Are You A Lemming?

Raise your hand if you remember the Sears-Roebuck catalogue.... No? Then how about the Sears catalogue that came out years later?  .... Still no! Yellow Pages phone directory?  Hmm! tough crowd.

Okay picture this, Amazon puts pictures and descriptions of all their products into a large glossy coated paper book and delivers it to your home.  It would be a catalogue so big it would need a forklift but the point is you’d notice it wouldn’t you? And you know why?  Because nobody’s doing that anymore.

It doesn’t mean this approach is ineffective; in fact it’s just the opposite.  It just means that everybody has jumped onto the online marketing bandwagon because; well, because they saw that everyone else did (that’s my lemming reference by the way).  

When everyone’s doing the same thing, that’s your first hint to do just the opposite. Sure emails are convenient, cheap and immediate but it won’t make you stand out. If you want to be memorable do something that makes you stand out.

Print mail would do that, especially when your competition isn’t doing it. Just look at your email inbox verses your home or business mailbox.  You’re physically going to touch whatever is mailed to you at home.  Before you can even decide if it is or isn’t of interest you have had to look at it. An email may get deleted without ever being noticed or go right to spam.  

Print mail partnered with emails is your best solution. An email that preps your clients and prospects that a 50 % off coupon is coming in the mail for that new local restaurant is going to be well received.

How about a new fitness club that’s just opened and you see flyers and posters all around town or a leaflet tucked under your car windshield wiper? When days later you get an email from them to come in for a free visit, that’s a well-engineered marketing campaign. It’s still done because it’s still effective.

Whether your business emails are accompanied with postcards, greeting cards or skywriting you ‘re going to be noticed because you’re this throwback savvy multi- approach marketer.

Just remember whenever you’re going against the flow of traffic you’re either in the wrong lane or more likely you’re making a calculated move to be different and effective.


Are You All This or All That?

Dear Diary: “Fred asked me out again today; I guess it’s over between him and Daphne”.

That would have been a younger girl version of me writing about my then heartthrob, Fred Jones of Scooby-Doo fame. Do you remember Scooby-Doo and the cast? Maybe you fed your dog Scooby Snacks or you had a Scooby –Doo Mystery Machine or a Shaggy Doll. You name it; their faces were plastered all over every conceivable toy and kids product going. I’ll bet your children have pleaded (or had tantrums) for this or many other related products (think Ninja Turtles or Barney and Friends). There was a time where your brand meant just getting your face or product picture on as many things as possible, but that was then. 

Branding is now much more about how your product, service or company is perceived and talked about by “the people” than it is about what you say, how much money you spend or many products you can get your pictures on.

Are the Kardashians a brand? You better believe it. The queen of the “selfie”, we won’t name her but you know who I mean, started out as part of a family of oddball characters, which over the years has become even odder as they went along. I don’t even know where to begin with this family, but the most famous of the clan found her own niche in society where  many young women identified with her curvaceous figure. This was at a time where waif thin models still ruled the magazines and modelling industry, now a new face on the scene was preaching    acceptance of your figure. The rest is history; the Kardashians have gone on to become one of the most successful brands in western culture.  But how did the Kardashian phenomenon happen?

The K family followed some simple rules (intentionally or not) and it started with what others were saying about them, and it was  most often occurring through social media.  If the bloggers, tweeters, facebookers and snapchatters are calling you this, then your efforts to appear to be that means changing the public perception of you by influencing this and that. The Kardashians embraced the technology and in fact totally influenced and exploited it. 

The language you use, the specific market you target, the humanitarian causes you support, the website your customer sees, the taglines you use, how your own employees talk about you, the pictures you post and of course the quality of the product or service you provide are all part of a complicated mix that requires industry professionals to navigate.

Unclog Your Sales Funnels With These 3 Must-Haves

What kind of funnels do you have?

·     Sales funnels

·     Client acquisition funnels

·     Lead generating funnels


Suck the life out of your company funnels

Whatever funnel you’re using it can likely convert a lot better if you have a strategy and a checklist.

