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10 Reasons to Renew Your Professional Fitness Certification, Even if You Don’t Work in Fitness

Prior to the late 90s, when US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop declared in his annual report that “exercise is medicine,” people mostly pursued fitness for its cosmetic benefits and weight loss. Since then, the health benefits of fitness have superseded its role as a cosmetic intervention, and people are increasingly exercising to improve their health and quality of life, and to avoid premature death.

CPT-badge

Consequently, the fitness industry is evolving and gaining recognition as a health care alternative, meaning that fitness certifications are more important than ever. If your fitness certifications are about to expire, or if they have already expired, here are 10 good reasons to renew now:

  1. Fitness is on a trajectory to becoming a recognized health profession, and certified professionals will have a head start in obtaining licensure or satisfying other credential requirements as the industry evolves. 
  1. Fitness jobs like personal training or group exercise instruction are highly flexible. In today’s gig economy, having a fitness certification makes you eligible for short term gigs that bring in extra money when you really need it. Working in fitness is perfect for parents who need to work around their kids’ schedules, or anyone who wants to supplement their full-time income.
  1. Your professional fitness certification looks great on any resume or CV. It tells prospective employers that you care about your health, and the health of your family. For employers, that translates to better cognition, higher job performance and fewer sick days. 
  1. If things don’t work out in your business or day job, the high demand for certified fitness professionals provides you with a Plan B, so you can keep working while you explore your options.
  1. Renewing your certification is much less expensive than retesting for a new one, especially with the convenient and affordable continuing education bundles and discounts offered by W.I.T.S. 
  1. Maintaining your certification keeps you in the professional loop, and provides endless opportunities for networking and link building. You never know when your fitness connections will pay off. 
  1. Being a certified fitness professional qualifies you for many volunteer positions, like working with youth or older adults. 
  1. Your fitness certification can help you get into college, especially in fields related to health or athletics. 
  1. Your fitness certification can be a stepping stone to higher-paying jobs in fitness, like club management or numerous online options.
  1. The demand for fitness is universal, and your certification can open doors wherever you go. 

If you are sitting on the fence about renewing your certification, consider all the work you put into getting it in the first place. You chose a fitness career for a reason, and maybe it’s time to get back to your roots. Or maybe you never did anything with your cert, but it is never too late. Renew now, and keep the door open for the many future opportunities that are sure to come your way. 

W.I.T.S. Makes It Easy to Renew!

At W.I.T.S., we want you to succeed. That’s why we created these great CEC bundles and renewal deals, to save you time and money!

  • Hardship is considered too….
  • Pay Pal zero interest for buying any packages

Renew today, and take pride in being a W.I.T.S. certified fitness professional!

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Going Solo as a Personal Trainer: 7 Steps to Take Before Striking Out on Your Own

The demand for personal trainers remains fairly steady, but working for someone else in a gym or studio will only take you so far. If you want your skills as a personal trainer to really pay off, you will eventually have to strike out on your own. But before giving notice at your job and hanging out your shingle, there are a few strategic steps to take to ensure a successful business launch. 

(more…)

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7 Savvy Strategies for Building Your Client Base

Working as a fitness professional is a fun and rewarding career, and most of us love what we do. But whether you work in a gym or studio, or you have ventured out on your own, making fitness really pay can be a challenge. Considering the poor health of most Americans, there is a limitless pool of potential clients. But how do you attract them to your doorstep? (more…)

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Marketing Your Personal Service Business: 4 Strategies for Success

Whether you are a personal trainer, massage therapist, Pilates coach or other personal service provider, there is no denying that you provide valuable services that benefit your clients’ health. The nature of your business is unique in that the products you sell fall under the umbrella of “intangibles.” In other words, you do not sell items that your clients can hold in their hands, display on a shelf or consume. Because intangibles are unique from other products, they require a unique approach to marketing.

1. Define Your Products


Before you attempt to build your client base, you should have a clear definition of what you offer. Create a menu of services that defines their benefits, cost and duration. Keep it simple, and limit your menu to a handful of offerings so your potential client is not overwhelmed by too many options.

2. Identify Your Market

You could advertise your services to the public at large in hopes of grabbing someone’s interest, However, you will have more success if you identify a niche market and gear your advertising specifically to them. Older adults, working women, stay-at-home moms, and fitness competitors are all niche markets that frequently purchase personal service packages.

3. Reach Out in Person


Because your services are personal in nature, you will have greater success in attracting new clients if you market yourself in person. Identify large companies in your community and offer to set up a booth at their corporate health fair, or ask to set up a table in their cafeteria during lunchtime. Offer free consultations or simple fitness assessments to attract people to your table. Arrange to speak to local retirement communities about the benefits of your services for older adults. Reach out to moms at ballet, gymnastics, martial arts or other sports activities. You may be able to offer group training or fitness classes while they wait for their kids.

