Mike: [00:00:04] Hello and welcome to the How to Become a Personal Trainer podcast. We’re your hosts, Mike Vacanti.
Jordan: [00:00:09] My name is Jordan Syatt, and in this episode, we were fortunate to be joined by our Online Fitness Business Mentorship member Marci, and she’s been going between in-person and online coaching for several years now.
She’s done a very good job, but in this episode, we really dive into what she’s been struggling with and how she can improve her online business.
Mike: [00:00:30] Enjoy.
Jordan: [00:00:39] Boom.
Marci, how are you?
Marci: [00:00:41] I’m good. How are you?
Jordan: [00:00:43] Doing well, I love the tank top. I like that a lot.
Marci: [00:00:46] Okay. I didn’t even do this on purpose.
Jordan: [00:00:52] I love it. You’re in California, right?
Marci: [00:00:56] I am in California.
Jordan: [00:00:58] How are you doing out there? Everything all right?
Marci: [00:01:00] Everything’s good. It’s hot. I mean, it’s like 75 but that’s hot for me.
Jordan: [00:01:08] Yeah. It’s nicer than it is here.
Marci: [00:01:10] What is it like over there?
Jordan: [00:01:13] Cold and rainy.
Marci: [00:01:16] I’m sorry.
Jordan: [00:01:17] It’s all right.
Well, listen, thank you for getting on the call with us. We know you’re busy and we don’t wanna take up too much of your time, but basically, we’re here to help you in whatever way we can.
So, I know that you and I had DMed back and forth, but just talk to us, tell us what’s going on, how you’re doing, and we’ll just sort of shoot the shit and see what happens.
Marci: [00:01:38] Awesome. Well, I appreciate you guys so much for this opportunity, so let me just start by saying that. And I know that you are busy, so that really means a lot. I think more than anything, I am just frustrated like I think so many other people are right now.
My business was going really well in the first part of the year. I had my two highest income months since starting my business and I still train people in person, so it wasn’t just online income, it was the combination of both, but it kind of hit this point where I was like, “Oh shit, what have I done? Am I even going to be able to keep up with this?”
Because it was unlike anything I had done up until that point.
Jordan: [00:02:25] In what way? How was it unlike anything you’ve done?
Marci: [00:02:29] In terms of the volume of clients that I was serving.
It was really, you know, compared to some people wasn’t even that many. It was just more than I had done up until that point.
So, I had no experience. And it’s like, “Oh my gosh, am I going to be able to handle this?” And then literally overnight, it’s like, all right, your gym is closed. So, you just lost a huge part of your income. And the online clients just started dropping like flies, which I can understand. You know, some people actually lost their job, some people were having to lay off employees. So, they were worried about that. And was their business going to go under?
And then, I’ve told you this J, a lot of people just ghosting. Which, I know I cannot take that personally. It’s something that’s happened to me in the past, and I’m sure at some point I’ve done it to coaches as well. You know, before I really started working on myself and being able to have those difficult conversations and owning up to my shit and where I was dropping the ball.
So, I get why people do it, but I still take it personally and I still wonder and question myself, like, was I just a shitty coach and they didn’t see any value or you know, what’s really going on? So that’s kind of where I am right now. And it’s so funny because — not funny, ironic, not funny at all — for so long I’ve been having a difficult time walking away from the in-person business, even though I have never really enjoyed it.
I’ve been doing it for probably 11 years, and it was one of those things where I started the in-person business after getting fired from an outside sales job, and I realized right away that sales is not really what I enjoy doing. I had my training certification, so it was like, “well, I’m going to go do this until I figure out what I’m really going to do with my life.”
And then you get kind of comfortable, you know, it’s like, “all right, this kind of sucks, but it’s better than nothing. It’s better than starting over, it’s somewhat comfortable, people like me, so I’m just going to keep doing it.” And then I tried about four years ago to start doing the online thing, and that just took off way slower than I had anticipated.
So, I was forced, in a sense, to stay doing the in-person thing, even though it was sucking my soul. And it continues to, to be honest. So, that’s kind of where I am right now, is just knowing that I do not want to have to go back to the in-person thing, but still not doing everything I need to keep moving my business forward.
And I got off on a tangent there, what I meant to say was, it was ironic because I was saying, “Oh, I don’t have the time to do X, Y, and Z,” and then now I have more time and I’m still not doing XYZ.
Mike: [00:05:37] Is your frustration just that like, there has been a step backwards or is it also real, financially pressing situation? Like, are the clients you lost online, do they really matter for you in terms of paying the bills and day to day life? Or is it more, over four years of building your online business, you had your two best months and now it’s hard to see that take a step down?
Marci: [00:06:03] Great question. So right now, no, I can pay my bills. I also have — and Mike, you’ll appreciate this being a finance guy — one thing that my parents taught me from the beginning was always pay yourself first. So, I’m very good at doing that. I’ve never had an issue where I have to go pay my taxes and, “Oh shit, I didn’t save enough.”
And I have quite a bit of money in savings, too. I would say I have an emergency fund that would get me through a year and a half.
Mike: [00:06:35] Amazing.
Marci: [00:06:35] And that’s wonderful, that feels good, but that was money, yes, emergency fund, but also down payment on a house, hopefully, in the next couple of years. And you don’t want to tap into that just to get by and pay the bills.
So, for right now, my expenses are very minimal, they always have been. I just live fairly simply. And the stuff that I do spend money on, like skincare and facials and all of that have been taken away. So, expenses aren’t that high, but at the same time, I don’t want to have to dip into savings if I don’t have to.
Jordan: [00:07:15] So, Looking forward what would you say your main goal is right now and/or how do you think we might be able to help you most in this conversation? What do you want to be able to take out of either this time period and/or this call to really help you move forward?
Marci: [00:07:35] So the ultimate goal moving forward is: I would like to never have to step foot back in that gym again if I don’t have to. Unless it’s for my own workout.
And to maybe, there are a couple of people who I miss and who I would not mind showing up for a couple of days a week. I don’t want to be there at 6:00 AM, I don’t want to see your face on a Saturday, you know? And Part of that is the people-pleaser in me, which I’m really working on.
