The Fitness Business Marketing Show – Episode #4

This is a full transcript from Episode 4 of The Fitness Business Marketing Show. Click the images below to listen on iTunes or Soundcloud.



ALISON BRIGGS: Welcome to the Fitness Business Marketing Show sponsored and created by Marketing for Gyms and Personal Trainers, one of the leading and most respected marketing companies in the fitness industry today.
Hi. I’m Alison Briggs and I’d like to introduce you to the creators of the show, industry leaders and all round nice guys, Frank Smarrelli and Brad Cusworth.
With a combined industry experience of over 40 years having owned and operated personal training studios, health clubs and managed well over 60 staff members, you’re sure to get lots of valuable information from this week’s show. So without further ado, let’s jump straight in.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Thanks Alison, and welcome everyone to episode number four. Over the past month we’ve received a lot of comments and some pretty – pretty amazing feedback as well about the new show. So, yeah, we really appreciate the feedback and the comments so keep them coming.
Just a reminder that the show is now available on iTunes, also Sound Cloud. We’ve been uploading them to YouTube as well, and you can also listen to the show directly from our website at
Now if you prefer to read instead of listening, we also have a full transcription of the podcast available on our website, so just go to and then under the blogs tab you’ll see the podcast there.
So in this week’s show we’ll be discussing Instagram, a powerful platform that is currently exploding with growth with more than 700 million active users, which is just massive. Frank will be discussing a powerful app called TED Talks and how you can use it to increase your knowledge and grow your business.
We’ll be answering two questions from our listeners as always, including what you should be posting on your Facebook pages and also some video marketing tips to really add value and increase your following on social media.
Finally Frank will be launching into yet another weekly rant about putting in and working harder and smarter in your fitness business. So let’s get straight into this week’s episode. And Frank, how’s – how’s things mate?

FRANK SMARRELLI: That’s a long introduction Brad, but really good mate. Yeah. It’s been mad. Listeners, Brad and I have just had such a massive, massive week starting to do some stuff in the UK and a lot more technology based stuff for the fitness industry in the US. So, yeah, feeling really excited about the – the show guys. Lots to get through. Brad, what’s – what’s caught your – your eye in the game of fitness this week?

BRAD CUSWORTH: Yeah. So – so as I mentioned in that – that intro, this week I’m going to talk a little bit about Instagram. So – – –


BRAD CUSWORTH: Yeah. Over the past few years Instagram has absolutely exploded with growth, and probably ever since Facebook purchased it for one billion dollars just recently. So, yeah, it’s going nuts. I think it’s now becoming one of the most popular social media platforms. I know my wife Sarah has pretty much ditched Facebook lately and is – is now spending all her time on – on Instagram.
So, yeah, as I said there’s – there’s more than 700 million active users at the moment. More than 40 billion photos have now been uploaded to the platform. And, I honestly think it’s only going to get bigger over the next few years, and it’s definitely something worth putting a lit bit more attention on now. Probably, you know, even six to 12 months ago we thought Instagram is okay, but we were really directing all of our focus and attention on Facebook. Whereas now I feel like it’s at the stage now where you really need to start paying it a bit of attention and, you know, getting on to that platform.
So, yeah, I’ll just give a quick overview of, you know, what Instagram is about and, you know, some little strategies that can get you up and running. So, Instagram is – is awesome for sharing images and, you know, really short videos about your gym or your PT business.
Now, with – with the Instagram we recommend posting more frequently than your Facebook page. It’s just the way that the platform operates. You need to post a little bit more frequently. So, you should aim for an absolute minimum of five posts per week. Now, Instagram stories are the latest trend, where the story actually shows up on your profile for 24 hours and then it’s removed. So, that’s another cool little feature that – I know Sarah’s right into the – the Instagram stories at the moment. And, I know with her business, SJ Mind Body Training, she gets more views on her Instagram stories than on her standard posts. So – so another great strategy to start using there and experimenting with.
You can also have some fun with the platform as well with things like boomerang videos. And, I’m sure, you know, a lot of you would have seen these boomerang videos where basically it’s a really short video clip that plays on repeat, and it looks pretty cool. It’s a bit of fun. I think Instagram is – is really all about fun, connection. It’s probably – would you agree Frank it’s a little bit more light-hearted than Facebook and, you know, it’s more of a – I guess a fun platform to share and, yeah, connect?

