You’ve probably heard me say it before: you’ll never be able to take the “personal” out of personal training; you’ll never be able to take the “service” out of fitness services.
To deliver on both, there’s been a revolution recently, and that’s in the area of social media. I can’t think of a business that has the potential to benefit from it more than personal training and fitness services.
On that note, my buddy Ben London recently sent over a guest article on the subject. It’s a bit of a wake up call to anyone that’s not using online social platforms to communicate with their clients and prospects.
Ben, take it away:
If You Run Your Fitness Business Like Its 1997, How Do You Expect To Compete In 2010?
Special guest article by Ben London
Imagine if you will that you’re in the market to buy a small mobile personal training business; what would you look for in a good investment?
A decaled van, some equipment in reasonable condition and a solid client base with an efficient EFT infrastructure would be a nice start, wouldn’t you agree?
What if that same business had a branded twitter account attached with 1000 targeted followers, a bustling interactive facebook fan page, a Youtube channel full of exercise and nutrition instructional videos and a regularly updated blog with 200 avid subscribers?
All of a sudden this outfit is more than just a loud van full of smelly equipment; this is a global business with a veritable social media empire at its disposal.
As you can imagine, to a potential buyer, having those facilities attached would make it far more appealing than the same business offering a stock photo yellow pages ad and a stack of undelivered flyers as its branding powerhouse.
“But I don’t want to sell my business Ben!”
I’m not suggesting that you sell your business; I’m simply using the sales analogy to emphasize the fact that social media can make the difference between ‘just another fitness business’ and a stand alone, recognisable platform from which you can launch any number of business endeavors.
How do you build a valuable social media empire?
Good news, that’s the easy part! Have you ever played The Sims video game or fooled around with a Tamagotchi (you know that silly handheld pet game thing)? I often compare social media to those two nauseatingly repetitive but overwhelmingly addictive games.
Social media requires that same consistent attention day in day out to make it grow and prosper. You need to feed your audience fresh information and ask them questions every single day.
From what starts out slow, snowballs as more and more people come on board and begin to share what you’re putting out there and quite frankly there is no secret; your success will directly reflect your consistency, motivation and patience.
If you don’t already have them, I recommend branding the following free social media channels as an absolute minimum:
- Blog (your choice of platform)
- Youtube account
- Twitter account
- Facebook fan page (separate from your personal).
By having these platforms at your disposal, you inadvertently elevate yourself into a position where you may become viewed as an authority in your niche. This of course can provide you with many varied opportunities including media interview requests, more specialized client services and book publishing deals to name a few.
While it’s nice to see what the potential of having a strong social media presence can provide you with, it’s important to remind yourself that it takes time and a lot of work to achieve.
Make yourself a social media routine and stick to it. It’s VERY easy to get caught up and side tracked and lose focus on why you’re actually on there. Plan your material ahead of time to make it easier on days when you’re less motivated, make sure every single post, comment and link are designed to take you closer to your goals and most importantly, never give up.
Ben London is the author of my business is fitness.com; a personal training and fitness marketing blog. Ben specializes in innovative business strategies as well as offering effective solutions for utilizing social media to develop fitness businesses based on his 15 years experience within the industry.
You can become a fan of my business is fitness on facebook and you can also follow Ben on twitter @mybizisfitness.