Episode 324

How to Fix Your Marketing Calendar with Clear Offers with Mark Fisher

In this episode, Mark Fisher joins me to talk about how to fix your marketing calendar with clear offers.

[00:00:00] Hello, my friend on this episode, I’m talking with Mr. Fisher, and we’re talking about how most of you are approaching marketing calendars all wrong. Many of you are getting way too detailed and conflating your marketing calendar with your social media content calendar. And in this episode, we walk you through our approach to organizing your marketing calendar by having clear.

Offers by making clear offers to a very specific audience and then structuring your calendar around those efforts. So if you’ve gotten messed up in a complicated marketing calendars from time to time, or you’re still swirling in a sea of confusing marketing calendars, this is a great episode for you to really focus in on what matters most and have a marketing calendar that actually helps you generate results.

So keep on listening, my friend.

Welcome to the business for unicorns podcast, where we help gym [00:01:00] owners unleash the full potential of their business. I’m your host, Michael Keeler. Join me each week for actionable advice, expert insights, and the inside scoop on what it really takes to level up your gym. Get ready to unlock your potential and become a real unicorn in the fitness industry.

Let’s begin.

Hello, fitness business nerds. What’s up? Welcome to another episode of the Business for Unicorns podcast. I’m back again with Mr. Fisher. Good day, my friend. How are you? I am doing well. I’m excited today. I’m excited because we’re diving in and we’re gonna be talking about how to create a bad ass marketing calendar that helps you make sense of what you’re gonna be talking about in your marketing, who you’re gonna be talking to and how to do it in the most effective way possible to make people great offers.

And as we’ll talk about in this episode, we have a free resource for you down in the show notes where you can get a list of Mark’s favorite high converting offers for, for [00:02:00] adding to your marketing calendar. So go check that out, but let’s dive in Fisher and talk a little bit about. When you think about making a marketing calendar, talk through how you like structuring it.

Yeah. I like having it, I guess I’ll start by saying like the core opportunity I see for most people is they just don’t do it at all. And, and I think the reason a lot of people don’t do it is it feels unwieldy. And that is a great cue that you are thinking about this wrong. This is simple. This isn’t a spreadsheet.

It’s certainly not a Gantt chart. And by the way, we’ve done that and that was maybe unnecessary for the typical gym owner. You need a Google doc and then you need to write month like January, February, March, and then under each of those months, you can talk about one to three things. That’s it. And then you’ll need to figure out like what those things are.

And conveniently, as you mentioned, Keeler, you can just download, just go to the link in the show notes and you can download a bunch of offers. But the way we tend to think [00:03:00] about this. at a high level is you can make offers to people that have never been clients, you can make offers or messages to your current clients, because you’re not always selling.

Sometimes the message to a current client might be an ask for a Google review, and then you can make a specific kind of sales offer to form a former client, which will not always work. But often be different than the kinds of offers you make to someone that has never been a client. That’s it. Yeah, that makes sense.

Let me just repeat back. So folks who are taking notes and want to get this right, you really just need a Google doc to make a marketing calendar. You just list the months and then each month you can have maybe one to three campaigns. And those campaigns are either asking for something or selling something.

And the audiences you want to think about is, are we selling to prospects or people who have not yet bought from us? Are we selling to current members? Either by asking him to do something or selling them an upsell, or are we reaching out to former members and asking them for something and just rotating through that audience, making different offers at different times.

Cause we all know different bait catches different [00:04:00] fish. You can’t fish with the same bait all the time. Are you going to catch only one kind of fish? And that’s the simplest version. It doesn’t need to be complicated. And I also, this is inherent, I think, in what we’re saying, but this is separate than all of you who also have maybe a social media.

Content calendar. I find when I get on the phone with unicorns, I members, they often conflate the two and they want to see all of that planning in one place. I don’t know if that’s your best move. This calendar we’re talking about today is like, what are the core messages that you are, you’re putting out in the world that might be in might influence what you do on social media, but you’re really planning, what am I selling?

