How To Create An Instagram IGTV Marketing Strategy For Your Health Club

reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

By: ABC Financial

Instagram is exploding in popularity as a platform for your members and for health club marketers. Half of over 1 billion Instagram users are scrolling through their feeds every day. 80% of those users follow businesses. Here are some even more interesting stats which should help you strongly consider sharing content and advertising on the Instagram platform. The latest updates and what to expect in the near future from Instagram are outlined here as well.

One of the biggest shifts for Instagram last year was IGTV (Instagram TV) which really changed the Instagram platform. This addition to the Instagram app transformed Instagram from just sharing photos to a more advanced video platform. Facebook is clearly trying to compete more with YouTube via IGTV. This was a huge transition, and health club marketers are still trying to figure out what it means and how to use it best.

What Is IGTV

Simply put IGTV is a long-form vertical video channel that is accessible from Instagram and as a standalone app. It came out in June of 2018. IGTV videos are designed to be longer than Instagram Stories. Regular users can make videos up to 10 minutes long and verified users can make videos up to an hour long.

While mentioning the merits of IGTV you might be wondering how it and Instagram Live are different. While on the surface they seem similar they are not: like regular TV, IGTV has channels that you can tune into. These channels are connected to specific Instagram accounts and can be accessed from the IGTV app at any time. Essentially, like YouTube, IGTV is a television like video platform where video content can be kept for future reference.

Many health clubs have been slow to adopt IGTV as a video content and marketing platform for a lot of reasons; the main one being the perceived high cost and time investment required to produce long-form social videos. However, in early 2019 Instagram allowed content creators to share one-minute previews of their channels in their Instagram feeds. This greatly improved discoverability. Now, health clubs have a chance to catch their followers’ attention without requiring them to leave the Instagram app and earn views and engagement as a result. Instagram’s algorithm is also favoring these IGTV previews on Instagram to get users to adopt the platform. That means if you participate in IGTV and share previews your organic reach should be higher than ordinary content. So if you are using Instagram for your health club marketing you should really consider IGTV.

Setting Up Your IGTV Account For Your Health Club

If you haven’t tried to leverage IGTV you first need to setup an IGTV channel. Your channel will have the same privacy settings and bio as your Instagram account. To understand exactly how to setup your IGTV account read this.

What A Health Club IGTV Content Plan Should Be

What should you be posting on IGTV? Like any form of marketing, you should refer to your health club content calendar to identify what content is relevant. Based on the time of year, what is going on at your club, in your community, promotions, events, and more should form the basis of the types of content you might look to post on IGTV. Some additional ideas are shared below.

If you already have video content on Youtube or elsewhere there are tools you can use to post that content in the proper format on IGTV. Here are the details and dimensions to keep in mind when creating the video from your phone or other video recording devices for IGTV.

The ideal combination of IGTV content should be around 80% branding and valuable information for prospects and members with the remaining 20% at most being promotional. You want to deliver value not just sell and promote. Here are some ideas on IGTV content for you to create for your health club marketing efforts.

Share Valuable Tips With Your Prospects And Members With IGTV

You can get started with shorter videos on your IGTV channel and monitor engagement. Short, two-minute videos are usually the length most people will watch. Offer quick tip videos that engage your audience and deliver valuable information. Users are far more likely to watch something that gives them something in return. Share workout tips, weight loss plans, community news, or nutritional advice with your own branded twist.

Teach Club Members And Prospects Something New Using IGTV

Sometimes people are willing to watch for longer periods of time if ideas or challenges are broken down and taught to them. Create longer videos from 5–10 minutes that teach your audience something new about your product or industry or about a problem you can help them solve. Don’t be afraid to get personal. Perhaps you show people how your latest equipment or program is done or used. Your audience is looking for information but also looking for a connection.

Share Your Health Club’s Unique Culture On IGTV

IGTV video allows you to pre-record and edit videos to be clean, which is perfect for honing out the most useful content for your audience. If you’re having a special event at your club or outreach in your community you can record the event for however long you need to and put together clips that energize and appeal to the community. Showing who you and your brand are adds to your brand personality and lets your audience know that you’re doing more than selling them.

