Josh Peacock: Welcome to the Gym Heroes Podcast. I’m your host, Josh Peacock. Today’s show is brought to you by Gymdesk, the easiest gym management software you’ll ever use. Take payments, create marketing automations, track attendance, and much more. To try the software out free, go to Gymdesk.com. No credit card or painful sales call required.

Our hero today is Jeff Sherman, a long-time entrepreneur in the marketing and fitness spaces and founder of Nu Move. Spanning several topics. We discuss Info Marketing, how to do excellent onboarding of new members, and how to leverage gamification to maintain motivation, and improve retention. Without further ado, Jeff Sherman.

Well, welcome to the show, Jeff. I would like to, let’s start by you going into your background with gyms and marketing.

Jeff Sherman: Awesome. Yeah. I mean, I grew up as an athlete working out at a young age. I joined the military. In the military a buddy of mine started a personal training studio kind of thing. It was actually when personal training just became like a career. Most big box gym didn’t even have personal trainers yet and he was actually just leased an office or a big box gym and had the rights to train on the floor. That’s kind of where I got started when I was in the military. And my idea was when I got out of the military to go back to Baltimore and do the same thing. But 4 years later, by the time I got back, all the big-box gyms already had in-house training staff. You couldn’t just rent like a room and then had the rights to the floor kind of thing.

So, I ended up getting a job at Valley’s and was our top sales guy that went off the bat. And when people walk into the door, thousands day it’s you get pretty good at sales. So, I was like the number one salesperson and then they started changing their structure around to where the with the pay and I was like, alright I got to do my own thing. So, started a one-on-one personal training center. Didn’t really know much about business and just put some money together. Got a small like 1,000 square feet just in the basement of this building. Start one on one training studio. Got a couple trainers. They’re just pretty much paying me rent. I was pretty much like a glorified landlord. It was a horrible business model.

I was still an international guard. I was still an international guard and I got deployed and activated. So, it’s 2 years. So, it’s going to be 2 months overseas, 2 months home for like the next 2 years and I was like, oh man, I’m not going to be able to keep growing my business this way. So, I took on a partner and then I started looking for ways to take money while I was away and that’s where I found major school and yet at the time, you had a product called high-tech trainer. It actually allowed you to like create custom like workouts for a client and email it to them. I was like, barely high tech.

Josh Peacock: It was back then. Right.

Jeff Sherman: And so, we’re working 12 hours shifts when I was over in Cutter and the people on my ship workout with me and then the people in the other ship that was like making workouts for. So, I was making like side money while I was over there it’s kind of cool. But when I started watching all these videos and started saying like oh man like, because at the time like personal trainers didn’t like group training or group fitness instructors. They always just thought that was a trainer that couldn’t sell like one on one or whatever. It was like a stigma kind of thing. Like it wasn’t, as it was like down at if you’re like a group trainer adult because you can’t afford, you can’t sell like personal training or whatever.

And for me like coming from like selling high end personal training to selling like group stuff, a price difference and everything was it’s such an easy transition for me because I’m used to selling $1,000+ packages just now selling $250 packages. With all the same benefits and more, you don’t have to worry about scheduling, coming anytime you want. You’re still getting your body fat tracked and you got goal setting and all that stuff nutrition help. So, all the benefits of one on one with group. So, I started selling some of my equipment, push my stuff to the side and I was doing like small group training. And then when they just launched his Fit Body Boot Camp, I jumped on board with that and I was at one of the first 10, 15 Fit Body Boot Camp locations as a license deal at the time.

We started out of like a gymnastic center. So, I had my studio and I also had what I had subleased space from this gymnastics center like 6 AM and 10 AM. 2 hours as all they would give me for like 10% of whatever I brought in which is a great deal. So, but then like 3 or 4 months, I was making more than those two hours at the gymnastic center than I was at my personal training studio. I was bringing another 10 grand a month off of two class times. It’s kind of crazy. And only paying a $1000 to the gymnastic center. So, do the math like didn’t make sense for me to keep doing my one-on-one stuff.

Josh Peacock: Right.

Jeff Sherman: So yeah, I ended up like closing down my studio and some of my clients came to the boot camp. The other ones that weren’t good fit for it. So, I introduce them to other trainers or whatever. And so, I was like all in with that stuff. So, I Jumped in on 04:52 Vedros’ like and this is back in like 2009, I think. I jumped in on his Info Marketing mastermind. I created a soccer conditioning program and I niche it down to just women because I was playing quad soccer still at the time. My teammates that I had as one-on-one clients. I already had like programs for them. I already had pictures. Before and after pictures so it’s really just put together a commission program for female soccer players and it did really well.

