I think I spoke too soon last week re the weather as it has snowed here this week and been bitingly cold but classes numbers are still on the up and up which is great. The buzz this week has been all about the PPL price increases and I know this is affecting so many C2Go’ers so rather than jumping in with both feet I have decided to reserve judgement until I attend the PPL session at Blackpool. I want to hear everything from the horse’s mouth and go from there. If you are being affected by the changes and you are going to Blackpool then this session will be a must to ask questions and air your views, but if not I will be reporting back after IFS.
New FLiP – Franchise License & Protect Your Fitness Business DVD with Rachel Holmes and Andrew Crawford.
As I reported back a few weeks ago Andrew Crawford and I filmed a new series of business DVD’s called The Fitness Business Development Series and I have launched the first DVD called FLiP. FLiP stands for Franchise, License and Protect and we go through the nuts and bolts of doing just that. Andrew handles all of the technical, legal and financial information and I go through how to set up, brand, plan, systemise and roll out your franchise. You can purchase your copy and see some of the clips from FliP http://www.choreographytogo.com/workshop-booking/fitness-business-development/
New 10 Day Pre Easter KSFL Detox Starts Monday
My latest 10 day Kick Start Fat Loss Detox Starts on Monday if you would like to jump in. The KSFL results we are getting are now staggering as I continue to tweak the plan and film more 10 minute home workouts. Over 3500 people have been though the diet with me online. Click here
Kelly Reed’s Fitness Pilates Focus Tour
Booking has commenced for all venues for Kelly’s new summer Tour with 3 sections: Fitness Pilates Progressions, Fitness Pilates Special Populations and Fitness Pilates Focus all with new content and ideas click here to book
Kick Start Fat Loss ™ Franchise
I’m recruiting again for the next round of franchisees so if you would like to join the most progressive Fitness and Fatloss Club in the UK and you are ready to build a new arm of your business get in touch with me asap you can Facebook me or email Lesley@Choreographytogo.com
Super Strategies for Superstar Fitness Instructors in the Community by Rachel Holmes
With so many of you teaching and doing well in your community venues with your Zumba classes and Bootcamps I wanted to write a little article about making sure you cushion yourself and prepare your business to go on and become stronger and stronger.
A few years ago (well maybe 15) I used to teach Line Dancing. I ran classes every night with over 80 – 150 people. It was all pay as you go and the money was brilliant and I never thought it would stop. But it slowly did, although I ran the classes for a good 5/7 years. The bubble burst, everyone was teaching it, the market became saturated and the general public moved on.
I’ve been teaching community classes for 25 years and the pattern is ALWAYS the same with one exception (Fitness Pilates is constantly busy with waiting lists)……. A new trend arrives, you get in as quick as you can, you go for it and set up loads of classes and you do really really well, then more people in your locality do the same, the bubble bursts, the market hits saturation and the general public move on. This cycle will never stop unless you create your own trend and your own brand.
Back in the day there was no Facebook, no websites, no data capture and no real strategies to build my fitness business into the future BUT there is NOW, so even if your class numbers are out of this world, focus on the future and where you could be heading. If you are teaching someone else’s branded class the bubble will burst so make sure you prepare, cushion yourself and capitalise on your market right now.
Don’t wait till the numbers slide. I’ts nothing personal, so don’t ever take it personally, its evolution and it’s just how it is. Always keep staple classes on your timetable. LBT, Conditioning, HIIT are always going to attract a crowd, maybe not record numbers but a steady flow of people throughout the year.
My good friend Kelly Reed teaches an old school style Circuit Training class on a Friday evening. Now back in the day, Friday night Circuit used to be a brilliant class in my area, everyone came along to get beasted before going out. The class is basic, fun and a great workout and Kelly is getting 30 most Fridays. Isn’t that brilliant?
