The Bledsoe Show

What It Takes To Be A Strong Coach with AJ Roberts

What It Takes To Be A Strong Coach with AJ Roberts

In this special episode, we have AJ Roberts, Chief Revenue Officer at Genesis Digital, the company behind Kartra, Ever Webinar and Webinar Jam. We had a deep dive into everything that it takes on how to become a strong coach, having a support system, delegating, being responsible for your business, being an entrepreneur, and Kartra – the all-in-one platform that's going to change your coaching business forever. Enjoy!

Table Of Contents

What's Missing From Most Coaches

What's Missing From Most Coaches- Strong Coach - AJ Roberts
Photographer: Sergio Pedemonte | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. This is going to be, today's going to be a lot of fun. We already sat on the porch for an hour talking about everything. Of course. Anytime you and I get together, it's hours of conversation. Yeah, so we're gonna talk, we're talking directly to the coach today and building a coaching business. And one of the things I'd like to point out is this is not just for the person who owns the gym or has their own online business. Every coach out there is an entrepreneur, even if they're working for somebody else, because you ha if you're going to make it a career, you have your own book of business. So you have to sell, you have to do the fulfillment.

You know, the way the cash is flowing may not be up to you as much, but you still have to be an entrepreneur. And well, let's dig into that a bit because it's 2019 and entrepreneurship is on the rise. Large corporations are decentralizing. So from a, a global economic perspective, people are having to be more entrepreneurial, period. So what do you, how do you see coaches, what do coaches today need to have that, that didn't exist before? And also the coaching industry is exploding and a lot of people are wanting to be coaches but don't necessarily know how to make it a career. What are the pieces that people are missing?

AJ Roberts: I mean, that's a loaded question, but I think my friend Justin just posted a, diagram and it was shown like what skill sets you to have. And this was for marketers. And so, so, so if you know all marketing, this is why you're a bad entrepreneur because, you know, we always talk about specialists versus generalists and we say, you know, to be a great coach, you want to be a specialist, you want to have a subject and you, you, you know, you kind of want to be an inch wide but a mile deep.

You know, kind of like Louie Simmons is with, with, with strength training, you know, put him on the Joe Rogan podcast and now you're just shaking your head like, what the guy, what is this guy talking about? Because in the subject of strength, he's a genius. But when we get out of the side of that, it's questionable.

Mike Bledsoe: Well, those skillsets wise to be a great coach, that's the approach to be a great business owner.

AJ Roberts: You, you can only know one thing unless you build a team around you that does that. And so what we're seeing with entrepreneurship and the problem with entrepreneurship, or the problem with coaching or the problem with, you know, anything that's labeled as this is my job is that you see yourself and your identity is in that skillset. And so you go to certifications to learn how to be a better coach.

You invest in things that help you become a better coach, but you don't think outside of, okay, in order for me to do my skill at the highest level, I need to understand how to mock it, how to sell, how to, how-to, you know, manage my money so that I can reach more people. And ultimately, you know, if my mission is to transform the lives of those that I work with, how do I do that at the highest level?

And a lot of times that doesn't come from your skillset. It comes from the things that allow you to produce and perform your skillset at the highest level. And so that's where you have to start seeing yourself as more than just a coach. If you could, because that's ultimately if you want to spread your message and get out in front of the most amount of people possible, the only way to do that is starting to understand these other things. Otherwise, you end up getting taken advantage of because you don't know what you don't know. And so you put your trust into somebody else and humans, in general, let you down. You know, and it's, it's, especially when you're unaware, you know, it seems that those that are gonna take advantage of you will find you right. Like, and so, yeah, you'll find them.

It's Part Of Your Script

It's Part Of Your Script
Photographer: Brooks Leibee | Source: Unsplash

AJ Roberts: It's part, it's part of your, your script, right? You're like in the movie, you got to write the script. You need someone to take advantage of ease. Like, I get taken advantage of a lot. It's like, yeah, you put yourself in a lot of positions to be taken advantage of. Yeah. Cause I mean hot ends you up and then you, then you don't make those mistakes. But you know, you can help yourself out by starting to branch out on that. And so, you know, a lot of people that can look at the bookshelf, for example, especially if you're a personal trainer or coach, usually its anatomy, physiology, you know, you know how to not hurt you back.

You know, Westside manuals, you know, all these different things. There's not a marketing and sales, you know, even a business strategy. And so people come at this and then they, they, they start to think, Oh, I need this.I need that one. They need the whole picture. They need to understand how business works. First, you know, and that's really what we're seeing in the shift we're seeing, I think in entrepreneurship, is, you know, freelances and people like that. When you rely on other people to fill your schedule, you know, whether you work for them or not, you still have a job.

And we're seeing this right now with Uber and Lyft and the bill that just got passed in California saying it's ridiculous that you guys think you're not an employee to these drivers. And they're saying, Hey, we're not, we, we just match people up. We match the driver with, with the person who wants to think we're like Craigslist and that's our marketplace.No, they're coming to be a marketplace. If we take, if we take drivers away from you, you don't have a business, and there said, no, no, no, we're a tech platform with this. Well, for those drivers, if Uber tech took them away, how do they get business? Well, driving is still a skill. It's still a business. If they could get their own business, fill their own book, they would always have a job. So,

Mike Bledsoe: Well I watch a lot of, I don't know if you've had this happen, but I've jumped in a lot of Uber's and they're hitting a business card where they are building their own business there. There's little things, there are things that are forming

AJ Roberts: Because they see the writing on the wall. While they're taking responsibility, responsibility, and they know that the business changes a lot. And so with the autonomous cars coming, people are going, okay, as I may be out of a job, but there's still gonna be, you know, that's a long way away. But there's still gonna be people who want to drive her and who want people to feel comfortable when they get the same driver all the time. Right? So if we translate back, translate that back into coaching when you're, when you're working with someone, people are going to want to continue to work with you and have frequency with you.

And so being able to, to, you know, navigate that and set yourself up for the most success, to build referrals, to build a business, to be able to expand. Because at some point, hopefully, you, your businesses to the point where you have to hire other coaches. Well now you have to have a system and you have to be able to coach those coaches to, for them to coach the clients in your process and your system. And so that's when you move into leadership. And so, you know, the thing was skills, it's interesting is that if you learn the wrong skill at the, at, at the wrong time, well the right scale at the wrong time, it's not going to help you. Right?

And so you have to look at, with entrepreneurship, the game is, where am I at? What do I need right now? And I think sometimes that's hard too because people look at entrepreneurship and it is such a broad thing. And they'll start looking at investment strategies, but they don't have any fucking money to invest. You know, what's the point of looking at investment strategy if you don't know what to do?

Getting Stuck In Not Taking Action

Photographer: Mario Azzi | Source: Unsplash

AJ Roberts: And you have to have a plan for when I make all the money and I'm on now, and we mentioned this before, but it's this, you get stuck in learning and not inaction. And that's, that's the other, that the critical skill for it, for an entrepreneur, is to be able to figure out, okay, is this applicable to me right now? And that's why I always say it's very, you have to be very careful about the inputs.

And who you're listening to because you know, if you're listening to someone, it doesn't have the same business as you are in a different market than you are way ahead of you. Yeah. You're going to heal it here. Inspiring, motivating things. But how applicable is that information? And that's why the coaching business is very interesting. Because the best coaches tend to be the closest to the person that helps like they have the closest experience, you know, maybe they've gone through it themselves or they work with people closely because they understand the situation the best.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. That was a, when we were running barbell business and we had the mastermind, we opened it up to anyone in the fitness industry. And one of the things I realized as time went on is the people I kept in contact with the people I, I kept on circling and enjoyed hanging out with the most and were the easiest to serve where the coaches, cause I know the coaching business, that's, that's where I come from. And do we have, I think a lot of people avoid that because they don't want people to avoid reality. Hey, cause reality hurts, you know, when, when people go, you know, I'm the, I think a lot of coaches have a grandiose view of themselves and that is, I'm a fucking great coach. I know I've got this certification, this certification. People should be coming to me. And it almost angry that they don't have more clients. And like these clients don't know what the fuck they're doing. And you'll Ave because it's true. And a lot of it comes down to avoiding reality because reality hurts. And I think that for me, that's been a practice of I, the older I get, the more experienced I become, the, the more I enjoy success when I can be with what is true, what's really going on. And what you're talking about is looking at the numbers. You know, how many clients do you actually have? How many gym owners have I asked where I go, what's a, how many members did you get last? How many did you lose

AJ Roberts: All this. And they're kind of go, ah, and they throw out a number. I go, where'd you get that number? Oh no, no, no. They don't actually go look. It's just some, they're like, Oh, and why do people leave? And I'm like, Oh, most people are just like leaving town. I'm like, no, they're not. Yeah, no survey data. And that's the thing. And here's what's interesting. I, I, I see this all the time too. I had a client and when I was running masterminds who was in the mastermind and we asked him like how much money did you make in the last 90 days? And he took a pen and paper outside of writing down like every client he had and how much they paid him. I was like, you don't have a spreadsheet of this. Like in my head and like, no, that doesn't work.