I learned a ton of skills that for marketing online that I wasn’t using for my offline business and nobody else was using online marketing tactics at the time for offline businesses. So, I was like, why don’t I just use the same stuff I’m learning for online for offline, and I like crushed it. like I had like pretty much the first 10 listings on Google. I had my blog. I had my Facebook page and then my website. They had some YouTube videos. I had like a press release. It was all me. There’re no other gyms on the first page. If you Google like personal trainer Baltimore, Baltimore Bootcamps, even some of the local big box gym owners, they see me at like Starbucks and like, I see what you’re doing online. Maybe you should like come work for me or whatever and I was like, yeah, I’m not sure if you can afford me or not. But so, like, I was doing really well with that. It just like blew up my offline business by using those online skills.

Today, everybody uses like, funnels and online marketing tactics for offline businesses, but back then it was like killing a mosquito with a flame throw, it was really easy.

Josh Peacock: Yeah man, I’m sad I missed those days. I was probably still a teenager but it would have been awesome. I had I ran a little taekwondo club for a while. It would’ve been awesome to have for that stuff to have been brand new at that time because it would have been so easy to stay open and grow. But that’s interesting because you just touched on digital marketing for gyms and even though that’s normal now. There’s still a lot of gyms that don’t do it or they do it like really poorly. And I’ve heard you mention Info Marketing a couple times. Can you kind of briefly go over what Info Marketing is and how it works.

Jeff Sherman: Yeah, so it the main difference if you have a one-on-one business or offline business you give content in conversations with your clients. They ask a question. You give them the answer, right. So, you’re basically just doing that before you know to the masses. You’re just putting it in the blog. Putting it in a video and you’re posting it online. People are getting to know, like, and trust you through your content. Not having like, in like real-life conversations with them, you’re just having the conversation through the internet and people are finding it when they need it and then, finding you when they need you.

So, the more content you put out there, it’s out there forever. You put YouTube, it’s a search engine, it’s there forever, and Instagram and stuff, it’s there for a couple of days. I mean, if they scroll through your gallery, it might, they might find some stuff, and same with Facebook. But it’s there one day, going the next. But you’re putting on your blog, Putting on YouTube, stuff like that, it’s there, it’s there forever. People find me all over the place. There’s like old press releases. People still find me through and stuff. It’s crazy but yeah, it’s just Information Marketing just putting out information on the internet to help people.

Josh Peacock: Did you draw influence from like Dan Kennedy’s stuff, like I think he calls it his magnetic marketing with and like pulling in the Information Marketing and like setting an entire like a funnel. Like because I see you got some of the ClickFunnel stuff in the background. How does how does all that I guess that’s two questions? But number one were you influenced by Dan Kennedy? Number two, how does the landing pages and the funnels fit into the Information Marketing?

Jeff Sherman: Absolutely. I mean, I’m from Baltimore originally and Glaser Kennedy’s, you know, was in Baltimore. Really good friends with Mary Glazer, really good copywriter if you ever need one. so, yeah, heavily influenced with other direct marketing and so are all my business mentors. Pretty much how any internet marketer back to Dan Kennedy probably, you know, some kind of influence from him for sure.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Jeff Sherman: What’s the second part of that question?

Josh Peacock: Yeah, how does the like the Information Marketing or Info Marketing fit into building of like a direct response funnel, getting people into your emails and the landing pages and all that.

Jeff Sherman: Yeah, if all you do is put out content with no to action. People are going to like your stuff or they’re going to like your content and act like, they’re not going to be, they don’t know what the next step is. So, direct response marketing is just telling them what the next obvious step is and make it, a natural step for them to do. It’s like, if you like this, you’ll love this, click here. You have to have a call to action or you’re just putting out content for free like you’re working for nothing like you got to bring them back with all like a return pass. You have to create that return path.

You put the information out and you create multiple return pass, multiple ways for them to get back in contact with you. Whether it’s another piece of content whether it’s like a giveaway or a program or an opt-in or whatever it is. Bring them back into your whether it’s email list or if it’s a live event like a workshop or it’s a free session or whatever it is, get them to take action and come in. But what the content is doing is creating making that cold market a warm market and getting them to know, like, and trust before they make a decision.

Josh Peacock: Awesome, Ggeat. So, pivoting now to, in other podcasts you’ve talked a lot on some really cool onboarding processes for being bringing new members into your gym. So, how can you scalable introduce people to your business and get them onboarded, or you’d use the term before like indoctrinated into your culture and your values and all that kind of stuff.

Jeff Sherman: So, as far as like the onboarding that I’ve talked about it’s mostly like once you become a member. Like you have that you call it the magic 90 days. Like if they stay past the 90 days, you’re usually going to stay for a year or more and you’re just going to refer one to three people during that time. But it’s normally like if they’re on a trial it’s like getting them pass a trial most people are going to quit before the trials over or or not continue after that. But once they’re committed once their payment goes through, a lot of people have like a 30-day money back guarantee. So, if you can get them pass that first month going in second month, your trend rate’s going to go way down.

