Schools are back and its a return to business after the summer. Its been great reading Facebook and Twitter and seeing lots of new classes and sessions all starting, lots of innovative courses and programmes, judging by the emails Ive been getting lots of you are really inspired and raring to go – me included!

I got the all clear yesterday to come back to teaching, and do it “low” which I am ecstatic about. The operation was successful and although my eye is still sore and a bit swollen its all good. ll be teaching a “low” HiLo this morning and Im so excited, new choreography and new tunes, new outfit, new trainers and even a new bag so I’v really got the Back to School vibe going on.

 

Although I wasnt able to present at the Big One North I went along to see my stand in (Miss Nicholls) cover for me, while I mooched about chatting and seeing all the sessions. I felt under cover in my glasses and civvies, it was great to see lots of C2Go members and soak up the positive atmosphere. The busiest sessions by far were Step, every single step session was rammed to the wrafters, although Step appears quiet in many areas of the UK, at conventions its rocking. I wonder, is that because people dont get to do Step as much anymore so choose it on the events? Its an interesting one and Id love to hear your views. Tweet me @RachelHolmes

The Big One events are always really jolly and fun. The day embodies everything that is awesome about group exercise and it reaffirms why we do what we do. Motivating music, great class content and working out in a group, theres nothing better and believe me, after not being able to do this for 4 weeks, we dont realise how lucky we are doing a job that we love, meeting great people and spreading a healthy, happy message.

All of the conditioning sessions were super busy with delegates hastily scribbling down ideas, routines and new exercises as was the Pilates and Dance sessions. Ill be back presenting at the Big One South so if you havent booked come and join us all Loden Valley on 29th September the day is only £25…yes you read that right so come and have a wonderful day and take part in some cracking sessions. To book go to http://www.chrysalispromotions.com/shop/products.php?product=The-Big-One-South-2012

Wow…Did you see the Apple iphone 5 launch yesterday? Apple are phenomenal. The craftmanship, the attention to detail, the marketing, the packaging is totally outstanding. If you are working on your business today and need some inspiration watch the apple launch video it was the most perfect aspirational launch.

KSFL Club Live

Ive spent the last week on the phone to so many C2Go’ers who are interested in getting involved in my new KSFL Club Live Franchise Business Programme. Its really interesting to get feedback and Ive got so much planned to ensure KSFL is totally unique and innovative. Live weekly classes plus all the online back up and brand standardization will ensure anyone attending a KSFL Club will get the best quality information workouts and customer service.

I have 18 postcodes now on board so looking forward to rolling out the new clubs. The new KSFL website will be up and running later today as the franchisee training is starting this week.
Its an exciting time and although this is by far the biggest project I have ever created its also so very exciting with huge potential.

I have a couple of space left for this initial launch and if you are interested drop me an email RachelLholmes@aol.com and I will email you the presentation information before I close the doors.

Marketing Momentum

Now you have your Autumn courses all launched its important to keep up the marketing momentum. Here are my basicQuick Tips:

1.I recommend a minimum of 2 Facebook status updates per day.

2.8 -10 relevant, informative, fun, inspiring tweets per day – Automate and be spontaneous.

3.Upload a Youtube video of your classes or a Vlog once per week.

4.Write 2 Blog posts per week, upload to Facebook notes, use on your Blogs and website.

5.Leaflets – If you are serious about getting new clients through the door every week you have to keep up your leaflets. I hear from Instructors saying they dont get much take up from flyers but are you distributing enough? 500 is not enough you have to think much bigger. The average take up is only 1% per 1000 so make sure you are distributing 1000’s to make an impact.

Great Music

As Im back teaching today I’ll be using the B side of my Mash Up Mix from Pure Energy. I LOVE this mix as it contains so many great tracks all mixed up, so you just get a smidge of each one and the track then moves on. This really works for me when Im teaching so do check it out if you are looking for some tunes for your Autumn classes. http://www.pureenergymusic.com/product_details/productcode/pe715/

The Ultimate Toning Project with Kelly Reed

Kelly kicks of The Ultimate Toning Project this weekend in Cambridge and London. WE planned this tour very carefully. Many instructors have been feeding back to us saying clients dont always want the very intense, high powered HIIT workouts so we wanted to create ideas and formats that have less impact and but still intensive giving clients a great workouts. All the tour dates are very busy but if you wanted to grab a last minute place on this weekends dates click here https://www.choreographytogo.com/workshop-booking/ultimate-toning-project/

