In this episode, we talk to fitness marketing expert Mike Arce. He is the founder and CEO of Loud Rumour, a 7 figure marketing agency that helps fitness studios grow and scale successfully. He is also a speaker, business coach the host of the video podcast The G.O.A.T Show where he interviews the best of best from the world of fitness and business. Mike also founded GSDCON, a fitness conference where studios can learn how the top 5% scale their studios.
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Mike: More people Google Starbucks near me than coffee shop near me. Why? It’s not because they just want coffee, they want Starbucks coffee, right? And so it’s the same thing, we want to get to a point with our studios where, we’re there with many of them, where they have more organic leads coming in than the paid leads. And that is something that you can scale at a high level because now it’s just adding fuel to the fire as opposed to constantly recycling, right? Like shoveling the snowballs still snowing if you’re just doing lead gen campaigns without any real branding along the way.
Kevin: How is it going everyone? Welcome to the Fitness Founders podcast. I’m Kevin Mannion, VP Marketing here at Glofox. This week we talked to Mike Arce, one of the biggest names in fitness marketing at the moment. He is a CEO of Loud Rumor, a fitness marketing agency that works with over 1300 boutiques, fitness studious around the U.S. In this episode, he takes me through how to build paid social media campaigns that work and what you need to do to create a high performing sales team. He’s got a lot to say, so let’s get started.
Mike, welcome to the show.
Mike: Glad to be on.
Kevin: Great to have you here. Maybe let’s kick off tell me just a little bit about yourself and what you do at Loud Rumor.
Mike: Yeah. So today I run an awesome company called Loud Rumor, and what we’ve created and continue to create is what we believe to be the best resources for fitness studios throughout the entire world. Publicly, we’re most known for our agency side. That’s where we run successful ad campaigns for over 1400 fitness studios throughout the world in the last few years. But those that actually work with us they find a tremendous amount of value in all the other stuff that we provide, the podcast, the conferences, the community, our university and learning platform where we train not only the studio owners but also their employees on how to run a successful studio in all the areas, not just the marketing. This information is not only taught by me and members of my team, but we actually fly out other successful studio owners from all over the country to come and teach how they’ve grown their studio so easily and so quickly in certain areas. Maybe they are really great at referrals or testimonials or upselling, and all that stuff. So it is truly just awesome collection of resources and information and support. If you need to grow your studio, this is it, it’s all in one shop.
Kevin: Maybe tell me a little bit about your own business journey. What did you do before Loud Rumor?
Mike: So I had 22 jobs before I was 24. A lot of it was in the fitness industry. I actually was in the fitness industry for seven years. I did own a personal training company for quite a few years. Most of my work in a 7-year period was me basically being recruited to like LA Fitness and going to different LA fitness clubs that were struggling and my goal and my object was to take clubs that were rank 14th or 16th and bring them to top 4, and then I would move to different clubs. Then I got recruited over to Pure Fitness, and then Fitness One, and then I started my own at Gold’s Gym and it was called Advanced Body Image. And so I did that for a little while. And then got out of that, I had a kid, I bounced from job to job thinking of what if I was more of like a 9 to 5 type deal, and just bounced a lot and started my own company out of necessity. It was a marketing company about three years ago, a little more than three years ago. Early 2016 we started working with a fitness studio, and we forum, and in a lot of ways, not just the marketing but help them with sales and all the stuffs they needed to. They are fairly young so they don’t really understand the industry as well. They probably wish they did. That’s when we just realized, I have a lot of experience in fitness that I wasn’t utilizing, I wasn’t helping anybody with.
So we marry those two things together, the agency and fitness, and that’s now. I mean, took us 42 clients in the six years I had the agency. That was a general agency and in the last three years, half the time, instead of getting 42 we got over 1400 client. You know, once you find something you’re really good at and you love it’s a lot of scale and through.
Kevin: It pays off to have some focus.
