Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello, my fellow entrepreneurs! My name is Isaiah Grant and I’m the founder of Dream Fitness Client Academy. We’re a consulting & marketing firm based in Manchester, CT. I launched the company when I was 20 years old and working on my undergraduate degree.
The Dream Fitness Client Academy is a company dedicated to unlocking rapid growth for fitness-businesses. We do this through consulting, training and marketing services. Our mission is to help 10,000 fitness professionals predictably grow their revenue to 30K+ per month, without needing a big social media following or sales experience.
When we first started our approach was broad, and we generated a positive ROI for companies across many industries, including local businesses, consulting, health & wellness, financial services, professional coaching, live events, luxury real estate, + more. We realized that true impact and scalability happens when one is truly specialized in solving one massive problem for one audience. Thus, as of two years ago, we have dedicated our time to helping fitness professionals. Fitness, marketing, and sales are our passions and we love seeing our clients be able to leave their 9-5 at a local gym and take their fitness business online, where they sell high ticket services.
I’ve been the only full-time member of the company up to this point (with part-time contractors). Moving into mid to late 2020, I’ll be pushing to scale DFCA to high 6-figures in yearly revenue, improve our client-retention, build out our social proof base while adding full-time members to the team so I can leverage my time and accelerate our growth.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I grew up in a single-parent household, by nature I had to learn entrepreneurship. My mom was low-income and disabled, so I had to focus on being a provider from the age of 10. I was flipping CDs, DVDs, trading cards, and anything else I could get my hands on all throughout middle & high school.
Believe In Yourself – Be your biggest fan and pat yourself on the back because no one else will!
In 10th grade, I was assigned to an entrepreneurship class where there were only two people in the class including myself. I had thoughts of dropping out of the class, however, I decided to stay. This was the best decision I ever made in my life because this is where I made my 24-page business plan that would become the company that I have today. During the first three years of the company, I focused on providing branding and marketing services to local businesses and coaches. What I learned from these years, helped me create the perfect signature product that I now provide to fitness professionals to help them sell high ticket services.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Once I launched the marketing consulting company full-time, I fully-funded the startup expenses/business account from my personal savings as well as the revenue it was already generating.
At first, I was handling EVERYTHING by myself, including sales, business development, client-fulfillment, customer support, billing, content marketing, email marketing, etc. While this limited my ability to grow at first (as there's only so much one person can do), it gave me an understanding of how each key sub-system and process of the business worked, which has helped me greatly in terms of being able to clearly communicate what I expect from my team members and building out standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The entire first full-time year of being in business is when I was figuring out all of the foundational aspects of the company. From what verticals/niches we should work with, how to structure our offers, how to generate new business, what services we should offer, and more.
Since I didn’t have any formal experience working at an agency, I had to learn about all of these different aspects of the business through trial-and-error as well as self-education (podcasts, books, coaching programs, and more).
We saw success with the fitness-based business vertical at first, however, we saw the most growth with that sector after developing a high level of clarity on our messaging towards that vertical, our signature offer, that sector's pain points/goals, and developing a structured outreach campaign towards that audience.
Our initial signature package was greatly underpriced, which also limited our growth potential. Think about it like this, if you’d like to grow a fitness business to $15k per month in revenue, would you rather have:
- Roughly 50 Clients @ $300/Per Month Each Client
- Roughly 6 Clients @ $2,500/Per Month Each Client
Keep in mind that the higher-paying clients are also typically easier to work with, as they don't expect you to deliver unreasonable results instantly. In addition, they are likely to put in more action, as they have invested a significant amount of money to achieve their desired transformation.
Once I added more value to our offer and developed more of an “abundance” mindset where I truly felt that our services were worth $1,500+ per month our growth potential exploded. My newfound perspective was focused on being comfortable with asking for high-ticket monetary investments from prospects/clients.
My first few clients came from my network & relationships, however, finding clients outside of that proved to be difficult for the first few months. This was mainly due to my relative inexperience with selling B2B services, and a non-existent sales/marketing engine.
Slowly but surely, I started to figure out the business development side of the company. After our 1st year in business, I started to see the consistent revenue-growth that I was looking for.
Throughout the launch of this business, the most valuable lesson that I learned was that “revenue is more important than likes." I initially spent too much time focusing on non-income producing activities such as our website, logo, content, social media strategy, etc. I had neglected standing up a predictable marketing engine and driving sales for the company.
This limited our growth in the beginning, and once I started to focus my energy on building a sales/marketing machine, I saw consistent revenue growth. When you focus on getting attention (marketing) and driving revenue, you can hire people to make your brand look nice.
Businesses only grow in three ways – getting more customers, getting their current customers to spend more, and increasing the profit margin of their services.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The largest source of qualified leads & revenue for us has been through an application sales funnel.