Interview Your Staff On IGTV

Your health club has some incredible fitness experts who have an insight or story your audience would love to know. Personal stories can have a big impact on your viewers and help them feel more connected to your content. Remember, your brand is more than just what you provide or sell. It’s a relationship with your target market. There has to be an emotional thread tied to your content that continues to pull your loyal customers toward you.

Cross Promote Your IGTV Content

You should really cross-promote your IGTV video. Whenever you start posting to a new channel, it’s best practice to inform your followers on other channels what you’re up to, in case they want to follow you there too. This is really true for IGTV, as some people will have to download a new app to view your content. IGTV offers a few different cross-promotion options:

  • You can preview and link to an IGTV video from your Instagram Stories if you’re a verified user.
  • You should share one-minute previews of your IGTV videos to your Instagram feed and profile.
  • You should share IGTV videos to a connected Facebook page.
  • In addition to Instagram, consider including callouts to your IGTV channel from your other accounts like twitter, and your email newsletter.

Make sure you optimize your video for silent viewing because most of what people watch have the sound muted. So make sure your video either makes sense without sound or has easily visible subtitles.

Include the most important info up front

People scroll through their feeds quickly. You only have a small window of time to grab their attention — up to a minute if you’re lucky, but 15 seconds is probably a more realistic target.

Make sure your IGTV video hooks your viewers as soon as possible. Don’t let their attention slip or give them a reason to swipe through to the next thing.

Marketing your gym is really important to your business success particularly with increasing competition in the marketplace. Be it inbound marketing, content marketing through IGTV and other platforms or email marketing you need a content strategy for each significant platform which is garnering the attention of your prospects and members. IGTV is no exception.

To learn more about ABC Financial’s Preferred Vendor Partners that specialize in marketing and helping your health club adopt IGTV and other content platforms for marketing and community building purposes visit our website here.

About ABC Financial Services

We are the nation’s leading software and payment processing provider for health clubs, gyms, and fitness facilities of all kinds. Our experience and insights continue to support the growth of leading fitness industry operators. Our seamless integrations and relationships with the world’s most advanced technology solution partners enhance member experience and improve retention and profitability. Your fitness business deserves a proven reliable technology and billing solutions provider. Call us at 800–551–9733 or visit our website www.abcfinancial.com to learn more. Subscribe to our newsletter here (link) or Contact us today to learn more.

An Outsourced CEO, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at:www.fmconsulting.net orwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

Fitness Center Marketing Concepts That Go Beyond Fliers and Social Media

When it comes to fitness center marketing, it might seem like there isn’t a lot of variety. Social media, radio and TV commercials, and fliers are all fairly standard modes of marketing in this industry, so how can you market your fitness club in a way that stands out from the competition? Here are a few ideas that are sure to catch the attention of potential clients and get them in your doors:

Corporate memberships

Corporations are recognizing the benefit of having healthy employees, and many insurance companies are cutting companies a break on their premiums when they offer gym memberships to their employees. Use this information to solicit corporate memberships from nearby companies. Offer a discounted group rate, and make sure to tailor group fitness classes at convenient times for companies, such as before work, lunchtime, and early evening so that employees can workout together.

Make local connections

Work with neighboring businesses to help each other out. For instance, talk to a local spa or health food store and offer to advertise for them if they return the favor. You can each pass out coupons for each other, thereby getting your name out to a larger audience at the same time that you boost the local economy.

Apartments

Apartment complexes are another avenue to reach out to, particularly ones that don’t have their own in-house facility. Reach out to local apartment complexes and offer a discount rate for residents. This works especially well if your fitness center is located walking distance or just a short drive away from an apartment complex or two. (And if you’re just starting up, this is something to consider when you’re figuring out your location).

When it comes to fitness center marketing, the key is to think big. Every membership counts, and if you can get a large amount of memberships from corporations, apartment residents, and by connecting with other local businesses, you are more likely to have a steady stream of members. For more ideas on marketing or to find out how Fitness Management & Consulting can help you market your fitness center, contact us.

How To Use Social Media To Find New Leads For Your Gym

What is Social Prospecting?

As a gym owner, you already understand the importance of social media as part of your sales strategy. With more than one billion monthly active users on Facebook, and over 230 million monthly active users on Twitter, smart gym owners know there’s more potential than ever to use social platforms to get their name out there, showcase their expertise, and pique curiosity. Hey, it’s your job to make people aware of what your gym can offer, right?

