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Who Should I Hire To Train My Mom?

Almost two years ago, my mom suffered a massive heart attack after undergoing major back surgery.  This was followed by 9 months in hospitals and rehab, followed by heart surgery, and more rehab.  Months later, she suffered a minor stroke.  I’m happy to report that mom is doing well, back at home, living independently, and enjoying her life.   She now is trying to improve her health and fitness, joined a gym and hired a Personal Trainer.   

After her first session, mom was in so much pain and discouraged.  She now thinks exercise is “not for her.”  I asked about her personal trainer’s credentials.  She had no idea, other than the fact that he “looked good and had lots of muscles.”   I called the gym and learned that he had been certified for one year.  The certification included a home study book and a written exam.  That was it!  No hands-on training or testing!  No advanced degree!  

I’m sure this frustrates you as much as it did me.  Given her age, health history, risk factors and medical concerns—I can’t believe that the trainer did not require medical clearance, consult with her cardiologist and/or other physician.  My mom could have been severely injured and is now afraid to exercise. 

This personal experience is unfortunately all too common in our industry.  There are so many certifications— all resulting in the same credential, but requiring very different education, training, and demonstration of competence.  We need to come together to change this if we want to elevate the creditability of our profession and to have “fitness” considered part of the health care continuum.   It is imperative for our industry AND more importantly, for the health and well-being of our family, friends, and communities. 

Please share your thoughts on these issues and what you believe we can and should do to improve professionalism and standards in our industry.  Also, If you are going to be in Chicago for Club Industry, please attend the 3rd Annual Personal Trainer Summit, where we will continue our previous years’ discussions on industry standards. 

A change is needed.  My mom’s health—and your mom’s health—depend on it!

Thank you for letting me share my personal story.  Please share yours.

SPECIAL FOR BLOG READERS!  Join us at the Club Industry Business Conference this October 23-25th. Get CEC’s for W.I.T.S. too. As a blog reader and follower, you can use this PROMO CODE: “SAVE25” for $125 OFF the registration! Here is the link so see you in 6 weeks. http://www.clubindustryshow.com/National2013/Public/Content.aspx?ID=1044377

 

 

 

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Social Media Maze! Where Do I Start?

 

What a week!   Lots of travel, met great people at the IDEA Conference, and now, my body is tired but my head is spinning and my brain is full! 

Of all the ideas exchanged at the convention, I found myself engaged in more conversations about social media!  Specifically, how to use social media for marketing a personal training or fitness business!  What great timing considering this month’s theme!  So, I thought I’d share some of the main points!

  • Social media should be an essential component of our marketing plan.  You can reach your targeted audience, build relationships, and increase your visibility at NO or low cost.  Did you know there are more than 900 MILLION users on Facebook?  WOW!!
  • Be strategic with your social media plan.  Don’t try to be EVERYWHERE!   Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and the list goes on!  Identify who you want to reach, find out what social media they use, and customize your message to connect with those people.
  • Blogs are one of the most effective communication tools in internet marketing.   Your blog should be the “home base” for all of your other social media messages.  You can control your blog.  You can customize your messages.  You can demonstrate your expertise and express your personality.  And, as I’m learning, they are a lot of fun to write! 

This is a small sampling of the gazillion ideas shared at the conference. Many of which I also learned in our new internet marketing classes. 

If you want to enter the world of internet marketing but aren’t sure where to start, I recommend taking our new course, “Use Internet Marketing to Find Personal Training Clients & Build A Business.” This class taught me the basics on internet marketing, how to use social media effectively, AND how to measure the impact my social media efforts are having on the bottom line!  Basically, it taught me to work smart and not hard!

So, what are your tips for social media and internet marketing?  Please share your ideas with us! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amy

Check out our new Fitness Business Institute!  We have a new catalog of sales and marketing classes designed specifically for YOU!  http://www.witseducation.com/business-institute/

Call our customer service department and find out how you can earn your CECs, learn from top Fortune 500 faculty, AND save lots of money.  Call (888)330-9487.

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Marketing for $1 or less! Marketing on a Shoestring!

 

As I talk to new professionals and even some with more experience, I hear the same thing:  “I don’t have any money for marketing.”  “How am I supposed to get new business and clients if I don’t have the money.”  It’s a Catch-22.  Without money—they feel they can’t market.  Without marketing, they can’t get clients—so no money for marketing.  And the cycle continues. 

Through my research, experience, and conversations with successful professionals, I’ve learned that some of the best marketing strategies are the most simple, and the least expensive. 

