Listen to this impactful podcast as Ryan Ketchum, Executive Director of Fitness Revolution shares his humble beginnings as a struggling college athlete and how he transitioned from a garage gym owner into an in-demand business consultant for the fitness industry using the Triple-A Marketing Method.
About Ryan Ketchum
Ryan Ketchum is passionate about helping people change their bodies and change their lives. He has coached hundreds of fitness professionals and trained with thousands of clients. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of FitRev, he is also a recognized thought-leader and speaker in the fitness business. Ryan experimented his fitness & nutrition regime on himself after graduating from college and became a finalist in the Precision Nutrition challenge by dropping from 330 to 220 lbs in 18 months.
But his passion for the fitness world started long before college. As a young kid, he spent hours in the gym watching his dad train. He idolized people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Colombu, Magnus Samuelson, and of course, He-Man. Ryan grew up an athlete and spent his college years throwing shot put at Indiana University. After graduating from IU, he decided he wanted to make a run for the Olympic Trials in shot put. In order to pay for his own training and maintain a flexible schedule, he decided to start training a few clients and teaching them the fitness and nutrition principles that led to his own transformation. Pretty soon his client base was growing steadily and Ryan Ketchum decided to partner with his friend Wil Fleming to open a gym. That’s when Force Fitness was born. Force remains one of the leading training facilities for high-performance athletes.
As a new business owner, Ryan spent lots of time researching how to be a better business owner by learning as much as he could about marketing, sales, and business development. He read books, watched webinars, and spent as much time as he could learn from reputable business owners. Pretty soon, Ryan realized that in addition to fitness, he loved everything on the business side as well. About that time he met Nick Berry and began coaching other fitness business entrepreneurs through the Fitness Consulting Group (FCG). Again, Ryan Ketchum used his real-life experiences and challenges that he faced as a fitness professional and applied the same principles and training that had driven his business to succeed.
As Ryan continued to see the reward of helping other fitness professionals grow their business, he decided to launch his second business, Vertex Performance Systems (VPS), which offered a variety of tools to help Fitness Professionals. VPS always had a close partner relationship with FCG, but in January of 2015, they officially united forces as one brand—Fitness Revolution— to work together to continue to bring change to the fitness industry.
Ryan Ketchum is the author of numerous articles on fitness and nutrition and travels on speaking engagements throughout the year.
5 Q&A’s with Ryan Ketchum
1. What is Marketing to you?
It is being able to tell someone who you are, and how you help them and why they should choose you. It’s your message, it’s your brand. It’s really who you are, who help, how do you help them and why they should choose you?
2. What is the difference between marketing and sales?
Marketing’s job is to gain someone’s attention and get them to take that first step. From there sales job is to convert that person into a customer.
3. What do you think it takes to create a good marketing strategy?
The marketing strategy has to align with the overall organizational strategy. Know your ideal client, doing your core offer and you have to have a positioning statement.
- It’s the one thing that you are best at
- Its the 20% of your activity that drives 80% of your results
- It’s the thing you’re best at delivering
- It’s the most profitable
- Who is it that you serve best?
- You need to drill into what are their pains, what are their goals, their objections, fears, challenges and what would keep them from buying and where to find them
- What’s my position in the market?
- How am I going to position myself?
- What makes me different to them?
- How am I going to communicate?
Core Marketing Funnels
- How am I going to get leads?
- What’s my entry level offer?
- What’s my core offer?
4. How would you put together the ultimate marketing plan?
I have a method called the Triple-A Marketing Method. This is the best marketing plan for you as the business owner os as the marketer. Assets, Arsenal, Action Plan.
ASSETS – skills, resources and talents that you have, things that you are strongest at that we can take and turn into a marketing resource for us.
ARSENAL – we use a three-channel approach, internal channel, offline and online. Email marketing is still an amazing way to generate revenue for your business. It’s a top converting marketing channel and you teach people to do that really simply. Offline marketing includes networking, joint venture, and direct mail.
ACTION – daily, weekly and monthly actions
5. What are your best or maybe your favorite examples of great marketing strategies that you’ve used?
I am using the Five Steps Sales Funnel that I think is phenomenal:
- Indoctrination – welcome email, introducing your business
- Content Delivery – I lay out a 3-5 series of content that just makes them aware of that problem
- Email broadcast
- Testimonials – share two or three testimonials
- Planned and scheduled follow-ups – getting on the phone with somebody or texting and engaging in a conversation is the absolute best way.”