So, business growth is also mindset, it’s also personal development, right? And I have done so much work on myself, and it really has made drastic improvements. It’s helped in some areas, but I still have that part of me that’s like, “uhhh, I don’t want to tell you that I don’t want to be here.” You know? That’s difficult.
Even though I know, and I hate saying this, I’m not showing up for those people as well as I could because I’m borderline resentful. Like, I’m resentful at them, even though I’m the one who has the control over whether or not I keep training them. So, it’s like my anger at myself is leaking out onto them. And that’s not fair to them.
Jordan: [00:08:50] You know, it’s so interesting ’cause you were talking about how you’ve even done the thing, which I think everyone has at some point, you’ve ghosted someone because you were too immature or not experienced enough to have that conversation that you need to have. And I think we’ve all done that.
Now it’s the same situation but in reverse, where it’s like instead of ghosting them, you’re still seeing them, but you’re not having the conversation that needs to be had, right? You’re still seeing them, but you’re not having the conversation that you need to have in order to actually improve your relationship and chase whatever you want to chase.
So, I think, whether it’s now or at some point in the future, having those conversations. But clearly focusing on your online business is what your goal is. That’s it, right?
Marci: [00:09:36] And my in-person clients, they know that. I am fully transparent that I have this online business and maybe I don’t say to all of them, “Oh, my goal is to not train you anymore or not train you in person.”
I have one guy, he’s my longest standing client. He’s 72 years old. He just shows up every day, doesn’t complain, pays me on time, he is the dream client, but I know he would not go to online training. I finally was able to send him a body weight workout and he’s like, “yeah, we’ll see if I’ll do it.”
But, the one client who really sucks the life out of me. I’m just so transparent…
Jordan: [00:10:25] I love it. I love it. It’s amazing.
Marci: [00:10:27] She’s not going to be listening. We have like a mother-daughter relationship and the woman can suck my soul. So, we’ve had a very tense relationship for a long time, but again, she’s consistent.
She pays me on time. She pays me when I’m not there. So, it’s like this, I don’t want to call it greediness, but I keep showing up for her, 1) ’cause I feel bad for her because she has so much stress in her life. Like, the three hours that she has with me is the only time she has to herself. But she knows that I don’t want to be there. And she’s even said like, “we don’t have to do the Saturdays.” I’m like, “Oh no, but I want your money.” And you know, that’s terrible.
So, I had a phone call with her yesterday ’cause I wrote her an in-person plan. And I mean, if I was to transition someone like that to online, I would be losing a lot of money, but at least it would be something, right? And I would have my sanity. Because I will say more than anything right now, this situation, as difficult as it is, as scary as it is, it has shown me how out of alignment and out of integrity I was in my own life, continuing to do the in-person thing. Because yeah, it’s scary. Like, where’s the money coming from?
I’m losing clients left and right. I’m not getting any new clients, but oh my gosh, I feel this inner sense of peace like I have not felt in 10 years.
Mike: [00:11:56] Does it feel like the bigger barrier is having the difficult conversation or is the bigger barrier getting your online business bigger so that you can have the conversation?
Marci: [00:12:10] Great question. The latter.
I have not yet been able to build it to the point where I would be comfortable completely stepping away from the in-person thing. So, it’s a security issue more than anything else.
Mike: [00:12:25] Do you have a number of clients in mind where, “if I had X online clients, then I’d be okay with reducing in my in-person sessions?”
Marci: [00:12:35] Yeah. I also think I want to continue raising my prices because I’ve done that slowly over time. And I don’t really want to have a huge roster of people.
Part of my, you know, we’ll call it my “authentic code,” I guess, when it comes to business is building relationships that are a little bit deeper.
So, it’s not like the wide thing, it’s going deep with people. And being able to get on calls with them, being able to text them, really having that solid foundation and building a good relationship where people would be willing to pay more money to have more access to me rather than– I mean, I have coaches where I dropped off, I didn’t check in with them, and they never checked in with me.
Now I know, like, I am a number, I am not a person to you. And not how I want to run my business. So, I would rather have, I don’t know, let’s say 25 to 30 who pay me a decent amount, but really be able to service them as well as I can. But you don’t always know, am I going to get that amount from somebody?
I know what’s possible but sometimes if I’m in a scarcity mindset, I’m like, “Oh, well I can reduce this,” or “yeah, I’ll give you a break,” but then that’s devaluing my service. And then I also will end up resentful.
Mike: [00:13:55] What are you charging for coaching right now?
Marci: [00:13:58] So for training and nutrition, $350 a month.
And I played around with this because I’ve been in different coaching programs. For a while, I was doing $400 or paid in full $1200 a month. And then I started to come up against some resistance, so I lowered it.
Jordan: [00:14:17] Wait, $1200 a month?
Marci: [00:14:20] $1200 for three months.
Jordan: [00:14:21] Got it, got it, got it. I was like DAAAAMMMNNN.
Marci: [00:14:24] I mean, okay, so I just got off a call yesterday with a very good friend of mine who, very small following on Instagram, small presence on Facebook, but whatever she’s posting on Instagram, she’s posting on Facebook. That is her only online presence and she’s making $35,000 a month, charging between $3500 and $5000 for a 14-week coaching program.
So, I know what’s out there. I know that people are paying it. Do I want to be charging that much? Probably not. But I know that the right person will pay more than I am currently charging.
Jordan: [00:15:01] You know, there’s a massive part of me that’s like, “you’re going to regret saying this,” but I have to say it. I just have to say it.
Do you know for a fact that this person is making that amount of money? Like, you’ve seen their bank statements?
Marci: [00:15:17] I haven’t seen their bank statements, but I don’t think that she would lie to me. I really, truly don’t think she would lie to me about it.
Jordan: [00:15:27] And she very well might be making that amount of money. There’s no way that I could possibly say, “Oh, they’re lying.” The only thing I can pull from is just experience.
Marci: [00:15:50] So she’s got like three levels and she broke down her entire business to me yesterday, which was very nice with how forthcoming she was. So, the bottom level tier is maybe $1000 or $1500 for the three months, and then it’s like $3,500 and then it goes up to $5,000 and you can pay in full and you’ll get a break, but if you do a payment plan, you pay a little bit more. So, it’s kind of all over the place and I don’t remember exactly, but basically, she’s getting anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000 for 14 weeks.