Mix Up the H.I.T.T

Jayne taught a great HIIT class at BON and its something weve both been playing around with, and thats mixing super high intervals of really plyometric movements with low impact choreography. For example 1 minute of a high repetitive move followed by 2 minutes of a simple low impact routine. If you are doing lots of results based type classes still ensure you include some choreography for motor skills, coordination and FUN. WE have to keep choreography alive otherwise every class will be the same we need to keep up the variety. Let me know what you think..tweet me @RachelHolmes

Commitment by Sally Ghafoor

Scary word, we all know someone who is scared to commit, and with those people, you can never make them commit, they have to want to. Imagine the scenario, the commitment phobic man, you are pushing him into commitment, you are desperate to get married …. He is happy the way things are, commitment is scary for him. Short of dragging him by his tie down the aisle you cannot make him commit to you if he doesn’t want to. The same could be said for community classes. You cannot force people to commit to a 6 week course, if they want to come, they will come, simple.

The fitness Industry has seen a funny turn of events, gurus proclaiming “you must get your clients pre paid, this way you have a guaranteed income” You know what, I have deleted all those that tell me I must do my classes a certain way, 1. They aren’t even out in “the field” so to say and 2. They don’t even know who my target market is, so how can you tell me that trying to “make” people commit will work long term – as in my market it will not. As Jill put in her article last week what works for one person in nutrition does not work for another – the same is true in business. If I changed my classes to pre book, they would bomb big time.

Over the past few years it seems community instructors are concentrating more on being a sales person rather than a fab instructor. It’s time to start concentrating on delivering great classes not being a sales person. “If you build it they will come”. You will have all probably signed up to many information newsletters, but if the content isn’t great, I bet you do not read it, no matter how many times they send you information to your inbox, you just won’t read it. Well the same can be said for community classes. First and foremost concentrate on delivering a great class.

The beauty of community classes is and always has been the PAYG, I have never ever strayed from this, we are not health clubs, there is no option if you miss a session to go the next day or an hour later. I give an option to opt in to a “loyalty scheme” My classes are £4.80 per session so if they so wish they can buy a card for £20 which gives them 5 sessions, they don’t commit to 5 weeks on the trot, they have a card for 5 sessions to use whenever the hell they like. Some people buy one, and then stuff happens in their lives, I won’t see them for 4 months and then they come back, because I am flexible. They have bought a card but are not tied into a set time frame. I wonder if they would have come back after losing their sessions because it had to be used in a set time frame. I don’t think they would, I know I wouldn’t, and I am my target market.

People come to my classes because they like them, and all the time I am marketing to people who have never been before. Here is my formula for successful community classes.

1. Promotion – flyer, social media, WOM, adverts

2. Delivery – Deliver an awesome class that will mean people want to come back

3. Options – PAYG and a loyalty scheme

4. After class – Look after your clients, newsletters, social media etc

5. Promotion – Continue to promote your classes to those that don’t know about you.

We have been spoon fed information that you can work less and gain more. Well I have a different opinion. You reap what you sew. The most successful Fitness Entrepreneur I know is Rachel Holmes and I can tell you now, that woman works hard, she is successful because she puts in the graft. Andy Murray won the US Open from putting in hard graft, Jessica Ennis won Olympic gold from putting in hard graft, no half measures. So let’s get grafting, there is no set way in business, let’s get the emphasis back on delivering excellent classes instead of being sales people. Here comes the fitness revolution.

Sally Ghafoor

www.facebook.com/sallyghafoor

Twitter @sallyghafoor

 

Christmas Is Coming by Katie Bulmer Cooke

Yep I just said the ‘C’ word!

Although it seems like a lifetime away, now is the time for us to start planning for it, making decisions and getting ourselves in order!

Christmas is a great time of year for fitness professionals, with everyone wanting to feel great in their party frock and a fantastic opportunity for fun, themed workouts as well as much needed recovery time to rest our bodies after a year of hard teaching.

Planning ahead now, gives us time to expose more people to our festive fitness activities through marketing campaigns and social media, allowing us to create excitement around our christmas programme. Doing so elevates class attendance during what can otherwise become a period of low numbers and loss as opposed to profit.