The main thing is you’re making people feel good about themselves and that’s how I you know incentivizing people. That’s how I got into gamification which I think we’ll talk about a little bit later.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Jeff Sherman: But it’s really just incentivizing people to take action that’s good for them so and giving them recognition, which makes them feel good makes them feel important. They just don’t want to fell like just a member like you could care less. Like once you take their money like the worst thing you do is not talk to them again. Like a lot of people to take their money and then they’re on to the next person. They’re giving all this attention leading up to that. As soon as the trial’s over and their payment is there, they can feel like you don’t care about them as much anymore, people aren’t dumb. Like they’re going to know like just waiting for their check to go through the commitment to start and goanna be added there. And one of the things is like with group training is they need like-minded friends. You always heard like you’re like, you become like the people you hang around the most for whatever, right.

So, but first, one of the first things I do is that join me in congratulating so and so for joining our program. So, even if they’re in the trial but they committed to continue afterwards, I already go in and say, join me in congratulating our new member. Like you’re in the trial but you’re already committed, so you’re a member. I prep them during when I’m signing them up. I’m like, hey, we have this Facebook group. It’s like a family in there and everybody shares what’s working, what’s not working, and I guarantee no matter what you’re going through, there’s somebody in there that’s doing the same exact thing has already solved it and I’ll be able to help you.

So, I’m going to introduce you in there and I’m going to ask you like what’s the number one thing that’s holding back from you to reaching your goals. Because answer that and I guarantee one to three people will have a better answer than I will. Because I might not be able to relate to it but they will. So, if you could do that that’d be great. And they always commit to doing it. So, as soon as I do this show me congratulating so and so I ask the question that introduce yourself. Tell us like why right now is really important and what you’re struggling with the weight struggle within the past to reach your goals. What’s kept you from keeping from reaching your goals. They would like to answer and I already have like you have like there’s three to five members who are like founding members in there forever. They love to be involved. They love to know everybody. They love to help.

So usually, one you prep them like hey if you guys just do me a favor just answer like just give them an answer. Whenever I introduce new people that’d be great. And they they’d love to do that. The people love to help. And the worst thing you do is them actually like say who they are. Say what the problem is and then crickets. Like that’s the worst. So, then if that happens, then I’ll go in there and I’ll give an answer, but then I’ll tag somebody like so and so probably the better answer but this is what most people do. In that way, they at least have something. But nine out of 10 times might especially once you prep people and once it becomes a way of doing business, the first person will give an answer and then two or three other people will chime in. Because in a way it’s hard for people to be the first but you already have those three to five people who you’ve already talked to and like ask for their help to encourage new members and stuff.

So, you do that. Now they’ve already have somebody they can relate to. They already have, they feel like they’ve already made friends and they’re beyond great about their decision and what they’ve done right. So, that’s usually the first step is to join me in congratulating. The second thing that I do is I send them a welcome package. So, we would send them a T-shirt. And we use print we used to use printful and so we would mail it to their address. We would pay for it and everything obviously. So, we would get a notification when it was delivered. So, as soon as it was delivered, we’d be calling them. Hey, just wanted to check in on you. See how everything’s going. Oh, by the way, did you get the package that I sent you? Oh yeah, I just opened it up. It’s awesome. There’s a T-shirt there. Thanks a lot. Awesome. Just wanted to let you know about our selfie contest that we do every month.

You take a picture wearing a T-shirt and make it your profile picture on Facebook or post it to your gallery and Instagram and just say, and then just put what you like best about our program so far and you’ll be on the running to win a prize like everybody that post a selfie during the month. We give away a prize or whatever. Could you do that for me? Oh yeah, sure. Just give them a T shirt but not going to say no and then, we really did do this contest. So, you’re getting brand awareness if you’re putting their pictures of you with them with your shirt on or whatever on all of our social media every month. So, it’s great and they leave it as a profile picture on Facebook. It’s up for a long time. But what that’s doing is a commitment to your brand and I’m like, yeah, just join this 21-day Rapid Fat Loss Challenge Fit Body. It’s awesome. You know, whatever.

If they cancel in like 3 weeks, they have to take that picture down especially on Facebook and it’s a profile picture, right.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Jeff Sherman: That’s painful. They have to like take that, you know, take it off. A lot of people have had people that give stickers. They put them on like their car. They put them on like their computer or whatever, their laptop. If they quit, they can’t keep looking at that gym sticker on their car. No, they quit. They got to peel that sticker off. It’s a pain of disconnect there. So, because they’re making a public commitment to your brand. Their friends are going to be asking them a couple weeks later, hey, how’s that program going? They’re not going to want to say I quit. So, they publicly announce how great you are. They can’t go back and, say one at a time like, oh yeah, it sucked. They have to make it what they said it was and it’s ultimately up to them for most places that it’s running a good program. Obviously, you know, it’s up to them to get the most out of it.

