This week’s guest on the podcast is the CEO and owner of Zipleads, Matt Phillips.
In this episode, Richard and Matt talk about how automation can help fitness business owners save time, improve efficiency, reduce costs and more.
Anyway. So what’s interesting about that. I find is that I was not by far the best magician in Perth, but I was probably one of the busiest, if not the busiest, because I applied myself in studying marketing.
Welcome back team to the marketing muscle up podcast show. I’m your host, Richard Toutounji and in today’s episode, we’re talking all about a way to save more time for you to do the things that you actually love in your business, because heck why do we go on the business in the first place for there’s an old saying that I quit my nine to five job to then get a job that work 24 hours.
I don’t know if anybody can relate to. But my guest today, we’re going to talk all about that, how to get your time back when you’re struggling to figure out where it actually went. So on my show, on the show today, we’ve got Matt Phillips. Matt Phillips has been in the fitness industry. Well, I would say he’s been in the industry for a while, but he’s really experienced the fitness industry since 1999.
Um, And he’s done that through martial arts school, uh, Cobra, Cobra, martial arts. Um, that was a TV show recently on that. We’ll talk about that in a second. And, um, actually mats enlisted in the army. Uh, Officer in the Royal Australian infrared corpse, 10 years service. So mats change uniforms now. And, uh, he’s now moved into the fitness space and particularly he’s actually moved into the automation space and I’m starting to understand where this structure came from.
So Matt, welcome to the. Yeah. Thanks, Richard. Thanks for having me. I’m really keen to chat about this today. Yeah, well, we, um, connected probably about two years ago, Matt. Uh, I was saying that you’re doing some cool things with a bit of automations. Uh, I’ve always been a, uh, a fan of automations in our program and outcome marketing program.
Uh, we used, um, a lot of different ways to get automation. And over the last few years, there’s just so many different things and change that have taken place. And, uh, when we connected about two years ago, um, you, you know, you, all the things that we were doing with a thousand different plugins and add-ons and connections, uh, you were partnering with the team, a development team to create what is now called zip leads and.
And, um, basically for those, you know, basically those , it launches ads, automates core bookings, attracts leads. It brings emails in. And the thing that I love about it, Matt, and probably the reason why I’m most excited about it, but any other feature is that I love it for the sale system. Instead of having things written down on a piece of paper or an Excel sheet, you’re actually able to drop a drag.
Like somebody, if they’re in a sales process, uh, like, you know, they’re disconnected and then you maybe talk to them. You’re trying to chase them four times on the phone, you know, there’s seven, eight, ten touch points. It’s very easy to do. And that’s, what’s really excites me most about the system. But, um, yeah, I want to talk all those things today, so welcome, Matt.
Welcome. Good to have you here. Thanks Richard. Um, talk about your experience, um, in the military. Um, there’s always some, some, and the police force, I should say too. There’s obviously some trainings and some structure you get from that. I always love to know a bit of background first. What’s tell me about that.
How, how did that, you know, how, how did you go from that to, you know, working with fitness, professional? Yeah. So it’s funny how it’s full circle because, uh, I was actually meant to take over and run the very next fast of location for the martial arts school I was working at. And, uh, so my boss had forgotten that I was actually always going to go back and reapplied to the military because I actually got kicked.
I actually got knocked back. They said, come back in two years. Um, so I worked at the martial arts school for two years. Replied got in, and then that was the next 10 years, um, in the infantry. And, um, yeah, it’s definitely a valid base. And then there are a lot of people that do go from the military. Into business.
Um, it’s a very good grounding in that, because as you said, the reality of businesses that you probably do trade in a nine to five, initially for a five to nine, or even worse, 24 7. Um, and yeah, I mean, I had this, uh, uh, you know, this really a lot of science now behind why. I suppose military training or any sorts of hot shit really does say a well full later on in life in terms of, um, you know, w what we’re learning on science about motivation and ability to actually be.