What am I selling to each month? And this is the highest level place to start. Would you agree with that? Yeah, and I’ll say something that’s probably like going to get me in trouble is I would never use a content calendar. I never use a content calendar. It’s too complicated. I’m not going to write it down.

I just, I just make content. So I realized for some of you, like you maybe need that. I think a lot of you just get hung up thinking of the content calendar and you’re the sheets. And so [00:05:00] when I think about, so for instance, I do a lot of email marketing. I don’t have a calendar. Now I do have a marketing calendar.

Do you have a marketing counter? Do you understand? Because the content is always happening, right? Whatever your pulse is, one, two, three emails per week. Then for Instagram, three, five, seven feed posts per week. That’s always happening. And to be clear, I don’t want to put food for some of you. That’s actually valuable.

Think in advance of what you’re going to be doing when. I totally get that. I was going to say, it’s maybe more valuable for people who, who have to do like more collaborative social media content creation. If your team’s involved, you might need a place like a repository to put who’s responsible for making what, when, but other than that, that also should be simple.

That should also be a simple Google doc for what the theme of the week is or who’s responsible for posting what, when, but it does not have to be complicated. I think even if you have that. Having this big picture marketing messages of the month calendar is the most important one for anyone to have.

Yeah, certainly it’s the [00:06:00] reason we’re doing it, right? Because to some extent you could say that all the candy and the sugar of the value building content is the delivery system for the medicine of occasionally making offers, right? Because if you’re just putting out content and it’s all Gibbs and you’re never making asks or my preferred framing invitations, that’s weird, right?

Like at some point you have to. Make clear offers. And I think that’s something I see really, uh, wrong with most gyms, social media. And to some extent, even with a lot of their email marketing is they’re giving content, but they’re never making it clear. What would someone do next? if now is the time. And again, to be clear, we’re not suggesting that most of the time that these are aggressive sales messaging.

Frankly, I think there’s a time and place for can’t miss it, obvious sales message, just because the softer sales messaging is great because you’re not taking away social capital, but it’s also not as obvious, right? It’s the whole point. It’s a little bit more subtle. It’s going to pop out if someone is already actively thinking about something they might do.

So I do think there’s a time and a place on social media and email [00:07:00] marketing. To go hard and really make the offer, particularly the ones we’re talking about here today. Uh, and we’re certainly not advocating you do that all of the time, but some of the time you probably should just like make the ask, make the invitation.

Yeah. Let’s dive in. Let’s dive in and talk a little bit about the offers. Cause we, there’s a different way to think about crafting offers for different audiences, right? People who have never bought anything from you need one thing. Your current members need a different kind of offer and former members or past clients also needed.

different kind of offers. Let’s start with the first one. When you’re thinking about crafting offers for sure for prospects, people have never bought anything from you. How do you think about what they want? Yeah, it’s interesting. It strikes me. This is similar to how I think about referral offers actually.

So I share this just in case somebody is already aware of that, which is there should always be an evergreen offer. And for never been clients, you always have some sort of evergreen. low barrier offer. If they go to your website, they see a clear thing. If they go to Instagram, they see a clear thing. And that’s important because again, if someone is proactively [00:08:00] looking towards you, you need to give them something dead obvious about what they should do next.

That is a low enough barrier that they can easily take the next step towards working with you in a meaningful way. So to be clear, that’s happening all the time. However, the downside about that is it becomes snow blindness. After a while, if that’s the only thing you’re ever messaging. Then people, you don’t pop out quite the same way and to be very clear, I have friends, there are some markets, I have friends that have run the same low barrier offer for over 10 years.

So now it’s not going to happen in Manhattan, I’ll tell you, but in a lot of markets, you don’t necessarily need to change the low barrier offer. But what I prefer instead is just Get something that you know works pretty well. I’m not saying you can never change it, but then rather than changing the low bearer offer every three months, I’d rather punctuate with other kinds of offers.

