Fitness Marketing Tips -Laura Alvarado
Guest: Laura Alvarado
Release Date: 12/20/2021
Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.
Steve Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit Podcast where we speak with experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom and wealth. I am your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101. On today’s podcast, I speak with Laura Alvarado. She can be found a gym lead converter on Instagram and pretty much that handle throughout all social media. again to remind listeners, this is our fitness business marketing month.
So all the conversations talking to our fitness and health professionals this month are going to be around marketing tips and techniques. Laura specifically uses Facebook for almost all of her marketing needs.
And that is what she’s going to be talking about today. Now again, you she can be found at Jim Lee converter, what she does is helped personal trainers and fitness professionals attract, convert and retain those are her words, she helps with sort of like client relations and building your business also.
Now, Laura is not here to pitch her business necessarily on the podcast, right? That’s not why I’m having the fitness professionals on it’s just to explain how they market their particular business so that we can still tips and tools and techniques from them as we grow our business. Whether that is learning mistakes they made or learning the nuances of their particular marketing campaigns and how they run their business.
So again, Laura has done everything in the fitness industry. She’s owned big gyms, she’s worked for smaller facilities. She’s done done her own thing. And she’s now here to pass on her knowledge. And it was a great conversation. I’m sure we’ll have Laura back on the pod down the road discussing something else with no further ado, here’s Laura and I, Laura, thanks so much for joining the Trulyfit Podcast want to give the listeners a background and bio on you and what it is that you do in the health and fitness industry.
Laura Alvarado: Thanks so much for having me, Steve. My name is Laura Alvarado and I help fit pros attract, convert and retain clients so they can have more impact income and freedom. I started off as a one on one trainer working in San Francisco, I eventually decided to open my own studio, which was a really scary and exciting decision. And it was going great.
But it was quite literally the worst business model ever and made no money. So I rented the space to one on one trainers who brought their own clients in. So then I decided to change up my business model. And I offered large group training, which was great. I opened a second location, my business was doing extremely well.
I had a multiple seven-figure businesses, but I was working all the time. So the next kind of hurdle that I overcame, was figuring out how to stop working in my business and start working on my business. And I was able to basically become an absentee owner, I moved several hours away. I worked about 10 hours a week on my locations, and I only visited them about once a quarter, which was so great being a mom.
I basically started helping fit pros because a bunch of other gym owners asked me, How did I grow so quickly? And how was I doing it without being there? So I kind of fell into coaching by just others asking me what it is that you do and how can I do it too. So it’s
Steve Washuta: not just gym owners anymore? You’ll help just the average fitness professional FitPro.
Laura Alvarado: Yeah, I work with personal trainers, online coaches, and then gym and studio owners as well.
Steve Washuta: So did you just take all of the knowledge that you learned from having your businesses and being successful and then just sort of transition into your business? Or did you have like a business coach and you went through a program before you developed what you have today.
Laura Alvarado: So most of it is from implementing my own business. But that knowledge was acquired from reading a lot of books, both from people in the fitness industry, but also outside of the fitness industry. I always joke that the library was the best college that I could have ever gone to but also working with other mentors.
I’m a really strong believer that I think every person needs a mentor or coach, if you look at professional athletes, they all have coaches if you look at some of the biggest business coaches in our industry, they all have mentors that they work with.
And I think it’s really valuable because coaches push you to do the things that you don’t want to do just like you push your clients to do things that they don’t necessarily want to do on their own a good coach is going to get you uncomfortable which is going to produce growth so you know at what I’ve learned is accumulation of people I’ve worked with books I’ve read and then just trial and error in my own business.
Steve Washuta: Yeah that’s great information and I you know, shamelessly plug my book all the time fitness business one on one with the certifications don’t teach you and in that I also talk about how important it is to have a mentor and a coach and in our industry what you Do what I do. We want to help people.
So it’s not that difficult to find mentors, you can just reach out to people randomly and say, Hey, I like what you do. Do you mind if you know I get some information from you, or if you teach me the tricks of the trade and almost always provided we have the time, we’re going to help those younger people or those rookies in the industry.
Laura Alvarado: And it’s so important because I think as fitness professionals, we’re taught more certifications, equal or better business. And before I really started learning how to sell and market my services, I acquired almost a dozen different certifications, but none of them really helped me grow my business.
Sure, I knew a lot. But that doesn’t really, I can’t help somebody if I can’t get them through the doors. So I think making that transition from more certifications to more sales and marketing knowledge was huge in terms of not only growing my business, but the impact that I was able to have on my community.
Steve Washuta: And that’s one of the reasons I’m really happy to talk to you and have you on is, you know, a lot of the listeners are like National Academy of Sports Medicine, certified personal trainers, and the sort of the there’s some irony there, where National Academy of Sports Medicine themselves are so good at marketing.
They’re everywhere. They’re in every ad, but they don’t teach it. And they don’t teach their trainers how to do it. So their trainers are very baseline level certifications, and none of which involves how to properly market yourself and, and build your business. So that’s what obviously we’re going to expand on today.