FRANK SMARRELLI: No doubt. And, look as you well know – like, listeners, we – we didn’t really teach much Instagram based strategies, definitely none three years ago, and it’s only really been – look, certainly in the Australian market I think Instagram has changed a hell of a lot over the last 12 to 18 months. I can honestly say in this market – a little bit different in the US – in this market I don’t think Instagram was really, really big three years ago, but it’s certainly changing. And, just some of the stuff that we’re teaching with gym pages being in the bio link where people can opt in, I think – I think most Instagram accounts now can be optimised to maximise traction, and it is a lot more fun to answer your question, but I think – I think there’s so much selling on Facebook.
And, look, I – I even know friends – I know you said that Sarah’s kind of not on Facebook anywhere near as much as she used to be. I have a lot of friends that have actually paused their account or actually shut down their account – – –


FRANK SMARRELLI: – – – simply because there’s just too much selling. So, I think there’s no doubt Instagram is a lot more fun, and there’s no doubt it’s the second biggest social platform in the world at the moment.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Yeah. Exactly. Totally agree. So, with – with Instagram, it’s got lots of little cool features and little plugins and things that you can do that probably Facebook doesn’t have. So, you know, the ability to – to filter your photos, you can add special effects, you can add text over the images, you can create little collages with multiple images that are sort of merged together.
But yeah, as I mentioned earlier, the key with Instagram is really to post engaging, interesting, fun content, and remember to show a bit of personality. You know, Instagram is all about that fun and connection that we mentioned. So, you could post images and videos on recipes, exercise technique, it might be home workouts, motivational tips, training advice, show your members being really engaged and having fun.
And, it’s also a great platform to share success stories and also before and after images as well, because this will really generate some – a lot of, you know, likes and shares and a lot of interest as well on – on Instagram. Also remember to use hashtags with some key words to increase your traffic and exposure, and also tag members in success stories so you generate exposure with their friend networks. And, that will, you know, really generate more exposure, and often they’re in your local sort of area and target market as well.
One thing you can do as well with Instagram, you can integrate it with your Facebook page and you can now do targeted ads via the Facebook platform. And, I’m sure many people are not aware of that, but Facebook now that they’ve purchased Instagram, they own it outright, you can actually do ads exactly the same as you would on Facebook but it will show up on the Instagram feed as well. And, I think that is only going to get bigger over the next coming years as well.
Just a final point on Instagram. I think it’s also a great way to really connect with your local community and form strategic partnerships. And, I mentioned about strategic partnerships in our previous podcast if you missed it.
But, you know, I’ll give you an example. If you go out for breakfast at your favourite local café, what you could do is take a photo of – of your breakfast. Breakfast is a really in thing these days. And, yeah, take a photo of it, tag the café in the post as well. Now, that – and this is a live example of – of what we did with Sarah’s business, and basically what that – what happened as a result of that is, you know, they commented back and they ended up promoting Sarah’s business down the track.
So, it’s a great way to start connecting and build relationships and – and – and really get some more exposure. Now, if you are a personal trainer I highly recommend following two people in the industry who – who are absolutely smashing – smashing it with Instagram. Kayla Itsines is one to follow. She’s a PT from Adelaide in Australia. And, the other one is Zac Smith who lives in – in Sydney in Australia as well. So, two very successful personal trainers. They’ve built a huge business, and you can definitely learn a lot from them about the way they go about Instagram. And, you know, I think both of them really go over and above to add value and connect with their followers and reply to comments and that sort of thing.
So, yeah, that – that sums a bit of a – an overview of Instagram.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Well said Brad. I’ll – I’ll just add one more thing listeners.


FRANK SMARRELLI: The key thing about any social platform – and you guys must – must really take this on board – is that people follow people. There’s no – there’s no use posting about stuff and not having you a part of those posts. Like, I don’t know. Like, I don’t know. Let’s say a hamper company is posting beautiful stuff about their hampers. That’s all good and proper, but who is behind the hamper company? Who is behind the people that are putting these beautiful things together? So, people follow people on social media, so just always remember that.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Yep. Totally agree mate.