With that in mind, here are the questions we should all be answering and implementing in the next month:

Which classes, days and time slots will make up my Christmas timetable?
Will I reduce the number of classes on my timetable, or merge two back to back classes together?
What dates will my Christmas timetable cover?
Is it better to finish a week earlier rather than risk low attendance as Christmas day draws closer?
How much time off will I have?
Will I run a themed class? Fancy dress, raffle, give out Christmas cards, hand out January’s timetable, goody bags?
How will I let my clients know about my Christmas plans? Social media, e-newsletter, handout in class?
How will I attract new members to class during the winter months? Block bookings, incentives, refer a friend, radio, newspaper, business networking?
Do I have all my members contact details incase I need to cancel last minute due to bad weather?

Making these key decisions, and acting now will save stress, confusion and low attendance in favor of jam packed classes, jolly christmas spirits and a relaxing festive season.

Merry Christmas everyone,

KBC 🙂

Jayne Nicholls

So I reached the absolute pinnacle of my career last Saturday by presenting a session for Rachel at the Big One North. I was probably more nervous covering for my friend imagining that the bitter disappointment of seeing me instead of guru Holmes would be splashed across every face BUT in fact we had a lovely time mixing up H.I.I.T, with old school moves.

The underlying theme of all conditioning sessions was the H.I.I.T principle and you can definitely see that instructors are super fit as a result of this method of training, its hard, its fast and it is powerful but my underlying message in this class, prompted by the early morning sessions that Rachel and I enjoyed together in the States is that grapevines, easy walks, mambos and pivots while not result driven, definitely have their place.

So where on earth would you put old school low impact in a H.I.I.T session and why?

In the rest phases as active recovery
As a rest set example number 5 of 6 when the other 5 sets are particularly hard
As a cool down when the hard work is done and everyone is feeling pleased with themselves. A few blocks of 32 count choreography enables people to leave laughing on a high, it also re ignites motor skills that we do not focus upon in result driven sessions.
Make no mistake that even though choreography is not fashionable at present, it has its benefits. Few people have ever pulled on the dance floor from doing burpees, but increased rhythmn, coordination and grace has massive benefits in the way we move form A to B, how we hold ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. it is a fantastic skill and if we sell it as such, we may see a ressurgence of feel good sessions. As a second teir of timetabling it may fuel the harder classes.

jayne www.groupxtraining.com

Fit pros – Fight or Unite? by Jill Gardner

I don’t know about you, but I spent many wasted years comparing myself to others. Allowing myself to not feel good enough or that I didn’t have anything worth saying. Not anymore!

Go to a DIY store and buy paint and you will find 100s of different brands and types – matt, silk, satin, gloss, textured, wipeable……

Go to a shop to buy bread and you will find 100s of different types – wholegrain, white, rye, french, artisan, granary, fruit……

Go to a shop to buy trainers and you will find 100s of different brands and styles – cross trainers, running, dance, walking, barefoot, tennis…..

My point is there are many ways to skin a cat. They all serve the same main purpose but in a slightly different way or with subtle nuances.

We are all different but no different! Are we not all in the business of helping people lead happier, healthier lives?

So why is it we let other peoples ego’s beat us down or make us feel less than them? It’s because we give them permission too!

It is all too easy to not feel good enough. It is all too easy to feel inadequate. It is all too easy to think you need to go on MORE courses to be ‘better’. It is all too easy to think that others are better than you. It is all too easy to LET others think that they are better than you.

My point is this……. what you have to offer, whether it helps 5 or 50 people, is invaluable. You have an enormous amount to offer already. You won’t always be able to serve everyone, but you WILL always be able to help someone and change someones life. And that needs to be celebrated and not compared.

Just because someone has a better qualification than you, or has written a book, product or has a 6 figure income from their business or has packed out classes does NOT mean they are better than you. Let’s all stop the comparisons and respect each other and our own unique skill set. We all bring something to the table, and together we can ALL make a difference!

Are your fighting or are you united? I am definitely #fitprosunited – tweet me your thoughts

Big love, small tummies!