Here’s how our sales funnel is structured:
1. Landing Page: First page of the funnel where visitors can opt-in to download our lead magnet (a free PDF guide). Some prospects won't be ready to purchase our services when they initially opt-in, however since we've captured their email, we can reach them with further communication/promotion of our services via an automated email marketing campaign (we use Kartra). This will turn a portion of our landing page leads to future appointments/paying clients.
2. Application Page: After a visitor opts-in and gives us their email address, they are brought to this page. On this page, we’ve placed a form for the visitor to fill out so they can reserve a free strategy session with us. We also include social proof/client testimonials on this page. Once they fill the form out and submit it, they'll be brought to the scheduling page.
3. Scheduling Page: The visitor will then be taken to our booking page. We’ve embedded our Calendly calendar into the page so prospects can choose a time/date to speak with us. Once they complete the booking, we automatically receive an email notification and the session is added to my calendar.
Here are the results of our funnel for the month of July:
- 500 Leads
- 149 Applications
- 80 Strategy Calls Booked
- If we spend “X” in paid advertising dollars...
- We’re going to end up with “X" amount of sales calls...
- “X" percent of those calls will close...
- We’ll end up with “X" amount of new clients/revenue...
It’s scalable as well since it doesn’t require much manual prospecting/follow-up.
We use Facebook & Instagram advertising to drive traffic to the funnel and have been able to significantly lower our cost per lead & cost per appointment by implementing custom/lookalike audiences within Facebook Ads Manager. The “cold” interests that are offered to you inside of Ads Manager haven’t been very effective for us in any B2B campaign.
Our clients see averages of 5-10x ROI from Facebook ad spend.
Retaining our current clients is simply done through generating as much of a positive ROI for them as possible, delivering high-quality work, framing the engagement as a long-term partnership, and providing exceptional customer service.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We're seeing consistent growth in key areas such as:
- Roughly $50k in new deals for Q1 of 2020.
- Return on ad spend is at 9.5X.
- New testimonials/case studies coming from clients bi-weekly.
The macro/long-term vision for the firm is to work with Fortune 500 brands and grow to $2M/month in revenue.
I'll be laying the groundwork for that over the next 7-10 years by establishing our credibility/reputation, retaining clients for the long-term through amazing customer-service & generating undeniable results, growing my personal brand as the head of the company, building an infrastructure to handle clients at the large corporation-level, slowly but surely working with larger & larger clients and ultimately leveling-up as an entrepreneur & business-operator.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Businesses only grow in three ways – getting more customers, getting their current customers to spend more, and increasing the profit margin of their services. Thus, it’s important that you focus your effort on SALES! Maintaining a full pipeline of prospects/deals is extremely critical to the growth of your business. Clients WILL leave unexpectedly, so you don’t want to get put in a tough spot if 50% of your clients leave you in the same month and you don’t have any new deals in the works.
Also, it’s important to always remind yourself of the long-term vision and remind yourself to be patient with the process. This will help you eliminate the urge to take shortcuts to achieve short-term goals & help you base your decisions around building a long-lasting business, not a "one-hit wonder" success.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
- Sales CRM: Pipedrive
- Funnel Development: Kartra
- Email Marketing: Kartra
- Automations: Zapier
- Scheduling Tool: Calendly / Kartra
- Accounting/Bookkeeping: QuickBooks
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie - This book is a classic and it taught me a ton about people. How to effectively interact with them, understand them and lead them.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek – This book shows how great leaders inspire everyone to take action by motivating people with the “why” behind everything that we do.
God Loves Me and I Love Myself by Mark DeJesus – This book is a great way to learn how to embrace God’s love for you so that you can love yourself and love others. When you are clear on your identity, you walk in a life of confidence and can be a blessing to others.
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren – This book is a great way to help you realize, identify and begin the pursuit of your life’s purpose. Your life’s purpose will help you understand why you are alive and reveal God's amazing plan for you both here and now.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Dream BIG – Have a vision so big that it scares you and seems impossible. Never shrink your vision to accommodate your current situations and the people around you!
Believe In Yourself – Be your biggest fan and pat yourself on the back because no one else will!
Burn the Bridge – Commit 120% your plan A, and don’t have a plan B
Trust the Process – Don’t take shortcuts and see failures as learning opportunities as failure and success are next-door neighbors
Relentless Effort – Learn daily and become the best in your industry
Personal Development – Learn daily and model the already successful
Be Patient – Don’t force things, as God and the universe knows when you’re ready
Focus – Solve one massive problem for one audience with one signature offer
Build a Power Team – Surround yourself around people who are dedicated to their success and your success. Say no and eliminate the lazy and excuse-makers.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Yes, I am! I’ve listed the open positions below, anyone that’s interested can email me their resume and a 60-second introduction video.
Part-Time/Remote – High Ticket Sales Rep
The ideal candidate will be highly capable of high ticket phone sales. They are able to make 3-8 sales calls per day and deal with high-pressure situations. They are able to close anywhere from +20%.
Part-Time/Remote – Facebook Advertising Specialist
The ideal candidate will be a highly capable Facebook advertiser with prior experience/case studies.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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