Gary Griffiths of G'Day Mate Marketing talks lead generation and Facebook ads for boxes and small gyms.

Peter: Hey guys, Peter from FringeSport here again. And I've got a really interesting gentleman on the other line named Gary Griffiths from ‎G'Day Mate Marketing. So I first ran into Gary at SumoCon in Austin, Texas in 2016 and he really impressed me with what he knew about lead generation and Facebook ads and different things like that for boxes and other small gyms and we chatted a little bit. I kind of fell out of the picture for a little while and then I reconnected with him on Facebook recently and I thought that he had a lot that he could really teach to a lot of our box costumers at Fringe. So Gary, how are you doing this morning?

Gary: Good. I'm doing great. I'm excited we got to catch up.

Peter: Absolutely. I am too. So what did I miss in that intro? Tell us a little bit about yourself and tell us about what you do at G'Day Mate Marketing.

Gary: Sure. So at G'Day Mate we help gyms, fitness centers, boxes all over the world ultimately attract new members to join them. And we've got clients on just about every continent, except for Africa and despite my Australian accent I actually live in the US which is where most of our customers are but my staff are also all over the world because we pretty much have a 24/7 business.

We only started the business G'Day Mate in March this year and it sort of came out of my full service marketing agency that I had at the time serving a whole bunch of different types of clients. And I really wasn't satisfied in a lot of ways with the business that I had at the time and I was looking for something that had more of an aspirational – or a way that I could better impact the world, I guess you'd call it because at the time at my agency we were working with lawyers and dentists and authors, a range of people, but I really wanted to improve the impact I was having on the world in a more positive way I guess.

And the way I thought about it at the time was if I can help gyms and fitness centers and boxes attract more people to come and join them, work out and get healthier then I could see our business having this sort of amplification effect around the world. If I can help 200, 500 or 1,000 different gyms attract 100 new members, 200 new members then I'm helping sort of tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people around the world start to live a healthier lifestyle. And that's why we got into this business and sort of pivoted out of that full service agency that we had.

Peter: I love it, man. And it actually reminds me a lot of why I initially founded Fringe back in the day. I came from an e-commerce and internet marketing background and I just wanted to help people and I felt like what I was doing before the products I was selling – well, I loved that company and that company is great, I just didn't feel like it was helping make people's lives better and healthier, which is really what I wanted to do. So that's really interesting. So you said you started in March of this year, March of 2016, is that right?

Gary: We officially launched G'Day Mate in March this year, yeah. Yeah.

Peter: Awesome. And you mentioned that a lot of your clients are here in the US, is that correct?

Gary: Yeah, probably about 80% of our clients are here but we've also got clients in Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Portugal, Australia and I think that's about it at the moment and they make up the other 20% of our clients at the moment. But we've been growing really, really quickly and we have over a couple of hundred clients now around the world.

Peter: Awesome. So what specifically do you do? You kind of talked about it a little bit and I touched upon it a little bit. So specially for a box or a small gym or a cross fit box what are you going to do for them?

Gary: Sure. So ultimately we help them attract new members. And the way that we do that is primarily using Facebook ads initially to attract leads. So we'll promote an offer that the box has to their local community and we’ll get people to sort of raise their hand on Facebook and tell us if they're interested in that offer. And then we'll also help the box get those people, motivate those people to actually come in and speak to the owner or speak to the manager and to talk to them about the offer and then sign up when they come in.

We use Facebook ads to sort of generate the leads and then we have this model that we call lead conversion which is we help the box take those people that have raised their hand and turn them into paying members. And we use Facebook ads to also do that so we retarget people reminding them to come in and see the box owner about their free 2 week pass or the 6 week challenge that they signed up for or whatever the offer might be. And that's in a nutshell what we do.

Peter: Awesome. Well, we'll return to that in a little bit. One question that I have and something that you had mentioned to me before we started recording was Facebook ads and chatting a little bit about Facebook ads. So I see a lot of gyms, a lot of gym owners talking about using Facebook ads but I think a lot of people don't actually really know how to use them or how to use them well. Is that something you can share with us and kind of help our audience to understand a little better?