4. Create a Referral System

Personal service businesses often grow by referral. When you have happy, satisfied clients, they will sing your praises to their friends, family members and co-workers. You can leverage your clients’ good will by offering referral incentives, such as free sessions, tangible products, restaurant gift certificates or event tickets. Because of the small and intimate nature of your business, you can personalize referral incentives for individual clients.

Resources

Successful marketing builds successful businesses. The W.I.T.S. Business Management Success Series offers continuing education courses geared specifically to personal service businesses, to help you market your services and grow your client base. Some of our standout courses include: Insider Secrets of Advertising and Marketing; Attracting Club Members; Developing Relationships; Developing Your Marketing and Promotion Strategy; Establishing Your Brand and Image; Creating Relationships on Social Media; Social Media Strategies for Attracting Clients; Finding Your Customers on Social Media, and many more!

Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net: stock images; exedos; Stuart Miles.

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For Big Results, Think Small! 5 Tips for Marketing Your Small Service Business

Small businesses that market personal services have a huge advantage over large chains whose service tends to be generic, and whose employees tend to be over-managed and underpaid. As a fitness practitioner or other small personal service provider, you have the autonomy to add personal touches and creative elements that make your clients feel special and keep them coming back for more. As your own boss, you get to call the shots, and reap all the profits!

1. Keep It Local

There is no point in investing time, money and energy in advertising and marketing to the world at large. If you are a personal service provider, you are most likely to find clients within a small radius in your own community. Get your name out there by networking with local schools, churches, community centers, neighborhood associations, realtors and civic leagues. Get to know the “regulars” and staff at your local coffee shop. Advertise on community websites like Nextdoor.com.

2. Stay in Your Lane


Trying to be all things to all people can be exhausting, and when you spread yourself too thin, you run the risk of not pleasing anyone. Focus on the things you are good at and knowledgeable about. For example, if you don’t know the first thing about mixed martial arts, you are probably not qualified to help someone train for a match. Be forthcoming about your strengths, and honest about your limitations.

3. Go the Extra Mile


Take customer service to the next level by acknowledging how much you value your clients. Keep a calendar of special occasions for each client and send a card for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and other meaningful events. Bring them coffee and a muffin from time to time. Going out of your way to make sure your clients are satisfied will build your word-of-mouth reputation and bring in new clients by the droves.

4. Customize

When you work for yourself, you have the autonomy to provide extra services, juggle your schedule and negotiate pricing to meet the needs of your clients. Offering customized services gives potential clients a say in what they want and how they want it. For example, they may want shorter, more frequent sessions, a flex schedule, or a specific mode of service. Clients are often willing to pay a little extra to get what they want, so be sure to customize your prices as well!

5. Spread the Love


Perhaps the greatest appeal for clients of small service providers is the personal bond and relationship they build with you. You become an important person in their lives who helps to keep them healthy, grounded and looking fabulous. Open up and let the love shine into your personal service sessions. In exchange, your clients will sing your praises and reciprocate with gifts, tips, and referrals.

Resources

Successful marketing builds successful businesses. The W.I.T.S. Business Management Success Series offers continuing education courses geared specifically to personal service businesses, to help you market your services and grow your client base. Some of our standout courses include: Insider Secrets of Advertising and Marketing; Attracting Club Members; Developing Relationships; Developing Your Marketing and Promotion Strategy; Establishing Your Brand and Image; Being REAL and Creating Relationships on Social Media; Social Media Strategies for Attracting Clients; Finding Your Customers on Social Media, and many more!

*Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net: graphics mouse; ntwowe; stockimages;

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Niche Marketing: Make More Money and Beat the Competition!

Business is Booming

The demand for fitness services has been growing steadily since the 1950s, and it is now a multi-billion dollar industry, with a projected jobs growth of eight percent by the year 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this is a good time to work in the fitness industry, the competition is becoming fierce, and setting yourself apart as a fitness practitioner is a challenge. If you want to be recognized as a top notch trainer or instructor, the key is to set yourself apart as an expert in a specific niche.

Finding Your Niche


In today’s market, consumers of fitness services are looking for specialists who understand their needs and have a track record of getting results.There are dozens of niche markets to zero in on: Athletes, youth, older adults, pregnant or postpartum moms, weight loss, body builders and figure competitors, runners, triathletes…the list goes on! Find your niche based on what types of people you like to work with, and on your level of expertise. Remember that your knowledge will grow along with your client base, so don’t be afraid to take on new challenges.

Smoke the Competition

Many trainers mistakenly think that by marketing to any and all potential clients, they will make more money and build a professional reputation. By targeting a niche population, you will not only establish yourself as an expert in that area, but you will reduce the pool of competitors vying for a limited number of clients. As your reputation grows, you will receive more referrals from others who know you as an expert in your niche.