But the reason I think that is is that everyone in your head is a fantasy, right? It's fantasy, it's easy to manipulate and you can have positive emotion. People are too emotionally attached to data, right? And I just shed this from stage. If you're driving in your car and the empty sign comes on, there was no panic. You go, okay, I got like 40 miles left. All right, got to find a gas station. There's no panic. Like you don't freak out. It's, I'll get more gas, right? But if your bank account hits zero, you are in a world of hurt. There's no difference in the situation. You just got to go get more money. But like we immediately freak out, right? Because whatever reason, we have an emotional attachment to money. That's the same in the business when people, I imagine, I imagine people are hearing you talk right now like, Oh you just go get more money.

Easy for you to say that that's true. But the, if they, if they're listening to this, they have a skill that someone else would pay them for. Right? So I always look at it like this, there's only really three problems in business, right? You either aren't getting enough people to see or to see in front of, in order to purchase from you. You aren't getting enough people to say yes, so you even have a traffic problem or you have a conversion problem, sales problem, marketing, sales, or you're not getting results right on the backside, which is an experience problem, right? You just look at your business. I would imagine if you're a coach, the marketing and sales get really easy when you're getting great results. Exactly. And I would imagine if you're, if you're listening to this and you're, and you're a coach, you have clients, and the question to ask yourself is, what is the result?

So you get those clients, and if it can't be quantified, right, if it's a feeling, what's really hard to sell feelings, right? And that's the personal development industry, you'll, you'll, you'll not see a lot of very high-end products unless it's attached to a celebrity. Right? So Tony Robbins can charge $1 million a year for his coaching and he, you know, full people at that level and the mastermind, because he's Tony Robbins will, you go down the line and you look at the personal development industry, there's not a lot of people who are charging $1 million like Tony. Right?

And that's because of the transformation. A lot of it's feeling, it's not quantifiable, right. His best clients are those that come to his business mastery program who get the personal development, who then say, you know, Oh my gosh, my business was transformed because I saw sorta bone shit out. Very similar to a lot of, you know, from the feedback from strong coach, I hear that's a lot of coaches. They were able to get their shit sorted, which then allowed them to build the business.

You Need To Love Your Business

This is a shot of the owner of New Zealand watch company - Hunters Race.
Photographer: Hunters Race | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe:    Yeah. We, we do personal development before we touch business because here's the, here's the bottom line is for a long time I taught business only and what the result was was people would achieve a result but still were unhappy. He's like, you built a business around someone else's model, built someone, built a business around, you know, yeah, the method works, the system works, the money comes in, whatever. And then people are still, you know, kicking rocks and being sad. And it's like, well fuck man, I'd rather you make a little less money but love your business. Exactly.

AJ Roberts:    And the thing is, is that it's hot. If you, if you said to people, come work out with me, you won't lose any weight. You won't get any stronger, but I guarantee in 60 days you'll feel better about yourself. That's a hard sell I've had. 

Mike Bledsoe:    That's actually funny because I've had of coaches that they've had the experience of feeling better and see how valuable that is. And then they want to start using that in their marketing. And I go, don't do that because people want that. They need a fucking number to attach to.

AJ Roberts:    Well, they need the, we give them, it's not where they come, it's not what they want. Right? And the thing is is you always have to meet the market with the, at the point they, the conversation that they have in their head. And so if they look in the mirror every day and say, I don't like the way I look, I'm fat, I'm ugly. Right? You telling them you are a beautiful soul like you'll perfect the way you are.

They, they might appreciate that, but the subconscious mind is going, fuck you. Fuck you. You like, just like someone might've thought when I said about making money easy, some of them like fuck you. It's easy, right? You telling that person like you're beautiful. They're looking at you with your six-pack abs. You think they believe you, like, like subconsciously. Right? And so there's a disconnect there.

But again, it's that message to market match. If you don't have that right message. And this is what frustrates coaches a lot, is that they see other coaches who are doing these quick-fix programs being successful. Like in the fitness space, you see the eight-week challenges, right?

Run a challenge and then I don't want those people to cause it's, it's a broken mindset. The thing is, is that you have to think about where that person is, what journey are they on? Someone who's trying different diets, telling them, Hey, diets don't work is a lot harder to sell than saying, Hey, stop this die. That's the last thought. You'll have a need. Transform their mindset in the initial phase and then continue on. And I think that that's something that like when you do that, now you get the results, right? And when you get the results and you get these transformations, true transformation, people actually changing, which is a question to ask yourself.

If you listening, if you're a coach, look at you, look at your clients and you know how many of them have actually gotten the results that they desire, right? If you're battling, you know, 80% plus you're doing pretty good. You know, this whole, you know, rule of, you know, 5% of the people you work with will ever do what you say. Well, that's a great average, but you should never try to stick to that average.

You should always be trying to break it. And so once you start getting the results, well now your marketing on the front end becomes easy. Because remember with a, with a mentor in the journey, we're not the hero, right? Like we begin as the hero because people are attracted to us, but we're the mentor. We're going to take them across the threshold. We're going to help them through the challenges and we're going to help them emerge on the other side.

We're not the hero. They're the hero of the story. And you know, that's what is so important when you have other heroes that have gone through that journey with you. Well, it's easy now to sell yourself as the coach because you've done it for you. You've done it for others and it's believable and they can see that. Plus you can share that journey the other person has gone on.

You can share the trials and tribulations. You can, you know, you can basically walk them through, Hey, this is what's going to happen. And then when that person walks on that journey, you know, and they say, Oh, he said this was going to happen. Well, now it's a lot easier to handle. When I went to Westside, I spoke to Dave Tate before I ever moved there and he explained the way Westside works and if anyone is unfamiliar, they can watch the documentary Westside versus the world.

So on Netflix and other places like that, but like you're walking into the Gates of hell and Mike's been there so he knows what it's like. But you have kids wise, you have characters there, right? You have the golden boy, right? Can't do any wrong. Then you've got the guy that Louise picking on all the time, you know, then you've got the up and coming lifter, then you've got the leader.

And so everybody falls into these different roles. Dave explained all this to me. So I go to Westside and when things start happening and Lou starts acting weird towards me and you know, things in the gym and people leave, I was so aware of it all that I was able to survive Westside and get the outcome that I wanted, which was that world record. But if, if I hadn't been, if Dave hadn't shared that with me, I wouldn't have seen

And then when it happened it would have been, what the fuck is this? You know, and I would have bounced. And I think that that's so important. So once you start getting those results, now you can turn your marketing into that and people are going to be like, man that that's like it's, he's talking to me, he knows exactly what I've gone through because what's happening is they have the cooler adventure, the cool to change and then they have the refusal of the change and they go back and forth and they just show you back and forth and your the difference.

And once they've stepped through with you, now you get to go through this path together. So mocking and sales become easy with the results. And I honestly think when people look at data, if we look at, if we want to take emotion out of it, look at how many people bring in, how many people will stay, right?

