When it comes to fitness marketing, the four-letter word that makes me crazy is the word: FREE!

 

You probably already know how I feel about “lost leader” marketing. 

 

I hate it.

 

I come from the school of “make every dollar do the work of $10.”  Be smart.  Never “de-value” your products or services.

 

For 30 years I’ve been harping on studios, clubs and trainers, etc. to STOP giving away the farm!  

 

Your services are VALUABLE.  

 

When it comes to credible, long-term weight-management, no one has your KNOWLEDGE BASE. 

 

Not doctors, not nutritionists, not even college professors.

 

The Value Proposition

 

So, when we developed ONBOARD 101 for advanced fitness professionals — especially those who have a passion to TEACH and EDUCATE their clients and members, we felt that a fair retail price to the consumer should be $99.

 

 

After all, they can’t get this information, compiled in this manner with downloads, high-def video and .mp3 audio files – anywhere!  It is a true “value proposition.”

 

Well, of course, not everyone agreed with me. 

 

Plenty of ONBOARD 101 administrators lowered their prices to $49.99.  And, several bootcamps now sell it for $29.99 as an add-on.

 

As you know I will NEVER, EVER argue with HOW you run your business.  You know your business and your clientele better than anyone.  So, if these price points are working for you and it’s helping to build your business… then, I am all for it.

 

Say Whaaat..?

 

But, the other day I received an email from one of our Fitness Partners, a studio owner in Florida, that really threw me.    And, now I need to re-think a few things.

 

Her email was quite long, so I’ll just give you the highlights.   It started off like this:

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“Dear Art,

 

You are so WRONG.  You keep telling me not to give away anything, but I don’t think that is good advice.  Since last February, I have offered ‘open enrollment’ allowing free access to my Onboard 101 website to 2 companies, 1 doctor and my son’s high school gym teacher.  It’s my way of ‘giving back’ to my local  community. 

 

I have documented more than 300 training packages that have been sold as a direct result of my Onboard 101 site. 

 

These are “lay-down” sales where people did not need to be sold.  They came to me intending to purchase a training package.   None of this would have happened if I was charging for it.  My Onboard 101 has turned into a non-stop, lead generating sales machine!

 

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As you can imagine, this certainly got my attention.  So I called her to find out more.

Cast a Big Wide Net

 

Her concept of casting a big wide marketing net using the Onboard 101  website as an “Open Enrollment Invitation” is, admittedly a great idea!

 

Even when I countered with asking her about the Onboard 101 $49.99 monthly maintenance she came back at me with this:

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“I have a treadmill that cost more than $4,000 and it does not generate leads, does not educate my clients, does not do much of anything except be a treadmill!  A monthly fee for a system that has generated more than 300 packages in 6 months is a bargain.”

 

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So, yes, marketing is changing.  Especially if you have an “online” presence with a website and even a basic knowledge of email marketing. 

 

Add FaceBook, InstaGram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Printerest, etc., and offer something of HUGE VALUE for FREE... and, well, the return can be absolutely amazing!

 

The Gift that Keeps on Giving..!

 

There’s an old saying, “You’ve got to “give” to “get.” 

 

In this case, using Onboard 101 as a “gift” was her way to “get” more clients.

 

What is even more exciting is that the gift just keeps on giving… by delivering an endless supply of new leads and new clients.

 

Plus… and this is HUGE  —>  In order to get to her Onboard 101 website, prospects must navigate through her website.  So, you can imagine how her website’s traffic stats have just gone wild.

 

This constant visiting of her website ends up with people (potential clients) navigating all over her site including the calendar, special promos, her YouTube channel, etc.     

 

So, in a sense, prospective clients feel like they already know this trainer before they even meet her!

An Easy Flow Chart

 

If you use e-mail auto-responders like Constant Contact, AWeber, MailChimp, Get Response or more sophisticated systems like InfusionSoft, Drip, Active Campaign or Convert Kit, you can set up an email campaign targeted toward your “Open Enrollment” participants.

 

When each person enrolls, Onboard 101  captures and immediately sends contact information (including email addresses) to you via email.

 

If you are doing any kind of email marketing, then, you know how important it is to build your list.

 

Once you have this info, you can add them to an email campaign.

 

You can offer participants additional training packages, nutrition packages, boot camps or other programs and services you offer.

 

And, Another Thing..

In today’s world full of bogus fitness and weight-loss programs, the Onboard 101  website has also boosted her business in other ways.  She went on to say this:

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“The Onboard 101 site gives me instant credibility because it’s smart. And, it makes me look smart, too.  I’ve received tons of compliments from people who have failed on weight-loss programs without really knowing why.  People have come up to shake my hand or give me a big hug and say, ‘Thanks’ for helping me understand what I need to do”

 

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It’s Just One Model

 

Listen, this model is not for everyone.  Onboard 101 is an INVESTMENT.  As such, it is expected to generate a RETURN

 

So, it becomes important, right at the beginning, to decide exactly how you plan to use this investment — and how quickly you expect a return.

 

For an instant financial return you should charge for it — and get your payment up-front.

 

But, in this case, it was more advantageous to wait and generate a return through the back-end of the investment via increased sales of training packages and memberships as well as the increased visibility of her business reputation and credibility.

 

It was the “long ball” strategy.

 

There are many more models — and they are shared in other posts.

 

Meanwhile, I hope you find this helpful.

 

For more information about ONBOARD 101 please CLICK HERE.

 

For “HOW-TOONBOARD 101″ Updates, please CLICK HERE..

 

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