The Make it Happen Weekend rocked last Saturday, where I shared new social media marketing strategies, building your online platform, visual marketing, fitness PR, examining each individual social media platform and how to use it to build your brand.
A diverse mix of Fitpros attended and judging by the feedback since are totally now working through their goals and making it happen. I will be running another Make It Happen day in London in July, so watch this pace for venue details and booking information.
So many of the attendees are still not quite getting TWITTER, so today I have a Beginner’s Guide To Twitter for FitPros article that I hope will help you crack on and use Twitter to enhance your business, your brand and your networking.
Interested in attending? Tweet me @RachelHolmes
Inner Guidance Retreat
This week I spent a fabulous 2 days at the Inner Guidance retreat centre situated in the beautiful town of Lavenham. The retreat is owned by Jo de Rosa, who is a regular contributor to this newsletter.
The hotel is absolutely wonderful and I took part in Yoga and Meditation classes with Jo. It was total bliss, the house is over 500 years old and steeped in history; it was the HQ for a peace movement and Gandhi himself has actually stayed there.
All the food is delicious, organic, clean and sugar free and cooked by Jo’s husband Dom.
Therefore, If you fancy a few blissful days away from it all check out inner guidance.co.uk.
Thinking of Planning Your Own Fitness Retreat?
Fitness Retreats and Getaway
Have you thought about organising your own fitness/health/fatburning getaway? It really doesn’t have to be overseas or some exotic location, it could be anywhere in the UK or even in your own town.
You could make it as simple or extravagant as you please, cater for a small group of 5/6 people or a much bigger group, depending on your audience and customer base.
Katie Bulmer-Cooke runs several small retreats for her clients, where she hires a log cabin in the Lake District and takes a small group away who do classes, training and workouts and mixes it with healthy food and cookery. Katie hosts and takes all of the sessions and it is proving really popular with her clients.
Something I’ve been thinking about for a while is a to start a monthly Saturday Kick Start Fat Loss Day. I can’t commit to weekly Saturdays as I’m often away presenting and teaching, so Andrew Crawford and I are planning a Saturday morning bash of classes, fatloss talks, Beauty and Grooming all in our home town of Nottingham.
The health and fitness consumer of 2014 needs to access our services in different ways. We need to be flexible and look at trying new times, new days, new courses. It doesn’t always have to be weekly, monthly specials can work brilliantly well as you can create packages and offer weekly online workouts and updates, make it social and add in a beauty or grooming angle for the guys as well ( Male Grooming is a massively growing marking). Have a brainstorm and let me know your thoughts on Retreats, Fitness days. Tweet me @RachelHolmes
Repackage and Rejig your Community Classes
Summer is coming so it’s the perfect time to repackage and rejig your community classes.
Being marketing savvy, using social media properly and creating a strong online presence is key to growth in the community class market.
It’s tough out there!
Local authority leisure centers, council gyms and the emergence of low cost clubs, PLUS church halls and community venues have jumped on the bandwagon and jacked up their prices, not to mention with PPL cost rises, insurance and the time spent on marketing and PR, you have to be pretty darn committed, have a plan and be able to take the rough with the smooth to survive and make a living. It’s definitely an up and down market.
So, what does the discerning Community Instructor do in these changing times?
I’ve created an ideas list because I do truly believe that with a few tweaks and changes you can turn things around, and I have said in past newsletters we need to be flexible in how we offer our services to cater for a modern and changing market.
One thing to always keep in your mind is that we all have an amazing product, our classes are life changing, results led, social and fun and provide such value for money it’s incredible. Don’t lose sight of that.
Here are my Ideas I hope they spark your inspiration and motivation to keep teaching in the community.
Change and Repackage.
Toning and conditioning classes will always be popular. I always rename and rebrand my conditioning classes at least every year, sometimes more often. So, for Summer, Legs, Bums and Tums becomes Summer Beach Body Toning. It has a new logo, a new colour, new brand, new strap line and a slightly different description, but it’s basically the same class just repackaged. I market this like crazy everywhere and hey presto it will attract new faces and reboot old lapsed clients looking for the kick to get going again.
