Baseball Dreams

Field of Dreams Was a Movie

Ned Arick, M.S.

“If you build it, they might not come.” I actually think that's one of the most important sentences you'll ever read.

Just because you have a facility, and work with a few top level athletes, there's not automatically going to be a traffic jam getting to your front door. As most of you know, you can’t just open your doors and have a line at the door if no one knows about you.

The problem is that if no one knows about you, they won't come to you, if they don't come to you, you won't make money, if you don't make money, you can't pay rent, if you can't pay rent, you go out of business, if you go out of business, your city just lost the best sports performance trainer around.

So how do they get to know you?

You need to market your services! You need to put money behind your brand!

I'm here to tell you right now that if you truly believe in your services, it is your obligationto market. It's your obligation to put your message in front of anyone and everyone who can benefit. And in order to do that, you're going to have to spend some money.

Now understand, you can't just spray and pray, you have to be intentional with your marketing. Let people know you exist and develop a marketing strategy that works.

I can't tell you exactly what will work for you or your demographic because I don't know you or your demographic, but what I can do is give you a set of principles that you can contextualize for yourself, apply them and become successful.

Sound good? Thought so.

But first, I want to start today off with a question: How much are you willing to pay for one athlete?

Yep, I asked you how much money you're willing to spend in order to get one athlete? How much is that athlete worth to you?

I ask this, because this is the first thing you have to figure out before we get into any sort of strategy.

How much do you make from the average athlete? What is their Lifetime Value (LTV)? There is a tangible number attached to this. Don't tell me it depends. Depends are an adult diaper.

The way you find lifetime value is you take the monthly payment and multiply that by the average amount of months an individual stays with you. So it looks like this:

LTV=Monthly Dues x Average length of stay

So if you're charging $200/month and your high school football guys stay with you on average 24 months, each athlete is worth $4,800 to you, if you want to break that down yearly, they're worth $2,400/year.

So I'll ask you again, how much are you willing to invest to get a single athlete? I can't answer that for you, but once you know.

Let's move onto these principles shall we?

If you follow the following 3 principles, and understand how much you're willing to spend, you'll be lightyears ahead of where you are today in a few short months.

1.Determine your target audience

When I say target audience, I’m talking who, AND I'm talking how many. When I talk about who is your target audience, that's easy, you should have an ideal persona that you angle your marketing towards. You can't appeal to everyone, so figure out what sports, what demographics, and the kind of player you're going after. Here's my criteria, take your best athletes, I'm talking about the ones you have the most fun with and enjoy training. The ones that come in and you love every second. What sport do they play? Who are their parents? Where do they live? What school do they go to? What are their hobbies? Now clone that person and market to them and their parents. That's how you find your who.

Now understand, you have to have a critical mass to pay the bills, and continue to pay the bills, so each month, how many members do you need to keep paying the bills? We're going to market to that persona you created above, but unfortunately there aren't thousands of those athletes in your area. So we have to figure out our critical mass to pay the bills (paying yourself being one of those bills). Whatever your number goal is today, double it. Most facilities I see that market, just take whatever the results are. That's no good at all. Start with the end in mind and then back into what kind of marketing plan you would need. So if you want 100 new athletes to walk through your door this month, you need to do some demographic research and get on those social media platforms and start moving. Start with the result and then back into the plan.

2.Create a Relevant Marketing Strategy

You should become the expert in your city. You should also become the expert on your city. You should know your demographic, what they do, who they are, who they hang out with, where they hang out, what podcasts they listen to, what social platforms are they on, what video games do they play etc. You need to know your people, to create a relevant marketing strategy. Why? Because plain and simple, people don’t care about you and your facility. Remember this, actually write this down. People don’t care about features, they care about what’s in it for me. Put insight in your information.

So in your marketing you have to show your prospective athletes (and most importantly, their parents) what they can get if they come to your gym. Not your equipment, but life change. What have other athletes done? D1, Varsity, All conference? How do you train? Why is that the way they should train? How can you help them? What's your community like? What connections do you have? Talk about video games, connect with them on their level. Plain and simple, why are you the facility to go to?

If you were a parent looking for your son or daughter, or if you were an athlete, what would pique your interest? When it comes to this information, social Media should be your bread and butter. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. These platforms allow you to be very strategic and systematic. What I mean by this is that you can see the actual data on if you're marketing is working, if not you'll be able to pivot and update. They actually make it quite simple too.

Now understand that social media is just that. Social. You need to have conversations. If all you're ever doing is advertising, your market with turn off and tune out. No one wants to be bombarded with Ads. Be social, but be strategic. I'm sure you've heard Gary Vaynerchuk's Jab, Jab, Jab, Right hook philosophy, well that works wonders. It's about providing value first and then providing an offer. If you do this right, you'll be the premier facility in your market in no time.

3.Maintain a Continual Presence In Your Community

Beyond social, you have to actually be in your community, be a presence at games, graduations, other major events in your athlete's lives. Bring your facility to the schools and train athletes there, go to local events, sponsor a youth sports team, serve the underserved, pick a charity to contribute to, there are so many ways you can put your face in the community and if you truly want to be a staple in your community you actually have to be apart of your community.

Final Thoughts

Answer this question for me: What did you do today that let people know you exist?Everyday, you have to figure out ways to let people know you exist. Community involvement, Social Media, blogs, online magazines, videos, emails, text messages etc. Never stop thinking about the marketing. Marketing your facility is a process that never stops. You have to do something every single day to let people know you exist.

There’s no such thing as not having enough time or money for marketing, you should budget for that, and if you don’t you won’t be around much longer. Don’t skimp on marketing! You can have the best facility, work with the best pro's, have the most experience, but if people don’t know you’re there, they ain’t coming.

Until Next time.

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