Jordan: [00:16:23] And where is she getting her clients from?
Marci: [00:16:25] All Instagram.
Jordan: [00:16:27] She doesn’t have a big audience?
Marci: [00:16:28] 3000.
Jordan: [00:16:30] And how’s her engagement on her posts?
Marci: [00:16:32] Hardly any.
Jordan: [00:16:35] It’s sort of like– again, I don’t know, she could be telling the truth. She very well could be. But it’s sort of like when you have a client who is like super, super, super overweight and they’re like, “I swear to God, I’m eating nothing.” And then they send you their food log and they break it down like, “this is everything that I’m eating. This is everything.” And you’re like, “Oh wow. Well you should really be losing weight, but you’re not. This is so weird. I don’t know why.” I mean, they showed me, there’s no reason for them to lie to me. And again, she could be telling the truth. I don’t know her. She very well might be.
But just pulling from my experience in this industry and having seen people lie about this stuff, I’ve never seen anyone with business all over the place like that with next to no audience making that amount of money. I mean, that’s pretty insane. And again, very well could be. A huge part of me was like, “don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it,” but I just have to put it out there just because that’s a possibility.
That’s just one of the reasons why I’ve always been like, with everyone, like, “Hey, if you want to see something, I’ll show you bank statements, whatever.” Just ’cause I want to be forthright with that.
The other thing is, let’s say they are making that amount of money, let’s say, “cool, amazing. They’re making that amount of money.” The next question is, would you feel comfortable charging that amount of money? And that’s really the most important part.
Marci: [00:17:45] And it’s really interesting you say that because I was having a conversation with my boyfriend about this last night.
He’s also kind of trying to do an online business type of thing. And he asked me, he’s like, “you going to ask her what she’s doing, get the information Marci.” And I was like, eh, I don’t really know if I want to go there. I know she’d tell me, but we got on the call yesterday and, like I said, she was very forthcoming with it, but when I was telling Jeff about the conversation, he was like.
“Man, that’s a lot of money.” And Jeff is always telling me, like, he is someone who believes in himself more than anybody I’ve ever met in my life, and he’s said to me, “you need to increase your prices.” But when I told him that and he was like, “I don’t even think I could charge that much.”
It seems, I don’t wanna say unrealistic, but it does not feel good for me.
Jordan: [00:18:35] That’s the answer right there. And for each person, you have to go with what feels good for you. There’s a difference between being nervous to increase to what you know you’re worth versus not feeling morally or ethically okay with it. You know what I mean?
So, I think charging more than what you’re currently charging is totally fine. I think we’re also getting a little off track, but either way, you said something interesting. You were talking about how now you feel more at peace than you have in a really long time even though with everything crazy going on and in-person business going away, clients dropping, I’m actually interested to know why do you feel at peace right now?
Marci: [00:19:17] Because I don’t have to show up to that gym every day. And I have time. I mean, for the past, well, ever since college, I’ve woken up at five in the morning, whether it’s to do the fitness hustle myself, and spend 45 minutes on the treadmill, or it’s to get to the gym at 4:45-5:30 to train somebody else.
And I’ve always been a morning person, but lately I’m just like, “God, I hate sending my alarm. I hate getting up early. I hate being here,” and I sound so negative. And now it’s like, I don’t have to wake up to an alarm, I can do my meditation, I can do my journal, I can get up and go for my walk and drink my coffee, and I just feel at peace that way, even though I’m like, “uh, where’s the money coming from and when am I going to start getting clients again?”
Jordan: [00:20:09] And there’s no guilt around it. There’s no guilt around living this lifestyle because that’s huge. I think Mike asked really good question, which is, well, what’s the number of clients at which you’d feel comfortable?
Mike: [00:20:24] Or you can think of it as monthly income from online business, if you’d rather phrase it that way.
Marci: [00:20:31] Oh, sure, sure, sure. You know, it’s hard. Everyone’s like “the elusive 10K a month,” or that’s like the gold standard like, “you’ve made it if you’re making 10K a month online.”
That would be wonderful. I mean, six figures. I live in the Bay area, right? So, the most expensive part of the country. And I was paying $3,000 a month, I mean, split with somebody else for an apartment. So, you have to make a decent amount of money just to be middle class around here, just to get by.
So, it’s not even a greed thing, it’s like to pay my bills and stay off the street, I need to make a decent amount.
Mike: [00:21:19] And I know you would rather go deep than wide, but from where you are now, do you want more online clients?
Marci: [00:21:28] Yeah, I would say like 25 to 30 I would probably be comfortable with. And I was servicing approximately that many before all of this hit, but again, also doing 20 hours in the gym.
If I took away the in-person hours or even scale back to, I don’t know, like 10 a week, let’s say, you know, work with the people that I really enjoy enough to still be able to work out there myself, then yeah, that wouldn’t be so bad and I think that I could handle that, possibly more but I don’t know, ’cause I’ve never done it.
Jordan: [00:22:05] Where did the majority of your clients come from?
Marci: [00:22:08] So they come from Instagram and that is my biggest issue — lead generation. Because I do sales calls with people and for the most part, once I get someone on the phone, I am completely comfortable. I’m not going to call myself a rock star sales person, but I have a fairly high closing rate.
Again, I’m not charging. $5,000 per program. So maybe that’s–
Mike: [00:22:31] $350 is very solid.
Marci: [00:22:34] I would be comfortable with, I would say $350 to $500 depending on the level of access that they had to me.
So yeah, once I get people on the phone, I do a pretty good job of closing the sale. It is getting the leads, getting the applications, getting the people reaching out, all of that. And I will say the times where I have been flooded with applications and get the most clients is when I put up transformation photos, whether that’s of my clients or of myself, and for whatever reason, a lot of my clients don’t feel comfortable taking progress pictures, so I don’t have tons of before and afters to even share.
So, I feel like if I’m not putting those up, I’m not getting leads. And where I was going with that is: I can get people on the phone, I have a hard time getting applications, I don’t mind selling on the phone. I do not like selling, in my Instagram stories. I don’t like, you know, “here’s my program, link in my bio,” which is what I’m taught to do by people, you know?