Motivated intrinsically and keep moving because a lot of stuffing business is hard, but, um, I guess that does relate through to what we’re doing now is because, uh, at the end of the day, I learned a lot about the importance of efficiency in the military efficiency. And so when I was out and, you know, got into my launch, my online business, Um, yeah, I was looking for ways to make things faster and more efficient.
And then later on, as we transitioned to fitness marketing in a coaching way, we used to, you know, we used to run people’s Facebook ads. We used to coach them, in fact, your business and my business used to be very similar just before we connected. Um, and that’s why it was quite refreshing to meet someone on the same page as us, in terms of focusing on long-term growth, sustainable business strategy, growth, um, But really what we’ve diverted is that focus on the automation piece, because what we found is that you can having all these ideas and what to implement, but having to do it in several different places, doesn’t even matter.
You can have all the motivation in the world. Like, you know, you, we can’t just sort of work harder through it. You do have to, it’s very cliched, but you do have to at some point work smarter and that’s, what’s very rewarding for me. In this work that we do is, I mean, we’ll talk about some of the benefits I’m sure today, but it’s seeing the, you know, the business owners.
You know, hearing the stories of how much Headspace they’ve got back just by getting this visibility, like what you’re talking about, the visibility of being able to drag it leads to where they are. See what’s going on in the pipeline that there’s this great system of, uh, automation running in the background.
It doesn’t matter if the lead comes in, they’ll be getting handled in sunlight and you can pick up, um, you know, where you need to. Yeah, it is amazing because as I said before, like, Uh, as you grow, you just get sucked out with times. And this is the difference here and the transition of the software. I mean, there’s lots of software around.
We had active campaign for many years. There’s MailChimp. There’s there’s I get, I guess the old way of automation was, is like, okay, we use automations to send out a newsletter instead of. One by one on Gmail, you could send it out as a group. And then we had, the second kind of round of automations is let’s do a funnel and let’s send an email, let’s send an email and they can, you know, we can send automated emails.
And I, I remember when I came across these many, many years ago, it was like, oh, so that means someone can sign up and I can automate. Send an email out in day two and day six and day seven and day nine. And I thought, I don’t know. I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, but then of course, everybody also does that and we know what email inbox look like now, full of messages.
And then, you know, what, with the new version of automations is, it is much more than that because it’s bringing the social media, the Instagram chats, um, the reviews, all this into. Platform. And this is the major difference here. I think with, let’s say automations 3.0. Is that fair to say? Yeah, absolutely.
And, um, part of our transition in this was that it was like we would work with businesses who, who were doing automated stuff. Right. But it had become like automation for the cycle automation. I mean, is it plays is a very specific process, like Ziploc design process, as much as it is. I system like 95% of people using zip leads are using the zip leads conversion system.
Because what zip leads really is specifically in the fitness space is it’s not an opt, right. It’s. It’s installing something that is missing because, you know, everybody has their, their membership management platform, your MINDBODY’s your gym, masters, um, you know, your spices like that, your, your club fit, that sort of thing.
Right. Um, and to a degree, they have some automation in there, but what’s missing is the step from when the late inquires to become a member. And this, this big gap here that people are just. You know, trying to do their best to get them in there, but it’s not systemized. And so we had a system systemized approach already, and then zip plates without powder developers matched that.
So I lead comes in, let’s get them to make a, micro-commitment actually book a time to chat with us. Stop clicking on everybody. Else’s ads book, a time to chat with us. Answer a very quick survey question, say some very specific social work. Um, and this moves someone through like all the decision path. Um, so you get a higher quality conversation and more of those conversations.
So it is, it’s not a magic bullet. You don’t get everybody signing up, but it is a great solution because it’s literally less manual effort for a higher quality. Um, especially if you are paying for those leads as well. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I guess because the market is different now than it was before, where there’s a lot of different ways.
People are going to connect with you. It’s not just one stream now. There’s not one front door, there’s multiple doors. They can come in your business. And I think that’s the thing that crushes all our fitness pros, where they just can’t keep up with all these things that are going on. Yeah, I’ve spoken to one franchise owner.