Kevin: Absolutely. So what would you say when you started to focus on the fitness industry was the biggest problem you thought you could solve?
Mike: Well, at that time or now that I’ve learned and I’ve gotten more involved?
Kevin: Well, let’s start at the time, what traded you to dive into this industry other than your experience.
Mike: At that time I felt like I didn’t know how to get leads so I was doing a lot of different stuff at that time. They were sponsoring different places where they can pull like lead boxes in and they would be just posting stuff on social media like random stuff and contest and they wouldn’t get a lot of traction. And then once these were gradually elevating, the organic post really start decreasing as far as how much traction they got. So now their efforts at generating little results before, even less results later on. And so at that time, I realized that there was a lot of opportunity to help on how to generate leads so they can get more members.
Kevin: Got it. And what would you say is the biggest mistakes that people are continuing to make today, say, people who are not already talking to you?
Mike: There are a few of them. The first is the way they look at it, and it’s not their fault. Social media has been flooded with people that having marketing for only a few years and they are posting content that seems good on the surface but I believed to be poor advice. So for instance, you know 20 years ago, people just want to be seen. So they find a way to get their company seen everywhere whether it was TV or radio, flyers, sponsoring little league teams, events, you name it like anything they could do. Technology came in and made it possible to measure deeper levels of your marketing like website visitors, video views, leads, and even conversion. And every agency is always wanting to get these edge, and you always want a competitive advantage, and so the always want to go one up the next guy. It used to be about, like when technology and internet really came in play, it’s used to be about driving traffic to the website. I don’t know if you remember those days, but it was like we get more traffic to your website. That’s all it was – traffic to the website.
And then it was forget the traffic, it was about the lead. How many you’re converting? Who cares how many visitors you’re getting if no one is opting in? You need leads. How many leads you’re getting? Then it became, it’s not about the leads, it is qualified leads. Anybody can just get leads, but can you get leads that are the right people. Okay, now, it’s not the leads. Now, it’s who cares how many leads you’re getting, are they converting into paying members? We want to get you paying members and it all sounds good, right? Because they are talking about what the fitness studio wants more, right? The less work I have to do, the more I want to buy it. So tomorrow will be it is not about getting the right members, it’s about putting money directly to your account.
But the truth is in today’s world, like people that really know how to advertise, the top 5% of the studios we work with the way we run ours, the leads are a bonus. They are not the goal; the leads are the result of all the activity that you do to get known. Because if people don’t know you, they can’t opt in, they can’t buy from you, they can’t do anything. So we heavily focus a lot on the impressions and the quality of impressions and making sure that, hey, in two years from now, there will be no one in your 5 mile radius that should not know your company name, who you are, what you do, where you do it. Nobody, that’s the goal. And because when you have that as the goal you’re inevitably going to get leads. You’re not just going to do a campaign like that and not get leads along the way that allows you to get the marketing for free. But what’s also going to happen is over time especially in that second year, third year on you’re going to notice that your organic lead generation is going to be better than anything else that you’re running. Walk-ins, people just call you, people just Googling your company, right? More people Google Starbucks near me than coffee shop near me. Why? It’s not because they just want coffee, they want Starbucks coffee, right? And so it’s the same thing, we want to get to the point with our studios where, we’re there with many of them where they have more organic leads coming in than the paid leads. And that is something that you can scale at a high level because now it’s just adding fuel to the fire as opposed to constantly recycling, right? Like shoveling the snowballs still snowing if you’re just doing lead gen campaigns without any real branding along the way.
Kevin: Is it a case or your opinion that lead gen is something that you can do in the short term while you build this brand awareness that that’s the formula for a fitness business.
Mike: Yeah. I mean, you should do both, you know. We talk about like in fitness, right, we’re all in fitness so there are things you could do for the short gain and there’s things you could do for the long gain. So let’s say you only cared about aesthetics, that’s all you cared about. You could give a shit, I’m sorry, can you…
Kevin: Yeah, I’ll go for it.