I was chatting to 3 Instructors this week who have had amazing success with their Zumba sessions but class numbers have dwindled so much that all 3 have had to take part time office jobs. All 3 stopped teaching everything else to focus on this one class so here are my Top Tips for longevity in Community Class teaching:
These are my suggestions to your future success:
1.Don’t STOP teaching everything else. I know it’s tempting but keep your hand in with other styles of classes even if it’s 1 or 2 a week. Always keep in basics like LBT, Circuits, HIIT etc
2.Look after your money. Money earned teaching fitness classes is hard earnt, we all know that, be thrifty, spend wisely and never waste a penny.
3.I still find it amazing that many Fitpros don’t have a credible, working, interactive website. COME ON you guys it’s 2013….. Get a website and make sure everyone signs up on your list. Your data capture LIST is your future.
4. Start writing a newsletter and keep in touch with all of these new people who join your list. I know its takes hours every week and you look at the stats and they say only 45% or less of people have opened them but many people read them on a smart phone and that doesn’t always register.
5. Encourage your clients to try other classes with you. Give away free classes, passes and sessions with you so they can try other things. Get your classes members to try as many other classes with you as they can, mix things up and make sure they don’t only attend one style of class if possible.
6.. Encourage your members to add you on Facebook and Twitter and build your followings on there as well – Build a great offline AND online business.
7. Think about your exit strategy. If you plan one day not to be teaching every evening you need to recreate this offline business success into an online business model so your business can run without you actually working in it. As a Kick Start Fat Loss franchisee I have a built in system so each franchisee can train others to teach KSFL in their postcodes. I have a designed a model that can be a managed business rather than you, the business owner teaching everything.
8. Fitness trends come in cycles. Bubbles DO burst, new trends and new classes will come to the fore. That’s life…so capitalise on what’s happening right now and make sure you plan for the future.
If you are super savvy you can take this massive opportunity and it could potentially set you and your business up for LIFE. So, I encourage you to make plans, be sensible and data capture everyone. These people could potentially join you on a membership site or continue to buy products from you for the next 15 years long after the bubble has burst and you have moved on.
Please feedback to me via Twitter @RachelHolmes or Facebook/Choreographytogo
Check list for All Instructors teaching in the community and running a fitness business
These may seem a little bit basic but you need to double check every week you have these in place so you can turn potential clients into signed up members
1. POSTERS up and flyers in all the venues you teach – Sounds like a no brainer, I know, but make sure you have snazzy posters up on display every week and flyers/postcards with prices, class details, testimonials, what to wear, what to bring etc etc
2.Referal Programme – Offer prizes, free classes, free PT, BUT make sure you give your existing clients a postcard telling them how your referral programme works. Give your clients flyers or postcards for them to put up in their place of work, to their friends, co-workers, colleagues and family members AND when you email out your newsletter email to your list a “done for you email” that they can just insert their name and email it to their contacts.
3. Find out about what you class members do for a living. Last week I found out I have a beauty business owner, the owner of the largest day nurseries in my area and a solicitor. This week I got a free massage in return for promoting her salon to my class members in my local newsletter, 5 potential new morning KSFL classes for drop off mums in the nurseries and I needed a solicitor when someone crashed into my car. Network with your clients every session, find out about what they do and how you can cross promote and get your clients to network with each other. Tell them to help you bring new people, if you don’t ask they won’t refer friends and family, you have to ask them to do it and they will!
4. Your website and social media are they all up to date, looking snazzy and cool with tons of great information on it.
How’s Your Reputation? Yvonne Radley
As a journalist I had a bit of a reputation. I used to work for the national press and so went on quite a few exciting jobs.
There was the time me and the guy from The Sun had to infiltrate a local beauty spa as we’d heard all the staff from Camelot who run the National Lottery had been partying up there and had trashed the place and run up a massive bill.
Then there was the time I infiltrated a psychiatric unit with the guy from The Daily Mail. In fact that was a Mother’s Day and I spent the whole day working. We were after a guy who’d been sectioned overnight on suspicion of murdering his partner and we got to him too and interviewed him before we were asked to leave.