Like she has multiple locations and I thought I’ve recently come on board with the place. And yeah, she hadn’t even like started running their ads yet, but for her, like having everything, always DMS these messages from Facebook, these text messages, these emails, all in one conversation thread with each contact was such a breath of fresh air for her.
And so that. Yeah, big part of it, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Matt, um, I just want to go back cause I’ve got a few notes and um, there’s one little interesting fact. I just want to, I know sometimes people think automation is a bit boring, but let’s just lighten up the show that a bit. Um, Matt is a little surprised that, um, well, there’s a secret that I found about you that, uh, wasn’t really publicized on the zip leads website or anything like that and dig to follow.
Yeah, it, uh, I approached you about it. And in fact, it’s true. Tell me your little secret, huh? It is. And we’ve even Devin started that on now. Some of y’all come to as well and they’ll be a lot more coming. Uh, but I, to be so professional magician for quite a few years in Perth and a solid format, weddings events, they flown around the country in some instances, as well as a vacation.
Uh, I guess if anyone does see us anywhere, any, uh, we’re bringing some of that out again. So I, by the way, if you come and see us, it, um, we might talk about the expo at the end of this Richard, uh, that we’re going to be at. There’ll be a lot of magic happening down there as well. So yeah, I used to be a magician and, uh, and still on my supply.
Um, so anyway, so what’s interesting about that. I find is that I was not by far the best magician in Perth, but I was probably one of the busiest, if not the busiest, because I applied myself in studying marketing. And I think that’s like a lot of industries. I mean, same with fitness. It’s not going to be the studio.
That’s getting the best results for holistic clients. I mean, we would want that, but it’s going to be the person that knows.
Selling books and not the best books that best sell it. You want to be the best selling magician. You want to be the best selling fitness studio, because that’s the best way to, to, to, you know, to, to impact more, more people. And it’s a snowball. I mean, that’s what happened with the magician career. Like, you know, And as soon as you get costs and momentum there, then referrals go Christ.
So, yeah. Yeah. Very interesting. Very interesting. It’s about attention and, uh, the magician definitely gets attention. Yeah. It’s an attention and it’s attention and inattention and magic. Yeah, for sure. Now, Matt, I’m listen to you talk to a lot of fitness business owners, just like myself. We run our webinars most months together and tell me what you think the, you know, the one, two or three top challenges right now are in the, uh, in the space.
Yeah, I think there’s a lot. Well, I don’t think there’s, I’m watching it happen. There is a lot of disruptions still on the back of the lockdowns. Um, I mean, you look at Perth, for example, I mentioned that second. I mean, they are, they’re, they’re really struggling over there because. Uh, that’s still off the back of the, obviously COVID coming through there, but now there’s a, there’s a sentiment there in all the communities where people are even less willing to go out and do stuff, because they’re concerned that the rules have relaxed and worried about even going out in public.
But even if you, so that’s an issue going on there, but even in the, on the east coast here in Australia, like, um, people are, I mean, all of his article, helping someone to the re-engagement. That we’re using zip leads to reengage with their leaves. They had a few hundred leads. They got six or seven phone bookings just within a couple of hours.
Um, which is awesome because I obviously have to plug that there. But, um, the, one of the ladies was like, you know, that had texted back saying, oh yeah, I can do that. By the way. I am a little bit concerned about COVID stuff. Um, so I’m not sure if I really want to come in. So you’ve really got to be still mindful of that in terms of people being hesitant to physically come in.
Um, again, I think that, you know, what’s the solution to that. I think phone call led sales approaches are very effective because getting on a phone call is a micro-commitment getting on a phone call is very safe. And so if someone is concerned about that, you can address that, um, you know, directly on that phone call.
And then, yeah, I think related to that, sorry, not on a separate note. I supplies. Uh, what’s another challenge going on right now is that we’ve seen. Businesses come back out for this two years of locked down on, off, on off, and then, you know, doing what they were doing before. It’s not working. I don’t know why that’s the case, but I do know that the fitness, I suppose, fitness trends have still moved on.
