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Brittany Welk Tells Us About the Hard Lessons Learned in Setting up a Fitness Business

Brittany Welk FIRST pod

Brittany Welk is a fitness entrepreneur, business coach, and speaker. She has been involved in the fitness industry since 2012. She founded Midwest Performance in 2016 which she then rebranded to Ladystrong Fitness. Brittany specializes in helping women uncover their true self and achieve powerful physical and mental results. She has trained thousands of women, helping them achieve incredible results, using powerful mindset changing tools and cutting edge fitness strategies.

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Brittany: People always ask me how do you, because I always bring a lot of staff because they are so amazing. But everybody always ask how do you get people brought in, how do you get people brought in, and it is like you have to hire base on your core values. You can’t teach character and personality and morals. You can’t teach that stuff. That’s something that just comes with the package. You can teach somebody how to sell. You can teach somebody how to answer a phone. You can teach somebody how to coach a squad. You can teach all of those things, but you cannot teach personality, character and morals. And you can’t teach somebody to just be a good person. 

Kevin: How is it going everyone? Welcome to The Fitness Founders Podcast. I’m Kevin Mannion, VP Marketing here at Glofox. This week we talk to Brittany Welk, founder and owner of LadyStrong. A fitness studio that helps women uncover their true self and achieve powerful physical and mental results. Brittany is a fitness entrepreneur, business coach and speaker. In this episode, we talk about what she rebranded in the business to fit her ideal customer profile. The hard lessons she learned the first two years and the power of recognizing achievements of her members. Let’s get started.

Brittany Welk, welcome to the show. 

Brittany: Hello it’s good to be here.

Kevin: Great to have you here, Brittany. I know that you founded LadyStrong Fitness in Chicago. Maybe tell us a little bit about how you got this far. What did you do before you started LadyStrong? 

Brittany: Before I started LadyStrong Fitness, I was working in South Dakota. I’m originally from South Dakota, born and raised, and I kind of had my own fitness journey. And I think that’s why I relate to the women that I work with so well is because I’ve been overweight, struggled with an eating disorder before, been unhappy with myself, not confident. I know I’ve been down the path of yo-yo diet. I found the love for personal training after I had a personal trainer and I saw how much she impacted me, and it was like I really want to do this for other people. So I got my personal training certificate. Did personal training for a little while, then got into group fitness doing Zumba, Turbo Kick, Body Pump, all that stuff at a local recreational center. And then I’m actually, Marciea was living in South Dakota at that time as well, my business partner and she is also my life partner, she is my fiancée. She was actually running a boot camp very close to me. And a friend of mine was like, “Hey, let’s go check out this boot camp.” And I was like, “Okay. I think it was to get some ideas.” So I checked it out, loved it, fell in love with it. And I was like, there is no reason that I can’t do something like this back where I am at because I was about 45 minutes away from where she was. Somewhat there is no reason that I can’t do something like this where I’m at. So I kind of took the concept and run with it and started my first 6-week boot camp at April 2014 and started with 40 people in my garage. In my level 3-star garage and went $2,500 with equipment, and it really just blossomed. I did that for my year and ended up with overall 100 clients that I was working with in a matter of a year in a small timid population like less than 5,000. It was crazy. So I did that and then ended it up selling it to one of my trainers and move to Illinois with Marciea and started Midwest Performance, what is now LadyStrong Fitness was Midwest Performance in June of 2016. So yeah, it’s been kind of a whirlwind. 

Kevin: And that first business that you sold back home getting that to 100 members, was that from like having a good training program or was that from your sales skills. 

Brittany: Well, I think it was a little bit of both. Honestly, in South Dakota it is very much like friendly neighbour kind of a thin, word of mouth. It was a lot of referral. That was a lot of referral business. I did no Facebook marketing, I did no Facebook ads. It was literally like plaster posters around town, and tell your friends and that was really it. That’s how I grew that business. So besides the workout is being great and people loving the program, it was just a lot of referral. 

Kevin: Ok that makes sense. So you moved to Chicago and you started Midwest Performance. Was that just focused on women as well or?

