Many entrepreneurs burn out within their first few years of running the show themselves. You probably opened your own fitness center, boot camp or training studio after years of working with clients in another facility. It was a relatively easy job back then. You just showed up for work, did what was expected of you, and went home to cash your meager paycheck. It drove you crazy that you were putting in all this time and effort for someone else to get rich. You didn’t see it back then, but life was simple when you didn’t have to worry about the nuts and bolts of running an everyday business.
Many of us fitness buffs are real “Type A” personalities. We find it difficult to relinquish control and delegate. Therefore, we wind up doing all the web design, all the copywriting, all the SEO, all the advertising, all the promotions, all the hiring of staff members, and all the training. There are only so many hours in the day, however. Somewhere we need to draw the line! Many of us are not naturals at all these little fitness marketing jobs – and we don’t enjoy them either. (Who wants to sit around sifting through analytics data, rather than get out on the floor for a good workout? Come on!)
Learning to ease up and outsource a few marketing tasks was one of the best decisions I ever made for several reasons. First of all, how much hubris I had to think I could just wake up one morning as a pro at web design, email marketing, SEO, writing and video promotion just because I willed it so! There are people who have been eating, sleeping, breathing and living this stuff for as long as I’ve been training. I wouldn’t expect a plumber or a web designer to be as good at leading a fitness class, so why would I try to do their jobs better than them? Hiring a professional will ensure that you accomplish all your marketing tasks with expert-level precision. You get the best possible website, the best possible writing, and the best possible Google results when you outsource this work to the right professionals.
Secondly, outsourcing basic fitness marketing jobs freed up an unbelievable amount of time for me. When I first started running my business, I was burning the candle at both ends – working a good 60 hours each week. I had no time to do the things that I enjoyed. I had no time to see my wife and daughter. I couldn’t vacation, couldn’t drive my sports car, and I couldn’t visit my vacation home in Las Vegas. What fun is that? I had to take a step back and do a reality-check, asking myself, “Why are you working so hard to attain a lifestyle you can’t even enjoy?” I realized there were many better uses of my time. In the long run, it was much cheaper to hire a writer than to spend an hour of my valuable time (which was going at a rate of over $100/hour) sweating it out over my article marketing efforts.
Thirdly, outsourcing allows you to automate more of your business, put many irons in the fire and extend your reach. Sure, it takes a little bit of time and effort to get your team rolling with your vision in mind. It will require clear directions and oversight in the early stages. However, once the system was rolling and much of my business was on auto-pilot, I was able to start expanding my business to new markets, adding new marketing channels to the mix, and even taking a well-deserved vacation, without having to worry that my enterprise was going to fall apart in my absence.
Now that you’ve been sold on the idea that it’s the right decision to outsource some of your vital responsibilities, you’re probably wondering how to find the right core team. One of the tools I used to get started was www.Fiverr.com. I looked at this site as an inexpensive way to “audition” the right candidates to help me. Fiverr is a resource used by freelance professionals, where they advertise their services for just $5 to solicit leads. You can find SEO professionals, web designers, video producers, linkers, social media marketers, and writers this way. I ordered a few different gigs under each category to test the waters. I looked for people who were reliable, good at what they did, and professional in every way. Once I found the right people, I made my pitch and they graciously accepted the offer to work for more money! Similar websites like Odesk.com and Elance.com exist as well.
Another way to find people is to ask other fitness professionals who they use. If you’ve been to my “Resources” page, you can see that I openly share my network of writers and email marketers that you can use for a small fee. I can even fully automate the process for you, so these professionals will work seamlessly to make these important aspects of your business run as smoothly as possible. It really can be just that easy!
Some of my guys outsource to places like the Philippines or India, where people can speak relatively good English. With Paypal, it’s easier than ever to move money overseas without paying hefty banking fees. With Skype, it’s a breeze to hop on a conference call with your overseas team. Personally, I prefer to support my local economy by hiring American workers. You also have to keep in mind that overseas virtual assistants are subject to power outages and sometimes unpredictable obstacles that you have zero control over.
When you’re hiring someone to fill these fitness marketing positions, you want them to give you 10x more value than what you’re paying for. You will undoubtedly spend a lot of your time instructing them what to do, which you have to factor into the cost of doing business. You want to find someone who thinks like you – who will take the initiative and read your mind a lot of the time. You want someone with amazing intelligence, someone who knows exactly what you want and need with very little direction. Once you find the right fitness marketing jobs candidates, you will see just how much smoother your business will run.