And that can be a lot of different things. There’s a bunch of examples. Again, down, download the. a PDF that we’re linking to in the show notes and you’ll be able to see all sorts of different offers of it. But the key thing here is [00:09:00] understand the psychology of someone that has not taken action with you yet.

I like to make it very attractive, right? It’s the whole point. It’s very attractive. It’s time sensitive. I like seven to 14 days, shake the fruit from the tree. And usually what this will do is the people that obviously are like really high intent and thinking about doing something, they’re going to obviously do this thing.

But sometimes you’ll also shake some other low hanging fruit off the tree that just because the offer is so good or even just because it’s a very clear offer and it’s not something they have to weed between underneath your value building content, which they may not even read closely, it makes it obvious that, okay, now is an interesting opportunity.

I’ve been thinking about that, Jim. All right. Maybe now I’ll go and give them a try. I think the other thing that I would note here too, that becomes very important is this is, there’s obviously like the blanketing messaging, if you will, to anyone whose email you somehow acquired, maybe through lead magnets.

There is posting about this on organic social media so that all of your followers see this thing and that’s great. There’s an opportunity for a much more targeted messaging for anybody that has really [00:10:00] moved forward, opted in as a prospect that’s given you perhaps a name, number and phone name phone number and email towards signing up for some low barrier offer, maybe through a Facebook ad, maybe through your website and they either never responded or decided now wasn’t the time.

That bucket of people that have really meaningfully expressed interest but haven’t come in and done the thing yet could probably benefit from more specific targeted messaging and maybe some even like text messages, phone calls. Depends on the volume here, of course, and your capacity. But that particular my, here’s one, I’ll say this, here, you take nothing away from this podcast.

What I believe is the biggest missed opportunity of the well to go back to again and again, at least every three months, because you can do this every other month, as far as I’m concerned, someone that has given you their name, their email and their phone number on a page that was explicitly about coming in and doing workouts with you.

The people that have done that and either never responded or didn’t give you a hard no, they’re [00:11:00] I think you should be hitting like every two months. Go back to the well. Remember, if they don’t want to work with you, they’ll just tell you, no, they’re opt out. They’ll unsubscribe. But that’s very different even than someone that whose email you have somehow that maybe didn’t give such an obvious indicator of interest.

Or frankly, even your former clients who I love, we’ll talk about that in a moment, I’m sure, but I would probably advocate for a slightly like longer, uh, pulse symmetry and probably not quite as frequently. Got it. So putting aside those folks who are a little bit warmer, who you want to follow up with more frequently, the bigger picture takeaway for unconverted folks like prospects is to have an evergreen low barrier offer that’s always available, always running.

And then every so often punctuate that with something even sexier or at the very least, just a little bit more. Different to keep it spicy and keep them guessing and all those ideas for what those offers could be are all in the PDF So go download it my friends. Awesome. I love that and I love that Obviously the takeaway of someone raised their hand and said I’m interested.

I want more. I’m curious. Let me know don’t let leave I’m [00:12:00] hanging don’t leave them hanging. Yes follow up with them as much as you can take a pause and then try again two months I think that’s really critical. Let’s talk about the second group So as we mentioned, the second group is your current members, current people who are currently coming to the gym, have active memberships or packs with packages with you.

What are the kinds of requests or invitations or offers we’re making them? Yeah, it’s a high level there. I would almost think of it as a two giant buckets. One are upsell opportunities. So these are opportunities for them to Uh, send to a higher level of service with you to buy more comprehensive solution, whether it be a portal program or a higher tier of a membership or something that is allowing you to provide a higher level service in exchange for getting more revenue from someone that is already in your world, right?

