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[ August 5, 2020 by Fitness Revolution 0 Comments ]

How to Harness the Power of Free, Local Media Coverage

We all spend time and effort on social media, websites and blogs to promote our businesses. But there’s another, traditional way to get free exposure to the masses in your area, and it’s often overlooked or dismissed.

That’s free media coverage on TV and radio and in newspapers. Yep, the old dinosaurs still have plenty of value for you – particularly now with so much huge, serious news happening everywhere.

And, you might not realize it, but newsrooms everywhere are understaffed and overworked. They want local, positive stories related to bigger events going on all around us – and businesses helping people stay healthy during a pandemic? Huge. They don’t have time to think about what would be a good idea. They need you to make it easy for them.

In other words: What you do is newsworthy, especially this year. Getting featured or quoted in local media can be highly effective in gaining brand exposure, presenting yourself as a community expert, and building connections.

What makes something newsworthy

The first step in getting the attention of reporters and editors is to come up with a story that fits their needs. They didn’t go to work each morning thinking about how they can promote you or fitness in general. They are probably not aware of what’s trending in fitness – or what you are doing to provide a safe, effective workout to help your community.

They want legitimate news, so make it easy for them to see newsworthy elements, such as:

  • Timeliness – Something just happened, is happening, or is about to happen
  • Novelty – a new, fresh angle
  • Human interest and emotion
  • First-best-longest-strongest
  • Impact – dollars raised, pounds lost, lives improved

For TV, add in visuals and think about how it looks. People exercising? Responsibly? Happily? GOLD. Examples today include:

  • How gyms are helping charities, healthcare workers, and other local businesses through these tough times
  • Outdoor exercise classes or group training
  • Helping “older” people with online training (This one has it all!)
  • If you’re allowed to welcome people into your location, what are you doing to ensure a clean, safe environment?
  • Gyms lending or giving equipment to members at home
  • Fitness professionals lobbying state and local leaders about Covid-19 restrictions, focusing on how you help people.

Next, you need to contact your local media, whether it’s a big-city newspaper, a free weekly, a radio host, or a TV reporter. Follow these tips.

  • Take the time to find the right reporter or editor to email with your pitch. Don’t just call and ask to talk to someone or send an email blindly. Some reporters “cover” local businesses; health and fitness; or “positive” community news. Look for them.
  • Point out what makes the story relevant right now or at a specific date in the future (an upcoming annual 10K, a local historic anniversary, etc.) 
  • Do not suck up and do not insult. No comments about “lamestream media,” “fake news” or, “I know you don’t like to report when good things happen…”
  • Be sure your email has your contact information – email, cell phone, land line, social media.

Even before you start pitching your story

Build relationships with local media people even if you don’t have something specific you want covered. Let them know who you are and what you’re all about, and suggest they keep you on file for when they need to interview a local trainer, businessperson, fitness expert, and so on.

  • Follow their social media accounts. “Like” or comment on their posts. But don’t be a stalker or too flattering.
  • Always be courteous, transparent and honest. Don’t oversell. Don’t engage in controversy about anything. It will only come back to haunt you.
  • Stress how you want to help people, and make clear the key messages you promote about health and fitness.

What you do matters. Sometimes, it’s also newsworthy. So, make the most of this potential to reach a huge audience with your message for free.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our Success Coaches to discuss possibilities in your market and other ways we can help you grow your business now and in the future.

Business
[ July 29, 2020 by Kelly Berry 0 Comments ]

Success Coaches Share Tips for Recasting Your Year-end Goals

We asked some of our Success Coaches two questions about how to set and adjust goals for the rest of 2020. Every day, they talk to independent gym owners across the country and share their combined decades of experience in guiding them to success. At this point in the year, it’s good to look back at how Covid-19 affected you — and how you can move beyond its enormous impact to finish strong.

Question 1: What adjustments should gym owners be making to their year-end goals?

Success Coach Asa Ivers:

First, really dive into your financial numbers to see how you’re trending against your projections, what’s realistic, and what needs to be revised. Second, for many gyms, this is an opportune time to tweak their business model, class sizes, times, etc. 

Talk about it with one of our Success Coaches – Schedule your free call now!

 

Success Coach Mike Allen:

We’re still in a time of uncertainty, so accept that things are somewhat unpredictable. That being said, you tend to hit what you aim at, so aim at what’s most important. Set goals knowing that you may need to make adjustments along the way. Balance the immediate needs of “putting out fires” with the long-term strategy of the business. 