I don’t mean that people have moved to online versus offline. I mean like trends of things like, you know, reformer, Pilates has become, uh, a much more popular. Um, a form of fitness in the last couple of years, other forms of fitness to become less populous, there’s been some shifts there. Um, and then at the same time, you know, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve progressed further down the route of, you know, people, you know, wanting stuff now, now, now instant solutions, um, it’s, it’s, it’s a very fast paced marketing.
And so we are seeing that, you know, the types of ads that were working a couple of years ago, uh, not as effective anymore. Um, and I think this is something we might’ve covered later, but, um, I’ll just mention now that I think the, the, the issue there in terms of the solution is trying to not necessarily reinvent things, but think outside the square in terms of what our offers are, because I think what’s, uh, You know, what has been working as being less effective, but it doesn’t mean there’s no way to grow the business because we’ve actually seen some offers that we would not have recommended work really well in the last few months, but talking like the, the old seven day free trial, which traditionally is, you know, attracted a lot of tire kickers and hard to convert.
But when people are really struggling with the volume of late. Going back to that very basic coming in for free it’s free. There is no cash. We’re not talking about buy a year membership and we’ll give you a free month. It’s not that it’s genuinely something that’s free. Um, those businesses is what I’m saying, getting late volume right now.
Hmm. Very interesting. Very interesting. Um, and tell me about then. So, so basically things are changing. We need lead volts. You’re saying go back to running basic stuff. $7, seven days kind of concept. I don’t really like that. Yeah. I, I, the, the free thing is quite different than $7. Cause I always say to people that the problem with your low barrier offices, that is the price anchoring effect, that’s there for the services of worth.
Whereas free is very different. If it’s $200 a month for a membership transitioning from free to. There’s no real, um, uh, subconscious resistance there, whereas $30 a month to $200 a month, it’s, it’s harder to, to United self-conscious of them to, to breach that. So, um, but yeah, even if, even if that’s the point, the point is that to get people in the door, but that is where we need to go back and look at our sales approaches.
Um, so I guess on that note, it was something that I guess I was saying to Richard, this is on topic, is this idea of automation. Non-cell so quite a few people have spoken to me this week about their automation processes for Mt. What happens when the person they get on the sales call and we go through, it looks like a really good fit, and I want to go on and think about it.
I want to digest all the information. The one I have to think about it. I want to talk to the partner and they’re like, what’s the best automation to send on the back of that. And I was joking the other day that the perfect automation is to avoid. I’d actually look at your sales process. Why didn’t that person really sign up?
Because it’s probably a lack of clarity. It’s probably something didn’t fit that. Just saying that I need to go and think about it, um, rather than just closing the sale right there, and then going away and thinking about. Actually means something else. Hey, I lost my wife. I lost my wallet, but you’ll come back soon.
I’ll come back later. These are all signs that your product that I like your product for some way, shape or form. Yeah. And even the people that genuinely mean it. If you explore that with them, then you can often turn that around because if they genuinely were just making an excuse, well, then they’ll tell you at that point.
Um, but yeah, that’s something I, I it’s, it’s interesting here because even though I run an automation company, I’m very mindful that we work automation won’t fix everything. The great thing with automation is freeing up your time to fix those things that won’t be fixed automation. Right. You can’t send someone to a sales page.
And so I just sign up here. It’s not going to work versus a phone call or an in-person session. So we all understand that, but yeah, yeah, yeah. Very good. That’s my language like, yeah. We all know that sales hook, the best sales is face-to-face or over zoom or over the phone, things like that, which is really important.
So then let’s talk about what fitness businesses should be automating. Like if let’s talk to somebody, talk to somebody that. Uh, doesn’t like technology. Doesn’t like, they just want to go, just go, go basic. Let’s just stay basic. What, what are the two or three things that we need to be automating so we can do more of the things that we love to do.
Yeah, sure. So the number one thing is the initial nurturing of inquiries. It doesn’t matter if they’ve come from Facebook ads, a website inquiry. Uh, phone call, whatever it is. Um, I’ll give you some specific examples of this. So the key back to zip plays is take, let’s take phone calls. Someone rings you up and you missed the call, right?
