Bedros Keuilian is a best-selling author, speaker and business consultant. He’s the founder and CEO of Fit Body Bootcamp, one of the nation’s fastest growing franchises and an investor in over a dozen companies ranging from software, digital ad agencies and coaching and consulting services. His sales, marketing and business systems are the secret weapon used by thousands of successful digital marketers and entrepreneurs who want to reach more high paying clients and customers. An immigrant from a communist country turned hugely successful entrepreneur, Bedros uses stage, TV, and social media platforms to share his personal immigrant edge and American dream story to help inspire audiences worldwide to reach their fullest potential.
Now, I have to apologize upfront to Bedros because I realized listening back to my interview that my Aussie accent has not done any justice to properly pronouncing his name. So, I do apologize. But I hope that I am starting to get it right now. Having followed him on YouTube for many years, it was such a thrill to have the opportunity to interview Bedros. And I know that you are going to get lots of great takeaways and plenty of inspiration from this week’s show.
Chantal: Bedros, a very warm welcome to the show and thank you so much for joining us today!
Bedros: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited today!
Chantal: We are absolutely stoked! Now, we’d like to start each of our interviews tapping into ways our guests stay focused and stay organized. So to kick things off, can you start by sharing any apps, systems or rituals that you use on a regular basis?
Bedros: Yes, one of the best rituals that I use, actually my morning ritual, actually as it turns out, starts the night before. So around 8 p.m. every evening I open up my iPhone, I go to my notes and I write down the three to five things that I’m going to do the next morning. Now, the reason I say three to five things is I think because if you are an entrepreneur or a leader, there are only a handful of things that you need to do that others can’t do. Everything else should be outsourced. And so, those three to five things are things that move the needle. So for me, it might be to send out the broadcast so that I can make money, to do calls and podcasts like this and to do my Facebook Lives. I mean, no one else can do those things. And I do those first thing in the morning – when I’m most fresh and when I’m most organized, when the rest of the world is asleep. So, I make my list the night before. I do it first thing in the morning between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. And by 9 a.m I’m at the gym working out. And then by 11 o’clock, I’m here at my headquarters running our business. This specific ritual I’ve been doing for over five years now and it has allowed me to scale a business from six figures to now eight figures and growing.
Chantal: Bedros, that’s phenomenal and you’re the first person that I’ve come across that starts their morning ritual the night before but it makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing that with us. Now, , when we found out that you were coming to the show, we were thinking about what questions do we ask Bedros Kuillian and I actually decided that the best way that you can help the listeners of the show is to talk about the things that are most important to them. So we went reached out and gave them the opportunity to submit questions for you to answer today. How do you like the sound of that?
Bedros: I love that!
Chantal: Okay, so question number one comes from Kyle and he works at Anytime Fitness in Minnesota. And Kyle asks, “Bedros, can you share your top three lead generation opportunities?”
Bedros: Absolutely! The top three things that any fitness entrepreneur can do is – number one, create a condition of referrals with your brand new clients. In other words, when you get a brand new client on board, and let’s say Chantal that you’re a client, and I will say, “Welcome aboard, as I help you achieve your fitness and fat loss goals. Can I count on you to help me achieve my goals of impacting our community by helping 5,000 people in the next five years? “You might say, “Yes of course.” Now, what I’ve done is I’ve actually created a condition. So, the number one problem I see that personal trainers have is that they don’t get enough referrals. Ironically, referrals are the number one source of new leads because they come pre-qualified, pre-screened and more likely to buy because their friends already work out with you. But the reason you don’t get referrals is because you don’t condition your clients when they first come on board using that strategy that I showed you. Once you can create that condition, then a month later I can come out to you and say, “Hey look, looking at your fitness evaluation, looks like you lost six inches across your body in total and you’ve dropped your body fat percentage by three percent. You know, I’m really proud of you, you’re making great progress. So as I’m helping you, can I now count on you to tell a friend or two about me and my business here. So, that’s strategy number one is to set conditions for referrals right off the get go.