Brittany: When we first started Midwest Performance, we were just renting a small space in an MMA gym. We actually started with a 12-week program. So we didn’t have our own brick and mortar at that time. We started with 12-week program. We jumped in one of those kind of online here is the ads, etc. Of our 12-week program. They gave you all the ads. So we put that on Facebook, we ended up with 25 people and only one guy. And the only reason that the guy did it was because his fiancée was doing it and they were getting married, so was like support. So pretty much it was all women. When we get towards the end of that 12-week program, Marciea was really focusing on MMA at that time in her MMA career. And we really weren’t sure if we wanted to open another gym because she had two facilities back in South Dakota, I had mine, and it’s a lot of work. Like being a business owner and being an entrepreneur especially in the fitness space is so hard, like it is a lot of work. It is a daily grinding and we were like, and we really want to do this again? 

Well, we got about 9 weeks into the program and all of our girls were like, “You guys should open a gym.” And we’re like, oh my god, okay it was like pressure. So in August 2016 we found a space, we signed a lease and in October 6th of 2016 we had our grand opening for our first studio which was less than a thousand square feet, so it’s super tiny. But we started literally with 25 people and now we are at about 200. Yes, it’s been good. 

Kevin: And you went to school to do business along the way, what stage was that at?

Brittany: So that was prior to owning any of my businesses. So I graduated college in 2010, which is crazy to say, but I graduated with a degree in Financial Management and Business. So I worked in banking and stuff like that right out of college. I really didn’t dabble in fitness at all. I mean, I work out but it wasn’t like I ever thought of owning a gym. But it wasn’t until after college that I really got a love for fitness and then I just have a passion for business. 

Kevin: Okay, so you maybe a little bit on like a lot of fitness business owners. You have the business grounding and then you developed the interest in fitness as opposed to going to do it the other way around. 

Brittany: Yeah, for sure. I think that it is one of those things where you never really know where you passion is going to align in business. Do you know you want to be an entrepreneur and at that time you don’t really have like a passion, sometimes you don’t find that until later. And I’m glad I didn’t because I feel like I found it at the right time. 

Kevin: Makes a lot of sense. LadyStrong then obviously very clear branding around women’s fitness, was it your original passion around maybe some of your own struggles that made you focus on women’s fitness or that was just the type of customer you seem to be appealing to. 

Brittany: I’ll be honest it was a little bit of both. I have had the opportunity to have my life changed by people that I’ve worked with for my journey and I’m still on that journey. I’m never not be because I am our avatar. I am our ideal avatar. I am the person that starts with that things and the person that has the struggle with eating, and sometimes I still do. I am that person so it is very easy for me to work with people like me because I know how they operate. I also think that having a niche is important. Having something that you can really focus in on is really important. So it’s like a lot of people say, “Well, you could have 50% of the market.” Yeah, or we just took 50% of the market like half glass full. I don’t ever look at it as like, “Oh, we can have 50% of the market.” It is like, “No, we just capitalize on probably the best 50% of the market.”     

Kevin: What was the story with the transition from Midwest Performance to LadyStrong?  What triggered that? Obviously it sounds lot better LadyStrong, but why did you make the decision to move? 

Brittany: So when we first started we were in that MMA center that was called Midwest Training Center so that well we just use Midwest Performance so that it will kind of go together well. You know, I think it is one of those like early worky entrepreneur mistakes that you will make is you don’t realize how important the name if your business is until you really start to brand yourself. We were having a hard time getting traction in the market because people just didn’t know who we were or what we were. There was also another Midwest Performance that was a corporate place and so it just didn’t fit. It wasn’t until probably like towards the winter fall of last year that we were like we need to do something, like we have to rebrand. We have to do something because we need to identifiable. We really want to grow this into multiple occasions and you had to have something that was going to standout. So yeah, LadyStrong fitness just made sense, it makes sense. If you are to walk up to somebody on the street and say, “Hey, what’s Midwest Performance?” They’ll be like, “Huh?” 

Kevin: It could be anything, yeah. 

Brittany: Right, but if you were saying, “Hey, what’s LadyStrong fitness?” They would know. They’ll be like, “Well, obviously the gym for women.” You know what I’m saying, so it is just kind of we had to make that change, so in January of this year we rebranded to LadyStrong Fitness.

Kevin: Do you go deeper within your ideal customer say just women or is there particular demographics that you specifically are targeting or how does that work?