Um, now it’s not okay to like, you know, this could happen on Sunday and you’re not doing anything right. It’s not okay anymore to get back to that person. The next hour, a couple of hours later at a bare minimum, we need an automated message going back to them saying, you know, Hey, it’s Matt from sip leads or wherever.
Um, just Mr. Cole. Um, When’s the best time to reconnect or whatever. And then I’ll, then you can at least text them back and arrange that appointment. And it started on an automation that text back is automated. Um, take your leads from Facebook ads. Right? A lot of people are getting leads into spreadsheets and then going through and calling it.
Um, it doesn’t, it’s not okay for your business anymore. You’d want to work because. Uh, you know, there’s so many businesses advertising on social media, half the reason that like, again, why is this important that someone clicks your ad is because they’ve already clicked on seven other ads. So the algorithm is showing more, more fitness ads, and now they’ve engaged with your ad.
Now they’re going to say the mall. And so there’s two things like one, yes, you want to automate the opportunity for them to book a phone call. That’s what we did as a place. But also if they don’t, what am I the conversation to say, Hey, thanks for your time. Um, we’d love to have a 10 minute chat just to see if this is the right fit, would a morning or afternoon worked best for you.
Right. And just automate that initial engagement and with them to, to start that conversation. Um, and so that’s two examples there, I guess. Um, what’s the other one and obviously from your website as well, same thing, contact form. Um, Yeah, it’s, it’s gotta be like, it’s got to lead to some sort of, micro-commitment like book, a phone call straight away.
Um, and if, and even if they fail to do that step on their own to have a messaging sequence that is starting some sort of to engagement, as you said, emails like, Hey, but you know, emails are very full. They don’t read them instantly text messages as the white guy. So, yeah. Number one is, uh, is the, is the initial contact with the lead is the, you know, the, the critical thing to automate.
I like it. Um, micro commitment. Do you call it micro commitments, get a little micro-commitment and they, you know, even as an email to pick up the phone, when you call them, you know, that to me makes sense. And I love automations that make sense. Uh, the ones that don’t make sense, we ignore them straight away.
Uh, Matt, this is a show on marketing, so I’d love to know, you know, what’s apart from automations, I reckon that should be a number one answer. Maybe that was, but what’s the number one marketing is working right now in the new. That you feel it’s hot. Yeah. I think like you’re right. Like that’s part of the answer.
I mean, that’s the marketing strategy to make sure that your contact is a media, but what I will say that’s, I, that is important with this is because we see this by for Nova and this is still critical right now. Um, I mentioned a second ago, the light that the couple of ladies were there, um, it was actually, it was, it was a blind spot business actually doing there were engagements getting seven calls booked.
I would say that it’s, it is, uh, is hybrid automation. So what does that mean? What I mean is that like, let’s think about the typical text Blas that a lot of Fitness’s businesses do, right? So it’s just going to be, you know, Hey, it’s Matt at zip leads, fitness, where doing this, you know, the, the may 28 day challenge, you can save $200, click here to see.
Right. That’s a real sort of typical automated Blas. Just send it out, get people to sign up for it right now. I know who people are. Don’t make them that crass sometimes, but a hybrid automation is right at the other end of the extreme, where the message actually says more like, Hey Jane, it’s mad at Zipline fitness.
Um, if it’s an old member and be like, Hey, we miss you. We’re running a restock challenge in may, we’re running a restart, kickstart, whatever. Um, would you like some more information on how. So you don’t even give any information and nor does it even sound like an automated message. And so it’s very common to get a much higher engagement right back, and even people who don’t want to do it will actually write back because it’s automated.
That appears to be coming from someone, just sitting in the office, sending a text message. So in terms of marketing strategy, it’s automation, that’s not a one of I, because when you use exempt plays, like we will set up your account for you. For example, you won’t see anything in there that says reply, yes.
