Building Nutrition & Fitness Programs To Maximize Client Results, Retention & Profit In A Gym

In this webinar recording, Nicole Aucoin, founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, and Chris Thorndike, founder of Factory Forged, discuss how to build hybrid programs, attract your ideal clients and get them to enroll into fitness and nutrition programs!

MEET THE SPEAKERS

Nicole Aucoin, MS, RD, LD/N

Founder Healthy Steps Nutrition, CrossFit HSN & HSN Mentoring
Author of The Basics Of Nutrition Coaching, CrossFit Preferred Nutrition Course

As a CrossFit affiliate owner and Registered Dietitian, Nicole understands what it takes to build a successful nutrition program within a gym.

Nicole believes something as fundamental as nutrition shouldn’t be complicated, which is why she focuses on a simple, habit-based approach when working with clients. 

Through HSN Mentoring, Nicole and her team, empower thousands of gym owners and coaches to build successful nutrition programs by teaching the systems and education to coach nutrition using a simple, habit-based approach. 

 

Chris Thorndike

Founder Factory Forged
Chris Thorndike helps gym owners work less and earn more profit with their brick and mortar fitness programs. 

With over 13 years of gym ownership and CrossFit affiliation, his business experience and coaching has helped hundreds of gym owners implement The Factory Forged 4 Profit Pillars to grow their net income and confidently manage their day to day operations. 
 
Topics Discussed: 
  • How to attract your ideal client? 
  • How to build packages that attract your ideal client?
  • How to establish a consultative selling process? 

Listen for the live Q&A at the end! 

For additional FREE help, check out the workbook. 

Additional Resources For Gym Owners

Something as fundamental as nutrition shouldn't be complicated!
At Healthy Steps Nutrition, our mission is to empower gym owners to feel confident when talking about nutrition to their members and communities! 
Join this group for ongoing support, tips, and access to exclusive trainings, all 100% FREE!

FREE HELP FROM HSN MENTORING

  • Ultimate Nutrition Program Starter Guide: Download HERE

  • Grow Your Nutrition Business Podcast HERE

  • New Year, New You Nutrition Talk FREE For Gym Owners To Attract Leads & Re-engage Past Clients >>HERE

FREE HELP FROM FACTORY FORGED

  • How To Increase Your Rates Without Losing Your Clients Training >>HERE

  • How To Consistently Attract New Clients To Your Gym >>HERE

 

Webinar Transcript:

Nicole Aucoin: 

Alright guys, well, we are going to go ahead and get started. I’m super excited about this webinar today. You know, so many people have questions about pricing and packaging. And I’ve known Chris for a long time, a really long time. And we were talking on the phone, we’re like, hey, let’s do a webinar before the new year as people are trying to rethink what their offerings are. So it’s gonna be awesome. This one really is for you. So if you have any questions at all, please feel free to type those in the chat. We will answer them as we’re going through or definitely at the end. So type in your questions because I know watching webinars sometimes I might forget a question that I have. So type it in the chat as you have it and we will make sure and get it to you. So let’s get started. This recording will be on both of our blogs. So if you have to jump off early or you joined in late you will get this recording on they’ll be available on both of our blogs.

 

Alright, so today we are talking about building fitness and nutrition programs to maximize retention, profit and client results. This is such a fun topic. Before we get into it. I just want to introduce myself. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Nicole Aucoin. I am the founder of healthy steps nutrition. I’m a registered dietician. We also own a CrossFit gym, but started as a nutrition company. So that is going to be my whole perspective today. And Chris has a little bit of a different perspective, you’re going to hear two perspectives gonna be great. And our mission at HSN mentoring is to empower gym owners and coaches to feel confident when talking about nutrition. We all know you can’t out exercise a bad diet yet. 99% of gym owners that I talked to say, I know nutrition is the missing piece of the puzzle at my gym but I just don’t know how to do it and package it. So I’m excited to take a deep dive today and into how to actually package it. I’m even more excited to be doing this with Chris, Chris and I have known each other for it’s gotta be a solid 12 to 15 years. And we both went to college together. His CrossFit gym was actually the first gym I joined in 2009-10.

Right when he started CrossFit Gainesville, so super excited to have him on board, and he helps gym owners, Chris I’ll let you kind of chime in here. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Awesome. So if I haven’t met before, it’s great to have you guys on and connect. One of the missions really was to figure out a gym model that works for both life and business. It’s a big part of my life, like Nicole said, You know, I started as a single young gym owner, and then you know, life goes bored and you meet your person, you get married, you have kids. So you really need a model that works with your life. And as you grow, your business should grow with you. So one of the things that we’ve really tried to do is simplify how to make your business grow with your life. And there’s a lot of overcomplicated over complicated models out there. So we aim to really work one on one with people to make sure that they’re working on the business that is gonna work for them, not for someone else. So that’s what we love to do at factory Forge, and what our mission is.

 

Nicole Aucoin:

No, I love Chris and I both speak from experience, we both own gyms, we both, you know, understand that nutrition and fitness both pair well together. It’s not like we’re just coming up with this random stuff, we actually do what we tell our clients to do, which is a really important piece of the puzzle, we can talk from experience. I’m sure we’ve all seen this before, we all know what the fitness pyramid is. But so many times we just skip over the foundation. And if we can really build packages that encompass all of this, we are going to be able to help our clients see results, which is going to help them stay longer. And it’s also going to increase our profit. So really all three of those things, results, profit and retention all really go hand in hand. So I’m so excited to do this webinar today. The goal of today is for you to understand how to number one package your programs together. So this is such an important topic. Gym owners don’t value themselves enough, we tend to undercharge what we are providing our clients and you know, health and nutrition has never been more important. People understand they need to invest in their health, I think this year has woken a lot of people up to realize, Hey, I can’t do this on my own, I need the expert I need someone. In fact, research shows that most people try seven to 10 diets before seeking a professional. So dieting and you know trying to do this on your own isn’t a new thing. Like they understand they need them. You just have to understand your value and be confident with that. Then we’ll talk about how to market your program. And lastly, probably the most important piece that ties all this together, you have to have a consultative selling process. And we’ll dive into what exactly that means in a few minutes. But I think first Chris, we should just start with the basics. Right? Let’s start with what do you need to build a successful program and the first thing you need to do is identify your ideal client. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, and far too many people start out of excitement like, I’m open, I’ve got you know, my business rolling, and I’ll take anyone, everyone. And then you know, speaking from the experience that works when you first get started, but over time, you’ll realize that there are eight clients and see clients. And what I mean by that is that follow your instruction, show up on time, participate, do the work. See clients are the ones that will tell you, they want it but they don’t participate. They’re not a great long term fit. And at the end of the day, there is a right client for each and every one of you, it may be different than you know, the competitor down the street or you but you really have to figure out who you love to work with. And the cool. I don’t know about you, this took a lot of patience and practice of finding. Who I gel with most is who I really find the most success with working and then that becomes the person that I am obsessed with trying to find and help. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Yeah, I know a book that I read a while ago is called the pumpkin plan where you know, we get the seed client idea from and basically if you’ve never done it before, and I honestly do it on a regular basis, like I go through and figure out on a yearly basis, like Who am I targeting because sometimes it alters a little bit depending on where your direction is as a business. But basically, if you take a piece of paper, and on one side write down Who are the people that spend the most money in your gym, and then on the other side, who are the people that make you the happiest and those people that are in both categories tend to be your ideal clients, right?