And it is conventional wisdom and broadly true that it’s a lot easier to sell to somebody that is already a client or already a customer. So that’s one bucket. Yeah. I think the other bucket when we’re [00:13:00] thinking about our current members is not necessarily an offer per se, but it is a kind of ask, and that would be asking them for help, and that might be, we talked briefly for a moment ago about some sort of give to get referral initiative, which again is separate from the evergreen, ideally there’s always some nice thank you, but I’m talking about something to really highlight This is a cool opportunity to drive, you know, your friends in here so they can have a great experience and also is going to support your business.

Another example of the messaging you might do in a very targeted way might be a request for testimonials. It could be a request for Google reviews and to state the obvious, all of those kinds of requests. For various sorts of help, have a. more or less capacity requirement on you in the gym. And it’s a bigger or smaller ask for the client.

Obviously it’s a lot easier for someone to do a fill in the blank Google review that, you know, loves you verse to come in and prepare and do a video testimonial and et cetera. And now, again, I’m not suggesting as we think, zoom out to this marketing calendar that you’re making that sort of ask [00:14:00] every single month.

Again, I think that starts to get annoying. They’re already giving you money. They’re already your client. Right. So we have to be thoughtful. Once again, this can be overdone. You don’t want to just nail them with messaging. But in a vacuum, I think, yeah, every three months you can make some sort of ask of your members.

And again, whether that’s an upsell opportunity or an ask for one of the aforementioned kinds of help, you can decide. Yeah. It makes sense. So in this bucket, when it comes to making offers to your current clients, you’re either making them some offer to like basically buy more. Spend more or you’re making an invitation, like basically asking for a favor saying, give us a Google review, testimonial referral.

Um, and I think that’s a great way to think about this. And there’s examples of all of those again in the PDF. So y’all don’t have to think about it, just rotate through. And I think that last point was important for sure, which is if we’re making these kinds of asks every. Single month might get a little tedious.

So you got to spice it up and rotate, even asking, having referral asks that are less give to get, and more [00:15:00] like here are three free passes to invite your friends to a wine tasting we’re doing, or here are three free passes to invite your friends to a workshop or offering so that your referral ask is not always in the form of give me your friends.

Contact information, right? Referral ask can be in the form of giving people invitations or free things to give away. And even that helps spice up the messaging. So you’re not always giving names like a little referral monster. We want to be a referral monster, not the obnoxious kind. What about the final bucket here, which is all about getting past members back.

And again, this is a whole different kind of audience. These people already know you already like you already trust. You’ve already paid you, you or other people on your team might have a great relationship with them. So how do you think about. The pulse of reaching out to them and the kind of offers that will resonate with this group.

Yeah. So again, the huge advantage here, again, these are people that already know you and like you and trust you. And here’s the thing I think it’s important to appreciate logistically, it’s actually easier for you to loop them back in because they don’t need to be on board, right? They [00:16:00] already get the rhythm.

They already get what’s going on. There also is a, I think actually like a familiar but novel. vibe that’s positive for them and for you because they already know the place, but they’ve been away for a while. And oftentimes that means they’re going to appreciation of what you’re doing. And we all know, listen, there’s a certain amount of work to teach your systems and just make people comfortable and understand how to do things in your culture.

And what’s awesome about former clients, you don’t have to pay that operational tax. It’s also important to know from a marketing perspective, you already have their contact information. And Very valuable to speak to these people. So as far as what those offers are, once again, a lot of offers, you can check them out in the PDF download, but I like to go big on this.

I like to do things like, I don’t know, like I love doing like a free month. for free month of any membership that they want. Particularly it’s a time of year where you don’t know, where you know you don’t have maybe a little lighter, there’s going to be capacity anyway. And [00:17:00] again, there’s not a big operational tax.

It’s not that hard to just get them on in there. Now here’s the only thing I would say about former members, I think two things I think one is Remember, they did break up with you, right? So I don’t know that you want to be going back to the well every two months on this one. I do think if you overdo it, former members will start to say, okay, I broke up with you or not together anymore.