So, then, that’ll actually help them, you know, commit more and do more because they want to be in align with what they said to the internet kind of thing. So, those two things are the most important. And if you can get those down, you pretty much are onboarding is a set. The rest of it is just like icing on a kick we have a bunch of other things, it’s a whole, I can talk about for an hour. It’s a whole presentation that I give, but just the importance of incentivizing them making them feel part of the community, making them feel part of the process is super important to keeping them on long term.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, that’s that amazing. I wonder why people more people don’t do stuff like that. But it’s I remember reading from like Childini, like Doctor Childini. He talks about some of the, he calls them weapons of persuasion but like you know reciprocation is powerful. So, if you give a physical product to somebody or something a token to them. That’s really powerful for inclining themselves towards you. So, they’ve already tried something out. They like it and then send them that package that really helps seal that deal. And then you have the social aspect of it, of oh hey, this is what I’m doing now, this is me. It’s really fun, it’s really cool. I endorse this and now there’s a social pressure of not of people like having an undue influence on them, but they’ve projected themselves as one thing. And then it’s going to be more painful for them to renege on that than it would be to not do it.

Jeff Sherman: Exactly, its powerful but and it’s good for them.

Josh Peacock: Yeah. So, it’s good for them. Yeah, it’s not like a bunch of toxic people are like influencing them to do it. It’s like no you decided to do this and then now we said, hey, you want to do this thing. And now you’ve projected that image onto all your friends and it’s going to be embarrassing to go back on that and be like yeah, I know I’m just a fat slob. I didn’t like it. I’m just going to go back to being a couch and cater. Yeah, so that’s great. And I really like using, like I think you mentioned the Facebook groups and/or some people I think Their own platforms that they use. But so that you have contact with the community of the gym even when you’re not inside the gym. So, you have your buddies that you work out at the gym, but then you also have contact so you feel like feel like you’re in contact with the gym all the time. How do you recommend? So, say somebody maybe falls off the wagon a couple times or they miss class like how do you recommend following up on those people?

Jeff Sherman: Yeah, I’m under, the way that I think is like you need to follow them. You have to have an automated process to follow them as soon as possible. If they miss a whole week without telling you they’re going on vacation, they need to be followed up with. Other people, they’re afraid to follow them because they need to make quick which is fine. Like, I don’t want them there. If I’m not helping them, I’m confident enough my lead generation sales and marketing that I will get somebody in there that wants to be there. So, if they’re still paying, they’re disgruntled and they’re not getting results, they’re not going to bring anybody else in. Anyway, you’re doing them a favor by letting them go.

They’re more chance for them to come back. If you were like, yeah, if it’s not a good time, it’s not a good time to let them go. Because I guarantee if they go out with some friends they haven’t seen in a while and one friend like lost like 30 pounds and all happy and full of energy and the other friends like, oh my gosh looks so good. Like what did you do? And she’s like I did Zumba or whatever. And that your client is going to, they’re everybody asked them what they’re doing like well I was doing this like boot camp thing but I’m going to try Zumba now. Like whatever it doesn’t matter what that thing was. All peoples in that group are probably going to go do Zumba.

So, if you don’t have checks and balances as far as goal setting and helping them constantly be reaching a result, then you’re not going to get referrals. And it’s only a matter of time before they go somewhere else. If they’re not working towards something, even if they’ve been with you for years, if they’re not working towards a goal and they just happen to see one of their friends out or whatever, it looks great and get the conversation going. It’s not going to be talking about your gyms. We’re talking about their friend’s program, whatever it is that they’re doing.

So, that’s why my purchase of software ever created was Fit Clients and that helped group training coaches hold up to a thousand people accountable to their weight balance goals automatically. So, they it would know like if they didn’t put their weight in every week and would follow up with them with all the responders and send you a list of everybody that didn’t weigh in and missed their weigh in. so, you knew exactly who to follow up with annual endeavors of like 15 people rather than going through and checking a thousand different people who came in, who didn’t, who you need to call, you would know by the people that didn’t weigh in or whatever, so.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, that’s really useful. That actually leads me to the question of like how technology has helped you enable to do all this stuff because that like if you’re trying to track them spreadsheets that’s really difficult. Did you use a lot of different software’s? You have like one unified software like what’s going on.

Jeff Sherman: Yeah so, I mean now there’s tons of options but like back then there were no options. I was doing email marketing and stuff and they had autoresponders and then it was called Infusion Soft at the time and it’s called something else now. But it had if-then sequences, like if they open the email, then they would get this other email or if they didn’t open the email, they would get this. So, at the time I had like 100 members we were still using like an old portable like file box and had my assistant. Like on Monday, she would check like the first so many people’s files and see who waited who didn’t write down the names. Call them up, the second day of the week or second week of the month this part of the alphabet and so on.

So, every week she was calling and following people to see how the results were going and became like a full-time job. And I was like she we can’t maintain this moving forward, but one of the guarantees that I gave people when they joined was, I guaranteed they’d never have more than a bad week that we would be on top of them. And if they missed their goal that week, we’d get them in for consultation as many as needed to see what the problem was and figured out. That was getting harder and harder to deliver on that promise. So, I looked around for solutions so I just decided to create my own and it was I got the idea from Infusion Soft with the if then sequences.