Mike: Let’s say you could care less about your actual health. You just want to do whatever it takes to have a 6 pack and veins coming down your arms. That’s you care about, well, chances are you’ll get those short term results with long term pain points, right? Vice versa, let’s say you said, “You know what? I’m not going to focus on the aesthetic. I’m going to focus on being the absolute healthiest version of me. So I’m going to eat great foods, I’m going to exercise in a great way, the safest, healthiest way possible. What you’re going to know is in two years from now, three years from now, not only do you aesthetically look exactly how you want to look probably. But on top of that you have better foundation to keep that there for a long time. The same thing goes with just doing lead gen. Just doing led gen is like only caring about the aesthetics, the surface level stuff, and really caring about the health of your brand and awareness of your community. That’s like taking care of your actual body, right? There’s a lot of mistakes that people are making but I would say overarching that’s still where you’ll look at. I really wish more people look it that way because all the other mistakes that they’re making, a lot of those wouldn’t be done because you’re thinking about everything else the right way.
Kevin: I supposed whether you are looking at lead generation or whether you are looking at broader brand awareness, there’s lots of different strategies somebody coming into this industry maybe bombarded with or things they have to try out from Facebook ads, to landing pages, to making videos, to emails. What’s your opinion where they should start, somebody who is relatively new to running a fitness business and marketing a fitness business properly?
Mike: If you’re starting, you should hire someone. Like you should hire an agency or you should go through courses, because it’s not like we’ll just start with Facebook ads, and don’t worry about the landing pages, don’t worry about the automated emails. Just do something. I hear people say that too. That’s one of the bad advice that I think that people give, “Just start with something. Do that really well, and then add things as you go.” Why would you do that? You know how costly that is? It’s way more costly than just hiring an agency to get it all done right away in the first month. Like, how much money are you losing by starting like that and acting as you go? Over a course of a year, how much money are you really losing as opposed to if you have it all from the first month?
So pay for it. If you don’t know it, pay for it. If you can’t pay for it then don’t sleep for a weekend and learn it. And buy a course, it’s going to be cheaper or get a membership to programs like we’ve got where it’s LRVT. We schedule all things. It is $99 a month, you go in there and you learn how to do it all. You got to get it done. So I wouldn’t recommend starting at one little particular area. I recommend starting with where do I start to get these all right now?
Kevin: Okay, so you’re saying don’t just maybe start a blog and worry about your Facebook ads next month. You’re saying, paint the picture now, what’s the strategy. Yeah?
Mike: Are we talking paid lead gen campaigns or are we talking like everything on earth. Because blogs, that’s a waste of time.
Kevin: Yeah, that’s what I mean. You’re saying don’t just pick one of these things, some of them maybe completely waste of time. But you’re just saying don’t just pick one of these things. You’re saying, have all these pieces of the jigsaw together and figure out how you’re going to get them going right from Day 1.
Mike: Here are all the things you have to have right off the bat in order for you to have a great, great year and get your money back almost instantly, like I’m talking first month – Facebook ads, Instagram ads, YouTube ads, landing pages, automated emails, automated texts, thank you pages that upsell, and then that’s it. That’s it, you got that down and then make sure you have in the Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, make sure you have retargeting campaigns in all three. You have that setup, you’re marketing is going to be free by month two. It doesn’t matter if you hire an agency to do it. Like if you think about it, right?