BRAD CUSWORTH: Cool. So, up next we have Frank’s book review. So, Frank what have you been reading since our last marketing show?

FRANK SMARRELLI: Yeah. So, today’s a bit different Brad. So, I read a book not so long ago. The book was called TED Talks by Chris Anderson. But what I want to quickly just mention today is that the book was fantastic and I do highly recommend going to see the book, but from that book I was able to download the TED Talks app. So, this is on iTunes – sorry, on Androids or – or if you’ve got an iPhone you can literally download the TED Talks app. And, I downloaded it last week and I – I – I just thought – I could not believe how good it is.
Look, I’m – I love watching presenters present. It’s – it’s – it’s one of my key things. And, I just couldn’t believe how great the content was. So, just really quickly, TED is a media organisation which posts talks online, free distribution under the – the – the ideas or the slogan ideas with – ideas worth spreading. TED was founded in February ’84 as a conference, which has now been held annually I think since 1990 or ’91. Some of the greatest – literally Brad, some of the greatest presenters in the world have presented on the TED Talks.
Anthony Robbins, great – great presenter. He was one of the key – I think he was one of the first or original presenters on the TED Talks kind of speaking to us. Simon Sinek who wrote the bestselling book ‘Start with Why’ – fantastic book. Amy Cutter is an expert in motivational or non-behavioural kind of – sort of body language type of presenting, or that’s her niche. Again a fantastic speaker. She’s on the TED Talks app.
Again guys, you can get it from the app store or iTunes. Really, really worth having a look at if you kind of need a little bit of daily motivation or weekly motivation or you’re feeling a little bit down about your business, whether that’s a gym or a PT, you know, team training sort of studio. There’s a little function at the bottom right I think it was listeners where you can actually literally put in a topic of interest. You can type in motivation or business or selling or Facebook or social medium or so, and then, you know, a bunch of presenters that are presenting about that particular topic comes up.
So, I’m not sure, you know, listeners if you guys have seen the TED Talks on YouTube, but I remember years ago I was obsessed with TED Talks on YouTube and now I’ve got it on – on my phone. Now, if you’re kind of more of a read person, I highly recommend the book – the book. I really, really enjoyed it. Banged it out in two days, and then that led me to download the TED Talks app by Chris Anderson. So, a bit of daily motivation or – or weekly inspiration. Download the app, read the book, and yeah, definitely, definitely worth spending a bit of time in watching some of the presenters from the TED Talks conferences.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Yeah. Awesome. Mate I’ve watched a lot of TED Talks over the years on YouTube.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Yeah. Really cool.

BRAD CUSWORTH: I actually didn’t know there was the app until you mentioned this, so – so that’s awesome you can get it on your phone now. But yeah, so much valuable content, information on a whole range of topics hey.


BRAD CUSWORTH: Whether it’s personal development, business – – –


BRAD CUSWORTH: – – – mindset, whatever it is.

FRANK SMARRELLI: And, it’s inspiring. Like, some of the TED Talks that I saw – and I’ve been watching them late at night in bed – – –


FRANK SMARRELLI: Some of the TED Talks that I – like, really, really inspiring. Like, people that have had, you know, extreme hardships in their life and that come out the other side. I – I – yeah. I mean I don’t sleep at the best of times, so probably watching TED Talks, you know, ten/11/12 o’clock at night is probably not ideal for my sleeping patterns. But yeah, just highly inspirational. If you want to just jump on YouTube you can see a few there, but you can actually download the app now and – and watch as many as you like. Real – real – as I said, really perfect for some daily inspiration.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Awesome mate. Thanks for sharing that.

FRANK SMARRELLI: You’re welcome.

BRAD CUSWORTH: So, yeah, before we move on to our Q&A section, Alison has a quick message from our podcast sponsors.

ALISON BRIGGS: I’d like to say a quick thank you to one of our major sponsors, Gym Pages. You can visit their website at for more information on how to easily create customised landing pages and websites for your fitness business. Now, back to the Fitness Business Marketing Show.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Thanks Alison. So, Frank what else do you have for our listeners this week mate?