You know, and when you’re, you’re figuring out how to talk to those people, sit down and have a conversation with those people to find out what words they use, because those words are going to attract other people that are like them. Right? 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Absolutely. And one thing to consider too, guys is a lot of long term, coaches out there, forget what it’s like, to really be in the shoes of people that are stuck in fitness, you know, Nicole, you and I have been doing fitness a long time. Many coaches out there have as well. And this is going to be hard practice, because what comes easy to you, isn’t gonna come easy to them. So the word you use really matters. And that’s why it’s so important for you guys to go to these people like Nicole says, but also remember, they didn’t come to you with that discipline, or that experience or even knowledge. So you have to be thinking about where they started with you. And you’re trying to find people like them, when they first came to you. So I’d say even go back to the text messages, go back to the emails, go back to the conversations of those people. And that’s really where you’re going to find your ideal prospect. Because your prospects turn into your ideal clients. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

For sure, like writing down, like, what are the actual words that they say? Because those are the words you want to use in your marketing, right? At the end of the day, you need to figure out what is the result that you are delivering for them? Like what does success look like to them? And, you know, I even care more about what’s the why behind it, right? Because we know that progress is never a straight line. But if you can go back to your clients why, then it’s easier to help them get back on track. So we need to really take a deep dive. And that’s, that’s honestly the first step. And from there we can, we can actually package a program that’s going to help our clients achieve their results, okay? To achieve. So many times when I talk to gym owners, they tell me, Hey, I’m selling my client on fitness. But really, their goal is to lose a significant amount of weight. I know that they need nutrition, but I just want to get them sold on something. And the problem is if you’re selling them on fitness, but their goal is a, you know, a significant amount of weight loss, they’re not going to see the results as quickly as they would like. And if you don’t talk about nutrition, right from day one, it’s going to be tough for them so they’re going to think you’re trying to sell them on something else later down the line, when in reality, we just started with that. And then they would have seen those amazing results right from the beginning. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, and what you’re talking about is really comprehensive in depth, what do they want? What do they need right now? And one of the biggest questions I ask in addition to that is, why are they stuck? Why do they feel off track? And when you guys start to think about the things that they’ve done and tried, it will really open up what they need to be successful. And, you know, kind of our next point in this conversation is saying, Well, can I deliver what they want? Can I get them on track to the long term goal that they have. And that’s the basis of building out your program, guys is when you start identifying who you love to work with and serve. That becomes you know, your product or your service that you’re going to focus on and you can be the best out of all your competitors at that. In the cold. One of the coolest things about this experience of going through this is you start to learn not just what to say, but you get to personalize your program and have the best results. Because a lot of competitors who don’t do this, they’re talking to everyone, anyone in their programs is so broad, that they lack speed, they lack specific, you know, end results, they lack the specific instructions on what this person needs to be focusing on right now. And then as they move through, you know, week by week in your programs.

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Absolutely. So let’s dive into it. Like what should we be packaging together? What does it look like? I know you want to start off with, with what you guys do, what you teach at the Factory Forged what you do at your gym, because again, we’re gym owners, too, we practice what we preach, this is exactly what we do. So why don’t you start off with how you structure your program? 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, there’s a lot that goes into developing programs for new clients. And as you guys know, you can kind of be like drinking from a firehose with a new client. No, I was looking at where this client was starting? And how much can they handle in their current life? Right. So if you think back to when someone starts with no fitness routine, right, they have not incorporated the hours in their week to actually train. So to go from zero to 100 is really fast. So one of the things that we like to do is just understand how long does it take to implement your program? And can that person do it? Can they invest the time, the energy, the effort to be successful, and if not, meaning life is crazy, they got so much work, they’re, you know, telling you about the SEC, you know, life that they’re living, they have to make a choice to fit this in and make it a part of their life. So the three things that we really understand about people looking for fitness looking for opportunity to improve their life is it comes down to three things in what we do best for people. So the first is, you know, being a gym and a fitness program first. And we do incorporate nutrition, like Nicole says, but our main thing as a coaching program, we, we focus on fitness. So we believe that people need a consistent routine to be able to build muscle and burn calories. And that’s one of the biggest parts of having a fitness program and being consistent is can they implement that a few times a week, and we take care of everything else, they just need to get their blood there. And that’s how we like to, you know, offer our program. First and foremost, most people fail because they don’t have a consistent routine, we take care of all that. And one of the biggest pieces of this is where do you have more value as a coaching program? And people are constantly telling me that like, what is my, you know, biggest value point so I can increase my rates? Or how do I stand out among my competitors. And what I believe you know, as a coaching program is how you communicate your value. And two key points, in addition to just your class, remember, guys, you’re not a fitness class, you’re a coaching program. And that means that you’ve got depth, you’ve got value that other gyms or other programs that don’t recognize that they can’t see it. And it comes down to my opinion to accountability, which means that we have the ability to, you know, call them out, if they’re not there, message them, we use a lot of video, FaceTime with our clients, we’re not just sending them a quick, you know, iPhone message, we can track all the results in the software, the software’s Nicole that we started with 10 years ago, they didn’t exist. Now it’s getting to the point where some of them are, you know, as much as a full time employee help. We can check progress, all these things mean to the client that they’re going to stay on track.

They’re not going to worry about whether they’ll quit on themselves, because we’re there every step of the way to guide them through the process, which is the third thing that I think a lot of programs Miss is communicating that guidance is our biggest asset guys, is that we’ve all been through their shoes, some of us have forgotten that. But this is a big value point of if you’ve done something, you become successful, and this is a part of who you are, you can speak from experience, you can speak from a place that you can stand on this and say, hey, I’ve done this with not only myself, but thousands of clients over how many years. And that means something to someone who has tried working out on their own trying the online program, trying to shake the program, whatever. And this means that they have a real guide to go step by step with them and implement the plan. So Nicole, when we really talk about our coaching program, we try to emphasize the things that are going to matter most to our ideal client. And as we go through our text messages with prospects, some of the biggest things that they tell us, I try new programs, and I quit them and so I don’t have the motivation. If I just had someone to push me, I know I could do something. So this is where we get our value guys is when you study your ideal client, simplify exactly what you do and offer. And then you talk about those things. And then we turn that into a coaching program and value it for all the time, the energy it takes to keep our ideal clients on track, and I’ll end on this if you only include what is necessary to get them on track and successful, nothing more, nothing less. And when you do that, you’ll find that you can replicate that for every single client. And that’s why we price the programs the way we do and offer all the services and touch points that go into it.

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Building in those touch points is so key because you’re right the accountability and support is what sets are kind of gyms apart from the Globo gyms and the other gyms where they don’t have their model is let’s get a million people to sign up and expect that 20% of them will actually show up and our model is the opposite, right? Like if you’re paying me a membership fee, I want you to be invested, I want you to see results because then you’re gonna talk highly of us right? 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Regardless of nutrition or fitness, like that’s some of the things that we’re hearing most people just cannot find a way to do on their own. And some people out there guys can, but they’re not your ideal clients. And that’s the big takeaway is like, when we’re talking about working with the coaching program, that’s who we are. That’s what we do. So we’re looking for those people. Forget about everyone else out there that already has figured it out or feels like they have everything they need, they just need a workout. Um, that’s not your ideal client, don’t focus on them.

