Lots of great comment this week on Facebook and Twitter and via emails I’m getting from many FitPros, who are finding that class numbers seem to be declining for some disciplines and it’s becoming harder than ever to get people into classes and Bootcamps. So what is the answer. Is the market now getting saturated with Zumba, Bootcamps and Fat Loss?
Is the general public looking for something new?
What does the general public want?
Do they even know?
Katie Bulmer, owner of The Little Black Dress Club and Real Results, feels small group training is emerging now as the front runner. You still get the mix of a group, so all of the interaction, camaraderie and fun, but small enough to give individual personal attention. You also don’t need the quantity of clients but more quality clients.
It goes back to deciding who you actually want to train and work with. Shock Jock marketing such as Drop a Dress Size, Skinny Jeans etc definitely works……… in the short term; but what about filling classes year after year and building a sustainable business. Many new customers seem to be quite fickle, they jump from class to class, gym to gym, program to program. Are they the sort of customers you really want?
I’ve been in the Fitness Industry for over 24 years now and I’ve seen all of the trends come and go. What appears to happens next is always the complete opposite of what is big right now.
For example, if huge classes with massive numbers are popular today then small, personalised, semi private groups training will start to emerge as the “purple cow”. The industry always does a 180 degree turn
You get the group dynamic but with the results the clients want.
Changing the advertising slant of your classes to the health benefits of exercise would also change the clientele, change the marketing style and rethink who your target market actually is for the long term.
The most affluent demographic of people in the UK are the Baby Boomers 50 – 70years. This group has the most disposable income, but they also spend their money wisely. They consider every purchase carefully and weigh up all of the pros and cons, they aren’t looking for the cheapest option but the best quality and they don’t always want to pay into a membership or direct debit scheme.
Lots to think about and I would love your thoughts, feedback and opinion. Tweet me @RachelHolmes, Facebook or email me with your views and opinions.
How to Build Your On Line Fitness Business – Live EVENT in Birmingham with Rachel Holmes
I’m really looking forward to this one day event I will be running.
Bring your lap tops, Bring your ideas and Bring your enthusiasm. The date is Saturday 28 April at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham NEC. Its a one day event and you will be able to book from tomorrow. I’ve got tons of new ideas , systems and strategies on teaching how to get set up and create your online Fitness Business.
I will be covering Networking, Public Speaking, Running Events, Creating Online strategies, Creating Online Courses and Webinars, Writing ebooks and I will only be holding this as a one of day at the NEC.
The NEC is an easy venue to get to by road, rail and airport. Why not come by train? Its easy and painless. There will only be 30 seats so check your diaries and watch out for your invitation.
Fitness Pilates 2 Day Certification New Date – 9th/10 June in Derby David Lloyd If you want to jump onto the Fitness Pilates course. Heres the new date and booking information click here
I mentioned Pinterest last week and it seems many of you are taking a look at this relatively new social networking site that allows users to create online image collages, then quickly and easily share those collages — called “pinboards” — with other Pinterest users.
It’s fun, easy, and catching on like wildfire right now
Because it’s image-based, the core of Pinterest is overwhelmingly positive. I like to think of Pinterest as Facebook without the whinging!.
Yes, Pinterest is beautiful. And yes, its users love it. But don’t let all the hearts and flowers fool you. Behind those lovely images, Pinterest is fast becoming a heavy hitting marketing tool for brands and businesses … like our fitness businesses and I think there could be some serious potential here for Fit pros who want to create an online fitness business.
What is Pinterest and why should I care?
Once you’ve got a Pinterest account, you can create online collages (“boards”) for different topics you’re interested in, and then add images and videos to your boards by “pinning” them (the equivalent of using glue sticks on old-school vision boards, but faster, slicker, and considerably cooler.)
Pinterest has nearly five million users, and is rapidly growing. Nearly 1.5 million unique users visit Pinterest daily, spending an average of 15 minutes a day on the site.
Think those inspiring vision boards don’t result in referral traffic to websites and blogs? Think again. In January 2012, Pinterest drove greater traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — combined.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how Pinterest could help us grow our businesses and connect with customers using these appealing online collages.
Here are some powerful ways I’ve come up with to incorporate Pinterest into your marketing mix.
Pinterest marketing for beginner pinners …
- Make sure you feature your business name on your profile for maximum exposure. Use your business name as your username, or change your profile name to your business name after your profile is set up.