FRANK SMARRELLI: So, as our listeners know Brad, every episode we basically answer two questions from fitness professionals or club operators from around the world. If you guys want to ask a question, simply go to our website, click on to the podcast tab in the top menu, scroll down and click on to the banner that actually says ‘Ask a question’. You can’t miss it. It’s where all our podcasts are listed every week. This will come up with a popup. You ask your question and submit. We literally, Brad and I – our development team don’t even get it. We literally get that question, put it in our list, and every week we’ll try to get as close to answering as many questions as possible.
Brad, a question that we often get – look, I hope – I would get this, I’m not going to say every single day, but I’d – I’d – I’d probably get this three or four times a week. ‘Frank, what should I be actually posting on the Facebook page to kind of maximise my newsfeed? So, you know, what should I be posting?’


FRANK SMARRELLI: It’s a question that – I think it’s a question that we’ve been getting for years and will probably continue getting for years. So, I just want to kind of define a couple of things first. So, an organic post is often referred to as a job post. So, Gary Vaynerchuk who wrote that amazing book ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,’ spoke about a jab post. So, in the text of – in the context of fitness, a jab or an organic post would be a post about your members, your member results, your facility – that may include your class types – your staff – that may include PTs doing sessions with members, people doing team training classes – and also listeners content around, you know, stuff like healthy eating – short video recipes are in at the moment – exercise demonstrations, functional exercise demonstrations, even some stuff on mindset.
So, the key with an organic post or an organic jab is that there is no direct selling. I’m going to say that again. So, a jab has no direct selling. It’s an organic post about your business, about your members, your facility, etcetera. Now, a jab with soft selling, this is a jab that I just explained momentarily, but it also has that little soft sell at the end. So, it’s got kind of your – your fluffy lines, you know, two or three lines of cool fluffy stuff, and then it might have, you know, click on to the link to secure your seven day pass or private message Sam to register for your 14 day pass. So, it just has that kind of little soft sell.
Kayla Itsines that Brad mentioned at the start, the – at the start of the show, she’s an Adelaide based personal trainer. I think she has now Brad – is it 14 or 15 million followers on social?

BRAD CUSWORTH: Yeah. Something like that. It’s crazy.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Yeah. So, she – she – she would have a soft sell. So, she used to – she would have a soft sell with about 90/95 percent of her posts. So, she would have the soft sell being her e-books, which I purchased many years ago, and now she’s kind of upselling her – her app with a seven day trial. So, I’ve never, ever heard of anyone saying ‘Hey, listen Frank. You know, Kayla Itsines does a lot of selling’. So, it’s just that soft selling.
Let’s talk about a social right hook. So, a social right hook is a pure sales based post. No fluff. This is what we have this month and this is how you get it. So, a sales based post is often referred to as a right hook. Now, I’m going to coin another – a different type of Facebook post or category listeners. So, this is my – this is my little one that I’ve coined. So, it’s called a – a sub-conscious selling post. A sub-conscious selling post. Now, this type of organic post could be a 45 or 60 second video that promotes your classes for example, like, group ex or team training, good quality copy, about three or four lines, and then you boost that for maybe two or three days and you spend about eight to ten dollars a day. So, you’re not spending as much money as you would on your right hooks, on your pure sales based post, but you are certainly spending some type of money. So, three or four lines of text, boost for two or three days for about eight to ten bucks a day.
There is no direct selling. I’m just going to repeat that. There is no direct selling. You can sell in tomorrow’s post. But this is how to better use Facebook. Boosting high quality organic posts or organic jabs. This is a form of subconscious selling. So, in short guys, you should be posting – 90 percent of your newsfeed should be organic jabs with a mixture of organic jabs and jabs with soft selling, and also ten percent direct sales.
I think Brad there’s a lot of gurus out there, and we’ve spoken to some of them that – that kind of say 70/30 or 80/20. I think that’s changed enormously. I think that it’s – it’s much closer to 90/10, 90 percent organic posts and ten percent right hooks and – and sales. So, I love the idea of posting short 45 second videos, really good quality content, boosting that. To me that is called sub-conscious selling. That is still selling on a sub-conscious or a subliminal level, but it’s not in your face selling. And, I think that that is a much, much better way to use that social platform that we call Facebook rather than hard core selling.
People are so sick of selling. This is why so many people are jumping off Facebook and going on to Insta. Instagram has one tenth, probably less of the selling that Facebook has.