Listen to or download the audio Podcast via Soundcloud:
Watch the video here:
Jesse Stoddard: 00:00 All right, I’ve got Ryan Ketchum of Fitness Revolution on the line. How are you doing, Ryan?
Ryan Ketchum: 00:07 I am good. Thanks for asking.
Jesse Stoddard: 00:09 Thank you for being here, man. This is awesome. I mean, I haven’t talked to you since we did the Fitness Bootcamp Inner Circle podcasts
Ryan Ketchum: 00:17 Yes it’s been a long time. I appreciate the opportunity to be on the show. Anything I can do to get out there and help out, whether it’s small business owners, fitness professionals, share any little bit of information I have. I’m always happy to do that.
Jesse Stoddard: 00:29 I would love it if you could start out by just kind of sharing your story. I would love to hear a little bit more about your background, where you came from, how you got into the fitness industry. What I really want to hear is, if you had any struggles, because people love to know how you overcame struggles. So if you can tell that it’d be great.
Ryan Ketchum: 00:47 All glitz and glam and the easy road, that’s how it’s always portrayed. I absolutely had some struggles. So we’ll go back, I’ll take it back to the very beginning, I’ll try to expedite it. It’s, the longer you get into this, the longer the story gets. But I started in the fitness industry immediately after graduating college, so I was a track and field athlete in college. I was going to continue my career after my collegiate career continue on to compete and train for the national championships, Olympic trials, things like that. And so I thought, well, what better way to continue my training and just, starting my own personal training business? Kind of naively jumping into this thinking, I just have some extra time. We’ll train some clients that will be doing. I never really had an interest in the business side of things.
Ryan Ketchum: 01:41 In fact, I took two business courses in college, got a C plus, C minus, D plus or something like that. And so this isn’t for me and went into kinesiology. So I jumped right into that and quickly figured out that that was not going to work. I’m renting space above a garage at this house to live in. I’m paying like 300 bucks a month, not really sure where nobody was supporting me, not making any money trying to train for, to be a shot putter, a discus thrower. And so, I had to figure out really quick how to make things work. And so I just dove in and started doing research and figuring out how to market, how to sell. Following, the people that were sharing those ideas back in that time and pretty quickly and especially after my track and field career ended, I put all that competitive energy into business and want to be the best in my area and the best in the gym I was at.
Ryan Ketchum: 02:41 And so I started really just absorbing and consuming as much information as I could on business and really figured out that’s how I can make myself stand apart. I already had the training, so that was already better than what most everybody else was. Now I need to figure out how do I get those clients in? How do I bring them in? How do I sell it in, how do I make money doing this thing? And I grew rather quickly with it, so not to deal with no struggles, but once I started to learn how to absorb that information and apply it grew relatively quickly. When semiprivate training really fast, I could expand my offerings at the current gym I was at. Launched a boot camp, started that and then went into opening my own facility and kind of outgrown all the other things there.
Ryan Ketchum: 03:29 And then you’d have a whole new set of headaches and difficulties and troubles, right? That was really where I had to learn a lot of hard lessons. Started my studio, ramped it up, we did it the exact opposite that we have to teach somebody to do it now. Took out over $100,000 loan, brought in an investor, a partner, and that was just what you did. Garage gym, a low-cost startup that wasn’t really, there was no model for that when we first started and so we’re fortunate enough to be able to bring enough clients like we paid off the loan quickly, we were profitable pretty quickly. But then you run into these other challenges, right? I could outwork my problems to a certain extent, but now when it couldn’t rely on me what was happening when I got burned out, I couldn’t train all the sessions.
Ryan Ketchum: 04:21 We had staff problems, management problems. Then the industry changes a little bit and you’re dealing with, okay, now marketing seems a little tougher. And so we ran through all of those struggles, all of those challenges. And we still had a really good business.I ran that business for six years, a little bit longer than six years and at that point had grown it to where I wasn’t working in the business really at all in two to four hours a week in the business and the rest of the time was spent doing what I do now, which was coaching other fitness business owners and work with my current business partner Nick Berry. And then I decided that there was nothing there for me. It didn’t really fulfill me. You need more time to run that business. And I wanted to go pursue better things.