And so that’s where I have been stuck right now.
Jordan: [00:23:49] Wait, not by us, though?
Marci: [00:23:52] No, no, no. Other coaches in the past have said sell online, and when I was talking to my friend yesterday, she’s like, “are you asking for the sale?” And I’m like, ‘no.” She’s like, “I may have a small audience, but people come to me. People submit applications because I talk about my program and I tell them, click the link in the bio, submit an application.”
And I don’t do that.
Jordan: [00:24:19] So there’s a lot to discuss here and there’s a lot of middle ground to find. There’s one thing I want to hit on, which is — this is really important and I’m actually really excited for you — you’re doing like 20 hours a week in-person, you’re doing your 20 to 25 online clients, and you’re doing sales calls, and you’re making content for social media. Your schedule is pretty damn packed.
Not to mention the commuting time to get to the gym and all this stuff. There’s a lot going on here. I am very excited for you to use this opportunity to not go back to in-person training or to at least cut in half.
I very much believe that that’s going to help you a lot, for a number of reasons. Not least of which, and this is something that I’d heard people talk about, but I didn’t really understand it until I actually went through it through different phases of my career, which is having more time to not be in a space of feeling like your soul is being sucked out of you, allows you to create so much more and do so much more.
It’s not just the hour that you’re with someone who’s sucking the soul out of you, it’s the hours leading up to it that is draining, it’s immediate time after, there’s so much that gets taken from you and you’ll be able to do so much more that will lead to you being able to get more online business if you cut that down and you remove those people from your life. Or at least from your in-person life.
Marci: [00:25:52] We were kind of talking about this earlier — that’s the irony is I kept saying to myself, “I’m going to have so much more time, my head is going to be so much clearer,” and when this first happened, that is what I was telling myself, that is what I have been telling myself for so long.
And when we got into the situation, it was like crisis mode in a sense, because I was trying to support my in-person clients, getting them set up with in-home programs, I was trying to support my online clients that were staying with me, I had written a program for them a week ago, and now I’m writing a completely new one.
So, it was all day, it was go, go, go, servicing, creating content, recording the pocket, just barely getting by with the bare minimum that I had to do just to help the people who needed me and who were paying me, not even do more.
And now things have slowed down. I have more time and space — and this is what I was telling you, I think, when we were messaging, J — is it’s like I’m paralyzed. I feel less creative, I’m like, “I don’t know what to write about,” which we can get into later, maybe, but I’m supposed to be finishing my lead magnet — which I created this lead magnet two years ago and never promoted it, again, because I don’t like selling myself.
And I was like, “okay, Marci, you put in a lot of work to that” and I’m kind of glad I didn’t promote it because I went back and read it and like, “God, this was shit.” But you know, I’ve been wanting to construct what my offer looks like and how I would talk about it, I want to finish the lead magnet, I want to start doing my emails again, everything that we’re talking about in the challenge.
And I’m doing the bare minimum during the day and then that’s it. And I don’t know why that is. If you read the book “War of Art,” Steven Pressfield will say, “the greater the calling, the greater the resistance.”
So, I feel this resistance. It doesn’t feel like I don’t want to be doing it, but I’m like, why do I not have that fire under my ass to just get done the stuff that I need to get done?
That’s kind of where I am right now. It’s like, yeah, I have the time, but now I’m not doing it.
Not that I’m not doing anything, but yeah.
Mike: [00:28:10] If it feels difficult to finish the lead magnet or some of the other plans, you might have had to use this extra time you have like, those things sound like– you use the term resistance, which is amazing — is there anything that you feel pulled toward, that you really want to be doing?
Marci: [00:28:35] That’s a good question…
Mike: [00:28:38] For example, I haven’t made much content at all for a long time.
Marci: [00:28:42] Yeah, I know. I see.
Mike: [00:28:46] However, I genuinely look forward to doing podcasts. And so, for anyone listening who doesn’t know, Marci absolutely dominates Instagram. You’re consistent, you get great engagement, you’re very consistent on Twitter. I did a little scroll-through everything before this.
Are there any other places where you have curiosity or that you might be interested in dipping your toes in –that you feel more pulled toward than other places where you might create?
Marci: [00:29:17] Okay, great question. I’m so glad you asked.
This came up in the group yesterday because one of the ladies was saying, “I am so overwhelmed because I feel like I have to be everywhere.
I have to be on YouTube and Twitter and podcasts, and now Tik-Tok, and Instagram,” you know? And I feel that way too. And my limiting belief is technology. Hands down. I feel like I would be doing a lot more if I didn’t have to figure out the tech side of things. That has always held me back. Not trying to make excuses, it just is what it is.
I don’t like doing video, so I do not want to do YouTube. I don’t even like talking on my stories, really. So, it’s like, eh, video might be out. I do have a podcast with three of my other friends. So, the Decades of Strength, there’s four of us. I love podcasting. I was so excited when Jordan reached out to me. He probably heard my voice, I was like a little school girl, like, “Oh my gosh, yes, please. Can I podcast?”
Jordan: [00:30:15] What do you like about podcasting?
Marci: [00:30:19] I don’t know what I like about podcasting, because I think the thing I don’t love about video is that I have a hard time collecting my thoughts and getting out what I want to say.
I feel like I’m not articulate, so I have this resistance towards video. Maybe it’s that I’m not physically seen on podcasts. I don’t know what it is. That’s probably part of it.
Jordan: [00:30:42] One of the hard parts about video is you are so much more aware of everything that you’re doing ’cause they can see it.
I mean I’ll be doing like a take or something and I’ll feel like I have a twitch in my face and I’ll be like, “ah, what the hell was that random twitch?!” And then I’ll stop and I’ll look at it and I don’t see anything. But I’m like, “why are you so self-aware of all of this stuff going on just because the camera’s on?”
Marci: [00:31:04] Yeah. And that’s been a huge block for me, like, I don’t like what I physically look like right now. I look at myself in the mirror, or when I turn the camera on me to do an Instagram story, I’m like, “Oh God. No one’s going to want to look at you. Filter that shit or put your glasses on.” And then I’ll talk to my friends and they’re like, “we don’t see what you’re seeing.”