Strategy number two requires no funnel whatsoever. And that strategy is using Facebook, Instagram and YouTube Live to do livecasts. See, I always ask people if I can get your fitness business on the local morning news show, will you get excited about it? And they go, “Oh, absolutely!” Why would you get excited for that? Well, because I would have exposure and I would be on TV and the people in the community will see me. Okay, great. But what if I can get the most targeted people in your community, the people who count and the most likely to become clients to see you live just like that, without ever going on the morning news show? They go, “Tell me more.” Well, effectively they’re going to do a Facebook Live or some kind of a live show on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube. Now, for me it is simple. I’ll just get three iPads and attach them to these little suction cups thingies that hold the iPads on glass and you’re now broadcasting on three different networks effectively at the same time. What’s great about a fitness professional is you can do how-to-videos on how to flatten your abs, how to eat when you’re travelling or how to meal prep. There are so many how-to things that you can do with exercise and nutrition, mindset and habits. There’s never a topic that is going to repeat more than twice. And so, the more you can position yourself through how-to live cast videos, the more you position yourself as the expert and authority. And at the end of the day, if there are five different personal training gyms and studios that people are going to consider, they’re always going to look at the person who’s the authority as the number one business to consider. So, why not position yourself as the person of authority by really putting yourself out there on live shows once week. And that’s a big thing.
And the third thing, the third and final thing here is follow up. Not enough people in our industry do follow up, which is why I created the monster follow up process, which is very simple. Anytime that you get a lead from a funnel or from a Facebook message or from an email broadcast or from an ad that you are running from elsewhere – heck, every time that you get a lead from a client, who want to give you a referral. Odds are that person is now going to come in right away enthusiastically and wanting to sign up. It’s about 10-20% do. The other 80-90 percent you would have to follow up. So, I created the monster follow up process which I teach for free, which is this: For the next four days the moment you get a lead, for four days straight, twice a day, you reach out to them via text, email, phone call and Facebook private message until they schedule their free workout or their load bearing workout and come in. And if you can do monster follow up because you followed up like a monster, and if you can position yourself as the authority using Facebook Lives and make it a condition of doing business with you to get referrals, you will have a business that is bulletproof, competition-proof and not reliant on clunky funnels that are hit-and-miss.
Chantal: I’m going to give you an early preview on this one. For those of you that are interested in starting a Facebook Live broadcast or any live video for that matter, then you’re in luck. Because next week’s guest is JT from Active Management and he’s coming on specifically to share tips on live video streaming. We talk about strategy, planning the flow of your broadcast and repurposing your content. So, the timing of that topic worked out pretty perfectly. Let’s get back to the interview now, where Bedros talks about consistency in your live video broadcasts. Here’s what he had to say.
Bedros: Well, consistency is probably the second most important thing you can do. Let’s face it, we all watch TV. We have our favourite sitcoms and TV shows and we are conditioned since we were children that Bugs Bunny comes on TV on Saturday mornings at this time. So, consistency is key. And in fact, the FBI recently put out a study that showed that when FBI agents go into areas of town where the bad guys are and they show up over and over again through consistency, soon the bad guys will let their guard down, just enough to commit a crime in front of the FBI, knowing that those guys are FBI agents by the way. And so, that’s how valuable consistency is. When you have consistency, you are a friend of mine. You are reminded all over every week that this person is the authority. If we are inconsistent, then people just hear of you, then forget about you. Then the next time you come online, they hear of you again. And by the way, when you’re inconsistent, something else happens. You’re not delivering the content as you should. What I mean by this is, if I can do one a week for a year, that’s 52 livecasts. That is a lot of training under my belt. If I decide to do one every other week, now my training has been cut in half. And I don’t know about you, but it’s all about sets and reps for me.
Chantal: Another quick breakaway from the interview. Bedros talked about his monster follow up process. For those of you who want more detailed information about that, I’ve actually included a link in the show notes of a 30-minute video, where he explains the process in depth.
