What you’ll learn from this episode
Highlights from the interview
[02:48] – Danny’s online marketing strategy that doesn’t cost a penny
[05:35] – Post tips that get Danny customers and how he creates posts that stand out from the crowd
[08:40] – How to do 60-minute comp calls while still filtering out the clients that are not ready
[13:54] – The gamble that Danny took that took his business from a low of 0 customer to being able to charge $1,800
[17:13] – Why being a specialist pays off over being a generalist
[22:26] – Why charging $3000 for a program actually makes you stand out
About our Guest
To know more about our guest, visit the first part of our interview.
Edited transcription of Fitness Business Secrets Podcast, Episode 48
Danny’s online marketing strategy that doesn’t cost a penny
[02:48] Kristy: Okay. So it sounds like you’ve built up this successful, I’d call a premium program and you were able to keep it simple.
You have just kind of one price, one program, and you don’t have to juggle a million things. This is a great place to be I’d imagine. How do you market your program to get consistent leads? Since it sounds like a lot of people don’t stay past 12 months. I’m sorry. 12 weeks.
Danny: Right now, the only marketing I am doing is just via organic marketing via social media.
Kristy: Okay. What does that look like for you? I mean some people, social media is TikTok, Twitter, like what platforms and how often do you post?
Danny: Facebook is my main platform. I would say I post on that on an average, probably three times a day. And then Instagram, I just repurpose the same content that I put on Facebook for Instagram. And then if I do video content, I generally kind of repurpose that and put that onto YouTube as well. Well, YouTube is a very, very difficult nut to crack as they say.
Kristy: Right. So Facebook is your main lead generator. Do you get any leads, like any direct messages on Instagram that are worth?
Danny: In the past, my Instagram following is only like 2000, something like that. So I don’t really have a particular huge following on Instagram. I have leads on there in the past, but I think with Instagram, Instagram is a little bit more time consuming.
And the fact that you need to form up the message a little bit differently, you need to, kind of research and look at kind of what the hashtag that you’re gonna use. So for me to kind of post something on Facebook it takes a couple of minutes, butfor me to post something on Instagram it takes that little bit longer. I’ve been putting content out on Facebook for seven years.
Kristy: Yeah, and I am always curious. I always admit that I hardly use Facebook mostly. And I’m always curious, how do people find you on Facebook since people don’t really use hashtags as much on Facebook. Is it just through like the network that you built and then people’s friends of those networks?
Danny: Pretty much. Yeah. I’ll put a piece of content out talking about, you know, whatever. Lots of people would like it. The friends of the people who’ve liked it will see it. I might get a few friend requests.
I kind of build up a network like that. And that’s kind of the way that that I’ve done it. I have used paid marks and I have used Facebook ads. But for me as a one man band, it was just a little bit too stressful. There’s a little bit too time consuming, very expensive. And I didn’t really get written, so maybe I’ll do it again one day, but right now I’m happy just doing organic.
Post tips that get Danny customers
[05:35] Kristy: Yeah. So from Facebook, could you tell me how you do it? Like, do you post something and put a call to action, like, “Hey, contact me.” And that’s mainly how you get people to reach out to you?
Danny: Pretty much. So I won’t put a call to action on every single post, because I think that can dilute your message a little tiny bit. That can make people almost not read your content because at the end they know you’re going to go, “Oh, you know, message me for this stuff.” So probably one in three, I’ll put some form of call to action, whether it’s a link to book a call, whether it is a hand-raising exercise to get people to engage with the content. You know, ask someone a question, A or B, which would you rather do? So something quite simple like that and then every now and then I’ll put, shoot me a message. Shoot me an email, follow the link to book a call, you know, that kind of thing, but I try not do a CTA on every single post.
How Danny creates posts that stand out from the crowd
Kristy: Yeah. What have you found to be, I guess it’s hard to tell someone might see multiple posts and react to a specific one, but do you feel like there are certain posts that just generally do better, or get more engagement, get more response like nutrition, health, behavior, fitness exercise?
Danny: When it comes to, when it comes to engagement. Generally, if there’s a picture of my dog in the visual that goes with it, it generally gets a lot of people liking it, but not because of what I’ve written, not because of the words, just because they think my dog is cute. So that gets, you know, that gets a lot of engagement.
