Firstly, rejoice…. the snow has gone and I so hope that’s our lot…so as February is almost here all my articles are about free promotion and how to market your amazing classes and services all over the internet and social media. Feb is always a fantastic fitness so my friends, get yourself and your name out there and market like maniac.
The Art of Free Promotion for your classes.
The best thing about teaching in the community right now is that there are so many FREE channels to get your message across. The only thing it will cost you is your time and a little bit of planning. Rewind 10 years, and to promote my own community classes I had to pay a crazy amount of money for adverts in the local paper, pay to go in the parish magazine, etc. etc. and then, because I couldn’t possibly afford to advertise week after week and one solitary advert would not bring enough new business to make it cost effective.
These days I very rarely pay for print advertising.
But you know what really, really works in marketing and advertising is CONSISTENCY.
It’s doing something over and over and over, not just having a big splurge every now and again and then nothing. You have to market consistently, because the tortoise will win the race not the hare.
It’s that steady drip, drip, drip of status updates, weekly blogging, weekly videos and daily Facebook and Twitter.
The common cry I hear from Fitpros is “I haven’t got time for all of that”. And I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe you are treating your community classes as a hobby and not a career or a business, and that’s fine, totally fine. But if your classes contribute to your mortgage, food, bills and your lifestyle, then getting bums on seats is imperative and working social media properly is ESSENTIAL.
Blogging – Last week I talked about starting your own Blog and it was great to hear from you who have taken the plunge and started writing. Blogging is a drip, drip, drip form of indirect marketing; it gets people to know who you are, your ideas, your beliefs and your services. People buy from people and if they like your blog and it becomes a regular part of their internet reading they are more likely to come to you.
Vlogging – if writing is too long winded for you then get yourself in front of our iphone and start a VLOG this is so EASY and quick to do. Upload to Youtube or direct to Facebook. Make it funny, insightful, informative, solve your potential clients fitness problems but most of all do it CONSISTENTLY. That means every week at least. Your audience will start to look forward to seeing you and you will build a following.
Facebook – if you are seriously working FB then you need a good 4 status updates a day. Make them funny, factual, questions, promotions, pictures, before & after’s, product; there; is a ton of fun stuff you can update your status update with but be YOU. Be social and let your personality shine though on Social Media.
Twitter – Are you really getting Twitter? If not, why not. It’s free and it’s easier than Facebook, PLUS you can hook up easily with local businesses, prominent people in your area, potential customers and clients. Again it’s all about being consistent on Twitter with your message and your tweeting.
You can automate everything using Hootsuite or Social Media, which makes the whole process so simple, quick and easy. Just take some time and get to grips with all these FREEchannels that can help you fill your classes, your bootcamps and your SGT.
Just be YOU and be consistent. Harness your personality on Social media and get involved, it’s so much better and more fun than paying for print advertising.
Is your business SSB or HIIB? Jill Gardner
I think running a business can be likened to training for fitness or sport. You get out what you put in, but also we are all different and we all respond to different types of training. Some of us lend ourselves well to long duration; endurance training and some of us do better with short bursts and sprints. The point I am trying to make is that we are all different and therefore what works for some, won’t always work for others. Which one are you?
Steady state business?
Like in steady state training, you pace yourself; you are consistent and put the hours in. You get fairly good return but think maybe you could do better if you tried hard enough. But frankly you are pretty comfortable working in this zone and you know where you are. You may plod along with a clear goal or just hope to get to a finish line at some point.
Super Strategies for Superstar Fitness Instructors in the community by Rachel Holmes
With so many of you teaching and doing amazingly 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 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.
There was no Facebook, no websites, no data capture and no real strategies to build my fitness business into the future. BUT there is for you guys, so even if your class numbers are out of this world focus on the future and where you could be heading!
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.
2. Get a PROFESSIONAL website and make sure everyone signs up on your list. Your data capture LIST is your future.
3. Start writing a newsletter and keep in touch with all of these new people who join your list.
4.Encourage your people to try other classes with you. Give away free classes, passes and sessions with you so they can try other things.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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.
Your Marketing Message – THINK before you update your Facebook status, Tweet or send an email newsletter
Whether you think about it or give it that much thought everything you write on Facebook or Twitter is shouting and promoting your personal brand.
So the next time you update your status or tweet on Twitter or send your newsletter out think about it carefully. Your marketing message is the bridge that connects your business to the outside world. Even on your busiest, craziest day, you must filter out the madness happening behind the scenes and deliver your message in a clear, compelling way that gets results.
So how can you do this in a quick and easy way? The next time you sit down to craft your next marketing message — whether it’s for an email broadcast, a tweet, Facebook update a video, ask yourself these FOUR questions.
QUESTION 1: “Who is your audience?”
Have you ever heard of a business owner who didn’t want everyone to love their product? Even when we know we should have a target market, it’s tempting to want to cater to the masses and eventually win them over. But usually when you try to please them all, you end up engaging no one — and this rings especially true when it comes to marketing copy.