Brittany: We have a pretty specific demographic. One between the ages of 28 and 65, women who are kind of either post partum, the golden years, women who have never even been on a fitness. We really like the people who are really green in fitness because our model is very conducive to people who have not been in a gym ever, or have not been in a gym in a long time, or are just uncertain of themselves when they go to gym on their own. That’s really are our ideal client. We do not target your elite athletes, your marathon runners, your tough people. We really don’t target them. That’s not our demographic. And we’ve done a very, very good job at really honing in on the women who really need us, who really need that support step by step along the way. 

Kevin: I’m guessing then that the main thing you do is try to reduce people being intimidated, make it easy to get started and make yourselves approachable. I’m guessing that’s kind of key to that business in that case. What kind of things have you done to make that reality?

Brittany: Number one, the first thing that comes to mind is all of our staff were members before they were staff. So we always hire within it, something that we really proud of because these women understand the people that they are working with because they were them or are still them. So that makes it very easy and makes our staff very approachable when people are coming in the studio. The second thing is that our marketing is really geared around our women. We share a lot of videos of our women on our Facebook. We tell their stories. We are very much about our clients and our members, and in really empowering them and I think that what makes it really easy for people to see that when they see our branding. They know that we are very client focused and member focused. We are not about, you know, we don’t sell sex, we sell empowerment and we sell results so. 

Kevin: Okay, so that’s how supposed trying to get them in the door. And do you have like special introductory programs, or what kinds of things are useful for getting these types of people to come and take a look.

Brittany: Yeah. The nice thing about our programming, so actually my partner, Marciea, created our workout programming system at our studio. It is called [unclear – 11:54] Training Solutions and she actually created it on her own and is about 95% of the way down. We’re actually selling it out in the market to other gym owners. So we use this programming at our studio, and the best part about it is you can progress and regress all of the exercises and all of the workouts. So I could take anybody off the street and put them in a workout and they would be able to do it just like the person next to them, because they can modify all of the exercises anytime they need to which makes it very conducive to being able to have everybody in one room. We’ve considered a PT first model. Bringing them into usual PT sessions first and then jumping them into group. But the way that we’ve created our schedule makes it very hard to fit PT sessions in because all of the primetimes are full for class. We just don’t have the space to have it on a side space for personal training. It’s been three years. We’ve done really well with what we’ve done so far so yeah.

Kevin: So you went to the rebrand. Would you say the branding was the biggest lesson you learned in the first couple of years or what are the hard lesson you learned at the start?

Brittany: Branding, yes, that’s a big one. Secondly is understanding your numbers and understanding your cash flow and how to operate your business from a financial perspective because that can be hard. Is a big lesson and a big takeaway that I’ve had is that you really has to know your numbers. You have to understand when to pay your bills, and know you need to make payroll. There are just so many things that go on behind the scenes when it comes to finances with the fitness business. And if you don’t really understand how your cash flow works you can really put yourself in trouble. I think as a business major and as a financial management major, that’s a huge thing for me. It is like understanding the financial sign of your business. Don’t just like put it to chance because everybody does. Everybody just kind of, especially when you’re just starting out. This kind of the lesson you worry about. But it really should be the first that you worry about. 

So that, and the branding is a huge one, and then making sure you have systems and processes in place for everything. One thing that Mike Arce taught me is document everything. Everything you do, write it down. No matter what it is. Even if it is changing the toilet paper in the bathroom, you need to write it down. People need to know what that process is because the bigger you get the more locations you want to have, the more staff that you have. That process has to be written down so that it we be duplicate it over multiple places. So those would be like the three biggest things I would say. 

Kevin: This is actually a good segway. Which do you think is more important, documenting that process or hiring the right types of people? Or how do you think of approaching both? 