Nicole Aucoin:

And the cool thing is, is once you figure out this language, and you guys can take this away right now, if you’re not talking about the accountability and value of the coaching service that you provide, that would be something that would be marketing to putting out into your social media, putting on video content, putting an email so that people understand and you’re automatically qualifying people who want that service. Who are your ideal clients? Chris, I know, in the US is not as popular in Australia, as almost every single gym that we work with in Australia does weekly coaching pricing, but you guys do it? Why do you do weekly pricing versus monthly?

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, it wasn’t always that way. Um, you know, over the years, done a number of different models and pricing structures. And when you start talking about the total cost of the program, now I look at how long it takes to get the client to their goal. And for many of us similar to a car payment, you don’t, you know, a lot of people finance cars. So it’s very similar. When you package up things, you’ll find that these coaching programs and just to get that person to their goal, right, we’re talking about, like transformational results probably take eight 912 months to really say that this person has gone from here and off track to the actual thing that they want. So we have to recognize that that is the total cost to solving their problem. And those are in the thousands of dollars. So not everyone has that. So when you start thinking about payment plans, that makes sense. And you start thinking about how everybody, you know, works, when their  paycheck comes in, you really start seeing that people are paid weekly, or bi monthly or monthly. So we want to fit those payment plans to match their life. And what we found is that weekly works really well with people that are paid on a weekly basis. So it breaks the payment down in a very manageable way. And then from a business, Stan point, you know, there’s an additional payment per year by breaking it down that way. So there’s a little benefit of having a couple extra payments for the combined total year. So that’s really what it is. It’s a convenience factor for them. And a lot of people like to manage their finances on a paycheck by paycheck basis. So it helps them budget. But overall, that’s as simple as it gets. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Awesome.  All right. So you talked about a fitness program. Now I want to talk about a nutrition only program, which honestly is what we are seeing with so many HSN gyms, they’re getting an increased amount of nutrition only clients, people might not feel comfortable coming back to the gym, depending on where you are. Or maybe you have members who are paying for a service that they’re not coming to your gym, especially the gyms in DC that we’re seeing that are being closed down again, being forced to just work outside, it’s about to get really cold. So how many people are going to pay for a gym membership? If they’re not using it for a second extended period of time? Could you switch them over to a nutrition only membership, still give them some value? help them see results get some coaching? And what about those past members who may be moved a little bit further away, but would be interested in nutrition coaching. So similar to what Chris talked about earlier, with this consultative selling process, when you’re building nutrition only packages, I would recommend a three month commitment you want to build in time as a nutrition coach to work with that client, let them understand the value of the accountability. So many people call us and say, hey, I want a meal plan. I can give you a piece of paper, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be successful. The accountability and support is the value of nutrition coaching. But how we figure out what package we’re going to guide people to is based on that initial intake, I’m asking them what worked well in the past, what did it if they tell me that Weight Watchers worked really well for them because they had check ins very regularly. And they went in to meet with their coach really often. I’m going to guide them to a higher accountability option, where there is more time built in to check in with that coach. So what I would recommend if you’re trying to build nutrition and fitness options together, start off with your nutrition only offering So figure out what that price is going to be. I can tell you the majority of gyms that run HSN charge between 139 and 179 per month for the lowest tier package. So an additional hundred and $39 per month for nutrition only clients or those people that are doing nutrition and fitness.

 

So I would recommend again a three month commitment for nutrition coaching to give you time to build that relationship with that client. So I like to look at the financial part of it like what is the financial reward for a gym because I think now more than ever gyms have realized I need to diversify revenue. So what would this actually look like? If you had a nutrition client who stayed with you for a year the annual revenue based on my numbers, the 179 per month would be 1500 dollars per year. So one client 1500 dollars per year for higher accountability. 20 a little over 20 $300 per year, times that by 10 is a substantial amount of revenue that you could be adding to your gym, which is, which is really awesome. So this is the easy part. And if you guys have any questions about this, type them in the chat, we always have questions about this, I’d love to answer them. Trust me, I’ve done a million different ways with packaging and pricing nutrition programs and started all these steps nutrition in 2012. And working in a private practice, actually not too far from Chris’s gym in Gainesville, starting in 2005. So I’ve been doing this for a while, this is definitely the best way to build that relationship and keep those clients long after that three month range. A cool thing is once you figure out this part, then it’s really easy to figure out what your package is going to look like for nutrition and fitness. So super simple. We’re figuring out what is the intake program, what is the cost, I’m not discounting my nutrition program for members, when they sign up, I basically add the nutrition only offering into what the cost is of getting started at our gym. So we have four personal training sessions to get started at our gym, then people go into group fitness classes, and depending on if they’re doing a lower amount of classes or an unlimited amount of classes and accountability, that’s the plan that will guide them to I honestly don’t even show them this sheet like this is a great sheet for you to see. I’m just guiding them to the one option. And if they’re like, Oh no, that’s too expensive, then I’ll bring it down to a different option. But I’m guiding them to the best option to help them achieve their goals. Kind of to Chris’s point, when we are talking to a new person who’s literally never done anything with fitness before, which happens, I think we had quite a few people after gyms reopen from the pandemic the first time, like we had people that have literally never done anything in years. And they’re like, Alright, I’m ready to do CrossFit. Like, okay, let’s just do a couple of times, like three times a week, but let’s get you started with nutrition, you’re gonna see faster results that way, instead of you getting so sore trying to do CrossFit every single, every single day, right. So you got to meet your client, where they’re at, I want to talk about the financial piece of what this would look like, if you did package a program like this. So if you’re doing fitness only your revenue would be if they stayed for a year $2,000 based on our numbers $2,000. But if you are doing nutrition and fitness, you’re increasing that revenue by goodness, we’re increasing it by almost 1500 dollars per person, which is amazing. So you have to think about how you are going to add value, but then also add revenue to your clients which will add revenue to your gym, and help your clients see better results. I don’t know about you guys, but I would rather have 120 gym members that are so happy and we don’t have to add a million more classes than 250 people. I’m trying to juggle all the restrictions right now. So I’d rather have less clients paying more than more clients paying less.

