• Founder of Athletes Authority
  • Marketing Maverick
  • Business Strategist
  • Newsletter Publisher

Free Engagement mini-course


“For Gym Owners Who Want Better Prospects”

Authors Note: One of the common frustrations I hear from gym owners is that the quality of prospects that come from paid marketing sources (like advertising), suck. You’re right… sort of. When you use ‘push’ marketing strategies you’re asking for crap prospects who want free stuff and never intend to take you seriously. This mini-course will teach you the art of better prospecting… so you can have better sales conversations.

“The Quality of the Leads are Trash”

I was on a strategy call with one of my new mentees and we were talking about his experience with paid advertising. He’d had some experience… but it wasn’t good.

Before me, he had invested $5000 with one of those ‘me too’ gym consultants (the ones that don’t own their own gym yet seem to have all the answers). This consultant had taught him a formula for generating 10-20 new clients in 30 days… I’m sure you’ve heard the pitch before.

While this garden variety goo-woo was helping him attract prospects at a price he was willing to pay, the quality of the leads sucked. His leads were full of fake names and numbers… so not worth the pixels they took up on the screen.

“It’s all trash”.

I agreed with him.

When you’re giving away a free in exchange for an email address, why would you expect anything better than that?

The problem with the go-to ‘goo-woo’ marketing strategy is this:

It assumes that your prospect is as dumb as a doorknob… which they aren’t.

Smart prospects know that they are being bribed… so they give nothing away.

When you use a ‘squeeze’ page – with the role of getting their email in exchange for a ‘gift’ – they know they can get what they want without giving you access to their private space ( their primary inbox).

So they use a burner email instead (and a fake phone number), access the gift, and forget about you.

They do this because there is no real desire to join your email list, outside of downloading your free ‘gift’.

I doubt you’re surprised… because you probably do it too.

I definitely do.

Because most of the time, the quality of the content is so hit-and-miss that I don’t want to risk my primary email inbox getting filled with spam.

But these goo-woo’s who see 50%+ opt-in rates and cheap leads have their ego stroked and use that data to try and sell you on their next course $1997 course…

“Look at all these cheap leads… buy my course and have all these leads for yourself, for as little as $1997”

It’s exhausting.

But it doesn’t have to be because there is a better way.

This strategy works so well because it flips the exchange. Instead of a prospect protecting their asset, they invite you into their inbox.

It’s the difference between opening up your door to a stranger, and opening up the door to family.

This is the difference between push and pull marketing.

But I didn’t learn about this from a garden variety goo-woo.

I stumbled upon it by sheer luck…

I’ll share the story with you so all this makes sense.

By late 2019, we had developed a reputation for reputable, reliable and quality content. We were sharing content with our audience of about 15,000 followers on Instagram.

It was pre-season for our summer sports athletes and we had had an increase in shin splints and ankle sprains.

Our head coach at the time, Seaton, was growing tired of customising foot and ankle rehab for each person. So Lachlan and Seaton put their heads together to build out a protocol for the foot and ankle.

It was a 10-week ‘pre-hab’ program that took 10 minutes to do at the back-end of a session.

A few weeks later, Seaton shared a ‘penguin walk’ on IG, and a lot of coaches asked what the heck we were doing.

We told them it was part of our foot and ankle pre-hab.

It was so well received it got shared left right and centre.

Which is when I asked myself the following question:

Why don’t we give the program away to any coach that wants it?

So we did just that.

We began filming all the exercises and releasing them as individual posts. All the peculiar foot and ankle exercises we took for granted were completely unknown and unheard of… so they too were well received.

So we collated all the exercises, put them into an e-book, and created a video library to go with it.

By the time we released it, the audience had a real desire to get their hands on it. We had shared big sections of the ‘free gift’ upfront, before ever asking for an exchange of value (email for a gift).