My reputation was that I would get the job done, and would go above and beyond the call of duty to get the story. I would push all the barriers I could.
If you want to get your reputation known in the fitness industry then you need to be relentless – bombard your local media with information and story ideas. Never, ever quit.
It can take weeks, sometimes months of sending in press release after press release but eventually it will pay off and you will start getting published.
Your reputation in your village, town or city will start to grow and you will be seen as the local go-to fitness expert.
It takes time and it takes patience but laying the foundations now will save you a lot of hard work and expense in building your profile later and of course earn you a great reputation, which money can’t buy.
Big Me Up Media
PS I will be at IFS in Blackpool if anyone wants to book in for a free consultation about how to get your business into your local paper, email me to book a slot but numbers are limited as I’m only there for the Saturday.
One way to earn money while you sleep! Becky Lane
Do you fancy earning an extra income? Why not create an e-book or better still a fabulous shiny book! Do you have a passion for something that you can share with the world? Last week I released my very first book. Not only an e-book but an actual book! I would be lying if I said it has been easy, in fact I would be telling a massive lie BUT do you know what, when that proof lands on your doorstep and you see your name on the front cover like a proper author, then it’s all worthwhile. The late nights, the cost, the frustrations are all so very worth it!
“Movin Monkeez Meal Time Madness” is a cookbook designed for the pre-schoolers market BUT it’s not just a normal cookbook! There are so many on the market I knew I would have to find a USP! Mine was to incorporate fitness exercises and ‘did you know’s’ throughout the book. It is educational, bright and fun throughout.
If you are debating on whether or not to make a book to either support something you already run (like I have done for Movin Monkeez) or whether you would like to do something completely different, then I would like to give you a few tips of advice.
· Find a decent illustrator. My illustrator has been working with Movin Monkeez since the word go, he understands the product and knows what I want! The illustrations in my book are whats made it in my opinion. Yes, he costs more than someone off fiverr.com but he is truly worth his money (and he is very reasonable). If you struggle to find someone then by all means contact me and I will put you in contact with him.
· After you have decided what you want to write about decide whether you want to sell it as an e-book or produce actual copies. My book will be available on Amazon and I can also sell it directly, this automatically opens it up to a wider audience. E-book is great but depending on your product this may not fit your market’s requirements.
· Be patient and do it properly from the word go. We decided to do the photography ourselves rather than paying someone to do this for us as we had no budget! I had an “all that jazz” camera at home but did I know how to use it? Nope! I had to teach myself how to use my camera which took a whole day but the pictures are just as good as professional photos, I’m so glad I made the time to do this. I just had to be a little patient and learn a new skill.
· Be realistic. This isn’t going to happen overnight and don’t expect it to. There will be many teething problems but have faith in yourself and your product. Do not lose your passion!
If you would like to have a little look at my cookbook you can do via http://www.movinmonkeez.co.uk/cookbook/
I am very happy to advise anyone on the process should you need it.
Times it by 8 by Alice Ramcharran
Well just as we thought we were coming out of the winter months, and the snow and cold weather were behind us, BOOM – it hits us again!! Some parts of the country came to a grinding halt again with mid-March snow fall affecting business yet again! If it didn’t snow, then chances are like here in High Wycombe, it was freezing cold and another excuse for people not to want to leave the comfort of their warm homes to head out for classes! Not good for business!
Now quite a few years ago when we had the really bad spell over Christmas and then well in to January, like most other instructors up and down the UK my business got severely affected with the bad weather, the snow hit just as it should have been the busiest time and classes came to a complete standstill – many had to be cancelled and those that did run only just covered hall hire and nothing more! I vowed then that I would never be so unprepared again and that I would put plans in place to protect myself against such a down turn in business. Now, of course you have the usual suggestions of putting together an online package, making a DVD and selling it, or doing an e cookbook to give yourself some passive income. However, this isn’t something that everyone wants to do and I can fully appreciate that. So what can you do to protect yourself?