The biggest fear is you have these things about yourself, these insecurities, and you are afraid that somebody is going to call you out and confirm what you don’t like about yourself. I think that’s what it is more than anything.
Even with podcasts I say, “um,” and “like,” and “right,” and, “you know,” I definitely could get better with the podcasting, but there’s just something that feels a little bit safer about it. And I think I like doing it because I get to talk to my three really good friends once a week, you know? And we have a good rapport. And I like talking about the topics.
My only concern with the podcast is I am the only one of the four who also does not have my own podcast. So, Kim, Sam, Sarah, they all have their own, where you know Kim and Sam, they will do interview sessions , but they do have solo episodes as well.
Sarah only does solo episodes, and I’m kind of like, well, do I need my own podcast too? Especially if building my business is what I want to do.
So, there’s that.
Jordan: [00:32:36] You do.
I’ve interacted with you a number of times throughout the years. I love your energy during the podcast.
I love your energy, I love your honesty, I love how candid you are, I love how passionate you are. And I’ll tell you this — obviously Instagram was and still is a huge part of my day to day life and my business, but I’ve also become far less enamored with it the more and more do it. And I think this is part of life, the better you get at something and as you reach a higher level with it, oftentimes you lose the excitement and the spark that comes with it, right?
That’s sort of what happens with fitness. When you first get into fitness, you’re like, “yeah!” Like, “yeah, fitness! I love this! FITNEEEESSSS!” and then as you get better and better and better, you’re like, “all right, like, what else?” And so that’s why it’s so important to always find something you enjoy. I think it’s why Mike’s question is so good.
Rather than focusing on what you don’t want to do, go to something that you’re pulled to. I think you loving podcast is the answer enough. Start your own and from there you have a great audience on Instagram, you have a very engaged audience there. They trust you. Send them to your podcast.
“Hey, I’m doing more podcasts.” I’m doing however many — one a week, two week, whatever it is. Interview your audience members, get them on your podcast or get Kim and Sam and Sarah, get them on your podcast, or get other industry professionals, or do solo episodes.
Mike: [00:34:00] It’s such a good opportunity for you to provide even more depth with the people who really want more of you.
Marci: [00:34:13] Yes. And that’s been the thing that’s kind of been pulling at me is, “okay, they all have their own, do I need my own too?” And the intuition in me is saying, “yes, you do.”
Jordan: [00:34:26] You don’t need your own podcasts because they do. You need your own podcast because it’s what you enjoy. That’s it.
They could have their own podcast or YouTube or whatever, but if you didn’t like doing podcasts, I’d say, all right, so probably not worth it. But if you love podcasting, then it’s worth it.
Marci: [00:34:45] Right, right. And yeah, I don’t know if I would want to do episodes where I am just speaking, like the solo episodes where it’s just me.
Going back to like, why I don’t like video — I have a hard time just talking about a subject for a really long time without feeling like I sound like a babbling idiot. And I know that gets better the more you do it, but I do think I would at least want to start out doing more interviews because, it’s really interesting. I used to get in trouble a lot– not in trouble, people would be like, “it’s so annoying, you ask so many questions.”
And it’s funny because I hate other people asking me questions, but I am very inquisitive and I want to know about other people. It’s how I engage. So, I think that would be a really good opportunity just to learn more myself and have a good time with it is to have my own, where I am interviewing people. ‘Cause I do, I have a lot of connections in this industry and I have clients and friends who I can interview and I think it would be really good.
Jordan: [00:35:49] You know, there’s a lot going through my mind. Number one being — and I think I’ve said this in the Mentorship before, I’m not sure, but out of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, email, everything, the number one driver for me to the Inner Circle is my podcast, which has relatively small engagement comparatively.
And the reason is because it’s 45-60 minutes longer, just people listening to that whole conversation. So, you don’t need a massive audience, especially on a podcast, or I think YouTube is equivalent, because they’re spending so much time listening to you in their ear.
Now, you can also take the benefit of a transformation picture on Instagram and bring it to a podcast where they don’t need a post their picture on your podcast, you can just talk to them. “Hey, you lost 20 pounds over the last two years of us working together. You’ve completely changed your life. Let’s talk about it. Let’s have a conversation. What’d you do? What’s going on? What are your goals going forward?” That will serve as a transformation photo, but candidly, I think it will do even better because now they’re actually getting the other person, they’re hearing them, they’re relating to them.
And you get to have these conversations with people that have been a part of your life for a while and that you’ve been able to impact. Especially in a time in which you have more time and you know you want to be doing something, going towards something that you enjoy — you can’t beat that. It’s the best thing you could do.
Marci: [00:37:13] Right, right.
Mike: [00:37:14] Yeah, and I think all of the above, too. Whether it’s someone else in the industry, whether it’s just someone who you like and are interested in and want to learn more about, other people will then likely share that same opinion, whether it’s clients who are open to the idea or even people in your audience who want a free opportunity to pick your brain about fitness for an hour, basically like an hour of free advice, which is also going to benefit the same types of people who would likely potentially become clients.
Marci: [00:37:48] Right. Yeah. Yeah. You’re so right. I was really hoping you weren’t going to say like, “get on YouTube Marci.”
Jordan: [00:37:56] You don’t have to do YouTube.
Is there some resistance now? How do you feel right now with all that said?
Marci: [00:38:06] Oh, so for me it goes back to the technology, like, “Oh, I really want to do this, but now I’ve got to figure out how to set it up and do all of that.” So that is always my biggest barrier.
Even with the lead magnet. Okay, like I can finish writing the lead magnet, but now I’ve got to create the, opt-in page and all that backend stuff that I just don’t like doing. So, I think the resistance is more that rather than wanting to put my art out into the world. Because so many people will say, “you know, I have resistance towards doing stuff because of how other people have perceived me or what they have said to me. I’m afraid of their criticism.”
I did not have anybody in my life who has ever said, “why are you doing that? An online business? Really?” Maybe like one time, it was more my uncle years ago with the in-person business, like, “Oh, you can’t really make a living at doing that.” But I’d get very, very little, if any negative feedback.