 But first, a little Funnel Logic 101

In order to grab your prospects attention you need to dangle some bait in front of them. Let’s use the food server in the mall food court as our example. Think about it, you’re there, you’re hungry and 25 fast food joints that want your business surround you. What do they do?  They offer you a free sample of something on a toothpick. It looks edible so you try it. You like it and you want more ...except this time more comes at a cost.

Same thing as going to Costco, if you plan it right a couple of circuits around the freebee stations and you ‘ve just had your lunch.  WIN

But wait, now you need fries and a drink to go with that chicken on a stick. Sure you know it’s an upsell and that’s where they make their real money but you’ll happily part with an extra buck for those curly fries. There’s also an option for a supersized drink and dessert if you take the meal-deal for just another buck... or two.  

As you’re handing your money to the cashier he tells you that today only they have a membership plan. If you take this little card they will stamp it each time you eat there and eventually you’ll have enough points for a free DingDong ...And... if you include your email address they will let you know every time there’s a good deal on.  

Yaaa okay, what the heck, why not, I like eating this %*&#  anyway. 

Well, that’s sort of what a sales funnel is like. So let’s see if your funnel is as least as good as the mall food court. Remember prospects that are clogging up your funnels and not buying your products or services are just taking up space.

Let’s convert them with these 3 must-haves.  

1.   Your Lead Magnet

· Chances are your lead magnet sucks, don’t take it personally it might be salvageable. eBooks are not as popular as they use to be or at least the big long ones because no one has time to read them. But they still come in as # 4 for lead generators. If you’re going to do one keep it under 10 pages.

· Special reports of 2-5 pages are always good but make sure you’re answering some problem or big question your prospect has in their mind. You’re reading a special report right now and I am solving your question about what kind of lead magnet works best.

· Case studies are a great lead magnet because they not only contain your product or service information but show how someone used it successfully. These are always a winner.

· Checklists are another great way to engage your prospects. You are positioning yourself as an expert and essentially saying do these things to be successful. This special report is using a checklist of 3 things that will unclog your funnel by moving people along more effectively. Always remember to get their email address for any lead magnet you provide.

2.    Buy My Cheap Product  (to keep the momentum going)

A prospect has requested your lead magnet and crossed that threshold of getting to know and maybe even like you a bit if you provided them something they could use. Now you want them to make a purchase of an inexpensive but highly perceived valuable product or service.  This is also called a tripwire product. This makes them a buyer and therefore future purchases should be a little easier once they see you haven’t ripped them off. This isn’t your core offer, that comes later. Core offers are likely much more expensive and they’re not ready for that yet.

Consider these points:

· The tripwire product has a better perceived value if it is a mailed tangible physical product as opposed to a download.

·  The product should somehow be related to your core offer and your professional services. Sometimes splintering off something from your core product like a small widget works well, especially if it introduces the need or desire for the core product.

· The product should have a high perceived value but sell for under $10.00 or even better at $7.00

Your Upsell Product at Checkout

Let’s assume for the moment that you’ve managed to sell your core product and now your client is about to checkout with credit card in hand. This is a perfect time to upsell them to another product that logically goes well with your core offer. They’re in a buying mood and you want to take the opportunity to provide them with even greater value.

Consider these points:

· You may have a lot of leftover product that’s hasn’t moved well for one reason or another and this is a perfect time to let it go for a reasonable price. Your building up the value for the customer with everything you add so it’s an almost irresistible time for them to continue to buy even more.

·  The upsell product should be related to the core product or service you have sold them and should be seen as a must have to get the full value of the core product. The buyer should feel that this has now unlocked the doors to the kingdom for them.

· A membership deal or maintenance type of program provides recurring revenue. This is the best possible upsell. 

______________________________________________________________________ Ron Warne is a direct response copywriter and marketing strategist specializing in complete top to bottom funnel creation.

Do-It Yourself Can Be a Recipe for Disaster if You’re a Small Business

A small business is a like a newborn baby, you want to take on all the responsibility of looking after it… but should you? You planned it after all, you watched it gestate for months and then the delivery day came. There it was all bright shiny and new, screaming, crying, hungry and demanding attention. But you were prepared (you thought) you had read all the books, watched the videos, taken online courses and had also received advice from just about everyone you had ever meant. 