So, it’s like and that’s the person I partnered with was building out the “Fitclients.com” software. His brother-in-law create developed it at the time and yeah, it worked great. People are still using it to this day. It’s on Oddified. I didn’t try to sell it in years, but because there’s so many other options and so many more robust things out there and I went on to other bigger and better projects. But yeah, it works great and people are still using, still have like 500 users or something on it. But it solved that problem easily as far as keeping them accountable to the weight and fat loss goals.

Yeah, that’s awesome. Cool. Okay, so let’s move on to gamification. think a lot of gym owners probably like have no idea what that is. So, we can start with a broad question of like what even is gamification? What does it even mean?

Jeff Sherman: Yeah, so most people either done or are currently doing some form of gamification. And all gamification is incentivizing them to do anything. So, if you’re doing a challenge where they’re going to win a prize if they’re like a weight loss challenge that’s gamification. You’re incentivizing them by losing the most weight. You win a prize. You get recognition. You get a trophy. You get a medal. Whatever you get that’s incentivizing them to take action and actually do something. That’s a form of gamification. Likes on Facebook is a form of gamification. You’re comparing your likes from one post to the next. You’re incentivize if you’re good you incentivize more posts [INAUDIBLE 23:07].

So, most people are doing or have done some type or some form of gamification. I’m actually in the process right now with creating a game specifically for trainers that they can license and be able to use. It’s like a 21-day healthy habit challenge. Where we have a leaderboard, so as they take actions 21 days, 21 habits. It’s three different stages and so there’s a leaderboard. As they take action, do the steps in the inside of the game. They get points. They go up the leaderboards. They can see how to compare with other people in the challenge who’s doing the you know who’s taking the most action.

There’s also they can earn like tangible item like a T-shirt or a hat or a journal. So again, you’re earning rewards and you’re leveling up. So, when you complete a stage, you can earn some swag or you can earn like a where you’re doing like military style coins. They can get a whole collection. And then they get the whole collection. It could be like a discount for like a challenge or something coming up or whatever you wanted to put behind it. So, any kind of incentivize, anybody who can incentivize somebody whether it’s through like tangible items whether it’s through points. Whether it’s through like a digital product. It could be like a bonus like training or something like that. Anything like that.

They can earn digital medals, badges, certificates. People love certificates. You give them like a different title. Like we’re doing a game for like this company called Epic Investor. And then in the one is to be like Epic Journeyman, Epic Scout, and then eventually they earn a title like Epic Investor. As they get more and more, as they learn the skills as they go through the game, and they earn that title. So, you can come up with cool names going through your game and you know again it’s recognition but it’s also like an identity. They’re kind of putting on this like suit of armor as they’re moving through and becoming a different person and get a different title.

So, makes it fun and they’re doing it alongside their friend or alongside other people. They get to know the other players. They follow the other players. Some of them are funny. Some of them because they’re using video and pictures and like that too to put their entries. So, they get to know the people, because they can see the video entries and stuff that prove that they actually did take the action. But if you, do it in real life, then they’re taking the action in your gym or they’re like people have done a plank challenge for the posting pictures of them like planking between two cars or planking across two bar stools or something like that. And people are like, oh, that’s so cool or that’s awesome.

So, that’s form of gamification and I’m trying to see who can get the most likes on their plank challenge picture and then that person wins the prize kind of thing. So, there’s a million ways you can gamify anything really.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, so what I’m hearing there is that you’ve even got different, there’s different ways to earn points. There’s different types of accolades and swag and badges and things that you can earn. And then you have different ways that you can earn them. So, you have things that are more ad hoc. I guess, you could say like who can get the most likes on the picture or this particular maybe a seasonal challenge. But then you have like things that are kind of set like a structured progression. Like in martial arts or jiujitsu the belts is actually a good example of a type of gamification that people don’t even realize that they’re engaging it. so, you have the belt system and the belt system’s pretty, jujitsu maybe a little bit more fluid. But like for a traditional martial art like karate or type 10, you got to know this, you got to know this one steps. You got to do all these all four of these things to get you X spell and that doesn’t change. It’s for everyone. They have to run through that.

So, there’s like the there’s the set structure, the set journey, and then there’s also these things you can do on the way to enhance that journey. Are there anything that you feel like, because I know that that with gamification systems, you could potentially gamify anything. Is there anything that you feel like you shouldn’t gamify or there maybe there’s a type of gamification that you should avoid for those sorts of things, or is it just you think it can be used just for anything?

Jeff Sherman: I mean it can be just anything. You don’t want to add gaming elements just for the sake of adding gaming elements, because after a while people just don’t care. Because like if they get, if they earn something but nobody knows like then it doesn’t get the desired effect. It all comes down to recognition, attention, making them feel good. So, like if they earn like you know a badge or they conquer like a level and they like says congratulations to them but there’s no like public announcement. There’s no notification. There’s no like way they can share it to Instagram or Facebook or whatever. After a while like they don’t care like oh okay it says congratulations to me but like nobody here. but if everybody in the game is like oh awesome job. Good job. Keep going. That was so cool. Man, you’re moving along that [INAUDIBLE 27:26] and people saying how great they are. And giving them attention.