And I want to talk a little bit about your program. Let’s just jump into that. What is your what is your program look like? If I Steve Washuta wanted to hop into your program today? Is it, is it for free, is there, is there a non paid version? And what does it look like from start to success?
Laura Alvarado: Yeah, so I offer paid trainings and tutorials. And I think that no matter what industry you’re in, you should offer something of high value for free. Because that’s how people get to know like and trust you. And I always use as a good rule of thumb, if you’re giving something away that makes you feel nervous, a little uncomfortable.
You’re like, I don’t know, should I give this away for free, then you’re probably on the right track. So most people who find me generally start out in my Facebook group where I have a ton of different free trainings that they can go through or on my email list. And then eventually, obviously, I have paid programs as well.
Steve Washuta: And do you try to also get people to start out in Facebook groups designing Facebook groups? Do you think that’s integral for personal trainers and their business? Or is that just how you run yours?
Laura Alvarado: Yes, Facebook groups are huge right now. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg said, he’s going all in on Facebook groups, and it’s a great way to build know, like, and trust and authority and just build a connection with your audience. You know, when you’re even if you’re running paid ads, you are fighting against everybody else in the newsfeed.
And what’s nice about a group is people can come to your group when they want to absorb information. You can have a guide section where they can go to find things and there’s different search tools, you can offer events. So it’s a really good way to grow a community and a following, versus some of the other methods that people use on social media.
Steve Washuta: Do you also have like a website with a lead page? Do you advertise? Is there anything else that you do to help your business continue to grow? Are you very heavy on Facebook specifically?
Laura Alvarado: I do have other things that I do. But 90% of my business comes from organic Facebook marketing methods.
Steve Washuta: That’s good to know. Yeah. I mean, it’s just interesting to see that you can be successful and profitable just doing that. I’ve seen it I’ve watched, excuse me, I’ve watched a lot of people specifically in sort of our industry in the fitness and health industry, really build their business through Facebook.
I think one of the great reasons why is because like you said, I’ll just sort of expand on that is people really get a sense of that community. They get to have free flow and free thought and start answering questions.
Before you know it, you know, you can be involved you as the business owner, but they take over the conversation. You don’t necessarily have to be there because they start answering their own questions. Do you find that’s the case and your Facebook groups as well?
Laura Alvarado: Yeah. And I also find, you know, people are more savvy to face to paid ads, like when I first started running Facebook ads back before every other fitness professional was running them. People didn’t really understand that they were looking at a paid ad. They’d be like, Oh, I don’t know.
You just kind of popped up in my newsfeed. I didn’t know what was going on. But now people are very clear that this is a paid ad and it’s a sponsored image. And there’s many many paid ads from Your competitors. So how are you separating yourself from the competition? And a group really provides a great platform for people to get to know you.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great point. I think, too, they, you might be able to speak to this better than me, I do remember them looking sort of aesthetically different. Like you said, at one point, when I used to look at the ads, they almost, were trying to replicate posts, and have you clicked on them accidentally, but now they’re, they’re distinctly ads.
Laura Alvarado: Correct. For most people. You know, what’s funny is I’ve tried many different kinds of ads, things where I’ve hired a perfect professional videographer or graphic designer. And the ads that always perform the best are just ones that are regular pictures or images that you would typically see if you were scrolling through your newsfeed.
Steve Washuta: Now, do you provide a and you don’t have to give off all of your secrets right here. But do you provide a package for your clients or set things that are like released weekly? Is it a one time sort of information dump? How exactly does that process go?
Laura Alvarado: Yeah, the biggest difference between some of what my competitors are doing in my program is I like to say my program is done with you instead of done for you. So with every client that I work with, I create a custom strategy that’s going to address the biggest hurdles and struggles that they’re facing in their business.
And then they’re assigned an accountability coach who works with them to implement that strategy into bite-sized pieces every single week. So if somebody is just looking to, you know, purchase a course, or collect a bunch of information, I’m probably not the best person to work with. But if somebody is ready to put in the work, and get it done, then it’s a great program because we literally show them step by step, here’s what you need to do this week, here’s the action items that are going to help you be successful long term.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, and there’s some irony in that trainers will tell their clients listen, you need to spend x amount of dollars, whatever it is, I’ll make up a number $600 to buy this package, because you have to invest in your health, yet trainers. And people in the fitness industry are unlikely sometimes to spend the money for themselves and their own education and to push their own business.
And I think it’s important to find people like you and others in the industry who are successful in helping people and pay the money and invest in yourself. Because there comes a point where these certifications and these continuing education credits are not really helping. They’re also just, they’re keeping up with your certification, but you’re learning less than them. And you’re gonna learn more from sometimes paying Poehler and the other side of the business, which we’re not as good at. And that’s the marketing and advertising side.