Brittany: I think that you should always document first, and I’ve learned this the hard way so I always give my studio manager, Ashley, credit every time I get on a podcast because she is honestly probably one of the best human beings I’ve ever met in my life. Right away when I hired her as our studio manager, I really didn’t have that job dialled in. I didn’t know exactly how I wanted that job to look. So when I put her in that position we were like up and down and sideways, and she would do something and be like, “Why did you do that?” I would tell her to do something but then she would be like, “You didn’t tell me to do it that way”, like we are always back and forth. It really wasn’t until I sat down and I wrote down, and dialled in, and had weekly meeting with here that we really get on the same page because she understood the process, she understood the job, she understood what needed to be done, and I understood how she works and she understood how I work. So if I would have that process all have done first before I hired her, I would have done the job myself first and gone through the motions with the job and document everything. When I put somebody in that position, it wouldn’t have been as hard as it was. So documentation and doing your systems is so important, and I would say it is a priority over hiring staff.

Kevin: Hiring the right people.

Brittany: Yeah.

Kevin: And assuming that the documentation in place do you get around hiring, you know, what are some of the, I suppose, more important things that you think help build a scalable business? 

Brittany: Number one is having a team that is brought in. Our team is brought in. I love our group of girls. They are some of the most amazing humans that I really honestly truly have had the pleasure of working with, and they believe so strongly in what LadyStrong stands for. They believe so strongly in Marciea and I, and we believe so strongly in them. We are completely 100% invested in them as people, as actual people and what they want to do with their personal lives as well as what they want to do for a career path. I think it is really important to hire the right people and to make sure that they are brought in. 

People always ask me how do you, because I always bring a lot of staff because they are so amazing. But everybody always ask how do you get people brought in, how do you get people brought in, and it is like you have to hire base on your core values. You can’t teach character and personality and morals. You can’t teach that stuff. That’s something that just comes with the package. You can teach somebody how to sell. You can teach somebody how to answer a phone. You can teach somebody how to coach a squad. You can teach all of those things, but you cannot teach personality, character and morals. And you can’t teach somebody to just be a good person. So for us we’re really big on finding the right people that are good people, that fit in our core values, that have the all of the traits and characteristics of somebody that we would want on our team to have. I think that’s super important. 

Kevin: Maybe one of the hard lessons you’ve learned from hiring, what maybe mistakes you have?

Brittany: There’s a lot. I think mistakes and failures are just opportunities to dwell, so hiring too fast. Sometimes you hire fast and you hire out of scarcity because maybe you lost somebody and you need to fill the position, and you just want to hire somebody quick. We’ve made that mistake a few times. We’ve the mistake of keeping people on too long that we should have let go sooner. You can see the good in somebody and you can always want them and you want to always have the best intentions in mind. You want to believe that people have the best intentions but sometimes you have to listen to your intuition and you have to make decisions. And for me I’m a really passive aggressive person and I always want to see the best in everybody. And so I was always the person, I was like, “It will be fine. We’ll work through it.” And then those things ended up fighting me in the butt. So don’t hire fast, and don’t be afraid to fire fast. 

Kevin: Yeah. And is that hard though? Kind of easy said but do you think now that you always are in a position to kind of make those, say, firing decisions like or is it easier said than done? 

Brittany: I think that I’ve learned a lot along the way when it comes to employees and I’ve also learned that some business is business, and that’s just the way that it goes. And that’s the great thing about the staff that we have now is that I am very good friends with all of them. I love them all like family but they also know that I am their boss. You know, there is that line where they understand that they have a job to do and this is a business relationship when it comes to that. And sometimes people don’t understand that. For me I had that, I used to have a really hard time not bordering that line, and now I am just like, this is what it is. Like if I need you to do something, yeah we could have went out and had supper last night but now I need you to do this. This is your job you need to take care of it. 

So I am a little bit better now at having that line really drawn. But before, it has always been a struggle I’ve had just because of my nature and the kind of person that I am. 

Kevin: And probably because the types of people you are hiring as well when they’re come out of the group, that’s probably the hardest type of people to hire.

Brittany: It is. It very much is, yes.

Kevin: Okay. Alright, so you posted some very good sales numbers I think your first couple of years, and I really want to dig in to your sales process because I know you’ve got a lot to talk about that. But maybe first tell me how you think about marketing? How hands on you get with that and what sort of channels you use? 