I get very little negative feedback on my Instagram. And maybe it’s ’cause I’m not putting myself out there as much as I could. I don’t know. But my limiting belief is not other people not believing in me. It’s me not believing in myself or the resistance to getting uncomfortable, having to learn something that’s out of my comfort zone.
It’s no one else’s opinion, but my own.
Mike: [00:39:35] Who does the production on Decades of Strength?
Marci: [00:39:38] Sam Altieri
Mike: [00:39:40] I wonder if you could ask Sam if there’s like a step-by-step.
Marci: [00:39:45] Oh yeah. And I could ask Kim, I could ask any of them. I even considered, do I want to use some of this money that I’m making online or do I even want to, if needed, go into my savings for the time being and hire a production company and make it sound really nice and just have it be and look really good.
Mike: [00:40:09] Or even a freelancer, which would be super reasonably priced, too.
Marci: [00:40:17] Right. Yeah. And I know that there are people out there, there are options. I haven’t looked into it too much, but I have some people in mind. Or like you said, a freelancer, there are tons of options. So, I need to get out of my own way.
Jordan: [00:40:34] So, the question is not what to do — you know what to do. The question is, are you going to do it? That’s really it.
Marci: [00:40:44] I know.
Jordan: [00:40:45] So, are you?
Marci: [00:40:47] Yeah. ‘Cause it’s been eating at me for so long.
Jordan: [00:40:51] We spoke years ago and we spoke about you going on Instagram and you went nuts.
You went bonkers on Instagram and you put in a ton of work, a ton of time, and it exploded. What was the difference between learning that game, learning the infographic game, learning the Instagram game versus now?
Marci: [00:41:13] I feel like there weren’t as many moving parts, so to speak.
I will never forget — and I credit you, Jordan, with any success that I have right now, because I know I would’ve never created an infographic if you had not lit that fire under my ass and said — it was a Tuesday that we spoke and you said, “I want to see an infographic on your site by Thursday.”
And I had no idea what I was doing. And that was my resistance, like, “I’m not creative. I don’t know how to do those things,” you know? So, I wanted you to tell me what I wanted to hear, which was, “no, you don’t need to, just do your own thing,” and you were like, “Nope.”
I’ve shared this story with you before and I’ll share it with the listeners, but nothing has resonated more than when you were looking at my feed and you said, “yeah, Marci, those Brussels sprouts look delicious, but no one’s going to share a fucking picture of Brussels sprouts.”
I was like, mind blown. Everything just made sense, you know? And I was like, “okay, I get it. He’s right.” And you’ve always been someone who I’ve not wanted to let down because you’ve invested so much of your time into me and why I continue to invest my money, my time into you is because I’m so appreciative of everything that you’ve done.
And I trust you and you as well, Mike. I look to you guys as the way that I want to run my business — with integrity, with making it about the client, not about me. So yeah, thank you guys both for just being what I call an “expander” in terms of how I want to show up, how I want to run my business.
I guess I don’t want to let you guys down and I don’t want to let myself down, so I’ve gotta do this.
Jordan: [00:43:19] So, what’s step one? We get off this podcast eventually, what’s your step number one? What do you do first?
Marci: [00:43:30] I don’t even know. Where do I even start? You tell me!
Jordan: [00:43:35] So, that’s perfect. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to come up with your action plan, and this is going to be your next major project.
Now, I really want to make this super clear: what happens after this call could completely and utterly change your life for the better if you do it.
In the same way that so many great things have come from what you did on Instagram, I think now it will be like that, but magnified tenfold because you already have so much attention there and you can keep pushing them over, keep pushing them over. If you were starting from scratch it would be way more difficult. But you have so much already and you can continue to build that and go elsewhere.
I mean, if you watch my stories, I’m constantly pushing people to my podcast. I think I had like six swipe ups to my podcast in the last 24 hours. Different stories.
For specific reasons, I way more enjoy doing podcasts than I do doing Instagram right now and I’d rather people spend more time listening to my podcast and watching my Instagram. Same thing with YouTube, same thing with all that stuff.
So now we need to come up with, all right, Marci, what is your plan? What is step number one when we get off this call?”
And before Mike and I say anything, we’re asking you — what do you think step number one is right now?
Marci: [00:44:58] I don’t even know. Start researching how to even record a podcast. I mean…I don’t know. I don’t know. I need help.
Jordan: [00:45:10] What do you think, Mike?
Mike: [00:45:12] I mean, you have a podcast already. Do you have a microphone that you use for that one?
Marci: [00:45:17] Oh yeah. I have a microphone sitting right next to me and it’s not even set up ’cause I need to buy the adaptive from Amazon. So yeah, I’ve got some equipment.
Mike: [00:45:29] That sounds like a good step one — buy the adapter. I mean, the podcast doesn’t have to be everywhere, right? You’re controlling pushing your audience there. So, if you want to go lowest resistance, Anchor.fm is pretty straightforward.
Jordan: [00:45:47] Why don’t you use Anchor.fm?
Marci: [00:45:49] I definitely could.
And I can reach out to Sam. I can reach out to Kim. I can reach out to any of my friends who were doing it and be like, “Hey, can you walk me through this?”
Mike: [00:45:59] Would you rather reach out to one of those two or would you rather start it on Anchor.fm?
Marci: [00:46:03] Well, they all do theirs on Anchor.fm. That’s why I was going to be like, “can you help me with, Anchor.fm?”
I mean, we do Anchor.fm and iTunes.
Is it difficult to get your podcast on iTunes?
Jordan: [00:46:18] No. Marci, Anchor.fm does it for you.
Marci: [00:46:22] Oh. Perfect.
Jordan: [00:46:23] Literally — so I’m going to tell you a story. I think I’ve made a video about this in the Mentorship, but when I first started my podcast, I still do it on Anchor.fm, but I started on Anchor.fm and I didn’t even have a microphone, I literally did it all on my phone through Anchor.fm.
And when you do that without a microphone, the sound quality is awful. Like, truly terrible. If you look through my reviews on my podcasts, like you scroll down a lot of reviews, you’ll see there are people who are like, “ah, podcast is amazing, but sound quality is terrible.”