1.            Build a client loyalty program.   It costs a lot less money to keep a customer than to get a new one.  So, take care of the clients you have.  Reward them for their loyalty to you and their commitment to their own health and fitness.  KEEP THEM COMING BACK!

2.            Create a referral program!   Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing and advertising strategy.  Reward your clients who bring you more clients!  LET YOUR CLIENTS BE YOUR MARKETING DEPARTMENT!

3.            Network, network, network!  Every person you meet, every clerk in a store, every server who brings you food—EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL CLIENT!   Always have your business cards ready—always “look the part” of the competent fitness professional, and always communicate your passion for fitness!

4.            Give to your community and get involved!  I firmly believe that what we give comes back to us tenfold!  Volunteer with a local charity or cause that you feel passionate about.  This will increase your visibility, your network, and your list of prospective clients.  And you will be doing something GOOD FOR OTHERS! 

With all of the emphasis on technology, social media, and the internet  I think we’ve forgotten about the basics!  These simple approaches are proven to be effective and most are FREE!

So, what are your best ideas for marketing on a shoe string budget?  Please share your ideas with us! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amy

 

Are you going to be at the IDEA World Convention in Los Angeles August 7 – 10?  If so, please stop by our booth in the exhibit hall!  I’d love to meet you! Plus, we’ll be giving away FREE classes, including our marketing and business classes!

Check out our new Fitness Business Institute!  We have a new catalog of sales and marketing classes designed specifically for YOU!  http://www.witseducation.com/business-institute/

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7 out of 10 Personal Trainers Go Broke—WHY?

broke

7 out of 10 Personal Trainers go broke and leave the profession they love.   WHY?

1.            Because they are afraid to ask for business.

2.            Because they take “NO” for an answer! 

In the last blog we discussed #1 and shared tips for getting new business and generating leads.  Today, let’s talk about #2.  How to turn a “NO” into a “YES.”  

Here’s a typical conversation:

Trainer:  Hello, Mr. Smith.  I’m calling to offer you a free personal training session at XYZ gym.  Are you interested in personal training?

Prospect:  No, thank you.

Trainer:  OK, thank you for your time.

Such a lost opportunity!  Here are some tips from new classes, How and Where to Find Prospective Clients and Practical Sales Techniques for Personal Trainers.

1.            Ask “YES” questions.  Instead of “Are you interested in Personal Training?”  ask “Would you like to exercise efficiently, save time and meet your goals?”

2.            Find out the client’s fitness goals and then emphasize how YOU can help them achieve those goals.  Personalize the approach!

3.            If they do say “NO,” don’t just accept that!  Remind them of their goals and why they joined the gym!  They joined for a reason.  They have reasons and motivations.  Tap into that and make a connection.

4.            If they do say “NO,” don’t consider it a “done deal.”  Let them know you will contact them again in 30 days and see how they are doing.  At that time, you can review their goals with them and if they are not making the progress they hoped—you can help them!

So, how do you turn a “NO” into a “YES?”  Please share YOUR tips and ideas! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amy

Check out our new Fitness Business Institute!  We have a new catalog of sales and marketing classes designed specifically for YOU!  http://www.witseducation.com/business-institute/

Is your certification getting ready to expire?  Do you need your CECs for your renewal?  Email us at ogray@witseducation.com to find out about our new online courses and FREE course promotion. 

 

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Successful Sales Strategies! Share Your Secrets!

Each year, W.I.T.S. conducts surveys with all of our alumni and in particular, students who have completed our Personal Trainer Certification.  It’s great to find out how they are doing in their career and to see so many being successful.  However, we started to notice that some were leaving the profession.  When we investigated further, we found that some of the most dedicated fitness professionals had to leave the industry because they were unable to earn a living.  More specifically, they were uncomfortable with “sales” and asking clients for money, contracts, and business. 

So, for July, we are going to focus on Successful Sales Strategies.  After reviewing our  Introduction to Sales Fundamentals, Lead Generation and Prospecting Strategies, and Managing the Buying Cycle courses from our Sales Institute, I came up with key themes and tips that are essential to successful sales. 

Strategy #1:  Sales requires follow-up and follow through!  One isolated conversation, phone call, or email is not going to get you clients.  Regardless of whether a prospect shows interest in the first conversation, it is important to keep in touch, check-in, and stay on their radar.  Who knows when they may change their mind?  Perhaps you can help them do so!

Strategy #2:  Ask the right questions and LISTEN to the answers!   Too often we are so eager to tell prospective clients about ourselves and what we do, that we fail to find out about them and their needs!  Ask questions—listen to the answers—and then show how you can help them achieve their goals. 