Before you write down a word, you should know WHO your audience is. Many writers, dancers, singers, and actors — those in expressive, creative fields — are often advised to zero-in on one person in the audience and perform for that individual. That way, you know you’re connecting with one person, and there’s a good chance others will perk up for your message as well. Try this exercise for yourself and see how much it helps.
QUESTION 2: “What do they want?”
Once you’ve got an image or idea of that one person reading your marketing message, try to think of what they need. And think outside of your product on this one ;). If it’s Monday, maybe they’ve got the post weekend blues and need some inspiration. A new mum might need a laugh. Think of all types of needs that this person might have, like assurance, relief, hope, fun, connection, to name just a few.
Don’t limit yourself. Even just having a few different needs of your audience floating around in your head while you write will help.
QUESTION 3: “How can you meet their needs?”
Brainstorming potential needs of your target market can make it easy to come up with your “angle” — the decisive way in which you’ll appeal to your audience.
From a marketing perspective, you want to be able to match your audience’s needs with your product/services/classes. But if you can’t set up a perfect match, it’s okay — just be sure to satisfy the need. So, if you like the idea of offering a little inspiration to your readers in your Monday morning broadcast, be sure to deliver inspiration.
QUESTION 4: “What next step do you want them to take?”
It’s funny how many people forget to make this part clear in their marketing messages. As much as you want your readers to opt-in to your ezine, become a fan on Facebook, attend your class and buy your product, you MUST focus on only ONE “call-to-action”!
Good luck with your writing and make sure your personality shines through on all of your marketing messages!
How to get your press releases read Yvonne Radley
You might write the best press releases in the world but if no-one ever reads them they are a complete waste of time.
Just like you might be the best Zumba teacher in your town, or the best fitness Pilates instructor but if no-one knows you are there you go undiscovered.
So what two things can you do to remedy these problems?
1: Make sure your press releases are getting read by the right people
2: Make sure you are sending in regular press releases with great content and a non-spammy subject line.
Last week I gave you a list of places you could send your press releases to – this week it’s more about getting them opened.
First off, call your local newspaper and get the name and email address of the News Editor. Send all your press releases to the News Ed as he is the one who chooses which stories go into the paper. He will assign different stories to the different reporters in his team.
The only exception to this is if you already have a named contact or someone who comes to your class. But then again, if they are not getting stuff in the paper for you then bypass them and go direct.
If you are contacting your radio station – ring reception and ask for the newsroom email. All reporters tend to have access to the one generic email at radio stations and they work opposing shifts so make sure you send it to the newsroom as it has more chance of being seen.
For magazines you need the name of the Editor, Lifestyle Ed or Features Ed.
As many of you will already know if you’ve done my free “Best of 2012” Course or maybe you have bought my Done For You Starter Press Kit Big Me Up http://www.yvonneradleymedia.com/bigmeup/
Never put the press release in your email as an attachment always include it in the body of the email.
Never add pictures or any other attachments, it just clogs up the journalist’s In-Tray and is liable to get deleted before it’s even read.
Never put “Press Release” as your subject line. You’ve got to come up with something they will be intrigued by; journalists are naturally nosey people so ask a question in the subject line. Some of the ones that have worked for me in the past are:
1: Are you coming?
2: Why is everyone talking about [your company name]?
3: Did you know this?
4: This can’t be right?
There are loads you can come up with and it’s a lot of fun. Try and be inventive and imagine you are emailing a friend so the subject line is nice and chatty. In fact look over some of your emails to your mates and see what subject line you used. There could be some good ones in there.
I hope this helps you guys get your emails opened by the right guys.
Bigging you up x
Yvonne Radley’s Big Me Up Media
Find me on Facebook and let me know if it works for you.
Well it was lovely to hear from so many of you last week about my personal issues/disasters surrounding mini-Eggs: apparently my piece was ‘very funny,’ and of course making you chortle, makes me happy.
However, whilst good-me was smiling in a self-congratulationary way whilst reading my messages, naughty-me decided that mini-eggs had done me the power of good artistically that week, and can’t be such a bad idea: possibly a greater fountain of inspiration than art or nature. If I wanted to stay ‘funny’ and inspired, naughty-me decided that I should up my intake, maybe give up exercising, and allow myself to grow rounder, and effortlessly heavier. My new skinny jeans could be cut in half and stuffed with abandoned PE kit to make two handsome Armani snake-skin draught excluders; both functional, AND a talking-point at cake-munching coffee mornings. I could take on the stereotyped ‘hilarious’ persona of the larger female comic: all roly-poly giggles, a great sense of humor, happy in my own skin and with an endless supply of chub-jokes to hand. I pictured a life of sugar-coated contentment, a bucket of chocolate next to my lap-top, and a bone china plate to the right of the mouse-mat with a selection of tiny and exquisite pastries presented on a doily. Witty and amusing anecdotes would ooze from my fingertips and into the key board, a sigh of contentment escaping my double-chinned face as I unwrapped my third Chunky Peanut Butter Kit-Cat of the morning. Imagine the liberation of waking up and rolling off the edge of the bed into a leopard-print slanket instead of S Q U E E Z I N G into very small pieces of lycra, of never having people scrutinize my shopping basket with a sharp intake of breath as I pop in a bottle of wine whilst wearing a PERSONAL TRAINER hoody. I could give up having ratty, stained hands from peeling and chopping raw vegetables, and have the smooth, manicured hands of a lady whose culinary challenge is no greater than to slide a wooden spork into a wrapper full of chips (as my Uncles wife used to say- ‘right nutritious and NO washing up’). No more effort, no more sweating, no more salad……………….