Brittany: The first thing I think for me is when we first started about in 2016 we actually did use GymLaunch. So we worked with Alex for mostly in GymLaunch in our first year of business and that did great things for us. I truly believe in the GymLaunch model. I think that what Alex and Layla are doing over our gym launch is great. I think they really help struggling business owners really have the freedom that they need and that they are searching for. So we use that, that was the channel that we did use when we first started. And then after we finished with GymLaunch we moved on to more of working with LoudRumor, and just running different promotions on Facebook and just kind of throwing your business that way. I think sometimes studio owners get so caught up in volume. We just need all these people, I need all these people. I need all these people because I have more people. That’s going to pay my bills. For me, I would rather have 250-300 solid members where my average client value is over $200. I would rather be able to service and provide more value to less members so that they trust and like us and buy more from us versus trying to spend more money on advertising just to get more people on the door. I’m not in the game of numbers. I’m in the game of building value building relationships and creating experience from the people that come into our gym. So we went from the GymLaunch to just regular marketing and we’ve been doing just regular marketing ever since. 

Kevin: Without going into much detail is, say, social media is your biggest channel right now through marketing.

Brittany: Yeah, social media is our biggest channel right now. We are kind of dabbling in YouTube because YouTube is cheap. So we are kind of dabbling in YouTube. We do use Instagram. We do use Facebook. We have to had Google adwords before but SEO is really tough right now. I think the biggest thing that I have to say, and this is something that I’ve learned from my partner, Marciea, is that. And I know she has learned this from some of her mentors is that, one of these days Mark Zuckerberg is just going to flip the switch. Like he is just going to flip the switch and we are all going to be screwed because so many people are so dependent on social media. So we really work on growing our email list, growing our texting list, growing what is outside of our Facebook. That way if something does happen we have a list to go to that we can use. So I think that’s something that I feel like is really important that’s not talked about a lot because it is kind of a scary thing, but it is a true statement, like it could happen.    

Kevin: Yeah, and I think it is probably a lesson for us all no matter what business we are in. Any sort of local offline activities other than word of mouth?

Brittany: We do a lot of word of mouth. We do some partnerships with businesses. I’ll be honest with you, we should do more locally. It is something that we want to get more into is kind of going out doing business to business, but we have tried and it hasn’t always gone well because of process that has to be refined. But I don’t want to say that like newspaper, and handling out flyers, is dead, but it kind of is. I feel like you kind of you could spend that $100 that you spent on printing out flyers on ads and you probably get way more less. I mean, so it is kind of hard to say that but it is true because I know that there are some people out there that I do follow. Some of the mentors that I know would be like, “That’s not true. You could still do that stuff so.” I mean, I am not saying that it is dead completely. For me and a personal preference in our business, I would rather spend that money on Facebook ads because it is proven to do well for us. 

Kevin: And did you do anything sort of like events or walking kind of things, or anything out of the ordinary on that front? 

Brittany: Sometimes we do friends and family meet a lot. So like our girls can bring their friends and family in for class. We’ve done different seminars and clinics before. We’ve never close to like free workouts or anything like that because we have the 3-week pass. So it is kind of like a lot involved rather just do the 3-week. But, yeah, we’re just really tried it through on texting, emailing, social media, [unclear – 24:24] things like that. I think it comes along with the territory of not needing a hundred people a month. Like I’ll be okay with 15-20 a month, like I am happy with that. 

Kevin: Okay, let’s bring this a little bit further down the funnel into the whole world of sales. I know you are passionate around sales process. Maybe tell me if I was to walk in get a job. If I’m in a lucky scenario and get a job with you, what sort of training would I get? What sort of process would I follow in order to be able to sell your memberships?

Brittany: Everything is documented for us. We actually have a video, like a learning center for our staff. So when you come in, you go to the sales learning center. In that learning center you are going to learn how to handle objections, how to answer the phone, how to follow up with the leads, you are going to learn everything that way. I also have everything in, we use ‘trainual’. So trainual is something that I put all of our documentation in, everything. So there is all of our scripts, all of our text scripts, email scripts, voice mail scripts, everything is in there that you need to know. So I have an online platform for video and then I also have the written trainual as well. I do a lot of hands on training with my girls to like I’ve recorded some of my sales conversations and let them listen. We have cameras in our studio. I’ve actually had the opportunity to kind of eavesdrop some of the sales conversations that they’ve had which is really nice because I feel like it is authentic when I listen to it that way. Because I fell like if I’m sitting there then they are trying too hard. You know, then there is trying to make it sound good and then they are nervous. Yeah, so when I can watch them and I can stream record it from my phone, and then I can use it as a training tool. I just did it with my studio manager and she says it is one of the best trainings that she’s ever had with me. And I think it was just because her sales presentation was so authentic and I was able to hear it from start to finish, and I was able to really kind of hold the good and the bad, and the things that we needed to work on out of that, and I think it really helped her. I try to do that pretty often.