And even though like it’s coming from a kind place, I think this actually, you can burn out this audience a little faster. And I think related to that, the other thing to understand is to temper your expectations here. If you have, let’s say 100 former members, I’m not expecting 40 are going to come sell a membership off this.

Right. You’re not going to get like a massive conversion on this. The opportunity here, however, is the conversion you get is going to be pretty easy because it’s not going to be everybody, but a lot of you listening, if you just pick up a couple extra members. If you have three net members of people that you love working with that already know the gem that start next week off some offer, that’s not nothing like that’s going to be a meaningful thing, particularly for those of you that run smaller organizations.

This is also one of [00:18:00] our go to strategies when we want to support somebody and really move the needle on revenue fast because even people that are less sophisticated operators that don’t have an enormous list. If you’ve been opening. Transcripts at all. So even for a year, you’re going to have some percentage of people that you have already worked with that probably didn’t run out the door screaming, didn’t hate your guts, that if you are thoughtful about really messaging them, giving them a dedicated offer, You can actually drive, drive some growth in your business and get some of the people back in there.

Yeah, 100%. I think this is definitely low hanging fruit for people who often want to come back and just haven’t been offered a chance to. They totally will if they were just asked. They totally want to hang out again, but they just have, you know, didn’t know that you also wanted to hang out again. And so I think just making the ask is sometimes all it takes.

Well, so much. Well, let’s wrap it up. Cause I think that the PDF attached speaks for itself, but I think just going back to the idea that using these offers to help create a really simple marketing counter for yourself is the takeaway here, right? And I think even for those of you who have [00:19:00] pretty limited capacity, if you just circle through one of these a month.

So each of these three groups is getting hit up once a quarter for you. That’s a great place to start. You may want to ramp some of that up a little bit more over time, but even if just once a quarter, your current members are getting asked, your prospects are getting an ask, your four members are getting asked, that’s a great place to start.

And as Mark said, the one you want to ramp up first to the people who’ve opted in, who are those warm ish leads who you want to circle back to, you want to Circle back to them more than every three months. But for now, I think just creating a calendar where you’re circling through these offers on a regular basis, I think is a great place to start.

Other final thoughts on this one, Fisher. Yeah, I guess my, my final thought I’ll say here is the art here. Like with a lot of things you do in your business is you’re going to need to test. which means you’re going to be purely trying new things, but you also need to occasionally pick winners. It’s okay.

This one feels like it really worked. So the mini challenges in a given year, you’re only going to get so many swings at bat, right? So the, this is much less common. [00:20:00] The core issue for most of you is you’re just not doing any planning and I love you. You’re completely reactive. There’s no plan fly by the seat of your pants.

So I think you can plan out a little bit more. And I like to think I think it’s good to sketch as much as 12 months out, but really focus on the next three months because in four months we might all be zombie dinosaurs. There’s nothing to say that we will not all be literally zombie dinosaurs. So your second issue I see, however, is you get really into this and then it gets too complicated and there’s too much messaging because the many challenges that gets annoying is.

I’m going to get, there’s a zillions of offers here in this list. Some of them are great ideas that you’re just never going to get to test because in a given year you only have so many at bats. I just want to warn you, know that is the case in advance, find winners, stick with winners and get some pulse of periodically testing other things, both to see if you can find other winners and to give these audience buckets different things for their eyeballs.

So it just doesn’t all become snow blindness. Yeah. I think that’s a great way [00:21:00] to end. Awesome. Thanks for this great conversation. For sure. I think that the lead magnet down below my friends is super valuable. So please click the link and go grab it. I think it’s a great resource for creating your marketing calendar.

And as always leave us a five star review everywhere you listen to this podcast, because we’re awesome and we want to find more awesome people like you to be our amazing audience. So thanks for listening and I’ll see you on the next one. Fisher have a great day. Bye. Bye.