In that same segment that we’re just listening to, you would have heard Bedros mention Facebook Messenger. So, I asked him to delve a little deeper on that one to explain how we can best use Facebook Messenger to generate leads.
Bedros: Well, that’s a really good question. And most fitness professionals will actually reach out to someone. Now, if someone has let’s say filled out a lead form on Facebook or they’ve reached out to you on an opt-in where you have their email address but no phone number, you just have their name and email address. Well, I don’t know if trainers know this but you can actually take their email address, put them on the search box on Facebook and if they have used that email address on Facebook, you’ll find their profile, you friend request them and then you send them a private message. So that it ends up on their main inbox. And you don’t do it through your company fan page, you do it from your personal fan page. Because people want to do business with people and not businesses. And so, often times, if you look at Facebook messenger or even Instagram direct message as like texting, it’s a safe way to create dialogue, build rapport and your job isn’t to make them an offer. Your job is to get that prospect to ask how much are you? And so, you can deliver value – watch this video, click this link, read this article I wrote. What are your fitness goals? When was the last time you achieved your fitness goals? There are so many fun, inquisitive questions you can ask that get them to go, “Wow, this person cares about me.” And sooner or later, they’re going to say, “You know what, how much do you charge?” And now, you’ve gotten them to ask you versus going, “Well, hey if you haven’t tried this out, come on try us out.” People go right into sales and pitch mode and that comes off as so desperate that the reptilian mind says, “These people are desperate, red flag” and they close the message and go away.
Chantal: So, it is absolutely essential that we build that relationship and build that rapport with our prospects. Now, Bedros, Mark from F45 in Sydney asks this question, “Can you truly automate a business that is built traditionally on service relationships? Or is it still the one-on-one moments where great things happen?”
Bedros: The fact of the matter is yes, you can automate a business, even a fitness business. I mean, you don’t see Richard Branson flying your airplane when you go on any one of his Virgin Atlantic flights. And you know, I fly a lot. And I fly first-class every time and I got to tell you, there is no better first-class experience than Virgin Atlantic. And yet, Richard Branson is not flying it. I’ve driven Tesla’s before. Elon Musk made a hell of an electric vehicle with the Tesla. You certainly don’t see him as the mechanic or the sales guy. He’s created a buying experience with the Tesla. And in the fitness industry, now bringing it home to our world, we’ve got a Fit Body Bootcamp owners like Matt Wilber, Stephanie Flynn, Sonia Gonzalez that have multiple locations. What they have done is they have chosen to become great leaders and great leaders produce other great leaders and so each of their locations have an amazing exceptional leader, who is not only the face of that boot camp, but they also run the business not by chance or hope or by the seat of their pants. But they run their business according to the systems. You run the systems, the systems run the business. And if you can breed good leaders, effective leaders, and you can create systems, you can forever automate and replicate their locations and be massively successful.
Chantal: Bedros, in your experience, if someone started off maybe their first twelve months, the first 18 months of their business, and they haven’t necessarily got those systems up and running, what advice would you give to them to position themselves so that they can be better set up for the future from a system perspective?
Bedros: Yeah, the odds are, if someone is doing this for 12-18 months and they are still haphazardly running their business and they are not reaching their fullest potential of service and impact, it’s usually because they are doing work that they can pay somebody 20 dollars an hour or less to do. In other words, if you are a fitness business owner, you shouldn’t be working in the business, chasing down Mrs. Jones’ credit cards. You should have an administrative admin, who calls every client when their credit cards declined and say “We need your payment information”. That shouldn’t be you. You shouldn’t be the one running the workouts. You might be the one programming the daily workouts. But you should have coaches and trainers who can run workouts better than you. Your job is the vision and to lead and so you really need to start thinking about, if I have no systems and I’m 16 months into running a business, odds are, it is because you are doing work that is outside of the zone of genius. So the solution to that is what I call “The Alien Abduction Manual.” In other words, if an alien abducted me today, then there is enough knowledge here, where someone else with leadership skills can run our Fit Body Bootcamp Headquarters without ever missing a beat. That’s because I have a system for being the CEO. My two vice presidents have a system for the vice president of operation and vice president for new business. Every department lead, whether it’s on sales, operations, graphics design, video, you name it, they have a system. So, anybody can be abducted, yet the machine keeps rolling. And so more often than not, the person is likely lazy and they haven’t just taken the time to document the process to scale their business.