Ryan Ketchum: 05:08 So I sold my half of the business to my business partner and went in and dove in head first to doing this full time and really trying to ramp up and scale up Fitness Revolution. And obviously, we’ve dealt with a lot of challenges and struggles with this too. We have had 10 or 12 different brands at any given time. We stretched our team too thin. We’ve had to make tough decisions on getting rid of some of those brands or selling those brands off and getting them in the right hands where people could take them on and do what we do best. There’s been a ton of different challenges that we faced. We can dig into some of those more in-depth if you want. But at the kind of the peak, the turning point for me in my fitness business was I had a complete breakdown at a mastermind meeting.
Ryan Ketchum: 05:57 Actually. I literally just threw my hands up in the air. I don’t get sad emotional, I get angry, emotional. So, I was super angry, didn’t know what to do, just really frustrated and, and literally just threw my hands in the air. Like that was it. I was done and I didn’t know what to do next. I was working 18 hours a day and really just burnt myself out. And at that point, that was the pivotal moment was, do I change, do I shift? How do things or do I just give up? And that’s where it was able to really change, get systems in place, get things in place where it allowed me to be where I’m at today. All the struggles we’ve been through, some I’m comfortable to share here. Others not so much. Well, I’m a pretty open book, so any questions you have, I’m happy to dive into stuff.
Jesse Stoddard: 06:46 That’s awesome. What a story, man. That’s quite a journey.
Ryan Ketchum: 06:49 It’s been a lot, but the journey that we all go through, I look back on it and it’s all just learning. You’ll learn a little bit, you fail forward, you figure those things out and if you don’t ever experience that, then a little bit of it is, where would I be now? Things weren’t always easy. At some point you’re gonna run into that roadblock, that obstacle and every little hardship you had, every obstacle you face all those things, they’re really there to prepare you. It’s like training, right? I have to ramp up and progress my training. They’re all there to help you deal with that. One big obstacle, and see how resilient you can be so, well they’re not willing to go through at the time looking back, you usually glad you went through.
Jesse Stoddard: 07:34 I connected with the part of your story where you talked about having to get all that capital and partners because we didn’t have the garage gym model yet. And that’s funny because that’s exactly what happened to me and I wouldn’t have gotten into the boot camp world had it not been for the hardship of losing, a brick and mortar gym, and going through that terrible situation too. So I feel your pain on that buddy. But you know, like you said, it kinda turned into who you are now. Right? You needed that experience.
Ryan Ketchum: 08:04 I thrive off a little bit of pressure so I’m taking that loan out and having to be, “hey, we had to personally guarantee that it didn’t matter what was happening, I was going to pay that back.” And so you just figured out how to make it work.
Ryan Ketchum: 08:19 I’m not necessarily the smartest way to go about doing it, but you know, I kinda thrive under that pressure and did thrive under that pressure, at least did so, we made it a work out, but yes not the best way to go about it. Look at all the money that I wasted, stuff we bought that we never used, how much I could have kept it at. That makes me a little sick at my stomach.
Jesse Stoddard: 08:42 Let’s talk specifically about marketing, the marketing side of your experience. So, you mentioned mentors, who are your mentors as you got into this and as you started to grow as a business person?
Ryan Ketchum: 08:57 So, at first I think the very first event I ever attended was Ryan Lee’s Bootcamp. Way, way, way, way back and so that was one. I followed Ryan a lot with part of his membership site.
Ryan Ketchum: 09:12 Nick Berry was running a mastermind at the time and so there, he was one of my mentors and we actually connected at a club industry event where he ended up hanging out and going out for dinner and drinks and then just really kind of clicked and from there joined the mastermind, enrolled from that, Jim Labadie who, he is all behind the scenes now. We just ran into Jim not too long ago, but he was the first one that taught me how to run a boot camp or showing me how to launch a boot camp. He had a, I remember it was still like an old CD, an audio that you played and that’s how I got. So those were the primary people that get started. And then from there, I learned a lot from a lot of people outside the industry. So I was always trying to learn from my current clients who are really successful.
Ryan Ketchum: 10:01 I kinda just like infiltrated their circles to see what was working there and then reading books and working through that. Now, as I continue to progress, some of the mentors that I have as a business coach here in Indianapolis that we work with, we still practice what we preach. I learn a little bit from, from everybody throughout the industry, whether it’s marketing, sales, whatever it might be.
Jesse Stoddard: 10:28 So what is marketing to you? Like if you had to give a working definition, if somebody says, well, what’s marketing? What do you say?
