FOUNDER ATHLETES AUTHORITY
- Founder of Athletes Authority
- Marketing Maverick
- Business Strategist
- Newsletter Publisher
Free paid traffic mini-course
How To Create [More] Happy Customers With A Systematic Traffic Machine
“For Gym Owners Who Have Been Told That Paid Advertising Doesn’t Work.”
Authors Note: I have seen too many gym and clinic owners cower at the thought of ‘paying’ for advertising… even though it holds the keys to the kingdom and eliminates erratic business volume. I have put this free mini course together to debunk, demystify & detach the fear associated with paid advertising so you can get off your knees and regain control. This forms the first of three mini courses I am putting together to create a ‘trilogy’ on member acquisition, engagement and conversion. Enjoy.
“I don’t really do much marketing.”
They are the words that come out of almost every gym and clinic owner’s mouth when we talk about ‘traffic.’
For the longest time, the industry-standard has relied on word of mouth (WoM) in the hope that your fans do your job for you.
WoM referral, if you’re lucky, does just enough to keep a lot of gym and clinic owners treading above water – struggling, but alive. This has fueled a worldview where any marketing they do is seen as an expense. It’s treated as a cost… and typically pushed aside as something you’ll do when you have more money.
Of course, The irony of this is marketing is exactly what will make you money. Money is what you have when you get great at marketing, not the other way around.
Sceptical? Name one big brand that you know of that has actively tried to stay invisible.
So when I propose the idea that you have to not only develop and act on a marketing strategy… but you have to pay for that traffic… it is as if I’m speaking to someone who is seeing a ghost for the first time. For most, it is far easier to leave that monster in the closest, rather than face it and see it for what it is – paid attention.
So in the interests of every gym owner who is yet to build their own systematic traffic machine, I have put together a mini-course on traffic generation so that the monster in the closet doesn’t grow any meaner or any scarier, in the eyes of your mind.
I’m doing this because marketing (including paid advertising) does not need to be seen as a scary, expensive cost.
If you let it, it can be a goddamn gift to your business if you do it right. It can have you waking up every day with new leads to call; every hour with new subscribers to your website, and every minute with someone thinking about you.
But in order to do that, we need to take a 10,000 ft view on traffic and answer three important questions:
- What is paid traffic?
- What is a traffic machine?
- Why should you care about having one.
Let’s start with paid traffic.
Paid traffic refers to the awareness and attention that is generated by a platform in exchange for your money.
Facebook & Instagram do this; so do Google Ads with Search and YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter… and just about every other media platform in the world.
Paid traffic has always been this way and existed well before the age of the internet.
Before the internet was TV media.
And before then, savvy business owners would leverage paid traffic by purchasing space in print media – the YellowPages, Newspapers and subscription magazines.
Regardless of the platform, it is all considered ‘paid traffic’ because it requires your money to participate in the game. It has a pay-to-play model.
This brings up an important point… why would you pay for traffic when you can post on your social media page for free?
This is the first important lesson.
There is no such thing as free – what you don’t pay for in cash when you post organically you do pay for in other ways. Organic marketing costs you in time – ever spent hours putting together a group of posts only for you to get a couple of likes and nothing resembling anything close to a lead?
It also costs you in opportunity, if you have a great offer that people want, not making it visible enough that they can see it is almost guaranteed to be costing you customers.
Here is an example. Let’s say it costs you $250 to acquire a customer but your service, on average, generates $1250 after other costs.
How many can you afford to acquire? The answer is obvious – all of them. In fact, it’s like trading a $1 coin with a toddler for a $5 note. It’s as close to doing a Jerome and printing money at will… ‘BRRRR’
Building on this, a ‘traffic machine’ is a system that predictably creates and grows awareness, interest, and desire for your product or service.
In a well-oiled traffic machine, you pay to play, and if you play it right, what you get on the other end is qualified and highly valuable leads that have a great ROAS (return on ad spend).
Whenever possible, paying for traffic with money – not just time – has many benefits.
Here is a shortlist of why paid traffic is a must if you want to escape the game of erratic business volume that relies on hope, more than anything else.
1. Proximity To Your Ideal Prospect
It allows you to get as close as possible (without being creepy), to your target audience. Because you can segment the wider population based on interests, search intent, psychographics, demographics and location… you can get extremely granular with the data and know you’re speaking to an audience that cares enough to listen.
2. Data Doesn’t Lie
Because you’re working with data, it can all be analyzed and quality insights can be extracted. This overcomes the problem with most indirect marketing strategies you’ve relied on before – like printing flyers for a local business or relying on WoM – that can’t measure their results. No doubt you’re already familiar with the saying: “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” When set up right, the data you can get from paid advertising is as close to right as it can get.
3. Personalise The Customer Journey
User behaviour and engagement can be used to curate a truly personalized customer journey, making their experience feel unique to them. This accelerates the speed at which you can ascend the levels of customer engagement – from know, to like and finally, to trust.
