Happy fall, Faction. I’m psyched to be back for another session with you and look forward to sharing a series of blog posts, Q&A’s, and videos over the course of the coming months.


Today we’re going to kick things off with another of my “listicle” posts. That’s actually a word, for the record. Drop it into Google to confirm and feel free to build that seemingly gross term into your go-to writing terms.


Here. We. Go.


  1. One exercise, many pieces of content


We’ve recently jumped on the infographic bandwagon at CSP. Like most other social media trends, we seem to be 18-months behind the curve. We typically use our time on the sidelines to strategize an approach to content creation, and then show up with a game plan.


In this case, we concluded as a team that too many content creators try to solve every problem in a single post. With this in mind, we’ve decided to create weekly installments of infographic series that break each of the common mistakes we see in a specific exercise into individual posts. This week we’re tackling the most common mistakes we see in execution of something as basic as a reverse lunge.

With just a single exercise, we’ll roll out four to five days of material, and enjoy a bunch of social media exposure. Prior to introducing infographics on our company account, we averaged 23 new followers per day (the last six months). In the ten days since, we’ve averaged 118 per day.


The Take-Away: People only have so much attention span when it comes to scrolling their social media feeds. One quick tip is more likely to stick than five, so stop overthinking things and keep your content basic and accessible.


  1. Trying to make a hire? Fixation on extrinsic rewards may hurt the process.


We regularly receive inquiries from gym owners hoping to employ CSP internship alumni as they expand their teams. Every time I receive a request, I ask that the employer provide a comprehensive job description that can be shared on our private intern alumni Facebook page to see if there is interest.


The description that is returned almost always focuses entirely on compensation structure, with little information in the way of the typical client the coach would be working with. The problem with this approach is the assumption that extrinsic rewards will entice our best coaches to bite on opportunity before understanding why and how they could potentially make an impact in the lives of others. Why are we losing sight of the fact that we’re fitness professionals, not investment bankers?


The Take-Away: None of us stepped into this field with the expectation of making a fortune, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the job descriptions that garner the most interest on our intern alumni page are the ones that feature equal parts extrinsic and intrinsic reward descriptions.


  1. Are you selling to the programmers, or to the CEO’s?


This is a question the executive team at Intel chose to ask themselves just prior to capturing a ton of market share in the early 80’s without changing a single thing about their existing product. It absolutely applies to how we market fitness in the performance enhancement setting.


It turns out there are two different promotional strategies I need to execute every time I bring a new youth athlete through the door at CSP…


The first is creating awareness for the user.


Are high school kids aware of my brand? How am I getting on their radar? Am I using the right language to ensure they don’t feel like their parents are marketing to them? Am I current on how to best leverage the social platforms they’re spending the bulk of their day on? Is the music in the background of my videos appealing? Is this service worth pausing Fortnight for?


The second is the message conveyed to the dad holding the wallet. He doesn’t give a shit how compelling my Instagram story was today. He is entirely unconcerned with my Spotify playlist. He wants to know that I’m providing adequate supervision for his kid. He wants to know that injury prevention is prioritized above deadlift PR’s on my programming agenda. He wants to be told his kid is special and warrants special attention.


The mistake I am seeing time and time again amongst fellow gym owners is a failure to delineate the message between these two audiences. You can’t just pick one of the two messages and plow through your pitch. High school kids aren’t going to beg their dad to spend on a program that is heavy on corrective exercise, and the dads aren’t going to be inspired by your video featuring “I Like It” by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (that’s a real roster of artists, for the record).


The Take-Away: You need two distinctly different approaches to peacefully coexist at any given moment if you want to attract and close business among the youth sports community, and your closer has to be directed toward the decision-makers.


  1. What we believe needs to be as important as what we sell.


“You’re full of shit.”


The parent of a 14 year old athlete said this to me on the phone yesterday. It wasn’t the first time I’d encountered this type of response, either. I’d just been told that this guy’s son was preparing to quit soccer and basketball so that he can focus solely on his baseball development during the off-season.


My response: The three-sport athlete is a dying breed. I think he should keep one, if not both of these sports on his calendar to ensure that he stays well rounded, avoids injuries associated with sport-specific overuse, and learns to interact with social groups outside of his baseball bubble.

The dad was shocked that I wasn’t requesting his AMEX so that I could start hammering away at unlimited training fees for the next six months.


Revenue was there for the taking, but who’s to say that short-term gains in this moment would be in the best interest of the athlete or our business? The lifetime value of a client is dramatically higher if you earn his trust prior to accepting his money.


This athlete will eventually drop a sport in favor of development, and we’ll be the first business he calls. Between now and then, he’ll work his way through puberty, establish some of the social and leadership skills that come with being a multi-sport athlete, and hopefully just be a kid.


The Take-Away: People have been conditioned to expect you to be greedy and opportunistic. Take this opportunity to let character be your biggest differentiator and your business will have staying power.


Bringing it All Together


Every time I sit down to prepare one of these lists, I find myself sourcing ideas directly from conversations I’ve had with consulting clients in the past 24-48 hours. This serves as a nice reminder of how important it is that we all step outside of our comfort zone of close friends and colleagues, and put ourselves in a position to discuss something other than our traditional day-to-day tasks.


Conversations with fellow Faction members will qualify as a nice start. I’d also encourage you to take it a step further and have coffee with the business owner next door, chat up a parent sitting in the waiting area of your gym, or just make some small talk with someone as random as the mailman. In the end, you’re going to tap into experiences and insights that you hardly realized you were sitting on.


In 2010, two dudes Chris and Todd, started the business that would eventually become Strength Faction.

You know how they say the rest is history? Well, it’s not.

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