We are talking just as a reminder because I had posted on a CrossFit Affiliate Owner's private Facebook page about interviewing kind of like direct response guy who had some big claims about Facebook ads and you had mentioned that you do this and so I just want to chat with you a little bit about it. Why don't you let me know, what do you do? I know you had Facebook messaged me a little bit about it but a little bit more in-depth.

Adrian: Yeah yeah. I can give you a background overview of what I've done in the past and what I'm up to now. I've been pretty active in digital marketing since 2006. I was actually a radio DJ prior to being in digital marketing so I was in radio for ten years in Dallas and worked at a handful of stations. One of the stations I worked at, they had just launched their business page for Facebook and nobody knew anything about what to do. I just jumped in and started learning the ins and outs of Facebook, building up a fan page online for the station and connecting with our community online. That actually was my first taste of digital marketing in this building community. That basically transitioned into, a friend of mine owned a company where we worked directly with Live Nation where we handled all the Facebook, Twitter and community management for all their House of Blues, and the club and theater division. We had a handful, I had like two venues in Las Vegas, one venue in Detroit, another one in Phoenix.

It was day-to-day, just Facebook marketing and Twitter. That's really where my eyes started to open up to the possibilities of, all these people are doing are going to Ticketmaster.com and choosing whether or not to buy a ticket for the show. I'm sitting in there, that's when I had a light bulb moment where I was like, "If I'm sending people to a website where they're choosing to buy something I could easily control what they're buying through creating some sort of product, or not only that but also to just maybe sending them to somebody else's product. That's when I started learning more about direct response marketing. Then that led me to learn more about email marketing and building landing pages and just getting a better understanding of some core concepts of digital marketing. I would say that was like 2013, 2014.

Then the last two years I've just been really specific on growing email lists, how do you lead one person from one list to another and how do you use that through paid traffic. I've just taken all that learning and applied into a business for myself and then for different clients and stuff. That's a little bit about my background, and then I got into fitness about 4 years ago, 4-5 years ago and primarily starting off as just a runner. I would go run 12 or 13 miles a week and then a buddy of mine invited me to his CrossFit gym and then that's where the two worlds collided because my friend who owned a gym, he was sharing with me a little bit about some of his struggles as a gym owner. Me being a digital marketer I'm like, "Man there's so many people that need help with the product that he offered," which is CrossFit and stuff.

That's when I had another light bulb moment. I was like, "Man there's probably so many gym owners that would love to learn how to use digital marketing, specifically like direct response marketing to grow their gym." That led me to just connecting with more gym owners and just trying to help them and learn and stuff like that. That's a little summary of the journey that I've been through but it's definitely been a lot of fun and I really love the community of people that I get to work with.

So Adrian, is that most of what you're doing now, is like running Facebook campaigns for CrossFit boxes?

Adrian: Yeah. I have a handful of clients that I work with specifically, the CrossFit boxes. Also, there's a gym that I work with who their sole focus is on personal training. Basically anybody that is a personal trainer, they can get clients through Facebook. I helped him. He has a gym where that's all they do and they have like six or seven trainers that he works with. We basically sell personal training through Facebook, and then I have some other clients that I work with that are outside of the fitness industry. For myself that's the area that I really want to focus in on because I've been on a personal journey of getting better, getting healthier for like I said the last four years so naturally I'm just inclined to want to help out the fitness community because I've gotten so much from them as well. Yeah, I do have a few clients but my main focus is in CrossFit, personal training, private gyms, that area.

Awesome. What do you typically end up doing for the client? It's just like soup to nuts? You help them with the front end lead gen on Facebook and then you also help their language pages and then helping them close even when they get those leads-in? Or what all do you do?

Adrian: Yeah. I've found that there's different gym owners that fall into different categories. There's some that don't have time to do everything so I'll just do it all for them. Basically what I'll do is I'll do everything from creating the ads, creating the landing pages to doing all the targeting and then they just work with me on a retainer basis and then I run everything and then basically produce them email addresses and names and phone numbers so they just follow up. A lot of times what they'll say is that, "If you can just get people in the door then I can take care of the rest." If I can just get people on the phone with me I can take care of the rest, so it's like, "Okay. Well I can take care of that," and so we just worked together on that basis. Yes opt-ins specifically and individually, like specific goals that they have. That's one case, and then we have another case where we had gym owners who are just eager to learn this for themselves.

One of the things I've done is just to develop a training, an online course for fitness professionals and CrossFit box owners of people that want to learn for themselves. It's probably one of the most valuable skills that you can have for your business because once you understand the concept of digital marketing, and basically this is the world that we live in now, you never really have to wonder where your next person's going to come from, where your next member's going to come from. People are on Facebook every single day just scrolling through their news feed. That's kind of the other way that I help people, is basically enroll in a course. A community of people that they can learn from as well. That's kind of where I'm sharing the latest techniques and tactics that I'm learning from working with clients, different Facebook pages. Because the thing about it too is that with this digital marketing and Facebook and online marketing and all that stuff, it's always changing.

