logic that their partners, or their bank account managers throw at them.
Because we buy based on emotion. We only justify the sale with logic.
So we look at the entire Front End Program as one big ‘sales funnel’ that is all part of the conversion process.
–HOW TO CLOSE OVER THE PHONE (USE THESE QUESTIONS)
It starts by getting on the phone with a prospect whose interested in joining your Front End Offer.
The only goal here is to make sure they’re a good fit for the program long-term, and handle any potential objections now. Don’t wait until the last day of their trial only to get a big NO! Weed out the best candidates from the start, before they even step foot into your gym.
We use a template structure of questions that we ask over the phone. This isn’t a ‘script’ but more of a guided template that allows room for conversation to expand.
We are qualifying people to make sure they’re right FOR US. Remember- they need you more than you need them! You must get that feeling across in your positioning (without being a jerk, obviously. Just think of the authority frame a doctor has again).
I ask questions that let me know they are likely to stay long term with us, such as:
- “What are the emotional reasons you want to do this? How will you feel when you achieve X result?”
- “Why are you ready to solve this problem NOW? What made this so important now? “
- “What will happen if you go another 6 months without solving this problem? “
- “Why do you want the help of a coach? Why not do it alone? “
- “What else have you tried? Why do you feel they didn’t work for you? “
- “Are you ready to invest in yourself long-term, or are you only seeking a quick fix over the next couple of weeks?”
- “Our program requires you train 3x per week, and follow our nutrition guidelines (nothing crazy, just sensible healthy habits). Can you commit to that?“
Positive answers to these questions indicate the prospect is more likely a good long-term client and won’t flake out on us last minute.
When you filter for qualified prospects, the job of ‘selling’ become far easier later on. Like the process has worked for myself and business partner Stuart Morgan (above) for our transformation centres in Cardiff, UK.
–MAKE AN “ASCENSION OFFER” TO YOUR FRONT END CLIENTS
An “ascension offer” simply means a chance to upgrade from their low-barrier trial program onto a long-term, back-end program.
Most fitpros make the mistake of waiting until the very end of the prospect’s trial to make the ascension offer. Some fitpros don’t even make an offer at all!
Instead, you’ll get more sales and faster cashflow by making your prospects an offer to upgrade to long term plan BEFORE the end of the Front End Offer program.
Ideally, before even half way through!
Whenever we run a 21-day or a 6-week challenge, we always make an offer to the prospects on the very first week. That’s because there’ll always be 5% of people that know quickly this is the place for them.
So we get our coaches to round everyone up after the first or second workout of the trial program, and say:
“Hey so you all have until the end of the FEO program to try this out. However, a couple of people have already asked us about ‘what happens after this’? Here’s the deal – if you already know this is the place for you and you’re interested in coaching long term with us, we have a special One-Time Offer ONLY available ’til the end of this week. If you’re ready to commit to us, we’ll commit to you by giving you your first 3 months with us for £300 instead of £360.” (adjust for your own prices!)
This gives people an incentive to get off the fence and get started. Gives you some upfront cashflow too!
In one of our locations, we typically have around 50% of our FEO clients upsell long-term with us. And of those 50%, a whopping 90% of them take a Paid-In-Full 6- or 12-month offer!
This helps you liquidate your costs of getting all the prospects through the door… meaning you can continually keep investing in ads to fill more and more FEO spaces. This system functions like clockwork and its helped us gain hundreds of clients profitably into our gyms over the years.
The key to consistently generating cash in your business is to use a simple, PROVEN sales format like this. And put it on a clockwork system to it works all year round.
Finally, the real meat – what to do once your clients are enrolled:
Maximize The “Lifetime Value” of Each Client So You Make More With Less
Most trainers overlook this part, and that’s a shame.
Because there’s so much HIDDEN profit hiding in your existing client base.
It costs much less to keep a client happy than it does to find, nurture and convert a whole new prospect from cold.