Get the Word Out

Once you define your niche, you can narrow the focus of your marketing to likely clients. For example, if your niche is older adults, you can advertise to retirement communities and other venues that cater to that population. If you want to work with runners, you can advertise at local races, or offer your services to members of running clubs. City intramural programs and local schools are good places to market to youth. Make yourself visible by volunteering and getting involved with your niche population.

Resources

Successful marketing builds successful businesses. The W.I.T.S. Business Management Success Series offers continuing education courses geared specifically to personal service businesses, to help you market your services and grow your client base. Some of our standout courses include: Insider Secrets of Advertising and Marketing; Attracting Club Members; Developing Relationships; Developing Your Marketing and Promotion Strategy; Establishing Your Brand and Image; Being REAL and Creating Relationships on Social Media; Social Media Strategies for Attracting Clients; Finding Your Customers on Social Media, and many more!
References
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Fitness Trainers and Instructors
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm

*Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net:

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All That Glitters: Don’t Be Fooled by These Fitness Marketing Scams

Cash Cows


With growing numbers of overweight and obese Americans, the fitness and weight loss industries offer help and hope to millions who want to shed and shred. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, or IHRSA, the trade association serving the global fitness industry, there are currently over 35,000 fitness facilities in the United States alone, and thousands more globally. Add to that tens of thousands of weight loss centers and thousands of services online geared to fitness and weight loss, and you could say the fitness business is booming. In fact, IHRSA statistics reveal that fitness industry revenues exceed more that $25 Billion per year. Clearly, Americans are willing to spend money for healthier, slimmer physiques, and many programs offered are legit. But be wary of expensive programs that promise results they cannot deliver.

Sign Me Up!


It’s all well and good to make a commitment to your fitness program, but long term contracts and subscriptions that lock you in for an extended period of time can drain your bank account without giving you the benefits you signed up for. Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure you fully understand the fine print. Long term memberships often offer incentives to join on your first visit, but don’t allow yourself to be pressured to make a decision on the spot. Take a day or two to think it over before you commit.

Make It Snappy


Once you decide to get in shape, you want to see quick results. But the truth is, losing weight and building muscle take time, patience, commitment and perseverance. Programs that promise speedy results with minimal effort are scams that are out to get your hard earned money. Spokespersons who endorse such products and services are often fitness models or paid actors who got themselves in shape over the course of time, through regular exercise and good nutrition.

To Die For


It is often pointed out that the first three letters in the word diet spell “die.” Weight loss supplements and pharmaceuticals can have deadly side effects. Costly weight loss programs often use restricted calorie diets and processed foods that can sap your energy and rob you of nutrients necessary for good health. Instead of going on a fad diet in hopes of losing weight, look for a well constructed nutrition plan that teaches you to modify your life long eating habits while optimizing beneficial nutrients.

Resources

Successful marketing builds successful businesses. The W.I.T.S. Business Management Success Series offers continuing education courses geared specifically to personal service businesses, to help you market your services and grow your client base. Some of our standout courses include: Insider Secrets of Advertising and Marketing; Attracting Club Members; Developing Relationships; Developing Your Marketing and Promotion Strategy; Establishing Your Brand and Image; Social Media Strategies for Attracting Clients; Finding Your Customers on Social Media, and many more!

References and Credits

IHRSA: Fitness Industry Trend Report
http://www.ihrsa.org/industry-research/

*Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net: imagerymajestic; stockimages; Monitor Stock Photo; Jeroen van Oostrom; Gualberto107.

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This is Us: Building Your Small Business Social Media Community

Getting to Know You

sm-fingers
Social Media can provide a lucrative and completely free platform to promote your business, provided you are willing to put in the time to build a social network community. It all begins with opening an account for your business on the Social Media sites you’ll be using. Facebook is by far the Social Media site with the greatest membership and farthest reach, so you’ll want to put some thought into what your company’s page will look like, and what types of posts you will present to your potential customers.
Welcome to the Family
Once you have established your Social Media accounts, it is time to begin to reach out to your potential customers. If you already have established personal accounts through which you interact with friends and family, invite them to “Like” your business page and follow you. Creating memes with your business theme, and posting pictures and videos that depict your business in a positive and engaging way is an essential part of building your community. Your posts should be upbeat, professional and visually engaging. Keep text to a minimum, and always provide a link to your webpage.
We Belong Together

diverse-group-of-friends
Once you get a few posts circulating, visit your page periodically each day to read and respond to any comments that were made on your posts. By actively engaging with those who read your posts, you begin to build relationships that encourage ongoing interaction. Your continued presence on Social Media is key to drawing attention to what your business has to offer. Keep your comments friendly, and steer clear of arguments on controversial topics. You want to develop a professional persona that is likable and empathetic.
Spreading the Love
Keep your eyes peeled for the fitness posts of others in your news feed, and like, share and comment. By doing so, you begin to build a network in much the same way you would network at a business conference. Your support of others will be reciprocated, as long as your posts seem relevant and interesting, and you represent yourself as a likable professional. Remember that most Social Media users receive hundreds of posts each day, so post frequently, and make your images dynamic.
Resources
Want to up your Social Media game? W.I.T.S. has the continuing education tools you need to keep you in the running! Our online Social Media Marketing Series offers seven courses geared to helping you become an online fitness superstar. Topics like Creating Relationships, Attracting Clients, Branding and Increasing Your Presence are all covered. And don’t forget to add your Digital Badge to every post, to let the world know you are the best!