Classes don’t last forever – They have a Shelf Life
The only exception to this rule, I think is Pilates. The numbers pretty much stay busy and constant but everything else has a shelf life and will start to peter out in time. Before it dies do a repackage (see above) It’s not you….It’s the life of a community fitness class and it happens to everyone.
Ring the Changes
Launch specials to coincide with term time so you may do Stability Ball for 8 weeks as a paid course, have a break, then market Kettlebells for 8 weeks then something else etc, etc. This keeps it fresh and exciting and every time you advertise a new workout it will attract a new demographic of people. If you do something with equipment get people to bring their own rather than you shelling out for equipment.
If you have your own brand or style of fitness class then set up a meeting with all of the local leisure centres and council run gyms and see if they would do a profit share with you. Take all of your super professional promotional material, talk about your client base, how you market and explain you will sort out the cover and be prepared to take any dead slots of empty spaces in their centre. You can then advertise your session to their customers and provide them with a ready made plug in package that they don’t have to manage, work out a profit share deal and give it an 8 week trial.
Above all keep it fresh and exciting in the community. Keep repackaging and changing the style of your classes and ring the changes to keep the locals interested, excited and inspired.
I’d really love to hear from you on this subject. Are you a Community Instructor or Community Bootcamp Coach? How are your numbers? What are you doing to keep the numbers coming through the door?
Our Pilates courses are constantly in demand as the need for great quality Pilates classes continues to rise in the UK. if you have a group of Instructors who want to get trained then we are doing more in house training course at your location.
Do you want to run an in house course? Contact Kelly as dates are maxing out for the rest of 2014.
Our new HOT Fitness Pilates course is being written which will be launching in the Autumn so lots of exciting developments coming up for the brand.
There are now limited places on the FP Pre-Hab Tour
24 May Derby David Lloyd
31 May London Clapham Leisure Centre
21 June Cambridge Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre
12 July Birmingham David Lloyd Solihull
Email Kelly@Choreographytogo.com @Kellyreedfitnes
A Beginners Guide to Twitter for Fitpros
This post is a quick guide to Twitter for non-techies. I 100% use Twitter to build both my personal brand Rachel Holmes and my 2 business brands C2GO & Kick Start Fat Loss and hand on my heart find Twitter an amazing way to find new clients, promote my classes and businesses, network, do market research and have fun (believe it or not I Love Twitter)
This weekend I held my Make It Happen seminar and we spent a lot of time working on Twitter and how it can become a lead generation tool for you and your classes. On every business lecture I do I find myself explaining the basics over and over again, so here is a simple, step-by-step guide.
If you are new to Twitter, this will get you up and running fast. If you know someone who needs a little help or motivation getting started, send them this article.
1: Set up your account. Go to Twitter to get started. Enter your name, email, and a password. Click Sign up. You will now be taken to a second screen where can select a username. This is the name by which you will be known on Twitter. What name should you use?
2: Your real name is best—if it’s available. If not, you can try using a middle initial or prefacing it with something like the, its or Mrs etc (e.g., “TheRachelHolmes” or “Ms RachelHolmes or ItsRachelHolmes”).
3: I recommend using initial caps and in-word caps. It will make your username more readable and memorable. For example: I use “RachelHolmes” rather than simply “rachelholmes”
4: Click on the Create my account button. That’s it. You are now official a member of the Twitter community. Congratulations!
5: Twitter will assist you in getting started. It will explain what a tweet is and give you the opportunity to “follow” a few friends, popular people, or brands.
6: Twitter will also give you a chance to see if some of your friends are on Twitter by checking your online address book. However, your contacts will have to be in one of the supported services: GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or AOL. Also, you’ll only see users who have allowed their accounts to be found by email address.
7: Tweak your settings. Make sure you are on your Twitter home page. Click on the Settings link. You should be on the Account tab. Set the time zone. Do not check “Protect my updates” unless you only want those whom you approve to be able to get your updates. Personally, if you check this, it will seriously limit the fun. Make whatever other changes you want. Click the Save button.
8: Now click on the Profile tab. Upload your picture. The maximum upload size of your photo is 700k, so you may have to re-size your image to meet this requirement.