What we had put together was a meaningful gift to those we wanted to serve. And, we’d demonstrated its value well before asking for an email. By the time we opened up the flood gates and allowed people to download it, we had built trust and confidence.

Within minutes, my email was getting flooded by notifications of downloads. About half an hour in, I had to turn them off. Here is a screengrab of my email showing you exactly what I mean:

Within 24 hours, we had over 2000 downloads. Within the week, that number had cracked 5000 downloads.

That was equal to a 1:3 hit rate from our Instagram followers.

Lachy and I could not believe what we were seeing.

And before the sceptics get me with a gotcha — they weren’t burner emails either. Here’s how I know. As we scrolled down the list… we saw business email after business email… or fullname@gmail.com. These were legit (since confirmed many times over with our 3x industry-standard open rates of 40-50% opens on our emails).

By sheer luck (and a healthy dose of common sense), we had stumbled upon a system for attracting better prospects… I just didn’t appreciate it at the time when it happened.

But since that decision, we’ve had an incredible relationship with our email list. In fact, I get emails almost daily asking for tips… which is pretty bloody cool.

Many months later, it dawned on me that what we stumbled upon by sheer luck was actually a system we all could follow to attract better prospects. I discovered a way that you could build trust and credibility that pulled your prospects into your ecosystem… without pushy marketing tactics.

Here is what I’ve learned.

‘Riches are in the Niches’

In my experience, every single course on lead generation fails to teach you how to achieve the real objective — creating a hyper-responsive audience.

And that’s because they don’t teach you how to define the WHO.

WHO do you want to speak to… WHO you want to target… and WHO you want to engage with.

These questions all lead to the bigger question:

WHO do you want to serve in your business?

Most marketing aims to funnel as many people as possible to your pages.

You’re told to use ‘hashtags’ or cheap lead-making strategies to get people to follow you. You’re told to bait people into clicking the link to your website.

These ‘me too’ lead generation courses tell you to target and sell to everyone with a pulse.

Which includes all the people who aren’t interested in what you have to say (let alone sell)… which is why you end up in a scenario like my mentee where you end up paying for trash.

Here’s a Pro Tip:

You don’t want to be something to everyone. Your target market is not anyone. That is the worst way to engage a market that cares.

Great marketing should feel like the family home — safe, familiar… where everything is in its place.

It paints pictures in colour in your prospect’s eyes. It reinforces their point of view, it shares their perspective, and it aligns with their beliefs.

Let me say that again.

Great marketing paints a picture in colour for your prospects. The picture they see reinforces their point of view, it shares a common perspective, and it aligns with their beliefs.

Great marketing ensures that the prospects you attract into your ecosystem are customers who would want to do business with you.

That means that great marketing begins with your customer, not with you. It defines them, it knows them, it understands them. It knows what they think, what they believe, and what they desire.

It puts them first.

It makes them feel understood.

It channels their desires.

It treats them like a date you’d like to get to know, not like a door-to-door salesman you’d prefer to forget.

The real secret to this is following the strategy of pre-eminence — something I speak about all the time. It is the concept first pioneered by Jay Abraham, and it goes something like this:

“Give generously and serve, with no expectation of anything in return. Treat your prospects like customers well before money ever exchanges hands.”

So how does this differ from the typical, pushy, get-as-many-leads-as-possible approach?

Let’s compare the pair (and apologies in advance for the drawings — I am many things but an artist is not one of them).

This is the architecture of a typical squeeze page. You’ve probably seen this a million times.

If you use this, it will probably work for the metric that most marketers care about (leads)… but it most likely won’t work for what your business cares about (sales).

This is because there is no real value upfront. There is no trust-building upfront. There is no confidence-building upfront. There is no give-first mentality upfront.

Because a squeeze page demands the prospect jump over the chasm… smart prospects have figured out a way around it with less fuss.

When you look at it through the eyes of your prospects… it becomes obvious.

A squeeze page that asks for an email upfront doesn’t filter out the ‘everyone’s’… it shouts “anyone want something for free… come get it here.”