- Add a paragraph about who you are and what you’re interested in to the “About” section on your Pinterest profile. It will show up right under your photo, and will be one way that users can find out more about you.
- Connect your account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Not only will it help you gain followers, but making this connection adds social media icons under your profile picture that link to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
- Don’t forget to add your website URL in your profile, too!
- Pin lots of stuff. Pin content steadily, instead of in huge bursts, to maximize your exposure and engagement.
- Come up with creative and interesting board names. They get shared whenever you pin something, so make them enticing. But be creative — you need to keep your board names short. There isn’t a lot of room for long descriptive titles.
- Tag other Pinterest users in your pins by using “@username” in your descriptions. Network with other professionals and business owners in your area and in the fitness arena by using this feature. Not many people are doing this yet, so it’s a great way to build your following and stand out.
- Comment on other people’s pins. Just like with tagging, this feature hasn’t really caught on yet, so use it regularly to really engage with other users. Obviously, use the same good manners and common sense you would when commenting on a blog or other social media site.
- “Like” other people’s pins to give a thumbs-up when you want to recognize great content.
- Pin from lots of different sources, instead of just from one or two sites. Variety is important on Pinterest.
- Mix pinning your own unique finds with doing lots of “repinning,” which is repeating someone else’s pin to your followers (just like a Retweet on Twitter). The person whose image you repin gets notified via email, and they also get a credit on your pin, which increases their following.
- Feel free to pin your own blog posts, but don’t over-promote. Follow the usual etiquette rules of any other social media site, and don’t be the boorish one at the party who only talks about himself.
- Pin videos! Pinterest has a special section just for pinned videos, and there are far fewer videos than images on Pinterest at this point, so use them to distinguish yourself. Any YouTube video is easy to pin.
- When you pin an image, add a description under it. Be smart about these descriptions — a good description will stay with an image as it gets repinned all over the Pinterest world. If the image is something from your own site, definitely use your business name in the description.
- After you pin a new image using the very handy Pinterest browser bookmarklet (a great tool in its own right,) use its built-in social media prompts to re-share your pin on Twitter and Facebook, too.
- Get the Pinterest iPhone app, so you can repin on the go, pin from your camera and add a location to your pins so others can find your images.
- Create seasonal or holiday boards that relate to your brand. Example: New Year’s Resolutions, Spring Time Fitness, Beach Body Fitness Ideas etc
- Add a prominent Follow Me on Pinterest button to your website to advertise that you’re a pinn
Happy Pinning – YOU can connect with me and my boards on http://www.Pinterest.com/RachelHolmes1
Fitness Blogging by Rachel
Over 50% of blogs are abandoned within the first 90 days. While this isn’t really important if you’re writing a personal diary, political or celebrity blog, it is very important if you start a blog for your business and don’t keep posting on it consistently and with purpose.
What is a fitness business blog?
Because a blog is an inexpensive, fast way to build an online presence, it is an ideal way for fitness entrepreneurs to establish their credibility and expertise. Since your readers can post comments, you create a conversation with your audience and build rapport and trust as a result.
The very nature of a blog is perfect for the busy fitness professional. They are quick and easy to update. You are creating fresh content frequently (two to three times a week is recommended minimum) that is useful to your prospects and customers and loved by search engines. In contrast to “traditional” static website, a blog is a dynamic site that encourages your visitors to interact with you through commenting so they can get to know you better.
When you create a conversation with your audience (visitors, readers, prospects), you are establishing your credibility. You build your network and increase the visibility of your products and services in a casual way.
A blog is an essential tool in the professional’s marketing toolbox. Combined with a website, an ezine, database management and ecommerce system, you will have everything you need to develop and run your fitness business globally and online.
10 Steps for Starting Your Blog
Before you get to the nitty-gritty of setting up your blog, there is some pre-work to do. This will ensure you start right and put your best foot forward.
1. Before you do anything else, examine the reasons why you want to publish a blog. What is the purpose for the blog? How does the blog’s purpose relate to your business purpose?
2. What are the business objectives or outcomes or goals you want from your business blog? Some people use a blog as a lead generator to build their database. Some are looking to build a visibility platform while others use the blog to develop content for other purposes like books, articles and programs. What do you want to get out of your blog?
3. Who is your ideal reader/customer? Who are you writing to/for? With most of my coaching clients I’ve worked with, the ideal reader is similar to their ideal client. It’s important to know your audience so you can meet their needs and address their concerns, challenges and what they’re looking for to improve their lives.