So, that’s what you have to be careful of is like not just giving things just to give it to them that really don’t have no meaning on the back end. And that’s where a good facilitator comes in. because the software can track pretty much anything but you still have to facilitate some of that stuff on the end. Like one of the games that we have it’s a self-help game it’s a high end $2,000. And at the end you earn this custom of auto watch, but we don’t mail it to you. You have to come to an event and then you get it on stage. But they never come to the event and they don’t get the custom watch as a finisher of the game. And they get presented in front of all the people all the attendees and they get all these, it’s like getting your green jacket. You’re in the club, you have to watch but you have to come to the event to get it. So, you’re making a big deal about it.

So yeah, it’s really just the meaning that you put behind the incentives of the rewards is what makes it so powerful.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, that’s I’m glad you clarified that, because I’ve seen some people like, yeah, you can gamify anything. And they’re like gamifying like every little action they want you to do in the onboarding process, every part of like just regular goings on in the dojo or in the gym. And I was like, man, it’s just over the top. Like if you’re trying to gamify every single thing, what you’re going to end up with people just burn out on it. It’s like there’s like no accomplishment or people are going to, they’re going to burn out on the little things and then not be shooting for the bigger accomplishments that are more meaningful, and it’s definitely.

I did some schooling in educational psychology and you have different ways that you have your extrinsic and your intrinsic motivation. And the intrinsic motivation is the best kind of motivation, but it can be tricky to properly cultivate an intrinsic motivation using external types of rewards. It is possible. Especially with gamification stuff. I think that’s really powerful thing that people are not using enough yet for that kind of thing. But you do have to be careful with it. The things you have to be careful what it is that you reward and how often you reward that. Yeah, so definitely there’s potential for it to get to go haywire with people that don’t really know what’s going on with the whole thing.

Jeff Sherman: Yeah, I mean if it’s overused it’ll lose its effectiveness just like anything else. Especially if it’s overused, but then underutilized on the back end as far as like putting something behind it that actually means something, then it’ll lose its effectiveness. It’s actually worse than not having it at all.

Josh Peacock: Yes, I’m glad you said that. That is absolutely true. Yeah, so have you seen invocation improved retention within gyms and being able to maintain the motivation to workout over a period of time?

Jeff Sherman: Yeah, like not necessarily in gyms yet because like I said I’m creating a game for trainers, but this is like my first thing outside of fitness that I’ve done. Again, I built the software for my own stuff at first, because we had some high level like workshops that we’re doing and it went from two to $4,000 we’re coming out and learning some high-level skills. And then we turned them into courses and we’re trying to just get more people through the courses. What we noticed is like people that were joining like our masterminds and our high-level coaching. 9 out of 10 of them had finished one of our 2,000 courses or more and so we’re, but only at the time 17% that bought the course was finishing the course.

So, we’re like man, if we can increase people finishing the course, we should be able to increase people joining our high-level masterminds, people signing up for our high-level coaching on the back end. So, we started adding like community aspects. We you know Facebook groups were huge. People were like join our course but then you get access to our exclusive Facebook group. We knew they were working. But what the problem with those was that all the engagement, all the interactive stuff was happening on, people would ask questions in there that if they were actually taking the course, they would know the answer. But they’re asking in the group because they didn’t want to take the time to take the course. So, we took all the aspects of the Facebook group and put it into the platform.

So, now you have the feed and the social community stuff inside the app itself. So, you’re playing the game and you’re also right alongside the community that you knew you can like in the static course, you don’t know how many other people are taking the course with, you don’t know how fast they’re going through the modules in the game. Everybody’s entries are right there. You can see the first person, second person, first person, all their entries and you have examples of what yours should look like so there’s that create a burden is taken away as well. The more people that are doing it, you’re like, oh hat sounds like something I’d want to say so I’ll just repeat that. Not on to come up with it on my own.

So, it’s easier and easier for people to participate and then they can also see how fast they’re going through the levels in the game which pushes them to go faster as well. There’s been studies that show like you bring somebody in the gym, put them on a treadmill and tell them to run a mile to get a certain time. You bring them back just a day later. Put them in between People that are running really fast in terms of on a mile. They’ll beat their first time every single time because people beside them running so fast. It makes them feel like they need to keep up and they’re going to run faster.

It’s the same kind of thing with the gamification and with knowing and being able to see how fast you’re going through the game, it just forces them like, oh man, I got to get on, I got to keep going because these people are like leave me in the dust. So, there’s that motivation as well.

Josh Peacock: Awesome. If you wanted to put together you kind of touched on that a little. Bit but if you wanted to put together something from scratch, what sort of principles help you design that type of game?