The only one-star reviews were from people who were being like, “I love the podcast and I hate to do this, but your sound quality is awful.” And so eventually I finally got this microphone for like $60 on Amazon, which has a USB connect into my computer, and so it’s just connected to my computer now and it works, and then I record it on either Skype or QuickTime audio player and literally, I drag the recording into Anchor.fm and to my account, drop it, publish.
That’s literally it.
Drag, drop, publish.
When you make your account on Anchor.fm, it takes a couple of days, but they will get your account set up on iTunes, on Spotify, on everything, and once you hit publish, within an hour, your podcast goes to all of those automatically. You don’t have to do anything.
Drag, drop, done.
That’s literally it. It is so simple.
Marci: [00:47:58] So if I can make an infographic, I can do that.
Jordan: [00:48:02] Oh my God, yes. It’s so much easier, it’s so much more enjoyable. The actual podcast is so much more fun. And then the publishing process is so easy. It’s ridiculous.
It’s ridiculous. So, step number one for you is make an account on Anchor.fm. That might take 20 minutes. Maybe. Max.
I think the part that’s going to take the most amount of time is going to be the name. You have to name it. It could be like, “The Marci Show.”
Mike: [00:48:40] Perfect.
I love that.
Jordan: [00:48:48] Oh, wow. I just had a good name. You know, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.?”
“I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Podcast Podcast.” That’d be funny one.
Marci: [00:48:57] I got down on some, I can’t believe it’s not butter in the day.
Jordan: [00:49:02] So make the name, make your account, within several days it’ll be ready to go. And you can start doing them even before it’s ready to go. Like, every computer, I believe, has QuickTime player. I think literally every computer has it. So, if you want to record just one with yourself, then you do that.
If you want to do it with other people, I know a lot of people use Zoom and Zoom stocks have just skyrocketed over all of this. Mike and I use Skype, I use Skype, it’s just way easier and you don’t have to schedule a meeting with it or anything. With Skype, you’re like, “all right, let’s go” and you hit record and then boom, you’re good to go. Then literally, you just save the file as an audio recording and then drag, drop, good to go.
Marci: [00:49:48] Seems pretty easy. I think more than anything at this point now it’s gonna be like, what do I name it, and doing the intro and all of that stuff to kind of– not make it sound good, but that’s challenging for me too, is like, how do I articulate what my message is and what I want to say? You know?
Jordan: [00:50:09] Well, how do you think?
Marci: [00:50:10] I don’t know. I got to sit down and think about that.
Jordan: [00:50:12] Let’s think about it now. We’re sitting down. Let’s talk.
Marci: [00:50:18] Let’s name it first. One step at a time.
Mike: [00:50:21] You know your message. You clearly have an ethos and a philosophy. You’ve coached how many clients and you have how many tens of thousands that follow and engage and listen and take your advice and put it into practice. You obviously know what you’re doing. It’s just talking about that.
Marci: [00:50:39] Right, right. Yeah. I think my message — and it’s evolved over the years — but it goes back to all of the mistakes that I made along the way in the pursuit of fitness. Like, I screwed my body up, I ruined relationships, you know?
So, I guess my ethos at this time is to teach people how to make fitness a part of their life, get the results they want in a healthy and sustainable way that is not going to be taking from the overall quality of their life.
Jordan: [00:51:18] I’m ready to listen right now. It sounds phenomenal.
Mike: [00:51:20] Yeah, when is episode one going to be?
Jordan: [00:51:24] That sounds great.
Marci: [00:51:25] Does that sound okay? I always question myself.
Mike: [00:51:28] Yes. It’s perfect. Especially because it’s true.
Marci: [00:51:32] It’s so true.
Jordan: [00:51:33] Marci, I’m going to tell you something. Your first infographics were awful.
Marci: [00:51:38] Horrible. Horrible.
Jordan: [00:51:41] And now look at you.
Marci: [00:51:42] Yeah.
Jordan: [00:51:44] Your first podcast very well might suck. Who cares? If you go look at my old infographics, they were terrible. No one is an expert the first time they do something. You know this, I mean, it’s sort of like the first time your clients track their calories.
They ask some really stupid questions when they first start tracking their calories. Do you say, “Oh, this isn’t gonna work for you. What a dumb question.”
Now, maybe inside your soul gets ripped apart, but you’re kind to them and you’re like, “no, this is how it works,” right?
Same thing. You have so much knowledge. You’re so intelligent. You have so much experience. You’re so well-spoken. You’re so passionate. There is zero reason for you to not do this unless you don’t want to.
Marci: [00:52:41] No, I do want to. I do. And like I said, it’s been pulling at me. I love doing the one with the other girls, but selfishly. I want to talk to people. I want to bring people on the show and have those conversations, or even just speak more of my own truth.
I share my story a lot on the podcast, so I think it’s more at this point, talking to other people and using it as a way to get clients, like you said — bringing clients on there and having those conversations.
Jordan: [00:53:20] I guarantee you — less time spent in-person, more time spent creating content that you enjoy — in the same way that you like going more in-depth with clients — you don’t want to have a hundred clients ’cause they’re just a number at that point. You want to be able to go in-depth with clients. You want to go in depth with your audience.
You want to go with in-depth content. You can only go so far in-depth on a platform like Instagram. It’s a great starter platform, but you can’t create much depth on it. So, creating a podcast is the same way to create more depth and really get to know your audience and get them to know you.
There’s no better way to get to know your audience than actually speak to them. Get them on your podcast and tell them your story on your podcast. And now we’re going in circles, but goddamn, if you don’t do this podcast, I’m going to come all the way over there and have a conniption.
There is zero reason for you not to do this.
It’s so funny because the goal here is to grow your online, spend less time in-person. This is the step one.
This is step one.
This is the foundational step to do something you love, to do something you know you want to do, to do something that will help many, many, many, many people.
This is step one.
And more important than learning how to “sell on your story” or “swipe up” or “click the link in my bio,” way more important than that is doing something that you love that is going to help people. Period.
Marci: [00:54:46] Right.
And I already know I love it, so it’s not even a question of, “is this going to be something that I like to do?”
Tuesday’s, the day that we record our Decades of Strength podcast, is my favorite day of the week because I love doing it. So, I think we figured it out, boys.