 

Success Coach Craig Myers:

Reflect on your long-term vision as the first step. Don’t get caught up in the uncertainty of “how” you get there —  focus more on the “why.” Reconnect with the reasons you do what you do. It’s either going to affirm you’re still on the right course, despite a few more zig-zags than you would have imagined, or uncover important differences that may affect short-term decisions.

 

Success Coach Pamela MacElree:

Set metric goals to move you back to where you were when the pandemic started. It’s hard for most of us to accept that we might not end the year with the initial goals we set. Being a little forgiving of ourselves is important, since for the most part we had no control over it. Getting back on track and working toward growth is a reasonable way to address the rest of the year.  

 

Success Coach Madison Allen:

Don’t get caught up in outcomes or the metric goals that are behind pace or no longer feasible. The best type of goals for the rest of this year are process goals, the ones that are made up of action plan or strategy adherence that’s completely within your control. These are distinct from outcome or performance goals because the focus is on behaviors that influence the outcome.

 

Question 2: What reflection questions will smart business owners be asking themselves? 

Asa:

Do I have sufficient cash reserves to sustain a shutdown? Can my business model adapt to another one? In hindsight, is there anything I would have done differently? What opportunities do I have from this?

 

 

Mike:

What can I learn from other gyms in slightly different circumstances (lost more clients, reopened earlier, had to re-close etc.)? How’s the competitive landscape today? What resources or assets do I need? Am I focusing on what’s really most important? What direction can I get from my coach here? 

 

 

Craig:

What have we always done really well? What has always been a struggle, and why? What tools or systems are we missing? Where do we stand financially and what’s the trend? Am I leveraging my coach, my team, my network effectively?

 

 

Pamela:

How can I continue to grow my business outside of what I’m used to? How can I start to solve problems for my clients before they come to me with them? What have I learned in the last few months that showed my strengths and weaknesses – and how can I leverage the strengths while working on the weaknesses to grow as a leader?

 

Madison:

What can I learn from the past six months? What has changed in the landscape that will affect resetting my goals? Which process goal would have the biggest positive impact on the business if I made it my top priority?

 

 

Our Success Coaches are here to help you with this and everything else you need to make your gym a success. Set up a free consultation now.

Business
[ July 22, 2020 by Fitness Revolution 0 Comments ]

5 Questions with Success Coach Asa Ivers: COVID Challenges, Opportunities and Advice

Success Coach Asa Ivers joined Fitness Revolution in 2017 and has helped countless independent gym owners reach their goals. Asa graduated magna cum laude from Touro University in California with a business degree and a minor in marketing. She started in fitness as a trainer 15 years ago, then created and ran a successful gym. Asa loves applying her business knowledge and fitness passion to help gym owners succeed. We recently talked about coaching gym owners through this challenging time. 

Talk with one of our Success Coaches – Schedule your free call now

Q: What’s the No. 1 challenge that gym owners are facing right now?

A: We’ve been able to coach everybody over to virtual offers and keep their revenue streams. But limiting beliefs are the biggest challenge. I’ve had a lot of clients who felt, when this all started, that they couldn’t do a virtual option, for instance – and we help immediately with that. We know the best methods to implement and how to roll your clients. But then there’s the limiting belief that, “I’m not providing the same level of service, so I shouldn’t charge the same amount.” But in reality, most clients understand their hands are tied, so it’s the gym owner’s own self-limiting beliefs that can cause them to shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to maintaining that consistent revenue stream.

Q: How do you coach them out of that?

A: Basically by asking them  a series of questions to help them realize that it’s their own self-doubt that they are basing this on, and not what their clients are actually thinking. When they come to that realization on their own, then we move forward, full-speed ahead with maintaining the same revenue stream, the same cost for their services, and rolling their clients over into a virtual option. I also have them consider the flip side: If you discount your services now, then what happens when Covid is over? Well, then you’d have to raise prices on them – and they’d have an issue. More often than not, the gym owners are very happy that they did not discount their service.

Q: What’s the top opportunity available now?

A: A lot of times, the logistical pieces are so difficult for people to draw out. How do I go virtual? How do I provide this particular service? Do I provide the same programming? All the questions that come along with it can be overwhelming to businesses that don’t have the support system like we provide at Fitness Revolution. We’re able to help right away. We stay aware of what’s happening among the different states, and I coach individual businesses – there’s no plug-and-play, “one size fits all” template.

Q: What’s your advice about freezes, suspensions, and cancellations?

