Episode 5 - More Than Just Great Cheer with Amber Brackett
Today on the show we brought on Amber Bracket from More Than Just Great Cheer. Amber grew up a competitive cheerleader, went to school for law and even began her practice. After a few years, she walked into a dance studio and the rest was history. She soon partnered with the owner and has since opened a second location with the third on the way. Amber is here with us today to tell us about her CBS Model for other businesses.
Dan - Main: Good morning everyone and welcome back to the fitDEGREE podcast. My name is Dan Berger, and hosting with me, as always, is Nick Dennis. Today on the show, we have Amber Bracket, from More Than Just Great Cheer. Amber was previously a lawyer, but during her time in law school, she worked at a dance studio that taught the value of community, as much as competition. Some years later, Amber partnered with a dance studio, and since then has opened a second location, a cheer gym, and More Than Just Great Cheer. Amber is here with us today to tell us about cheer business solutions, and her CBS model for other businesses.
Dan - Main: Amber, Thank you so much for joining this morning, and welcome to the show.
Amber - Guest: Thank you Nick and Dan for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.
Dan - Main: So I saw in the bio you sent us over when we talked before hand, you were a competitive cheerleader for 15 years, right?
Amber - Guest: Yes. One of my relatives opened the first cheer gym in upstate, and so I started very young.
Dan - Main: When you competed, what position were you? I'm slightly familiar with flyers, and bases, and whatnot, because the Rowan University cheer team tried to recruit me for about three years because I was friends with some of them. What position did you do?
Amber - Guest: I was a back spot. That's so funny that you were recruited. Two guys that I went to high school with got recruited to cheer at Clemson University, in South Carolina.
Dan - Main: Wow. That sounds a little bit more legit.
Amber - Guest: One of them decided to cheer, and then one of them played lacrosse for Clemson.
Dan - Main: Ah, I played lacrosse instead of cheering.
Amber - Guest: Guess which one had more injuries?
Dan - Main: The one that played lacrosse.
Amber - Guest: Nope. The cheerleader.
Nick - Support: No.
Dan - Main: Really.
Nick - Support: I was going to say cheer is intense. Like it's a-
Amber - Guest: He ended up quitting because it was so intense, and went with his brother to play lacrosse.
Dan - Main: Oh wow.
Nick - Support: I believe it, because you know what, you know you can tell us that the girls that do cheer are very intent, they seem like they have a very high pain tolerance, they're very tough girls... The cheerleaders always had an attitude, always had an attitude. And that was because they were always going through shit.
Dan - Main: Yeah. Well I remember my one friend, she started, she was tiny. She probably should have been a flyer, but she was really strong, so she started as a base. Then when she broke her arm, they moved her to flyer, because she wouldn't have to lift anyone, but she's still flying through the air with a broken arm, and that didn't stop her at all. Tell us sort of how you went from cheerleading as a kid, and then into law school, practicing, and the whole journey of how things progressed to where you are now?
Nick - Support: I guess which one was the accident? Because it sounds like you were 15 years of cheer, so it makes sense that you open a dance studio. Then you go to school for law, but then you untimely come back to what you love to do. So yeah, what was your thought process going through all that?
Amber - Guest: No, I definitely never expected to work at a dance studio or open a cheer gym. My parents have always told me I like to argue, so...
Dan - Main: Same.
Amber - Guest: I grew up to be a lawyer. That worked out, I did indeed follow that. I was starting law school after college. Law school is a very high pressure situation, and you need that creative outlet.
Amber - Guest: One of my friends from high school had posted on Facebook saying that the studio she worked at was looking for someone to teach acrobatics and tumbling. I was like I have 15 years of experience, I can totally do that. So I joined a dance studio, Southern Dance Connections, and on to teach there for a whole year. The way they did things was so different from my cheerleading experience. They were in the community, and they give back, and they instill these life lessons in kids, and taught them hard work, and team work. It's just a very positive environment. It totally inspired me to want to create that, in our community, not just for the dance kids, but also for the cheerleaders.
Amber - Guest: A few years after I started working there, the owner [Lindsay Roberts 00:04:13], a partnered to open the cheer gym and then be subsequently opened a second dance location, and then started More Than Just Great Cheer. We did show other other cheer gyms and dance studios how to implement this positive programming and standardize curriculum in their facilities.
Nick - Support: That's incredible. You don't hear that a lot in youth sports. What really hit you hard was that the teamwork, the camaraderie, the giving back, all these good values instilled in them at such a young age. Youth sports nowadays, I just feel like it's a really oversaturated market where everyone thinks their kid is going pro, and they're guna make money off of it, and the parents are living their dreams through them. It just gets really lost, and I feel like a lot of kids get pushed out of it if you're not willing to sacrifice certain things or have a certain mindset. That's really cool that this woman Lindsay was able to set up this type of culture and community at at dance studio.