Jill – The Fat Controller www.facebook.com/hateitchangeit @itsjillgardner
www.hateitchangeit.co.uk

What is it you’re craving”Tanya Oliver Grieves

A craving is more than a desire; it’s a physical reaction to a physiological need. I’m sure we’re all aware that craving sugary foods can be an indication of a lack of certain nutrients in the body. So what I’m saying is that the body will crave what it thinks it needs. I just think that many of us fit pro’s forget about ourselves. What with the flying from place to place to teach a class, running public talks, putting programmes together, marketing and that’s not even including putting personal plans together and keeping up to date reading books/research with what’s with the latest happenings in the industry! But what is it you crave is it sugar or is it to have great success with your business?

I believe some of us are or have fallen into a vicious circle feeling tired and have low energy we seek for that sugar hit to keep us going. Now I hold my hands up on this one I’ve done it and to be honest felt like bit hypercritical actually, what here I am preaching to my clients to eliminate coffee & processed foods but at the same time I’m stopping at the local star bucks for a late with extra sugar for that quick hit. You know I believe I fell into a habit for the need for the nutrients my body had been designed to believe I needed these certain foods and drinks making me crave foods that were less and less nutritious, creating even stronger cravings. Bit embarrassing as a fit pro but what I now realise is it was all because I didn’t manage my time or my business and time for myself effectively.

We forget to take time out for ourselves I just thought I’d send out little reminder. The next time your body craves a chocolate bar or a coffee, recognize the craving for what it is; your body’s signal that you are lacking what you need to maintain optimal health, and forgo the chocolate for foods that actually feed your body, not the craving.

If you’re serious about being more productive with your time when you have so many things to juggle with life and your business and want to take care of yourself and stop your body craving because it’s tired my top tips would be:

· I’m sure you already know this, Chromium picolinate is a mineral that allows the body to use insulin properly which helps you decrease body fat, and

increase muscle. Taking this can help sugar cravings and wanting to sleep after any meal.

· If you’re not already taking magnesium include this into your daily regime when you crave high carb foods or chocolate your body could actually want more

magnesium

· Schedule and make a list everything you have to do, so that you use your time more effectively to use the hours of the day when you are most productive to

tackle the more difficult tasks

· Create an ideas book carry it everywhere with you to capture new insights for effective actions the fitness industry is like a rocket-ship avoid being left

behind and missing out on opportunities

· Stop thinking, start doing, plan, prepare and take action on your projects sometimes the thought of a new project can be overwhelming and more tiring that

actually creating and launching it rapidly respond to market change

· Approach other fit pro’s swap and share choreography and session ideas to free up some time

So what I’m saying is basically learn when you’re most productive, monitor your progress, schedule and plan yourself regular breaks.

Discover your great ideas, document everything, try and automate an income stream and continuously improve your business processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Discipline yourself to leverage; time to relax and time to work on products and services that will benefit your business. You know managing your time is seriously effective & can keep us fit pro’s away from the sugar hit cravings!

Hope this helps, have a mint day Tanya

http://www.lifestylefitness.org.uk/index.html

http://www.facebook.com/tanya.olivergrieves

Under pressure

By Claire Mockridge
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert

Have you noticed recently, everything is results-based in fitness, isn’t it? There seems to be a plethora of classes offering a “drop a dress size in a month”, whereas in truth, I think you need to ask yourself “Is this truly what you want?”.

I’m not a pressurising sales person. I’m in the fitness industry for the fun of it and definitely not the pressure. If someone’s interested in my services and/or products, I firmly believe, they’ll sign up to them. My website gives interested parties the information they need, along with client testimonials to back this up. If a prospective client phones me, I don’t rattle off a sales pitch, I just state factual information and the decision is then up to them to enrol.

I don’t operate a “guarantee results” business, due to the nature of my client base (pregnant and postnatal). It’d be amazing if I could say “Come to my classes and I’ll guarantee you a short labour”, but I can’t make these claims, and you know what? I don’t really mind. Working with a niche population is tough, it’s challenging and you’re under pressure, but for different reasons.

I’m fortunate that I already have a successful business, albeit transient, which means I have to continually advertise to get a steady flow of women in my classes. The pressure therefore, isn’t on my clients to sign up to my classes, the pressure’s actually on ME to get the word out there, and constantly. My finger’s always on the pulse.