What's the result that you promise them and what's the result they got? And if you don't know, like you couldn't quantify anything. So if it is like if you do, so like if you coach someone on anxiety, right? You can quantify that. How many days? Like, how many times a day did you feel anxious? How many times did they, do you feel anxious now? Now you have a quantifiable result, right? And so you can, once you've had a study where they're measuring anxiety and depression and you know, on a scale of one to 10 today, what's, what's the level of anxiety you're experiencing? And if you're a human being, it's somewhere between one and 10. Yeah. And even myself

Know Your Numbers To Get Into The Weeds

Photographer: Mika Baumeister | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe:    Who I feel very balanced, I guess you could say. I feel very well adjusted as a psychologist, we call it. Yeah, it's still, there are days where I go, yeah, my anxiety is around two or three and I've gone in multiple sessions for four different things. And no

AJ Roberts:    And yeah, that's measurable and maybe a subjective thing, but at least it's, there's a metric and, and the thing, the thing is you here know your numbers, know your numbers and you can get into the weeds with that, right? Cause you can get, there are so many numbers you could pull, but you've got to look at, you want to look at what I heard that called smart numbers.

That's what you want to be paying attention to. And those are the one, the big tickers, right? Like two or three, right? Which, which really is going to be for most coaches, how many leads do they get? How many conversations did they have, how many sales do they have, how many, you know, how many people would pay to like, you know, conversation paid? Like, you know, how much money did we collect? And then how many people did the program, whatever that delivery

Mike Bledsoe:    And what's retention too. And that's the intention. A lot of, a lot of people, you know, they're like, Oh, I get really great results. I'm like, what's your retention like? And like, I mean, if your results were better, I mean if you're, if your retention, yeah, the people are like wanting to measure results and I actually see retention as a, as an indicator. It may not be the direct correlation, but it's a correlation

AJ Roberts:    And it's important because this is a number that can be improved, right? You hear a lot of people talk about funnels and in business and building a marketing funnel or a sales funnel. And I liked it, we like to call them con as I call them campaigns. Because I campaign as the full picture, right? A funnel. It might just be, you know, you'll see three pages of your website, but its campaign is the big picture. And I always tell people

Mike Bledsoe:    That a lot of people get stuck in tactics. Exactly. Like, oh, I'm going to do this. As you were talking about the, as you were talking about the beginner, I think about myself and business, in the beginning, I was getting people results. But then I was relying on all these marketing tactics and there was a disconnect between, there's a disconnect inside the business. So I was doing all these really, I was marketing really hard and then we were getting results, but we did not get, we did not do a good job of connecting the results to the marketing. Yeah. And that's something that we do really well now and all of a sudden marketing got it feels 10 times easier than it was even three, four years ago. Yeah. 

Think About The Customer Journey

The Journey Is On
Photographer: Clemens van Lay | Source: Unsplash

AJ Roberts:    If we zoom out, we were, we are talking about marketing and sales and like retention and stuff like that. Really what you've got to think about as the customer journey, right. That's all it is for if you will if you are going to take someone and for those that aren't familiar with the hero's journey, that's what I was referencing earlier. I would look up the hero's journey.

There'll be a diagram. You're on the stand. It, there are YouTube videos out there. But, but basically if you think of your customer journey as the minute someone hears about you to them as the stop point to the minute they give you money as the crossing the threshold point to all the way coming back, getting the results coming around, you have to understand that the marketing and the sales is only a quarter of the entire journey. Right? And that's why most people, they don't think about, okay, when someone comes in, what's that first initial experience they have with me

You know, what's the communication process? How do we get them to essentially get the results that they want because we know they're going to fail at least once or twice and then they're going to screw up. How do we know what's the, what's the length of time it takes to actually get that change? And, and what are the tools that we can provide, you know, as much as possible to do that.

And that becomes really what you're focusing on as an entrepreneur is, is how do we give that customer the best journey, the stuff outside of that, that allows that to happen? That's the business owner hat, right? That's when you're figuring that side out. But most people, they're not looking at any of that, right? They look at it's all cop compartmentalized and that's, I mean, we live in a society now where we break everything up so much.

Obviously you and I are very, we talk about this with the human body, right? Like in terms of like, Oh my wrist hurts. Okay, well where's that coming from? This is not, the pain is really not coming from the wrist. It's coming. Not the problem that the wrist is the, you know, surface-level problem. But let's go deeper. Let's go deeper.

And you start getting into cellular, you know, you, you go down. And that's really the same thing in business, right? What people think their problem is, is really not their problem. And it's a process of elimination. And I think that that's really what people need to start looking at. So, you know, when you go, okay, what do I have right now? Do you have coaching like system that you use, right? Or are you just doing what most gym owners do and it just riding the workout on the board, the day off, right?

Meaning you get on the phone and you're like, what do you need today? Right? Like that's not guiding anyone. That's not taking anyone on a journey. It's also not transferable right now you may have a series of questions that you ask them, you may have, there is a process that you use, you just unaware of it, right?

Because if you're getting results, you have to have a process that has to be a system that, and this is like system thinking that most people don't really, everything in our life is a system. You know every day that you live a certain like you do certain things in a systematic way and once you start to see this and you, it's just awareness right now you can start to tweak the system. And so when you look at your business, you say, okay, how do I operate as a business owner?

What's my current system? And if I wanted to change it, what's the system that would need to happen? And then what's the gap here and how do we make that happen? Just like any change, right? You look at your eating habits, what do I currently like, how should I be eating? Okay, how do we make that transition and change? It's not gonna happen overnight. You know, there has to be, you know, some allowances to go back and forth. But most people don't look, they look at where they are, they look at where they want to be. They never actually figured out that bridge, you know, and, and they'll invest in people like yourself or me who can help them with that. But if they don't truly ever understand it, you know, they don't really buy in if they don't in it never really happens.

Think About The Systems

Green rope meshwork
Photographer: Clint Adair | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe:    Yeah. I also, when I think about the systems, I think a lot of people are being introduced to systems that are aware of their systems that they can adopt or and like you were saying, they are operating within a system. They may not be aware of it. And what's in the way, you know, point a, I want to go from point a to point B and I'm operating inside of a system.

There are some things that I can, there are some processes I could adopt, replace what I've been doing with something that's better. But in the end, what the biggest problem that I see is people getting in their own way. It's like the systems work, right? And the same thing happens with training. An athlete comes in and it's like they're not getting some type of result and you go, wow, it's weird at every, you know, nine out of 10 people are coming through or getting resulted as one person is not.

And you start digging deeper and deeper and deeper and you realize, well it's cause they're not fo, you know, they're, they decided to change 10% of the system to fit something, you know, some type of personal preference or whatever, which is fine, but realize that it's not going to get the same result. You change one piece of it. There's that. And so the question I get asked myself, and we're prepping a with a strong coach right now, we're prepping for Q four so every quarter we put together a plan and go, okay, this is the goal for the next 90 days.

It's just like training. What do we want to achieve in the next 90 days and who needs, who's responsible for what, what needs to be executed? There's a plan in place and I noticed that anytime there is a failure inside of that, there was either somebody on the team didn't follow through with what they said they were going to do or I didn't follow through on how I was going to show up and operate the team.

Mike Bledsoe:    And so I, even as the business owner, I'd taken on as my responsibilities, even if somebody no longer should a week go by that I realized that something didn't work. If a longer than a week goes by where something's not working on the way to 90 days is 12 weeks. So if, if we're, I, I should not go longer than six or seven days before realizing that something's wrong. So less than 10% at the time. And then I get to make adjustments from there. But if I'm not being the entrepreneur, if I'm not really holding that identity, if I'm not the person, if I'm not taking full responsibility for what's happening in the business, then what ends up happening is 90 days go by.

We don't only hit our w, we don't achieve success and now I make it something that's wrong about me, but instead of me, instead of me pointing the finger at myself, I want to say, well, the system's not good enough. You know? Or, or some, it's something outside of my control. But in reality, I, I likely had some way to, to address it way earlier on, but didn't make it happen. Yeah. I mean, I think what's important, especially with like 90-day goals, it's like most people who have set them, but what they do is they set the go and then they, they add to it.