Mike: [00:55:07] I think we did.
Jordan: [00:55:08] I love it.
So, what’s today? Today is Sunday. By next Sunday I want your first podcast episode up.
Marci: [00:55:15] Oh, Lord.
Mike: [00:55:18] Does that seem reasonable?
Marci: [00:55:21] I mean, I’m sure it’s reasonable. I was going to say, I want to get this lead magnet finished, but I don’t even know if I should. I still want to because I spent so much time on the damn thing.
Well, I still want to build my email list, right? Because I can email the list about the podcast, too, because I know not everyone is going to see me talk about the podcast on Instagram.
So, what do you think about that? ‘Cause I’ve got like 200 people on my email list. It’s just I made it years ago and haven’t really done shit with it.
Mike: [00:56:06] I think a podcast is a great place to promote a lead magnet or promote a weekly email that you send out. So, they’re going to work synergistically driving people from Instagram to your podcasts, having them listen, and then from there to your email.
I don’t think you need to finish your lead magnet before you start your podcast, especially when you’re feeling so much resistance towards the lead magnet and you dominate podcasts.
Marci: [00:56:33] Yeah.
Jordan: [00:56:34] Not to mention, how much longer until your lead magnet is finished? How much time do you think?
Marci: [00:56:40] Oh, it’s pretty much created. It’s just a matter of, “I don’t love how I said that.” Because I wrote it, and then the coach that I was working with at the time, they kind of edited it and they edited it in a way that was not really my voice. I could have it done in a couple of hours.
The whole reason I didn’t promote it is because the designer spelled something wrong on the main page and I am a perfectionist and quality is important to me, so I’m like, “no, I’m not going to have a glaring error on the front page of my lead magnet.”
So, I think more than anything it would be like, okay, clean up the content a little bit and then get it created and then set up the landing page.
Jordan: [00:57:27] So how many hours is that?
Marci: [00:57:30] Well you’re talking to me, so 10 maybe?
Jordan: [00:57:35] Okay. Alright.
So, 10 hours for that and we’ll call it 6 hours setting up the podcast — and this is all on the higher end of time — setting up the podcast and doing your first episode.
That’s 16 hours over the next week to do both. Now, I very much think that you could do both if you really wanted to, but I think priority should go to the podcast. What do you think?
Marci: [00:58:06] Yeah, that sounds fair. I mean, I’m obviously having some resistance around this lead magnet thing. I don’t really know why that is, but if I am having such a hard time getting it done when it’s sitting there right in front of me, like it’s not that much work to do, why am I not doing it?
Jordan: [00:58:26] Can you just send it back to the designer and be like, “yo, you misspelled this?”
Marci: [00:58:29] I’ve tried to get ahold of her and she won’t respond to me.
Jordan: [00:58:34] I sort of want to get her information so I can reach out and be like, “HEY. Reply to Marci!”
Marci: [00:58:43] To be fair. I mean, I won’t throw the coach under the bus. He’s a great guy. I could reach out to him and be like, “Hey, what the hell happened to Katie?” You know? And that was on me, I don’t even think I noticed the error until after I was out of the program. And then I just was like, “ehhh, whatever. I’m not going to do anything with it.”
Jordan: [00:59:03] So, what you can do is Fiverr. They do all of that for literally $5. And if they have any mistakes, they’ll do it for free and they’ll deliver it to you within 72 hours.
It’s amazing. And it’s one of those things where when I first heard about Fiverr, I was like, “eh, you get what you pay for,” type of thing and I was like, “there’s no way it works.” And then I actually tried it and it was tremendous.
So, I would say try that, but either way, number one, podcast comes first. Next Sunday you have to have your first podcast episode out. If that’s what you do over this week, successful week.
Marci: [00:59:50] Okay.
Jordan: [00:59:52] Let me ask you this, can you do that?
Marci: [00:59:59] I’m sure I can, yeah. I have this pit in my stomach, like, “Oh shit…”
Jordan: [01:00:06] What’s the pit about?
Marci: [01:00:09] I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, you make it sound so simple.
Jordan: [01:00:14] I love this. What’s the pit about?
Marci: [01:00:19] Can I actually do it, you know? Am I gonna fuck something up along the way? Am I going to get frustrated and be like, “uh, I don’t want to figure this out? I don’t want to sit down and write the intro and all that stuff.”
Again, it’s like going back to what I said earlier, it’s the resistance — the greater the calling, the greater the resistance because I want it to be good. I don’t know, it’s just a limiting belief.
Jordan: [01:00:50] Will you do it.
Marci: [01:00:52] Yes. I will do it.
Jordan: [01:00:55] There you go.
That’s all that matters. The pit in the stomach, I get it, it sucks. It’s not as important as the “will you do it.” And as long as you will, then the pit in the stomach will be worth it.
Mike: [01:01:10] Nerves and butterflies are normal and natural and expected.
Marci: [01:01:16] Yeah. And something that I talk about with my clients — I call it the pillow test, which is when your head hits the pillow at night, how do you want to feel about yourself?
Do you want to go to bed? Feeling like, “ah, shit, I really should have done that thing?” And, J, you talk about this all the time — do the hard thing, do the right thing. Do you want to go to bed at night where you didn’t show up for yourself and it’s like, “eh, okay. You know, whatever.” But slowly over time that chips away at your confidence.
Jordan: [01:01:50] I love it.
You’ve got seven pillow tests over the next week.
Let’s go. Let’s do this. Let’s go. I’m gonna expect a text from you on Sunday with your first podcast episode.
Marci: [01:02:07] Okay.
Jordan: [01:02:08] Any questions? Anything you want clarified?
Marci: [01:02:13] No, no.
Mike: [01:02:15] Amazing.
Jordan: [01:02:15] All right, this was great. Thank you.
Marci: [01:02:18] Thank you!
Jordan: [01:02:19] I’m super excited to listen to your first episode.
Mike: [01:02:21] Yeah, so am I. Thanks for coming on, Marci.
Marci: [01:02:23] Thank you guys. I appreciate you both so very much.
Jordan: [01:02:27] Thank you, Marci. Have a good day, all right?
Marci: [01:02:28] All right, you too.
Mike: [01:02:38] See ya.