I know what advertising and marketing works for my client base. I try new approaches all the time and monitor what works and what doesn’t. I discuss this in my “Bridging the Gap” Pre/Postnatal Exercise & Marketing Workshops for this reason. To find out how to book your space, click www.clairemockridge.com/workshops, or connect with me here:

Closed Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/clairemockridge/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/clairemockridge1
Twitter: www.twitter.com/clairemockridge
Blog: http://clairemockridge.wordpress.com/

Have a great day!

Claire Mockridge
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert

Virgin is not forever…..!!
By Andrew Crawford

Today, I’m writing this whilst looking over at the sea on Brighton pier thinking about Virgin…I’m sure this is not the first time this has been done…..tee hee…!!

Yes…..Richard Branson’s Virgin………. ‘lost’ the franchise for operating the train line they’ve been doing for years…!!! Tactical move by someone don’t you think??…to have it ‘taken away from you’…?

If you’re not quick enough you’ll miss the ‘virgin’ territories being offered by the KSFL franchise….be the first in….!!!!

The Hillsborough disaster has taken another turn….information that has not been revealed before will be released ‘early’…this should have been kept for 30 years but the powers at be is releasing it 7 years earlier….

Why was this information not presented at the time and kept ‘secret’ from the families?…..information kept closed and not opened to anybody.
At the weekend I travelled up to Steve Watson’s and Ceri Hannon’s The Big One Up North’…some very talented classes were kicking it, I loved the atmosphere. In the evening I shared a bottle of veuve with the delightful Jane Tress and went clubbing in Leeds.

I felt young, free and single and I just liked to mingle….I was throwing my hands up in the air and waving them around like I just don’t care….since I was drinking, I had to decide whether I wanted to stay in a hotel, motel or holiday inn…say what…!!
In addition this week I have been hearing some distressing news on bad investments recently……It HURTS me to know that people are genuinely not getting the returns that were promised.
Remember the Sales of Goods Act. If the goods or services are not what were promised………..Get your money back and write a stiff letter…..!!
If your investment is not returning a profit….GET OUT……!!!
It is NOT for you…..yes it may seem like you are letting the other person down but you’re not. These mofo’s don’t give a flying fish about your success..take control of your own …..stuff…!!
YOU are letting YOURSELF down and on this continual spiral wheel going nowhere…..FAST.
There are Charlatans out there who promise the world but you get b*ll*x…..
So Andrew,
What has Virgin, Investments returning no profits, and those fake mentor type individuals preying on your vulnerability got to do with Accountancy and Tax??
Well…..they are not running charities….!!

Charity work
These are not for profit organisations which, once registered with Companies House, you then register it with The Charities Commission. All you need is special provisions in the Articles.
I set one of these up the other day because it was a good structure for what the client needed.
I personally used to do so many charity events in my time but am very selective these days….I would rather buy equipment and donate this instead of the money ‘disappearing’ before it gets to it’s intended destination.
In the papers this week, there is a fund which raises millions for Indian causes.
However, millions were spent on Consultancies and other such organisations to tell the Indian recipients what to do with the funds…so by the time the money eventually arrives it has been raped and pilfered.
There are charities that we see each year including:
Red Nose Day
In 2011 Comic Relief raised £74.3m, the highest figure reached on the night of the show in its 23-year history.
In 2009 it raised £82.3m over the whole event.
My question is …where’s all this money gone?
What about ‘Help A London Child’….??
There are still many children desperate for help with our shores.

Red Cross
Don’t even start me on the Red Cross…….why are there armed guards selecting who gets the aid? Why is so much money handed over to this organisation?

Your Own Charity

OK…do you want to set up your own Charity Company? Easy Peasy…!!!
This is a BRILLIANT way to extract profit from it….do you want to know how?? I’ll tell you in another article………….psych……b*ll*x to it…..I’ll tell you now….!!!
I am very dubious when I see many NEW charities springing up because of different causes but I know WHY they do it.
Imagine this scenario. Allegedly.
Remember this in the back of your mind…..Charities pay no tax….why? it’s a ‘Not For Profit’ company.
So…..how would you ‘extort’….oopppsss, I mean extract legally, funds from the charity?
As many millions of pounds come into the charity, it is hard to see all this lolly languishing in and fattening the bank accounts….you want it to ‘lose pounds’…right??
What would one do?…..allegedly……
As Officers of the Charity you need Publicity, you need Marketing…so you hire and retain a PR company and a Marketing company. You then give them both ‘big fat over the top budgets’….could be hundreds of thousands of pounds from the Charity coffers.
This budget is deductible by the Charity as legitimate expenditure.
The ‘best’ part of this structure is that YOU own BOTH companies…..!!!!
Lord Have Mercy…… I’ve seen this before….!!! You could do this….!!
I’ve seen charities spring up and get a couple of million in a few short weeks. How tempting……What do you think?