Chantal: Another listener question. John from Anytime Fitness in Cincinnati asks, “In your experience, what’s the number one trait that successful business owners all share?”
Bedros: Oh, that’s a good one. Well, that’s easy enough as well. Leadership is always the problem and leadership is always the solution. So, leadership though is kind of a big obscured term. So, let me breakdown leadership into three very specific things. An effective leader knows how to build a team and knows how to win. So to build a team and to win, you must be decisive. In other words, if you have to make a decision, make it quick. If it’s the wrong decision, you’ll course-correct and make the right decision. If it was the right decision, then you charge ahead. Effective leaders are decisive. They make fast decisions and they course-correct when they need to. Effective leaders communicate their vision clearly and repetitively over and over again. Because your team, your clients, your customers will forget what your vision was and if they forget the vision, they forget the mission. So, you’ve got to communicate your vision repetitively over and over again, and effective leaders respond and don’t react. What I mean by that is an entrepreneur, especially someone that owns… John there who owns Anytime Fitness. I imagine like all fitness business owners, you have your share of marketing problems, sales problems, staffing problems. Now, you could either fly off the handle and overreact and freak out, which is a sign of poor leadership. Or you can take a breath, sleep on it and respond effectively and solve the problem without looking like a fool. And if you can do those three things, you are an effective leader and that will lead any business to success.
Chantal: That’s actually a perfect segue to our next question, which is, “How do we go about creating a team of all-stars?”
Bedros: Good question. So recently, I wrote a book called Man Up. And the book comes out July 2018. But in the book, since it’s so fresh, the third section of the book is about leadership, vision and team. And I really talked about… you don’t just want to hire employees. If you hire employees, they’re going to… I define it this way, they show up a little bit late, the leave a little bit early, they do the bare minimum, they clock in and clock out and that’s it. You have to hire team members and you have to breed them into team members. So, in other words, no crop dusters but fighter jets. And a team member is someone who plays well as a group and plays to win. That’s what a team does. They play to win. And so they will show up early, leave late, and they will exceed expectations because they play to win. And so if you are going to look and breed and hire strong team members or the best thing you can do to hire team members is to look for personality. Because if someone’s got personal training background, that’s fantastic. I don’t look for experience. You got 20 years as a trainer, that’s fantastic! You might have 20 years of bad habits that I have to break in you. I’d rather look for someone that understands the physiology, is certified; might be young but they have the enthusiastic personality and I can see the fire in their belly and the fire in their eyes. If they got the personality, I can teach them to become… to take a trainer from a good trainer to a great coach. And that’s a great fitness business is looking for.
Chantal: Bedros, I’ve got one last question to finish off on today and I mentioned earlier when I shared your bio with everyone that you have faced many challenges throughout your career and I was actually reading that early on, you didn’t understand English. And your family went through a stage where you struggle to have enough money to even eat. So, I was hoping you can leave us today with what we call our FitBizpiration and that is three tips for our listeners to overcome obstacles and challenges that may arise during their career.
Bedros: Sure. Having come from a communist country, we escaped a communist country, came to the United States. Like you said, I didn’t speak English, I didn’t understand this culture. We were broke and poor. Poor is a mindset, by the way.
