The Pub Owner Selling Out Group Programmes In 4 Minutes

Picture of Melissa Brailsford

Hello! Who are you and what do you do?

Hello! I'm Melissa and I am a Personal Trainer and online coach helping women feel all kinds of good about themselves. Helping Stellas get their "groove" back is my favourite thing to do!

What's your backstory and how did you end up in your current position?

Whilst studying for my degree in Law I worked part-time at TGI Fridays where I met my husband who has always worked in the hospitality sector. Shortly after we got married we bought a pub of our own and built up a thriving business. After I'd had both my children I started exercising more and discovered how addictive weight training and seeing your body change can be. I'd found my passion and wanted to help others feel the same way about themselves.

What were your first few months like in the fitness industry?

I think back to some of the first PT sessions and cringe!!! I literally followed the same script I had to follow for my Level 3 assessment like a robot and spent hours planning and preparing for sessions. I would say YES to any enquiries even though it meant early starts, late finishes and split shifts because I was worried if i said no I wouldn't be successful. Once I found my confidence and had hours of "on the gym floor" experience under my belt I soon relaxed and this in turn helped me build a rapport with my clients. I was able to transfer all the skills I learned in hospitality (especially from big American customer experience brands like TGIs and Hard Rock Cafe) to make my clients feel welcome at every session, at ease and like they were a VIP. I started sharing clients' "before & after" photos on my Social Media and became fully prescribed within 2 months based on these results. I then converted my garage into a home gym and this was a game changer in being able to get the balance of home/work life. I no longer had to spend time commuting back and forth from gym or to clients houses and child care was never an issue as I was able to work in the garage while my kids were in the house.

What has the journey been getting from those first few months to where you are today?

Once I was fully subscribed the enquiries kept coming in and I became frustrated that there were all these people who wanted to get results like the ones I was posting on my pages but I couldn't help them. I learned about Sukh and OFB through Lift The Bar and after low-key stalking the instagram pages and learning what moving your business online could mean ij terms of growth I signed up for mentoring. Working through the modules on how to set up a group coaching programme was the game changer for me and thats how "Shift in 6" was born. I did a 4 week "test" and the results were amazing. The first one sold out really quickly and I've experienced huge organic growth from there. I'm now on programme number 18 and run the groups to capacity at 140 participants every 6 weeks.

What’s been the hardest moment/biggest challenge of your career so far?

The initial setting up of the group took up ALOT of my time. Everything from learning about new software for programme delivery to designing and writing the Welcome Pack and Nutrition Guide or systems for check-ins - everything had to be ready before I could launch. I was still delivering 40+ PT sessions each week plus working at the pub some weekends. But once everything was in place it became alot easier with each group that I run. Covid was obviously a hugely stressful time for everybody as a business owner but I managed to move my PT sessions to Zoom and with Shift being completely online I saw a surge in that side of the business. However there was alot of uncertainty around our pub especially in the initial stages of lockdown when we couldn't trade and before furlough and government grants were announced. This was a really fractious and challenging time but by reinventing the business with the introduction of home delivery, takeaway and weekly online pub quizzes we were able to weather the storm and public support upon re-opening was immense.

What’s been your biggest win / proudest moment?

Predictable I know but when a client says they can feel their confidence returning and the effect this has on their relationships, home/work/family life it's overwhelming to know you've played a small part in turning someone's life around. And you're also the first to know when a client who has struggled with conceiving for years falls pregnant! One of the biggest wins for me was paying off the home gym. I had zero savings when I remodelled the garage and put everything on a zero interest credit card. I was able to pay the balance a year earlier than expected and that was a really proud moment. Surprising my kids with a trip to Disney was also pretty cool.

How and what are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Running "Shift in 6" is now my full-time role. I no longer run in person PT sessions and instead focus all my hours on running the groups and check-ins. Ive also took on another Coach last Summer to deliver Shift alongside me to maximise participants and im interviewing a potential 3rd Coach this weekend. I also started doing Live workouts via Facebook during lockdown and the response and demand has been so great that I've continued with these 4 x weekly. This ensures my own level of fitness and strength is maintained and clients can see me being real and struggling with whatver Finishers I've got programmed ! It keeps me relateable.

What does a day in the life of you look like?

7:15am Alarm and get kids ready for school 9:15am Live workout, shower, eat 10:30am Admin -Respond to social media enquiries, set up email sequences etc. 11:00am - 4pm Check-ins. Make sure phone is in flight mode for productivity throughout - im easily distracted! 4:00pm Read through comments and respond in Shift group, respond to queries, set up the daily post for following day. 5:00pm Prep dinner, family time. 10:00pm Bed

Advice for people who are considering or have just started in the industry?

Be yourself - stop trying to be THAT person on instagram just because they have a big following. It's ok to say no sometimes. Take notes on each client's personal life - how they spent their weekend, where they're going on holiday, checking in to say Hi if you know they're having a rough time. Remembering small details really helps them feel special and appreciated. Set boundaries as to when clients can contact you and when they can expect a response. Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back. You don't have to know EVERYTHING to be good at what you do. There's alot of people out there who need our help.

What have been the key moments in your career so far what was the impact of those moments?

Selling out 150 spaces on Shift in 6 in 4 minutes was INSANE. It was like Glastonbury! It truly made me realise I'd created something special that was in demand.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks Sukh for delivering such a comprehensive programme through OFB. It really has been instrumental in transforming my business.

Where can people find you?

Instagram

Shift In 6

Facebook

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