It was exciting for awhile, it’s new, it’s yours and you started off totally invested. But, a few years in and you’re starting to wonder if you brought the right baby home for the hospital, after all this offspring was not growing quite as you had intended. You start to think about putting it up for adoption, maybe you can start all over again. NO! you don’t really want to do that, but maybe there is help and it’s as close as online jobsites or placement agencies.

Building a backyard deck is the time and place for a do-it –yourselfer but running a small business, that’s another story.

If you came up with 50 different areas of competency your business needs to thrive, how many can you actually fulfill?  And! even if you could,  is it the best use of your time and energy?

Are you as up to date on social media marketing as you might need to be or are you more of a Don Draper (Mad Men reference) stuck in another decade?

Whoever first came up with the phrase, “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things”,   was probably a small business owner that realized the value of outsourcing.

If you’re balancing the books, doing payroll and menial administrative tasks you should leave it for a more experienced, faster outsourced professional?

Efficiency is money and if you’re multitasking you’re likely losing money. Keep your attention on running the business not micro-managing it, outsource . 



5 Overlooked Ways to be Part of an $84 Billion Fitness Industry

If you’re already part of it you might know and if you’re not, jump in, there’s a ton of opportunity as the fitness and weight loss industry is about to explode.  Check these underserviced 5 out.

Specialty Fitness Centers

Fitness centers alone are a 24 billion dollar industry worldwide.1 in 5 Americans pay a gym membership totaling over $54 million a year.A tighter economy means more lower cost neighborhood centers are opening and people are flocking to them.  Who would have thought that clubs that specialize in group rowing, climbing walls or soldier style boot camps would be a thing.  The barriers to entry are low and success is only limited by your imagination.

Men’s Only and Children’s Weight Loss Programs

One in three American kids or teenagers is overweight but can you name a weight loss program or specialty gym that has been designed for them?   73 % of American males are overweight or obese (CDC) compared to 63 % of women and yet 90 % of clients at weight loss centers are females.  If the light bulb didn’t just come on read all those numbers again. New research in cognitive, physiological and nutritional sciences and technologies means lots of new opportunity.

Older Adults Fitness Programs

Know a senior?  Look around they’re everywhere and they have the most disposal income of any demographic.  They don’t want to lose their independent lifestyles, they love to socialize and they don’t want your typical gym offerings.  Do you have a product or service that will keep them in the lifestyle they have been accustomed to?

Trainer Certifications

If you’re an education company set up to deliver training to the trainers you’re in a good space. Expect to see lots more demand for specialty certifications.  These will help give trainers a unique distinguisher and provide additional opportunities both in and out of the club as more clients opt for home training.  Currently there are over 250 third party delivered certification organizations.  By 2020 another 30,000 fitness-training jobs will enter the market.  Added to the present 250,000 personal trainers, that’s a lot of certification delivery opportunities. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

 Wearable Health Technology

1 in 6 people wear an activity tracker and that number will likely continue to rise as this technology continues to pioneer new ways of measuring human biometrics. More and more health clubs and trainers will integrate this data into their own products and services and extend their reach into communities that otherwise wouldn’t have entered their facilities.

There will also be more integration of cognitive function and biological data into future devices. The definition of Wearables will extend to new technologies that are injected, tattooed and implanted on the body. If you are creative and futuristic think about wearable design and innovation, it may be for you.

Ron Warne is a copywriter for the fitness, health and weight loss industries.   

These 5 Fitness Trends Will Continue to be Huuuge at a Gym Near You

If you’ve been doing the caveman workout, meaning literally you live in a cave and lift boulders, then you can be excused for not knowing where the industry is now and where it’s heading in the future.

So, with Neanderthals in mind, here’s what you’ve been missing and where things are going and where the opportunities are.

Workout Apps

On-demand training and coaching will provide fitness and healthcare professionals the opportunity to offer their service remotely using literally thousands of available apps. This is one of the biggest threats to trainers going forward as this puts the member in control. With commute times, overcrowding, and higher membership fees all figuring into the mix, expect to see the apps part of the industry grow exponentially as people take their workouts with them wherever they decide to go.

The Opportunity:

Gyms and trainers could jump all over this and offer celebrity app workouts in the club or themed group formats. Specific apps could be broadcast over the available delivery technologies in the club. Clubs could also offer recommendations or testimonials to help members navigate the plethora of app options and really embrace the technology rather than trying to compete against it.