FRANK SMARRELLI: So, stop selling directly and start selling indirectly or sub-consciously, and I think you’re going to gain more traction, more follows and ultimately grow your business in a better way by doing that.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Awesome. Well said. I totally agree with that. And, I think the majority of PTs and club owners that are out there have got that completely backwards right?

FRANK SMARRELLI: There’s no doubt.

BRAD CUSWORTH: I think they do. Ninety percent of their posts are direct sales and then probably less than ten percent are organic or – – –


BRAD CUSWORTH: – – – value based posts.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Yeah. Absolutely Brad. Some of the Facebook pages that we jump on week to week is – this is what I see listeners. I either see zero selling but almost, you know, they’re posting once or twice a week. So, it’s almost an inactive type of newsfeed, or the newsfeed has got tonnes and tonnes of selling, direct selling, indirect selling, or more so hard selling and soft selling. And, my attitude is it’s – it’s really now soft selling and no selling. That’s the way you should be handling your newsfeed. People are sick and tired of being sold to. If I see one more guru promoting a webinar I swear I’ll spew.
So, it’s about organic posts. And, people still don’t get it, that Facebook – here’s a stat listeners. So, as of June 1st last year Facebook has more video uploads than YouTube. Now, YouTube is a video platform. So, understand where Facebook wants to go with – understand where their head honcho Mark Zuckerberg wants to go with Facebook. They want it to be more of a video platform. I often say – and Andrea Vahl’s said this, who’s one of the top Facebook consultants in the US. She said that a fitness newsfeed should basically be 70 percent videos minimum, and that will change.
If you remember Brad when we had that – that consult with her, she said that in two years it should be 90 percent. So, listeners understand what Facebook wants to be. It wants to be a video platform in part. So, I would be posting – if you’re posting four times a week on your newsfeed, you should be posting three out of four videos. If you’re posting five times it should be three out of five, three out of four. If you’re posting six or seven it should be five to six. Most of your posts, 70 to 75 percent of your posts, should be video content, 45 to 60 seconds.


FRANK SMARRELLI: It almost sounded like my weekly rant Brad didn’t it?

BRAD CUSWORTH: No. It’s awesome. Totally agree. And, actually – it actually leads in really well to the next question that I’m going to cover as well.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Go for it. Go for it mate. What’s the question? Go for it.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Cool. Yeah. So – so next we have a question from Susie who owns a PT studio in Hawthorne, which is a suburb near – – –

FRANK SMARRELLI: Melbourne. Yep.

BRAD CUSWORTH: – – – near Melbourne, Victoria – yeah – Australia. So, yeah – so Susie says ‘I’m starting to do a few videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Do you have any tips regarding video marketing and the type of content I should be sharing?’ So, yeah, it follows on well from – from what we were just talking about.


BRAD CUSWORTH: So, yeah, great question Susie, and it’s – and it’s awesome to hear that you’re starting to use videos as – you know, as Frank just said, this is the way the industry’s going and I think you should be putting a lot of attention on it. And, to be honest I – I think video marketing is one of the most underutilised strategies for personal trainers, and potentially one of the most powerful when it’s done the right way as well. Videos really give you the opportunity to brand yourself as a leader and really educate people, and it can also be a great strategy to drive more traffic back to your website and your landing pages as well.
Now, I think my – my opinion is many personal trainers and even club owners seem to be a bit hesitant, a bit scared to really put themselves out there. It might be fear of being judged or criticised or – – –


BRAD CUSWORTH: – – – whatever the reason might be.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Yep. Especially PTs.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Yeah. Absolutely. There’s, like, this – this trepidation about – – –