Right. And you were talking during the 90 days that weightlifting you working with and then they added extra workouts in. It's a, it's like, Oh yeah, for a month, for the month they start to the plan, but then they started feeling so good. It's like, Oh my, like we're, we're repairing her shoulder, right? We're repairing the shoulder. A month goes in, she's feeling amazing and all of a sudden her shoulder starts hurting. Eight weeks later I go well, well

Everything we're doing should be making your shoulder feel amazing. What's happening? She's like, well, I was doing jerks yesterday and I go, jerks are not in your program. And then I realize, yeah, the same thing. So I think like, what's that li

AJ Roberts:    That's the first thing mistake I see people do is adding to it, right? The second thing is they create a goal that like they know they not going to be out to do by themselves. Right. And I think the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is they think they're responsible. Right? And I found that the best entrepreneurs, I know, the ones who are the most successful, they're the ones who realize that they're the bottleneck, right? And so in a way, I dunno if lazy is the right word, but you have to, you have to say, okay, like I know my habits and I know my daily schedule currently, right? And I don't have the capacity to add in like, you know, learning like let's say you can want to add in Facebook ads. We just use Facebook.

Playing The Game And Seeing It Through

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Mike Bledsoe:    Well I think this is good. This goes back to being with reality, right? And so I've already maxed out on time. Let's add something. Right?

AJ Roberts:    And so like, if you know, you need, do you need advertising, right? And you're gonna say, Facebook ads are what I want to do, right? The question is who's going to do that? Right? And the probable answers are not you. Right? So then, then you'll, your task is finding someone to do that, hiring that person and getting into the motion as fast as possible. But I think the same thing like you said, you have to, you have to know whether that person is the right person as soon as possible.

Right? So if you're, if you're working with someone like you turn to advertise on in two weeks go by and you don't have a single lead, well chances are that person doesn't know what the, what they're doing and you're going to have to go find someone else. And so again, it's just a process of elimination. Eventually, you're going to find the right person, but people, they're looking for home runs too, too quick, right?

I want to run ads, I'm going to pay someone to run ads. Oh, it didn't work. Ads don't work. No. What you learned was that person and those ads that he ran didn't work. And it could be so many reasons for that. And so what you do, you have to be willing to do is say, okay, I know advertising and PR are important and I know it's going to come back to me, but there's going to be a learning process here and you have to be committed to that process.

And it's like, I think when I was trying to buy, my first goal in squatting was to get to that thousand-pound squat. I missed a thousand pounds many times, but each time you learned something and you go back to the drawing board, you train a little bit differently. And then eventually, I think it was five Oh six meets and I finally hit the, I missed, I missed it.

I opened with a thousand. I said, screw this, I'm just going to open with the way that I want. I opened, I missed it. And then I got it on the second attempt. But it wasn't the first time I tried a thousand pounds, you know, and that's in business. People say, okay, I need marketing, or I need to learn sales. And they'll get a script and they'll try the script and they'll get a no, and maybe this is fucking doesn't work.

Yeah, maybe it works, but you've, you've got to give it a fair shot. You know, you gotta, you know, and you can set that none before you. Right. And, but, but that's the reality. You have to have to get these skills and learn it and it's not gonna happen fast. Right. Technique wise, if you're a lifter, you don't learn technique the first time you try it.

Now, every now and again there's a unicorn that ruins this entire philosophy here because they do. Right? but, but chances are the UFC fighters, it's vegan. Yeah, it's good for everybody. Well, the person who starts their Instagram, six months later, they've got 100,000 people, right? There's, yeah, there are unicorns out there, but most people aren't.

The cool thing with the world is, is that you all have the same opportunity. The differences, we will have different starting points, right? And so, you know, someone's starting in poverty, right in a trailer park. Now they've got a lot longer path to climb to the top, but the path is still there. Right? Then if you start, if you're starting, you know, in an aristocrat family with money, you've got to, you'll close it to the end go. But it doesn't mean the opportunities any less. And I think that most people don't think of it like that.

The game is unfair, but everybody can be the winner if they're willing to play the game and, and see it through. And I think that most people just don't know they're playing the game. Right? They're in, they're in it, they're working, they never think outside. And so that, that's the first step really for most people is to, to change their identity, right? Like, like I'm not a coach. Like I'm a, I'm a business owner and like I'm an entrepreneur. Like I have to understand entrepreneurship beyond this. And were you there when I did that at the summit today? After you spoke, you spoke on day two? Yeah. I wasn't there. Yeah. The last day I had everyone write down, I am an entrepreneur.

I Am An Entrepreneur

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Mike Bledsoe:    And I had a warm, the guys, he came back to me later and he wrote down a, he didn't say entrepreneur, but he said, I'm a businessman. And he took on that identity. He said that was the biggest shift he experienced the entire time was taking that on because he had come from a family of the, there was a family business and the way that is a dad and whatever had run the business. He didn't like it. And so he associated it being a businessman with burnout and with pain. I had the same experience. My dad owned his own business and I wanted to avoid it. And so he said that when he took that on, he realized that he didn't have to be that kind of business owner. He could be his own kind of

AJ Roberts:    And he said that once he had that he got really excited about growing his coaching business. Yeah, no, a steal from Jay Z. But I like Jaycee's quote on, I'm a businessman, right? Cause your life is your life as you work. Right? And, and, and I think I've said this before probably on a barbell business podcast, but Gandy was asked like, you know, do you have a message?

And he said, my life is my message. Right? And that's really what we're talking about here. Like entrepreneurship, businessmen, like with investors, whatever it is. Like these are, these are just things that allow you to share your message to change lives. And I think that that's what most people, if they resistant to it for whatever belief system I have, like it'd be hard to like say, someone, a lot of people listen to this, probably don't have that negative association like the guy that strong summit.

I think most people do, definitely, they do. Most of them don't consider themselves a marketer, but if they had to say I'm a salesperson, they would like to curl up. Right? Because of their, what they associate with salespeople, sleazy car salesman. Like they always think of that versus the salesperson is someone who you talk to someone and you make them realize that in order to reach their goals, they have to step across that threshold to work with you. That's, I mean that's what you're doing. You're, you're essentially giving, you're empowering someone to make a commitment to themselves to move forward. Right. But it's the, it's the language and the language patterns. I know you guys do a lot with and lifted around that. That's what people don't realize is that a lot of the times they hold themselves back because of false beliefs about things.

And if they just understood that like there's the craft that you perform, and then there's the selling of the craft, right? And the organization around that craft. And in order to be able to build the business that they want to help the people, they want to help, they have to think more than just, you know, I'm a coach is too limiting.

It's, you know, it's going to hold them back and it keeps them from really moving where they want to go to. I think it's a, it's not just limiting your business, but it limits you in life. I, we see this with athletes, you know, I'm an athlete and they have no other identity, right? They don't even allow themselves to own another identity. And so when the athlete part is over, they go, who am I? You know? And for me, it's I like holding multiple identities.

So if one identity is suffering, so w one of mine is, I'm a, I'm a world-class CEO, right? And so that's, it's a mantra slash identity. And not every day do I feel like that's true, but I'm also a lot of other things. Yeah. I'm an as like, yeah, I'm, I'm, I may, I may on, on Saturday afternoon, I may not feel like a world-class CEO, but I'm a world-class something else. So there's so I think it's important just from a satisfaction perspective. Yeah. And then also I've been without a company before, you know, I, I've dropped a sport before. I've, you've left things where it was, you know, it's like, Oh fuck, who am I now? Yeah. But if you're holding multiple identities that it's a lot easier to shift into something. Well, the concept of resurrection, right?

It's a biblical process and probably lose half the audience here, but like, you know, in order to emerge, to move forward as a rising of the Phoenix, like the has to be a death, right? It's literally like the death of the old self to emerge into a new self. And that's the thing with identities as they serve you when they serve you. But then, you know, it's like a hat when you don't need it anymore, you can take it off.

And these are the essentially the masks that we put on in society because if you strip everything away, we're just humans that need to reproduce. That's the whole point of everything. Everything else has been created, right. And when you see it like that and you realize that like we live in a creative world, right? Meaning that everything around us, everything is a crater has produced and it's not needed.