4. Regain Control & Abandon ‘Hope’
You get a greater sense of control; If we get down to it, it is what we really want, isn’t it? Running a business is hard – we need to generate leads, convert them into customers, deliver an incredible experience… all the while making enough money for it to all be worthwhile. Relying on ‘hope’ and other people to get enough eyeballs on our brand is a recipe for disaster… and is the opposite of being in control. In fact, the state of your business is quite literally, out of your control.
5. Ensure You’re Getting Highly Quality Eyeballs
It ensures you get highly-quality attention so that our business has every chance to succeed. When high-quality attention is combined with a high-quality product and a high-quality conversion strategy… a profitable business is what emerges from the other end.
6. It Respects The Buying Cycle Of Your Prospects
Paid traffic respects your prospects… the ones who didn’t become leads when they visited your website or your socials the first time. Think about it this way. Have you ever wondered just how many visitors/engagements you get to your website and social media posts per month? It could be in the thousands (our website alone sits around 10,000 per 28 days). Let’s be conservative and say you have 500 visitors to your website each month. Do you convert 500 into leads? 50? Even 5? 1? Paying for traffic means that you can capture the other 499 website visitors that don’t convert into leads/customers, and them down the line. This lines up with typical consumer behaviour – while 15% of purchasing decisions occur within the first 90 days, 85% of decisions occur 90 days. If you have no strategy for continuing to speak to the 85%, then you’re missing out, big time. If you think about it another way… over is being made many months after the first interaction – so what you do between the first and the last interaction counts.
7. It’s A Blue Ocean If You Can Make It Out To Sea
The final benefit is the other side of the same coin we spoke about at the start – because paid advertising is a beast of a thing, it is left to its own devices shy of a brave few willing to face it. Broadly speaking in our industry, it is a blue ocean. Those who dabble in paid traffic without seeing the big picture however, waste money, freak out and abandon ship before it’s even left the harbour, let alone cruising in blue waters. I’ve heard so many of my peers say “Paid advertising didn’t work.” What they meant was it didn’t work for them. That’s not the problem of the platforms, it’s a problem of the user (no offence). If they are smart enough to not give up and instead, buy a cheap and nasty online course from Udemy for $9 bucks, it teaches tactics at the expense of principles that end up becoming outdated or superseded by the next IOS update. These challenges act as such an effective barrier to entry for most… that this creates an insanely profitable opportunity for those who can nail it.
If you decide you want to take this free course…
I’ll share with you the insider’s view of what it takes to build a traffic machine fit for purpose for a gym or clinic. It has been something I’ve built by testing and modelling the best marketers in the world, and in many cases, paying them handsomely to help me understand how to navigate the beast that is paid advertising.
To help you decide if this course is worth your time, I am including the first lesson here for you to read before enrolling.
It’s a chance for you to gauge if you’re likely to get a lot from the course before ten emails over ten days arrive in your inbox.
Sound like a plan? Let’s dive in.
The Theory of Marginal Gains
You’ve probably heard some goo-woo tell you there is no better time to start a business.
In some respects, this is true. You need far less capital to start a business than you did four decades ago. Information is also so widely available, that almost anyone can learn anything if they do the work and have the requisite IQ.
On the other hand, this abundance of information creates a paralysis – the limitlessness of possibility has a fixating tendency due to the sheer overwhelm of information.
Like most things in life – we must take the good with the bad.
My goal for this mini-course is to help you build a principles-based understanding of paid traffic. I use this term synonymously with paid advertising – it is the same thing said in a different way. By the end of these ten emails, I will have decluttered, demystified, and deconstructed the behemoth of paid traffic; so you can take the parts and put together a system that works for you in your circumstances.
However, all of these emails will in some way create work for you. While it’s meaningful and productive work, I cannot do it for you. I will help you ask the right questions, but I cannot put pen to paper… that is on you. You must do the heavy lifting.
Are we in agreement there? Since that’s a yes (I rarely attract free-loaders to my world), let’s get going.
In 2001, the British Cycling team were an afterthought. In their 76-year Olympic history, they had only won a single gold medal.
By 2008, the British Cycling team won 70% of possible golds on offer, something they would match four years later in their home city of London.
The theory of marginal gains.
Sir Dave Brailsford, the High Performance Manager of the squad, took the reins in 2002. Having been a cyclist himself, he understood the significant number of variables that in totality, contributed to a winning performance.
Applying the concept of “what will make the bike go faster?”, Dave broke every element of a winning performance down into its constituent parts, and attempted to make tiny, 1% improvements to all of them.
Slightly more aerodynamic; slightly better sleep; slightly leaner; slightly fitter; slightly stronger; slightly more resilient; slightly more efficient…
The aggregate of all these ‘slightly betters’ had a significant additive benefit; so much so that they would only take 1.5 Olympic cycles to go from cannon-fodder to world leaders.
This same question, adapted to our purposes, could be one of the most important questions you can ask yourself to transform your business (and your personal income). “What will make the bike business go faster?”
In order to appreciate the weight of that question, we need to understand what we’re asking. What is the bike in our context? And what is faster?
