Fitness Marketing – Ryan Lee Interview Part 1

Posted on 18. Feb, 2010 by in Marketing Fitness



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Kaiser Serajuddin: Hey, what’s up? This is Kaiser. You’re of course listening to me on Super-Trainer and today I’ve got a crazy guest. If you can hear that in the background, that’s The Godfather music playing because the guy we’ve got is pretty much the godfather or marketing in the fitness industry and in general the entire marketing industry. It’s Ryan Lee. A real pleasure to have you on, man.

Ryan Lee: My pleasure. I’m glad to be here, Kaiser.

Kaiser Serajuddin: Yeah. So like I said, I call you the godfather of this business because the impact you’ve had really – you can’t put a dollar figure or really try to estimate it. I mean when you talk about not only the marketing people out there but all the fitness products, basically anything when you go into a bookstore, anything you see on the bookshelves, any product you buy, anything going on anywhere in the fitness business, it has in some way a root to you which is pretty amazing. Yeah, so again that’s a pretty crazy accomplishment and credit you have there to your name but yeah, I’m glad to have you on here.

Ryan Lee: Well, yeah. I appreciate that. It is pretty cool though like going into the bookstore and seeing so many people that I’ve kind of helped along who came up to me years ago like, “Oh, I want to train. But what do I do? How do I spread the word?” You see all these guys with big books like Alwyn Cosgrove and Mike Boyle and Eric Cressey and they’re all like in the bookstores and it’s just cool and then forget online. I mean all the guys with the ebooks and seminars and certifications.

I really got in this just trying to help fitness professionals because that’s what I was, a struggling fitness professional, learn these secrets to leverage their time better and my initial goal is just to help them earn some extra income. If you could earn extra 300 to 600 bucks a month supplementing what you do, it can make your life a little bit better. But to be honest, I didn’t know when I first started that it would turn into what it has become.

Kaiser Serajuddin: Yeah. Yeah, I know it is pretty amazing and we’re pretty lucky to have a guy like you because I think the fitness industry is a whole – we’re really forward-thinking. We’re really entrepreneurial. We’re really out there trying to reach a lot of people and a lot of that does relate to you. Why do you think that you had such an impact? What part of your message or what is it? I don’t know. Was it your enthusiasm? Have you ever thought about it, why it is that your message is doing so well?

Ryan Lee: One of the reasons, it was really good timing because I was kind of really the first one to – I was on the internet early. Like I had my first site back in like late ’98 and I was the first sports training website back at that time and I think I hit it early but I was also in fact kind of [0:02:58] [Indiscernible] I remember I spoke at a seminar in like maybe 2000. And I said, “By show of hands, how many personal trainers here have emails?” and only about half raised their hand. I mean can you imagine that today?

Kaiser Serajuddin: Wow.

Ryan Lee: And I do. I mean I still speak at events and say, “How many trainers have an email?” and they kind of laugh at me like I have 30 email accounts but I think the message is right. I think myself being a person who is in the same shoes. I used to train my first client at like 6:00 AM. I work a fulltime job in a children’s hospital and then I would train clients at night and I would start programs in gyms and I’ve studied my master’s in exercise physiology.

So I’ve lived the life for a long time and I saw a lot of good trainers leave because they’re like, look, I just can’t – I can’t pay my bills. I can’t live this lifestyle. I can’t see my kids. So I think the message was right teaching them that hey, I’m a regular guy. I was able to build this extra income and I could show you.

I think personality does help, the fact that people tell me I’m a pretty friendly guy and I’m pretty easy to relate to. I don’t hopefully come off as really arrogant and I try to be honest and I always operate from integrity. I’ve been taught for a long time that integrity is it. Everything you build upon, that you have to have that integrity. Have I made mistakes? Hell, yeah, I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way.

Some of the marketing that I’ve done, that I did early on, I started listening to these guys and I see things that weren’t 100 percent accurate. They were true but you kind of twist it a little bit and when I started saying, “Forget that. I’m just getting back to integrity, everything. I’m keeping to my word,” and people kind of get behind you when they know you’re going to lead them the right way and so just that.

All those kinds of things kind of come together as a perfect storm and putting out my first program and really looking to delivering and all these things are good messages for our listeners right now, focusing on really putting yourself in your client’s shoes.

So if you’re a personal trainer, your client is a 50-year-old housewife and they want to lose 10 pounds. Like put yourself in their shoes. If it was your mom reading the email or your sister or your aunt, would you feel comfortable selling your product or your service? What kind of results are they going to get? And really try to deliver at least 10 times the value. One of the first products I did was that Sports Training Profits and it was like 199 bucks and I talked to Alwyn Cosgrove like weeks ago and he said – he thinks it’s amazing. That product, that $200 product has made him an additional [0:05:51] [indiscernible] a minimum of an extra $2 million.

Kaiser Serajuddin: Absolutely.

Ryan Lee: That $200 product, because I really want to put a lot of value in it. But it’s also guys who take action. Like, it’s funny that one guy like Alwyn Cosgrove, when he first got it, he wasn’t known at all. You can take a $200 product. Implement the stuff. Make $2 million. And then you get those other people who buy the same, exact product and they send it back after a day and say, “Oh this is crap. It doesn’t work.”

Kaiser Serajuddin: Yeah. Yeah, it’s pretty crazy how that is. Yeah. Yeah. I mean I think you’re a little bit modest there because it’s not just the fact that you came at the right time and all that. I think you really stand for a lot of what is it that makes the internet tick, what makes it effective.

I think one of the things that I look to you for, that you’re the best example of, basically of anybody doing anything online, is on the whole speed of implementation, really putting something out there in a usable form, getting it out there and making it affordable, getting it into people’s hands. I think that’s something that you do that no one really can match and maybe it does get you a little bit of flack [0:06:58] [Phonetic] sometimes. But can you talk about that? Like just have the whole internet mindset, getting things, that key hardcore information into people’s hands quickly?

Ryan Lee: Yeah. I mean you bring up a good point. It really is about speed. I mean there’s one guy. I’m not going to mention his name. If he’s listening to this, he will know who he is. He has bought every one of my products over the years. He was on that first call with Alwyn Cosgrove and all the other guys and back then, he had basically finished the book and it’s now eight, nine years later and he still hasn’t released it whereas in that time, I’ve probably released a thousand products.

With fitness professionals – a lot of people in general but especially with fitness professionals, we really are cognizant of what we’re putting out there and a lot of us are perfectionists and we’re like, look, if I’m going to put a book or an ebook, I will want it to be 100 percent perfect. I want every photo to be perfect. I want all the forms to be perfect. I want every program to be perfect and they overanalyze …

Kaiser Serajuddin: That’s not even …

[Crosstalk] [0:08:03]

Kaiser Serajuddin: Yeah. I was going to say that’s not even what the internet is about. I mean even with your $200 product. It’s more about putting out a few key pieces of hard-hitting information that will make like a big monumental difference in people, not having a ton of these perfectionist stuff out there, right?

Ryan Lee: Yeah. I mean there’s also a big – I think something where trainers get it wrong in particular and it – because I mean your site is for fitness professionals. This is what we’re going to focus on. When it comes down to it, if you think about your clientele, unless you’re just training athletes; but in general, people are going to be trained because they want to do one thing and that’s to lose weight. But there’s also a thousand different ways you can find your hook and that’s the key is you got to find the hook. Like what is going to make you different? What’s going to make your program different? Is it …

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