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Launching New Fitness Services | Sweat Equity

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  • 💰 Navigating launching new fitness services
  • The role of professional development in the fitness industry
  • Battling imposter syndrome
  • Interview with Benjamin Pickard 💬

Welcome back to Sweat Equity Digital. In this edition, we’re looking at effective approaches to marketing your fitness business’s new offerings, what it might mean when you second-guess your ability as a fitness professional, and professional development ideas to keep your business booming.

New This Week: Launching new products…The role of professional development in the fitness industry…Battling imposter syndrome in the fitness industry…Interview with Benjamin Pickard on client success.

Still with us? Great. Let’s get started.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, book a demo with our team today.


Launching New Fitness Services the Right Way

Broad isn’t better when launching a new fitness service or product

Looking to promote your next fitness challenge or workout program? Are you preparing to offer a new class at your gym? Do you have a new piece of equipment or workout system to show off?

According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, each year more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched and 80% of them fail. An article by Harvard Business Review attributes the failure to, “lack of preparation…[businesses] postpone the hard work of getting ready to market them [products/services] until too late in the game.”

So, if early marketing is better, what about finding an audience? It’s important to focus your marketing strategy toward target clients because broad isn’t always better. Follow these three steps to make the most of your marketing campaign:

  1. Identify the people who would be interested in your new product/service. You’re likely already connected with a large segment of your target population via social media and other digital communication means but what about new leads?
  2. Fine-tune your market position. How can you expand your reach within your targeted segment? Do you have a blog? Consider starting one now. Are you an “expert” (and influencer) in your area? Consider how professional development might promote your product.
  3. Pinpoint and utilize optimum channels. Send a guest pitch about your product to an online publication. Start a YouTube channel. Get your current clients (your super fans) talking (word of mouth). Use purposeful hashtags and produce and distribute high-quality and targeted content.

The following stats from a retail and tech industry product launch report offer insight as to what makes a launch successful:

product launch activity importance

Hubspot also presents some interesting finds on marketing trends in regard to email campaigns, content strategies, and social media efforts in their annual report: The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2020.

Some additional stats worth noting are:

  • Ad placement and audience targeting are the top optimization tactics used by advertisers today. (Hubspot, 2020)
  • Salespeople active on social media report 45% more sales opportunities. (LinkedIn, 2020)

Teaser Campaigns Jumpstart Marketing Momentum

Another consideration for the perfect product launch is using a teaser campaign. Start with this question: what problem do your potential clients have and how are you going to help them solve it? Remember to leverage your product’s uniqueness factor and provide any research data that will substantiate your claims.

When building pre-announcement momentum, don’t fret being excessive – keep your message out there – one post isn’t enough, think tens, maybe even hundreds. And keep an eye on your current clients’ responses: is your message resonating with them? If not, regroup.

[Related: How To Start a Personal Training Business]

Zeroing in on Millenials

Millennials are definitely their own beast when it comes to marketing campaigns and smart is the secret when getting them to engage with your fitness brand.

Instagram Update

Did you know you can add links to your Instagram story, taking your potential clients directly to your landing page? Well, you can, and here’s how: How to Add a Link to an Instagram Story?

Facebook Update

In May, Facebook launched its beta program for the new Facebook Shops application. And, as of August, the application is available to anyone. You can now synchronize your business’s e-store directly to your Facebook page (Shop). Here’s how: How to Set Up a Facebook Shop in 2020.

[Related: How to Get Started with Facebook and Instagram Shops]


Covid-19 Business Updates

Is there a wrong way to engage gym members during COVID?

NPR recently published a story, Secret Gyms And The Economics Of Prohibition, describing the emergence of speakeasy gyms––gyms that are operating illegally in light of their local/state COVID regulations. We thought it prudent to outline why this is not a good idea:

  1. Legal implications: Not only will you face fines, but you might also risk jail time, lawsuits, and even lose your business/licensing.
  2. Insurance fraud: Your gym could forfeit liability coverage if an injury occurs on-site while operating illegally, meaning you personally bear the financial burden of lawsuits.
  3. Safety issues: If your gym is operating incognito, it’s quite likely you’re skirting other measures too, such as properly following health and safety measures that that would protect members from infectious diseases and injury.

Not every state is the same so check your state’s laws and company’s bylaws for in-depth definitions of illegal operation and fraud for small businesses.

The Insider article, I tried a socially-distanced outdoor fitness class and was surprised at how safe I felt working out in a group, reaffirms that creative (and legal) approaches to COVID-era fitness programs are the safest bet. As well, you may want to revisit our most recent edition of Sweat Equity, where we explored the idea of moving fitness outdoors.

[Related: What Are the Current Legal Limitations of a Personal Trainer?, This is the safest indoor space to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a mechanical engineer]


The Role of Professional Development in the Fitness Industry

Odds are, your fitness training business is booming right now (we certainly hope so) or…maybe the odds haven’t been in your favor. With market uncertainties abounding, it may feel counter-intuitive to divert your time and cash towards professional development. But, the opposite is true. The fitness market feels unpredictable and that’s exactly why now is the time to make sure your brand shines.

[Related: Exercise.com’s 40 FITNESS AND PERSONAL TRAINER CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES]

Personal Development to Boost Business Growth

Whether you’ve already landed in a niche or you’re curious about what current trends are predicting the fitness industry’s future direction, education is always a smart investment. Functional fitness and HIIT are still trending big for 2020; as well as older adult fitness, and, well, anything that involves the outdoors. Specialties/certifications are cost-effective strategies to:

  • Keep your current clients loyal
  • Develop your brand and increase your audience

So, if you’re looking for a creative way to invest that next stimulus check, keep reading.