A: You need a policy in place outlining what constitutes a freeze, what the parameters are … Is there a financial situation, a job loss due to Covid? A freeze policy isn’t open ended. It outlines the circumstances in writing. Speaking of policies, you need to have a plan in case an employee or member tests positive or was potentially exposed. I help gym owners draft an email that says everything they’re doing, following or exceeding state mandates, etc. You want to have it ready if that situation unfolds – and be ready to roll clients back into virtual if that’s needed. 

Q: This is a smart time to stop all my marketing, right?

A: No, absolutely not. Do not stop your marketing. A lot of people have been thinking, “I’ll just pause marketing because I’m going to focus on servicing the clients that I have.” No, don’t stop. There’s a lot of businesses that are stopping to save some money. Maintain your virtual options and market to it. Make sure you clients, prospects and community stay informed about what you’re doing.

Asa is just one of our awesome Success Coaches here to help get you where you want to go. Set up a free call now with one of them to learn what we can do for you right from the jump.

Business
[ July 15, 2020 by Fitness Revolution 0 Comments ]

How to Prepare for Possibly Reclosing Your Gym

No one wants to think about having to close your gym again. And we don’t want to be alarmists here.

But the sad truth is, it might come to that point. We’ve already seen at least two states – California and Arizona – order gyms closed again after a surge of coronavirus cases. With numbers also rising elsewhere, and with the wild ride we’ve all been on already, we believe it’s best to be prepared – or, at least, not caught by surprise.

So, let’s talk about how to get ready in case it happens in your state, too. 

 

Talk about it with one of our Success Coaches – Schedule your free call now

 

First: Don’t Think We’re in the Clear Yet

Having the right mindset might be the most important thing right now. That means acknowledging that you might have to close your gym again – and then developing a plan to have on hand just in case.

Hopefully, you won’t need it. And you can always change it. But the gravest mistake would be to forget about it and think it’s all in the past.

What To Consider Now

The good news is, we’ve been through this before, so we know more about what to expect. That doesn’t mean you can just automatically repeat what you did before and assume everything will be OK. 

Here are some things to be thinking about.

  • Keep Marketing. No matter what. Your clients and prospects need to know if you’re still open, what your hours are, how to register for online training, etc. It’s up to you to keep telling them – and there’s nothing unethical or troubling about promoting your services. Remember that people need you now more than ever.
  • Keep Your Virtual Options. You might have maintained online training throughout the crisis, even if you were already allowed to reopen. (And we know many of you have NOT been allowed to reopen yet.) If you discontinued your virtual offerings, then get them fired back up immediately. Don’t wait for the bad news to come. You want to be ready to continue operations smoothly, without having to start anything over again during crunch time.
  • Remember Your Sales Calls. Whether you’re fully open, online only, or offering hybrid solutions, you still have to make your sales calls to bring people into the business as members. It’s a fantasy to think we can rely on our online sales copy to close the deal. 
  • What You Know Already. You know from before how to maneuver in a challenging situation. So, apply that hard-won wisdom now before your hand is forced. You know what your income and expenses look like ideally and what they need to be under duress. You know how to manage your time and your team. You know how to consult with your landlord, tax adviser, and accountant.
  • Some New Advantages. The market is thinner now, since some gyms have had to close. You should be using that to your advantage anyway – and recognize the bigger opportunity for you now to bring gym-less folks into your fold. Outdoor training might be an option for some of your members now, so consider the possibilities. What other circumstances are different now that you can shape into opportunities?
  • Rely on the Basics. Keep the health and safety of your team and clients at the top of your priorities – and make sure everyone knows it. A clean gym will continue to be a powerful selling point. Focus on delivering the best experience possible; survival will come through customer service. Manage your expenses.

Again, we don’t want to alarm you here. But make no mistake: You need to stay aware of what’s happening in your state and industry so you can always be prepared. This is an ongoing challenge – and we are here to help with countless resources to get you through it. Set up a free call now with one of our Success Coaches to get your mindset right and your plan down on paper.

Marketing
[ July 1, 2020 by Fitness Revolution 0 Comments ]

Differentiate Your Gym: Standing Out in the New Normal

The fitness marketplace is crowded with competitors – and today, of course, it’s also packed with uncertainty and profound changes. So, differentiating your gym is crucial and a fundamental part of your marketing strategy.

Meaningful differentiation showcases your gym’s unique strengths and it shows your value in a way that separates you from competitors. It makes it possible to win business by competing on your own terms without competing on price.