Let’s say a company hires us for $1500 a month or $2000 a month, let’s say $1,500 a month. Let’s say they hire us, that includes ads spend fee and all that stuff. If they charge $150 a month for membership, they need 10 members. Once they get 10 members the marketing is free at that next month. That’s it you’re done. So now, everything on top of this is butter. If you only get 5 members and your marketing campaign next month only cost $750 in theory. You see what I mean because the marketing paid. I always say, like look, and that’s a great topic too, our best studios that we worked with they don’t keep a static ad budget. It doesn’t make sense. So let’s say you go, “Ok, right now I can part with $2,000 a month, that’s what I can part with. Anything outside of that, Mike, I’m already uncomfortable with $2,000. Anything outside of that I can’t do.” “Okay, no problem, $2,000. How much you charge per member?” “$200.” “Great, awesome.” Next month once they get 10 members, hey you got that back, do you want to make it $4,000 now or $3,000? Because you were uncomfortable with $3,000 before you had these 10 members giving you $2,000 a month so you got to be more comfortable now. So why you’re going to keep it the same if you have more money? Add to it because now the third month, instead of getting 10 members you get 15 or 20, and then on the next month you get 15, 20, 25, and the next month you get 30. And it keeps going up because you’re raising your ad budget in ratio to the revenue that it’s generating for you as opposed to keeping it the same and expecting better. Keep it the same, expect the same. But if you get better, make it better and it just keep that going up, and keep pulling your results up with your marketing.
Kevin: And tell me, where does or for people you talk to does it finish your marketing or where does sales kick in? How much effort of somebody who is starting a business need to I suppose, number one, learn how to do it, and number two, how much effort do they need to put in to following up on these leads, running at sales process? How important is that?
Mike: It’s the most important thing. It’s like saying how important it is for a quarterback to have a wide receiver. It’s extremely important because what’s going to happen if the quarterback throws the ball and there is not a wide receiver there to catch it? What’s going to happen to the ball?
Kevin: No one is drawing it, might as run it yourself.
Mike: Yeah, it drops. The ball hits the ground and never makes it to the end zone. So you need a wide receiver. Not only do you need a wide receiver. I don’t care how big your marketing is, your sales have to equal your marketing. If you have great marketing, you need great sales. Tom Brady is a great quarterback. Would you agree?
Kevin: I would agree.
Mike: Do you think he is throwing to 8th graders? Or is he throwing to professional wide receivers?
Kevin: He’s not messing around.
Mike: Right, it doesn’t matter how good Tom Brady is. You can say, well if your quarterback is really good it doesn’t matter who the catcher is, the wide receiver is. I mean, he’ll put it right in his hands. No. You want the best receivers. So with that said, it’s great you have great marketing but if you got 100 leads in, what’s the difference of having sales people that could close to 2-5 of them versus sales that can close 15-20? You know what I mean? I mean, think about that result. And you got to go through sales training every day, like, we just did it. That’s what we did before our meeting. We do sales training every morning before we start work, every single morning. We role play. We’ve got to know stuff like the back of our hands otherwise we shouldn’t be on the phone. I could tell you different stories but I mean, there’s fitness that we’ve gone to that we’ve worked with and there’s people who do it really well and there’s people that don’t do it really well, and it never fails ever. The people that do it very well have great results regardless of the leads. The people that don’t do it very well get poor results regardless of the leads. Sales is very important.
So what they are doing wrong is they get a pitch, they get a system maybe of how, some don’t even do that, but some people get a system, okay this is how we do it, this is how we say it, and then they will role play it. So what happens is they have a general idea of what they say but they don’t say it every time the same way. And when you don’t say it every time the same way you’re not going to get the same results. How you say something is just as much if not more important than what you say. There is a difference between saying, “Hey, you know what, John, I’m going to try to get that done by this weekend”, and “John, I will get that done by this weekend.” Do you feel the difference?
Mike: I said the same thing, the only difference is one had “I’ll try”, one had “I will”. And so that delivers a different level of certainty. So you may have people that they feel like they are following the script, they think they are following the script but those little subtleties, those little words are losing sales for them. Sometimes in the beginning of the sale when they waste 20-30 minutes not closing. So if you don’t know your pitch and how you handle certain objections, like you know the ABCs then you’re not…
Kevin: At the races..
Mike: No, and then you need to role play that more.