BRAD CUSWORTH: Yeah. Resistance about putting yourselves out there, what are people going to think of me. But – you know, and they really avoid videos at all costs and won’t step out of their comfort zones. But to be successful in this business you – you must overcome any fears or limitations and really make a decision to do whatever it takes. So, Susie it’s great to hear that you’re starting to get into a few videos. You may be feeling a bit of that anxiety or trepidation, whatever it might be, but my – my encouragement and advice is to just go for it.
I’ve got a few little tips, you know, with – to help with your videos and how to get out there and how to – it sort of ties into – into what Frank was just talking about, about really adding value and – you know, with those organic posts and, you know, can lead into soft selling as well. So, yeah, when you record your videos the first few videos you’ll likely be a little bit nervous and make some bloopers, but my advice is just learn to laugh at yourself and have fun with the process. People out there don’t expect perfection, they just want to see someone who’s real and not afraid to be themselves. So, if you make a few bloopers, a few mistakes, leave them in there. People will – you know, it enables people to relax a little bit and – and see the light hearted side as well.
So, with your videos, as I said make sure you keep them fun, light hearted, full of energy. Remember to smile as you do your videos. As a personal trainer, your role is really to educate, motivate and inspire others to make a positive change in their lives right? So, you need to come across as someone who’s friendly, approachable, encouraging and someone who can help them to ultimately achieve their goals, health and fitness goals at the end of the day. First impression is absolutely everything, so really make an effort to really connect with your listeners and your followers when recording your video.
Now, one of my real bug bears with videos, when people record them they often hold their phones vertically rather than horizontally, and what this does – I’ve spoken to you about this Frank unlimited times – but what it does is when you upload it to – to the platform, whether it’s YouTube or Facebook, it will put these two big black strips either side of your video and it reduces the amount – the viewing space of your video.

FRANK SMARRELLI: And, it looks so unprofessional. It just sucks of amateurish. Like, it’s one of my pet peeves and I – – –


FRANK SMARRELLI: Even to my – some of my clients, sometimes they accidentally do it, but they still get an email from me. Like, it just absolutely irks me, because it – it just reeks of unprofessionalism, and we’re trying to make the industry as professional as possible. And, I know it might sound minor to some people, but I can guarantee if you jump on someone’s newsfeed and they’ve been holding the last ten videos vertically, the – the newsfeed looks crap.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Exactly. And, it – you know, it’s something so simple but makes – makes a big difference when it comes to impression. And, you’ll hear us say over and over again marketing is all about creating that great impression with everything you do. Consistency across the board.


BRAD CUSWORTH: Like frank talked about last week, is timeline images that, you know, aren’t mobile friendly. You know, that’s just another example. Or DIY websites, DIY graphic design. We’ve covered all of this in the last four episodes. So, when – if you’re going to do something, do it properly, and as we keep saying, no half baked potatoes.
Now, a couple more points with – with videos. Make sure you keep the video short and sharp. Short videos are definitely more powerful than longer ones. So, ideally it needs to be, you know, less than a minute and an absolute maximum of 90 seconds with your video is what we recommend.
Now, just finally to – to wrap it up, I’m just going to give you some – some video ideas. We’ve actually got a cheat sheet called 21 video recording ideas for – for social media, and this – for those that want to get a list of this, don’t madly write them all down. This will be in the show notes as – as we mentioned we’re transcribing every podcast now, and this will be on the blog tab of our website.
So, 21 quick ideas. So, number one, workout of the week, exercise of the day. You could do a supermarket tour to educate people about what to eat and what not to eat. Testimonial videos and sharing clients’ success stories, healthy snacks, pre and post workout nutrition, breakfast, lunch, dinner ideas, foods to avoid if you want to lose body fat, best foods to eat to gain muscle size, cooking healthy meals in your kitchen, the best exercises for chest, back, legs, abs, shoulders, arms, best food options when eating out, what do the numbers on ingredient labels mean and which ones to avoid, how much water to drink every day, interval training for fat loss, the best exercises for muscle gain, best exercises for fat loss, how to detox your body, best supplements for size, fat loss, energy, best super foods and what food additives to avoid.
So, there’s just 21 quick ideas.


BRAD CUSWORTH: Yeah. All of – all of them are just around adding value. You know, it ties in beautifully with what Frank mentioned about organic posts where you’re really adding value, you’re educating people. When you – over time when you keep educating people and showing your expertise and branding yourself as a leader in the industry, at the back end of that you’re going to generate more leads, more prospects and ultimately close more clients and members. So, this is a great way to add value. You know, spend a little bit of money on your boost to get it out to more people, and then over time you’ll build that rapport and that relationship and then, you know, ultimately increase your – your members and your clients.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Fantastic Brad. That’s really, really well said. Clearly listeners you can probably tell that Brad and I actually don’t sleep much. We sleep and feed on fitness related stuff.