Well, there are 2 things I now do- firstly, I run half of my classes as paid up in front courses (of course this doesn’t actually help if you can’t make it to the class, but does protect you if you can get there but class participants are being a bit lazy because it’s cold!) and the other thing I do is times it by 9! (and soon to be 8 given the winter we’ve had this year!)
So what is ‘times it by 8′ I hear you ask?! Well it’s really a bit of a psychological thing but it works for me! As we all know, there are 12 months in the year – and as community group exercise instructors we can pretty much write off 2 months of the year – August and December – as being much quieter months. Also with the weather being pretty consistent in the winter months over the past few years, January (which should be one of the busiest months!) is also becoming a bit of a write off, and February too! So, what I have done over the past couple of years is taken an average month, worked out what my turnover and profit are – and then x that number by 9 (will be doing 8 this year!) so that I know roughly what I may be turning over during that period and how much to spread it out over the 12 months, and anything else that comes in on top of that is a bonus! Now of course, this doesn’t make you any better off and does mean that you may have to budget more during the year , but I’ve found that it does take the stress off things a little when a bad month hits unexpectedly – and saves taking out loans to pay the tax man, or to live off of (been there, done that!)
So, why not have a go at doing ‘times it by 8′ and let me know how you get on.
Mistaken Identity by Sally Ghafoor Fitness Business Hub
Tonight (Tuesday) I finished my class and had to go pick up my son from work, being low on petrol I drove into the local petrol station, when I pulled up I removed my glasses…… I ain’t never doing that again!!!
So I paid for my petrol and as I walked out across the forecourt I could see a white car, a girl lent out her window and shouted “hey Sal” I thought who is that, so just kinda smiled and walked on, “Hey Sal quick come here before you go” Now I was thinking they must know me, squinting, my glasses across the forecourt in my car, I decided to wander over, as how rude would I be being if it was someone I knew. So apologising profusely I said to her, really sorry, haven’t got my glasses on so didn’t recognise you. For a second I thought, oh it’s a friend from school, how wrong was I.
I got up to the car and realised I didn’t know this girl at all, she was about 19, and was crying with laughter. “I wasnt talking to you” she giggled “I was talking to him” I discovered she was actually shouting to “Cal” who was behind me…. hmmm slightly embarrassing, but I joined her in laughing and said not only can I not see, my hearing must be going as well.
So what has my embarrassing escapade got to do with fitness…. well smoke and mirrors, not everything you see and hear on the wonderful world of social media is true. People like to big themselves up, tell you about how much money they make, how they live in big houses, have expensive holidays and have made clients thousands and thousands of pounds, have twenty million people in a class and are the best fitpro ever. It can make you feel quite rubbish about yourself. Well, let me take you to another quick story.
When I was a medical secretary I used to make some right typo’s one being “all the pain was baloney” ummm wrong, what was actually said was “all the pain was below knee” and then there was my best one “The client had a 9 inch thigh movement” translate “the client had a vast range of eye . I tell you what, I used to make the consultants cry with laughter with some of my translations when audio typing.
So I can probably sum up my whole article today very quickly. People can promise you they will make you £63,000 in 3 months or triple your income stream, there is a big but here, the only person that can make you that money is you. You can be given the tools by these people but can and will you carry it out. To succeed in making a leap of faith and then make the money depends on you. At the fitness business hub, we don’t just give our clients the tools, we teach them to have the confidence to put themselves out there and use those tools. The same is said for you with your clients, you can give them the workouts and a plan but have they got the emotional tools to push on with it? To know this you have to delve deep into their minds, what makes them tick, what are their fears, their emotions, how do they feel. You have to take your client profile a lot deeper than most people do.
I am going to sign off now as my fingers are twitching to tell you my most embarrassing story ever…but I won’t :) In the meantime come on over to my Facebook page and tell me your embarrassing stories, to make me feel that bit better.