Kevin: How long would it take for some of your customers to get this right? How much time before you walk in the door? Have they got say two or three people who have this nailed?
Mike: Yeah, I mean, I’ve got about probably 20 or 30 customers to have this right and I have probably 1300 that don’t. Yeah, they can come up with reasons. They can come up with stories as to why they can’t do it, or they don’t role play. The problem is you’re not going to get the best of whatever you don’t value. Do you play any instruments?
Kevin: I do, yeah.
Mike: What do you play?
Kevin: I play the guitar.
Mike: Nice. I play the guitar too. I just start playing piano. So how long are you playing the guitar?
Kevin: 20 years.
Mike: 20 years. Okay. So you’re at the point where you understand the guitar, right? Like you can just probably sit there and play while watching TV, and sounds pretty good, right?
Kevin: Sure, sure.
Mike: And you’re not even playing real songs. You just kind of playing stuff, right?
Mike: Okay. Now, have you ever learned like even recently, have you learned a song that was pretty complex? Maybe a song like Queen or somebody that’s like they don’t have typical chords.
Kevin: Yeah, in the past.
Mike: Your memory has to kick in, right? So here’s what happens. You play that song and you kind of have to get pieces of it. So you get the first piece of it, then you practice the second piece, and you practice the first piece and the second piece, then you do the third piece. And you practice the first piece, second piece, third piece. And you keep going until eventually you play the entire song perfectly and then you keep practicing until you could play the song without looking, right? Now, if you play that song again tomorrow, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off. If you do it the next day, same thing, right? What if you don’t practice that song for three months?
Kevin: Yeah, sure it’s gone.
Mike: What if you don’t practice it for one month?
Kevin: It’s probably gone.
Mike: Okay, so if you want to be able to play the song perfectly, every time you need to play it, what’s the best way to practice?
Mike: Even if you just play the song once every day.
Kevin: Sure, sure.
Mike: You don’t have to play it for an hour, right? You could just play that song one time all the way through every day. Would you agree you would keep that song ready every day?
Kevin: I think you’d be good. Yeah.
Mike: That’s it. Just practice your pitch once a day before you start with your team. Have them call you out if they mess up and start over, 15 minutes. You don’t need a lot.
Kevin: Let’s say we’ve got that nailed. Let’s say we’ve got our marketing up and running, proper systems, landing pages, paid ads, we’re compounding it every month spending more money. And the obvious problem now is the retention and the leaky… What sort of mistakes are people making where maybe they nailed the sales and marketing bush are not sticking around so they just kind of make their business work. What causes that?
Mike: Well, a lot of people forget that they have to continue selling to their customers. And they think that once you make the sale now, it’s time to service. It’s time to do both. You got to continue to sell to your customers. Apple has me not because they sold me the iPhone which is the first product I bought. They have me because I also have the iPad, the Macbook, the pencil, the watch and the TV, right? And so now, you know how committed I am at this point? I can’t like get away from it now. I’m still in. Tesla do the same thing. I got the Tesla, then they sent me this cool kit, then they sent me a shirt, and then they had me like refer people. If I refer then I get, they sent me this like car for my kids like a Power Wheel car, whatever. And I’ve got all these now and they keep selling me stuff and I keep buying it.
And so people want to buy from the brands they really like, right? Most people don’t have one pair of Nike something. We have several Nike some things. So you want to continue buying from the brands that you really like and it’s almost exciting when they come out with something new. But sometimes I think people feel like they’re greedy. Business owners or sales will fell like, and these are more of uneducated ones, they feel greedy by selling something to somebody they’ve already sold something to. You know, what did our parents teach us? “Hey, that’s good enough. You already got it. Don’t be selfish. Don’t ask for more”, “You give them an inch, they want a mile”, like you hear all these stuff growing up. Why is that wrong? If I ask for a piece of pizza my mom will my mom said yeah. Why am I selfish for asking for another piece. For one of their piece I should ask.