 

Chris Thorndike: 

I would agree and I think the best part of what makes fitness nutrition stackable. Nicole is its freedom. I know a lot of owners are out there stressed out, overworked, working long hours. And one of the best things that I found about incorporating nutrition is you get to go deeper into the relationship and actually be a comprehensive program. No, the volume game has proven to devastate gyms, especially in you know, the pandemic where we’re seeing numbers drop, like crazy 3040 50% of gym members have disappeared from a lot of these gyms, either due to guidelines or just people, you know, leaving in general. So this does give a powerful way for you guys to continue to work with clients that absolutely care about investing in their health. And collapsing the money is really secondary for the right person, they want to solve the problem for the right person, they want to fix this feeling that they have or this long term goal that they’ve always thought about, but could never reach. And those people look at this as like, thank you, not like, Oh, I’m just shopping around the prices, because I get that a lot too when we get into money. This has more about making sure that our program demonstrates real value to someone that has that problem that you actually can solve. And, you know, when I saw your sheet up here, I’m glad you mentioned that, you know, I don’t typically show this to a client because guys that can confuse the client. And Nicole maintains all of the you know, control as the person saying, Hey, this is what I think this person needs. And I’m going to recommend only what they need to be successful versus complicating the, you know, the experience and really, the client doesn’t know that’s why they’re coming to us. We’re the experts. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Absolutely. And again, you have to be confident in the services that you’re providing. You have to be confident that you can actually solve this problem if that is your ideal client. We’ve had so many conversations with nutrition coaches, gym owners, people that are doing those intros. You know, when people ask about price, I, my biggest thing is like, Hey, this is an investment in your health. And, you know, one of the things that you can be doing when you’re learning more about that client, find out how often they eat out, what are they typically doing? Can you save them money there, where they could invest it in their health, and have an awesome plan. So there are always ways to navigate the conversation about money, because it will come up, you know, people do want to make sure that they’re getting their values worth and, you know, you helping them and being confident that you can help them will help them understand how, right?

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, and I mean, let’s just go down this path, on the money issue, I think a lot of this is you guys starting to recognize your own value. And it’s the belief system, it’s, it’s really saying, in order for me to do all of the work that’s necessary to give this client, the end result, I have to do XYZ, and I have to pay myself to do XYZ. And that’s where that confidence I found comes from in, you know, secondary, when clients pushback on price, as it’s not necessarily enough. It’s just, I don’t know how I’m gonna make this work. But I really wanted or, you know, you have to get out of your own head a lot as an enrollment coach just recognizing that they’re trying to figure it out. Some people speak out loud, some people just immediately object even though they really deeply want it. They just don’t know how to make it work. So Nicole, you brought up a great point of saying, hey, you’ve got to embrace those conversations. And, you know, great coaches will want to address the money issue, and justify the value because absolutely, you’re worth it. And, you know, I’ve worked with over 6000 people, you know, when it comes to, you know, athletes and members and all different levels of fitness. And the thing that I noticed most is the ones that put in the work, are never unhappy, but the ones that get the results are never unhappy about spending the money. So just keep that in mind, guys, when you’re out there. In these meetings, they’re turning to you to help reassure them that this is a good decision. And it’s an investment that’s actually got an ROI to it.

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Love that. And you made up a really great point, they’re the ones that are engaged are always happy, which means you especially when you’re building nutrition programs, you have to build in that time beyond those in person visits to ensure they are engaged so that they see the results, meeting with a client once a month, and that is it will not cut it. I’m telling you, I’ve tried it, it doesn’t cut it, your clients don’t have the support they need, they need that accountability on both sides, nutrition and fitness. I love looking at this. This is a really cool case study of one of the gyms that runs our program, we now have an integration with push press where it pulls reports easily. So I pulled this from one of the gyms that’s running our program is fitness only options versus hybrid meaning nutrition and fitness. Those people spend over $2,000 more the lifetime value of nutrition and fitness clients for this gym, $2,000 more than fitness only, which is a huge deal. Because again, it means he doesn’t have to have as many clients to reach his perfect day and reach coaches perfect days. Right. So this is a really, really important piece of the puzzle. No, Chris, I think we’ve kind of nailed down how to price and package programs, I want to dive into why this is really important. Like why do you need to take the time to invest in doing this the right way? Because it does take time, right? Like, it’s not like you can just change everything overnight? 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, this is, you know, the complexity of running a business right is like you have all these ideas spinning around like this is a great idea. This is a great idea. And more businesses die from over complicating their business and over opportunity. So we have to say, what can we focus on that actually contributes to two goals, I think, bringing people in that you love to work with, and then keeping them happy long term. And that’s the retention side, right. So when it comes to guys, an actual retention strategy, we say at Factory Foraged, if you don’t deal with it on the front end, you’re going to deal with it on the back end. And what we mean by that is, you can absolutely have clients that turnover six weeks, 12 weeks, and not meet these timelines that they need to see their results and actually feel like your program works for them. It’s devastating as a coaching program to lose people like that because they walk away feeling unfulfilled, or that you didn’t solve their problem. And I hate that for a local reputation when they didn’t give you the time necessary to do that. So what I mean by that if you want better retention, you have to have these hard conversations on the front end and why we’re saying it’s so important to know who you love to work with, because you’re actually qualifying or looking for those people on the front end. that they’ll put in the work. They’ll understand, you know what it means to be qualified. And we’ll talk about that, you know, in the future here, but that’s that’s why you can have great retention by being forward facing. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Love that  – someone just asked us to go back to the slides, I want to do that really quick, because they didn’t understand what this meant. So the lifetime value of your clients. So what is one client worth to your business? And when we look at this particular gym, the lifetime value of a fitness only client for them is 20 $700. So the lifetime value, the average amount is based on the average amount of time the client spends in with you and how much money they spend 20 $700 is those fitness only clients versus the nutrition and fitness clients? So those members that are on a nutrition and fitness package? What’s the lifetime value of them? And for this gym, it’s over $2,000 more when the client is worth over $2,000 more when they are doing nutrition and fitness packages. So Eric, I hope that that helped clarify a little bit.

 

Chris Thorndike:

 Is that broken down on like an annual basis? Or what is that like monthly?

 

Nicole Aucoin:

So that is the average, like what one client is worth to that business. So what’s the difference based on how long the client is with them, and how much they’re spending the average.

Alright, so let’s dive into marketing strategies. I love marketing. One book that I would recommend you read, if you’ve never read that before or read it before is building your story brand by Donald Miller, I think they really changed the game for me, Chris, I know you’ve read a lot of this stuff as well with attracting our ideal clients and sending a message that will relate to them. So we have to understand what problem we’re solving, and we have to understand what success looks like. And once we figure that out, we start using the language that they say and make all of our content based on that. And doesn’t mean you have to make a million different pieces of content, say the same thing different ways. I might make a video about something, but then write a blog about it and then send an email and send that video in an email and put it on the blog in our social media. I’m saying the same thing multiple times, and I guarantee someone will have not heard it. And on the 10th or hundredth time I’ve said it finally like clicks, they’re ready and they understand. But you don’t have to say all these different messages, keep it condensed, and really talk to that ideal client. And you know, Chris, you talk about this all the time, but we have to be writing to one person, right? Like, we can’t be just Oh, all these people, and it’s not going to talk to that one person who is your ideal client? 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, and, you know, you think about this concept of ideal client, you know, they are your ideal prospect out there from like, the moment they came into your business. And that’s really who we’re trying to connect with. So when we write to that one person, we need to understand what they are struggling with. What, you know, things that they’re unhappy with about themselves? Um, you know, what, what things that have they tried and spent money on? Or where are they placing their time and energy and they feel like it’s not working, because that is our content list. You know, one of the things that you know, factory of origin, Nicole, I know you do this as well, is content marketing calendars, where we’re building out content, literally for our gyms, around these pain points. And guys, I’ll give you the secret, you know, and it’s really not even that secret. It’s we’re studying the text messages, we’re studying the conversations that people are coming in with. And then that is literally helping us communicate better by like, what you said Nicole’s using their exact phrases and words, helping them understand what the root of that problem is, and how we solve it better than anybody. So when you guys start thinking about this one person, all of your content consumed, and I guess, Nicole, this is the piece that I really love about sorry, Brent is like, when you get to a point where you feel like you’re saying the same thing over and over again, you’ve truly arrived at that one person that that subject that allows you to be the expert in it. And that’s truly where I think you start standing out from your competitors, because you have a consistent message, it’s able to be heard and validated, and you become the authority. And essentially, that’s the difference maker, guys. There’s far too many businesses out there talking about XYZ, and it’s confusing. And lastly, Nicole, to your point, that one concept of scaling content across social media, just note that your ideal clients hang out on several different platforms. So it’s so important to just take that one topic or that one piece of message and make sure it’s seen in all of your areas that your ideal prospects and clients hang out. And that’s what we mean by writing to one person so that they hear you that you’re talking about things that matter to them.

