Good Morning! I’m writing this newsletter from sunny (but hazy) San Diego as Jayne and I are over for the IDEA World Fitness Convention. The first time I attended this convention was 20 years ago. This year the event is called Transformation, so I cannot wait to attend all the wonderful sessions which start today.
A highlight for me will be seeing Jane Fonda, who is accepting an award and is the reason there actually IS a Fitness Industry. Fonda, now 74, has been an amazing influence on every single person who teaches Group X and I’m beyond thrilled to be able to see her in person. We will be trying our very best to get a picture later today.
The event is always extremely inspiring and I’m looking forward to participating in loads of practical sessions and lectures. As we are 8 hours behind the UK you will be able to see my live Vlogs and Blogs on Facebook and Twitter and I will bring you a full report next week.
The US Fitness industry is very different to the UK and has been affected by the economic downturn much more than in the UK, so it will be useful to see how clubs, chains and operators have remodeled and changed to survive.
Examine The Local Landscape by Rachel
I’ve been researching, chatting and questioning Instructors nationwide over the last few weeks finding out about class numbers.
Are they busier, quieter, numbers up/down for this time of year. If you are a regular reader to the newsletter you can see a million articles I have written over the last 15 years on marketing your classes and services.
Marketing has to be a weekly process and that applies to any business. You could own a shop, restaurant, bar, ironing service, house cleaning or whatever and the common denominator is setting up consistent marketing funnels to get more customers in to your services every week.
This article is to encourage you to examine the local landscape and what I mean by that is to REALLY examine exactly what is going on fitness and class wise in your area.
Jayne and I were chatting on the 12 hour flight over about Freestyle Fitness Yoga. In my area there are a gazillion Zumba classes, A good few Fitness Pilates classes, tons of Bootcamps, many LBT classes with Instructors of all ages and experiences, but there are no FFY.
From a business point of view that’s the class I would want to offer. I would want to create a cool marketing campaign, get the local community excited, work on a press launch, flyers, leaflets and PR, offer a masterclass, offer sessions to schools & colleges to encourage 16 – 18 year old girls, run an offer for Mums and Daughters to attend together, work on a campaign to get men in etc etc
PLUS I’d master it. I get every DVD and practice daily, I’d love it and LIVE IT.
Examine what is NOT being offered locally. Do some REAL research into what is being provided, look at the prices being charged, times classes are on and plump for something different.
All Instructors setting up and establishing a new class needs to look at the local landscape thoroughly and then create an exciting launch and buzz.
Be the purple cow and not blend into the background.
I’d love to hear your views on this topic. Feedback to me on Twitter @RachelHolmes
What to do if Numbers are low.
RELAX, it’s summertime and numbers often plummet. Here are a few last minute action steps.
1.Amalgamate – Can you cut your timetable down and amalgamate costs.
2.Reduce costs – look at your weekly expenditure and cut down.
3.FREE Marketing – Attend free networking events, work on a social media campaign, Use your database more effectively to market.
4.CREATE an exclusive Summer Timetable. Offer masterclasses, summer specials, 2 week intensives, 1 week intensives.
5.COVER – Summer is when people are desperate for cover. Ring every Instructor in your area, advertise on Facebook everything you can cover and your availability.
6.GO OUTDOORS – Yes the weather is pants BUT consider a beginners jogging club, Power walking club with no overheads.
7.Cheaper venues – Can you move for the summer?
Start to plan for Autumn and your final fitness quarter. I always use the summer to examine where my business is going and how it’s evolving going fwd.
Tweet me your ideas @RachelHolmes.
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I am trying to work out, when it was, that we lost our individual identity as instructors and trainers. It simply has to be Les Mills led, which is definitely not a bad thing overall but it certainly has ramifications. The most important down turn or post result of LMI is that a large percentage of instructors would just love to go out and create new and exciting programmes or class themes but do not have the confidence to take on the whole responsibility of marketing, creating and maintaining their own classes or brand. Why? because while they have been teaching LMI, the rest have been branding, face-lifting and high-browing the simple group formula into something that from the outside looks way to hard to break into BUT in reality it is still putting movement to music.
So this week let’s celebrate our own quirks and individual traits. The things that make you unique and attractive to the general public who want to exercise. Look into your head and your heart and come up with something that you have not seen on face book, and that no one else is pushing. YOUR IDEAS MATTER, and if you look around right now the clubs and your clients are all looking for something new.