Oh but this daydream will never do, I will have to attempt to remain focused without the aid of performance-enhancing chocolates. As much as it can be tiresome to have a job which requires a certain level of un-chunkiness, and a large helping of fitness, and as much as this can get a bit exhausting at times, I can’t give up now because I love it. I love my job, I love being a healthy weight, and I love watching other people melt off the pounds and liberate the slimmer, happier, more confident person who has been waiting to escape. I’m not 100% sure that they would take my weight-loss advice if I arrived on a mobility scooter, with the whiff of deep fat fryers in my hair, and only-just squeezing into my size 20 leisure trousers. But the most important thing that we can offer our clients is the truth about nutrition and exercise, (however hard this is to swallow), a good example, and our passion for creating healthy change.
So I will leave it there this week; have a great one, change some lives, make sure your own is happy and healthy, and remember to take off your web-site emblazoned outer layers whilst buying wine.
Vikki Scovell @fitbite
Inject your Instruction with iridescence
By Claire Mockridge
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
If you’re noticing your classes aren’t quite back in full swing yet, numbers are still a tad low, your regulars are slowly trickling in, but not as fast as you’d like, then you’re likely to be feeling a bit dejected right now. Please don’t panic!
Here are my top tips for injecting your Instruction with a bit of pizzazz. Does anyone actually say that word anymore?! Righto – jazz hands at the ready….!
You know that CD you shelved 6 months back, saying “I’m never playing this CD ever again?”. Find it, play it through and see if it still drives you nuts. If it doesn’t, give it a whirl in tonight’s class, or perhaps just some of the tracks off it for a bit of conditioning work. Just because you shelved it in the past, it doesn’t mean you can’t breathe some new life into it now.
CHANGE THE FORMAT
Since January, because my Mummies and Buggies classes are full to bursting at the moment, I’ve experimented with different formats to accommodate everyone in my small indoor space. So every week I’ve done something different: eg circuits, interval training, Pilates first followed by cardio (who says you can’t do that?!) and the standard 20/20/20. The feedback I’ve received has been brilliant. Mix up the format of your class once in a while, for your own sanity.
If you’re an equipment-poor instructor like me who tends to use resistance bands, the odd Swiss ball, those small Pilates balls and good old-fashioned body-weight exercises, then I can’t help you a great deal here, but, do play around with sequencing if you use the Pilates balls, challenge your clients on the Swiss balls, and get creative with your bands. Combining lower/upper body toning together is a simple way of doing this with the bands. All it takes is a bit of experimentation. Or, instead of doing a core-based/upper-body exercise in standing, do it on your knees instead.
Weird, I know, but if I buy myself a new set of trainers, or even a new colourful sports bra, I really feel the bomb. I dress fairly conservatively for my classes eg t-shirts/long tracksuit pants due to the client base I teach (pre/postnatal). But, just getting a new article of clothing, or wearing something you haven’t worn for a while, contrasting a vest with a different coloured t-shirt for example, like orange and purple, can make the world of difference. Hunt through your wardrobe and find something with some glitter. Off you go.
And there you have it. My sure fire tips for supplying your sessions with sparkle.
Let me know how you get on – I love to receive your feedback, as always.
Have a great Thursday!
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
Twitter – @ClaireMockridge
Facebook – /ClaireMockridge1
Snow Snow Snow! Phillippa Burnet
How frustrating it is for us FitPro’s when we wake up & see everywhere covered in snow!! It’s always hard for us to cancel our classes, especially if you have clients that have pre-paid! All that lost income is a worry, the hassle of refunding, carrying the payment over or offering another class – arrrg!!
That was me on Monday, but after a few failed attempts at getting out of my drive and realizing that even if I did make it to the village hall, no-one else would!!! It’s in a small village, all back roads, so I had to admit defeat!!
On the bright side, so far I have done two workouts – feeling great! I’ve finally finished putting together my clean eating cook book, which will be up in my website very soon. I’m working on my Healthy Backs 4 Life and as I’m in the middle of my online Pilates Detox, I’m still receiving a passive income from that – not all bad! This afternoon I’m going to crack on & record a few more video’s that I will be able to use on my website.
So, actually what felt like a disaster has worked out well in the end! Make sure you have some other forms of income streams that you are working on, having to cancel classes and lose income makes us realize we cannot just rely on teaching!
I might just get wrapped up, put my boots on & go for a good walk…..great training for Everest Base Camp 🙂
Enjoy the Snow!
Have a wonderful Week Ill be in Cape Town as you read this and so looking forward to getting sunshine with my great mate Steve Watson.
Love Rachel xxxx