Laura Alvarado: And I think it really goes back to what I was talking about earlier, you know, nobody who’s listening to this and myself included, got into the fitness industry to become rich, like everyone I know, got into the fitness industry, because you genuinely care about people and you want to have an impact, but your impact and your reach is going to be limited. If you don’t, if you’re not a good marketer, and you don’t invest in yourself, and you don’t learn those business skills beyond just certification. So it’s definitely super important towards not only having a healthy business, but again, increasing your impact.
Steve Washuta: I just did a podcast on networking and the the ability to network I think both online and offline is is still necessary, in 2021, meaning you still have to be able to network offline, you still need some sort of component or business offline, because we just don’t know what’s gonna happen online tomorrow.
You know, Facebook could say, Okay, if you want to have this page. You have to pay X amount of dollars for something, right? So we don’t necessarily know. But with that being said, it’s also so important to scale your business. As you know, to have this online footprint, and you need to be able to show your face. And people need to be able to search for you and find you anywhere. And if whether it’s you don’t necessarily need to have them built out. But if somebody looks, you know, for Laura on LinkedIn. And she’s not there, then they never get to you, right. So you can obviously have them centered in one area like you do.
But I do think it’s important that everyone has sort of. You know, again, they just dip their toes into the water in each of the social media. So that when people go to find you, you then funnel them to a specific area. So that’s that’s going to lead into my next question. Did you ever think about using another platform? Or did you rely on a website and just go you know what, this doesn’t work for me. And then go back to Facebook. Or were you lucky enough to just start with your most successful platform?
Laura Alvarado: Yeah, so I always recommend choosing one platform.Going all in on that platform. Until you’ve got systems and processes built around it. And then adding additional platforms. Otherwise, what happens is people get overwhelmed. Because they think, okay. I need to do Instagram and Tik Tok. And face book, and you too, it just becomes too much content to create. An overwhelming, so I recommend starting with one platform and then expanding from there.
But you do need to have Omni presence nowadays, because people like to absorb information in different ways. And they also like to communicate with you on different ways. So it’s important to not only have a social media presence. But also to use text message email marketing. So you really have that Omni sort of presence. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do every single social media platform that’s out there.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great point. I mean, if you’re, you know, you’re going to be a master of none. You’re not going to be great at any of these. If you’re spread thin, it’s important to build out one that you feel most comfortable with. And then link yourself and funnel them to the one that you feel you’ve built the best. You know, presence on with your, your, your clientele. So I want to talk about some maybe tips that you would pass on.
And I’m trying to think of the exact person to make it a little bit easier. If there was somebody who, let’s say, was brand new to personal training. They just started, they got their National Academy of Sports Medicine certification last week. Have an Instagram, they’ve been telling people they’re ready to train. Haven’t worked at a gym yet, or they haven’t got that job at a gym. Maybe COVID or something else, and they are looking to build their business. How can you help them? And what is the first tip, what what is the first step that they should take?
Laura Alvarado: The first step is to get crystal clear on who you want to work with. Your ideal client. And one of the biggest mistakes that I see fit pros make when they first start out in this industry. Is they just say, Oh, I work with everybody. I work with athletes, I work with older adults, I work with women for weight loss. You know, I help guys get reps, whatever it is. And if you help everybody, you are helping really nobody. So if you can get crystal clear on your ideal client and who you want to specialize.
And who you want to specialize on, your marketing is going to become more magnetic. So what you want is to think of your ideal client as a very specific person. That when you talk to them, they’re like, yes, you know, you understand me. You understand my problems and my struggles, and you’re ultimately going to be able to help me. And it’s really hard to do that if you’re sort of talking to everybody. So to really niche down and get crystal clear on who your ideal client is. And that will help you create content for social media as well as market your business.
Steve Washuta: Does your program help someone potentially find their niche?
Laura Alvarado: Absolutely, yes. That’s one of the first things that we usually do.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, and thanks for joining us, you know, the sense of filter marketing. We’d love but also for purpose, social. I think people get lost in purpose eventually. And you know, having one core group of people who you continue to learn how to work with. And do your due diligence and invest that time and energy and effort to learning about it. Just it makes you more passion and purpose driven and not just sort of floating around the ether.
Laura Alvarado: Correct. You want to be known for one thing that you do exceptionally well.
Steve Washuta: So let’s talk about how people find you. What is the easiest way? Obviously Facebook is the easiest way. But how, how exactly did they find you? Where do they go to find all things regarding your program?
Laura Alvarado: Yeah, so the best place is my Facebook group. It’s facebook.com/groups/jim lead converter, I’ve got over 20 plus On-Demand training. So everything from how to attract clients, super simple and easy sales processes. How to retain your clients how to reactivate canceled clients once you start to grow. And how to hire, train and lead a team. So there’s so much information available inside of that group that’s available for free.
Steve Washuta: Awesome. Laura, thank you so much for your time and I hope to have you on another podcast on the road.
Laura Alvarado: Thanks, Steve.
Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.
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