Facebook is always changing up their audiences and where you target people. Usually what I do is I do all the trial and error, perfect it and then I put it in the group and I'm like, "Okay, here you go. This is kind of what's working right now," and so that's a part of it as well. So yeah, so those are the two ways.

Is the course live now? I now we had chatted about it a little bit before.

Adrian: Yeah, yeah. We're getting ready to launch it clear at the first of the year and then we're building up the training modules and all that good stuff. We're getting ready to go live, I'm just getting some final feedback from some different people that have enrolled into the course early. They were kind of like giving me feedback on what they were really wanting to learn. That's what I'm shaping the course around. It should launch here probably within the second week to the public in January, so...

Awesome. One thing I want to talk about that you had chatted about earlier is you had mentioned that a lot of gym owners will come to you and say basically, "Hey, if you can get them on the phone or in the door I can do the rest." I found that really interesting because I hear that a lot from a lot of people. The older I get and the more ... Well maybe not older but the more experience I get the more I question whether that's actually the case. Even if the front end lead generation is done really well, if there aren't still significant stumbling blocks for gym owners once they get that lead, what do they do with the leads they don't fumble? Can you talk about that a little bit?

Adrian: Yeah. I think a lot of it too is they're busy, they're so busy between working with their clients themselves to running a gym. Some of them have assistants that can help them and some of them don't. I think one of the things that I've specifically learned from working with different fitness professionals is that their time's valuable. I was talking to one of my clients today and I shot him a text message because I was checking on one of his campaigns that I'm running. I was like, "Hey, you've got three new people since the last time we talked just opt in. Call them because they're warm, warm leads," he was like, "Man, thanks so much. I will definitely call them and follow up with them." I think just having that reminder, the system that I help them set up is pretty automated to where once somebody opts in to whatever offer that we're giving them they get notified immediately through Google Docs.

I think that's one of the biggest things, is that as gym owners, we're so busy. How can they stay on top of this because it doesn't become an afterthought, but it's really like this is kind of what they're working with. I think that could be part of it too. One of the things too that I've found working with just different fitness centers in creating the offer, having a really good Facebook offer is really the key. In the past we've run campaigns where fitness centers were really wanting to push the three-week trial and all that, and what they found too is that they had people that would show up for a week and then they would leave. One of the things that I was encouraging them to tailor around is, "How can you still provide value but not just reach people that are just wanting the freebie stuff?" That's some stuff that we've worked with. Yeah, those really. Those two things are probably some of the top ones that I come across.

Run me through just really quickly, what do you think is working right now on Facebook? I talked with another gentleman earlier and one of the things that he had told me that works really well in driving leads to gyms, or excuse me, driving qualified leads to gyms is first hitting up people on Facebook with a Facebook ad that's like a video. It's not even like, "Come in for a free trial." It's more like, "Here's how awesome our gym is," or, "Here's how great our community is," or something like that. You hit them with a non-salesy video that's just like, "Here's our clients looking awesome" and then you re-target those people and serve them the offer after they've warmed up to it. What do you think?

Adrian: Yes, yes. The way that is is you want to have a good mixture of branding and also direct response to sales part of it. If you think about it if it's an organization or a gym, any company just all they focus on is branding. Unless you're super-established, like Nike and Reebok and all that, you're going to have a hard time making sales so you need to have that note. The good thing about that strategy is that the branding is done through the video. One of the great things about Facebook is the way that you can target people, so re-targeting them with an offer so it's basically hitting an audience that's already had some exposure to your brand and to your gym. One of the things that's working really well for me right now is lead ads. Facebook Lead Ad is something that Facebook recently integrated into the platform to where you don't necessarily have to take people outside of Facebook.

If you think about it from just the perspective of what we're doing is we're targeting people on Facebook who might have an interest in your gym or your offer and we're sending them to the landing page, which is outside of Facebook. From there we're trying to get them to fill out the forms to take whatever offer that we're showing them. What Facebook has done is they've said, "Hey, if I can keep people in on our site as much as possible then that's always a good thing for Facebook." They just said, "We're going to take away the landing page and we're going to create somewhat of a landing page within Facebook," and they call it Lead Ad. From that, that has actually been really, really successful for some of the gyms that I've been working with. What I've found through that, is using that is cost for a lead has gone down which is always a good thing.