Qualified, certified fitness staff will be more important than ever, both for liability purposes and as a continued revenue stream for clubs. With all the specialty workouts now available and the always growing competition, clubs will be aggressively recruiting the best locally available talent. 

Specializing in specific types of program delivery will be the new norm as clubs become destinations for a favorite activity (like cross-fit) or a specific certified instructor of some new exercise trend.

Old school gym-rat trainers will become obsolete as specialists in functional training; diet, weight-loss, specific disease state (diabetes) and so many more become certified and available. For trainers it’s self-preservation, stay relevant or you limit your employable options.

The Opportunity:

Clubs will have a new means and reason to advertise to prospects based on their qualified staff. New schools, organizations and entrepreneurs will crop up to offer certification programs.  Maybe you’re one of them.

Personal training will have more specialties supported by certifications and their value to the public will increase as more people explore options for home exercise routines delivered by traveling instructors.

Virtual Technology:

Also called augmented reality, virtual technology might additionally fall under the category of wearables especially when VT incorporates the data from an activity tracker.

Prices have come way down and the apps available on your smart phone will continue to grow. The possibilities are endless and lots of fun.

As a gladiator or a sport athlete of your choice, this has the potential for being totally engaging and getting really impressive results in a short time. Why?  Because it’s something people want to do. Duh!

The Opportunity:

Writing scripts, designing games, designing exercise components that accompany the VT, this list really does go on and on. It’s so new, the world’s your oyster if you understand and want to work in this technology.

Older Generation Fitness Classes

As baby boomers age and want to continue with the active lifestyle they have become accustomed to, anything that will sustain that will create endless possibilities for engagement and money making.

They are not ready to sit on the porch and watch life go by.  A whole industry has sprung up around seniors and fitness and they have the money like no other generation before them.  

The Opportunity:

Community centers, hospitals, seniors centers, private clubs and many more will all require staff and services that attend to the needs of seniors.

Colleges offer specializations in geriatrics and more products are coming on the market every day that allow seniors to continue their mobility. Any connection to any of these industries has endless opportunities.


This might just be the biggest, best and most interesting innovation to come. It’s not new, it’s roots go way back, school classrooms have been using computer games to have the kids learn now for decades. It’s somewhat newer to the fitness industry but has a lot of potential. 

Wii might have started the movement but expect to see many more companies enter the race to provide new group exercise games and engagements.

One version of this is already spilling over into community fitness programs whereby large groups of people are assembling in parks and other public places to do community fitness initiatives with a purpose. They compete with other communities in some type of scoring for participation and various fitness accomplishments. Things like most miles walked as a group or most weight lost.

The Opportunity

People are social by nature and anything that brings them together, in a unified cause, whether that’s cooperative or competitive will be a winner.

School boards, games and software companies are always on the lookout for creative types.

_______________________________________________________________________________By Ron Warne

Copywriter for the Health, Fitness and Weight Loss Industries

Is Your Personal Trainer Trying to Kill You?

Warning, the following opinion piece may be controversial and should only be read by people with an open mind.  It is not supported by any particular research and it may perturb some personal trainers.

I watched a PT in a club recently have a very heavy teenager do what can best be described as a “commando crawl” up and down between the isles of bikes and treadmills. Those of us using them watched and were entertained and the kid didn’t seem to mind at all. The PT probably saw the exercise on some extreme reality TV show like “Navy Seals” or maybe he bet someone that he could get the kid to crawl on the floor.  Whatever the case it seemed like a pretty odd exercise to have him doing.

A lot of questions go through my head as I watch the gym-world unfold in front of me from the relative safety of a spinning bike.  Are Trainers with a little bit of knowledge more dangerous to their clients than people just using a bit of common sense and figuring out things on their own?

Are their clients really incapable of counting their own reps?  Is the exercise industry foisting some big exercise scam on us? Do dieticians really know what we should be eating and are they secretly eating a Little Debbie behind closed doors?  Are weight loss gurus just people who are genetically blessed and like the word “Guru”?  And the questions go on and on.