Gary: Yeah, sure. So look, I mean a lot of people when they start out with Facebook ads, one, it can be a little technically challenging if they're not used to the Facebook platform to build their ads and run them in their market but assuming they can work that side of things out, a lot of people still take the approach of they run an ad which basically says here is my box, here is who we are, can you come in and give me some money, right? And that style of advertising, that approach just doesn't work in the market, right? That's the old school way of putting an ad in the yellow pages and saying here we are, give us a call and so we can take your money. And that's not how you get the best result possible out of Facebook.

So that's sort of the biggest problem I see with a lot of box owners is they run that ad and they try and sell people too quickly. Really the approach they should be taking is more of a lighter approach and you can think of it in the context of dating. You don't just walk up to the attractive person in the bar and say “Hey, will you marry me?” You know, there's a whole process. There's flirting, you might ask them to go on a date, you're going to go on a few more dates, you get engaged and then you get married.

And when you are trying to attract new members to your box you've got to take that same approach to your marketing. And so then the way that might look is you take some video footage of people working out and having a good time in your box. And you promote that video on Facebook to people in your community. And you can use your iPhone to do this.

Take some testimonials of people after they finished their workout about why they love coming into your box and what they get out of it and what impact it has had on their lives? And post those videos to Facebook and promote them so that people in the community are seeing the changes and impact that you're having on people's lives, they can see them working out and having a good time.

You could take video footage on your phone of social events when you catch up for a barbecue which is very common with a lot of boxes in Australia. Healthy barbecue of course. And so you promote that sort of content and then you can what's called retarget those people that watch the video, that engage with the video on Facebook with an offer of some sort. And that offer needs to be really enticing to someone to get them to want come in and see you in your box. And you know, the types of offers that we see work really, really well are things like a 6 week challenge or a 8 week challenge or a 30 day challenge, depending on your market, a 2 week free pass or a 3 day free pass.

Now I know that a lot of box owners are allergic to the word “free”. But the way that I encourage people to think about this offer, whatever it might be, is one, you need an offer that converts. So it's got to be attractive and compelling to people. And two, it's simply a member acquisition tool. It's not devaluing your brand. I mean people know that you're going to charge them a fee every month to work out in your box and come along to your classes but you are giving them a low risk way to come in and try your box, meet your members, meet the trainers and get to fall in love with what you can offer them.

So whatever that offer is purely look at it as a member acquisition tool. And then when you get those folks to come in and they fall in love with your box, your workouts, the community, the comradery then they more easily convert into longer term members. And the people that you bring through, I mean in the marketing world we call it a sales funnel, right?

But the more people that you bring through in that sort of manner – and I'll go back to the dating and marriage analogy – you promote those videos which is your version of flirting and then you have this amazing offer that lets you go on a few dates together and then you can propose marriage which is when they sign up for your membership, those people will turn into your longest term members and your best members because you've taken them through that approach. And by the time they get to the point of signing up for your membership, they are so in love with what you offer, your community and coming along and working out every day.

And it's the antithesis to just running an ad and saying hey, here is my box, why don't you come in and have a free class? And people have never heard of you before, they don't know, like or trust you and then people wonder why no one is responding to the ad. Or when they come in to the free class they don't join up after. There's a better way to do this. And that's the way I've just laid out.

Peter: I love it. So I've got a few clarifying questions. So the first question is let's zoom all the way back. Why Facebook ads? Why not running and ad in a newspaper? Why not running Google AdWords? Why are you focusing on Facebook?

Gary: So at the moment Facebook is the best return on investment that I've seen for the fitness industry. In terms of the cost to acquire a new member is exceptionally low if you do it the right way. The other great thing about Facebook is the tracking and visibility around how your ads are performing. I mean one of the problems with the yellow pages is you'll spend a couple of grand, you'll have the ad there, people will call up, you'll probably forget to ask how they heard about you and you'll have no idea whether that ad is generating new members for you or not.

Whereas with Facebook you can track people the entire way to see did they engaged with my video, did they sign up for my offer, did they come in and start working out with this and did they ultimately become a member. I mean you can track that end to end which is ultimately how you should be making any investment decision for your box is the ROI that you're going to generate. That's why I love it.

Peter: I love it. So another question based on what you had mentioned and this is going to be kind of a silly question and you answered it a little bit but if a box owner said to you okay, we're going to invest time or money in creating a video on the front end and then we're going to be running ads to that video that actually doesn't have any like conversion or real call to action from that video, if they just get scared of kind of spending money without a clear, immediate path to becoming a lead or becoming a conversion, how do you make them comfortable with that?