Right. So that’s why smart gym owners practice social prospecting – the art of scouring the social web, identifying potential prospects for your gym, and guiding them through the buyer journey.

About This Information Sheet

This social prospecting information sheet will teach you the fundamentals of how to listen to social media conversations in order to generate leads for your gym. It’s about engaging people that may or may not know what your gym can do for them.

We’ve identified the quickest way to find potential prospects on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. We hope you can use the worksheets to help you get started with social prospecting.

Every information sheet includes:

• Short preparatory work to make the actual prospecting easy
• Visual instructions on how and where to find prospects
• Pro tips that will help you get the best results
• Prescriptions (Sales Rx) for success
• Take-home exercises for follow-up prospecting

Getting Started

To get started with any one of these worksheets, you’ll need:

• A social profile for that network
• Keyword phrases that people use to find you on search
• Organic content related to those keyword phrases

Twitter

(1) Prep:
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
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Pro tip: Remember, shorter keyword phrases work better for Twitter.

Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
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(2) Get Started:

Head on over to Twitter and type in your keywords and hashtags using any combination you would like.

Pro tip: Mix and match searching your keyword phrases with a hashtag and without a hashtag for the most diverse results.

Please Note: Twitter has a couple options to sort your search results (see below). It automatically shows you “Top” results. If you’d like to see more results, click “All” at the top of your search. Or, just to the left of your search results, you can click “People” to only see other profiles, not tweets,that match your search.

Notes:
Based on their profiles, identify five Twitter users that could be potential leads for your business. Then follow them!
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(3) Take Action:

Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Retweeting some of the content they’ve shared on Twitter, especially if what they shared is relevant to your industry (remember, these will appear to your followers)
• Clicking “Favorite” for relevant tweets to your industry or tweets you appreciate for being interesting or funny (these will not appear to your followers)
• Responding to any questions they may have tweeted to establish thought leadership

Sales :

Create a Twitter list of all the potential prospects you’ve identified to make checking in on them easy for you. Make sure to name your list something that is relevant to your industry. (You do this from your own profile page.)

Please Note: Twitter lists can be public or private. If you make a public list, name it something you don’t mind others seeing (so do NOT name a public list “My Prospects” for instance – name it, “[Your Industry] Leaders” or something equally complimentary.) When you add someone to a public list, they get an alert the same way they get alerts for retweets, favorites, and @-mentions. (If you’d rather create a private list, feel free to name it whatever is best for your Twitter usage.)

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 20 minutes a week:
– Repeating this exercise and adding more prospects to your list (5 mins)
– Retweeting relevant content for your industry from this Twitter list (5 mins)
– Favoriting tweets from potential prospects from this Twitter list (5 mins)
– Engaging with potential prospects by posing or answering questions from your Twitter list to establish thought leadership (5 mins)

LinkedIn

(1) Prep
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
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2.
3.

Pro tip: Remember, more business-focused keywords are favored on LinkedIn.

Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
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2.
3.

(2) Get Started:
Sign into LinkedIn, and to the left of the top search bar, select “Groups” from the drop-down icon menu, which will search all LinkedIn groups.

Pro tip: You can narrow your search results in the menu on the left by choosing what your relationship is to members of the groups, for instance if you want a category of “Open” or “Members only,” or if you want search results for groups that are in one or multiple Languages.

Notes:
Based on the group’s description (and a quick scan), identify five LinkedIn Groups that could have potential prospects for your business and join them.
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Don’t forget: Some groups are private, so you may need to wait until you are accepted into the group to complete the worksheet.

(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Joining in on conversations in the group where you can add value with your content
• “Liking” content that others are sharing in the group
• Sharing your own content and posing your own questions to the group

Sales :
When you find a particular post within the group you want to monitor, you can choose to “Follow Discussion” so you’ll be updated when content for that post is added.

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 20 minutes a week:
– Reviewing the content in the groups you’ve joined (5 mins)
– Commenting and adding value to posts from others in the group (5 mins)
– Evaluating those you engage with the most to see if a connection is a good fit (5 mins)
– Share one piece of organic content to the groups you’ve joined (5 mins)

Facebook

(1) Prep:
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
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3.

Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
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Write down 3 long-tail search queries that are created from those keywords.
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Definition: Long-tail keywords are search queries composed of 3 or more words that are more specific than the keyword alone.
Example: “HubSpot” (not long-tail) vs. “inbound marketing software” (long-tail)

(2) Get Started:
Sign into Facebook and type your long-tail search queries into Graph Search and see what comes up.

Pro tip: If you’re not familiar with Graph Search, spend a few minutes and take the tour. Worth it! You can find that tour here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch

Notes:
Identify three pages could potentially have leads for you and “Like” them.
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Identify three groups could you join that prospects could potentially be in & join them.
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(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Joining in on conversations on pages and groups where you can add value with content
• “Liking” relevant content on pages that is relevant to your industry
• Asking questions on pages and groups to engage others

Sales :
If possible, subscribe to the pages’ or the groups’ RSS feed (if enabled) so you don’t miss any relevant content.

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 20 minutes a week:
– Scanning the pages you’ve “liked” for any opportunity to join the conversation (5 mins)
– Searching the groups you’ve joined for opportunities to offer help or content (5 mins)
– Engaging with people from the groups or pages directly on their profiles (if possible) (5 mins)
– Share one piece of organic content to the groups or pages you’ve joined (5 mins)

Pinterest

(1) Prep:
Write down the top three keyword phrases (with a hashtag) that people use to find you on search.
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(2) Get Started:
Go to Pinterest search and type in the keyword phrases with hashtags (and try without hashtags, too).

Pro tip: Use the left-hand menu of the Pinterest search bar to drill down into specific industries that could be a good fit for you.

Notes:
Based on Pins found, identify five pinners (businesses or people) that could be potential prospects and follow their boards.
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(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Scanning your new dashboard filled with the boards you follow for any relevant content
• Re-pinning any content from prospects that are useful to your followers
• Adding value through comments to pins by your prospects

Sales :
Sign up for PinAlerts to see what’s being pinned to Pinterest from your website by potential prospects. You can learn more here: https://pinalerts.com/index/login

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 15 minutes a week:
– Scanning the boards you follow to see any new pins (5 mins)
– Re-pinning any relevant content that your prospects are posting (5 mins)
– Evaluating anyone as a prospect who has pinned something from your website (5 mins)

Google+

(1) Prep
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
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2.
3.

Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
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(2) Get Started:
Head on over to your Google+ account and search your keyword phrases.

Pro tip: Get context for your search results by toggling between All, Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following.

Notes:
Identify three people and pages that could potentially have leads for you and “follow” them.
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Identify three communities that could potentially have leads for you and “join” them.
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(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Digging into the pages and people you’ve followed and adding value when possible through comments
• Liking (“+1”) any content that’s relevant to you and your business
• Identify regular contributors in your communities and engage with them through answering questions or providing helpful content

Sales :
Save all your Google+ searches for easy access later. (Just bookmark or save the URLs of your searches.)

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 30 minutes a week:
– Scanning Google+ posts and commenting on one relevant piece content (15 mins)
– Work on building relationships with regular contributors in communities by adding thought leadership to content they’ve shared (15 mins)

How to Spot a Potential Star Health Club Salesperson

After having interviewed thousands of potential salespeople over the years on behalf of client clubs…and after having hired and helped to supervise many of them…and after having trained them and worked beside them, I have found there are certain qualities that every star health club salesperson possesses.

One of the secrets is…don’t be tricked by what they know relative to fitness or the health club industry, and don’t be blinded by how they look. Instead, concentrate on who they are. Here you go:

1. Will they do the right thing when no one is watching? Do they have integrity?

Members and guests appreciate and want to deal with honest people. Fast talkers will come and go. Hard closers will get some sales, but will create some ill will… experts in fitness will help us understand, but the thing that draws us to do business with a person, more than anything else, is that person’s integrity. We know that we will be dealt with fairly and honestly.

2. Do they have a high energy level? Are they a self starter? What kind of work ethic do they have?

Whether we like it or not, it is still true, to a large degree, sales, in the health club business, is a numbers game. Every health club sales person must talk to a certain number of people in order to sell one.

So, the element of volume is very important to a successful health club sales person. Given two salespeople of equal skills, experience, intelligence, product knowledge, etc., the one who works the hardest will be more successful.