Yesterday, my daughter, she did something that, and my mom was there and my mom stopped her, right? She asked me if she could have chips in the vending machine. We were at basketball practice. Her practice just finished. She asked if she could have chips in the vending machine. I said no, no chips. She said ok, and then she walked toward the vending machine. A guy who just happened to show up and he and he opened the vending machine to restock it. And as he was restocking it, she goes, “Hey, are you giving away free chips?” And he was like, “No. I’m not.” And my mother goes, “Gianna, don’t ask that. Stop it. That’s very rude.” I was like, “Oh, hold on mom, why is that rude?” She had to ask, good she asked. The guy didn’t get insulted. He just said no, he laughed. Let her ask. What if he gave her free chips. That’s mean… No, could say no. And so for me I like the idea of asking. In fact a great book called Ultimate Sales Machine showing that 1 out of 3 people will buy something at a point of sale just if you ask. 1 out of 5 people will ask something at a point of service just if you ask. Meaning, when you go to McDonalds and you buy your burger, what does the cashier say? Would you like fries with that? Now they say supersize if you order a meal. See they ask items, right? If you say, “Can I have the #2?” They’ll ask, “Would you want to supersize because it comes with fries.” But if you ask, “Can I have a Big Mac?” They’ll say, “Would you like fries with that?” And then when you say yeah, then they’ll ask you if you want to do just a meal and supersize that. See McDonalds, what they did was they changed the, like them or hate them, they changed the game and now they literally have a sales system. It was taking 30 minutes or longer to make burgers, you know what I mean? It was taking a long, long time to make burger. Now, they were getting it done quickly, so everything they do is system. The point I’m making is if at that point of sale you were to just ask, “Hey, do you guys want to ask supplements with that?” “Hey, do you guys want to add any clothes, any socks?” “Do you guys want to meet with the consul?” “Do you guys want to check out with some of the new programs we have running here.” Just by asking, 2 out of 3 people are just going to say, “No, I’m good.” 1 out of 3 people are going to say, yeah. At the point of service, “Hey, Mike how is it going? Hey look, I just want to talk to you really quick. I’ve noticed on class. You’ve been really, really well. You’ve been working really hard. How are you feeling?” “I’m feeling really good.” “Yeah, I mean, you’re sweating right now, man.” “I know, I know.” “I only want to bring you…I’ve seen you really working hard. I know you are working really hard to get there. How is your nutrition going? How are you?” “I’m eating pretty good.” “Well, what’s your biggest challenge with not eating?” “Well, you know, sometimes it’s hard to get in the meals with work and rushing around so I kind of sometimes have to deal with fast food.” “Okay, you don’t have to deal with fast food. You’re dealing with alternative that’s what supplementing your daily routine, right now. But you can supplement it with supplements. Come over here really quick. Let me show you what we got here. So this right here is a protein shake. You just keep the powder in your cup, in your shaker. When you’re ready to add water, add water, shake the thing up and drink it. That’s going to be way better than any meal you get and it gives you all the things that you need.” “Really?” “Yes, and here are some bars. Also, before you come and work out these are really good pre work out. I definitely recommend doing this because obviously you are putting in the work right now but I want you to maximize it so that every time you are here you get more out of what you could have gotten. Does that makes sense?” “Yes.” “Oka, and then for recovery, how do you feel afterwards? Are you feeling pretty beat or pretty good?” “Yeah, I feel kind of beat.” “Okay, so this right here will help you recover a little faster.” And give it to them, let them hold it. “What do you think? Out of all these here, you want to put this together for you? I mean, this is going to help you up.” “How much is it going to cost?” “It’s going to cost $280, man, but you’re going to probably spend that on food.”