It's not necessary. You know the, it changes your thought process in the sense of, well, what are you actually doing and why am I doing this? What, what, what significance do I get out of it? You know, for me, when I left the powerlifting and then emerged into CrossFit, then emerged into bodybuilding and then said, okay, I need to figure out how just to like not to be so extreme and, and almost died in order to try to like achieve something that means nothing.

Then you, then you get into like, you know, I do yoga now and I ride BMX and I go for a hike and I go hiking. I do all of these things that honestly when I was powerlifting, if I was doing yoga, I wouldn't have told a soul in the world. I would have been so embarrassed. And now I see how screwed up my body is and how much I need to like, you know, cause long longevity.

One of the factors there is flexibility, right? I'm going, man, if I can't touch my toes, I'm probably gonna die young, right? It changes shifts. But, but when I was identified as a powerlifter and the life that I live, like yoga, and those people were like, you know, so far away from who I was that I couldn't even imagine doing that. And so if I hadn't shed that identity, if I was still powerlifting, even not competitively, and, and I still had that identity, essentially I'm keeping myself back from longevity. Right?

So you have to shed it in order to be able to then step into the new identity that allows you to move forward. It's definitely easier said than done and letting go of old identities and taking on new identities as a practice. It's, it's a skillset. You can get better at it. You've gotten better at it. I've gotten better at it. The transitioning from one identity to the next is becoming easier and easier over time. And I know that the first few times there was that, that transformation, that metamorphosis, there was a lot of suffering involved because of the attachment to that identity. And most, I imagine

Shifting Identities

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Mike Bledsoe:    They're listening to this, they've only lived into one and two. You know, they, they don't have a, there's a there hasn't been so much experience that there's been a lot of identity shifts where they are in practice of it yet. And so there's a super high attachment and an inability to even consider things outside of that. What, what do you recommend as ways of, of to that person who goes, I, I think I know what you're talking about. But like I am an athlete and I am a coach, what do you mean? I can be more? Or I can shift my identity? Yeah. I mean,

AJ Roberts:    As a coach, this is what we're asking our clients to do. Cons constantly, right? We're always asking our clients to shift their identity. You know? And that's the thing that I think the first thing for everybody to always understand is when you make a decision, right? And for example, when your client makes the decision to invest in you and has you as that coach, like you both understand that the first thing that's gonna happen is you go on a wall, right?

With the dragon, right? Like the battle is like they're investing in you to take them through the battle, right? The resistance and all the things that come up. Because it seems like the minute we decided to make a change, we're like pulled backwards. Right? And that's in my opinion, like the, the simplest thing, you have to have a coach. If you're in the business of selling coaches, you should be in the business of selling coaching.

You should be in the business of believing that you need that coach. And you need to be in an environment that's going to point these things out to you. And because you don't see like, as they say, it's the hottest thing to see is yourself, right? When you look in the mirror, do you truly see yourself?

And oftentimes other people will see the greatness in you, but they'll also be at a point out that, you know, the not so great things better than you can be because we are naive to that. We learn to live with ourselves, right? And so you have to be in an environment that's gonna point that out and be willing to do that work and to know that it's going to be painful. And I think that that takes courage, you know? But the best way to do is to leap.

And they always said that phrase of entrepreneurship, right? An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off the side of a building and builds a parachute on the way down, right? So if you, you know, like inside you're like, I have to change. Like, I know I have to change until you actually hire the person that's going to help you. You're not committing to that change.

The minute you hire that person, what you're really saying to send the signal to the universe and, and to your subconscious superconscious is, I'm actually committed now. Right? And the minute you're committed, I'm actually committed to doing the work. Right. And that's the difference. And that's what that, so, you know, so if you're, if you're an athlete and you go, you know what, this is not fulfilling me. I know it's not fulfilling me, but I, but, but competing and everything is part of who I am.

Find the athlete who used to be the be an athlete who's now something else, like the person who's walked that path, who can then walk you through like, this is how you're gonna feel. This ain't dude. I mean, when I watched the documentary for the first time, I was in tears and you know, I turned to my wife and I was like, we gotta move back to Columbus, Ohio. I got to stop powerlifting again.

Because immediately, well, I shifted and, and the, the, and everything filled me, overtook everything. And so immediate, I was back in that older and identity, you know, I'm going to be 330 pounds again. I'm gonna go break the world record that Louis needs me. The gym needs me. Right. Like which is all ego, right? And then I said I'm going to go meditate. And so I went and did about an hour of meditation and come.

I said I'm good, I'm good. But I had to catch myself, you know? And that's a thing. It's like I'm lucky to have a super way of wife that can just point anything out, you know? So she's, she's a mental to me every day and my two-year-old also seems to be the biggest teacher I've ever had. But it's having the people who can point that out. You know? Like when, when you say you want to do something, that's your true most of the time that's your true voice. Then everything you do that stops you from doing that. That's what you've got to figure out how not to do that shit anymore. Right?

Mike Bledsoe:    Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think a lot of people are afraid to hire, like go into coaching because they don't know how it works. Like you're saying, you know, if for me having a coach, you know, running a coaching company and then if I didn't have a coach, I would immediately be out of integrity. And if things started falling apart, I would go, well, of course, it's cause I'm not, I'm not investing in the thing that I'm asking other people to invest in. And one of my choices in hiring the coach I did was one of it was a, the price point is like I should be paying more for my coaching.

That what I'm asking people to pay me for my coaching. And so did I say that right? It doesn't matter. You get what I'm saying? And it's, it's one of those things where I'm in, when I'm in the process with my coach, it might feel slow and there are some realizations that happen and I, and a lot of insights, but I've been working with the same coach for nine months now, hired them back in January.

It is. And every, I'd say once a month I go, okay, do I really need this coach? Is this something that's really benefiting me? And then I do a quick recap. I, I write down all the stuff that's happened since January and I go Holy shit. And I can attribute the fact that things happen to that relationship.

I can attribute the ease in which things I moved through things. Ah, to that end, I can also attribute doing a lot of things. The things I wouldn't do were, so like this morning, right, I sent, I had to send an email I really didn't want to send it was and mm. I knew that my coach was going to send me a text today asking me if I sent that email, you know? And I was like, alright, I hold me to the vision I've set for myself.

Good Coaches Will Help You Create A Better Vision

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Mike Bledsoe:    And then the, you know, I, I believe good coaches will also help co-create a vision that's greater than what you could, I imagine for yourself. So say, Oh, I see myself like this and they go actually see you 20% better, you know, or more, or having gone further than what you're imagining for yourself.

And so that's been an incredibly, incredibly valuable when I shift gears a little bit, because of this, I want to go into your specialty. I don't know if you're, you're, you've got many specialties, but I wanted to talk about what are the initial steps to building a successful marketing campaign? You started talking about marketing campaigns and the different aspects of it. And a comment, there's a few common things that are the most common questions we get from people are what exactly is a strong coach? These are the questions that come in over Instagram.

I look at things, people what exactly is happening? So I'm like, I'm like, shit man, I gotta improve my marketing. If they don't know already then so there's that one piece. Another one is I don't have enough it money comes first is a lie. I need to make more money. Like money is a focus. And the other one is time. It's like those go hand in hand. It's like, Oh if I had more time I can make more money. Like, cause they're exchanging time for money.

And then the other one is marketing is, you know, what, what is it you want to do better? Or w what's holding you back? Well, we'll ask people commonly what's holding you back in your coaching business and time. Money is the big one. And then marketing is another one of the big ones. Cause I most people in their mind, the solution to their problem is more clients. So what do you tell that coach who's in this mindset of I need better marketing? What're their first steps? Yeah. So I mean

AJ Roberts:    It's really simple. You, we mentioned earlier campaigns, we've mentioned systems. So really what you have to have is you have to have a process that's PR that's predictable, right? And so typically most people have a website, but a website is just a brochure, right? Like doesn't do anything for, for most people because there's no reason for someone to, to then continue on with you. Right? So I'm a big direct response marketer. So for me, what direct the simplest form of direct responses, every single point has, has a purpose and it leads them to the next conversation. For example, if you have an email list, can you tell us the difference between direct response and other types of marketing?