 

Nicole Aucoin:

You know, another thing that you can do is write content. What you should do is write content that’s relevant at that moment, right. So, you know, people are going into the holidays, what are some tips for them to stay healthy or if they’re stuck at home? What are some things that they could do at home to stay on track? Making content that’s relevant is really important. A trick that I talk about all the time that we do on a regular basis that I do when I write content is I keep a note in my phone, right? I keep a note of all the questions that I get asked so that when it comes down to me writing content, I’m writing questions that my ideal clients are asking, because I know someone else has that question. And they’re just not asking it. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Totally. And they’ll tell you what to write about to you know, and we had this conversation before this call of saying, you know, what’s, what’s more difficult to start fitness or nutrition? And the reason we’re, you know, this conversation would came up, it was a great experiment of, how do I turn that one engagement question into really great content around the problems, the issues, the thoughts that people are struggling with, when it comes to fitness and nutrition, because you know, what we’re going to do with it, guys, we’re going to create a video on it, and then we’re going to write an email on it. And then we’re going to take that same concept and those that that email, chunk it into a Facebook post, chunk it into Instagram, that it’s not only written to that one person, the right person, but it’s also relevant to them is what we’re saying. And that ultimately, is who’s going to contact you. And you get excited because you’re like, this person gets me. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

So Chris, you put a post out a couple weeks ago said, you know, what’s easier to or what’s harder to stick with fitness or nutrition, right? And most people said nutrition, right?

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yep. They said, nutrition is harder to maintain for them. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

So yesterday I made a post about what’s harder to start nutrition or fitness? and 90% of people said nutrition? I don’t know if you saw that. But I was hoping you’d Sarah. Yeah. The overwhelming majority of people said, nutrition is harder for everyone to do. And it’s because I think for a few reasons. Number one, it truly means you have to change your lifestyle. And there’s so many factors that go into nutrition. Is your spouse on board at what’s happening at home? Or are you setting yourself up for success? Do you have a plan? Do you have the accountability and support that you need? You have all these ideas of what’s healthy, and all these companies spend millions and millions of dollars marketing, there’s crap food as healthy, and people are so confused. So I will be writing content about that, like, Hey, have you been tricked by a fad diet, you know, our Have you fallen off your diet, we know that two thirds of people will regain the weight they worked really hard to lose in a crash diet. So talk to those people like those are your ideal clients, people that have tried something that hasn’t worked, like let them understand how you can help them but you have to talk about the problems that they’re struggling with.

 

Chris Thorndike:

Absolutely. And you know, the flip side of that guys, too, for those guys that are,

you know, not get involved in the nutrition side. Also know that, you know, when you’re looking to strengthen your fitness side, you know, it was not a shock to me that people are over complicated with nutrition, and they’re just like throwing their hands up. And like, man, I don’t, I’ll never get this down. It also opens the door to say that there’s an opportunity to help people get started in fitness as a gateway. And this is why we’re talking about the concept of pairing and why fitness nutrition compliments the, you know, everyone so well here is that when people feel like they have a coach and a guide, things get easier. And what they’re saying in that post is I recognize that I need to do this, but I can’t do it on my own. And you guys know this to a lot of people because fitness in a sense, you can go out for a run and do it for free. Or you can go on to Google or YouTube or Instagram and find a workout. And all of a sudden, that’s easy access to information. But the key guys is, when you’re a coach, you have a plan and a strategy to guide them through it. And more often than not, even if you gave away everything. People wouldn’t do it. Because they need that accountability, right? They need that support. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

We give out so much stuff for free. And I love it. Like that’s a time for people to see stuff, get some intro to what we are about. And so that when they do sign up when they are ready, they’ve already understood how we can help them because they’ve been following us for a while. There have been people that have been following us for years. And then finally I say one thing and they pull the trigger. But it’s because we’re consistently putting out content and marketing to them and they understand how we can help them. They’re using the little tips that we give. So you know when you’re talking about nutrition we’ve talked about like we can’t overcomplicate I think that’s like the theme of this whole whole process. The same thing goes with nutrition. I remember starting my private practice, and I will give people so much information and it was so overwhelming. And they left like more confused than when they arrived instead. Now I have a personal goal of them saying like that’s it. That’s all you want me to do before they leave and yes, that’s all I want you to do. I want you to be consistent with this one thing. And then next week when you are consistent, we’ll add the next thing to the plate and the next thing if you slow it down instead of speed it up your clients are going to be more successful.

In fact, the research shows when you focus on only one thing at a time, your clients are 80% successful at what they’re looking to accomplish maintaining that habit over the course of over a year. Instead, when you’re trying to focus on 234 things at one time, it’s less than a 5% success rate. Think about that, how many of you run a challenge and try to cleanse to change like everything during this challenge, and then they regain all the weight that they’ve worked really hard to lose? Instead, launch a challenge where you’re focusing on one thing each week and guide people to continue with nutrition coaching after that challenge is over, upgrade their membership to what we were showing before with nutrition and fitness, you can help them long after that nutrition challenge. So you know, nutrition and fitness do pair really well together. But at the end of the day, it has to be so easy for people to get started with you and continue with you. Right? Like you have to be confident with the plan, you have to lay it out, even if there’s a million things, a million steps, right that you’re going to do with them, you have to lay it into, hey, I want you to apply for nutrition coaching, then we’re going to, you’re going to meet with a coach and we’re going to create a customized plan and then you’re going to see really awesome results. Of course this step number two is long, right? But I’m not talking about laying it out in three simple steps so that clients understand how we can help them and what the process is to get started. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, you can easily distract your client just just like a prospect, right? If you This is the challenge, I think Nikolas as coaches grow with experience and wisdom, they want to pass that on and share it. And what we’re talking about is dose, what is the amount of information that they’re ready with? Ready for? And how much can they consume and actually implement, because a lot of people out there can consume a lot of information and do nothing with it because they get overwhelmed. So that’s in my opinion, like a high quality program understands that point of saying, I’m only going to line this person with what they need to be successful. And the second point of these guys is also if you have a ton of information, wisdom, stretch it out, help them gain that through your program. And that’s what adds to that retention pot of saying, Hey, I have to start treating this like this long term journey. and educating the client that that’s part of the process. That’s how things work here, everybody’s in a race to be successful overnight. And with fitness and nutrition, this is a discipline, this is a lifestyle, this is something that you cannot eat. So far too many people are just, you know, consumed by this overnight success. And it’s just not real, it’s not reality. And the people that are succeeding are approaching this day by day by day. And if we can be those coaching programs, we’re going to save and help a lot of people and the people that are coming to us with this like urgency mentality, we have to prioritize checking them, because if not guys, they’re going to expect something overnight. But it really takes a year to get to the goal. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