Tweet Jayne @JayneNicholls
How Heartbreak (and other minor irritations) Can Save Your Business by Vikki Scovell
At the risk of turning C2Go into my own personal confessional, here comes another one straight from the heart (well Mr. Fabulous, you did complain that you didn’t get a mention last week).
How intoxicating is TRUE LOVE. I wasn’t sure I would ever find it, and then it crept up on silent tip-toes, tapped me teasingly on the shoulder, and when I turned round to see what it was, walloped me in the face with a thousand red roses. Then it was a case of ‘hold on baby, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.’ And boy was it. We are talking catching the wave, getting up on the surf board (surprise/ecstasy/terror), then immediately losing your footing and being crashed and tumbled powerlessly beneath the surf until you can’t work out which way is up to get to the surface and breathe. I was as high as a kite for months; utterly and embarrassingly behaving like a fifteen-year-old.
I was invulnerable, the most-loved, most-desired woman in the world, and it felt like heaven. Then one Friday, hair done, a fridge full of delicious food to share knee to knee from one plate at the table, and POW! The thousand red roses change cartoon-style into a sledge hammer; KAZAANG! Over, gone, ended; see ya! I won’t bore you with a description of the shock, pain and loss, the humiliation, not being able to breathe/stand/eat.
The thing is, throughout this epic love affair, I only had focus on one thing; everything else blurred in the periphery of my vision. Sure there was lots of other fairly rubbish stuff happening too, but I was transported above it all on gossamer wings, up into the blue, and floating so far above it all, that the people below were as insignificant as ants. Oh and those ants were my beautiful people; my clients, my business and my future. Not so insignificant really, or indeed, the most significant people in my life. So there I was, flew too close to the sun and melted my waxen wings; crashing down to earth with a terrific bump: winded, broken and bruised. I spend a day and a night crying so that my eyelids look like something Walls sausages would be proud of. I run out of tissues, and use the edge of the duvet, a pair of knickers, tea towel; whatever is closest. The next day I get up, cry a bit more, and pick up paper and pen and start to write a LIST. Oooh I love a good list; my house is strewn with them. I have endless notebooks scrawled with lists of books, films, words I like, things I should be doing but never will, things I should be doing and might achieve at some point, things that must be done to stop the bailiffs from arriving and removing the TV.
We even have a list on the kitchen blackboard; words to use instead of STUPID and IDIOT (for the benefit of the unpleasant child-folk); chump, oaf, flea-wit, loon, pea-brain, ninny……… But this list was different, because this had to be so good, that it would stop me from unraveling. It needed to be the red and white life-saving ring of lists to stop me from drowning in my sadness. (Cue wistful and desperately sad Celtic music drifting in from yonder Welsh mountains).
The list started to cover pages and pages, it gathered its own momentum, and before I knew it had morphed into a BUSINESS PLAN! I had been trying to motivate myself recently, and had started off with the 19 day Fitness Online Marketing course.
I had done my homework and begun to implement what I had learnt, but was still faffing. Being ruthlessly dumped, disappointed and discombobulated somehow gave me the impetus (you may substitute PANIC if desired) to wake up and get moving. Can you guess what no. 1 on my list was?
To do what I had been talking about for ages, and contact Rachel about mentoring. However far I had come with the 19 days, I really needed more support to make things work. I have some errr trust issues, but one person I trust beyond all others is Rachel; everything I have ever done under her tutelage has worked, and I needed some trust in my life right then. I open my email to see; free 10 minute coaching Skype call to discuss business mentoring, and the tattered scraps of my life start to weave themselves into a text. The week before I may have thought ‘what a nice idea’ whilst day dreaming about my weekend with Mr. Fabulous, but this time, I was on it within seconds to grab my call and get started.
So the fragrant Ms. Holmes became my Ms. Fabulous. All of those missing texts and calls were replaced by the most chipper person on the planet constantly motivating me and urging me to get on with my tasks (across the social media networks), brainstorming ideas, making me smile, mending my broken wings. My evening Mr. F phone call was replaced by a date with Ms Fabulous on Skype, and my time was my own to get my head down and work. And work I have; it has saved me; I have saved my business, my pride and my feelings of self-worth. There is the phrase live to work, or work to live? Well my work is my passion, it is my life, and I’m ok with that. I have had the lotto-win dream, and always thought that I would go out of my head if I couldn’t teach and see my classes; for my beautiful people to be part of my life, and I part of theirs. How lucky for me that work is my passion. Now my life is sorely diminished in the passion department, I will embrace my love of work with open arms, kiss it tenderly on the cheek, nuzzle into its neck and know that we are together forever; for better or worse, in sickness and in health, blissfully inseparable.