BRAD CUSWORTH: This is our lives.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Fitness business related stuff. So, I want to say this Brad just to add to everything that you’ve said. And, that was just a brilliant segment then. Listeners, mark our words – and we promise you this, because we’ve done the research – that within the next four to five years there’s only going to be really one form of marketing, and that form of marketing will be video marketing. Video marketing yes can be integrated in pretty much every channel, but it’s not really.
So, for example when – when personal trainers or club operators and owners are doing, let’s say, an email blast – they might be doing a zero dollar joining or, you know, join this month and get your first 30 days free, something like that, some type of promotion which is not important right now for this discussion. But let’s say they’re doing a promotion. Typically they would send out an email that might have, you know, anything from kind of 80 to 110/120 words. They’ll send an SMS that might have 160 to 220. So, it’s – it’s a written form of communication through those two media channels, being email and SMS.
In the future those emails will be videos. In the future those SMSs will be videos, and they’ll be videos of the club operator sitting there behind the desk going ‘Okay. So, this is our promotion this month. If you come in over the next 24 hours we’ve got a zero dollar joining and the rest of the month for free,’ for example. So, at the end of the day if you guys – if the listeners are in the industry, if they’re in it for long term, if they’re in the fitness industry for three, four, five, six years, start to get it through your minds guys that at the end of the day video marketing is going to be all that is left, because it is the most powerful form of engaging and connecting with people. People follow people.
So, I’m now even starting to teach that myself, that if you can let’s send out email blasts but let’s send out email blasts with videos. So, instead of actually writing the content of that particular promotion for the month, let’s explain it in a video. And, I think that that is so much more powerful than a – a written – a written – you know, a written text email explaining what the offer is, where there’s no real connection. Who are these people that are promoting to us? So, video marketing – and Andrea Vahl said this as well. Video marketing is going to be the only form of marketing within the next four, five and six years.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Yep. I think it’s at the stage now where it’s no longer optional. I think it’s an absolute must right?

FRANK SMARRELLI: Yeah. It’s like a club being 24 hours Brad. Like, if you’re not 24 hours people are, like, ‘So, what? You guys – – -‘

BRAD CUSWORTH: What are you doing?