A lot of trainers also struggle with low profit margins. They go months without paying themselves, because at the end of the month there’s no cash left. I regularly see trainers making £30k, £40k and £60k a month – making less than a couple grand profit. That’s no good.
Maximizing the value (revenue) of your current clients is the fastest way to boost up your profit margins so you have money to pay yourself – and to help you scale without having to get a loan and going into debt.
There are 3 ways we can maximize the value of a client:
- Maximize Retention Value: How many months your average client stays for
- Maximize Upsell Value: How much money your average client pays for additional services or products during their stay with you
- Maximize Referral Value: How many referrals the average client generates during their stay with you
Now listen in close…
I’m about to share a massive money-making secret with you.
You can dramatically boost your income by increasing the 3 things above by just 10% each. That’s not difficult at all.
Yet the results will compound. Here’s the math: (Pay attention, this will make you money for years!)
Let’s say right now your average client pays you £100/month.
They stay for 3 months.
They pay an average of £10 a month in upsells each month
And they refer 1 additional client in that time.
That means your Lifetime Client Value is currently:
Retention Value = £100 x 3 = £300
+ Upsell Value = £10 x 3 = £30
This gives us £330 per client on average.
However, they also refer 1 MORE client successfully. So we can actually double that amount.
Total Lifetime Value = £660 average, over 3 months. Or, £220/month average.
Now, what if we increase each factor by only a tiny amount?
You build a better service and community so they stay for 5 months average, instead of 3.
You charge £110 a month, instead of £100.
She upsells by £15/month, instead of £10.
And now the average client makes TWO referrals in 5 months, instead of just 1.
Look at the numbers now…
Retention Value = £110 x 5 = £550
+ Upsell Value = £15 x 5 = £75
This gives us £625 per client on average.
And, we get TWO additional clients with that.
The new lifetime client value is £1,875 across 5 months. Or, £375/month average.
You’ve gone from making £660 per client, to £1875 per sale. Almost 3X as much money.
You’ve essentially TRIPLED your income potential. Just by charging 10% more, upselling £5 a month more, generating one extra referral, and having a client stay 5 months instead of 3.
I know you can do ALL those things, with your eyes closed!
So this is why trainers struggle to see profits in the business. They’re so focused on “new leads” they forget the “old money” right under their nose!
Here are some ideas to help you extend your client retention, and some upsells you might want to think about offering:
-Get all clients onto recurring direct debit or Paypal accounts, autobilled.
When the client doesn’t see the money exchange each month its ‘out of sight, out of mind’, so they’re more likely to stay.
-Keep the Experience Fresh & Exciting
With regular themed workouts, challenges, award nights, competitions, raffles and out-of-gym meet ups.
-Offer Supplements, Meal Prep or Other Tools To Enhance Results
In our gyms we offer a coffee lounge, protein shakes, a meal prep service and healthy snacks.
Think about all the money your client is going to spend elsewhere for stuff she needs for her new gym program with you – and offer it within your facility!
Custom clothing, water bottles, workout log books, nutrition guides, fitbits, a tracking app, foam rollers, sweat towels … if you can brand it, and sell it for a 30-40% margin its worth exploring!
-Workshops & Seminars
We offer additional yoga classes, book review seminars, self-defence, nutrition cooking, and mindset / personal development events at an extra fee. Clients pay £10 for a ticket, and non-members pay £15, should you want to promote the event to the wider community and make money from NON gym clients 🙂
Putting It All Together…
I know we’ve covered a lot of things here.
So where do you start with all of this?
The first most important thing is to generate LEADS. After all, without a consistent flow of leads coming in, the rest isn’t possible.
Also, its so simple to generate leads on demand today with the tools and tech we have available. The first thing to do is create your Front End Offer and start generating leads with a simple funnel and Facebook ads.
But do NOT make the mistakes most trainers do! They BLOW money on Ads and get no ROI. Then they think “FB ads don’t work”. In fact, they were just doing it wrong.
There is a simpler, PROVEN method to set this up and generate the leads you need…
…while you set up the right business model and become more profitable.