Dan - Main: Yeah, and I'm really glad to hear that as well because one thing that I think often gets lost, piggybacking off of what Nick said, is the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You competed at a very high level, and I'm sure you know what it's like to be on a winning team. It's not just that everyone there has the skills, and they went and picked the best from around. There's something in the air. There's positivity, a camaraderie. Nothing can really bring you guys down. I think when everyone wants their kid to have a highlight reel, as opposed to focusing on the more intangible aspects of it, a lot of things can get lost. It sounds like you guys really have something great going on. So let me ask this then, how often do you see a new student, or a kid come in that maybe doesn't have the most team first attitude, or is a little about me, me, me... How often do you see someone come through your program and really develop as an individual, and how visible are these changes in the people that go through your curriculum?
Amber - Guest: All the time. It's from the experienced three year old who blossoms and makes those friends and learns to speak for herself, to the older student and this very beginner who never thought they would learn how to do a cartwheel. Those breakthroughs are just as important to us as a kid getting a super high level skill. We love to see those teen kids, and it's not just through us, but through the kids, and giving them this safe environment, positive environment. That's something you have to create. You have to not allow the negativity, so you have to be firm, but positive all the time.
Dan - Main: What it sounds like a little bit is this curriculum you've created is your secret sauce. You have now a system for helping these girls and boys, these kids grow, and blossom into themselves. So tell me a little bit about, is the CBS, the Cheer Business Solutions, and your CBS model that you offer to other businesses, is that in anyway similar to how you foster your own students?
Amber - Guest: So, the CBS framework is more of a way to get clients in your door and retain them. In the cheer industry there is a big focus on friendly competition so a lot of the smaller gyms are not able to get the students in the door because people see cheerleading as competition and also what they want to do is take their kid to the most successful cheer camp. But for every parent that wants their kid to be the best cheerleader on the planet, there's ten parents that want their kids to learn teamwork, or hard work, or being a leader, or having friends, or having fun, or exercise.
Amber - Guest: There's all these other groups of people that I'm trying to teach small gyms to target without having to say, "We're the best, come here, we'll train your athlete to be a college pro." Those big gym tactics don't necessarily work for small gyms, and so through the CBS framework, we're teaching them how to get clients in, the clients that they want, the clients that match their vision and match their culture.
Amber - Guest: That's actually step one of the CBS framework, it's about clients. You want to attract your ideal client so you have to write something that makes sense to them. If you ideal client is that beginner level child who's never taken a cheer class, or a tumbling class before, then you want to put images and put words that make sense to that mom. Because that mom is not looking for her kid to be able to do three back flips. She's looking for her to make friends and not be the only kid on the playground who can't do a cartwheel.
Dan - Main: In your CBS model, that is C of course, the clients.
Amber - Guest: Yes, and an action I infer for the clients is to just think about your favorite client. This applies to [inaudible 00:09:25], dance studios, yoga studios, anyone. Think about who your favorite client is, cuz everyone has someone that [inaudible 00:09:31] doesn't call them, any hassle they are always willing to help, are always there on time. It's-
Dan - Main: We're thinking about the same thing. Make some buyer personas, and it's the same idea of just like who do you want to target? Who do you want to work with? And then how do you attract them? You're talking even deeper about how do you keep them?
Amber - Guest: Correct, and even you have to almost get inside you're head because you're not guna be your ideal client. So how old they are, how many kids they have or if they're a yoga studio and they're single they don't have kids. Maybe they have a lot of friends. Friends that they could invite. Where do they like to hang out? What are their dreams? What are their aspirations? What is most important to them, I think is the clutch question that you want to ask. So who is your ideal client? And what is most important to them? Because that's what's guna speak to their heart, and cut through all that promotional noise that their being inundated day after day.
Dan - Main: I think with that even explicitly saying you went into the next part of your CBS model or framework and branding and picking those values and really making sure that you cut through the noise and get to them and I always say, make their heart feel warm and fuzzy. I'm sure those posters are different from gym to gym of that you help coach, because they all have a different favorite client, or a different buyer persona they're targeting.
Amber - Guest: Definitely. It totally depends on the region too. I think ultimately all parents what they want for their kids is to be successful and happy and kind human beings. Even as adults, what you want to be surrounded by. Parents that want the same thing, or other adults that are same goal oriented. That's important to have those core values and then be consistent. I can't remember who said it or exactly how many the number was but I just remember it being outrageous the number of points you need to have with someone before they actually want to walk in your gym or sign up for that trial class, or [crosstalk 00:11:49]. So you want to have that consistent branding.