Kristy: Okay. All right, let me get a dog then. What about, since your training has evolved, what kind of posts do you post so that it, in a way, it probably, I would imagine you want it to speak to your approach now. So what kind of posts do you do? Do you still talk about food and tips? If you want to give me an example.
Danny: Sure. So, up until a few months ago, I was very heavily, nutritional myths, that kind of thing. Calories counts, you know, even if you don’t count them, there’s this many calories in a big mac. There’s this many calories in avocado, you know, you have that kind of very generic.
But since then, since I’ve kind of pivoted since Covid, actually, since I had to restructure things in my own mind, and I kind of increase my prices. I’ve started to try and talk to for the type of person. So I started to talk about the particular struggles that my kind of clients have, lack of self belief, lack of self confidence, feeling like they’re kind of going around in a hamster wheel and they can’t work out why, lack of energy, lack of positivity, lack of success. And stuff like that. It’s generally the way that my kind of content goes right now and it reaches the right people and then they’ll message me.
Kristy: Yeah. And how was that, have you seen more engagement or do you find it the same, but you’re just getting different people?
Danny: Less. I would probably say less engagement as in numbers wise. Well, the engagement I’m getting is from the people who want to work with me.
How to do 60-minute comp calls while still filtering out the clients that are not ready
[08:40] Kristy: Yeah. Wow. So how many leads do you probably get a week? People who reach out to you wanting to do a call?
Danny: It varies. So some weeks I can be inundated with leads, some weeks I’m not. I probably average, if had to get a minimum would be probably four or five leads a week. But then, you know, sometimes it could be four or five leads a day.
Kristy: Wow. That’s pretty good. Do all those leads, generally book a call?
Danny: No, no. So the way that I kinda like to do things, someone will reach out to me and someone would engage in my content.
I’ll shoot them a message. And we’ll have a very, very brief conversation just so I can kind of suss them out a little tiny bit. I love it to look at their Facebook page and I would invite them for a quick 10-minute quick call, just to kind of, you know, find out a little bit more about them.
And if that call goes well, we will book a 60-minute zoom call. I got a little bit deeper into it, but you know, the majority of people as with any kind of business, the majority of people they’re just kind of given it time and then they just want to kind of see. So I get a lot of leads. Some of them get on the phone, some of them convert, some of them don’t.
Kristy: Yeah. So let’s say you had five leads in a week, how many of them end up on that zoom call?
Danny: If I had five leads probably dependent, probably two to three might get on a zoom call and I’ll convert, you know, one of them or two. My conversion rate is quite high, if I talk to someone, if I get someone on the phone, generally I will convert.
Kristy: Yeah. Those are pretty good numbers. And it sounds like in a way you’re really speaking now your words versus just here’s some information and I’m the expert, but it’s more like I am speaking to you busy professional who’s struggling. Is that kind of the approach you’re taking?
Danny: Pretty much. Yeah.
Danny’s approach to post content mix so that he can achieve 6 posts a day!
Kristy: That’s great. So, with Facebook and just your marketing, you mentioned you do three posts a day. Is that what you still do?
Danny: Sometimes five or six and it depends. It depends what I’m doing. See, the way that, the way that I like to do things is the majority of my content goes through my personal page and my business page doesn’t really kind of get used a lot.
I will do a very good mix of lifestyle posts, of information posts and kind of call to action posts. So I post pictures of my kids. I post pictures of my girlfriend and I post pictures of my dog. I post pictures of me doing stupid things with my kids, and then I’ll post something kind of really, really informative and then I’ll post a picture of my dog fallen over or something like that.
So when I say I post, you know, up to six times a day, it’s not, it’s not all business, so people watch it and go, ah, he’s a normal guy. He’s got a dog, I’ve got a dog. He’s got kids, I’ve got kids. Oh, just this as well. Oh, I’d like to do that.
Kristy: Yeah. And that makes a lot of sense. I’m curious. when you first started to get online, since Facebook personal page is the way to go. You just give them a reach. Did you start using your Facebook personal page to post and was that, I don’t know if you were a Facebook person before, but was that weird for you?