4. How do you want your readers to feel when they read your blog? This may seem like a weird question, yet it will help you tap in the emotions of your audience. Do you want your reader to be inspired, motivated, and moved to action? Again, tapping into this will help you focus your content on serving your reader.
5. What do you want your readers to DO when they read your blog? This relates to the goals you set for your blog. If your blog is a lead generator then you must have very clear steps for guiding your reader to subscribe to get blog updates and/or get your lead generating content.
6. How much time do you have to devote to your blog each week? This is getting to the heart of blogging. If you cannot commit to creating constant, consistent content, then you’re doing yourself and your readers a disservice. Be honest. The most effective and successful blogs are those with fresh, new content posted at least two to three times per week. Is that reasonable for you to manage? Remember, there are many, many ways to create content. It doesn’t have to be all you all the time and you can share content with other fitness friends.
7. What’s your blog’s core message? This relates to the topic of your blog and the niche you are focused on. What do you want your readers to learn? Why should anyone read your blog and more importantly why should they subscribe and follow your blog?
If you regularly write a Fitness Blog I would love to read and subscribe to it. Please Tweet me your Blog information http://www.Twitter.com/RachelHOlmes
Are you a second class stamp? OR are you a first class guaranteed recorded delivery? by Jill Gardner
If you needed an important letter to be sent and wanted to make sure it got there safe, fast and guaranteed. Would you spend just pennies on an ordinary second-class stamp!
It’s time to ring some changes in the industry don’t you think?
Despite it only being February I am getting a distinct feeling of discord, exhaustion and unease amongst some in the community class sector. Up until Christmas I was working flat out trying to build my empire. I wanted to offer great value for money as well as lifestyle solutions for all my clients’ problems. It was like the beginning of a love affair – my clients couldn’t get enough of the classes and my passion and I couldn’t get enough of teaching and seeing them all thrive. But Christmas and winter took its toll and the love affair started to wane. The novelty factor was fading and I was becoming wallpaper in the background. I was just a few pounds a week to people. So why would they take me seriously? It was so demoralising!
There is no denying it. It is hard graft keeping class numbers up when every street has it’s own Pilates, Zumba, Bootcamp or some quick fix solution. Everyday the posts on social media streams are all becoming very diluted and it’s the same noise. We are all shouting out and desperate to be the one heard amongst it all. We bombard our clients and potential customers with newsletters, updates, tweets, emails, texts, and blogs………. There is a sea of information and we are all drowning in it and we have become a cheap disposable commodity!
How can I get people to take me more seriously? How could I get them to listen to ME? I have spent thousands on becoming an expert in my field! Why wasn’t I being appreciated?
Well this is what I did! I decided to make some big changes to my timetable and if it meant losing people that weren’t going to take me seriously then so be it.
· No more free sessions, trials or special offers – no more devaluing
· I upped my PAYG class fee to £7 per hour. That was nearly a 50% increase – I am an expert after all!
· I reduced the timetable by half – giving them less class and times to choose from – no more dilution
I shut my eyes fearful for a backlash of emails of people complaining or leaving but instead I was pleasantly surprised.
Not only did people congratulate me on making the decision but I got a sea of emails from people asking to sign up to a monthly standing order. I had been underestimating how much value people had placed on me. They ARE willing to pay. Now I have even more people paying me monthly, taking me seriously and genuinely appreciating all that I do. By charging more I have elevated my expert ranking another notch. I am more expensive that most of my competitors but I get a guaranteed monthly income and I don’t have to stress so much over advertising and marketing. By making my service more Bentley than Skoda I have people banging the door down to become a Fitstop VIP member! Now let’s all do the same. Let’s all raise the game together!
Jill Gardner – The Fat Controller – www.hateitchangeit.co.uk
#StupidQuestions by Jayne Nicholls
On Friday I got a fantastic discount on a great bag in House of Fraser, why am I telling you this? Because I only got the discount because I asked for it, even the sales assistant was shocked that her manager agreed. I told her that my line of business has taught me that if you don’t ask you don’t get anything. I can’t help wondering though whether this has gone too far.
Like you I am dealing every day with people who want something from me, whether it is a class or a course I am giving what I consider to be value for money and so much more with ongoing information and help and most likely, like you I often wonder where to draw the line.
