Russian Kettle Bells and marketing services

Tonight at my boxing class we had a guest trainer, who introduced us to a fitness program based on Russian Kettle Bells. These weight-like things have been used in Russia for hundreds of years, and are becoming a bit of a trend in the US fitness circuits.

What does this have to do with you and marketing? Everything.

First, this trainer figured out a way to get a full hour of class, with a captive audience of people interested in fitness. The owner of the boxing gym wanted to bring him in, as a benefit to members. Meanwhile, the trainer got a full hour of exposure to his program.

Second, we got a free trial, during which time we got a terrific sense of this guy’s credibility and the value he could add. Kettle bells look kind of silly compared to today’s “modern” fitness equipment and programs. But by trying it out, we quickly saw the value of this kind of fitness.

Third, he had us sign a couple of forms — a waiver and medical history. Now he has our contact info and can follow up to see if we want more training.

Fourth, he is a walking advertisement for his services. His truck has his company name and a cool logo, with a phone number. He wears a kettle bell t-shirt. His kettle bells have his company name on them. He is branding his stuff.

The only thing he didn’t do was make some sort of offer to keep in touch with us — like a video program, a catalog of kettle bells, or an offer for personal training.

But this type of marketing is called a “joint promotion” — where you get a trusted opinion leader (my boxing instructor) to endorse your services.

We loved it. Frankly, I needed a break from all that punching.

This applies to any service business. For instance, I used this type of approach when I got a local bank to sponsor my seminars for their clients. They provided a value-add service to their clientele, and I got to show people my content. I didn’t make a blatant pitch for my services, but plenty of people contacted me afterwards.

Can you see direct applications of this strategy to your business?

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  • Ravedesigns

    Great article Andrew, and what an excellent example of a good joint promotion here! This is something that most business owners just don’t get, but when done well it can pay off handsomely.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Steve

  • lajkonik86

    you actually got your local bank to sponsor a seminar about websites?
    This is atleast what I understood, but I don’t think you will find to many banks interested in informing their customers about websites.

  • http://boyohazard.net Octal

    Probably more like seminars on how to improve and grow a business, since “Andrew’s consulting practice focuses on helping professionals and entrepreneurs build successful businesses”.

    I had never even thought about this strategy. Once more, thanks for the advice Mr N.!

  • aneitlich

    The seminars were about growing a business. But there’s no reason you couldn’t team up with a few business professionals — marketing consultant, attorney, accountant — and hit the road with a panel/seminar about things business owners want to know. Banks, your chamber of commerce, and your own client lists, are all likely targets to attend.

  • http://www.satviz.com davestarr

    I guess two points I would make to lajkonik86’s comments about banks and web sites:

    Have you tried to see if they _would_ sponsor a seminar? I’m only asking because Andrew’s blog entry reminded me that my ‘personal banker’ needs some care and attention in this area … months back when I opened my first business account we had along chat on the services the bank offered small business and how the bank was dedicated to helping small business through learning from one another. The comment ‘I doubt’ leaves the impression you’ve just formed a negative opinion of the subject without even trying it out.

    Secondly (and Andrew’s reply cleared this up quite a bit) it’s true you might have to search along time to find a bank that would sponsor a seminar on ‘web sites’. In and of itself a web site has no intrinsic value. By extension a person who ‘builds websites’ also has no intrinsic business value … he or she is a “herder of bits and bytes” and those bits and bytes flying in formation on a web browser screen may have a negative, positive or neutral effect on a given businesses bottom line.

    Now, would a bank be interested is sponsoring a seminar for its customers focused on “Doubling your targeted call-in prospects with no increased cost”, or “tripling sales while reducing your total advertising expenditures”, etc., etc.? Sounds to me it’s obvious which idea ‘pulls’ better. My thought is, recast the way you offer you services into the “business development” area and see if your bookings don’t improve.

    Best regards

  • lajkonik86

    My point is that you need something very unique to get your bank to sponsor your seminar. Seminars about (quote dave)tripling sales while reducing your total advertising expenditures, which are web related will have a hard time making it through.

    I’m curious andrew, what made your seminar so value adding?

  • aneitlich

    lajkinik86:

    Lots of things made seminar value-adding. Most valuable was that I facilitated discussions amongst the executives present. Each meeting, we all went round table with issues each participant was facing, and brainstormed/problem solved. Then we focused in depth on one executive’s business issues and goals, and served as a panel to critique and support that person. In between, I spoke about some relevant business topic, or had a guest speaker come.