FRANK SMARRELLI: Yeah. ‘You haven’t got 24 hour access?’ I – I agree. I think videos are exactly the same.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Yep. Totally agree. Cool. So, this brings us to the last segment of the Fitness Business Marketing Show.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Again thank you Alison. And, I say this every week, but I love that. So, my weekly rant this week listeners is putting in and working harder and smarter, putting into your fitness business and working harder and smarter. This is a big call, and I’m sure that many listeners in this week’s Fitness Marketing Show won’t like this comment or this rant, but here goes anyway.
Seven percent of club owners are not up to operating or owning a successful club in 2017. And, yes I’m going to repeat it again. I believe through dealing with dozens and dozens of club owners, probably hundreds every single month, 70 percent of club owners or operators are not quite up to running a successful business in 2017. And, it gets – it gets worse listeners. I – I really mean this. I – I think 50 percent of managers are actually not even up to it. I – I think there’s a lot of managers that are out there probably managing health clubs because they don’t really know what else to do in their life.
But it’s very, very different. The market is very different than what it was two years ago. Heck, it’s – it’s different from what it was 12 months ago. I think you need to be a lot more proactive instead of reactive. I think you need to do a lot of – I’m been harping on about this all week listeners. Club owners and personal trainers need to understand and execute and implement and action more digital marketing strategies than ever before. We live in a digital world. We have for ten years.
So, the people that are still doing old school marketing tactics – I mean some – some people that reach out to me Brad don’t even have an Instagram account. We’re talking about health clubs in Australia that don’t even have an Instagram account. You jump on their Facebook page and, you know, they’re posting a couple of times a week. People need to start to step up if they want to actually run and operate a more successful business in 2017.
Now, I know that that comment is probably going to piss a few people off, but we’ll always speak our truth here on this show, and we’ll always call it how it is. The landscape has not only – it’s not only changing guys, it’s actually changed. Like I mentioned before, the fitness industry globally is so different than what it was two years ago. Current brands are growing more and more. It also feels like new brands are coming in to the global market here in Australia. Twelve rounds, nine rounds, Core 9. I think Orange Theory is about to explode here. There are so many independent clubs and smaller studios that are also opening up everywhere.
So many people that now operate businesses in the fitness industry need to reload and go hard and need to push their point of different, need to get better at digital marketing, work harder on sales. The global conversion rate – this is so – listen to this listeners. The global conversion rate from prospect to paying member has almost dropped by 12 percent, 11.6 in the last three years. The global conversion rate from prospect to member has dropped enormously over the last 36 months. Be better at marketing your club. There are so, so, so many old school owners out there that still don’t use social media as a marketing tool. Seriously. It’s 2017. You’ve got to start putting your digital marketing hat on.
Attrition will be the number one challenge. No, wait. Attrition is the number one problem in our fitness industry globally. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out either. I read many years ago that retention issues in the fitness industry often receive front page headlines but routinely get pushed to back page status. I love that.
Focus on this area of your business. Optimise your on boarding or induction process. And, no guys, showing people how to use equipment is not the end of the induction process. Don’t get me started on this or my weekly rant will last for the next seven days. Optimise your marketing experience. Optimise your member programming. Track visit frequency. And, yeah, doing something about it as well. If a person hasn’t used your club in, let’s say, 21, 23, 24 days, do something about it. Don’t wait until they get to six months before you actually ring and go ‘Hey Jane. You haven’t been in for six months’. Make sure that you are all over your induction process. Again this is one of my passions in the fitness industry. Retention, retention, retention.
Listeners, with more local competition comes more challenges. So, you can be more successful in a competitive market. You can make more money in a competitive market. You can increase your clientele or membership base in a competitive market. And, yes, you can build the net worth of your club in a competitive market. You just have to be smarter and work harder. Brad, that’s my weekly rant.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Mate, you continue to raise the bar higher every week. I love it.


BRAD CUSWORTH: So, just a quick reminder listeners, every episode we’ll be answering two questions. If you have a question that you would like answered, simply go to, click on the podcast tab in the top menu bar, scroll down and click on the banner that says ‘Ask a question’. This will open a popup from where you can submit your next question.
So, Frank that concludes another episode of the Fitness Business Marketing Show.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Really enjoyed that. Really enjoyed that.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Have you got more painting on this weekend mate or are you finished?

FRANK SMARRELLI: No. No. I’ve got – do you know I think I’ve got probably two more weekends. I’m about to shoot to the house in the next hour or so just to do some touch ups. I’ve got some people – I had all my doors [0:33:31] sprayed last week, so I – I think we’ve got two more weekends left Brad and then – – –

BRAD CUSWORTH: Almost there.

FRANK SMARRELLI: Yeah. Almost there. Getting close and then we’ll kind of attack the back – the back of the house, the courtyard and all that sort of stuff. But we’re getting there. But yes, got the overalls on this weekend and back into painting.

BRAD CUSWORTH: Awesome mate. Good stuff. So, listeners as always, until the next Fitness Business Marketing podcast. Knowledge without consistent action means very little, but when you take massive action you’re sure to generate positive results in your fitness business. Please like, comment, share and leave a review for us on iTunes or Sound Cloud to help us spread the word. Our goal is to become the world’s largest podcast on the topic of fitness, business and marketing. We really need your help to achieve this.
Now to wrap things up, Alison has a quick message from our podcast sponsors. So, have a great week and bye for now.

ALISON BRIGGS: I just want to quickly thank our major broadcast sponsor for making this Fitness Business Marketing Show possible. Marketing for Gyms and Personal Trainers has created the world’s number one lead generation software for fitness professionals and club operators. The More Members Competition software has generated well over 90,000 local leads for our clients, and it can easily be integrated and working on your Facebook page within days. Visit to check out all the features and benefits of this game changing software system.
If you want more local leads and new members coming into your business, then you will want to be using the More Members Competition software as your main lead generation system.

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