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You Are What You Share: Tips for Business Success on Social Media

Perfect Profile

guy-with-laptop
Building your brand on Social Media is a great low budget way to market and get your message out. But be aware that your posts represent your online business persona. Before you begin to tweet, post and share, put careful thought into the image you would like to portray. You should create a profile for your business that is separate from your personal profile. Make sure you flesh it out with complete details and images. When people click on your business page, they should immediately get a sense of what your business is about, and a feel for your target market.
Same-Same

female-handshake
The way you build business relationships online is virtually the same as building personal relationships. The key is to post material that is both engaging and informative, and that relates somehow to your business. Steer clear of blatant advertising, and instead focus on evocative images and compelling headlines, coupled with well written text. Keep articles short, but not too short. Four hundred to 600 words is about right to hold readers’ interests. Proofread for errors in grammar, syntax and spelling, which are unacceptable in business posts. Reference all your sources at the end of your article, and be sure to provide plenty of links to your website.
Balancing Act
There is a delicate balance between promoting your business and creating humanly appealing posts. The more business oriented your post, the less human it will sound, and the less likely it will be read. On the other hand, too much humanity can take away from the business message you are trying to send. Think of it in terms of going into a retail store. You want the staff to be polite, friendly and upbeat, but you don’t want them to become too personal. Your online persona should convey the same pleasant vibe as a well run retail outlet, without oversharing your personal information.
Touchy-Feely

phone in gym
Your posts should be entertaining and informative, while still getting your business message across. People respond to posts that catch their eyes, and that appeal to them on an emotional level. Keep your headlines fun and enticing, and infuse your text with a positive upbeat tone. Try playing upbeat music while you create, and smile to boost your own mood. That happy feeling will ooze through your fingers and onto your page. Your content should strike a balanced ratio of about 20 percent business to 80 percent information and entertainment.
Resources
Want to up your Social Media game? W.I.T.S. has the continuing education tools you need to keep you in the running! Our online Social Media Marketing Series offers seven courses geared to helping you become an online fitness superstar. Topics like Creating Relationships, Attracting Clients, Branding and Increasing Your Presence are all covered. And don’t forget to add your Digital Badge to every post, to let the world know you are the best!

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Pin Power: Marketing Your Small Fitness Business on Pinterest

Not Just for Cooking and Crafting

kettle bell 2
There is no doubt that Pinterest is a favorite go-to site when you want inspiration for your creative ventures. Party planning, crafts and cooking tips abound, along with beautiful illustrations and infographics that pique your creative drive. But Pinterest is also a prime platform for health and fitness that you cannot afford to overlook if you are serious about marketing your small fitness business.
Inspiring Images

pinterest-smartphone
Pinterest is all about the image, so if you want to make the most marketing milage, you need to pin professional creative images that speak volumes. There are dozens of stock photo sites that offer attractive fitness images for a fee. However, if you have a Personal Training or Group Exercise business, images of you and your staff may be more impactful. Pinterest Analytics offers data on the most successful image size and quality for your pins, to ensure you get the most exposure.
Tantalizing Text
The text associated with your pins should be minimal, so you want to think carefully about the message you are trying to convey, and then economize on words to deliver the gist of your ideas. To optimize your reach, keep your word count between 150 to 300. Overlaying text on top of your image can be effective for enhancing your message, so long as it does not obscure the image. Also consider the actual words you use in your text. Keywords within your text will partially determine whether your pin comes up when a user launches a search.
Lots of Linking

girl on laptop
The whole idea of social media marketing is to drive users to your website, where they can get more information about how to access your services. When you create your pin, think about how your images and text will inspire Pinterest users to migrate to your site. Create multiple links within your text to encourage users to divert their browsing. For content, design and user behaviors, visit Pinterest Analytics for valuable tips on creating powerful pins.
Resources
Want to up your Social Media game? W.I.T.S. has the continuing education tools you need to keep you in the running! Our online Social Media Marketing Series offers seven courses geared to helping you become an online fitness superstar. Topics like Creating Relationships, Attracting Clients, Branding and Increasing Your Presence are all covered. And don’t forget to add your Digital Badge to every post, to let the world know you are the best!
References
Analytics: https://analytics.pinterest.com