For a lot of years we (myself included) preached 50 % of your weight was based on diet and the other 50% on exercise. Increases to this or decreases to that that would help you lose weight. Then along came theories about your weight based on Blood Type or Ancestral Origins or Set Point or, well you get the idea, there are a lot of theories about our weight (and some carry no weight).

There is research that shows you can eat nothing but junk food and lose weight, and there’s research that shows exercising has no impact on weight loss or can actually cause you to gain weight. It’s confusing at best.  Is weight loss more of a head game than anything else?

 If your body requires a certain amount of calories to maintain itself, does it really care where they come from? Are cellular biologist and psychologists the future of weight loss? I don’t know, I don’t think anybody knows.  I clearly have been giving all this too much thought.

Ron Warne  


3 Reasons No One’s Buying From You

You think you’ve got it all going on but you’ve got no sales

You’ve read all about marketing and you’ve heard all their tales

You Snapchat and Facebook, you Tweet and you Blog.

Your website seems fine and yet you’re left in a fog.

Let's get to my three reasons; I’m running out of rhyme

I’ll share what I know, this stuff happens all the time.

I’ve worked in fitness sales for many years, everything from owning an equipment store to selling certification courses and online training programs. It doesn’t much matter how good your service or product is if you’ve somehow forced your customer into one of these corners.  Give them a way out and maybe your next sale is right around the corner.

1.   Often the biggest pushback comes from your pricing. You may think it’s a great value, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean everyone can afford it.  Do you have a cheaper alternative product or service? Do you have discounts for certain populations, or can you bundle your services somehow to give a cash break?  Maybe you have annual sales that you can point them to or a layaway plan. Do you have another entry point that they can enter into your business, like a contest or survey?

2.   Do you have too many choices? The fitness store I managed had so many pieces of equipment and they all essentially did the same thing. That makes it virtually impossible to make a good argument for any particular product.  Choice is good but generally 3 choices works best; a low price, a medium price and a very high price. The high priced item will often help sell the medium priced product.  Your customer will see that as the best value for their money.

3.   I don’t want to make a bad purchase, or said another way, I’m scared and I don’t want to look foolish. Change is hard, we know what we think we want but then there is all those lingering doubts that make us postpone the purchase. Help your potential client by making it easy for them to say yes. Guarantees, testimonials, personal success stories, trial periods and lots of information helps them make an informed buy.  

Ron Warne is a Copywriter for the Health & Fitness Industry




It’s Not Normal to Talk To People at Your Fitness Club

I remember a time when you might talk to someone between sets or while waiting for a piece of equipment at your health club.  Nobody thought you were weird, and nobody went running into the change room to avoid any further contact with you (well they might have).

There was camaraderie of sorts in sharing your pain. There was always something to comment on about the aerobics class going on or a particular piece of equipment that wasn’t working properly or that Richard Simmons guy.

It was a place to see the same people on a somewhat regular basis and give at minimum a head nod.  Jane Fonda ruled the videotape exercise market, the 20 Minute Workout was on TV a dozen times a day and Olivia Newton Johns“Let’s Get Physical” poster adorned the walls of many a male teenager. 

Women wore leggings, spandex and headbands and guys wore, well pretty much anything, but nothing special.

You may have used equipment that had some type of graphics or early digital type display,  for me it was the Lifecycle and Concept rower but there was still a Monarch bike or global gym multi-station sitting over there in the corner

No one had headsets, or earbuds, no one had a wearable fitness tracker and it was rare to see someone even carrying a water bottle, after all there was usually a water fountain somewhere in the place.

Then one day someone showed up with a Sony Walkman and it was the end of the social fitness club as we knew it.  The technology grew in leaps and bounds and now it’s odd not to see someone with their own tunes, their own tracking devices or their own portable personal trainer accessed via their smartphone.

Fitness equipment also kept up with the newest technology, you can now find cardio equipment of all types with surround sound, TV screens and much, much more.

About 55 million Americans belong to a fitness club, that’s a lot of people not talking to each other.


Ron Warne

Copywriter for the Fitness Industry






5 Ways the Fitness Industry Could Change Over the Next Couple of Years

The fitness industry has two givens: 1. Things will change, and 2.  Everything that got changed will eventually come back again.