Ryan Ketchum: 10:37 So marketing is being able to tell someone who you are, who you help and how you help them and why they should choose you. I think that can summarize marketing. It’s your message, it’s your brand, it’s, however you want to say that, but it’s really who are you, who you help, how do you help them and why should they choose you can hit those four things and you’ll have a successful marketing message.
Jesse Stoddard: 11:01 And what’s the difference to you between marketing and sales?
Ryan Ketchum: 11:05 That’s a great question. And this is really in the online world where everybody kind of lives now and everybody just thinks marketing still the sales letter and it’s the copy and it’s all that stuff and it gets a little convoluted and you miss, I think a really big opportunity with sales, so the difference is, it’s marketing’s job to securely. So their job is to gain someone’s attention and get them to take that first step. From there, a sales job is to convert that person into a customer. And I think that’s the clearest definition. And then that’s where it gets kind of murky with sales letters and all this stuff. You know, they’ll hear people sales copy, but then they called themselves marketers. A sales copy job that’s acting like you’re a salesperson that’s trying to convert the sale, whatever you did with marketing to get them to that page,
Ryan Ketchum: 12:02 that’s the marketing piece of it. And when we transitioned recently here in our company to more of a sales organization, we’ve literally seen our results explode. Triple the production with sales that we’ve had, especially in a higher end program because of that, because we eliminated, we clearly define that definition and everybody knows what the role is and you can be a lot more aggressive with it.
Jesse Stoddard: 12:32 In brief, tell me what, what do you think it takes to create a good marketing strategy?
Ryan Ketchum: 12:42 So the marketing strategy has to align with the overall organizational strategy. So you’ve got to have an organizational strategy. Whatever your business strategy is, the marketing’s job is to basically market that business, right? If we look at old-school marketing and there’s a lot to be taken from, like Johnson and Johnson, Procter and Gamble, something like that.
Ryan Ketchum: 13:02 They have product development teams and they get a product ready and marketing goes and promote that product. A lot of times now it’s kind of like, well you just mark it something and you kind of figure it out as you go. So I think that you start to follow that old school model. It’s best if you have a product that you know, that serves a certain purpose and it has an outcome and it’s formulated, then you’re able to go market that. You’re looking at the marketing strategy, there are really three pieces to this. You have to know your ideal client, doing your core offer and you have to have a positioning statement. So what we teach our clients is a local market position. Now a business, it’s not local that does more a national worldwide scale. Then they just have to have a market position.
Ryan Ketchum: 13:51 So the who or the why is like your core offer, it’s the one thing that you’re best at and it’s that if we follow the old 20/80 principles, it’s the 20 percent of your activity that drives 80 percent of your results. It’s the thing you’re best at delivering, it’s going to be the most profitable and you want to focus in on that. Too many people try to spread themselves in opportunity, different programs too early, and they don’t have that core offer that they’re best at and they can drive their business economically. So you’ve got to have that, then you have to have your ideal client. So who is it that you serve best and you need to drill into what are their pains, what are their goals, what are their objections that our fears, their challenges, what would keep them for buying, and where to find them.
Ryan Ketchum: 14:35 So you build that out and then you figured out what’s my position in the market? How am I going to position myself? What makes me different? I’m, how am I going to communicate what makes me different to them? And so that’s really two pieces. It’s differentiators and your position statement. If you have that, then we broke that into what we call our core marketing funnel. And that’s how am I going to get leads? What’s my entry level offer? What’s my core offer? And it lays out the path for somebody to get to the program that’s going to be the best fit for them or the product that’s the best fit for them. That’s how you lay out a really good marketing strategy.
Jesse Stoddard: 15:14 That was one of the best answers I’ve gotten on this podcast
Ryan Ketchum: 15:18 People will give you tactics, right? Like you do this, run some facebook marketing and you built this funnel. Those are tactics, that can be applied anywhere. If you don’t know those other things, you’re just like throwing stuff out there and hoping something sticks.
Jesse Stoddard: 15:33 Right? And you’re big on messaging and I can tell that’s incredible. And the next question can be kind of tricky, but you kind of talk on a high level and strategy and now I do want to get too specific tactics a little bit. So you can answer this however you want, or you might give an example maybe, but in a nutshell, how would you put together the ultimate marketing plan? You already talked about strategy. Now we’re talking to the actual plan.
Ryan Ketchum: 15:57 This is really easy. So I have a method called the Triple-A Marketing Method that I teach. And so the Triple-A Marketing Method end result is the best marketing plan for you as the business owner or you as the marketer.