Certifications: Worth Your Time and Investment

You’ve watched the craze unfold––online training programs are flooding the market; and attracting (i.e. competing for) new business by adding a specialty or certification from one of the fitness industry’s top agencies is a sure bet. Here are several advanced niches that are gaining traction right now:

  • Strength and Conditioning (ISSA)
  • Nutrition (ISSA)
  • Exercise Therapy (ISSA)
  • Weight Loss Coach (NASM)
  • Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (ACSM)
  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM)
  • Medical Exercise Specialist (ACE)
  • Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist (AFPA)
  • Integrative Medicine Health Coach (Duke)
  • MMA Conditioning (NESTA)

And this goes for gym owners, too! Encourage and support your trainers in pursuing advanced training. It’s certainly not a bad idea––actually a win-win for both you and your trainers––to consider offering continuing education benefits for your employees.

[Related: The Comprehensive Guide To Managing Fitness Employees]


Battling Imposter Syndrome in the Fitness Industry

Here’s how to own your success

In this previous issue of Sweat Equity, we covered how to increase your confidence as a fitness professional. And let’s face it, there will always be someone smarter and better. But that doesn’t mean you only bring second-rate goods to the table. Nonetheless, feelings of inadequacy can overshadow the value of your past growth and accomplishments.

Imposter Syndrome refers to anyone “who isn’t able to internalize and own their successes,” says psychologist Audrey Ervin.

With so many clamoring for the spotlight in the fitness industry, which do you find is your inclination? To raise your “voice” a little louder so as to get in on the action? Or, cross your fingers and hope to accidentally become the superstar of the introvert niche? The imposter compensates for their lack of self-confidence in both directions.

Fearing failure is normal. Where you go wrong is when you fail to act because of fear. You may encounter criticism and even fail miserably from time to time––everyone does––so why not use failure and criticism to sharpen your game.

Even if your client base and following are meager and your experience is average, in no way does that void your passion, your creative spirit, or your unique disposition to train and grow a fitness business the way only you are wired to do so.

Could I Really Be Suffering From Imposter Syndrome?

A hyper-, but flawed, self-awareness is usually sufficient in itself to determine if you’re struggling with imposter syndrome. More than lacking self-confidence, you live in constant fear that you’ll, at any moment, be exposed as a fraud. Here are two online tests that can help determine exactly where you fall:

How To Live Beyond the Fear of Failure

If left unchecked, the syndrome can have a negative impact on your professional and personal life. Although there isn’t a quick-fix for imposter syndrome, a key to minimizing the side-effects begins with awareness. Advice for fitness professionals who are struggling with the syndrome’s tendencies includes:

  • Train yourself. In the same way an athlete trains to compete, practice your own skills. Use personal and professional training and development to reinforce confidence.
  • Don’t hide. We’re not just talking failures. Don’t hide from successes either. Accept both as genuine without making excuses.
  • Success log. Keep some type of journal that allows you to track your victories. When you’re feeling particularly low, scan your log to be reminded of your infinite potential.

Another tool you might try is visualization (mental imagery). It is a popular technique athletes use to improve performance.  With mental imagery, you “imagine yourself performing perfectly and doing exactly what you want, you physiologically create neural patterns in your brain so that the action feels familiar when you go to perform it.” (Kreedon)

[Related: Rubber Band Theory of Personality]


Client Success With Benjamin Pickard

Our resident interviewer, Schimri Yoyo, sits down with Benjamin Pickard, owner of Lean Strong Fitness, on values that contribute to client success.

Benjamin Pickard photo

Notable Quotes:

  • “…a huge one would be open-mindedness or willing to set their ego aside. People who come in and are like, “Oh, that’s not what I used to believe to be true but I’m happy to try it because you guys are the experts.”…but when they’re open to trying those things, that’s a huge, huge benefit.”
  • “Another big one would be…compliance. Even though it’s kind of got a negative connotation but if we’re working on a mutually agreed-upon plan…hashed out the details that these are your action steps on a daily or weekly basis and then you’re not doing them or not filling out your check-in or not having good communication, it makes it really hard…Having that willingness to do the work is crazy, crazy important.
  • “…we have a lot of clients who don’t love the gym but they come to us because they know they need to or they should and it’s nothing better than a client coming in and saying, ‘Hey, when I first started, I hated the gym. This intimidated me. I just didn’t like all this. But now we’re six weeks, eight weeks in, and I’m really starting to enjoy this and like I’m really enjoying the support.’”

Read the full interview here.


Interesting Internet Finds

Share these links on your social media platforms for increased reach and engagement

Taste: Looking for a way to up your nut and seed intake? Try this Low Carb Nut Bar Recipe for an on-the-go breakfast or post-workout treat.

Buy: Because fitness enthusiasts love literature too: Walt Whitman shares some timeless advice on avoiding coming undone in the face of criticism: How to Keep Criticism from Sinking Your Confidence: Walt Whitman and the Discipline of Creative Self-Esteem

Watch: With Wimbleton 2020 being canceled check out these funniest moments from 2019 for a much-needed laugh session.

Read: Because fitness enthusiasts love literature too: Walt Whitman shares some timeless advice on avoiding coming undone in the face of criticism: How to Keep Criticism from Sinking Your Confidence: Walt Whitman and the Discipline of Creative Self-Esteem

And that’s a wrap! We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s digital issue of Sweat Equity: Insider Fitness Business Insights. We’ll see you in two weeks! Stay safe. Stay kind. And wash your hands.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, book a demo with our team today.


This week’s newsletter was brought to you by Brittany, Mathew, and Jeff.

sweat equity author images

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