So there you go lovely fitness professionals. Don’t let minor set-backs like emotional annihilation stop you in your tracks; we all have the best job in the world, and our beautiful people need us to keep them going too, because ultimately our energy and love for what we do saves a lot of them from their own problems. Ying Yang baby; work/life, heartbreak/love, us/them. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Until next Time x
Vikki Scovell @fitbite
FEAR – friend or foe by Cori Withell
What does fear mean to you? Something to be afraid of, something to escape from as soon as it appears or something to embrace, to face head on and grow from it? Susan Jeffers wrote a fantastic book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – brilliant book and the initial concept is so simple – just do it! Obviously there are some things you wouldn’t do because that would be plain silly! However, fear does completely paralyse us. Think back to when you did your ETM or Gym Instructor assessment, the sick tension in the stomach, the dry mouth, the utter dread that you will forget everything but you did it anyway – I remember when I first trained and I was first up to show and practice my warm up section, I got about one minute in and ran out of the door in tears. I couldn’t tell you where that came from but it stopped me dead in my tracks. Now, had I not got over that fear I would not be where I am now.
Fear affects every single aspect of your life but if you use it well it can propel you, your life and your business to heights you didn’t think possible. If you have an idea for a new brand or product, it may never happen because your fear of how it will be received may well stop you from doing anything about it. Don’t let it, embrace your fear, do what you love and you never where it may take you 😉
Health and happiness x
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How working with pre/postnatal saved my fitness career
By Claire Mockridge
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
As you know, I work with a niche client group: pre and postnatal and I often write about the advantages of working with a specialist population. If you’re wanting to “find your niche”, my question to you is “What’s stopping you?”
It was actually a friend of a friend who’d just had a baby who suggested I obtain the Level 3 Ante/Postnatal certificate to enable me to teach pre/postnatal women. I knew nothing about this client group at the time to be honest, having had no friends with children etc, so, I diligently did the research, assessed the market, found a course, enrolled, and passed the qualification with flying colours. And, I guess the rest is history.
What I don’t mention often though, is the real reason why I qualified to teach pre/postnatal. In hindsight, it was actually one of the best decisions for me to make to specialise in this particular population, of which I’ll explain further on.
When I first entered the industry, I took all the studio work going, did loads of cover ETM classes, finally secured 3 aerobics/LBT classes on the studio timetable I could call my own, and set up several Mummies and Buggies classes out in the community. I felt on top of the world! I was making a name for myself as the “go-to” person when it came to exercising at the studio I worked at, and more specifically, for exercising after birth. It was exciting, and it was great to know that people were referring friends to my private sessions and that all of that hard work and effort I’d been putting in, was starting to pay off.
What I wasn’t expecting to happen though, was to get injured, so badly, so quickly. If you’ve ever been injured yourself, you’ll know how debilitating this can make you feel, both physically and emotionally. My injury was a nasty foot condition called Plantar Fasciitis which took 18 months for me to recover from. Every time my foot hit the floor (well, both feet for me), it was sheer agony. And, if you think about it, you use your feet a hell of a lot during an ETM class. This was not a good scenario.
I firmly believe, some people’s bodies recover and/or respond better to overuse movements than others. My poor body shuts down at the first sniff of repetitive task, regardless of the joint or muscles used. I’d changed career by the time I’d entered the fitness industry due to RSI, and looking back, now know I also suffered bouts of depression as a result. Knowing that your body can’t cope with the demands you’re putting it through is soul-destroying, and it puts in you in a really bad position emotionally too.
I asked a question in Rachel’s Get Organised Facebook Group recently: “Which days do you NOT teach classes? I’d be interested to know how much time off you’re giving your body to recover.” I was quite surprised with the answers, to be honest. The most common days for FitPros to NOT teach were Saturdays and Sundays. It seemed nobody had a break on a Wednesday which didn’t surprise me, yet many of those surveyed did a class every day.
The majority of you only had one day off a week for recovery in your business. And I think you need to ask yourself: “Is this really what you want?”. Take it from someone like myself who battled with injury for 18 months, if you’re constantly feeling tired, muscle-sore and fatigued, there’s only so much your body can withstand. Make some changes now if this is you, because going forward, at some point, your body will just give up, physically and emotionally.
Pre/postnatal is a brilliant choice if you’re struggling with injury, because: a) it’s all low-impact, b) it’s mainly “instruction” and “hands on” as opposed to “do this and follow with me”, and c) a lot of it involves core/Pilates-based exercise.