And the truth is, it’s understandable why people expect things overnight. Like if you look at every magazine, in the Publix or in your supermarket, it says here’s how to lose 10 pounds in 10 days, take this ultra keto supplement and don’t eat anything and you’re gonna lose all this week. It’s not realistic long term. And one of the things we talk about HSN all the time is like we have to help you ditch this all or nothing mentality. And you really have to focus on just one thing at a time, get super successful with that one thing and then let’s add the next thing to the plate. And when people ask me like, Hey, what does this program look like? I talked about what they’ve done in the past. And then I asked them why they failed. And a lot of times, it’s because it’s not sustainable. And I want to give you something that is sustainable, that you can stick with for the long haul and truly see the long term results that you’re looking to accomplish. So we have to keep it simple. And the more simple you make it the more your clients will see results, and the longer they will stay with you guaranteed. So, you know, the truth is we have all these pieces of the puzzle with marketing, right? There’s so much in most gym owners, let’s be honest, we don’t have a marketing degree like I went to Story Brand became a certified guide. So I’d have a little more information. But most of us don’t. We didn’t go to school for this. So it’s a whole new territory and you don’t have to overcomplicate it. Go back to what Chris and I talked about with figuring out what your clients are asking for what they’re saying. And use those words in your marketing. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Right. Yeah, the biggest part, you know, when generating really good content is relying on yourself to recognize that you have everything you need. And you know, we’re teaching gym owners how to execute at a high level without the degree because, you know, people leave that up to us. We have marketers who aren’t a team, we have business professionals on our team. And one of the best parts about being a coach I think is being able to communicate with people that need to hear your message and if you know how to help the client. What’s missing? Often, Nicole, I find is just executing and putting yourself out there and being okay. Yes, some people are gonna contradict your message, some people are gonna, you know, troll you, get those people out of your head and start talking to your ideal client. And you’ll find that all that other stuff that insecurity of promoting your business goes away, because I had to deal with that early on. You know, as a young gym owner, 22 years old, when I first started, I didn’t think I knew anything about anything at that time, I had to like, wait to figure it out. And then I would arrive at this authority. This happens guys, but just day by day putting your message out there and trying to connect with the ideal client because listen up, they need you they’re failing right now they have no one. So that’s what I love about content marketing, Nicole is taking it and understanding that it’s just like creating a program, guys, a workout program is no different. Right? Think of it this way. A content marketing calendar is written like a cycle of programming. And if you guys can start to look at it like a cycle workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday, you create these workouts, programs, your message Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And all of a sudden, that’s what’s going to strengthen your Legion. That’s what’s going to strengthen your message. So you guys have the power of doing this. It’s just not in the context that you see yourself as the expert, I promise you can do this. If you can write a workout, you can absolutely create a post in a message that aligns with your ideal client. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Don’t over complicate simple tips. Consistency is the most important thing. We’re talking about content. Chris, I know you do this, we’ve been doing this since we started HSN mentoring is we actually give James the content. So the social media in Canva templates, you can bring it as your own, the email content, the video scripts, so every mentoring gym that uses our platform has all of the content, it’s literally like copy, paste, put it into your social media, put it into your email campaign. So we try to make it like dummy proof for you. Because I know it takes time. And the truth is, it does take time. Like you have to if you’re not using one of our mentoring programs, you have to carve out the time to make it so that it gets done consistently. Because if you’re not talking about nutrition, there’s someone else that’s talking about nutrition, that’s going to get your ideal clients attention. And if you’re not talking about it, people are not going to understand that you can help them. If you’re just offering this challenge once a year and you’re not talking about ongoing nutrition coaching, people are not going to understand how you can help them with ongoing coaching, they’re gonna understand you can help them during a challenge. But what happens after that challenge, right? So you have to be consistent and intentional. If you want ideas like following healthy steps, nutrition on social media, get some ideas, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If you are a mentoring client, I really hope you are using all of our stuff, which I’m sure I’m sure you are. Because it’s a huge perk. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Here’s one way of looking at it guys, in what I’ve loved this analogy, it’s like your marketing, I’ve found it takes about five to seven hours per week. And if you’re not investing in that, that’s like not investing your clients not investing in nutrition. They’re not doing food prep. So as a business owner, you’re not food prepping, you’re not eating healthy and consuming the fuel that is going to power your business. So if you start looking at how you build athletes, and applying that same methodology to building your businesses, you’ll find that a lot of what you’re doing and practicing from a principle level works inside business. So Nicole, you’re absolutely right. When we try to lift and empower owners by saying hey, here’s what is working right now. We’ve laid it out in a plan for you guys. And we want you to be the authority to speak on that message. Talk to your local markets, and you hit it on the head. A lot of the preparation is what holds I think owners back is because you have to be very strategic, you have to put the time into listening, studying text messages coming up with the right words, copywriting, all that stuff. And it’s a competitive advantage to be in a mentoring program that understands that and sees the value in saying hey, if you don’t promote your company, no one’s gonna find you. No one’s gonna think you’re better than the rest.

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Absolutely. So at the end of the day, you really have to make someone like this like oh my gosh, I needed this help I needed this support. And your tip is exactly what I needed in those things consistently will help you build you know the value that clients understand how you can help them. I want clients who’ve seen videos from me before they come in. I want them to know what we can do to help them because they’ve already used some tips. That’s such an easier sell. They’re coming to you because they already know you can help them instead of them just kind of shopping around the city for what program is going to be best for them. So consistency is the most important thing. We’re actually giving out a nutrition talk for free for any gym owner. So you can actually use this to start talking about nutrition free virtual seminars. I’ll put the link in the chat you could download it but it’s a presentation speaking notes of recording so you can use it to re engage past calm.

When we talk about email content, this is a question that gets asked often, you want to send emails with free help not just selling someone on something to every single person you have an email for. So not just your current clients don’t just give free help about nutrition to your current clients, you want to give it to anyone, so that maybe someone who is a past client who doesn’t want help with fitness, but they do want help with nutrition comes to you because they’re seeing that free health regularly. So once we’ve talked, I think we’ve nailed down the marketing section of this, let’s talk about the consultative selling process, which is vital to wrap this all up. If you are not meeting with people one on one, either in person or virtual, before there is a sale, you are missing out. Because you’re not truly figuring out what they actually need and how you can actually help them, you’re not qualifying them to see if they’re the right fit for you. I mean, I talked to every single gym member before they signed up. And if it doesn’t align, I say, hey, my books are available online. And you know, there’s a ton of free help we have a podcast that would be really great for you. Or here’s another company that maybe can support you better, because I don’t want to work with not my ideal client. And you should feel the same exact way. Chris, you’ve talked about this a lot today. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Yeah, I mean, this is the thing where you know, after years and years of experience, you start really saying, I want to build better, deeper relationships, because it saves me time and energy of meeting so many leads, or having to be let down as a coach because someone quits. So guys, this process right here is how you determine.