Broke is just not having money. Donald Trump went broke and then he recovered again. You know, people that are poor have a mindset of scarcity and fear and doubt and uncertainty. So thing number one, that’s a great segue into these three things is you’ve got to start developing a mindset, where you’re no longer operating in a state of being poor. I know people who have businesses that generate multiple seven-figures. They still operate like they’re poor. They’re operating at a place of fear, scarcity, doubt and uncertainty. So, how do you fix that? You start operating out of a place of generosity and abundance. And it’s the old “Fake it till you make it.” And Tony Robbins talks about this all the time. You don’t feel like smiling because you are depressed. Well, just start smiling and fake laugh and you’ll over time change your state. And that fake smile and that fake laugh becomes a real laugh. So, you need to go out and break out from that poor mentality. And embrace this mentality of abundance, freedom, happiness etc., generosity. Number two, as an entrepreneur, you’re always going to deal with adversity. When you have adversity in front of you, look at it as an advantage from now on. I want everybody listening this to reframe it. Every challenge, obstacle, problem that you get is an advantage. What I mean by that is think about it, we go to the gym, we work out with weights. And the more we work out, the bigger and stronger are muscles get. And we keep lifting more weights. We develop our body by putting our muscles through adversity by putting our cardiovascular system through adversity. Well, your mental, emotional and entrepreneurial muscles develop through adversity as well. So, welcome the suck factor when things go wrong. Know that it’s not the time to react but it’s the time to respond. Then, when you overcome it, you have now become a better, stronger more capable entrepreneur. And the third and final thing is that there’s always… and I know that I’ve beat this leadership horse to death. But there is always room to become a better leader. And so, for some reason, I see this and it’s notorious in our industry. Trainers like to tell others what to do. You know, you should sleep early. You should wake up at the same time everyday. You should pack your meals. You should get consistent workouts. Don’t surround yourself with negative people. Yet they do everything the opposite. So, maybe as fitness professionals, we ought to consider taking a dose of our own medicine and focusing more on our self-development, personal development, so that we can practice what we preach. And if we can do those three things, we can overcome all challenges and obstacles and really have careers and passions that aren’t necessarily driven by stress and overwhelm
Chantal: This has been such an incredibly valuable 25 minutes that we’ve spent together. So I’d want to say thank you so much Bedros! And these lessons are just a taste of Bedros Kuillian and I got to say before I even started the podcast, I was a personal trainer many many years ago and I would always watch your videos and subscribe to your newsletter and you have consistently being creating the most valuable, rich content for fitness professionals all across the world for many many years now. So, I encourage everyone to jump on to your YouTube channel, which I put a link to my show notes. Check out the videos that you’ve produced because they are phenomenal. But also, tell everyone about your new podcast that is out-The Empire Podcast Show.
Bedros: Yeah. Yes, I am fortunate enough to have a great friend named Craig Ballantyne. I’m sure you probably know of him. He was a client years ago. Today, we’re business partners and dear friends and since he has scaled his Early to
Rise business and his Perfect Day Formula business and I’ve scaled Fit Body Bootcamp and my coaching business to eight figures, we decided that we are now in a place where we can teach others, who are in the industries of helping, of service, of really impacting the world. How to take their idea and their business and make it an empire. In other words, if you are making a half a million dollars, how do you make 5 million dollars a year? If you are making 5 million, how do you make 20 million a year? And the Empire Podcast is designed to teach entrepreneurs to become their biggest and best selves.
Chantal: If listeners want to get in touch with you, if they want to know more about the services that you provide, the books that you’ve got, they want to check out the new video, I know that you’ve got a couple of different websites. So where should they to go to find that information and to check you further?
Bedros: Sure. If they’re fitness professionals, they’ll end up going to www.ptpower.com, which is just “pt” like personal trainer www.ptpower.com or they could just reach out to me on social media, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the handle @BedrosKuillian.
Chantal: A massive thank you to Bedros for coming on the show this week and for answering our listener questions. If you want to check out his websites, YouTube Channel, podcasts or any of those social media accounts that we’ve just spoke about, then hop over to www.fitnessbusinesspodcast.com and you will find links to everything right there.
Active Management Members receive monthly tools to make your life as a fitness business owner, manager or team members easier. Become a member today at www.ActiveMgmt.com.a/joinnow