Kevin: Okay. So you are strong on having all the material in one place, the song, and the training and the role playing. What is your secret sauce in terms of the sales conversations? How do you train people to sell more?

Brittany: The biggest thing that I really preach with my girls is we are not selling the plane ride PT, we are selling PT. And actually I’ve learned that from Alex Hormozi, so I am going to shout out to him because I learned that from him. But people try to always sell the you plane ride, and get towel service, you could choose the locker; and these are all things that I’ve used before in my past. If you are trying to sell of your amenities but you are not selling what they came in for. They have a problem and you mean to solve it and that’s what they are there for. They want to lose weight and you are the person that will help them do that. So I always tell my girls, you’ve got to sell, you’ve got to sell the results. You’ve got to sell what they want. You’ve got let them know that you will get results here. You will lose the weight here. You have to do the work but as long as you are willing to do the work, we can help you get there. So I think that is a huge thing for me as I could give a crap less about what my amenities are like in what you get with your membership. It doesn’t matter to me. And you get all of that stuff one way or the other. What you really want is to lose weight like that is why you are here. So let us talk about that and not everything else. Let us talk about how I can help you get to that versus everything else. So I think that’s a huge thing that I see a lot of people, a lot of mistakes that people make is that you are trying to sell, like you are trying to hype them up because you are going to give them all these cool stuff. Well, in reality, they don’t care about all the cool stuff you’re going to give them. They just want to know if they are going to fit into that dress in 3 months or not. 

Kevin: It is probably second nature to you by now, but I definitely know I work out there is really know sales. How do you get trainers and staff into the mindset that their job is to sell memberships?

Brittany: This is a hard one because. I’ll be honest with you, I still haven’t figure out how I have done it. Because I feel like we are a team and we are so in sync, and we are such a team or anted group, and all of my girls know what happens when people join this gym because they are a prodigy of. They are a product of the product, so they know what is possible if people come into the studio. So I think that’s what makes it so easy for them because they are so in love with the results that they’ve got, and they are so in love with the product that they will sell it to anybody. So I think that that’s a part of it. We do incentivise them. You know, as a small gym it is really hard to give bonuses and do all these things but we really try to, whether it is taking them off for dinner or give them a $25 gift card. We actually have our supergirl goal. I think Marciea actually got this from [unclear – 29:08] So it is our superbowl goal this year by December of this year, if we are at 300 members by December of this year, we are all going on a trip. We are on our way to vacation, we are taking the whole staff and we’re all going to go. Even if it is for two days, we are going to take everybody. We are going to shut the studio down and we are going to go. And that is a promise that we’ve made to them. So as long as we are there so we are really driving for that 300 number. And I think incentivising in that way, knowing your staff, knowing what they are incentivise by, like I have a coach, Tiffany, who loves coffee. So I buy her coffee every once in a while. We also help each other out. My staffs know that if they ever needed me for something all they would have to do is call. If they needed me to cover a class, they all know all they have to do is call and I’ll be there, and vice versa. That’s just how we work. So I think that them knowing that we are so invested in them as people and as employees really helps as well. They know that we genuinely care about them so they genuinely care about us which in turn helps them genuinely care about the business. 

Kevin: Sure. Now, you’ve said about maximizing the value of each member. That obviously involves not losing members. What trick have you got for seeing warning signs of people that are becoming disengage. How do you minimize your churn?   

