If you’re looking for the good, you’ll find it. If you’re looking for the bad, you’ll find it. If you’re looking for excuses, you’ll find them. If you’re looking for success, you’ll find it.
Asa part of my Marketing Strategy Series, I’m talking with my fellow marketing pros at the top of their game to give entrepreneurs and marketers an inside look at proven strategies you might also be able to leverage to grow your business. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Mike Arce.
Mike Arce is the Founder/CEO of Loud Rumor, an agency that’s served over 2000 fitness studios and wellness companies throughout the world. After spending 7 years in the fitness industry himself, Mike started the agency in 2009, and in 2016 he began exclusively working with fitness studios and wellness companies. Mike is also the host of top fitness business podcast, The GSD Show, top entrepreneur podcast, The GOAT Show, and of a top fitness studio business conference, GSDCON.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting and what lesson you learned from that?
Oh man… as Entrepreneurs, we come up with some crazy ideas. The problem is, those ideas aren’t always well thought out. My crazy idea, when our company was really young, was for Loud Rumor to have a mascot. So, I bought a lime-green leotard with white eyes and we named our mascot BOOM. BOOM attended every big event in town, every sporting event, BOOM was everywhere. BOOM even made it on ESPN. People loved taking pictures with BOOM and getting autographs. My cousin and I traded off being BOOM and had a blast with it. BUT… guess how much business BOOM generated from all of that attention? Yeah, ZERO. It was just a crazy idea with no plan, no strategy, no expectations, and because of that, it did nothing for our business… other than we ended up having a lot of fun with it.
What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?
“Burnout?” You’re only going to burn out if you’re doing the same things over and over and getting the same results over and over. It’s the definition of insanity, right? If you don’t want to get burned out, learn and implement new skills, new techniques, new strategies, new campaigns, whatever creates a drive and a fire in you to do something new or do something better. If you wanted to learn an instrument and only learned one song and played that same song over and over, you’d inevitably get burned out with that song. When you’re constantly moving with a forward mindset, it’s impossible to get burned out.
Great advice. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. As you know Google and other search engines constantly update their search algorithms. Today, do you believe that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still an important part of any long-term marketing plan? Can you explain why?
Absolutely SEO is still important. 100%. People are still searching for things online, right? People are still looking for help. People are still hoping to find the solution you offer. So, if they’re still searching and you didn’t do anything to help them find you, they’ll find someone else. That’s ALWAYS been the case regardless of algorithm changes. The algorithm changes are designed to better connect the person searching to a legitimate solution and weed out the marketers wanting to game the system. There are great tools you can use to find out what people are searching for like Google Trends and Auto-Populate Searches, but you have to understand that organic SEO takes a lot of time and effort. So, I’d recommend, while you’re building your organic SEO, that you run some paid Google Ads as well.
Can you share some basic Search Engine Optimization tips you have for less experienced Marketers?
Well #1, you have to know what your target audience or potential clients are searching for. Use the methods I mentioned in the previous question and take it a step further by searching those things for yourself to see what ranks highest, what your competition is doing, etc. Then, make sure your content is better than theirs or offers more to the person searching. #2, you want your content to properly, organically, and paid, address those searches. Think of SEO and your content as a whole, like a human-to-human interaction. If you were to ask me, “Where’s the best place to get my dog groomed?” and I gave you an answer, again, in person, where I mention “dog grooming” or “best place to get your dog groomed” over and over and over but never actually answered your question, you’re going to be pretty annoyed with me. The reason Google changes its algorithms all the time is to avoid this type of online interaction. So, be human. Find out what they’re typing into Google and address it in your content as if that person were asking you face-to-face. Loud Rumor’s prospects: “How can I save my fitness studio during Coronavirus?” Loud Rumor’s SEO: “The best way to save your fitness studio during Coronavirus is to create an at-home, virtual workout option. Here’s how to do it…”
What “Non-Intuitive Marketing Strategies” have been most effective for you in your industry?
We created a conference called GSDCON. We wanted to bring the top-performing fitness studio owners in to speak and help other fitness studio owners grow. We also studied some of the best conferences in every industry to see how we can make our conference absolutely epic. And we did it. We had drumlines, circus acts, stage shows, it was unlike anything fitness studios had ever experienced. It was memorable. We naturally promoted ourselves while promoting the conference, too. It generated tons of new traffic to our website as people wanted to see who was behind this big conference coming up. In fact, we ended up making money before the conference and that money covered the cost of putting on the conference. That’s one of those, “You’re going to host a conference? Are you insane?” strategies that you just go for because you know the end result regardless of what people say or what the data show.
If you were only allowed to run paid ads on 1 platform (in your industry) over the next 12 months, what would it be and why?
Really it’s wherever my audience is most at the cheapest CPL. Right now, that’s YouTube. For us, YouTube has the most underpriced attention right now. That’s where fitness studio owners are. So, I would just get them from YouTube to a Landing Page with a free offer that only fitness studio owners would care about and just build my list from there. Once I’ve got them on my list, I can advertise to them (for free) via email and text. So my budget is going a lot further because I’m giving something away on a platform that already has the lowest costs per lead.
I actually love this question because often what I hear are things like, “Mike, should my fitness business be on TikTok?” And my answer is always the same: “Are your prospects there?” It’s not about jumping into something because it’s new, it’s about jumping into something because it’s applicable to your business. If you’re marketing a Senior Living Facility and a majority of your Ad Budget is in TikTok, you’re probably doing it wrong.
One more question! You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
A great movement would be one that convinces more people that they can be great at anything. It would inspire people to not give up so quickly, to get through the difficult part of not knowing how to do something, to learn new skills, and learn to practice the necessary habits that lead to being great at that thing. Repetition is the Mother of Skill. So, the movement would begin with them first choosing what they want to be great at, deciding to work hard and implement the good habits and discipline it takes to become great at that thing and then applying that strategy to every aspect of their lives. This would create a powerful ripple effect of better employees, better business owners, which would lead to a stronger economy, more fulfillment, and just make the world a better place.