Ryan Ketchum: 16:11 And so you built this out, the three a’s or assets arsenal, action plan. And here’s where marketing goes wrong a lot of times. A lot of times we throw out these big ideas. SEO, Facebook, paid advertising funnels, networking, referrals, and you throw out these ideas which are really the arsenal items, but nobody knows how to go implement them, especially if you’re not a marketer by trade or by because you’re passionate about marketing, you’ve done a lot of research. And we work really hard on this because our market is personal trainers, fitness pros and they are like allergic to marketing, they don’t want anything to do with sales and marketing. And so I’ve had to build this around their strengths and figuring out this is like the sets and reps, this is a program designed for marketing, And so we start with your assets and that’s skills, resources, talents that you have, things that you’re strongest at right now that we can take and turn into a marketing resource for us.
Ryan Ketchum: 17:11 So, “I’ve got a budget. we’ve got some cash that we can stand on paid marketing. I’m really good at public speaking. I write well, I have a big network. I have a good contact list, my brand is powerful”. You know, what do you have that you can take? Do I have a team of people that can do stuff for me? What do you have that we can take out, deployed into the market that is going to be easy for you because if you’re strong at it, you’re already good at it, you like doing it? The likelihood that you actually do those things increases. If I tell you to go start an email newsletter or do email marketing and you hate writing, you don’t have to start. You’re never going to get off the ground and do it no matter how great it would be for your business, you’re not going to do it.
Ryan Ketchum: 17:52 So I tried to start people with the stuff they’re already good at. From there we go to your arsenal items, but that’s just the array of ways we’re going to get our marketing out and we will use a three-channel approach. So we needed an internal channel, marketing and offline and online. I want to be diversified with my marketing. I don’t want to be a one trick pony, you’ve heard of all the horror stories. Running Facebook ads, Facebook for whatever reason shuts you down. Some channel stops working. Say it’s Facebook, they changed an algorithm, something in youtube changes whatever it might be and all of a sudden you’re marketing goes to a screeching halt. Wel,l we don’t want that. We want to be diversified. So we do internal, online, offline. So internal, something like this would be, well, I always want somebody to get testimonials because testimonials acts like referrals, they’re great for all your other marketing.
Ryan Ketchum: 18:46 And then we would say put a referral reward system. So we’d have to have a way to get referrals. So we figured that out. The online portion. Now we figured out what are you good at? So I look at those assets and you’d like to write. So we have, blogging is an option. You can do guest articles, you could write for a newspaper, you could do all these things that we – could do email. If you’re great at presenting it, you like to be on camera in front of people, create a video, youtube, whatever it might be, we figure out what to do there. My standard go to, so this, I think everyone should have an email list even though I say what’s hard to get started? Email marketing is still an amazing way to generate revenue for your business. It’s a top converting marketing channel, and you can teach people to do that really simply.
Ryan Ketchum: 19:35 And then I like social media for that. If you have a budget, paid marketing is awesome. So we try to pick one thing there. Then we’ll do the offline and that’s your networking, joint ventures, direct mail, any of these options. So I look at, public speaking workshops, what do they have in their assets that we could use there and we get one of those things in place. I’m taking it one step further and now we break it down into daily, weekly, and monthly actions with an outcome so that when I’m busy, when I’m running my business, I just have to look down and say, I don’t know what to do for marketing today. Well, here’s my daily list. Here’s my weekly list, here’s my monthly list. That might look like I’m going to post three times a day to social media, whatever platform you decide to use, and I’m going to reach out to three of my network contacts everyday. That it might be weekly,
Ryan Ketchum: 20:25 I’m going to resend the one email newsletter. I’m gonna write one blog post and whatever it might be, how I’m going to add five new people to my network. And then monthly, would be that, okay, I’m going to get one new testimonial. I’m going to run one workshop. And somewhere in there it’s like how many referral asks am I going to ask? So that’s how we break down the action items that you do. Then you have a promotion calendar on top of that. It’s like this ultimate marketing plan is these daily, weekly, monthly marketing actions that I’m focused on, and then what am I promoting? So we teach a front end offer, that’s a transformation contest and some low barrier entry, offer trial, a test drive, and we rotate those through other workshops and your marketing actions should support your front end offer promotions or whatever promotion you’re running so that you now have this purposeful marketing plan and that’s all spaced out. And that’s how I would build it out.