Finally…I’ve saved a bucket load of cash just by employing some thrift tactics around my home. What is this? You ask….
My electricity bills were between £800 – £1,000 per quarter….it was shocking!!!…then I started to ‘turn off’ ALL electricity when I left the house and especially overnight…!!!

Anything that has an LED light was turned OFF …not just with the button on the appliance but ‘FROM THE WALL or SOCKET’.
This included my fax, printer, pc, side lights to kettle, microwave, SKY TV……you name it, anything that has a plug is switched off….!!!
The result….
The last 2 bills have been just over £200!!!
Yes…a vast difference….. If your electricity bills are too high, try doing what I’ve done. If you have an electric clock, change it to a battery one.
The only problem is that your batteries might run out on your battery operated equipment….don’t forget to keep spares in your top draws..!
And remember……….even though you may be Virgin………you still get shafted…!!!

Regards

Andrew Crawford
www.fitnessindustryaccountants.com
www.fitnessindusrtygossip.com
www.facebook.com/andrewjamescrawford
www.twitter.com/tax4fitness

Vikki Scovell

Last weekend, I worked at the River Cottage Autumn Fayre. Each summer I pack the wagon with a load of brightly-coloured circus Hula-hoops, ditch the lycra for glitter, festival outfits and pink or blue hair, and have a jolly good laugh. This weekend was the last festival of the summer, and it is sad to think about packing it all in for another year. I love meeting up with all of the people on the circuit; the entertainers, artists, circus people, musicians and travelling folk. There are always happy hugs and lots of kisses and a whole year’s news to catch up on. However, working the festivals makes me feel rather laid back: it is a different world entirely to fitness and I tend to go into gypsy mode and take things at a different pace (i.e. chaos and anarchy). To avoid the usual last minute mayhem I decided to get completely organized, and the day before, I had the wagon packed, oil, tyres, water and fuel all done, and the luxury of feeling smug and prepared. All I ne eded to do was check the directions and what time I needed to be there…… As I was just about to do this, a rather handsome gentleman (Mr. Out-of-the-Blue: we shall call him Blue for short) arrived with a bottle of Champagne. Feeling that it would be churlish of me to turn him away, the champagne was duly chilled and imbibed. Just after midnight, I remembered that I should really check what time I started in the morning (thinking mid-day). CRAP; vehicles on site from 7:30am, and off site by 9:30am for a ten o’clock start. With a long drive ahead this wasn’t looking good. So after a rather late night with Mr. B. and an extremely early start in thick fog, I wended my way to the hidden valley that is River Cottage HQ. The Autumn Fayre comprises of food events, kids entertainment, music, beer and Cyder, country crafts and exhibitions, and the whole RC vibe. It is in a beautiful and magical location, but the defining feature for me is that everyone you meet who is wo rking there is unbelievably friendly, attentive, well-informed and relaxed. Even the peeps that you are used to seeing on the TV treat you like an old friend and welcome guest. For this reason, people come back year after year, feel part of it, have tremendous brand loyalty, and buy into subsequent offers, courses, books and packages. Can you see where (eventually) I am going with this?
At the other end of the Spectrum, think about Lidls. I play a game called ‘try and get the girl on the counter to smile’, or at the very least stop looking at me like she hates me. I begin with a neutral statement about the weather/traffic/cheese in an attempt to engage her in some sort of acknowledgement of my presence. Then I work up to a little joke or maybe a compliment about her electric blue mascara, and how it beautifully sets off her orange lipstick. Occasionally I get a glimmer of recognition: a miniscule curling of one side of her lips in an upwards direction. More often than not, I am forced to congratulate myself on merely being treated as though I don’t exist, which is an improvement on being made to feel like I am completely ruining her life by daring to use the shop. I am frequently gob-smacked by everyday lack of customer care in places that I visit, and by meeting people-facing professionals who are entirely devoid of charisma, wit or common decency. I don’t mean to pick on the girl in Lidls because I might not be 100% brimming-over with repartee if I had to work there day in, day out (part of me thinks I could quite enjoy the constant banter with people passing through, but maybe I am kidding myself). Luckily I will never find out, as I would be sacked within the week for eating the chocolate peanuts. In contrast with Ms. Lidl, I am almost bezzy mates with the Staff in Waitrose, one of whom friended me on FB, many of whom remember to ask how the kids are, if classes are going well, and how my holiday was. They are sent on impressive courses to teach them top-end people skills and ways of dealing with the public; problematic or otherwise (I like to think that I am otherwise). I had an amazing experience with the impeccably well-trained first-aider the first time I had a frightening episode where I lay on the floor for 15 minutes unable to stop spinning out or find my balance (after my head injury which left me affect ed by strip lights and lifts). Embarrassingly I had a trolley full of wine for a party, but to on-lookers almost certainly looked like a tragic local wino/fitness coach. I eventually got used to what to expect, but once in a Hotel lobby, the strip light-effect was aggravated by a lift journey AND a very loud carpet. I was with Mr. F who thought it was too hilarious and had to sit down on the floor next to my prostrate body because he was laughing at me so much. A member of staff came over to see if we were drunk and should be removed. I said I hadn’t had anything to drink but had a head injury, and Mr. F said he hadn’t had a drink for 13 years, which shut them up.
I digress. At the moment you will be getting a fresh load of faces (or VICTIMS as we call them in Boot Camp) through your door, and now is the perfect opportunity to hook people into your brand, to make them feel welcome and part of the vibe, and keep them coming back to you. I confess that I find it quite easy, because I absolutely LOVE and adore my beautiful people. 90% of why I do what I do is because of my beautiful people, and the way it makes me feel to be part of their lives, and for them to be in mine. HOWEVER, some members of the public can be a pain in the glutes for one reason or another, and you just have to deal with that. There will, for example occasionally crop up someone so EPICALLY uncoordinated, that they are a danger to themselves and to others. I’m thinking of one who needed to be taught by video-link in their OWN studio for the safety of the rest of humanity. You will also get the moaners, the seriously injured (I had a lady with a recently broken neck in Boot Camp- EEEK!) and the marathon-chatters.