Fitness experts are found in every possible nook and cranny of the industry so getting an opinion on where things are headed is as simple as putting the question out there.

 Also, because there is so much overlap, agreement and disagreement between so many experts, I’ve decided not to specifically reference them, but be assured they know their stuff. 

Every change or trend (trends are short term changes that may or may not stick) has an impact on many other facets of the business.

For every new product that comes on the market, think of the number of designers, engineers, software programmers, marketers, administrators, assembly lines, testers, salespeople…. well you get the idea, a lot of people are involved.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are some predictions about the future of the fitness industry with my additional commentary and opinions on how they may impact you and others in the field.

 Wearable Technology

Everything wearable will continue to be huge. What started a number of decades ago as a free pedometer in a box of cereal that did little more than count steps, has been on a steady diet of “Roids” ever since. 

More and more metrics like BP, HR and GPS will be standard and new metrics will be discovered that can be tracked and reported by smart watches, and clothing with. 

The data collected is uploaded to smart phones and other devices where trending analyses is made and recommendations for improvement are done. 

Hundreds of manufacturers continue to bring the prices down and the features up on these devices accounting for 1 in 5 North Americans now owning one. 

Financial incentives by Insurance providers will continue to see companies jumping on board, providing healthy lifestyle incentives to employees that comply.

Fitness challenges and rewards programs will continue to grow in size and reach.

The Opportunity:

Instructors will build programming around wearable technologies, coming into businesses to deliver classes and being able to track users lifestyles remotely through their wearable devices.

This will provide new revenue streams for personal trainers who position themselves to integrate new technologies into their services and who want to expand out of the clubs.

Workouts On Demand

Think of all the ways we access information and entertainment both at home and on the go. These are all potential means of delivering classes in real time or as recorded sessions.

The variety of classes will continue to grow as new equipment and exercise innovators continue to flood the market with new products and services.

New York and LA will longer be the exclusive owners of all things innovative; it will be shared in seconds through technology.

The Opportunity:

Everyone can potentially be an exercise service provider for the fitness industry. The major fitness players will continue to put out new innovative exercise videos but will face greater competition for downloads from new resourceful providers.

Studio Style Classes

Large gyms and franchises, traditionally the Mecca for fitness goers will now adopt more boutique style programming in an effort to give the gym-goer a greater variety of exercise options.

Small boutique clubs will thrive as they extend their reach into the community and be the first to offer new trending workouts.

Much the same way spinning classes are available everywhere, we will now see group rowing classes, HITT classes, Yoga and much more in larger gyms that create a small boutique type atmosphere within the larger club. Essentially a club within a club design.

The Opportunity:

Traditional group class instructors who have seen their Zumba, Jazzercise and other perennial favorites class sizes on the decline, will be well positioned to reinvent themselves and explore job opportunities in the Studios and Boutiques.  

Water Programs

Pools are often the lost leader in any health club but recent popularities of creative new water programs will see a re-interest in H2O. Exciting new twists on things like Yoga (but now done on a floating board) or water spinning (also called poolbiking) will turn pools into new profit centers.

The Opportunity:

This is likely to spawn new certifications and new products that can be used in the pool. Think of HIIT training and other gym-based activities that can be adapted to the water.

Also expect to see equipment manufacturers creating a new line of poolside pieces that use water as a means of resistance.

Competitive Heart Rate Training

Using a variety of aerobic equipment and callisthenic-type exercises instructors will take participants through workouts designed to burn fat while exercising in the target heart rate zone.  

Personal tracking devices will be used and classes will accommodate a range of fitness levels.

Heart rate results will be projected on walls or screens and satisfy the competitive element for members.

The Opportunity:

Understanding exercise psychology, social and competitive needs will require more educated staff.  Individuals that prepare for this early will be in demand by all styles of clubs. 

Clubs will continue to offer physiotherapist and nutritionists and expand their services to include other allied health professionals.


By Ron Warne


Copywriter for the Health, Fitness and Weight Loss Industries

Ron has worked as a college educator and Canadian government certification instructor for the health & fitness industry, personal training industry and national coaching program. His writing and consulting has served major health club chains, TV, school boards and private industry. 25 years of serving and writing for the health & fitness industries, rounds out his experience as a professional copywriter.