There is no substitute for hard work. Sometimes, the difference between one sales person being successful and another being unsuccessful comes down to quantity of sales efforts.

3. Are they coachable? Do they have the ability to learn?

I’m not talking about the kind of knowledge that you get in school. For the successful health club salesperson, the ability to learn means the ability to evaluate a situation, and then to modify or make adjustments in the way they do things as a result. Can they think quickly on their feet?

In today’s health club environment, there are a number of areas in which a good salesperson must continually be inquiring, learning, and changing their behavior.

The first of these…are their personal sales skills. Health Club sales is an area of endeavor where a person is never as good as they could be. There is always some skill that can be learned or improved upon. The successful health club salesperson never considers themselves to have arrived, but is constantly looking for ways to refine and improve their sales skills. It’s a continuous learning process.

The health club salesperson must learn how to change their behavior to meet the needs, drives, and personalities of the club guests and members. The successful health club salesperson is a chameleon. They change their behavior and, to some extent, their personality, to meet the ways in which different guests and members need for them to behave.

4. Do they have the ability to build positive relationships? Do they have a winning attitude?

The successful health club salesperson is the individual who can quickly build trusting relationships with all sorts of people in the community and inside the club. That requires empathy, the ability to listen, perceptiveness, and the ability to mold themselves into the kind of person the prospect and club member needs.

Those are relationship-building skills. And the most successful health club salespeople are relationship builders.

5. Do they have a self-image of success? Do they see themselves capturing every sale?

People tend to live up to their image of themselves. We all understand that.

Every one of us can think of people in our own lives who have lots of ability and potential, but who never live up to that potential because of their poor self-image.

Somewhere, they developed a poor self-image, and began to think of themselves as incompetent, unable, or unworthy.

6. Do they really want to be in sales? What is their personal motivation?

The best health club salespeople all have within them a drive to excel, to be the best. They have a desire to persuade others.

They have a desire… to get you to see their way of thinking.

It’s that internal motivation that drives all the other qualities of the superstar salesperson. And that drive to succeed is far more powerful than any of the other qualities. Given a strong internal motivation, sooner or later the health club salesperson that is driven to success will succeed. It’s only a matter of time.

Now, add that internal drive, with an ability to learn, an image of success and achievement, a high energy level, personal integrity, and add the ability to create strong business relationships, and you have the ingredients of a superstar health club salesperson.

And should you find a salesperson like this, get ready, because they will make your health club the most interesting it has been in a long time…and, oh by the way, profitable.

Now, go find that health club superstar.

Death of a Salesperson

The new health club salesperson was ambitious and eager to learn all he could about the health club business and the technique of selling in the club industry. However, despite all of his efforts, new membership sales were few and far between. Sales effectiveness eluded him. Finally, after many futile months of working, coaching, prodding and guiding, his club manager confronted him with the bad news, “I don’t think you are cut out to be a health club salesperson,” the manager said.

The salesperson responded, “That’s just not true. I’m selling all right. It’s just that our membership prices are too high. People need to think about buying a membership. It’s important that they talk to their spouse. I’m not getting any walk-ins, and these prospects aren’t buying.”

It sounds childish and absurd, but there are health club salespeople out there who would do anything — or blame anyone — to avoid personal responsibility.

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.” These words should be permanently engraved on every salesperson in every health club across the country. “If it is to be, it’s up to me” is the attitude that epitomizes the most professional health club salespeople I have ever met.

It’s that attitude that shows up when a sales rep takes personal responsibility for everything that happens in his or her club. The real health club professional immediately acknowledges and deals with every adversity that comes his or her way.

So, what is it that causes good health club salespeople to struggle or even fail? What causes the “death of a salesperson?” Here are six thoughts:

1. Prejudging. Thinking we know what the outcome will be before we even start is a huge problem. When we take a club guest, when we pick up the phone or do any outside prospecting, we can’t cut corners assuming that we know how things will turn out. Whether you think you can — or think you can’t — you’ll always be right.

2. Believing in “be-backs.” I was speaking with a chiropractor friend of mine recently. He had retained the services of a consulting firm to help his business. I asked him was what the No. 1 thing that he has learned from his consultant. He paused and then said, “If I don’t get them committed to being a patient when they first walk in my clinic, I’ll likely never get them.” Here’s what you want to remember when your prospect has walked in your door: Their enthusiasm is at its peak. If they leave without getting started, their enthusiasm has nowhere to go but down.