Gary: Sure so one, we actually do offer people an opportunity to sign up for the offer when they see the video. And so we will have a link in the copy or the text that we put above the video to a landing page where they can sign up for the offer. Now, that's only because when people see that video there might be a small percentage that are interested in signing up for an offer right there and then and you don't want to stop those people from having the ability to sign up. So you will get potentially a little bit of an ROI there but that is not the main goal.

The main goal is building know, like and trust, building awareness in the market and starting to build a relationship with people in your market that are going to be interested in the workouts that you're offering and the testimonials that you're providing. And so the other side of that is for most people we're talking only investing $10 to maybe $20 a day initially in that video and I always tell my clients to start small when it comes to Facebook. Because you should only be increasing your investment based on the ROI.

And so you start small with say $10 a day and when you see that $10 is turning into a $100 membership then you might move it to $20 a day and you'll see that you're now generating $200 in memberships based off that $20 investment. And you can just continually ratchet up your investment of what you spend in Facebook as long as you're tracking it to what the ROI is for the box.

Peter: Yeah, I love it. So another few clarifying questions here. You had mentioned sending leads from that video to a landing page. So what is a landing page and why should box owners learn what that one is and then construct one?

Gary: The reason you should learn what a landing page is is because it's a really important tool for you acquiring new members for your box. And so what a landing page is? It's basically a single web page, it has a single focus on promoting the offer, the special offer that you're putting out there to the community with all the value, all the benefits, some testimonials and sharing with people all the reasons why they would be crazy not to sign up for your special offer.

On Facebook when they see the video you need to have a link in the text that is just above that video so that for people that do want to find out more very early on in your relationship they can click on it, they'll come to your landing page and they'll see all the amazing benefits of what you have to offer if they sign up for your 6 week challenge or your 30 day challenge.

And so it's singular and focused. It's all about getting them to claim the offer, to raise their hand and say hey, I'm Gary Griffiths and I want to sign up for this 6 week challenge. And so you just ask them to enter their name, email and phone number as their form of raising their virtual hand. And you know, there's lots of tools out there that make it really, really easy to build these landing pages. There's ClickFunnels, there's LeadPages, there's OptimizePress and there's so many more than that. I mean there's amazing tools out there that allow non-technical people to design and build these landing pages that people can click on your ad on Facebook and then come over and visit and then sign up.

Peter: I love it. Thank you very much. So a couple of other questions now. We talked about sales funnels before. And we talked about doing a lot of this stuff on Facebook. So when a client actually makes that leap to come in the door, to a box, what does that look like when they've come off of the Facebook offer? How does the gym owner handle them at that point?

Gary: So the best approach that I've seen is having – you could call it an orientation session or I think of it as a meet & greet so the person has signed up for the offer, they've actually physically come into the box to meet with you, you should have a scheduled appointment with them for that and that's where you sit down with them – I mean you can offer them a free workout after the orientation or meet & greet if that's what you want to do as well but really the meet & greet is about talking to them about what their goals are, what are their aspirations, why are they looking to make a change to their lifestyle, what attracted them to come along to the box and don't be scared that you're going to lose people by asking them these questions. I mean you'd need these insights so that you can share with them your story and how you're going to be able to help them achieve their goals.

And a lot of people are going to tell you that “Hey, look, I'm 40 now and I'm just not as fit as I used to be, I've got young kids and I want to make sure that I can keep going out on weekends and in the afternoons and play with my kids and so then you can link back that “Oh, you know, we've got so many other parents in the gym that are working out for that exact same reason and they come along to the box and they love the classes and you'll get to meet them and make more friends.”

So you're having this sort of meet & greet to get them to understand what their goals and aspirations are and then explain how you as the box owner what you offer is going to help them achieve those goals and those aspirations. And then you might offer them a free class or you might get them to sign on the dotted line for the special offer that you've promoted to them. And that's sort of the nuts and bolts of what happens.

Peter: Now, if they're doing a special offer and so you as the gym owner have gotten them to convert on let's say a 6 week challenge. I presume you treat them at least somewhat differently than your rank and file box members who are there month in month out. Is that correct? I mean don't you need to convert them again at the end of the 6 weeks?