We can create the same experience within Facebook. That's part of it too, and then also combining something like that with a video of your gym is a killer combination because like I said, that video's taking care of the branding, then you can re-target people who watch that video with the Facebook lead ad so you're keeping them within Facebook. From there you're really getting some stuff that should reduce your cost for a lead. Then this is the kind of stuff that I'm teaching in this course that we're creating because this is the stuff that you find is working. Also, creating custom audiences based upon your email addresses and your previous and your existing members. Let's just say hypothetically you have a list, an email list of members who may have at one time been a part of your gym but they're not. The cool thing about Facebook is you can upload those contacts into Facebook.

From there you can target them with an offer to come back. It's like a really safe way not to waste a lot of advertising dollars because you need to get a sense that you're hitting the right audience with the right message. Any time you can do the right audience with the right message with the right offer is usually when you have a really good pointing campaign.

I love it. Another question that I have, I'm seeing a lot of action ... I'm obviously kind of in a slightly different market. One of the things that I'm seeing quite a bit of is I'm seeing Facebook getting very aggressive in pushing Messenger at the platform to the point where I know they even recently or at least relatively recently rolled out the fact that you can actually run Facebook ads that go directly into Messenger. Are you seeing that as something that you're using? What would you say about that?

Adrian: Yeah, so that's something too that was just recently introduced. That is going to be a really killer combination of getting people talking to them right then and there. Because the idea behind it that Facebook is saying is that if you run an ad as soon as somebody clicks on that ad all of a sudden they're engaging with you in a conversation right on Messenger. Let's just say hypothetically you have an admin assistant or a marketing coordinator at the gym, somebody that isn't on the floor training people. They're maybe doing some of the behind-the-scenes stuff. You're running those ads, all of a sudden from there somebody clicks on that ad and then now they're having a conversation with somebody. That's a super quick warm lead. I haven't had the chance to try it yet specifically for fitness, but from the other industries that I've worked in and seen some of the results from peers, it's definitely produced some pretty good results.

Okay. Time for two more questions, and then we'll talk a little bit about the course. Question number one, which may end up being both of them, is what big mistakes do you see gyms making in there. Whether it be Facebook or whatever? Like lead gen, trying to get more clients in the door.

Adrian: Yeah so one of the biggest mistakes that I see that gym owners are making is that they're focusing their advertising on the branding part of it. Like I said, if you used specifically just branding, if you're just boosting post, if you're just promoting stuff then what you're going to find is that you're not going to get the type of return that you're looking for, you're not going to get the leads because if you think about it unless you're like Nike or Reebok the branding isn't just going to help alone. You need the combination of branding and the direct response. That's one of the mistakes that I see people ... As I talk to people they're like, "I'm spending money on Facebook, I'm boosting posts, I'm just not getting any results." Usually when they say they're boosting posts it's like, "Okay, that's not really ... You're using Facebook for the wrong type of way and you're not getting the results you want."

That's one thing. Really the other thing is just whenever you run a direct response marketing type campaign there's so many elements that go into it because if one of those elements is off then it's going to affect the other type of campaign. I was just recently looking at a, I just got served on Facebook an ad from this gym and I went and I was looking at his ad and there were a couple of things that I noticed on the ad. So then I clicked on the ad to see where it would take me and it took me to a landing page. In this particular ad they had the offer on the image, which was, "Buy one month, get one free." They didn't have the offer in the copy, they didn't have the offer in the headline. Then I clicked on it and it just took me to a general landing page. In the landing page they didn't have really any branding about the gym, they didn't have any testimonials from their current members.

They didn't have the offer on there. Really quickly right away I kind of knew that, "This is probably not going to be successful." They're headed in the right direction because they're trying to use Facebook to capture leads, but there's a few things that could be optimized and improved based upon just being in the digital marketing world and doing this stuff every day. I think just doing complete branding and then not using all of the different aspects of a direct response marketing type campaign on Facebook is the two biggest struggle when it comes to marketing.

Actually I have two more questions, I lied. One other question, we've talked a lot about getting leads in the door for boxes or for gyms. Have you ever worked with Lead Gen for like throw downs or local competitions?

Adrian: You're talking about having a specific event that they're wanting to drive registration towards, and based upon that event they're advertising that on Facebook?

Correct.

Adrian: I actually have not done that yet, not within the fitness industry but I have done registration type events in the past, were outside of the industry. I think that could be something that could easily be replicated. I think that could be successful because I know a lot of times the big events are what drives some really good revenue for the gym, that they have an Olympic weight lifter come speak to their members and they want to get the word out. A lot of times, this is actually the story of a gym owner that I talked to is that they sent like $3,000 to have this person come up to their gym and the way they promoted it was just through some post and they weren't selling any tickets. They were freaking out about it because they were like, "He's here in a couple weeks, we're trying to recoup our investment." It was just one of those stories where I was like, "You know, this isn't good for them. I can understand the way they're feeling."

