He Found His Place in the Gym Hero’s Journey

May 13, 2024 | Communication Tip | 0 comments

Ryan Carver made my day.

He and I were talking about his success as a gym owner and how he learned to break through some of the challenges he faced on his business journey.

Ryan told me that part of it was realizing that he’d been neglecting something key in his marketing. He hadn’t been following the hero’s journey, casting each client and prospect in the role of the hero, with him as the helper or guide.

Now, if you’re not familiar with the hero’s journey, it’s the well-known theory by Joseph Campbell about the basis for most stories in our culture. There’s a hero who is called to adventure, who needs a guide, goes through challenges and emerges victorious.

Before Ryan had that epiphany, Ryan, like a lot of longtime trainers turned entrepreneur, was focusing too much on himself in his marketing and sharing dry information of interest mostly to other fitness professionals. He told me he had to learn that his marketing needs to focus on the client, not on him, that he had to make it more emotional, that he realized the client is Luke Skywalker, the hero, and he, Ryan, is Obi-Wan Kenobi, the guide.

Ryan’s gym is Leverage Fitness Solutions, near Salt Lake City. Leverage focuses on people over 50 and has been having a lot of success and growth in recent years. In fact, when I saw Ryan last summer at the Functional Aging Summit, he was scouting around for his second location.

Now how did Ryan turn Leverage into a thriving gym serving the quote-unquote older market?

Here’s what Ryan learned:

“I’ve had to completely rebrand my messaging because it was off. It just wasn’t hitting the mark. I had to really focus on improving my message. It was too scientific, or it would be great for another colleague to look at, but they’re not my clients.

I had to make it more relatable, more emotional.

I wasn’t utilizing the hero’s journey. I was the hero instead of the client. So, I had to move out of the ‘I’m the Luke Skywalker’ role to now, ‘I’m the Obi-Wan Kenobi of your journey.’ And, as I’ve changed my marketing to have it all about them and I’m helping them with their journey, and let me help you with this problem that you’re experiencing and making it more personal…

That’s where things have started to happen, like, whether it’s email, whether it’s an offline presentation to you know, whatever. All of a sudden, my results have gone through the roof because the messaging is hitting, if that makes sense. It resonates with my clients or my potential clients a lot more.”

Learn more about how Ryan has learned to improve his communications on the Optimal Aging podcast. And I’m happy to say he’s a Prime Fit Content subscriber!

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