Strategy #3:  Show EMPATHY!  When a prospect expresses interest in your services, they have some sort of need or concern and need your help.  Lifestyle change and behavior change are difficult.  Health issues can be challenging.  The fitness club may be comfortable for you, but others may be intimidated, scared, or uncomfortable.  Demonstrating empathy for your prospective client will help build a relationship and show that you genuinely care about them!

Sales are really about relationships and most of us pursued a career in fitness because we value relationships and genuinely want to help people!  But, like anything else, there’s a right way and a wrong way to “sell.” 

So, what successful sales strategies do you follow?   Please share YOUR tips and ideas! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amy

Is your certification getting ready to expire?  Do you need your CECs for your renewal?  Email us at ogray@witseducation.com to find out about our new online courses and FREE course promotion.

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Your Logo, Your Name, Keys to Your Success! Entrepreneurial Excellence Part 2

As you know, June is Entrepreneurial Excellence Month at W.I.T.S. and our goal is to share some tips on how to be successful fitness industry entrepreneurs.  We started talking about the importance of having a clear mission and setting short and long term goals.   Many of you got a chance to practice these skills in our Business Success Skills course and our Fitness Management Certification.   This has been a great opportunity for all of us and particularly, our new Personal Trainer Certification graduates, to establish a business plan and direction! Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never know when you’ve arrived—nor will you know how to get there.

Now that you have your mission statement and goals, I want to share some ideas about establishing your brand identity.  We talk about this extensively in our Insider Secrets to Advertising and Marketing class.  Specifically, we work on developing our brand by making sure we have the best name and logo to represent our business. 

So, I turn this over to you.  Please share your business name and logo with us by responding to this blog.  This will not only give you a chance to get your name out there and do a little FREE self-promotion, but will help our new fitness professionals develop their own brand identity.   Tell us your business name.  Upload your logo and tell us about what it represents to you and to your customers.    We are hoping to get enough examples set in to have a contest next month!  Free gifts and prizes to the most creative logo—and all of our followers will be judges!  Who knows, YOU may be the winner! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amy

Oh, by the way—July is Sales Strategies Success Month so beginning June 1 through August 1 we are giving away a free online Sales class!   Email us at ogray@witseducation.com to find out how to get your free class!

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Inaugural Blog! Entrepreneurial Excellence Month!

I’m so excited to launch W.I.T.S. new blog, designed to keep you abreast of industry issues, strategies for success, and provide a forum for us to communicate with each other.  My name is Amy Hyams, and I’ll be your blog “host.”  However, this is a “conversation” and I welcome your input and look forward to the informative exchanges we will share.

June is “Entrepreneurial Excellence” month at W.I.T.S. so in this month’s blogs, I’m going to focus on how we, as fitness professionals, can also be more successful business people.  I’m going to share some of the things I’ve learned and ask you to contribute your ideas and secrets to entrepreneurial success.  

As you may know, W.I.T.S. has developed a new catalog of business, sales and marketing classes, which are all available online.  In this past month, I’ve had the pleasure of serving as “online mentor” in most of these courses and got to hear firsthand about the struggles and challenges many face when turning their passion of fitness into a profitable business.  Our Personal Trainer Certification (offered live and as a hybrid course) gives you the knowledge and skills to develop exercise programs and train clients, but we still need to get them in our door!   In our Fitness Management Certificate, many are learning about running a Club, managing staff, designing a facility and establishing a marketing plan.  But in our Business Success Skills course, so many are learning to set up their own business and become entrepreneurs; which many of us have never done before. 

What I’m noticing is that many of us want to start a business, but do not have a plan.  We haven’t defined who we are, what type of business we want to be, and what our short term business goals are.  Without setting out a plan and understanding where you want to be, how do you know how to get there?  And how will you know when you’ve arrived?   Think about it—it’s very similar to establishing a personalized fitness program for a client.  You have to first conduct a fitness assessment, determine what their current fitness status is, define their clear and measurable goals, and then create a program designed to achieve their goals. 

So, I ask you, have you developed your Mission Statement?  Does it clearly convey who you are and what your purpose is?  Do you have clear and measurable short and long term goals, which you can use to guide your progress, and know when you’ve achieved success? 

Please share your “Mission Statement” with us, and also, some of the lessons you have learned when starting your business.  We can all learn from each other as we transform ourselves from “Passionate Fitness Professionals” to “Excellent Entrepreneurs.” 

I look forward to hearing from you!