Gary: Yes. And there's a couple of different methods to doing that. My favorite method is – well, I've got two favorite methods. One is where they pay a sort of fixed fee to be a part of the 6 week challenge. And the 6 week challenge is 6 weeks of workouts, meal plans, maybe a nutrition consultation if you've got a nutritionist in the team. Some of my clients even give them shopping lists, grocery lists for the local supermarket and they tell them what to stay away from and these are the exact items I want you to be buying. And they'll even give them recipes of when you buy these ingredients here are the meals I want you to prepare.

And so there's a lot of value that you can provide the people through something like a 6 week challenge. And then as they're coming towards the end of the challenge that is the best time to then convert them into an ongoing membership. Because when someone has come along for 5 out of those 6 weeks and they've been working out and they've been making these lifestyle changes they're going to feel bloody awesome about where they're at, how much they've achieved and they're going to want to continue on that journey. I mean there's very few people that are going to go through that entire 6 week program and walk out the door and you'll never see them again.

So they are going to be – it should be very, very easy for you to convert into an ongoing membership program. And so the two sort of financial models for running a challenge that I've seen work really, really well is a nominal fee to participate in the challenge. Something like $297 or $397 which is just a one-time fee to participate.

The other one that I've seen is what a lot of gyms will market as a free challenge. And it genuinely is free but when you come in for the orientation they ask for a commitment deposit. And the reason they ask for a commitment deposit is to make sure that people have skin in the game and turn up for all the workouts and do the hard yards when it comes to sticking to the meal plan and following the nutritional advice. And at the end of the 6 weeks as long as they've followed through on their commitment to complete the challenge they get that money back.

But what every gym – and I mean that scares a lot of gym owners when they hear it for the first time. But here is the magic in it is at the end of 6 weeks you might have taken a commitment deposit of $297, right? And so you can say “Hey, Pete, I'm so proud, man. You've crushed it these last 6 weeks. You've totally earned your commitment deposit back and I've got a check for you in the office but if you want our 6 months membership is normally $600 and what I could do is if you want to roll that commitment deposit into your membership, if you just pay an extra $150 I'll give you a 6 month membership to the box.”

And so not only do you get to keep the commitment deposit that you paid but you get an incremental fee out of them and you've got someone that is absolutely in love with working out at your box. And so then you've got these people that are loving it, that will bring you referrals or introduce you to their family members, their friends and family will say “How have you done this change in their lifestyle? This is amazing.” They'll have their friends coming in, I mean it's just a virtual cycle of attracting more and more people into your box and having them remain members for longer and longer.

Peter: Awesome. I love it. So where do you find the biggest areas where boxes who are trying to run Facebook ads or trying something like this, where do they fail?

Gary: Look, one of the biggest areas is what I mentioned initially where they just turn on an ad that says hey, I've got my box here, come along and check this out. Or come along and come and join up. Or come and have a free workout even. And you know, that style of advertising just doesn't really cut it in today's age.

Another challenge I see is just trying to work out the back end of Facebook and building the ads and running them and understanding how to performance manage them, which ones are performing and making sure it's all being tracked effectively.

That can be a lot of work and very distracting for a box owner that has other things they need to be focusing on. You know, they've got members to be out there and loving it, they've got staff to look after and manage, they've got equipment that they need to be making sure gets delivered and all the rest of it, right? They've got a lot of balls in the air for their business. And so just having the time to dedicate to generating leads and the expertise. I mean look, the reason we do this full time is because it is full time. Facebook is always changing.

But all that said, I do think there is a lot of value in box owners understanding these principles of marketing and understanding how it all comes together for them on Facebook, with their landing pages and so forth. And the reason I think that's so important is because if and when they decide to work with someone else to do this for them to help them out they need that understanding to manage that relationship effectively.

And sadly what I've seen happen too many times in this industry is there are people less than ethical taking advantage of box owners, taking their money and not delivering on their promises or commitments. And it can be one of the mechanisms for a box owner to stay on top of that and making sure that they're working with someone that is ethical and doing the right thing is for them to understand that themselves.

Peter: I love it, man. I love it. So what do you do? Do you do everything from soup to nuts from helping them set up those videos on Facebook at the very top of the funnel to consulting with them, with the box owner on what happens when that person walks in the door and then how to convert them again after 6 weeks or... Give us a quick sales pitch?