Ryan Ketchum: 21:23 And we get somebody to calendar that has all those things listed. So the contract them and align everything with their marketing plan. That’s how I would teach somebody to create that.
Jesse Stoddard: 21:33 That was awesome. And your clients are lucky to have you. Because that right there could transform somebody’s life if they did that. And what I like about it is you broke it down in simple terms. It isn’t so complicated that it seems overwhelming actually made it sound – it doesn’t sound easy, but it sounds simple, right? It sounds like, okay, here’s the steps. You just need to follow the steps. That’s what I love about that.
Ryan Ketchum: 21:56 And like our clients and we go them and say, here’s your checklist for each of these things. Like, here’s how you get the referral, here’s how you get the testimonials and that’s not hard to build out once you start figuring it out and then, now it’s systemized. The cool part about it is, you know, marketing, you’re always adapting. You’re always trying to figure out what’s, where do I spend my, my last dollar in my last hour, where do I get my highest ROI? If you track all of these things, I have my lead channels and now I can say, okay, where am I leads coming from? Well, which of those leads are turning into actual clients. If I have one hour today that I can mark it, I have $100 left in my bank account and I’ve got to get clients. Where do I go spend it? Now I know where to go spend that time or that money, which gives me the best chance to go get clients. And that’s what it’s really all about. You just kind of keep optimizing this, and you change things out.
Ryan Ketchum: 22:50 You got a recorder is what we teach. I’m like, give it 90 days, work the plan, and then we figured out what’s working, what’s not. We adjust and optimize from there. So, you’re right, it’s not easy. It’s still requires work, it’s gonna take that. But it is simple. Marketing doesn’t have to be complex. There’s a lot of money in making marketing complex that’s what most people want to do. I need to make it simple even if nothing else for me because I need to make that simple so I can implement.
Jesse Stoddard: 23:22 So what are your best or maybe your favorite examples of great marketing strategies that you’ve used?
Ryan Ketchum: 23:29 Great, great question. So with our clients, I had a tactic called the five step sales funnel that I think is phenomenal. We use the same in our business and it’s been great and it’s an introductory offer after somebody enters your email list.
Ryan Ketchum: 23:52 And so these five steps are basically indoctrination. So you, that’s a pretty standard thing like for digital marketer about everybody in your welcome email, here’s what we do as a company or here’s me as a person, as a brand, if you’re your own brand, which is kind of introduce it, let them know where they’re at or why they’re there, remind them. Then we go into some content delivery. So rather than “wham, bam, we’re going to hit you with the sale right away”, because I know my ideal clients, biggest pain points, their problems, their challenges. I lay out a three to five day series of content that just kinda makes them aware of that problem. Here’s what it is. You’re not the only one going through it. I understand it. Here’s how to solve some of it. Then we bridge it into after that. So that’s the second step on there.
Ryan Ketchum: 24:45 We get into testimonials and we share two or three testimonials with people just like them. So if I have a range of these prospects, profiles is what I’d call him, you know, I have my one ideal client, but then on either side of that, there’s one or two degrees, the people that are a little different, right? So I’m going to address and show those. So if I don’t just work with men or with women or have a male and a female and now might have a large business, it comes to us with two or three locations. And here’s the problems I was having, and a startup business and then somebody in the middle that were just struggling to break even. I’m going to share their success stories with everybody. Now, what I did there was I built my expertise with the content. I’m now an expert.
Ryan Ketchum: 25:31 I’ve had somebody else vouch for me and say, I’m an expert. And then I come in with my front end offer or here’s what to do next. And three day sequence there, you’ll get a percentage of people that take that. And then from there, you just put them in your normal email broadcast sequence where you’ll just continue to nurture them. I think if people just put that in play and then do anything else, they would see a higher return from whatever marketing they’re doing for every lead gets put in that email sequence and go with it from there. Other marketing stuff that’s worked really well. I think the things with Facebook, everybody wants to automate. Everybody wants to do all these fun things and not touch it and just let things grow for them. But this is going to sound silly.
Ryan Ketchum: 26:21 You know, the Facebook’s just an application and then be diligent with your follow up. There’s nothing that beats in person follow up. You’re not going to sell a two, three, four, $5,000. Most people won’t. A two, three, four, $5,000 investment through a chat bot or an email sequence or especially with most markets is not going to show that. Getting on the phone with somebody or texting and engaging in a conversation is the absolute best way. And here’s a great example from us. And this is a little more on the sales side, but we have set up to get prospects for our coaching programs and when we identify a prospect and we have what qualifies someone as a prospect once they’re identified, if they don’t take the immediate next step with us, we have a 30 day follow up sequence. It’s a mix of email and phone calls and we’ve automated the trigger for the person to engage with that particular person.
Ryan Ketchum: 27:25 And we put that in place in less than 28 days. We were able to increase the number of phone conversations. We’re going to have my 40 percent. So I mean, imagine if you had a sales opportunity, you’ve got increased by 40 percent and that’s life changing for a lot of people now, especially for fitness business owners. And so it’s just those, those planned and scheduled follow ups, very calculated, knowing how to address the needs of your ideal clients. Those are two of the biggest that I’ve seen and that I recommend for people right now.
Jesse Stoddard: 27:59 How about technology? Are there key tools, technology gadgets, software apps that you recommend?
Ryan Ketchum: 28:07 I mean there’s so many out there, so one that we’ve utilized is Hubspot internally. So we use the Hubspot Sales Crm and we use Infusionsoft for our marketing and shopping cart and all that fun stuff.
Ryan Ketchum: 28:21 That’s too much for a lot of people. Kind of depends on where you’re at in your business. It’s a lot to get set up in Infusionsoft. We’re not as big a fan of their CRM and the sales side. So we use Hubspot there and that’s been a game changer for us, for our fitness professionals that we’re coaching and the small business owners that we’re coaching. We’re recommending or they just need a good CRM, like a Zen Planner to manage their clients and their billing. We’re happy with Convert Kit a lot of times for their email marketing because it’s so easy to set up. And it’s inexpensive and it’s built for like that small business owner mentality. But other than that, like apps and all the fun technology we just don’t use a lot. We go right to the person and go with that and I say that and we have software to help our clients manage their business that we had custom made to fit what we need there with them and we call it “Campus” and that’s where all their learning stuff is.
Ryan Ketchum: 29:27 So obviously that’s a big one, but the other marketers that are listening are not going to, not necessarily gonna use that one.
Jesse Stoddard: 29:34 By the way, for your triggering of those phone calls you mentioned in the sales process, is that through the Hubspot? I’ve never heard it said that way, but I actually agree with you and I appreciate how simple you made it. I agree. I really like Infusionsoft for the marketing automation and how amazing you can do so many things with that. But you’re right, Hubspot’s a lot easier on the sales side, isn’t it? Yes, CRM side.
Ryan Ketchum: 30:01 Yes, it’s just made for that. I mean we have a dashboard and it has little cards with the person’s name. I’m like, what the value is to the company. We know the dollar amount that’s in the pipeline, but we haven’t really simple sales process and we just slide them over.
Ryan Ketchum: 30:15 You keep the updates, you can record calls and it triggers sequences just like that. So, um, we use Zapier to move the contact from Infusionsoft to Hubspot.
Jesse Stoddard: 30:27 You’re the first person I’ve ever heard that’s actually using both Infusionsoft and Hubspot because usually ,it’s a battle between the two.
Ryan Ketchum: 30:35 Yeah. Somebody literally loves the other and they don’t want, you know. But that’s fascinating. You know what, that actually is a better answer because you’re doing what needs to be. You are doing what needs to be done to get it done. That we just figured out solutions we can kind of bootstrapped stuff, right? We and I’m sure that there are better ways out there and somebody does reach out and let me know because I like to make things hard on myself. But when we discovered the possibilities of Hubspot and we were going to invest in a sales team and not just wing it, like a lot of people do with managing, I’ve got to have something that I can look at and see what’s going on.
Ryan Ketchum: 31:13 And we’ve been with Infusionsoft so long, I could transition from there to anything else. It’s scary, you’re going to lose a lot of information, you’ll lose a lot of data, it’s going to take a long time to transition and when we don’t mind some of the stuff that did Infusionsoft does for us on the marketing side, so that’s good. So we figured out how to bridge that gap. We said, okay, what would we need to do? There’s a handful of manual steps that have to happen because we do that, but it’s a couple minutes versus – and it’s for the highest qualified person versus the whole manual setup. Yeah, we’re a little unique, but that’s all right.
Jesse Stoddard: 31:52 What a marketing or business and sales books would you recommend?
Ryan Ketchum: 31:56 So marketing, Dan Kennedy’s Ultimate Sales Letter. I think everyone should read that so that they understand how to write sales copy. That’s a great one. I cannot think of the name of this book. Brian Kurtz and Craig Simpson wrote it and they broke down like all the copywriting greats.
Ryan Ketchum: 32:19 I think it’s in my home. The Advertising Solution and I look over my library. I was at a mastermind group with those two. They are amazing. Like old school copywriting, I think that’s amazing. Chet Holmes. Ultimate Sales Machine, I think is a must read and it’s much more than sales and it bridges the marketing piece in there as well. And then if you’re looking for at a comprehensive – Duct Tape Marketing I think is still really good. So I mean the list goes on and on. It kind of depends on what they might look for. Somebody read the Ultimate Sales Letter, Advertising Solution, Ultimate Sales Machine, Duct Tape Marketing. You will be able to piece the other work and strategy marketing plan that helped you hit your goals. No problem.
Jesse Stoddard: 33:11 Yeah, that’s awesome. Great List. So what, let’s talk about you for a second, what’s your USP Unique Selling Proposition and just what makes a good referral for you so that if somebody listening to this right now they know, who’s a good fit for you and your business?
Ryan Ketchum: 33:26 Yeah. So now Fitness Revolution, we help fitness business owners who run their own studio a bootcamp, even independent contractors who are control of their own income and their own growth. We help them with strategic business coaching. So it’s not just marketing, not just sales. It is how to become a better business owner. And those are all pieces of it. The thing that really makes us different is we had a different way of coaching and you get to interact with us. So there’s multiple ways to interact. We do virtual – Zoom coaching, we have live opportunities, and then we have an online platform as well. Each of those pieces work well together. And then we figure out how to find where someone is at and give them what they need right now while still being able to see what’s next on their journey. So that we can start setting them up for that and that’s where a lot of business owners get stuck is they forget to continue to develop the skills and competencies that are required to get to that next level.
Ryan Ketchum: 34:25 And so you get stuck and you get frustrated and you forget you have to continue to develop those skills. So that’s what we do is business coaching for fitness business owners, and then who’s a good referral for us. It’s a fitness business owner, primarily personal trainers, personal training studios, bootcamp, gyms, that sort of thing. If you’re that and you’re just stuck for some reason, they feel like there’s a little bit more in the tank, you’ve got this potential, that’s a great idea. You just can’t escape that, like ha amster wheel of chaos is going on in your business and get to that next level. You can’t figure out how to crack the marketing code, but you’re really great at what you do. Come to us. We’ll help you piece it all together and lay it out and fix up.
Jesse Stoddard: 35:10 Awesome man. So how can people find out more about you and your services and do you have any special offers or anything going on right now that we can share?
Ryan Ketchum: 35:18 Oh, let’s see right now, we do, when this will go on air go Our Academy is like our entry level offer. That’s where we put our curriculum that we’ve got a $1 trial. People can always reach out to me. I am not hard to find. I’m on email or social media and I’ll give them the $1 trial if the offer is expired at that point. That’s like a great starting point to learn, but they can find us at www.frnation.com. And that’s our main site. So tons of free content on there. They can find out more about the coaching, engage with us. I’d recommend you jump on our newsletter, get on our email list and follow along, see what we do. The the other marketers feel free to jump on there and just see what we do as well. And and then social media you can find us on, on Facebook, on Instagram. You can follow me personally, we have companies and I do a lot through my personal brand as well. It’s either Ryan Ketchum or RT Ketchum on either of those and then they’ll be able to find me, so I’d love to hear what people think and reach out and ask questions and I’m here to help.
Jesse Stoddard: 36:27 Awesome. And can you think of anybody else that I should interview for The Marketing Strategy Show?
Ryan Ketchum: 36:32 I didn’t think of this ahead of time. Let’s see.
Ryan Ketchum: 36:37 I will follow up with you. I’m sure that there is someone there that I can introduce you to.
Jesse Stoddard: 36:42 That’s okay. Yeah, I was just looking for anybody on the top of your head to say. I really appreciate the time. This has been an incredible interview. Ryan, you’ve given so much good content and value and goodwill in the marketplace, which is what you said that you guys do on a routine basis. So it doesn’t surprise me, but this has been fantastic. Any last words you want to mention?
Ryan Ketchum: 37:04 Not thanks for having me on. And hopefully we do it again some time. We’ll dive a little deeper.
Jesse Stoddard: 37:09 Yeah, probably have to do a part two. All right. Take care.