 Schedule a free consultation with one of our Success Coaches now

You give up your market share when you don’t have differentiators, don’t use them, don’t test or revisit them – or simply have weak differentiators, like “We deliver results” (because everyone can say that). Those are among the most common mistakes to avoid. Without strategic differentiators, you’re not telling prospects why they should choose you to solve their problem. You’re just hoping they figure it out on their own.

5 Factors in the Solution

1. Discover. Try to establish three proposed differentiators. Start by asking five ideal clients why they chose you initially. Then consider what problem that solves for your prospects. What are your competitors saying? Will this play a role in the prospects’ buying decision?

2. Dissect. Score your potential differentiators on a scale of 1 (weakest) to 5 (strongest) based on three factors: the benefit to the prospect; the rarity in your marketplace; how hard would it be for someone else to say and prove the same thing? 

3. Develop. Rank your potential differentiators from strongest to weakest. Add up the total across all three categories for all three differentiators, and list them highest to lowest. The one with the score closest to 15 is probably your strongest. Then write a first draft answering: what is the differentiator (its title); why it matters to prospects; how you accomplish this (its description).

4. Document. Polish your differentiators so they’re ready to go. Write a headline – three to five words describing each. Then write a description – a short, credible statement that describes the why and how you listed at the end of Step 3. 

Here’s a well-known example from Planet Fitness.

Headline: Judgment Free Zone

Description: We seek to provide a comfortable, safe and energetic environment where everyone feels safe and accepted.

5. Differentiate. Use, test and refine your differentiators – always, for as long as you’re in business. Don’t ever assume you’re “done” with this. Start by considering where you will use the differentiator? On your website, social media, etc. Then keep testing and refining so your differentiators remain effective no matter what happens (like, oh, maybe a global pandemic). 

 

How does all this change in the “new normal” and how much do you keep of what you had before? What still applies? What new opportunities are presenting themselves?

For example, the idea of safety is at the top of everyone’s minds. You can go a step further by developing it into a differentiator. What safety procedures have you developed? Have you branded your cleaning process? Are you using CDC and WHO guidelines to your advantage?

There’s more to talk about – like how to make your online offerings stand out, and why you should never rely on price as a differentiator.

So, schedule a time to talk, for free, with one of our Success Coaches. We can discuss specifics to build your differentiators and we’ll help you leverage them across your marketing efforts and positioning.

For Business OwnersStage 3Videos
[ February 21, 2019 by Fitness Revolution 0 Comments ]

Streamline Your Fitness Business

We are going to provide a few tips to help you develop better fitness business systems.

For Business OwnersStage 4Videos
[ February 14, 2019 by Fitness Revolution 0 Comments ]

How To Get Results Through Others In Your Fitness Business

If you don’t learn how to build a team and get results through them you will always be stuck with a JOB not a business.

For Business OwnersStage 4Videos
[ February 7, 2019 by Fitness Revolution 0 Comments ]

The Difference Between Working In Vs Working On Your Business

It’s easy to get stuck spending all your time working in your business and never find time to work on your fitness business. Here are some quick tips to help you accelerate your growth.

ArticlesFor Business OwnersStage 2
[ January 30, 2018 by Fitness Revolution 0 Comments ]

Optimize Your Marketing Plan To Get More Leads

Is your marketing plan bringing your fitness business enough new leads and clients to hit your goals?

If you’re like most fitness pros the answer is “NO!”  But, it’s not your fault.  You’ve probably never been taught how to market effectively and if you’re looking for help many “gurus” will give you bad advice.

Hate to break it to you, but there’s no single marketing idea, FB ad or fancy funnel that will drastically transform your business.   It’s easy to buy into the snake oil that’s being sold to most struggling fitness businesses out there trying to get more clients.   You want to believe that you can put a FB ad and instantly get more clients.

And, yes, there are a few success stories out there of business owners who hit it out of the park on their first try.  They bring in dozens of new clients almost instantly.  But, for the majority that plan won’t work.  Plus, its dangerous to put all your success and the growth of your business on just one idea.  The second something changes (like Facebook’s algorithm or rules) you’re in serious trouble.

Instead, let’s take a look at your marketing plan to discover opportunities for improvement.  Sound good?

What’s your marketing strategy?

Ever feel like your marketing just isn’t hitting the target?  It’s like you’re talking to no one.  Or worse, bringing in the wrong type of leads.

If that’s the case, start with doing a quick audit of your strategy.