Here are 2 questions that I have received in 1 week: ”I hate exercise and can’t be bothered to move – what can I do to get fit?” My refusal to offer any advice was met with a rolling of the eyes. ”I want an app that tells me what exercise I can do while sitting on the bus” This one I did answer – just put my number into your iphone under bus app and call me – whereupon I will tell you to get off the bloody bus and walk!
Everyone wants the results of what we do without the effort or the commitment and this has to stop. It’s not instant and it is not easy, any result has to be worked for whether it is a fitness goal, a qualification or a better job. Asking the right questions may get you through the door but hard graft pays off.
I Believe…………By Andrew Crawford
This morning, just before jumping into my bubble bath, I got up with these words ringing in my mind…..
“…I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside……..Give them a sense of pride to make it easier, let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be..
(the most powerful part)….I decided long ago never to walk in any ones shadows, if I fail if I succeed, at least I live as I believe, no matter what they take from me……they can’t take away my dignity…….”
“….Because the Greatest Love of all is happening to me……!!”
Where is it….?
Inside of you…!
Click below…close your eyes ……and listen….and yes…sing…!!
And for those who are mourning Whitney Houston’s sudden demise…this one is for you……………… Oh yeah ………get some tissues…!!
What has Georgie B and Whitney ‘Bad Bobby Brown’ Houston got to do with finance?
.. we should instil in our children the ‘foundations of finance’
So that they grow up not fearing figures, they will be good with numbers, they won’t be diddled or scammed out of their money, they know how to save, when to spend, how to accumulate, how to invest, when to buy, value money…add subtract and multiply..
Some time ago, I was really good with figures….I was able to go to a restaurant with a handful of people and when the bill came I could add up…’In my head’..the total bill…and get it right!!!
There were times when I found that the restaurateur accidently added a few extra bottles of wine to the bill……so these ‘accidently on purpose’ costs were speedily deducted and apologies followed when it was pointed out to them.
I found that this usually accidently happens when there is a LARGE crowd (20 plus) people out for dinner, usually splitting the bill and paying in CASH…
So….watch your bill next time you’re out in a crowd…..especially the bottles..!!
Nowadays, if you give me 5 numbers or more, I will be reaching for my calculator..!!
In the good ole days of ‘O Levels’….remember them?…we had to do maths without calculators. (Long division springs to mind). Then suddenly they introduced the use of calculators. Exams became longer and harder.
Transferring to ‘A Level’ maths was another mindfield but we had our trusted scientific calculators by our side never to leave me again..!!
My uncle used to test our ‘mental arithmetic’ each time he visited us.
What is ‘Mental Arithmetic’?
Without using a calculator or your fingers, do this in your head… in one go..
6 times 6, times by 3, divide by 2, add 7, subtract 2
Keep a mental picture of your answer and I will reveal it at the end of this article….btw, I got the answer right..!!
That is Mental Arithmetics.
Now, I became very good at this because my uncle incentivised us…(that’s me my brothers and my sisters). …with sweeties….once it was 10 bob (50p). I became his star and I eventually grew to love his visits…sweeties and money.!!
Today our kids are interested in Jack Wills, Hollister, Abercrombie and fitch i-phones, i-pads, i-everything, Nintendo wii, make up, BMX bikes, driving lessons, new cars, ballet, tap, UGG’s, Xbox, Play Stations , laptops…..without knowing the value of money….You with me??
They fail to realise that these things cost sweat and hard earned money…not to mention credit cards…..after tax…!!
….because their friends may have them, they want them too….to be part of the in crowd…we called this ‘Keeping Up With The Jones’……
Who has to fund their lavish young lifestyles?…….You..!!
………….and when they do get them…they are never satisfied..!!
This is what I hear sometimes………”I get no pocket money…I’m bored!!!”
Go upstairs in your bedroom, turn off the 48 inch flat screen TV, the DVD player, the i-pod, your laptop, put away the make-up, perfumes, false eye lases, ballet shoes, the wii, the Xbox, the guitar, the electric organ, ghd straightners, pick up those leather boots, leather handbags, bangles, body glitter, the new Jack Wills top I bought the other day, cancel the piano lesson, the horse riding lessons, the dance lessons, the guitar lessons, and read a good book..!!
They don’t know they’re born..!
However………..these words still come back to haunt me……
“I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside……..Give them a sense of pride to make it easier, let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be..
So……it is up to us…..that’s you and me…to
Teach them, Show them, Give them……..