Now, here is the thing, 1 out of 5 people will say yeah to that deal. 4 out of 5 will say no or maybe just take one of the things. But if you have 500 members, you got a hundred more sales at least. But the more committed you are, a lot of people don’t realize this but the number one reason that people quit a fitness membership is that they’re not getting results and supplements even though some people believe it’s more placebic than anything else. Who cares if it is placebic. Placebic, meaning what? This guy thinks he can work out harder now because he drink it, great. If that what makes him work out harder, let him work out harder because if he does work out harder what’s probably going to happen? He’s going to get better results.
Kevin: Yeah, he is going to succeed.
Mike: Right, so people that sell supplements have higher retention. That’s not my opinion, that’s a fact. People that sell supplements regularly to their members have a dramatically higher retention than those that don’t, because they are committed. They are drinking more stuff. They are eating more stuff, they are working out better. They are working out harder. Everything is better. It’s easier to stay with your diet when you’re supplementing.
Kevin: Got this. So, okay, I think what you’re saying overall the key to whether you call this expanding revenue, whether you call this retaining people, is really to keep on selling and not see that as a dirty word and not be ashamed of that.
Mike: Yeah, and don’t sell something you don’t believe in and don’t sell something that somebody doesn’t need. Like the example that I gave you, that guy was struggling with something so I found a solution for him to like not go off and eat McDonald’s on his way to the workout, right? So you are wanting to sell to solve a problem, like you did with your membership. Your membership solves a problem. Anything else you sell should be to solve a problem but for a cost.
Kevin: So, if someone comes to you and they say that they are selling maybe 6-week trials or 6-week packs and not selling many annual memberships you’re answer is going to be probably, well, are you trying to sell them to this people? Are you talking? Are you having the conversation? Are you pointing out the benefits?
Mike: Yeah. Are you selling them where they really want to go? And also, there are a lot of things with retention, right, even just remembering people’s birthday, remembering anniversaries and doing something special for them, knowing their names when they walk in the door. Because it’s easier to sell somebody when they know you know their name. It’s hard to sell to somebody when you go, “Hey, what’s your name again?” “John.” “Hey, John, really quick I saw you worked out really hard today.” Like that’s stupid, you know. You want to be like, “Hey, John.” Every time he walks in, “John, what’s up? Where is Lisa today?” “She couldn’t make it.” “Oh man.” And then, “Hey, John, I want to talk to you about something.” Now, when you talk to him about it, it goes a longer way. So yeah, you want to sell to people but at the same time, you want to give like that experience where I belong here, I’m part of a family and it’s easier to get your family to buy into the things that you believe in than it is a stranger.
Kevin: Yeah, but I’m guessing it takes as much a training for your staff to be able to do these type of things as those to be able to deliver a sales pitch.
Mike: All it takes training, for sure. It takes training. But the cool thing about customer service, if you just train your people on one thing they are going to do a lot of things at least mostly right and that’s just truly care. Just truly care about the customers. Care about what their goals are. You’ll look at them differently. You’ll talk to them differently. You’ll learn about their stories and then strategically, yeah. I mean, like when to bring up supplements and all that’s stuff could be trained as well. But you’ll get a lot further at least generally if you just truly care.
Kevin: A couple of final questions. And you’re obviously been in the fitness industry for a while now, the whole area of boutique fitness and group based fitnesses, really the flavor of the month. What changes are you seeing right now in the industry and where do you think it is going?
Mike: Changes that I see are big box gyms are wanting to create a fitness studio experience within their fitness studios. So now, you’re noticing big box gyms are creating like cycle bar or cycle quality studios inside of their locations. Whereas in LA Fitness I remember it was just the aerobic room and they roll the bikes out and it was very lit room, and it was boring. Now, they really have like legit spin studio. They have great yoga studios. It used to be just, yoga mats and a lit up room. Now, it’s really dark and candles. So for $24 a month you can get a membership. You can get a membership at these places. I mean, generally they are giving more options, free weight room, locker room, more parking spaces. You have more options. You could go to yoga, you could go to spins, you could do TRX. You have different instructors. I mean you got so many, you got [unclear – 28:58] bars.