The following is a good place to start:

  • A marketable Core Offer
  • Perfect Prospect Profiles or Ideal Client Profile
  • Positioning Statement
  • Differentiators

If you’re having trouble makeing profits with your current offerings or your prospects are choosing the wrong program for themselves it’s time to look at your Core Offer.  The Core Offer must be the ONE THING you are best at doing, fit the needs of your Ideal Client and be the economic driver for your business.

Don’t make the mistake of having too many offerings and not focusing on building one true Core Offer.  You want this to be the thing that you are known for in your community.  It can be 1-1 training, boot camps, large group training, small group training or semi private training, but you need to pick one and master it.

Next, it’s time to dig into your Ideal Client Profile.  This allows you to focus your marketing on a very specific person (one you’ve made up) and hone in on their pains, challenges, goals and values.  Being able to get inside the head and understand the emotions of your Ideal Client will help you steer your marketing and craft your message.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is creating a profile that describes a client after they have already joined your program.  You want to think about an Ideal Client and what they need when they are searching for a solution to their problems, hence the term Perfect Prospect.

What makes you different?

Most business owners can’t really answer that question.  They will spew out a list of features or bland, boring statements that just about every trainer would use in their marketing.   If your differentiators can be easily replicated or knocked off they put you at a big risk.

A great example is having certain equipment in your gym like MyZone or Inbody.   That certianly helps you and is likely a great thing for your clients but the trainer down the street can easily go buy those things and instantly take away your differentiation.

Instead, a differentiator would be that you use the latest technology to better results for your clients in less time.

Now you can filter decisions like investing in new technology or equipment for your gym to help you stay ahead of the competition.  You’ll have to stay on top of the new products, but for the right type of client this could be a huge differentiator.

Consider what makes you different.  Do you have an advanced degree, deliver results in a unique way, have statistics that help you stand out?

Being able to clearly communicate why what you do is different, in a way that matters to your prospects, is the ultimate marketing weapon.

Once you know who your marketing is aimed at, what you are marketing and how you are different craft up a quick positioning statment that clearly communicates it to your audience.   Test it out on your clients, friends, and people in your network to see if it resonates with them.  Ask them how they would describe what you do and what makes you different to get a good sense of the language and terms to use in your marketing.

What’s Your Marketing Plan?

You should apply the same diligent planning and preparation for your marketing activies as you do when preparing a client’s training program.  This is the driver for growth in your business.

A great marketing plan uses your marketing strategy to help guide what marketing you will do, the message you’ll communicate and the places you will need to market your programs.

Your marketing plan should leverage 3 marketing channels:

  • Internal
  • Offline
  • Online

This ensures you have a diverse marketing plan and reduces your risk if something happens to one of the channels.  Your message will spread much faster and reach more people when you take this approach.

Focusing on the Triple A Marketing Method to find your marketing activities and then adding them to your marketing calendar completes your plan.

Once you know what you are doing for your marketing it’s all about implementation!

Where Do Your Leads Come From?

Once you’ve mastered the basics with a great strategy and plan it’s time to dig in a bit deeper.  Do you know where most of your leads are coming from and which lead channel is producing the highest conversion rates?

This all starts with tracking your leads.  You need to one place to compile your data, keep track of your lead follow up and evaluate your marketing performance.  Without a high powered, expensive CRM or software the best way to do this is by using a spreadsheet.

Using a Lead Tracker you’ll be able to get detailed insight into your marketing and learn where to invest more of your time, energy and money to produce the results you want…

GET MORE CLIENTS!

This is only effective with discipline.  You must track every lead that comes your way and update your Lead Tracker frequently.  This ensures your data is accurate and clean.  Once you start inputting your leads into your Lead Tracker you’ll assign them a lead channel and keep track of them as they go through your follow up processes.

Now you’ll have a clear look at your bottlenecks in the marketing or sales process as well as best performing lead channels.

Implementing high level, but simple, activities like Lead Tracking into your business is what will eventually allow you to grow and scale quickly.  Without it you’re simply guessing!

The Marketing Game Never Ends

You’ll never perfect your marketing.  It’s a constantly evolving skill that you will need to develop and hone as you become a High Performing Business Owner.  You’ll improve your messaging, targeting, copywriting, and conversions as you grow.

Marketing is like oxygen for your business.  Without it you can’t survive long!

If you need a bit of help to improve your marketing make sure to grab our FREE Marketing Calendar and BONUS Video Training now!