#FatControlling Cookery – ditch the #beigedeadfood
I am soooo happy to launch the first two of my series of cook books. It has taken around 18 months to collect, try and test over 100 recipes. Phew!
In fact I was so happy with my recipes I wanted to release them all in one big book! But thankfully, I stepped back and put my business head on and realised I would make more money and be able to market them better as smaller, individual books.
Through social media and newsletters I have been priming my audience with tempting, tasty recipes for over a year. I used pictures, videos, testimonials and cookery courses to develop my own #fatcontrolling cookery concept. Along with this I have been promoting my war against #beigedeadfood and this has enabled me to define an audience and build a market waiting to buy.
My personality and brand is stamped all over my books and blogs promoting it and above all I am having fun doing it. I even had my very own branded aprons to help sell and promote the books. If you fancy taking a look at my books, head over to http://www.hateitchangeit.co.uk/fat-controlling-cookery/
There is so much more I can do with this concept – Desserts, Snacks, Chocolate, Food for Single Men, Fine Dining, Food To Go, BBQs and more
Having a strong brand is crucial if you want to produce products to go along side your programs, courses or classes. Have fun and find your personality. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your ideas and make your mission known!
What words and strap lines do you use? Does it speak of your personality and business? Are you excited by what you see and say? If you are not excited about your brand and mission then it’s likely your customers won’t be either.
Big love, small tummies!
Jill Gardner – The Fat Controller www.hateitchangeit.co.uk www.facebook.com/hateitchangeit @itsjillgardner
Have a fun day!
By Claire Mockridge
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
Every few months, when the pressures of life bogs me down; dealing with a transient client base really tests my patience; and when I’ve expelled all of my energies helping every Ante/Postnatal Instructor that I can, I slot in a “Fun Day”.
Now, you might be thinking: “Wow, that’s awesome – Claire actually takes some time off!”. Well, no, you’re sadly mistaken. What I’m talking about here is: I schedule a day in my diary where I tie up loose ends in my business and busy myself with tasks that I actually enjoy doing.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But, honestly, it works! How many times have you sat down to your laptop only to be faced with a blank Word document screen and nothing inspiring gets written? We all suffer with writers block occasionally, sure, but if you slot in a day here and there every few months to do some jobs that make you smile, get your creative juices going and ****
Here are a few tasks that I did on a recent “Fun Day”:
*Did my favourite KSFL Workout – It’s the “Tough Girl” one, by the way.
*Contacted my Illustrator to get her to sketch some new anatomical diagrams – One of my strengths is most definitely NOT drawing, but I love asking my Illustrator to do sketches for me because when they come back, they’re amazing!
*Wrote this article – pretty self-explanatory there.
*Selected my sessions at FitPro – the excitement’s building, eh?
*Ordered a new aerobics and chill out CD from Pure Energy – this always brings me joy.
*Recorded 2 Podcasts for clients and instructors – I just love to talk, as you know.
*Posted a simple graphic design job on Fivver – I’ve been meaning to do this for months, so it was nice to get it off my desk.
*Put together a marketing strategy for a new Instructor product I’m launching – HINT: Work backwards from your launch date – it’s much easier that way.
*Watched Neighbours and Home & Away during my lunch break – just to keep my hand in with the Aussie lingo, you know.
And there you have it. Just an example of “Fun Day” which, apart from the odd thing, was pretty business-orientated, I think you’d agree. Being self-employed and running a successful company needn’t be laborious and mind-numbing all of the time.
My suggestion would be to write down a list of tasks that aren’t necessarily urgent, but will make a difference to your business, and tick a few of them off each day after the important jobs, or make a “Fun Day” of it as I’ve suggested and really enjoy the work that you do in the background, that your clients don’t see.
Oh, and if you’re going to the FitPro Convention in April, come over and introduce yourself to me. I love to meet, connect and talk shop with other Instructors, so don’t be backward in coming forward, ok, come over and say hi.
Bye for now.