In that situation it would be the type of campaigns that we talked about too, you know if you have a video of the Olympic weightlifter inside an area talking about the event coming up and then from there you show that to your audience members through creating a custom audience and then you follow that up with an actual ad that sends them to a landing page where they can purchase tickets. That could be something that could be replicated. The cool thing about that too, I will say this is that Facebook advertising for the most part is pretty low-risk when it comes to it. Advertising, when you look at all the other ways that you can advertise, if you look at traditional forms like radio, television, newspaper, usually those types of organizations and stuff they want a lot of money up front. But the thing with Facebook that I feel like is really good is that you can start pretty low, like maybe $10, $15 a day.

Then from there once you get those metrics all dialed in and you're starting to get a return then you can slowly scale up your ad spend to get more of that return. If you have an event where you're wanting to sell a hundred tickets and you start off, you're starting to sell ten and then from there you're spending $10 a day or whatever and then you could slowly scale up to where you're eventually sold out. It was a little bit more about that.

Awesome. So last question, and then we'll attach a little bit about the course. Last question is, who do you see in the space, a gym let's say if you know of any that are just killing it with their Facebook ads? You maybe as an outsider looking in just see stuff and you're like, "Wow, that's amazing."

Adrian: Yeah I've seen a couple. Before I got on the call I was looking at one and it was a gym and they were just doing some really good stuff. We actually became friends on Facebook. I think what they were doing that was so good is, and I haven't talked to the guy to get more in-depth info but I think what he was doing really well is that he was creating content on a regular basis and the content was speaking about stuff that was really resonating with the audience and the members. Not only within the members of the gym currently but I'm not even in the same city and I watched these videos and I'm getting value from it. In my mind this person is becoming more of an authority, just as somebody that I look to when it comes to this information. I think that was just a really good way to increase the awareness about their gym. That's another thing too. You think about, we all have knowledge that we retain over our lives.

That knowledge is extremely valuable to people, especially if they're not in the industry that you're in. With the skill set that you have and the knowledge that you have, just sharing content on a regular basis can become really valuable. To do that alone can help grow some awareness about your gym, where you guys are located, the type of clients that you're working with, some results that you've seen in the past. That was one and they were doing really, really good, and then there was another one that I saw that was kind of along the same lines. I was just like, from a digital marketer I was looking at it and I was like, "Man, these guys, they either have somebody they're working with that's really, really good or this guy has a background in digital marketing because everything I've seen was just like spot on." It's like their headlines were good, their offers were really intriguing, their images were really good. It was just something that was just like, I think it was pretty valuable.

Awesome, cool. Well thanks for your time. Tell us a little bit about the course and how do people get in touch with you if they want to get in touch with you?

Adrian: Yes. So the course that we're launching is basically everything that I've talked about in this interview we're going to cover in the course, and the course is really designed as a way to just give back to the fitness community and help educate and equip fitness professionals so that they can grow their gym. Time and time again I'll talk to different people and gym owners and they would struggle with the way a word of mouth marketing wasn't working for them anymore and the old, traditional direct mailers and putting fliers on people's cars wasn't getting the return. But when it came to online marketing they really didn't have a good understanding or grasp of it. I just decided, "You know what? I'm going to take this knowledge that I learned over the past ten years and just put it in a course and teach everybody that's in the fitness community how to grow your gym safely, successfully, in a scalable way so that you don't have to worry about where your next member's going to come from.

You're not going to have to worry about wasting dollars on advertising and marketing because, like I said, once you figured out the key metrics that you're going to be tracking in your marketing campaign it really just becomes a numbers thing. You can look at it and say, "Okay, we spent this much on advertising this month, it's produced this many leads. Out of these leads it's produced this many members, and then out of these members this is the return that we've gotten." Now we know that every month if we want to grow to this many members we need to spend this much money to get this many leads, and to get all this. It just takes the guesswork out, and that's the kind of stuff I talk about in there. I talk about the metrics of what's a good winning Facebook ad campaign. I talk a little bit more about the mindset stuff and knowledge that you get.

I'm really excited about the course because I think it's going to be really valuable. Based upon what I've heard from some previous fitness and gym owners is that this is definitely something that they feel like is really needed. So yeah. If you want to get in touch with me about this you can send me an email. I'll give you my personal email. It's AdrianHummell@Ne.com. Or you can go to the link for the course and find out more information about that. The link for the course is FitnessProsDigitalMarketing.com. You can see some info about the course and all that good stuff. Yeah, really excited. I think 2017 is going to be a really big year for myself and then also for people in the fitness community that really get a good understanding of Facebook ads, digital marketing, building email lists and really just the goal that is just to serve the community and get people healthier and more active.

Cool. I love it Adrian, thank you so much man.

Adrian: Yeah. Yeah not a problem.
Peter Keller
Peter Keller

Author