There is no filtering process.

It’s like scooping water out of a dirty river… you won’t just be drinking water… you’ll be consuming every other particle that’s in water, too. And, a lot of it is crap.

Here’s the (better) alternative.

It involves following the strategy of preeminence and delivering a tonne of value upfront. It means giving your prospects something that is valuable in and of itself… before ever asking them to join your email list.

This is what one of my mentors calls the Funnel of Preeminence, paying tribute to Jay Abraham’s original idea.

Here is what it looks like:

See the difference?

Rather than a squeeze page that delivers nothing upfront, you put a tonne of value upfront first. Keep in mind this can be applied to any platform — I have used a website as my example but you could easily replace ‘website’ with an Instagram profile and achieve the same outcome.

Rather than relying on curiosity and bribes to get an email address, you rely on qualifying the prospect through a process they do themselves.

To illustrate this, I want you to imagine you’re looking for business advice for running your gym.

You go to Google and type in ‘Business coaches for gyms’

If you want to immerse yourself, go ahead and open a new tab and do that.

I can tell you what you’ll see.

You’ll land on a bunch of web pages – some of which paid to be there (using Google Ads) — and they’ll hit you with pitches from the get-go and invite you to ‘enquire now’ or ‘lets’ talk’.

When you go and click away from the page (if you’re on the computer), you’ll get a pop up in front of your eyes offering to give away some report or download in exchange for your email address.

Yet, you know nothing about these guys and don’t know if they’re worthy of your attention yet, so you put in a burner email and click download.

Their ‘special report’ ends up being a sales pitch and you vow to forget about them and never go back.

It’s typical 101 marketing goo-wooo plays. It’s gotten them a lead – sure – but it’s got sweet f*ck all chance of getting any more than that.

So you try a different tactic. You type in a brand you recall did business coaching for gyms and visit their website.

It’s completely different from the others.

It’s full of quality videos that give you value, or well thought out blogs and posts. At no time are you ever asked for your email address.

As you digest the content, it takes you along for a ride… it solves the immediate problem on your mind with a solution you hadn’t thought of.

The content seems to speak as if it is written for YOU. It makes you feel understood. It makes you feel at home.

You can tell these guys know their stuff.

And just like that, you’ve consumed all the content. You click through all the pages and there is nothing left – you’ve snapped it all up.

What now? You don’t want it to end.

But unlike last time, there was no bribe. There was no chasm for you to jump over. You got all the value upfront.

But because you want more, you go to the subscribe page and invite them into your inbox. They promise to keep it all quality… which you don’t doubt for a second.

After you subscribe, you get an email.

It’s golden.

Topical, helpful, inspirational. At the bottom of the email in the P.S, it mentions a new program the sender will be launching soon. But it doesn’t tell you where to go, or what to do next. It just leaves you hanging.

The author tells you to sit tight… you’ll get an update tomorrow.

So you eagerly await the next email.

The author keeps his word and tells you to visit a URL link to find out more.

That page speaks to you like the free content you digested earlier. But it solves an even more meaningful problem for you. A problem you’ve been wanting to solve for a very long time.

It’s priced fairly and is incredible value for money. Without hesitation or friction, you click buy.

Did you feel that?

That’s the difference between push and pull marketing.

While one comes across as desperate, the other comes across as engaging.

That’s because instead of thinking ‘prospect first’, most marketers are thinking ‘what’s going to optimise my leads.’

One pursuit is numbers orientated.

The other orients itself around people.

And by flipping the dynamic upside down and asking yourself: “what would my prospect want?”…

You end up with better prospects.

Who WANT to hear from you.

Who WANT to take your calls.

and who WANT to work with you.

It’s simple, but it works like gangbusters.

With this pre-eminent attitude, you’ve done most of the hard work… now you just need the traffic… but thankfully I have a free course I’ve written on that, too.

You can get that here.

- Karl