Dan - Main: That's something we're facing right now, is how many touch points, how times that they hear about you... It's like we think, oh, they saw us once and they didn't want it, so maybe they just don't want it. It's like no, they just didn't hear about it enough, they're busy living their own life. They have other things going on, you are not in the plan. So to be in your plan, you have to remind them about you often, and in many different ways and forms.
Amber - Guest: Absolutely. You can't believe that lie that you tell yourself that, oh, well they heard about me, but they don't want me. Maybe they don't want you right now, or maybe they needed to ask someone else for a recommendation or talk to their husband, wife, etc. Maybe they forgot because they were busing doing something else. So you just need to constantly be in front of that branding, not in an obnoxious way, but just so they know.
Dan - Main: I'm trying to help.
Amber - Guest: Right? You know. I know that my dance studio and my cheer gym, I know that their kids are going to benefit from our services. I know that I'm offering something of value, I'm not trying to take money out of their pocket, I'm trying add value to their life. I know with the software that that's exactly what you're trying to do. You're not trying to line your pockets, you're trying to help people find a better way to do what they need to do.
Dan - Main: And it's the age of the consumer.
Nick - Support: What is it, I believe [inaudible 00:13:19] eventor? That's what it is. Seller beware. In this digital age, there's information on everything. People are posting, yelping, reviewing, three-starring, five-starring. If you are not doing good business, honest business, and what you said is key. I know I'm providing value, I'm not trying to line my pocket, I believe I'm providing value. Anyone that you give your value proposition to, tell them what your gym, your studio is all about, they're going to understand the passion in your voice. Even if you were a great actor, it would come out in the wash. The internet, everyone's got a voice, and some people have very loud voices, and these things really, there's nowhere to hide anymore.
Amber - Guest: Right. You want people who want you. So you want to constantly be attracting that right person, because the right person is guna stick with you because they see the value in what you're doing, and it's adding value to them and their life.
Nick - Support: Right, and conversely, you providing such great service people are guna voice that as well on the internet. If someones looking at where should I go? Where should I take my kid? There's guna see you know, my kid didn't just have fun and learn, he came and blossomed into an outgoing and fantastic individual. That speaks a lot to a parent that cares about their child.
Amber - Guest: Definitely. Though, as on the CBS framework, just to finish this out, it's just having the follow-up plan of [inaudible 00:14:46] as good system shortens the road to the goal, and that is just through in every aspect of your life. If you have a great system to get those people in the door, any sort of trial class system, reminder email, a follow up plan, people are just busy, you're busy, everyone listening to this podcast is... They don't have an extra 17 hours in their day, they need to be reminded-
Nick - Support: Wouldn't that be nice.
Amber - Guest: They need to be reminded of things. We can't think that we're being a nuisance, we just have to think that we're continually adding value to their life and making sure that they get the information that they need. Because they'll appreciate that.
Nick - Support: Just to wrap that up, there's a guy David Milter, who's a pretty good entrepreneur, motivational guy and one thing he says that we really believe in is like you said providing the value, it's okay to ask for 20 dollars from people, if you feel like you're delivering 100 dollars worth of value. It seems like you've done that really, really well at your couple gyms, your dance studio and your cheer gyms, and so much that you've been able to pass this off and coach several other gyms in the area.
Amber - Guest: Thank you, that is my goal and I hope that I'm pushing forward towards it well.
Nick - Support: That makes sense, that's cool. You guys are just doing such a great job. It makes me want to move to South Carolina, you guys seem a lot nice than these north-east area.
Amber - Guest: Thanks.
Dan - Main: So Amber. For anyone listening who wants to learn more about how you can help their business, or just wants to get involved with your business solutions or learn more in general, where should they go? What should they look for? Give us the lowdown.
Amber - Guest: Sure. Thanks Dan. I can be found at morethanjustgreatcheer.com or on Instagram as coachamber_ and our CBS framework is available on morethanjustgreatcheer.com and it's a free download, all you have to do is put in your email address. Then our cheer business solutions will actually open for enrollment in February. You can get on the wait list for that. We have a few other one-off products to help people grow their programming. We have Mermaid tumbling, and Ninja Tumbling. Those are both available for purchase. If you're looking for a new, fun way to add a little excitement in these winter months. Once again you can reach me on Instagram, or on the website on morethanjustgreatcheer.com. Thanks.
Dan - Main: Alright, well thank you so much for coming on the show, Amber. It was a blast, we had a lot of great conversation, and always happy to bring people on that feel like they're giving value back.
Amber - Guest: Okay, perfect, thanks for having me.