And I would say hold someone accountable to being the best client, they could be for you. And most gym owners, they’ll take anyone, everyone early on in their career and experience successful gym owners start saying, Hey, I have a choice in the model. And that’s this concept behind getting in front of someone, whether it is in person over the phone, you need to connect and build that relationship, you’re basically starting a marriage. And if you want to add them to your community, they better add value to the other people’s lives in a group coaching program. Because you don’t want someone toxic, because they will destroy that culture, that community and you let them in. So you know, one of the biggest things that you can do to protect your coaches and protect your members is applying this concept of qualification. So I want to offer up guys, there’s three things that I look for when qualifying people, the first, I think a lot of people are hungry to grow revenue, especially now Yes, they have to have the money. That’s that’s one. But that’s not the only one, they have to understand the time investment. Right. I’m so busy, I don’t know if I can really do this, that’s a major red flag for me. Because if you’re unwilling to change how you’re spending time, and you want what you’re telling me you want, but you’re not willing to put in that time and make time, that’s a real concern. And the last is effort. Guys, we’re in a place right now where we have to understand that it takes time to create grocery lists, it takes time to shop for food, it takes time to prep the meal. And like that’s a sunk cost. Same thing from a fitness standpoint, guys, like it takes time to plan where it fits in your day to actually come in and put in the sweat equity. And if they’re unwilling to do that, guys, they’re not a qualified client. So time, effort, and money are my big three. In moving forward, whether it’s a business coaching client, or you know, a gym client, it has to be a good fit for you. And raise your standard is what I’m saying, have a standard.

 

 Nicole Aucoin:

I love that gotta have a standard for sure. And you want to make sure the person who’s doing those appointments understands all of the programs that you offer. So if you have someone that’s doing, you’re in sales, if it’s not you, and they don’t understand how nutrition will help, or they’re not really bought into your nutrition program, of course, I’m not going to get people buying nutrition because they don’t feel comfortable talking about it. I truthfully believe that if you have people that work for your business, they want to help business grow, they want to grow with your business, right? I don’t think anyone would intentionally try to not help your business grow that works for you. So if you are struggling to build a nutrition program go back to who was actually doing the free intro process? Do they really understand? Or are they nervous? They’re going to get a question they don’t know the answer to and lose the sale altogether, because likely, and of the thousands of coaches that we’ve trained, the latter is the situation every single time they don’t feel comfortable talking about nutrition. So they just get over the conversation completely to get them signed up on fitness. So how you can help that is roleplay with the people that are doing those intros, do pretend that you’re the person doing the franchisor or the client then do a role reversal to make sure you guys are communicating a consistent message. But also the other thing would be having forms. So having laid out questions that you are asking your clients so that they’re hitting all the things that you want to know, you know, especially if you’re just starting this consultative selling process, you know, and it’s new for you, make sure that you do this and set out form so that you can make sure that you truly are getting all the information that you need, understand the client’s why to guide them to the best option to help them achieve their goals. At the end of the day, it really just has to be easy for people to get started. And the easier you make it, the less confusing, the better chances you’re going to have people signing up for the programs you want them to sign up for.

Another thing is, I think we’ve all learned we can do this virtually, you can do it over the phone, you can do it through zoom, you can do this not in person. So that means you can expand the reach of the people that you’re helping, maybe they’re living a few miles away, or, or they’re working further away. So they can’t drive to your facility every single day. But you could help them in a virtual virtual setting. So make sure that you know you can do this virtually, if you don’t want to do this in person, it gives you a little bit more flexibility of times that you can set these appointments up.

 

All right. Well, I know there’s a couple questions in the chat, we will definitely get to those. But before we do, I just want to talk about some additional free help that we have. I mentioned the podcast before but every single week, we do a free Episode 30 minutes, they’re awesome on Mondays free help to help gym owners build successful nutrition programs. Next week, we are actually interviewing a gym from Ireland, who’s built a super successful nutrition program during the shutdown. And during specifically the second shut down. It has been closed for a total of five weeks a second time, the first time he was close, I think for 10. So he has some really great ideas, I guarantee we’ll be taking some of those. But he’s done an amazing job building his nutrition program episode that you definitely want to, to listen to. Also, if you are thinking like, Hey, you guys can help me, I want to redo my intro process, I need some help with marketing, I need some help with really clarifying who my ideal clients are, we would love to help you. We just and mentoring has a turnkey solution to help gym owners build successful nutrition programs. Trust me, it takes a long time to build a nutrition program, get all the training and systems and in a gym setting, you have to have a consistent system because your gym clients talk to each other. So if one coach is doing something different than another, you’re doing something different between your nutrition clients, they’ll talk to each other and it can, it can devalue your program. And we provide so much value in support for our gyms between training all that content, an app to manage all of your clients. And that’s allowed us to have a 98% retention rate of the gyms that are using our program over the past six years. So we would love to help you if you’re looking for something pretty easy to get started, we want to talk to you first, I want to qualify to make sure that you are a good fit for us and we’re a good fit for you. And if it is a good fit, then we would send you an invitation to sign up, you complete a training process that takes about 30 hours and then you launch your program, you could definitely have this up and going by January when everyone is looking to change their life. And on January 1.

 

Chris Thorndike:

Cool. So if you guys are interested in Factory Forged in working with me, we laid out pretty simply, you know, one of the things that we value is having a strong foundation, every house needs a strong foundation or it’s going to crumble. So we look at it the same way as building a business. And one of the first things that we turn to is saying, hey, do we have the business on track to accomplish what the owner wants? And that’s really important for long term business ownership is to really take a step back and say, What is my financial plan? What membership, you know, prices do I need to charge? Do I include every single thing that my client needs to be successful, we have to comb through that and say, Hey, if this is going to strengthen the business, strengthen how I love to run this company, we have to do it. And if you haven’t done it in a long time, it’s time to turn off the dirt, you know, clean up the dirty closet and go through it and say, Hey, I need some help doing that. So for those of you guys out there who want to understand our process, we have four pillars to it. So we absolutely go through and help you simplify your business plan, get on track for that strategy. We make sure that we have scalable programs, what that means is that you have time for your family time to work on the business, not so much in it. And then ultimately we make sure that we build it for your ideal client, the people that you love to serve, not, not the people that you just want to get in the gym. We’re talking about long term business growth. And then lastly, we absolutely help you guys increase your prices, charge what you’re worth, find those people so that you have the skills to enroll them and communicate that Nicole you talked about it. objections are tough. So we need to grow into the coaches and the owners that are able to charge what we’re worth. There’s nothing more satisfying as the see coaches in gym owners not charged with their work. We are professionals. We’re able to compete with our, you know, therapists out there. Our physical therapists are professional trades, we have to start thinking like long term careers. And I want to help be part of that foundation, that team that does that for you guys in your gym.