9: Enter the rest of your information, including your location, website or blog (if any), and a brief bio. Your bio can either be serious or fun, but it must be brief—no more than 160 characters.
10: You can also connect your Twitter account to Facebook on this page. This will post all your Tweets directly to Facebook. I don’t recommend this, but you may want to do it.
11: Setup your phone. Twitter is much more fun if you connect it to your iphone. By doing so, you can receive updates from those you are following as well as send your own updates.
12: Follow family and friends. If you haven’t done so already, add your family and friends by clicking in the “Search” field at the top of your home page. You can type in a username or first and last name. When you do, you will get a list of users who match your search criteria. You can also do a more advanced search (e.g., searching by location) by clicking on “Refine results” or by going directly to the Advanced Search page.
13: Learn the basic commands. Think of Twitter as a room full of people, all sitting in a circle. It’s a conversation. When you update your status, you are speaking to the whole group. Everyone can hear what you have to say
14: @ Replies. If you want to direct your comments to one specific person but loud enough that everyone else can hear, use the “Reply” function. You address the person by using their Twitter user name preceded by the “@” symbol. For example:
@Jaynenicholls I will see you at the Nova Training
Everyone who is following Jayne and me will see the message, but I am specifically directing it to Jayne. Those who are not following both of us will not see the message.
You can also use the Reply function to refer to someone by name. For example:
I’m meeting with @kellyreedfitnes and @Jaynenicholls got loads to catch up on
The thing about replies is that they are “clickable links.” If someone who is following me, clicks on one of the names, they will automatically go to that person’s Twitter page. This will give them the opportunity to follow that person, too.
15: Direct Messages. This is easy to use the DM button and send a private message to that personal.
16 #Hash tags. You are probably familiar with tagging photos with a short piece of text. Twitter has this capability, too. The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages. If you click on a hash tag, it will show you all the other tweets associated with a hashtag.
I have attended conventions or you see it on TV shows where an official hashtag is announced. This enables everyone at the conference/watching the programme to track what everyone is saying about the conference.
17: You can find answers to almost every other Twitter question in the Twitter Help Center.
18: Start tweeting. So now you are all setup. It’s time to start Tweeting. You can do this from your Twitter home page or from your cell phone. The main thing you need to know is that the message can be no longer than 140 characters long. After a while, you’ll instinctively know how long this is. I rarely go over the limit. But if you do, it’s no big deal. Your message will just be truncated.
19: How often should you Twitter? This is totally up to you but before you tweet think is this adding value to my followers?
However, this is definitely art not science, so there are no hard, fast rules.
Regardless, you should consider every Twitter update as a branding impression. You are developing a reputation with your online friends, so make sure you are adding something to the conversation.
20: This is really no different than a face-to-face conversation. You want to say something that is interesting, helpful, or just plain entertaining. I don’t think you should over-think it just enjoy being social, interacting with people and adding value to your followers.
21: Consider third-party apps. An entire eco-system has sprung up around Twitter. Here are some of my favorite applications:
HootSuite. This is the application I use to manage Twitter on my desktop. It will even manage Facebook profiles and pages, LinkedIn, and several other social media services. It is great because it allows you to segment people by groups (or columns). I have groups for my family, close friends, colleagues, etc. It is available for both desktop systems and mobile devices.
BufferApp. I use this application to post my tweets, so I don’t flood my followers with a string of posts. Instead, I put them in Buffer, and it spreads my tweets throughout the day. It gives you tremendous control. You can determine how often and at what times you tweet. It comes with extensions for the most popular browsers, so you can buffer a tweet directly from a web page. It also allows you to buffer Facebook status updates.
22: It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the third-party Twitter apps. Don’t. Start with HootSuite and then grow from there as you have the time and interest.
Twitter is one of those apps that is best learned by using it. The most important thing you can do is get started. You really can’t make that many mistakes. Just remember to have fun and enjoy the people you meet online.
I hope that helps all of you Twitter Fitness Virgins out there to get on the platform and get going! Please tweet me today @RachelHolmes
£3.5m …He Made It Happen…!!!