Jeff Sherman: Yeah so, the ones that we use like for our courses and I didn’t get to like once we added the social aspect. We added all the badges and the leaderboard and the tangible item like T-shirts and hats, journals, stuff like that and we were able to increase that 17% completion rate to 41%. So, more than doubled the completion rates. That’s how powerful that is and especially high-ticket thing on the back end of sale, you’re going to crush it. Because they’ve more than doubled our mastermind sales and more than doubled our high-level coaching sales.

So, just compliance because if people buy something from you and even if they don’t go through it like it’s a course and they have access to it forever, they’re not going to ask for a refund because they’d like, oh I can log in to the course anytime I want. It’s sitting there. My money is right there. I can see where my money is. I’m good, but if you come out with another offer, they’re not going to buy because they’re going to be like, well, I already spent 2,000 on that course. Let me go through that for then I’ll buy this new thing that they have, right.

They’re not going to buy something else. There’s a small percentage just buy everything and never go through any of it. That’s just small percentage.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Jeff Sherman: The majority, if they’re sitting on something they haven’t used yet, in their mind, they’re like, oh, I still need to go through this before I buy that. But if you can get them to get through and actually not just consume the content but actually like take action and develop the skill as they’re going through it. Now, they’ve already gotten a result. They’ve already are getting; they’re making more money. They’re doing something more easily or whatever come up with something new. They have to have it. They’re going to buy. They’re going to jump on. It’s a no-brainer for them. Like they’ve already bought something from you. Loved it. Got the benefit from it. They’re going to buy anything you put out. They’re going to buy.

So, there’s huge benefit of getting them through and actually using your stuff. That’s why we put it out there, right. We don’t just put it out there from the buy and not use. Want them to actually do it. So, by incentivizing them and giving them that social support. Giving them incentives. And gamifying the process. We went from 17% to 41% and then they bought our high-level stuff 9 out of 10. So, it’s super, super, super powerful. In fitness, it’s harder, like, anything that you can, anything that’s a linear process that starts off easy and get a little bit harder as it goes. That’s the best thing to actually like gamify as far as the format that I created with my software. But even do other, there’s a million ways to gamify something.

But self-help stuff works really well for my platform and like any how to stuff like how to run Facebook ads. Like if you’re teaching them how to do certain exercises or something that would work, but an actual workout program where you’re doing the same thing over and over for a long period of time. It wouldn’t work as well. That’s why we’re doing like a 21-day healthy habit. Starts with like drinking a glass of water first in the morning. Super easy. Like it just takes 30 seconds to complete that first level. Towards the end it’s like a half gallon or a gallon depending on how much you weigh or whatever.

So, it gets harder as it goes and it’s very linear and they’re learning skills and they’re seeing how it can affect them positively throughout the game. And we’ve animated like all the videos. We did like a female voice over male voice over. So, that way it’s easy to license. They don’t have to Create the videos themselves, but something like that would work in fitness where you’re incentivizing them taking action on healthy habits that’s very linear. But the actual workouts themselves with a workout program it’s better to do like a challenge. Like trainers been doing challenges forever, which is a form of gamification in and of itself.

But you can incentivize them to bring people in its referrals. You can incentivize them to lose a certain amount of weight or to come in a certain amount of days or whatever it is you want to do. That would be the best way for gyms to use it as just incentivize taking action or whatever it is that they want them to do. Like a good point for giving a testimonial, do anything like that.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, definitely. To help you with your referral marketing and all that kind of stuff. One of the things that for me that just thinking kind of as an outsider because I don’t have a system or anything like that. But just as an outsider who likes to think about motivation and how gamification can be used to help sustain that is that it’s really important to actually like to give some of the best incentive to really just putting in the work. So, that if you’re on a point system like you should probably get the most points for showing up to your session and completing that session or completing a certain number of sessions. Or in the case of like a martial arts school showing up to class and completing the class.

I think that’s really good for using something like gamification to help inspire intrinsic motivation because the focus and the reward is chiefly on the process rather than simply each achievement.

Jeff Sherman: Yeah, for sure.

Josh Peacock: Yeah. Cool. So, tell us about, is it Nu Move is that’s the system that you put together. Tell us about Nu Move and what it can do.

Jeff Sherman: Yeah, so Nu Move is it’s a new startup company, but it’s not that new anymore but it’s still a startup phase and it’s a gamification platform. It’s a learning management system that I created. It’s similar to like a course management platform and SFPI the gaming elements to it. Like I said you can set up certain amount of stages like per game where in a course it’ll be like modules, right. And usually, the modules have like a topic around it. And then within the module and of course you would have lessons in the game we call them levels and then within the levels there’s a certain amount of moves which are the action steps they have to take. So, they get points for each move and then you would complete the level. You click all the levels in the stage then you conquer that stage and you earn whatever prize for that stage and then you move on.

There’s the leaderboard. We have a 7-day leaderboard. So, if you just started you can compare yourself with everybody else who started the same week as you. We have a 30-day leaderboard. So, once you can start comparing yourself to people that are in the first month and then we have a lifetime leaderboard. Because if it’s like a 50-level game and you get on you see somebody’s at like 3,000 points, and like you’re never going to catch them it’s not that motivating. But if you’re like now you’re just looking at the 7- days and you’re within the first week looking at the 30-days and then after that. Then it’s like, oh now when it’s time at the lifetime leaderboard.