 

So if you’re interested in working with us, it’s a simple strategy, like Nicole mentioned, schedule a call, let’s talk over where you’re at where you want to go, we’ll make sure that we align our program to fit those of you that are ready. And then our first step is to work with our momentum program. That’s where we’re going to go through the four pillars. We are done with your program, that means that we coach you step by step through the process, you’re never alone with us. And you always have something to turn to when you have questions. So if you’re interested in getting started working on your for profit pillars, we’ll put the link in there and hop on a call and we’ll go from there.

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Awesome. So I know a couple questions came through, one question was, in your experience, do you recommend full payment for nutrition upfront or breaking it into payments over three months, If we do three payments, so three payments of 179 or 229 per month for three months. If it’s a family nutrition program, which is something we started recently, it’s 359 per month, for three months, and then the price goes down slightly after that. So we don’t have people do it all up front, we do per month, and then we just convert them to ongoing coaching after those initial three months. So we have like a 92% conversion rate to ongoing coaching after three months. And it’s just like, hey, awesome, you’ve graduated from the first three months, we’re going to continue to work with you and continue to support your goals. And it’s still that monthly membership. I don’t do all upfront, Chris, I’m assuming you guys don’t either with paying weekly.

 

Chirs Thorndike:

Not for memberships, I’ve found that cash flows are really important. So not only is it a better deal, I think for the client to manage their finances, but for the business to know cash flow is really important to make sure that it’s consistent. So I’ve found that that’s a better model long term. And there’s no reason to discount your services to this is real time that we have to put into serving the client. And that’s like doing the work for less money. So make sure you guys see all of the work that’s involved, and charge what you’re worth, that’s really important to being successful.

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Another question came in about discounts, so you just kind of touched on it a little bit. But when you’re doing nutrition for gym members, we charge them the same rate as the first three months for nutrition only. So I just build in that rate to that 12 week program. Same thing for our gym members who want to sign up for nutrition coaching, we would just charge them on top of their membership rate, the 179 per month for three months. And then it goes a little bit down from there after those initial three months. So we do not give discounts for our services. Because the thing is, is, you know, ideally, if you’re doing nutrition and you’re a gym owner, you know if your perfect day is doing nutrition all day awesome, but you’re going to need someone else to help support the role of the program. What I found is having a nutrition coach to manage those day to day roles is ideal. And if you’re discounting them, you’re losing money because you’re going to be paying that nutrition coach to, you know, manage those clients. Most gyms use the four ninths model 44.4% of what revenue comes in goes to the nutrition coach, the rest goes to operational costs and then profit for the gym. So you know, you’re making a pretty decent added revenue stream when you do add, add nutrition.

 

What else came in any other questions that you guys have?

 

Chris, any other common questions that get asked for you when you do those free calls with gym owners? 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Um, I think one of the biggest ones is just understanding how to charge your worth, a lot of people say hey, I’m going to add a new service, or I’m going to think about trying to attract more members. One of my biggest pieces for long term success in gym membership is to go narrow, not wide. So I want you guys to really look at, you know, what are your current clients biggest issues and if you can continue to try and build the business around those things. I found that you’re able to retain clients long term, and you’ll soon learn that you have everything you need to be successful on the volume model. Nikolai, I keep saying this over and over again like it’s really difficult to grow a profitable business if you need more and more space and need more and more trainers. And what I found that’s really successful about building a business around an ideal client guys is making sure that when you charge what you’re worth, what that means is you include the marketing costs, the lead follow up and the sales time that you’re spending with people, on average, Nicole, it’s like 45 minutes that people will spend in a console. But if you never build that into the price of your membership, you’re basically doing that work for free and hoping that after three months, you know, you’re going to recuperate that time and money. So if you guys are out there and want to really understand the ins and outs of making the business profitable, that’s what we do best. And I want to help more gym owners realize that the success is closely tied to your business plan. And if you have a smart business plan, you guys can really start saying, hey, the money is just the money, I just have to charge enough money to deliver the service in the way that I want. And the clients that are out there, I’m just need to find you. And when we start solving these issues, you really start seeing that you have everything you need to be successful. And I want more gym owners to know that like, you can make us a long term career, Nicole, and I’ve been in this industry for a long time. And I want to be a part of that movement where guys, they need us more than ever right now. There’s so many people that are stuck, there’s so many people coming on this pandemic heavier or more unhappy. And let’s face it, a lot of the deaths and the issues that people are having right now are rooted in health and nutrition. So we are the next layer of this, this movement. And I promise you, yes, it will get better. For those of you guys that are feeling you know the impact of this work in there with you. And the best decision of the board is to fight and put the message out there in the marketing and some of the principles that we talked about. So I just want to speak to that message. Because I know that a lot of demos are are down right now and you’re looking for solutions. Just know that this always works. This is a principle in saying hey, if you promote yourself, if you make sure that you align yourself with the right clients, and just keep pushing, you’ll come out and love that. 

 

Nicole Aucoin:

Oh, one more question that came in earlier that I forgot to answer. Melissa asked if we’ve ever gone to a bigger gym and offered nutrition coaching or that doesn’t offer nutrition? I think that’s a really great question. Yes, you can absolutely do that. We’ve actually done it with a ton of corporate companies as well as country clubs last week. In fact, we did a nutrition seminar at a country club, and they sent out some information about our services to everyone in their country club. They paid us for the nutrition seminar, you could absolutely do this same idea for this gym. Melissa, I would even like to think, Okay, how could I set this up, you could do two options. One would be figuring out how it’s a win win for both you and that gym. I when I first started healthy steps, nutrition and my nutrition company was inside another gym. And one of the biggest mistakes I made is I didn’t figure out how to make it a win win for both of us. So she never got a kickback or she never got any financial incentive; her clients came to me and it never went the other way. Well, she stopped eventually sending clients to me because it wasn’t beneficial for her because she was getting the same rent, whether she was sending me clients or not. So you’d want to figure out a way that’s a win win for both you and that gym. But a great first step could be doing a virtual nutrition seminar for them. I mean, you can even use the one that I linked below the new year, new year nutrition seminar, get your information now, you can even do a nutrition challenge in January convert those people to ongoing nutrition coaching after the challenge is over. That’s a great initial, you know, way initial to get your first step into that gym. So nutrition seminars are doing a challenge and then offering ongoing nutrition coaching. But yes, absolutely, just make sure again, that it’s a win win for both you and in that gym. Most of the time when gyms using our program set up things like this with other gyms or other companies, they do like a 15 to 20% like referral fee for sending their clients to them or like space rental, so that it’s easy for those clients to get started. You would also want to make sure that you do some type of training so that all the staff at that gym understands how you help those clients with nutrition so that it’s a consistent message. Hope that that helps. I don’t think there are any other questions. So if you joined in late, we will go ahead and we’ll put this recording on my blog, we will send it out to everyone that registered. And if you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to us. Book a free call if you’re interested in adding nutrition services or getting just set up with your business in general. If you’re like, hey, I need to re revamp a rehaul you know Chris, Chris is a great option for that. 

 

Chris Thorndike:

Well thanks guys for having us and have a great day.

 

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About the author

Nicole Aucoin, MS, RD, LD/N

Founder, Healthy Steps Nutrition
Home of CrossFit HSN & HSN Mentoring

Author of Nourish & Healthy Kids Cookbook

Author of The Basics of Nutrition Coaching Course, CrossFit Preferred Nutrition Course

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer