- You want referrals from clients
- A referral is a warm intro – not a sales call
- You have plenty of opportunities within your walls
- Consistently ask clients for reviews
- Get testimonials and case studies
- Have your clients check in at the gym
- Tag clients in posts when they’re doing good stuff
- Have a free Facebook group that non-clients can check out
- Listen for even more great ideas to grow your ideal business
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here and in today’s episode, I want to talk with you about growing your business from the inside out. Let’s get started.
Welcome to the fitness business school podcast. The show for fitness business owners who want to grow their income, increase their end impact and improve their lifestyle. Be sure to listen to the end of this episode, because we have a brand new special offer exclusive for listeners. So stay tuned.
So today I wanted to kind of unpack a little bit of business growth advice, but you know, so many people when they talk about growing your business through referrals, they’re kind of a one trick pony. You know, they, they tell their clients, Hey, if you refer somebody, I will give you this reward. I’ll give you a month free, I’ll give you some sort of bonus or incentive and, and that’s it. And they wonder why they aren’t generating the type of referral kind of volume that they’d like to, to generate, like they’d like to create. Well, for me, I guess I think of growing the business from the inside out is referrals plus, right? Like, I mean, for me, referring somebody is giving a warm introduction to the other people in our lives. It’s not the referring party’s job to become some sort of poorly commissioned
sales rep. It’s their job, should they choose to do it, to introduce us to other people in a positive way, and then let you know, let us do the job of making sure it’s a good fit for both parties to bring them into our business. So with that in mind, I wanted to talk about just a list, if you will, of different ways that you can grow your business from the inside out that you can generate referrals or generate new business through the clients you already have.
Now, what’s great about this is actually a host of things, right? Like the first is if you are busy, if you feel like, Hey, you know what? I don’t have a whole lot of time to go out there and learn how to run Facebook ads, and I don’t have the budget to maybe hire an agency or, you know, I can’t get out and do
a bunch of networking in the community because my schedule just kind of doesn’t work that way. Well, you know, I mean, I would, I would tell you first that, you know, our job is to grow the business. So we probably need to revisit how we’re planning and organizing our time, but that doesn’t mean that we
don’t have plenty of opportunities inside our four walls to grow our business from the inside out. So I just wanted to walk through, man o over a dozen different things, and I’m just gonna give you a quick rundown of what each is, because obviously it’s beyond the scope of a podcast to do a deep dive into
any of these.
But I’ll give you a kind of a quick rundown. If you are not doing all of these things, or, you know, if you’re not doing some of them, you know, there’s probably an untapped opportunity for you to grow your business in a different way. So the first is consistently asking clients for reviews. It, I don’t know about
you, but like right now as I record this, it’s the holiday season. I’m doing some final Christmas shopping here in early December, and I invariably look at reviews online before I make purchases. And I think that most shoppers do the same. People that are shopping online want to have some sort of evidence that they’re making a good buying decision. So if you are not asking your clients for reviews, ideally on Google, above all else, but reviews on any platform, then it’s a missed
opportunity. So we should be doing that. We should make sure that we’ve asked every client at some point or another to give us a review and create scenarios where they, continue to see that. So if they don’t do it the first time around, maybe they don’t feel like they have enough experience with us or whatever
else, well, we should be asking for reviews along those same lines, testimonials and case studies. So maybe not putting something on a different platform, but sharing their story. Now, yes, some people are gonna be apprehensive to give you a before and after picture or something like that because, you
know, they don’t wanna celebrate the before I get it. But that doesn’t mean they can’t tell their story and share an after picture. They can’t talk about their journey, what they were looking for, what they had experienced in the past, maybe why it didn’t work for them, or why the results didn’t last, and how
your place is different.
Well, we can be gathering those from our clients. We can ask our clients to check in. I think that, you know, just by having periods of time, maybe a challenge or something like that where you’re saying, Hey, check in when you get to the gym. It’s, it, it’s just putting it in front of the other people in their lives
on social media. We can tag our clients in posts when they do things well, whenever we’re celebrating them, maybe they hit a new personal record in something. Maybe they got their first pushup, first chin up. Maybe we just wanted to, you know, say they’re the client of the day, the client of the week. Well, if
we tag them and the other people in their life are probably going to see it, we can ask our clients to share posts on their social media platforms.