So like branding for example, like, and you can just, most of the commercials on TV, it just branding, like they don't necessarily create a desire to immediately go to, to purchase that product. Whereas for example, if, if like a Starbucks did a commercial and they put a coupon code up and it was only valid for the next one hour, well now you're getting into direct response because you have to take an action, right? It's not just a commercial about Starbucks. Now it's a commercial, but it also has an action that you have to go take, right? So direct response is really leading the prospect to take that next action.

Common Mistakes Of Most Businesses

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Mike Bledsoe:    Well, I want to point this out. This is a really common mistake I see for most businesses, not just, not just coaching, but most businesses are. They want to do branding and you're like, oh, I need more awareness. I'm like, no, you know, cause branding is awareness that this thing exists. And what I've seen just in, I've, I've been an entrepreneur for 12 years now and learning more. I think I'm learning more rapidly now than I was ever before, which is crazy and awesome. But what I've seen is until the company gets to about what, $10 million in revenue dumping a lot of and investing a lot of time and energy and money into branding is

AJ Roberts:    I wouldn't say it's pointless, but it should be a back seat to direct response marketing. Direct response marketing should be responsible for the first $10 million and more than I think to be honest like it's not measurable. And so it's definitely, I know branding is, branding is not measurable, so you don't actually know if it's working, right, right.

It's, it's a, it's a crapshoot and you're competing against the big businesses, right? So you're playing a game where you're going to lose because you don't have the money they're going to have, like if you came out with a new drink and you wanted to go against Coca-Cola, like who's going to win? Like they are going to win on the branding side, right? But if you take a different approach and you know, you get them, you get in front of the right people. So people who'd be interested in your drink and not people who are probably gonna drink Coca Co

So you go and you go, you know, through different things, you figure out how do we, how do we market to those people? How do we get them to want the drink? And that's the difference. It's a very thought-through process that's measurable. So for most coaches, you know, really the thing, if they want more clients, I got to have more conversations and those conversations don't have to be on the phone. I know coaches who close through Facebook chat, it's not like you have to, you know, Oh, you have a salesperson. And so, but there has to be a sales mechanism sales letters work as well. So copywriting was sales letters. So you have to have that. The easiest thing, obviously it's gonna run an ad. And I always think the easiest way to get a client is to buy a client, right?

And you just buy them less than what they're going to give you. It's, it's simple. It's simple math, you know? If I can pay Facebook a hundred dollars to give me a client and their initial payment, you know, is a thousand. I do that all day long. So we have to have an advertisement and the depending on what platform are you on, like you know what you like, right? And that's the thing, you'll hear different people's, he got to do this, you got to do that. My, my thought process is, is that you know, what you like and what you've purchased from, right?

So don't do something you like. If you've, if you've seen someone's ad and you've purchased a product from them, that's probably a good example of what might work, right? So it's not that hard to go look at, you know, you can use it different websites to look at who's running ads and stuff like that and see what works, see what you like and find your style, find what you like, but you got to have an ad then drives them somewhere.

Right? Cause to go watch the ad. What's the next step? Why do you feel about ads versus organic traffic? So again, here's the thing, if nobody knows who you are, nobody's going to find you, right? So the thing with organic traffic is it's slow and it's hot, right? And so what I mean by organic traffic is just posting the Instagram and Facebook. But again, it depends on your following, right? If you don't have a following, how are they gonna find you? Now you could try to manipulate it.

Hashtags do stuff like that. But again, now you're trading a lot of time, right? So if you don't have money, you have, you have one or the other, you have time, all you have money, right? Like so if you're completely broke, right? You owe you have is time, right? But you're going to want to try to shortcut that process by finding someone you can, who already has the audience that you can provide value to, right?

So if you were going to go the organic route, for example, and there's another coach that has 10,000 followers, but they coach like let's say it's a mindset coach and your physical fitness coach, well you two could partner up and you could do something on their Instagram page that then drives traffic over to you, vice versa. Cause it's a value add to their clientele. But whatever you do, let's say you, let's say you do organic, so you're doing paid advertisement, all you're doing organic Instagram posts, whatever, a with an influencer, where do they go from there?

Right? What's the next step? And you know, a lot of the times you could right there and then just say, Hey, if you're interested in this, just jump on the phone. Cool. And let's jump on a call. But you're not qualifying your prospects, right? Meaning then might not be ready yet to take that path or you, cause they don't fully understand what it is.

Knowing Where You Should Focus On Your Business

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AJ Roberts:    So let's say you sell $1,000 program and you buy $1,000 worth of traffic, right? You only need one sale to break even, right? But you can't, you're not going to feed your family on breakeven but one. But if you spent a thousand and you got zero sales, then the question is how much do I have to spend to make a sale? Right? And the reason for that is, is that if it costs you 2000 you make a $1,000 sale. What you actually learn is how much traffic did that $2,000 send you, right?

That's the amount of traffic you need. So now you got to figure out how do I get that chat traffic cheaper, right? And there are different ways to change the cost, but you have to understand across the board it's, you know, how many, how many, how much traffic am I getting

How many like opt-ins am I getting? How many conversations am I having, how many conversions I'm getting? Those are the big numbers. Once you have those numbers, now you can start to tweak it. So even if your numbers aren't good, like you could convert. Like, you know, most people, if they're good at sales, they can probably close four out of five, right? If they are good at sales. But if you're terrible at sales and you want to close one out of five or one out of 10, well now you just no need to get better at sales. You don't need to change anything else. But you can see that now you know where your focus needs to be. And most people don't even know where their focus should be, right? They think they can turn on a tap and then it's gonna equal money.

And if they do that and it doesn't work, they shut it down and it didn't work well what didn't work. And what you find a lot of times with coaches is their sales process really is bad. Right? And so not only do they not convert, a lot of people they speak to, but they don't get to that point because they don't have a followup system. Because let's say, let's say someone's on your email list and they watch the training and they don't sign up for a phone call. How many trainings do they need to watch before they sign up? If you only have one, that's only one.

Mike Bledsoe:    10 different pieces of training, they might, it might take them to the 10th time to then sign up for phone calls. We track all that. But that's free. That's free. You hadn't had to pay for that traffic cause they were on your list. Right. So yeah, we know that. I mean one thing we track is how long does someone need to be on the email list we're sending, we're sending out basically free information, free advice to people for months on end.

And then we go, Oh, the average person needs to see, you know, the average person converts that email number 27, you know, and she's like, Oh, okay, so are we seeing conversions of email number 50, you know, three months in or something like that. And really looking at that and seeing if we can get people to act even sooner or just knowing that and going, yeah, when we, when we get a lead that comes into hands around, when we get to lead that comes through a Facebook ad.

When we get a lead coming in from the podcast, we know that once they get in, it takes them about three or four months before they pulled the trigger. So I know that the leads I'm generating now are going to benefit us in three, four months. That's when they'll get the sign-up. That's when we get to start working with them. Yeah.

And just knowing that is helpful because, you know, we might be getting a lot of leads right now and a lot of people might be coming in to the email list and it's like, Oh, the sales are so, it's like, well, we know they're going to pick up. Right? And that, and that's what most people don't think about is the building. You really in the business of building a relationship in each space of this. Yeah. These campaigns, right? Even after they've given you money, you're still in the business of building a relationship.

And so like and it's funny cause we live in a world now where people swipe left or right and then they're in bed by the end of the night. And so, so it kinda kinda like the old, the old marketing analogy is you don't ask to go to marry you on the first date. Right. And again, we live in a world that's a little different now, right? So we, there are TV shows on like, you know, they've never met and they get married. So I don't think those ever work out though. But my point is, is that if you really think about it if you want to build a relationship like I understand the desperation because not having money is not fun, right?