3. Not following a proven system. Too many health club salespeople will cut corners or determine that certain parts of a script are not necessary. By following a proven system, you will get results, be able to take specific action when you’re slumping, and you’ll have something you can use to train and teach others.

4. Not asking for the sale. The key here is decent boldness. If you want something, you must ask. Don’t become confused and think you’re asking when you’re not. Such weak phrases as, “How does this sound,” “What do you think” or “Do you have any questions?” will not qualify as asking for the sale with decent boldness.

5. Failure to plan. If you want to stay in control of your sales career, you have to plan. Otherwise you’ll find yourself the victim of crisis management and have to react to your particular set of circumstances. Be proactive and set your own course.

6. Be honest with yourself. Take a look again at the previous five tips. Were you really honest with yourself? It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary.

Can you control every possible problem in the sales department before it occurs? Of course not. Can you be responsible for every problem that occurs in your membership sales department? You don’t have a choice.

I remember many years ago listening to a health club sales manager talking to a salesperson about a raise. He said, “Your raise will become effective when you are.” Being a salesperson in a health club is like your own personal business, and if it is to grow, it is up to you and no one else.

How to Succeed in the Health Club Business

Will your gym business thrive, or will it join others that have faltered along the way? Here are some basic rules to make sure your gym business grows and prospers:

1. Find a Niche. For independent gyms, it is best to find a niche. A small gym with limited resources can efficiently serve niche markets. This entails sticking to what you do best, and becoming an expert at it. Realize that you can’t be all things to all people.

2. Be a small gym, yet think like a big gym. The most common question of small gym start-ups is “How can I compete with the bigger competition?“  Small gyms have inherent advantages over the big clubs, including flexibility, ability to respond quickly, able to provide a more personalized member service. Make sure that your gym takes maximum advantage of those areas that represent the strengths of small clubs.

3. Differentiate your gym services. Present the benefits of your products and services to your members, highlighting the unique solutions it offers to their problems. Avoid doing what everyone else is doing.  Study your competition, and package your fitness services distinctly.

4. First impression counts. Strive for accuracy and quality the first time around. Many times you do not have a second chance to make a good first impression with members and guests. This entails a well-laid out gym, courteous staff, and personable voice over the phone, etc. Make sure that you and your gym staff are always presentable, professional in your ways and knowledgeable about your gym.

5. Good reputation. Your gym business hinges on its reputation. It is imperative that you build a good reputation for the quality of your fitness products and support services.

6. Constant improvement. Gym owners should not be rigid in their ways of thinking in their quest to improve their gym. You risk being left behind if you cling to the “this is how we’ve always done it” kind of thinking. The gym business environment today demands that you need to come up with new solutions ­ fast!

7. Listen to your members. Listen and react to your member’s needs. Members need to feel that they are important to you ­ because they are. When you focus on your members and gain their trust, they will not only refer you to their friends but they will also remain loyal to you. Personal referrals and word-of-mouth are the least costly yet most effective marketing strategy for your gym.

8. Plan of action for success. A gym owner should understand the power of planning and have a written plan of action. A good plan helps you increase your chances of succeeding and can help you define your gym concepts, estimate costs, predict membership sales and control your risks. It tells you where you are going and how to get there.

9. Be innovative in your gym. Innovation should also cover your operations ­ from pricing, promotion, member service, web site, etc. Keep your eyes open for new ways of doing things, and apply those that can improve the quality of your fitness products and efficiency of your gym operation. Stay current with technology.

10. Work smart. As a gym owner, you need to possess self-confidence, plus a never-ending sense of urgency to develop your ideas. Gym owners who succeed in owning their own club are far-sighted and can accept things as they are and deal with them accordingly. They know how to manage their time, realizing the importance of leisure in as much as work. They are quick to change directions when they see their plans are not working. They recognize their weak points and move on to nurture alliances and acquire the skills they need to put their gym on the right track. They realize the importance of working smart, knowing that it is not the quantity of work you do, but what you do and how well you do it.

Now, go make your club a success.

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