Because now you have like your friends from high school and maybe, you know, you feel like now they’re seeing all these fitness posts from you and sign up with me. How did, did you ever have any issues like internal battles? Cause I did with that.
Danny: No. See, like I said, I’ve been training for 25 years, so everybody knows what I do, everybody, everyone knows what I did.
So even before this was my career, I was still posting workouts and I’m still posting up pictures of my meals and I was still posting pictures of me when I was a bodybuilder. So it’s there. It’s not like I was, I know, it’s not like I kind of, I owned a shop and then all of a sudden I’m posting about training and nutrition. Cause I’ve kind of always done it. So it was quite seamless really. If that makes sense.
Kristy: Oh, okay. Yeah, that’s great. Cause it was like, for me it was a little, I was always like, “Should I post my podcast on my Facebook page?” Yeah. I got myself to do it. I was like, come on Kristy, just do it.
How Covid revolutionized his online businesses
Kristy: But, now I’m curious, how has, if anything, COVID affected your business, have you seen a decline in leads or an increase in interest?
Danny: COVID revolutionized my business. COVID was the kick in the ass that I needed, basically. Since COVID, since it all kind of started my leads, my problem was my conversion rate and my leads they’re not, there’s no real difference. I’m just charging a lot more. So I was converting the same when I was charging $200 a month as I am now, which are $2,500 to three months.
Kristy: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s actually really curious because I think a lot of trainers, now you’re speaking to a lot of trainers who are listening right now and they’re thinking, man, I have some customers they’re paying $300 and I’m trying to get to that critical mass where this is really adding up and it can be tough or something.
The gamble that Danny took that took his business from a low of 0 customer to being able to charge $1,800
[13:54] Kristy: How much were you charging before and how long and what helped you get to deciding to move to $2,500 for three months?
Danny: So last year, last summer, for whatever reason, my business virtually dies. And I don’t know if it was because of the school holidays or whatever. I don’t know if it was the type of person that I was dealing with, but everybody just stopped paying me. All my clients went.
So I had to, I had a very difficult three or four months as a man, personally, as a human, I had a very, very difficult time. And my girlfriend was paying a lot of the bills. It was a very, very testing time. I’m a proud man, I’ve got two kids. I want to provide for my family. And I was kind of cool. So that’s how I look at things.
And I identified the weakness. And in my business, the weakness, that I had was, I was afraid or I was sort of comfortable asking someone for money for my services. So I would hate doing sales calls. And then at the end of this, I kind of bumbled my way through a sales call. And at the end, I’d say, okay, so it’s 150 pounds and they’d go, Oh, I can’t afford that. And I’d just go, okay, bye. Kind of almost relieved to get off the phone.
So I sought help from a friend, a friend of mine who has a very successful sales agency designed for fit pros. He gave me some coaching. He helped me understand what was the arts of selling. And he helped me look at sales in a different way.
He helped me kind of handle objections. And it’s when I started realizing that, yes, I am charging money. Well, I am helping this person. I am changing this person’s life basically. And so that’s where, that was January time this year, that’s where things kind of started to take a turn and I started to sell. Instead of selling monthly programs I was selling three month programs for 599 pounds. That’s about, I think that’s about $700.
And then when COVID struck, I thought, right, I need to go one of two ways. I need to charge a lot less and go for a higher volume, or I need to charge a lot more, talk to a different person. I’m just working with kind of less people. And I kind of weighed the options and I thought a way to come with a lot of people for like a hundred pound a month, that’s going to write me off.
It’s going to, I’m going to be burned out. So I kind of, I made the decision to, I went from charging 599 to charge 1,400 pounds ($1808) and made a few sales started realizing that the whole high ticket is a real thing. There’s a real business there. It’s not sleazy. It’s not shady. It’s not kind of under the table. It’s not horrible.
So then I just kind of increased my prices more to kind of where we are now. So if COVID hadn’t have happened, if I hadn’t about to kind of take a little step back and go, what kind of life do I want for my kids? What kind of life do I want for my girlfriend?