And we've both been there, you know, especially when you've had money but you've never had money. It's a little like you don't know, you don't know the other side when you've had money and then you lose it and everybody around you doesn't know. It's difficult, right? Like it, it's tough to swallow your pride, right? And so a lot of, a lot of people, what I find is, is that mindset wise, they're in a very desperate place, right? But desperation is very repelling, right? And so the reason they get upset is cause they, they need results fast. They need to generate money fast. And the thing, the thing is that they shouldn't, in my opinion, they shouldn't operate business

AJ Roberts:    With that mindset. If you need money fast. Luckily we also live in a world that you could drive an Uber, that you could sell your things on Facebook, that you could go do something on the side. And so go hustle your ass off and things that will pay you immediately. But then with the business, build the business the way that it needs to be, which is building the relationships with those clients because there's nothing worse than getting in desperation, getting a client who then is needy because you've, you would need to get them and now they're needy to you.

And you mentioned earlier about kind of the old, you know, reap what you sow mentality you mentioned earlier, whereas you have to believe in coaching, invest in coaching. And if older to do that, I found hands down with all the people I've worked, people who are laid on paying their bills, get paid late by their clients.

AJ Roberts:    And so these actions trait come through. And so if you're desperate and needy, you'll end up with desperate and needy clients. And so you have to think about that and you have to have patients. And like I say, that's where I truly like to feel like there are so many other ways to generate the money to fund the business that you, you don't need to freak out about this has to work. Right?

Yeah. And I understand it's a difficult mindset to come from, but you also have to think of like, you know, there are ways to go for most small businesses, you can get a small business loan. You can do that. You can put yourself in a position while you're not in that mindset. You can borrow money from friends or family and, and, and that does take swallowing your pride to say, I need help.

You Can't Build A Business Out Of Desperation

A man reaches out as he is falling into a river (hand is in focus).
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AJ Roberts:    But you can't build a business out of desperation you can't take, you can't take quick money because you need it from people you know that you can't help, you know, those are, these are all the things that get you in that sticky situation. Because once we have that, once we have this kind of the river flowing, now we can just look at where do we need to improve, what needs to change, what needs to happen? I had a friendless emotionally attached to the metrics.

Yeah. I had a friend took eight months for them to convert someone from an email to a client. Right? But when you know that, and then you know the value of the client, you know, the lifetime value, right? I hope those listening who are coaches understand that they're in the best business you could possibly be in. You're in reoccurring revenue business, meaning people join and pay you month over month and the CA and the stick rate, that amount of people that stay with the retention, as Mike mentioned earlier, we're in one of the highest retention industries too, right?

So it's really a great industry to be in. And, and the cool thing is, is nearly everybody needs coaches. Robots really as much as they've tried, they're not going to replace coaches. People want human interaction. They want conversation. They want someone to work with them. They don't want to just type in their phones. This is my problem. The phone spits back the solution. Some people do, but not a coach can bring context. Exactly what I machine. It's just we're not, we're nowhere near it. I mean, no, and I mean the chest, it would take true super AI for that. Oh yeah. The sport of chess. A great example of that. They built a machine, be it a human, and then a human plus machine beat you a beat machine. So you know, it still shows the value of, of, of the human side of it

So with that said, you know, really when it comes again, go back to the original topic. You mentioned the difference between a coach and an entrepreneur. The coach is someone who is going to, you'll be operating in, in this desperation short term mentality and entrepreneurs thinking longterm.

And if you know the lifetime value of your client, the say the average client gives you $800, how much of that are you willing to invest on the front end to get them in? Right? It's not going to cost you $800 to put someone on your email list, but you that to get that $100 it might take you six months of, of building a relationship. And these are just things you have to look at and say, and I, and I get it because sometimes you, I don't have eight months before I can, you know, do this. Okay, let's look at how else you could make money versus trying to, you know, SAP, like basically do sink.

You don't want to do in this business that you want to be your business, you know. And I, I think it's, you know, gym owners do it too when they take clients in, right? Like they don't want to work with, you know, middle-aged women who want to lose weight, but that's who showed up at their door. So they do it and they build a business. And I've had clients, you know, they got a hundred, 150 clients, not one of them is a person they want to work with. They just want to escape the business. And so if you do that and you've been there, you get to a point of burnout and you just want to burn it down

Mike Bledsoe:    Totally. Yeah. Yeah. And I, I built businesses. I, I'd say the majority of my entrepreneurial career and my coaching career was

AJ Roberts:    There was a level of desperation

Mike Bledsoe:    Involved in the decision making processes around the business. And it varied, you know, one month that was good, the next month it was FOC, you know, and we'd go back and forth. And where I've been the last couple of years has been able to, and for two reasons, I really shifted my relationship to money overall. Then, even if there was not a lot of money coming in emotionally, Tim bothered me.

That's okay, that's some jet I shit most people are going, what the fuck are you talking about? And you know, maybe one day come do training camp for the soul, you'll get there. But the move that I, I've also experienced in the last couple of years is having enough experience. This, a lot of people aren't, I cannot do this, but there might be an area in their life in which things are easy. There's, there are certain jobs that I can do in my sleep.

Pay pretty good. They're not exciting. It's not whatever. And so I actually, a couple of years ago, I took on, I took some time off from working and I basically took on some, I worked one afternoon a week for months and months on end and I was able to get, make enough money to where I realized that I can make enough to live comfortably with minimal effort.

Now, it didn't really satisfy me because I wanted to make a really big impact and working one afternoon a week wasn't going to do that but I got to build a strong coach from that place of there's enough, there's more than enough and we can do whatever we want. And because of that, it's been the smoothest business to build out. But I've done so far everything's been smooth. If money is, if not as much money came in one month, it's not a big deal.

Kartra System & How To Get A Free Trial

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Photographer: Austin Distel | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe:    I'm not personally stressed about it and I can stay zoomed out and make really good longterm decisions. Yeah, it's really, really good. Tell us, so you have Kartra. Kartra is a system where we can do a lot of what we're talking about as far as the marketing and the metrics and all that kind of stuff. We in the last couple of months started migrating all of our systems over to Kartra.

You invited me to do this months and months ago, and then of course I was busy doing other things. Then your team took over and it's actually getting done. Yeah. Well, exactly what happened, what, what really happened? What did the burn but yeah, I'll tell people exactly how it is. Yeah. What really happened is like, I go, I do want to move over to Kartra and my attention on the businesses on this right now, it was really prepping for the summit.

Mike Bledsoe:    I was like, it was one of those things where it was just, I don't know exactly what everyone's doing on the team, but full steam ahead. Let's fill the summit. And after the summit, the dust is gonna settle and then we're going to, we're going to migrate over to Kartra and all this stuff. And, and that actually wasn't as top of mind. I knew it was going to happen, but when you spoke at the summit and then Valerie who's in charge of my marketing, she got talking and she was like, we're moving over right away.

I'm like, okay, whatever you want. But yeah, since w working it, we're in the middle of the migration before you got here, actually talked to my tech guy who's running all that and yeah, I went to burn burning man. And, and this is, this is what's beautiful about running a, so I've been running this strong coach for less than a year and a half, and I already have it to a place where there's a team where things are getting done without me and without my, without even my direction

Mike Bledsoe:    And so I'm saying that because you can do it to the point of the strong coach is to give you everything that I've got. So the people who are in our mastermind, you know, we have our 90-day program, which is kind of like a bootcamp, you know, for, for coaches. It's like, look, this is all the stuff that I wish people told me when I was getting started. That would have been helpful. Yeah. And so, and also the coaching to help work through whatever blocks people are having along the way by the mastermind is where I go, look, this is exactly what I'm doing inside the coaching right now. It's a coaching

AJ Roberts:    Business, teaching people how to run a coaching business. So a lot of what we're doing right now is using Kartra . We're going to max it out. I don't know if we can do that because the platform is actually the most robust platform I've ever seen. And so we're going to do is we're using it and then we're, we're building out like advice to the people in the mastermind. And it will happen on this show. It's gonna we'll be putting more stuff out, but the system is really, really, really impressive. And if you can do all the stuff that AGA was talking about plus way more it does. We're able to schedule all of our, our discovery calls with people through it and track all the metrics. I'm not going to go through the list cause I don't know all of it.

AJ Roberts:    It's, it's too many things and it's fairly user-friendly. Yeah. It's a true all in one platform. And really it came about because dif, you know this when we were running business, you end up with, you know, a dozen different platforms that you're paying for every month.