We have where you can DM inside the app, where you can send direct messages to other players. Sometimes you have to like reach out and get help from one of the other players to conquer one of the levels of stages or whatever maybe like an accountability partner or something. And then they got to sign up and yeah, they did everything for this level or whatever. So, there’s that community aspects there. We have like a timeline like a Facebook group. So, every action that you do is pushed into the timeline so people can see who’s taking what action, what their entries look like and they can comment and like on all of those. They can earn tangible items when they conquer either levels or stages however you want to set that up.

They could also earn digital, like one of them we have I kind of pass a they earn a key. But it’s like a digital key and once they get all five keys and they get access to that’s like free LinkedIn training or whatever. So, it could be a digital bonus or whatever. We had that set up in there. [INAUDIBLE 39:58] Have been selected with them where they either fly out to us. We fly out to them and we film everything. We help them map out their entire game because it’s a different concept when you’re talking like trying to do like one video for one major action items. People do like a lesson but in that lesson, there might be 7 or 8 action items.

People consume all that content. They got excited. They don’t do anything next lesson. There’s like 6 more things they can take action. They get really excited and everyone’s the next one. They finish their course and they’re like overwhelmed. They don’t know where to go and start and it’s like this big feeling like overwhelmed. They do nothing. They just consumed all this content. They have some ideas. They don’t know where to get started. So instead, they go buy another course and start 40:36 process over they start it over in the air.

Same thing with books. They consume it but they and they have they get really excited about what they learn and then they read the next chapter. They get even more excited to read the next chapter. They get to the end like, oh man like that was great but I have no idea what to do now instead of buying the book.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Jeff Sherman: So, with our they have to take like action. Like for example on that 21-day like healthy habit challenge, the first level might be talks about the importance of hydration and how you get dehydrated while you’re sleeping. All you have to do is wake up, take a picture of your glass of water you’re about to drink. Drink it, take a picture of the empty one and post it. Congratulations, you conquered level one. You’re already taking action. You’re already moving forward more than 90% of people in any other course they’ve just read about hydration and why it’s important kind of thing.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Jeff Sherman: [INAUDIBLE 41:17] So, like they have to, that’s why we call them the game. Just take action in reality to earn virtual points and goods and prove that you took the action.

Josh Peacock: That’s good. That’s really good. Have you worked with like businesses to put together like stuff for like learning and development or like internal training and stuff like that?

Jeff Sherman: We have a solar company that uses our platform for new member or new employee like onboarding and then they also use it for sales training. And then you can create chat groups like you can in like Instagram. So, they have like their sales teams on different chat groups. Working together and competing against each, other sales teams. He brings the most revenue but all the training is in there, but they collaborate and everything right inside the app. So, the guy who owns a company was actually my late business partner was his first business mentor. So, he already like knew the concept knew about gamification and so he got it. So, he was able to apply it really easily to what he’s was doing.

I tried with some other business. That’s not the vertical that I’m going in because I’m more in the internet marketing space or course owners’ stuff like that. They’re teaching how to do something which like how to run Facebook ads or sell help stuff or like how to invest in you know buy businesses or how to write a book, how to write sales copy. Like that’s the kind of games that we’re creating right now. But that would be a vertical I’d love to go into. I just don’t have the network or experience and there’s a lot of red tape to go through with some of those types of businesses. Because I did talk to a lady who has like an acting school in Hollywood. It’s all online. But the people get credits and stuff for it. So, even if she’s my platform she couldn’t call it a game or she’d lose their credidation, which is crazy.

Josh Peacock: Wow.

Jeff Sherman: She’ll have to it a course.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Jeff Sherman: Even if it was gamified like she wouldn’t be able to promote it as a game. But they should be kicked off the platform that I could be what it’s called that drives like all the traffic for her. But yeah, so there’s a lot of red tape and a lot of in those verticals but they find me. I just not actively seeking them out just because I had such a big network in the internet marketing space that I haven’t fully marketed to yet.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, that’s cool. Where can people find you? They want to look at?

Jeff Sherman: Jeff.sherman on Instagram probably the best way and then “Numove.com”. If you want to learn more about what we do in the platform. And then just for fitness and trainer stuff either “Techswipe.com” or “Fitnessmarketer.com” is find anything you need to know about me when it comes to fitness and marketing.

Josh Peacock: Awesome. Thank you for coming on.

Jeff Sherman: Awesome man. Thanks for having me. Enjoyed it.

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Published by Josh Peacock

Josh is a lifelong martial arts fanatic, taekwondo 4th dan, BJJ player, writer, and marketer. In addition to helping martial arts school owners market their gyms more effectively, he also holds an M.Ed. in teaching & learning and has a passion for improving martial arts instruction.

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