Can I provide that talking to the people that are struggling to pay me a hundred pound a month, or can I provide that talking to a higher and higher earning brackets of people and asking them to pay me more? So the gamble kind of paid.
Why being a specialist pays off over being a generalist
[17:13] Kristy: Yeah. And that’s sounds like a scary gamble because it seems like on the other side of the lake a little bit. So my question is, how did you choose your niche?
Like, how did you choose this person? Some people would call it an avatar is, I don’t know if you have a specific, like, even an age group, gender, they do this, they live, because I would imagine that is also a gamble, because you might alienate other people that you may feel like might be willing to pay for your program.
Danny: So, yeah, that’s the exact, the exact emotion. The exact feeling I had was, why am I only talking to these when these people might want to pay me money more. A friend of mine, Rich Wellington, he’s a very, very, very talented business coach over here. He said to me, do you want to be a generalist? Or do you want to be a specialist?
And I was like, what do you mean? He said, well, you think how much a regular doctor gets paid? He kind of deals with everything. You look at how much a brain surgeon gets paid. They just deal with one specific thing. And then the people that they deal with, they are more grateful because they have bigger problems to solve, so they pay more money.
So I decided that specialist was a much better group than being a generalist.
How his niche discovered him
Kristy: Yeah. And how did you decide who to specialize on?
Danny: Sure. At the time I kind of enjoyed coaching women. I got, I was having a lot of success coaching. And so I decided that I was going to stop talking because female physiology is very, very interesting.
And I decided that I was going to kind of stop pushing my kind of my niche or my avatar would be, you know, professional women who have struggled, very frustrated women who have struggled to kind of lose weight. They kind of didn’t know why. Since then, not so much but I’ve started to attract more male clients and possibly, maybe it’s because of who I am.
Maybe it’s because they can relate to me a lot more. You know, I was, I served in the military. I’ve been through some crazy horrible times. So I could relate to a lot of people, a lot of male problems and a lot of problems, which men kind of didn’t really want to talk about. I’ve pretty much been there. And so I’ve, for whatever reason, I’ve started to attract then more male clients. So now I’m kind of moving away. I still coach women if they want me. But I put my kind of focus right now into kind of high performance, stressed out males.
Kristy: Are the high performance that sort of like men who have demanding jobs. So they’re busy or, what do you mean by high performance?
Danny: High performance would be professional males, CEOs, people in kind of, you know, international roles, high stress jobs, that kind of thing. And people guys who want more than the old me, don’t eat this chicken, lift these weights. I don’t care that you’ve got to meet it in Thailand tomorrow, do this, do that. But they kind of want more. They want a more bespoken, more tailored and kind of more of a holistic approach.
Kristy: And you mentioned that, you’ve recently started to change your approach to your social media posts, like your voice, and then what you put out there. Is that in line with targeting this type of professional. I’m wondering how your marketing changed now that it sounds like you’re focusing on this group.
Danny: Yeah. So do you know what? Not a lot has changed just the wording and the terminology, the language that I’m kind of using. And I’m still talking. If I’m talking to high performing professional females, I’m kind of softened things down. If I’m talking to high performing professional males, I’m talking kind of like, I would talk.
Kristy: Hmm. Yeah. And, is there a certain age group? Because I know I’ve spoken to one person and he has, he targets men over 40. Are you finding, you’re speaking to a specific age group also?
Danny: Yeah. Generally, 35 to 40 plus. A lot of the time me included when I was like 25, I thought I knew it all and I didn’t want to help, you know, I was like, “Oh, I don’t need anyone, well, I can do this all myself. I’ve got life figured out.” And it’s only when you get to, you know, I’m 43 now. It’s only when you get to your kind of mid-thirties that you go shit. I actually haven’t gotten life figured out this is all getting on top of me. And I’m getting to the point where I kind of can’t really handle everything.
You find out maybe you’ve got a very successful career. Maybe you’ve got a very successful business, but you’ve also got family now. And you’ve also got a wife and you’ve got kids and you’ve got all the kinds of responsibilities and it’s like all this kind of pressure as a man to perform, to provide and to kind of, to know the answers and to know where you’ve kind of got to go.