I was like, I gotta have my, Oh, was I was told, I was like, Oh, I can drop my, my a calendar software, I can drop my, I'm using type form, I can drop that, I can drop my course, my membership site. I'm basically saving, I'm probably saving 500 bucks a month. Yeah. Switching over. And that's what we find most people save a bunch of money. But a lot of it came from that. That was the first day. And then like my wife with her nutrition business at one point she had like $6,000 in tech and you're going, this is ridiculous.

And it's because you end up having all these different platforms because when you start your business, you think you need a domain name. So you go buy the domain name. We now need hosting. That's the first rule is you get when you get, you buy a domain name and then you actually got a paid ad pay hosting to have a website and then you have to pay the website platform.

You know, you can get free WordPress, but if you want a theme was like, now you're paying for the themes and, and so the costs just add up. And so we always used to joke AMI, me and the other other guys about like, would it be nice if there's just one place you logged in? And it had everything all in one place. And then we ended up building that platform. And, and really everything from landing page to email lists to video hosting.

You know, like you said, calendar, membership site help desk affiliate plan. I mean it's, it's everything and people can check it off. They just go to coach, then go there and you can see the different pricing, click on the features, you know, check, check, check everything out. But what it allows you to do is essential, you know, we're moving away and I'm sure people are aware of this. You know, we moved to a mobile coach here, but we're moving away from websites, right?

We're moving into experiences. And this allows you to create a, an online experience that will take someone from the minute they meet you all the way through to, you know, transaction to experience with the membership side and, and delivery through that. And you can track it all the way and you, you know, because because it's all integrated in one place, it now allows you to have a much easier time in running the business where there's, you know, when you got stuff all over the place, it's difficult to to make sure everything sinked up correctly and, and smoothly. One

Mike Bledsoe:    Of things I liked about this is even for a gym owner or something like that, they're using this system. There's going to be tools that you may not be using, like membership site right now, a lot of gym owners, they'll go, Oh well I want to do a hybrid. The hybrid is this new thing everyone's doing hybrid. I roll, I'm rolling my eyes cause like I can spot it a fad. And Oh 2018 was an eight-week bootcamps in 2019 is hybrid. So 2020 would be all online. Yeah. Well, you know, we'll see.

So the truth, if you're running a gym and you want to go hybrid, if you're using the Kartra system, it's E you can activate a membership site. And then something I tell people all the time, if you want to go online, most coaches are already coaching people in person in some regard. Move your in-person people into a membership site. Use something like Kartra and something that's powerful like this because you can move your existing membership, your existing clientele into it and you can start giving them the curriculum.

You can start interacting with them there so that when you do go online and you're working with a client that you've never met face to face, it's already built out really well. You can use your in-person people as that and so there are all these capabilities that there's a lot of things that I, when I adopt a system like this where I don't even, the power of the system informs me on something I should do in my business. Not always the best thing, but sometimes I go, Oh, this is available. I didn't even know that was possible. Oh, we're going to implement that on marketing. Now all of a sudden our conversions go up because there's this piece of tech academe,

AJ Roberts:    Like the affiliate program, like you know for strong coach like people go through it, they love it, they want to refer people. Well now there's an affiliate program to actually refer, right? So this is actually set up. It's not you having to send out a gift card or something like that.

It's because the Milo's on the system I was on wasn't very good, but the cartridge system is way better. And then just on that point, and we talked about customer journey earlier and I think you know, if the gym owners or even even coaches that are like, but I deliver my service one-to-one or like I'm on the phone with them. I always try to think of it like this. You have a limited amount of time. We have clients, but the reality is they're right or wrong. They've hired you and think you're going to change their life, right?

AJ Roberts:    So whatever time we spend with them, there's a whole bunch of time we don't spend with them that we really need to start to think about how do we start to essentially manipulate that time to get the results that they want, right? So for example, if I'm a gym owner, I know that sleep and food and all these other things are very, very important. But when am I gonna teach them to sleep?

Am I going to run it in-person workshop that I have to do once and then nobody else saw it? Or yes, you could do an in-perso workshop, but you can record it. You can put it in, in a membership thing. And everyone now who signs up moving forward also gets access to that, that training, right? So now you start to bond with them outside of you and them. And especially for coaches who are going to build a team and step back.

AJ Roberts:    If you have a membership site, which is essentially a, a PLA, a, you know, content platform to deliver stuff to them, you can build a relationship with a client, never meeting that client. Yup. And that's, that's what them bonds them to your company, to the, to the thing to you and you can be built with, and you know, it's weird when you meet someone that's watched videos, like I meet people who business-like, Oh man, the videos you made was so good and I'm going, well, videos, I totally forgot.

You know, but to them, they built a relationship with you. And so that's something that the, you know, with the platform, it's front end and backend. And that's really, I think we mentioned earlier sales marketing or customer experience. And I said to experience not results, right? Because think about it, you go to a restaurant, you eat a nice meal

But if the, if the, if the waiter, is it a little bit of an asshole, it doesn't matter how good the food is, you might not come back, right? So results used to be enough. They're not, no, they're not enough anymore. Right? It has to be a full experience and you have to think outside of what they actually pay for. How can you deliver that experience and delivering them additional training. And different educational material and things like that, you know, make a difference. And so being able to do that and not having to pay additional costs for it, right. Cause we have one, one cost, one low price and it's kind of the buzz. But, but, but ultimately it's like, Oh, it's not going to cost me another hundred dollars a month to do something like that. You know, I get all of this.

It's here. And that's what I really think that people, it will start to expand. Like you said, Oh, I could be doing this. Even if you run an offline business and you know, we have, have the calendar system, everything's set up for people who do that booking system and class system and stuff like that. Yeah. All right. So Kartra spelled with a K A R T R And is there a trial? Yeah. So for a 14-day trial there, I don't know if we set up a special for you, it might be longer if it's longer. Congrats. but there's, you could, I think, I know for the summit there was something special, but I'll have to check after and say, well, we'll fix that. But yeah, there's always a trial and you know, check it out and, and if you like it, stick with it

AJ Roberts:    If not, you know, go from there. And the cool, the cool thing is, and is that we have some done-for-you stuff in there too. So if you, if you've never built a campaign or something like that we have done for you campaigns. So if you, you, you don't know how to build a squeeze page to collect an email address, there's done for you. We have templates for all of our pages.

You know, there's probably a thousand templates in there. So depending on what you're trying to run or do, you know, we have pretty much a whole host of templates for those types of pages. So if you wanted a landing page for a report, there's maybe five or six of those. And for, if you wanted a video landing page, it doesn't have those. So we have a lot of templated stuff. So we try to make it as done for you as we can without it being done for you. Right? Yeah. And I'm also curious, so if you get in there, you're in, you're looking

Mike Bledsoe:    For something. If you see something that works really well and you think it's really cool, shoot me a DM on Instagram or if you're, if you're, I have a question about it because this is, this is one things we're trying to do. One of the things we are doing at a strong coach, which is looking inside the Kartra system and seeing how we can help create things are going to be perfect for the coach. Let me know. You can send me personal DMS on Instagram.

That's the best way to contact me. A little slow on email but hit me up there and then that way I can communicate with age and communicate with my team. And I'm sure you can reach straight out to Kartra too and they can be helpful. But I'm all, I'm personally curious because I want to use the system to help out the strong coaches. Yeah. And then you want to leave with,

AJ Roberts:    Besides that, we're going to send people to Yeah. If you want to follow me, just AJ Roberts on it. Actually I'm not on Instagram, still on Facebook and or just Asia, He is, he's back and forth on Instagram. Well, I had to because you had to, you asked me to, to you know, do some stuff. So I went back and shit that you activated your account, to help spread the good word. Yeah. So I may be back by the time they listen to this.

It's AJ Roberts on Instagram too, but I'm trying to, I'm trying to do the digital minimalism, you know, now I have a two-year-old, I find it's a distraction for me. And there's nothing worse than looking over at your two-year-old and she's looking at you scrolling and she's like, what are you doing? Like she doesn't say it, but she just has that look. So yeah, it has a lot to it. But yeah, you know, I'm, I'm around on social. All right, man, thanks for joining us today. Appreciate it.

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