To get this or click one to do that or whatever. Right. Because as soon as you show your cards, if you like that, this is automated. But you will lose a ton of people straight away just because they just don’t want to talk to our whiteboard. Um, now it’s okay to use automation, but if you can make it personal, you would just get a much better engagement.
Right. And so I think that’s the big thing. It’s, it’s often really the thing, like, you know, obviously there’s, you know, there are other platforms that do automation that do two way SMS now, like things like that are starting to, to grow, but. I think from our perspective as it plays, what’s key about how we use the platform, how we set it up and we encourage people to use it is to take that marketing strategy of hybrid automation.
Um, Instead of just, ah, how much can we automate? And let’s make the most biggest fanciest automation to discipline autopilot. It’s just a pipe dream. It doesn’t exist. Um, and in reality, if you want it, if you didn’t want to talk to anyone, you wouldn’t have started for the studio anyway. Um, yep. Love it. Yes.
Uh, there’s no point automating everything because you don’t talk to the actual client in the end and you shouldn’t even have your business. Then if that’s the way you want to go. Uh, that’s the reason, um, yeah, we love zip leads and it, uh, it makes businesses really, really easy. I just love this conversation because it, it, I mean, Matt, before we go, like before we go, um, tell me about the time that we’re going to save, you know, what, what sort of time should we save here?
I mean, there’s no point in doing automation then you gotta do, like, where would the time go? You know, we just suck up the time somewhere else. Yeah. So there’s some really good examples of this. So some, um, if you look at, um, I know what I’ve listened to, they might have their own independent studios, but, um, they’re awesome.
Examples of businesses that are, they’re super busy already. They’re like, well, that’s a quality problem to have, but we’re talking like businesses have gone from like, you know, they, they will typically make seven or eight phone calls per lead. If they’re getting a hundred leads in, they’re making 800 outbound phone calls a month and.
Installing zip leads almost overnight. They go to making about 200 phone calls for those same leads, but here’s the kicker. They talk to twice as many people. And so it’s not just, that’s where I’m at in this combination. It’s more conversations, but it’s way less effort. And it doesn’t matter if it’s like employees or the studio.
Why not? There’s just so much more time to then spend on things. So this is an example. So an example, this is like, this is sort of like the weather it’s this snowball effect is that a lot of people that start using zip lead. Very soon thereafter start doing some fun things with their plates, but I start setting up weekly checking automations for their members, and now they’re getting a boost of retention through zip plates.
Um, they actually have the time to type back over their social media marketing and run their, their marketing, maybe do more social content. And so, um, it’s always the thing with business that I. I think it’s always good to keep in mind as business owners. Yes. We want to get our time back and there’s the dream of like, oh, well, I could just, you know, if I didn’t have to do all these manual tasks and free up my time, I wouldn’t have to work so much.
Not necessarily. You may still end up doing the same hours, but, uh, the, the exponential growth your business can be. Shocking. When, what you do is you, you take that time and you reinvest it into the business rather than just say, well, now I don’t have to make those phone calls. I’m just going to take more time off.
Right. Which you can totally do, but you’ll probably just continue at the same price. But if you can take that time, you’ve got reinvest that time. Um, you know, then your business can be in a very different place, you know, two, three years down the track. Yeah. Love it, guys. Get onto it. Uh, Uh, w.com that I, zip leads.com would.you.
You can just book in a demo with myself or one of the team, and, uh, we can chat with your business. Cause that’s the only thing that it plays is that we, you can’t just sign up to zip plates because we don’t want to waste your time. We’re all about time. We don’t wanna waste our time. And so we will have a quick chat with you to make sure it’s a good fit.
If it is a good fit, we’ll let you know. Um, and we do mean that, um, because we have various guarantees in our products as well. So we really don’t want to waste out time and yeah, you can have a chat with. We’ll have a, a quick look over what you’re doing. Would this actually benefit your business? Is this the right time to put this in?
And if it is then, you know, we can help you out. Love it. Thanks guys. If you’ve enjoyed listening to this episode, be sure to share it with a friend, subscribe and give it some love on social media. I’ll catch you next time on the marketing muscle up podcast. Show bye for now.
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