When you get to you kind of mid thirties, early forties. I think that personally, for me included, that’s when you kind of go. I actually don’t have all the answers. I’m like, I really need your help. You know, that’s the way that it kind of tends to go with.
Kristy: Mmm. So that sounds like that’s, what’s happening in your target customer’s mind now. So you speak to that. Yeah.
Why charging $3000 for a program actually makes you stand out
[22:26] Kristy: Great. Well, this has been really interesting. So, I guess my closing question is what do you see as future opportunities for you as an online personal trainer and other online personal trainers now because of what’s happening with COVID.
And do you also in a way feel like there’s more competition because more trainers are forced to go online?
Danny: More competition. I don’t know if competition is the right word. There is a lot of personal trainers going online. There was COVID the whole kind of situation has moved on, has kind of advanced online coaching by about 10 years overnight. And people are now realizing that I actually don’t need to be with my coach.
My coach can tell me what I need to do, and I can do it myself. Whereas up until COVID people were like, “Oh no, no, no, no, no. Oh no. I need a personal trainer. I need to be seen. I mean, I need, and to be pushed in the gym, I need this, that, and do that.” Now they’ve been forcefully shown that you actually can get really, really good results and you don’t need me, you don’t need me standing next to you kind of telling you to lift weights. So I think, from a business point of view. I think it’s done the online coaching, online business in general. I think it’s massively advanced.
Kristy: Nice. Yeah, that’s actually true. I think a lot of people feel personal trainers may feel like why should I even try? Everyone, all of these other personal trainers online, but at the same time, people are online now, people, your customers, more of them are online. So more customers also. Well, that’s been great.
Danny: I think it depends on their suffering. I think it depends on the type of person that you are trying to attract.
If you are charging 50 pound a month. Like I was, when I first started on my kitchen. If you are charging 50 pound a month, you are lost in a sea of people charging 50 pound a month because everybody’s charging every month. So I think if you want to get anywhere, I think that best thing that I ever did was differentiate myself from the trainer’s charging 50 pound a month to the trainer’s charging, you know, $2,500, $3000.
How challenges in your past can be your strength in connecting to new customers
Kristy: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think that’s great motivation for people who are trying to find their way, probably asking themselves if this online coaching thing is even gonna work. So I think you’re great kind of role model, kind of example of what can be done.
I think just because there’s a lot of people going to relate to you, and I know I said it was my last closing question you had mentioned, at some point, just because I feel like I want to ask something personal if that’s okay. You mentioned, you know, you went through some hard times and I think people would all relate.
I think some people feel like now is for them, it’s a hard time. Cause it sounds like you’ve had a very colorful life. A lot of challenges you’ve overcome. Is there anything that you’d find especially defining for you that might be inspirational for other people?
Danny: You know what, my life’s been that crazy that it’s really hard to kind of narrow it down to just one event. Which I think it’s because I’ve experienced so much, I’ve experienced extreme heartache. I’ve had the very dark thoughts. I’ve experienced times where I couldn’t even look my kids in the eye because I was, I didn’t feel like I am worthy to be their dad.
You know, I’ve got some, I got some horrible, horrible late nights, wondering what the hell are we going to do type stuff. So I think it’s all of that, that makes me quite relatable. I’m a very, I’m a very honest person. I’m a very relatable person. So I think that’s what makes me kind of who I am. You know, I’ve been there, I’ve done horrible things and horrible things done to me.
Kristy: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it sounds like you have a lot of depth and maybe people won’t, clients wouldn’t feel as judged, kind of reaching out. So I think that’s really great and we will close here now, if anyone wants to reach out to you, Danny, how can they find you?
Danny: Cool. So as we’ve kind of said, Facebook is my main platform, though it would be my personal page, Danny Wilson. My business page is Danny Wilson Coaching. And my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Any of those mediums.
Kristy: Great. All right. Well, it’s been great having you. I feel I learned a lot and I feel very inspired. Just kind of understanding how you transformed your business and your perspective on coaching and in a way, like, being that mentor to your clients. that’s been really interesting. So thanks for being on the show.
Danny: Very, very welcome. Thank you.
Kristy: Yeah. Awesome. Thanks.