Foundations of Finance
I believe the children are our future so much that I have come up with a new programme entitled ‘Junior Finance Programme – Foundations of Finance’ launching later this year. This is for juniors from aged 13 – 18.
They will be short and punchy workshops….3 hours in duration.
I have listed all the Principals of finance which I will teach them: including:
· Spend / Save
· Buy / Sell
· Bank / Cash
but if there are areas which you may wish me to cover, please email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
All your kids and friends kids are invited. With you accompanying them, you can learn together if you want. This workshop is intended to help them with the Foundations to overcome the ‘Fear of Finance’. This will help them in their adulthood. More on this to follow.
I have found that some of the top powerful people who are great with numbers, figures and business were the so called ‘School Drop Out’ …so why is this?
I cannot answer that question……..
However…Answer to the Mental Arithmetic question was 59. Did you get it right?
I believe… now THIS is what I’m talking about…get your tissues again!!
Visit our website at: www.fitnessindustryaccountants.com for more FREE resources and articles.
‘Like’ our page at: www.facebook.com/fitnessindustryaccountants
Andrew Crawford can be contacted on twitter @tax4fitness or email@example.com
What is your passion? By Tanith Lee
Are you passionate about your job? Do you love what you do? Truly? I believe if you are really passionate about your job then it doesn’t feel like a job.
I haven’t always thought that it was possible to think like that.
I’m fairly new in the industry (7 years). I remember nervously taking my ETM. I was so excited and full of passion for my classes. I was self-employed and taught many classes in the local gyms and clubs and it was
great. Then the passion started to go. It became a job and I started to feel disillusioned about the industry. I felt stuck; I didn’t know what else to do. I started up community classes that limped along. I didn’t have any
marketing or business skills. You don’t get taught that on ETM.
Nearly two years ago I knew something had to change. I wanted to make more of an impact on people’s life’s. Teaching classes wasn’t enough anymore. I was getting more and more interested in nutrition and did some studying. It
still wasn’t enough! Then I hit an early menopause and I wanted to make it as smoother ride as I could. I started researching menopause and hormones and I realised that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to help women
through the menopause by making changes to nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle choices.
I also realised that I wanted to teach other FitPros how to help their clients. I found my passion, I have found what I really want to do and it feels great! I have ditched loads of my other classes. I felt the fear and
done it anyway. I have condensed my business down to Fitness Pilates, Back to Life Health and Wellbeing Project and TLC Fitness – Embracing the menopause. I really feel focused and have got a vision of where I want to be
in the future!
To enjoy life and your career you need to find your passion. When you are passionate about what you do people will be drawn to you naturally. It becomes effortless. When you have passion you have enthusiasm which is very
attractive to clients. Find that thing that you love to do and do it!! Life is too short not to love every minute of it. It doesn’t matter what it is, be brave and stand out of the crowd. Tell your story, let people get to know
you and see the difference you will make.
Take ten minutes today to sit and think about what really drives you. What will make you jump out of bed in the morning ready to embrace another day?
Share your passion with the world, find your destiny.
Have an amazing week xx
Here’s a link to a menopause fact sheet to give to clients
Join my menopause group
for FitPro’s on Facebook
This is my Facebook group for anyone going through the menopause
. Please share with your clients
First Aid for Fit Pros by Cori Withell
Connect with friends and colleagues every day through meet ups, phone call, Skype, whatever. This business can be very lonely, especially when you are self
Make friends with local instructors. Work together, not against each other, you could be great for each others businesses.
Take time out for you every single day. Lunch with friends, cinema, manicure, walk in the woods, massage, meditation - whatever! You are just as important as
Stretch every day. We tell our clients to but do we stretch enough ourselves. We punish our bodies day in day out, start taking care of yours.
Remind yourself you are a human being and not a superhero, you can't have to, and don't have to do everything yourself.
Let your clients see that you are human. They don't always want to see a perfect image, sometimes they want to see someone who let's their hair down, has
a bad day, eats chocolate cake or gets annoyed at daft things, it helps them to connect with you.
If you are stressed, talk to someone.
Support yourself with positive people around you, let them know what your plans are so they can support you better. It is hard to support people if you don't
know what they are doing.
If you have an idea for a project and it feels right for you then go for it - the worst that can happen is it does't work. So what? Dust yourself down, have
a re-think and try again.
We work in a tough, potentially lonely and often bitchy industry. You are just as important as the next person so please don't forget to look after you first.
Health and happiness x
Have a wonderful week
Love Rachel xxx