Fitness, Health, and Business Blog

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Are You Tweeting, Posting, Following, and Friending?

My involvement in social media has snuck up on me!  Sure, I used Facebook to reconnect with old friends and become more connected and involved in the lives of my friends and family.  But in the past year, I’ve found myself using social media for business purposes.  I’m blogging, tweeting, following, friending, tagging, and all sorts of other things that I never expected to be doing!  In the beginning, it felt overwhelming, but I’ve learned a few things that have made it more manageable that I thought I’d share.  I’m hoping that you will share your tips too!

 1.         Be strategic about what you share and where.  It is tempting to want to send everything everywhere.  But it may not be the best approach.  Figure out where your audience “hangs-out” in the social media world and go where they are with the messages that will interest them.

 2.         Separate your personal social media communications from your personal ones.  There’s nothing wrong with letting your business audience get to know you on a personal level, but they don’t need to see pictures of you and your friends celebrating on a Friday night or be privy to your personal information and activities, or your friends’ activities—which you can’t control.

 3.         Work smart and not hard.  There are free, scheduling tools like Hoot Suite that will allow you to schedule all of your twitter and facebook posts ahead of time so you can be more efficient with your time and resources.

 4.         Keep the “end” in mind!  What do you want to accomplish with your social media efforts?  More clients?  More revenue?  Stronger relationships with current clients?  If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know how to get there—nor will you know when you’ve arrived!  So set goals and monitor progress!

 5.         Educate yourself!  I’ve spent the last few months taking classes, participating in webinars, and following what my competitors are doing with their social media!  There’s a lot to learn—but like anything else— it takes time, study, and practice! 

To learn more about social media and how to use the different approaches more effectively to increase business, check out W.I.T.S. new classes in Facebook Marketing, Twitter, Internet Marketing, and You Tube!  They are all customized for fitness industry professionals and mentored by successful, established professionals in the field! 

 

 

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Personal Training and Clients with Diabetes

We are in the middle of Diabetes Month and I thought I’d continue with the theme and reach out to you for input.  Many of you responded to the last post about Diabetes and suggested that you work with clients who struggle with this disease.  I hope you’ll share your expertise with us so we can better support our students and new professionals. 

The following case study is based on a real client and comes from our Exercise Program Design for Special Populations online course.  How would you respond to this scenario?

Jane is 50 years old and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 5 years ago. Jane is 5’2” and weighs 180 lbs. She is currently taking an oral medication (troglitazone) for her diabetes and an antihypertensive medication (beta blocker) for her stage 1 high blood pressure, and does not monitor her blood glucose. Jane reports that her health is OK. She does not suffer from complications, but gets easily fatigued doing housework and cleaning. Furthermore, she reports that taking a stroll with her husband at the local mall makes her knees and hips uncomfortable after about 15 to 25 minutes. She has not seen her doctor in over a year; however, her diabetes educator has encouraged her to participate in regular physical activity. She has asked you to assist in the development of an activity regime. Her goals are to improve her endurance and lose about 45 lbs.

We will gather your responses to share with our students.  Help us help our students!  I look forward to hearing from you! 

 

If you want to learn more about exercise program design for individuals with diabetes, please check out our online course, Exercise Program Design for Special Populations.   We have a section completely dedicated to Diabetes.  Also, our Personal Trainer Certification and Older Adult Exercise Specialist Certification touch on the importance of safe and effective exercise to prevent and slow down this disease. 

For more information about Diabetes and American Diabetes Month, please visit http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/?loc=GlobalNavDB

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November is American Diabetes Month!

Yesterday was Halloween, and although I don’t want to be a “party pooper” and understand how much fun the holiday can be— I have to say, seeing so many children walking around with bags of candy—who also appear to be moderately or morbidly obese was disheartening.   Ironically, today, the day after Halloween, starts the beginning of American Diabetes Month. So, I’d like to focus today’s blog on diabetes, and more importantly, how we can prevent or slow down the disease with physical activity.

Diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Eating healthy, being physically active and quitting smoking also can help lower the risk of diabetes complications.

Prevalence

  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes.

The Toll on Health

  • Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and of new cases of blindness among adults.
  • The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
  • About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems.  

How Can Physical Activity Help?

  • Keep blood glucose, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides on target
  • Lowers risk for pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke
  • Relieves stress, strengthens your heart, muscles and bones
  • Improves your blood circulation and tones your muscles
  • Keeps your body and your joints flexible

 I’m curious to know how many of our Personal Trainers are working with clients who have diabetes or prediabetes?  Please share your experiences and success stories so we can all learn from you.   I think we all have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce the prevalence of this serious disease. Please share! 

If you want to learn more about exercise program design for individuals with diabetes, please check out our online course, Exercise Program Design for Special Populations.   We have a section completely dedicated to Diabetes.  Also, our Personal Trainer Certification and Older Adult Exercise Specialist Certification touch on the importance of safe and effective exercise to prevent and slow down this disease. 

For more information about Diabetes and American Diabetes Month, please visit http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/?loc=GlobalNavDB

 

 

 

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Don’t Miss Out—Less than a week away!

Are You Attending Club Industry In Chicago this week?  Let me know and we’ll get together!   Following are some great opportunities for you to participate in while attending this event!

We have a special discount code just for W.I.T.S. friends and colleagues! Just follow the link below and when you register, use the promo code SAVE25, which provides a $125 discount on the full conference pass.
Club Industry Convention, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL October 23 -24, 2013CI13_BoxOfficeListing_200x280
While at the event, you’ll want to check out the “Business Program for Personal Trainers.” You’ll learn from the experts the secrets of sales, marketing and social media to insure your success as a business person!
Club Industry, Business Program for Personal Trainers, October 23, 2013
And while you are at the Club Industry Convention, we have a “MUST DO” event for those interested in the future of the fitness industry!
3rd Annual Personal Trainer Summit
Thursday, October 24, 2:00pm
Location: Room E351
Open invitation to all employers, trainers, educators and certification organizations. Why a meeting? We need to solidify and establish an industry wide image and policy to help support and direct our professional services. Much has been written about what “we” have come up with to meet legislative initiatives or to help obese children etc. Now you actually have a voice and a forum to formalize and legitimize our profession.
Let me know if you’ll be there! I’d love to meet you!

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UPCOMING EVENTS AND DISCOUNTS FOR YOU!

I wanted to use this post to let you know about some fabulous events you don’t want to miss—AND provide you with a special discount!
Don’t miss the October Club Industry Convention in Chicago! We have a special discount code just for W.I.T.S. friends and colleagues! Just follow the link below and when you register, use the promo code SAVE25, which provides a $125 discount on the full conference pass.
Club Industry Convention, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL October 23 -24, 2013CI13_BoxOfficeListing_200x280
While at the event, you’ll want to check out the “Business Program for Personal Trainers.” You’ll learn from the experts the secrets of sales, marketing and social media to insure your success as a business person!
Club Industry, Business Program for Personal Trainers, October 23, 2013
And while you are at the Club Industry Convention, we have a “MUST DO” event for those interested in the future of the fitness industry!
3rd Annual Personal Trainer Summit
Thursday, October 24, 2:00pm
Location: Room E351
Open invitation to all employers, trainers, educators and certification organizations. Why a meeting? We need to solidify and establish an industry wide image and policy to help support and direct our professional services. Much has been written about what “we” have come up with to meet legislative initiatives or to help obese children etc. Now you actually have a voice and a forum to formalize and legitimize our profession.
Let me know if you’ll be there! I’d love to meet you!

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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.