Gary: Sure. So we help gyms acquire new members, full stop. And then there are two services that we offer to help them do that. So we offer a lead generation service and then a lead conversion service where we help those boxes turn those leads into new members. And so what that looks like is from a lead generation perspective? You know, we ask for a raw video footage from the box owner.

So we ask them to take video footage of people working out and we ask them to take video footage of people providing a testimonial. And we'll even give them the questions that they should ask people to get the sort of answers that we want. I have full time videographers on staff, that – or video editing staff that take that video footage mash it together into a beautiful video that we will then promote for the box on Facebook to their local community.

We then build their Facebook ads that are generating the actual leads for them. We also build the landing pages for them and design as landing pages. The only thing really that the boxes need to give us to work with us is the video footage and we ask them for images. And even then they often don't have to lift a finger because we go and get them from their social assets. Most boxes will have videos and photos on their Facebook page, on their Instagram and so we just grab those things from their social assets and we go and make the magic happen as one of my clients likes to call it.

So we run those ads, we build those landing pages and we collect those leads. And so we will then hand those leads over to the box which is where sort of our lead generation service ends. If a box is working with us around lead conversion then we're also doing things like building an online calendar so that people can automatically schedule in their appointment with the box owner to come in for that meet & greet or for that orientation.

And it's all automated so when they sign up for the offer, say the 6 week challenge they come along to the thank you page, on the thank you page might be a video for the box owner congratulating them on signing up for the challenge and letting them know there's a calendar right below on that page and to book in their session right there and then.

Now, for the people that don't book in the orientation session right there and then we are retargeting those folks with ads on Facebook letting them know that they're so close to changing their life and click here to book in your orientation session. We also send out automated SMS-es for our clients that are personalized.

So Pete, say you come along to one of our ads, you click on the ad, you come along to the landing page and you sign up for the 6 week challenge. You'll get an SMS that says “Hey Pete, Gary here from Connecticut's Best Box, so excited you signed up for the 6 week challenge. Click on this link to schedule in your orientation.” So not only will you see the same message on the thank you page, you'll get an SMS from us reminding you to sign up and book in that appointment.

And then when you book in the appointment you'll then get reminder SMS-es from us that are personalized. “Hey Pete, so excited you’ve signed up for tomorrow. As a reminder, Thursday 5 o'clock and here's our address.” And then 3 hours before your meet & greet appointment, we'll send you another SMS saying “Hey Pete, looking forward to catching up in 3 hours, here's our address again.” And then maybe 1 hour again before the appointment we'll send you another SMS.

So they're the sorts of things that we're doing to help get those people that have put their hand up for your offer to actually come in to the box and sit down with you for that meet & greet. And then we also do help box owners with sort of the flow and the things they should be covering off and saying to people in that meet & greet.

Now, it's going to be a little bit different for everyone because it needs to be obviously genuine, in their voice and you need to be completely comfortable with what you're saying to those folks that come in. But ultimately the basic formula in that conversation is just understanding why they signed up for the offer, what their goals are and then tying in what you offer as a box owner that's going to help them achieve all those goals and then getting them to sign on the dotted line for the challenge. Explaining what the commitment deposit or the non-refundable payment that you charge for the challenge.

Peter: I love it. Cool. Well, that's about the time that we've got. So I'm on your website right now which is If somebody wants to get ahold of you and I think a lot of people will, is that the best way just come to the website?

Gary: You can come to the website and we have a contact form on there. Feel free to email me, it's just Gary with one R. And you can also find me on Facebook. I'm Gary Griffiths. Look me up, send me a message using messenger and that's another easy way to get ahold of me.

Peter: Sounds great, man. And we'll link all that up on the blog. Awesome Gary. Any last comments?

Gary: Look, even if you've got questions about or advice, you know, you need help – you’re not sure why this landing page is not converting or you've got some troubles with the ad hit me up. I'm always open and happy to just help people out. Again, it's not about me just growing my business. It's that mission of helping gym owners attract more people to help them start to live a healthier lifestyle. And so you don't need to be a client for me to want to help you do that, right? So any questions hit me up.

Peter: I love it. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Gary. This has been great.

Gary: Thanks, Pete. I loved it mate.

1 comment

  • Gary

    G’Day Peter and thanks again for the chat! I really enjoyed it and if anyone reading this has any questions just hit me up and i’ll be happy to help out!

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