Teaching pre/postnatal for me, saved my fitness career. If you’re injured and/or constantly tired, yet don’t want to leave the industry you love, then adding a pregnancy and/or mother and baby arm to your business may not be a bad idea. Trust me.
I can help you get qualified to teach pre/postnatal, plus give you the support you need to ensure your pregnancy and mother and baby classes are as successful as mine. Join my closed Facebook Group here and find out more: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/clairemockridge/
Or, find me on Social Media here:
Bye for now.
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
Katie Bulmer Sending Press Releases
Hope you’re all good in the fitness hood
This week I wanted to share with you the power of the press.
Being in the local press is a great way to raise your personal profile in your area as well as building the presence of your brand, making you the expert in your field.
But newspaper advertising is so expensive I hear you cry… I couldn’t agree more!
So here are my 7 top tips to getting in the paper for free…
1. Find the email address of the exact journalist you need to contact at the paper, such as the health and fitness columnist. You can usually find this on their website. If you can’t find it then you can make an educated guess by looking at other email addresses connected to the paper, for example, if you know the journalist’s name but not email address, then you could try emailing email@example.com. Try various combinations like this, and you will hit the jackpot. In my experience sending it to a specific person is better than just to the news desk, where it can get lost amongst the stacks of emails they receive every hour.
2. Be consistent and constant. Send a press release every week, so they get to recognise your name. They may not send every single one to print but your name will become recognisable to the journalist, and if they need a health and fitness expert to comment on a future story, then your name will be fresh in their mind.
3. If at first it doesn’t work, try, try again. It may be weeks or even months before your first article is printed, but don’t give in, it will pay off.
4. Follow up your emails with a tweet, again to raise the paper’s awareness of you!
5. Every time you are featured in the paper, contact the journalist to thank them, send them a thank you card or even a bunch of flowers. I did this when my first article was printed and every press release I’ve sent since has been featured.
6. Make the journalist’s life easy by writing the press release for them. This also avoids you being mis-quoted, and allows the journalist to quickly and easily construct their story.
To help you out with the format of a press release, here is one I wrote recently…
Have a great week,
Beating The Bikini Blues!
Sunderland fitness expert, Katie Bulmer-Cooke, is helping women across the city banish their bikini blues as the summer holiday season draws closer.
With studies stating that 90% of all women want to change at least one aspect of their body, it’s no surprise that many women are filled with dread at the thought of donning their swimwear this summer.
‘I’ve worked with hundreds of women with low body confidence, and to see their self esteem grow as their body changes on the outside is fantastic’, says Katie.
Over 7 million Brits take a holiday abroad every year, and so many women with ‘bikini blues’, Katie, 26, from Ashbrooke, explains that it doesn’t have to be this way.
‘My best advice would be to start by doing one thing every day that takes you a step closer to the body you want to have and the way you want to feel, whether that be doing a workout at home or joining a local class. However, it’s also important to work on your mind as well as your body- an element that is often overlooked.’
Mam of 1 Katie, goes on to explain, ‘As you start to achieve your aesthetic goals, it is essential that you realise that your body has changed, otherwise your mind still believes that you look the way you used to when you were unhappy, and that is where the low body confidence comes from.’
‘My top tip to overcome this, is to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and find something you like, whether that be your eyes, legs, bottom or arms- find something positive. Also make sure that you accept compliments whenever you are given one, rather than doing what so may women are guilty of- brushing it off and putting themselves down in the process- this is something with my Little Black Dress Club clients on a lot.’
Katie, created the small group personal training concept, The Little Black Dress Club, just 20 months ago. The 6 week course, comprised of mindset, nutrition and exercise and is designed with really busy women in mind, who want to change how they look and feel from the inside out.
‘While the physical results are the major factor in the program, great emphasis is placed on creating a confident mindset. After giving birth to my daughter, Heidi, I know first hand how important it is to help women regain their confidence and identity as well as their bodies’, say Katie.
You can find more information about The Little Black Dress Club by visiting www.thelittleblackdressclub.co.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Katie is the creator of the small group personal training phenomenon sweeping the UK, The Little Black Dress Club, and is known as the UK’s go-to-girl for helping really busy women get their bodies back. Best known for her approachable and energetic manner, Katie was recently crowned UK Personal Trainer of the Year 2012.
Further information about Katie is available at www.katiebulmer.com
Katie Bulmer-Cooke: firstname.lastname@example.org – 07725889957
Have a wonderful Thursday
Love Rachel xx