In the same way that a bike is a vehicle that takes its rider from A to B, ‘traffic’ is the vehicle that takes a prospect with a problem to a solution. If that prospect is experiencing a problem you’re positioned to solve, then that means that location ‘B’ could be you.
We also need to define faster. Faster means different things, to different people, so let’s get on the same page so we don’t leave anything to the imagination.
Faster for this context, is the speed at which a prospect can gather all the requisite information they need to make a buying decision. The faster you can give your prospect everything he/she needs to know to feel confident about their decision, the faster that you generate new revenue.
Here is an example.
Let’s say you attract 1000 website visitors per month who are in-market for what you offer. Two of these visitors convert within the first 30 days, while eight others continue to look around.
In one scenario where you do not leverage any form of paid traffic, you now stand to lose those eight other members to one of your competitors, who is also being considered. In the end, you convert another two into paying members, taking your total conversions to 4, ending with a conversion rate of .4%, or 4 in 1000.
In another scenario, you pay for traffic – especially investing in retargeting these prospects. While they continue to shop around, you’re showing up on their news feed displaying testimonials and google reviews; while they’re watching youtube you’re popping up with educational videos helping them understand why they aren’t improving and while they’re reading a post on LinkedIn, you’re showing up as a banner ad inviting them on a free strategy call to see how you could help.
If we go back to our strategy of marginal gains, the ‘slightly better traffic throughput’ results in an increase of .4% conversion rate. While marginal in totality (not even 1%), it’s actually monumental in reality – a whopping doubling of conversions per month from 4 to 8… a 100% increase.
For dramatic effect, let’s try another alternative scenario.
In this scenario, you pay for traffic again, but instead of just paying to retarget website visitors, you pay to target those with problems (a problem aware market), and those seeking solutions (solution aware market) as well.
Here’s what I mean:
You run ads to those who are searching “how to stop yo-yo dieting” in your local area (problem-focused search). Your ad says:
“Weight-Loss expert reveals how to eliminate yo-yo dieting at the source so you can finally outwork your diet with exercise.”
Alongside that, since you’re a yo-yo dieting expert, you also run ads for solution-focused searches: “Weight-Loss Personal Trainers”. Your ad says:
“The Weight Loss Trainer That Busy, Tired & Frustrated Mum’s Trust To Get The Weight off (And Keep it off).”
As a result of these two ads, you increase your website traffic from 1000 to 1500 in the course of a month.
Keeping the same conversion percentage of .8% of all website visitors, you now increase your new clients by 12 per month (1500 *0.8). While only increasing your traffic by 50% on the front end, once you combine it with your retargeting strategies, the increase in total conversions is up an insane 300%. Which is absolutely nuts. Do that for a year and you’ll have 96 new members that you didn’t have before you invested in paid traffic. At say, an average of $100 per week (just picking that because it’s easy math), that’s just shy of half a million dollars of revenue per year after your first year.
You can see how the theory of marginal gains really comes into its own.
However, that’s only possible because we were very specific about “What makes the business go faster?” And if you are going to bother with business goals at all, they better be crystal clear.
So here is your first piece of homework.
Go back through your CRM for the last 6 months and identify how many leads and customers you’ve had. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many leads am I averaging per month?
- Where did they come from? (Website, referrals etc0
- How many leads am I converting into customers?
- What is my lead:customer conversion rate? (1 in 3, 1 in 5 etc)
Now, go to Google Analytics, or Facebook business manager if you’ve got your pixel installed, and have a look at total website visits. If you use something like Squarespace or Wix, the analytics should be built right into the platform (personally I use wordpress, because I use Facebook business manager analytics). Write down the answers to the following questions:
- How many total website visitors have I had?
- What is my website visitors: leads conversion percentage?
Then, calculate what acquiring a new member is worth to you. You do this using the ALVC formula:
Cost x Frequency x Duration x Referral Percentage
= Average Lifetime Value Customer
Authors note: If you can’t get the answers to these questions because you don’t track any of your data, I’d highly recommend dropping me an email and seeing if one of my small scale consulting packages could help you in getting this set up. For a small investment, just setting this up alone could make you $10,000’s per year because you can make better decisions.
With these numbers now in place, start playing around with a few different scenarios.
What would change if you got a total lift in website visitors by 33%?
What would happen if you converted twice as many of your website visitors into customers?
With some baseline data, now we can get onto the second (and last) piece of homework for the day.
What do customers pay you for? Answer this succinctly.
Where do they find you? Allocate a % to the following areas: Website (leads and phone calls), referrals from WoM & Social Media apps.
What are the meaningful and measurable steps that a customer needs to take in order to go from first impression to first purchase?
What are the current processes for them to engage with you? How do you take them through that buying journey?
As much as these questions might be child’s play, don’t’ skip this. Do the work and write it down – everything we do over the next 9 days builds off this fundamental understanding of our current traffic flow.
Would you like the rest of the course sent to you? You’re free to put your name and email in, and I’ll send you a new lesson every day for the next 9 days… starting in February, 2023.