Brittany: So I’ll be really honest with you, last year, when we were running our [unclear – 30:35] challenges we were signing up probably 20-30 people at a time. Like, it was huge volumes of people. So there was a point where we are actually over 200 members. We are probably bout 220. And then in the fall of last year we talked a huge hit, we were losing 10, 15 people at a time. It was nuts. And it was because, I think a lot of it was because these people came in on a low barrier offer, and they didn’t really get the full experience. They came in, with those extra challenges. They get to the cause effect, if you meet the goal, if you join this and member, then you put the deposit towards the membership, so I think a lot of people were acting out of scarcity when they were signing up for membership. So they were joining this because they wanted their money back and didn’t want to lose out, so they would just join just so they could do it. And they would stick it out for the six months or the year and then they would just leave. So when you get 20 of those kinds of people at one time and they all set it up at the same time, you lose them all at the same time. So we took some big hits in the fall of last year which was really rough for us. But it was a blessing in disguise. It was a lesson in retention and what you have to do with people when you bring them in. 

So in November we started with LoudRumor more diligently, and we went all in in our marketing and it was something now that we do is we have consistent events every month. We do special events every month. Every two weeks I pull, I call it my naughty list and everybody laughs. But my naughty list is people who have not been in class in two weeks. They get a message from me, whether it is a video message, whether it is a text message, asking them where they’ve been, if there is anything I can do to help them back in to class. So I do that every couple of weeks. Every month I send out a motivational text to my members just letting them know, “Hey, we are here for you. Thank you so much for being a part of. You know, letting us be a part of your journey. If there is ever a thing we can do for you we are here to support you.” You know, I always tell them, you are a lady strong. I touch them every so often just so they know, you know what, I am thinking about you. No matter if you are a pretty new member or not, I hear you, I see you. I know you’re still here and I am here if you need me. I think that’s why I am in it for the long role. I am not in it for the volume game. I am in it to create relationships. 

And I know we’re doing something right because, so tomorrow, every year, we started last year. This is our second year. We do a member recognition gala. And what it is? It is a night where the girls bought a ticket and it is dinner and we do dinner, and drink, and a dance. We also do an awards ceremony. So we actually do an award for being a Transformation of the Year. We’ve done Rookie of the Year awards. It is like a new member that’s been there for six months or less. Then we do Ambassador awards, so people who ambassador our new members when they come in. We do Fierce Female awards for people who just really stand out to us in the last year. So we actually give away awards. We actually buy plaque of awards, and we hang them out in this gala. So we recognize them that way and I don’t think there is any other fitness studio I know of that does that. It is just special thing for them because they get the opportunity to be recognized in front of their peers. And if you know women at all, women love to be recognized. And we love to recognize them for all of their hard work and for their accomplishments so we love to celebrate that. So that’s another thing that we do. 

We really make it all about them. Everything is about them. And they know us, they know Marciea and I. They know how genuine we are and they know that we genuinely think of them as family, and we would do anything for them. The other thing is one of our members actually couldn’t be there. She won the, she is our Rookie of the Year. She won the Rookie of the Year award. [unclear – 34:05] yesterday so we can play it tomorrow night because she is not going to be there. And it was amazing [add here – 34:12] number one. Number two, something that she says in there was just like it hit me. She said, “Thank you so much Brittany and Marciea and LadyStrong Fitness for this experience.” And I am like, she called it an experience. She didn’t call it a workout, she didn’t call it a nutrition program, she call it an experience, and that is my goal. I want people to have an experience when they come to our gym. I wanted it to be something that stands out to them more than just a workout. And when she said that, I’m like, we are doing something right. And they think that is where the [unclear – 34:43] with some people is we are so worried about, “Oh my workout is so great. The best towels, and my bathroom is so pretty. I have the best equipments.” Nobody cares. Nobody cares about that stuff at the end of the day. What people care about is what are you going to do for them and how you are going to make them feel? So that is something we truly focus on at our studio. 

Kevin: Yeah, I think you start out the obvious one which is get those text messages out. I think so many people don’t really realize how important that is just to get a reminder, to get a little bit of motivation, but also that experience that. I think that’s going to be food for thought for a lot of people here. 

Okay, getting close to the end here now. I know you are doing a little bit of advising for fitness businesses yourself. Getting going on that, so tell us a little bit about that.      