You know, we can create lead magnets. We can create posts of things that we think are representative of our business that answer the questions that our prospective clients actually have. And we can just say, Hey, you know what? This would mean a lot to me if you would be willing to share this. I want to
get this out in front of as many people as possible. And, you know, a couple clicks, and they can spread the word to the other people in their kind of social circle. We, if you have a free Facebook group, like I had to with our fitness business owners group, we can ask our clients to invite their friends to the free
group. Now, you know, clients may be apprehensive to say, well, hey, I’m gonna ask them to come into the gym because, you know, I don’t necessarily know that they’re ready to invest that kind of money or whatever else.
Well, it’s certainly a lower friction way to get them to invite people into our ecosystem. If we ask them to just invite their friends into our free Facebook group where we’re gonna share tips and advice and different things that, that might have value in helping them move forward towards their fitness goals.
We can get our clients to invite other people to charity events. It, it’s a really good first impression that if somebody comes into our business and this is their first experience, you know, we are raising money for a good cause. Ideally, a good cause that, you know, one of our clients is really supportive of involved in,
passionate about, we can ask our clients to share gift cards with other people, which is a very low kind of pressure, low friction way for them to spread the word because people can use the gift card when it makes sense for them.
So it doesn’t really put any pressure on that referred party to do something today. we can create, bring a friend days, bring a friend weeks that clients can bring guests. I’m a big fan of this idea of thinking about how many guests can we get in our facility in a month, in a year, because I think that our
clients can invite the other people in their lives, but we want it to feel like a guest experience, not like, Hey, we’re just walking somebody into the, the sales room. You know, we can create partner challenges where clients have to, participate with a partner for a challenge, and the partner has to be
somebody that isn’t currently a client. Those are very popular and, and I’ve seen people do great things with those. I’ve got a client, Matt Weaver, who has just added like, you know, over hundred people into his businesses, guests in these partner challenges. we can allow our clients to to gift a challenge to other people. So they don’t necessarily have to go through the challenge with somebody, somebody, but they can, you know, maybe we’re selling a
challenge to the general public for $149, but we give each client a golden ticket that they can gift to somebody else that waives the entry fee. We can use the ask for advice method that I coined a decade ago.
We’re basically, we’re asking our clients for advice on how we can connect with more people like them, or how we can get our foot in the door with local organizations or whatever might be relevant to that specific person. Because, you know, if you’re asking somebody for advice, it’s essentially a
compliment saying, Hey, I respect your opinion. I respect your knowledge, your wisdom in this specific area. Would you give me advice that’s different than saying, will you do this for me? We can ask our clients to introduce us to where they work, organizations that they’re involved with, with our business of the month, or organization of the month programs. When I owned a health club, this approach would routinely bring us in a half dozen to a dozen new people every
month to trial what we do. And the best way to do it was always just say, you know, ask our current members, Hey, where do you work? Would they be interested in this thing? If so, they become the ambassador to walk it into the business or into the organization. Along those same lines, you know,
current clients can be, people to get you through the gatekeeper for corporate programs. They can be people that are business owners or influencers in businesses to help you form strategic alliances. And they can even introduce you to organizations where they may have some sort of influence as a, you
know, potential public speaker.
So if you think about all the different ways that you can grow your business from the inside out, man, it’s so much more than, Hey, if you refer somebody, I’ll give you a month free. I mean, there’s just so many opportunities that we can kind of pick and choose a la carte and use the ones that fit us best.
We can cycle through things so it doesn’t feel like we’re asking our client the same thing repeatedly we can cycle through things. So maybe clients who don’t respond to one approach maybe the other approach or a different approach is a great fit for them. And what’s wonderful about this is the
prospects that they introduce you to, or the people that they introduce you to already come a little more qualified than the average person you’re gonna reach with some sort of advertising or whatever else. Because, you know, obviously they, you know, this new prospect has access to social proof that they
have a relationship with. It isn’t just some random testimonial that they’re seeing but don’t really have any connection with. It’s actually somebody that they, they know it’s somebody that they can talk to and ask questions of people are going to tend to introduce you to other people who might be a good fit
for your culture because they’re not gonna invite people into the business that they don’t wanna spend time with. So you know, if you are not thinking about growing your business from the inside out, it’s a huge missed opportunity. But even more so, it’s a, a way that if you’ve always kind of felt like, hey,
marketing is in one silo and coaching and servicing and delivering to clients is in another, it’s a way for you to see how this is all kind of co-mingled.
You spend time with a client, you do the best work you can possibly do, and then you try to create an environment or a situation where that client can introduce you to the other people in their lives because they’re excited about the experience that they have with you. So it’s something they’re willing to share.
So if you’ve not put growing from the inside out as a priority for your kind of 2023 marketing plan, this is a primer to get you started.
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