Why would anybody pay $150 a month? The reason they would is because when I go to my big box gym, I don’t have that feeling that we were talking about, that family feeling of belonging, that accountability. And so, no one is texting me asking me why I didn’t make it in today. No one is calling me, telling me, “Hey, man, happy birthday, just want to let you know.” No one is singing to me happy birthday while I was doing bench press in that room.
There are a lot of things that are missing on the connection level. And the reason most people don’t work out is not because they don’t have a gym that offers everything they need to work out. Those exist for $90 a month. The reason why people don’t stick with working out is because they don’t have that accountability. They don’t have that thing that motivates them to keep going. So what’s going to make your studio stand out that’s much smaller, offers much less, worst parking, all that stuff is that one factor of I’m not letting you off the hook. This was your goal and I’m going to get you there. It’s my commitment to you, and that’s the difference.
Kevin: And do you think all the studios out there are doing that well?
Mike: No, and a lot of them are going out of business if they don’t, so they are going to have to. So that’s when you said, like, what changes do you see happening. That’s the big change. Everyone has going to get on board with that because the big box gyms will swallow them alive if they offer big box gyms quality service without every other amenities that a big box gym offers with their low fee that’s about a tenth of the cost.
Kevin: So Mike, we’re nearly half of the time but I definitely want to hear a little bit about your conference, the GSD Con. So maybe just tell me a little bit about that, when it is on and who it is for?
Mike: GSD Con is, now I’m so excited about it. It’s the number one fitness studio conference on earth, man. And I’m not just saying that. I mean, we’ve got the same team from Comic Con that does the AV for Comic Con coming up and lighting up the whole stage with fog and then we got 1400 studios who work. We got the best ones coming up on stage talking about what they do, how they do it. We’ve got really really great speakers in the entrepreneur world that are coming down and talking about how they knew what they do. We’re going to be sharing exactly how the tops studios are generating leads and closing leads at the rate that they are doing in.
I mean, you’re going to be shoulder to shoulder hanging out with people that are the same situation as you if you go which is I invest money and time to leave my work for two days to learn how to be more successful fitness studio owner. So if you want to be avid person, you surround yourself with the most, you want to be with those people. You want to be around the people that literally can take two days away. And here is the thing, everyone can do it. Some people are saying, “No, I can’t. Who is going to teach classes?” Look, what if you’re bedridden? What if you couldn’t make it in? What if you were throwing up and you had every disgusting disease right now because you couldn’t make it into work and you had to lie in bed for two days, would you close down shop? Would it be over? Would business be over? If the answer is no then you got to do things like this and find ways to surround yourself around this people and learn from this people and go back and deliver more to your team, otherwise, I mean. Yeah, you were there for two days, that’s great, but all you get out of it was you were there for two days. On the third day you were exactly the same as you were.
So GSD Con is also a conference that we just feel like didn’t exist in the industry like fitness studio space didn’t exist. We’re creating this so that people can go back home with amazing ideas, step by step strategies, that by the time they get back to the studio they are already making more money.
Kevin: Ok, I got it. Okay, and tell me one last thing. How do people get and find you? How do people get in touch?
Mike: You go to loudrumor.com. You can also, our podcast, I love yours. I love your format. You’re really good in interviewing. I like your stuff. We have GSD show, so if you go to the gsdshow.com you could check that out. I mean, I was in like 16 podcasts so everyone listening to yours to get the most out of it. It could be learning once a day. They should have at least 7 podcasts. So yours is one of them and then hopefully you guys like the GSD Show as well and you could find me there.
Kevin: Well, listen Mike; it was really a pleasure to talk to you. I definitely learned a lot. I really enjoyed the conversation so thank you very much. Thanks for coming on the show.
Mike: Thank you! Thanks for having me.