Brittany: Shout out to Mike Arce, again. He is my best friend and he is a great mentor of mine. I have learned so much from him and what I’ve learned myself too is that there are so many gurus, like coaches and consultants. There are so many and we’ve had many great once. We’ve always had a coach. We’ve worked with Marcus. We’ve worked with Mike Arce. We worked with Alex, with GymLaunch. We’ve worked with a lot of these other people. And for me the thing that I’ve noticed in the market and just networking with other fitness business owners is that they just wanted the budget to hire people who are $2,000 a month, or $5,000 a month, or $10,000 a month. But they still need help, like they still need help. So my goal and my passion is to be that person for people like me, who don’t have VC backing, and investors, and people throwing money at them left and right. They are just grinding every single day, hoping that they can make payroll, hoping that they can pay their own bills, but they still need guidance because how are they ever going to get anywhere if they don’t have somebody helping them along the way. So my goal is to create not only a program that is kind of an already done for you program like we were talking about earlier, but I want to do coaching that is affordable. Obviously, I want to make a living but I want to make it so that people feel like they are getting so much value for so little. And it is just something that I am passionate about. I love connecting with other gym owners. It is something that I just really enjoy. It fills my bucket. It really does. It fills my bucket because I know where I was when I meet some of these people, like I was where you are, so I get it. Like I get you, so it is something I am working on. 

Kevin: Where would your business be if it wasn’t for the likes of Mike and Alex? 

Brittany: Oh, you know, if it wasn’t for Mike, and Marcus, and Alex, and all of the people that we’ve worked with, we would be years behind where we are now. It’s not because, you know, they teach you things but they also keep your head on straight. And that’s something that I think as business owners we are, especially if you are the entrepreneur, like you are the visionary in your business, you are everywhere. Like Marciea is 10 years ahead of me. Like her brain is 10 years ahead of me. So that’s why we balance each other so well because she is all the way there and I am still here, and that is okay, and that is how we work. But if you are the only person and your brain is always 10 years ahead of you all the time, you are going 50 different directions. And sometimes it is nice to just have somebody to be like, “Focus. This is what we need to think about today. This is what we need to think about tomorrow. Let’s table that, let’s work on this.” You know, you need to have somebody to kind of help you move the pieces because if you are trying to look at this from a big perspective from like a 10,000 ft. view, you’re going to be like, where do I start? So having the coaches and the mentors, and the people we’ve been able to connect with along the way has been pivotal in our success for sure.

Kevin: I think the moral of the story, Brittany is, get help. 

Brittany: Yes, please. I think, this is another thing, is that people get so proud and they have so much pride especially if they’ve been doing this for a long time and they’re still not where they want to be because they don’t have the humbleness that they need to just take a step back and say, “Okay. Clearly I am doing something wrong. Clearly I need some direction. I need to ask for help. I will never be afraid and no matter where I am at in my business I always ask Mike for help. Like even in the smallest things, I will always go back to him and go like, “Mike, am I making the right decision? Am I doing the right thing?”, because I want to be sure. I always look up to people who are where I want to be. I don’t want to connect with people who are where I am now. I want to connect with people who are where I want to be so that I can always level up my gamut. It’s like being the dumbest person in the world. You know, we always hear that. You know, always want to be the stupidest person in the room. I do. I want to be the dumbest person in room because I want to learn from everybody else. And I think that that’s something that I bring a little bit different to the market when it comes to coaching and things like that is that, I am just like everybody else. I am no better than the next person but I want to help people with the experience that I have and continue to have. I want to help people with the experience that I have the opportunity to gain from the coaches that I worked with, and let’s do this thing together along the way.

Kevin: Okay. Well, Brittany, it has been a pleasure talking to you. Before we finish up, just tell people how they can find you, find your studio, find your coaching business.

Brittany: I think Instagram is the best way. @brittwelk on Instagram. Follow me, send me a message. I am always open to helping entrepreneurs with any aspects. Please do further reach out. You can find my studio on Facebook at LadyStrong Fitness. Online at, on Instagram @ladystrong_fitness. We’re all over Instagram, Facebook. And then my partner, Marciea, she just came out with a new book. It was titled Women’s Weight Loss Secrets, and get the free e-book. You can find her on Instagram @marcieaallen on Instagram as well. So yeah, that’s where you can find us. 

Kevin: Alright, Brittany, this has been very educational. I think people take a lot from this so thank you very much for being on the show. 

Brittany: Thank you so much for having me. I really, really appreciate it. 

Kevin: Okay, thank you. 

Brittany: Thank you.     



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