By Andrew Crawford
One couldn’t escape the fund raising efforts of Stephen Sutton who died earlier today. Before he passed away, he raised in excess of £3.5m…from his hospital bed…!!
He made it Happen…!!
We all may know someone close and dearest with this decease ‘they’ can’t seem to ‘Find A Cure’ for (see one of my earlier articles on this subject) which ‘they’ seem to be making millions from…..!!!
Personal Note: My brother has it..!!
Melanie James Browne of Cancerplus.org is holding a workshop in Glasgow, see details here…..
Let’s make it Happen.
On Saturday Rachel Holmes gave her heart & soul to attendees of her workshop whom received some diamond information (If implemented)… I met some great ladies there… some encouraged me to continue to produce these ‘off-the-cuff’ articles. I therefore thank you for your most valued feedback. Much appreciated. x
With the Cutting Edge information given on the day, I encourage you, I advise you, I coerce you, I seduce you, (erm….sorry ..wrong article…) I incite you, I urge you, I persuade you to ….
Make It Happen…!!
What has the Making It Happen Workshop got to do with Accountancy & Tax??
Well…..Workshops are like mini courses. Some are claimable, others are not.
So if you have a business you would claim the workshop as an expense along with the travel (Petrol or Diesel), teas, coffees, lunch & dinner.
The area of ‘Training Courses’ is an area which the HMRC looks at with a magnifying glass.
We all go to many workshops and courses but how do you determine whether they are claimable or not.
Remember this……..Courses which ‘Enable’ you to do something is recognised as the initial course and referred to as ‘Capital’. They are disallowable expenditure so you will not be able to offset the cost.
Example: A student leaves school and wants to take up Accountancy.
Since this course will ‘enable’ the student to become an Accountant the course and all other related costs will be classified as Capital. Therefore disallowable.
A student leaves college with a few A levels. They want to teach aerobics…freestyle….!!
Whatever course this student takes to ‘enable’ them to become a Fitness Instructor again will be recognised as an ‘enabling’ course…therefore Capital.
Once qualified, however, subsequent courses will be recognised as ‘revenue’ expenditure……………therefore allowable.
My Tip: Ensure courses, workshops or training that you attend are ‘Updates, Ongoing or Development Training’
Why? Workshops or courses which fall into the above criteria, these will be classified as Revenue expenditure, therefore fully claimable. (Don’t forget all the ancillary costs associated with the main cost.)
Thanks Andrew…..What about if I was employed and enjoyed some ‘work-related’ training??
I’m going to hop over to the Tax Law for this part…….
“work- related training” is defined as any training course or other activity which is designed to impart, instil, improve or reinforce any knowledge, skills, or personal qualities which:
are, or are likely to prove, useful to the employee when performing his/her duties or
will qualify or better qualify the employee to undertake the employment, or to participate in charitable or voluntary activities arising through the employment.
The training must relate to the employee’s current employment or to a “related employment”
In other words…….if you went on a training course as part of your job and it falls within the gobbledeegoob as above and you paid for it…………then claim the mofo..!!
“….There is no restriction on the way the training can be delivered. Self-tuition packages, computer based training, distance learning, work experience or work placement and informal teach-ins are all acceptable as are more formal classroom based methods. It does not matter whether training is delivered internally or externally, or on a part-time or full-time basis…..”
If you own the business….then claim this on behalf of your staff.
You’re in a position to ….Make It Happen..!!
A prayer goes out to those miners who died in that underground explosion.
We plead to those in charge…..Government….to make Health & Safety Happen…!!!
Oh………and if you are interested……even if you ain’t….keep your eyes and ears open about the Pfizer (USA company) takeover of Astra Zeneca (UK company)….
“…….The £63billion merger, which would be the largest in UK corporate history, is proving hugely controversial………”
Don’t be fooled folks………..It isn’t a merger…………It’s a ‘Takeover’…!!!
And some of our own British born citizens in charge of this….who’s palms will be greased with millions of ‘Boulton & Watt’s’…….. WILL Make It Happen…!!!
NB: Boulton & Watt = £50 notes…!!
Andrew James Crawford
Have a wonderful Day
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