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
Facebook Group for Instructors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clairemockridge
Vikki Scovell Hoover Love
There has been a SIGNIFICANT event in my life this week. On Monday I opened the door to find a delivery man going to get something from his van. On the front seat was the most enormous box from Interflora, and I swooned with excitement. However, the flowers were for someone else, but my box was BIGGER and MORE EXCITING: wait for it……….. my new HOOVER (vacuum-cleaner for the pedantically-minded). Now, Mary Poppins only thought that ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun’ because hovering hadn’t been invented then. I think hovering is rubbish, and should only been done at the point when the dust-bunnies are bigger than the cats. However, I needed a new one firstly because for years I have felt persecuted by rubbish hoovers.
In my old life with my husband, we started out with a HENRY; the ones with the face on. I found the expression patronizing: an anthropomorphic domestic appliance would not make housework ‘fun’ and it actively made me cross each time I used it. As I was tangling the stupid thing around furniture, and pulling at it to no avail, I would turn and see a cheeky grin from beneath a table. I can’t tell you the amount of times I snarled ‘F**k-Off Henry you useless b***ard’ beneath my breath.
Next we had an O.C.D hoover, with numerous attachments for very SPECIFIC purposes: cleaning corners, getting behind radiators, extricating bellybutton fluff, leaving pretend love-bites; all important stuff. My husband was insistent that I used the correct attachment for each job, but as a free spirit who prefers to be unbound by rules and regulations, I very much enjoyed cleaning the floor with the upholstery nozzle, or removing cobwebs with the specialist fish-tank attachment. This used to send him into a lather, and together with my habit for leaving drawers and cupboards slightly open, put pay to our 12-year relationship. So I moved out and onwards with my life hooking up with a new guy, and a new vacuum.
Mr. Fabulous bought me a hoover which looked like it was going to be amazing, but was ultimately useless (hmmmm……). Pardon me if I’m wrong, but I thought they were supposed to suck up dirt, as opposed to spitting it out all over the place and becoming hopelessly blocked if a mote of dust more than two atoms in diameter was mistakenly sucked up. After Mr. F had left, every disappointing wrangle with the machine was construed by me as a personal sleight. Just after Christmas, after cleaning the dog-muddied carpets with a dustpan and brush and coming up in an attractive allergic rash, I opened the front door, gazed out over the Welsh hills, took a moment to remember my yoga breathing, and then threw the hoover as high and far as I could out into the garden, and watched it crash down into the snow in pieces. Aaahhhh! Hoover-revenge is SWEET.
Several weeks later, and I was cleaning the house ready to move out. I was hallucinating from the effort of hauling furniture, and the stress of moving house. After a sniveled telephone call about crap hoovers, cleaning and hopelessness, the dashing Mr. Blue arrived after a long day at work, cleaned the entire house, and then I KNEW for certain: he was truly the man for me (no girls- sit down, you can’t have him). So once I moved into my new home with my hero, full of the spirit of romance, I treated us to a special pet-fur cleaner. The box unnervingly displayed a picture of the cutest kitten EVER which looked as though it was just about to be annihilated by the sleek turbo-brush advancing along the carpet towards it. Ignoring this, I got all of the shiny stuff out, discarded the instructions and proceeded to put it together wrongly, getting two pieces jammed together and swearing quite a bit. You will be relieved to hear that it is now correctly constructed, and the mo st cu rious thing, is that it WORKS! I can keep the house clean if I want to, or ignore the dog hair, dust-bunnies and cobwebs until they are knee-deep, safe in the knowledge that should I CHOOSE to clean up, I can.
Well, there is my life as mapped out in vacuum-cleaners, and all I can say is, don’t put up with ‘things’ which make your life tedious, irritating, or more complicated than it should be. Launch the broken stuff and start again.
Vikki Scovell @fitbite
Asound Cloud this week https://soundcloud.com/cori-withell/are-you-just-a-fitness/s-VO7ux