Moaners and chatters can be deflected by you clearly making them aware that you need to be somewhere else soon, and yes you ARE actually qualified, and yes you can turn the music down (NOT), and yes you will try and remember next week that they are allergic to dance music and will find something more religiously-inclined (MEGA-NOT). If that fails, throw a sticky bun through the door and see if they will chase it. The seriously injured you may need to be strict with, possibly suggesting that their neck brace and surgical corset may get in the way of the burpees and spider-man press-ups.
The point is; you know how you want to be treated when you are paying for a service, and so you know how to treat your clients. M greatest teachers in this are my Mum who taught Keep Fit for 30+ years and all of her clients adored her, and of course Rachel who makes everyone feel like the sun has come out from behind a cloud when she walks into the room. My Mum says: never moan or complain (not sure I have managed that), try and remember one thing about each person that you can ask them about, and remember to praise when people are doing well and improving. She also said that if someone is utterly hopeless, then compliment them on their lovely smile (BTW, to my class members who read this, please don’t automatically think that if I say something nice to you it is because you are hopeless; you are all AWESOME). I took a friend with me to a Rachel day, who was astounded that Ms. Holmes remembered her name after nearly a year. I am utterly rubbish with names, if I get stuc k with a man’s name I always try John, because it seems like 50% of men are called John so it is worth a try. I have to use people’s names a lot to get them fixed in my head. This backfires when I get it wrong first time and it takes them 3 years to admit that they aren’t called Pam, but Denise.

I also find nick-names for people, which helps me to connect (not rude ones). However, names are not important; excellent service, politeness, interest and genuine friendliness are of the upmost relevance for linking people into BRAND YOU. Be yourself, laugh, joke, educate, and let your love of people and of your job inspire them and make them welcome in the little community of like-minded souls that is your class. You are the rock star at the front; get up there and SHINE, let them feel the love and love them back; even the genetically-uncoordinated, the broken, and the bun-chasers. Have a lovely week working in the BEST profession in the world; I know I will. xxx
Vikki Scovell @fitbite

Have a wonderful Thursday

Love always

Rachel x


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