Do your potential clients actually see what you do as anything different than one of those cheap $50/month bootcamps or the spin class at the commercial gym (which they don’t pay any additional fee for)? From the outside looking in, all the fitness consumer see’s is a group of people getting sweaty. And one’s a heck of a lot cheaper than the other!
With more personal trainers and gyms popping up every week we are seeing a dangerous trend emerging in the fitness field, and that is price-cutting. Too many fitness businesses are starting to compete on price. They continually lower their prices thinking that if they get their prices low enough, none of the other fitness businesses will be able to compete with them. And from the outside looking in, our potential clients may not see any difference between the structured programming that you’ve put together to ensure them results, and the one size fits all workout of the day.
And they may never know that there is a huge difference, unless you can get them in front of you and educate them on what they need to be doing. But how in the heck do you do this when your prices are so much higher?
Group Training to the Rescue
If you have not introduced some sort of group training into your business, you are going to miss the boat and your business will suffer. I’m not saying that 1-on-1 training is dead, but you need to have an offer for people who cannot or are not yet ready to spend big bucks on fitness. And from a business stand point; this is one major advantage of group training. It allows you to offer people a low hanging piece of fruit to pick and sample to see if they like it. We sometimes forget that fitness is an acquired taste, and not everyone is going to fall in love after their first bite. As we all know, sometimes that first bite can have the bitter taste of lactic acid and DOMS.
This is what a lot of potential clients think of fitness!
”From the outside looking in, all the fitness consumer see’s is a group of people getting sweaty”
– Tweet This Out!
But if they eat it enough, and we know they’ll love it!
But if you can offer a new client the chance to come back and try a few more pieces of your fitness fruit, they are going to realize that it’s not always going to wake up the next day and feel every last muscle in their body. They will start to get hooked on those endorphins that they had read about in the latest magazine article.
The Fitness Experience
Do you offer some sort of trial or short term membership so that potential clients can try it out for under $100? Something where they will have the chance to come in numerous times over a 2 to 4 week period and acquire the taste of fitness? This is an essential offering in today’s competitive fitness market, but it’s a hard thing to do if you only offer 1-on-1 training. So if you’re not offering this service you may want to take some time and look at it.
But I Love 1-on-1 Training
If you love doing 1-on-1 training, I’m not saying you have to stop doing it, or stop making it your main service. You could “upsell” a lot of these people that come in and purchase a trial group training experience into 1-on-1 training. But now you have an offer to compete with all those low priced bootcamps and gyms to at least bring those people in the door that don’t see a difference (yet!).
Too many trainers are getting frustrated with this shift in the market, and their business is suffering but there is a solution. And it’s as simple as putting a few group training sessions onto your schedule to help bring people in thru your doors. If you found this article helpful, please click the share button below so we can continue to grow the fitness industry on quality, not just price!
As you may have noticed over the past couple weeks, the timeline of your Facebook page has changed to a one column design. There are a few things that have been moved around, but I think it looks a lot cleaner.
One thing I really like is on the right hand side you can see a tab that says this week. This gives you an easy way to see some of the stats for your page. This is great for those of you who get “too busy” to look at your insights. This way you can just make a habit that each week you write down your Post Reach and see how it differs from week to week to give you an idea of how good your content has been.
One thing that you need to take notice of is the fact that you can only have 3 tabs visible on the top of your page. I would highly recommend that you re order these to make sure whatever you’re using to capture emails addresses appears on this bar. You could also possible put one of your other social media feeds in there too, but I would never take away your About tab, as this should always be easy to find for new fans and prospective clients.
You can have another 3 apps down the left hand side a little further down too. This is where I would include your other social media tabs.
Although there are other changes to your timeline, these are the ones that you need to know about and make sure you fix them up to get the most out of your fan page.
This week’s guest is Dan McDonogh. Dan is very well known in the industry, both for his work with TRX, as well as with Les Mills and RPM. Dan is the recipient of the 2012 Group Fitness Instructor of the Year from IDEA Health and Fitness Association the founder of Rooster Racing International and is currently the Group Training & Development Manager at TRX. He is a regular presenter all over the world, and basically has a lot of knowledge to share. I was really excited to get Dan on the show!
This week’s guest is Greg Justice. Greg has been the industry longer than some trainers have been alive, so needless to say he’s got a lot to share. Greg is the author of 4 books, speaks at many major conventions and is a reminder of what it takes to be a real professional in an industry that sometimes lacks professionalism. And a little side note, Greg has one of the highest retention rates you’ll ever here, so listen carefully.
Learn the newest “ninja Facebook marketing tactic”.
Use this one Facebook trick to get new clients.
This is something that drives me crazy. Do you really want to trick people into being your client? And the whole “ninja” thing to me, is the term people use that lack the ability to actually explain what they really mean.
As a fitness professional you should look at Facebook as an amazing opportunity to get in front of your prospective (and current clients) and help them understand your “why”. Your why is the reason people buy from you and Facebook allows you to “tell your story” day after day until they realise you are the solution to their problem.
If you’re approaching Facebook as a way use “secret tricks” to find new clients then you’re missing the point. And your content probably shows this. There is no doubt that Facebook has some great tools to help you attract new clients, but it should be used in conjunction with the rest of your marketing. Have a plan and know what the end goal of what you are doing is.
Have you mapped out a plan, with measurable goals, about how you want to use Facebook? If you’re just on there because everyone else is, then I would highly recommend you stop wasting your time. It’s exactly like we tell our clients about having goals, what can’t be measured can’t be managed. So take a moment and think about why you’re using Facebook, but please don’t say it’s to get as many likes as possible. Although it may help fill your ego, it’s not going to do anything to help improve you business.
So maybe it’s to get your fans to opt in for a free report so that you can get start to market to them via email. Maybe it’s a place for you to tell your story and let people discover your why. Or maybe it’s a place to put up online offers (but I’d warn you, you’ve got to be careful with how you sell via Facebook). Whatever it is, just make sure you have a goal.
What I like to do, and use with my social-media consulting clients, is to strategically use a combination of all of these. We might spend a couple of weeks concentrating on posting really valuable, engaging content that both educates our fans and allows them to get to know us much better. Then after building up this goodwill we will put an offer in front of them, either in the form of an upcoming program we are running, or maybe just a free resource to get their email. Then we might spend a few weeks trying to increase the number of fans on our page, targeting people who fit our demographic. And then we’ll just continue to rotate through these types of combinations.
In closing, have a goal for your Facebook page then make a plan to achieve it. And stop looking for new tricks because Facebook is all about relationship building.
This week’s guest is Jarod Cogswell from Enterprise Athlete He’s been in the fitness industry for 20 years and done a multitude of things. Jarod is an author, an in demand speaker and consultant who has spent a lot of time in the big box industry but has recently moved to the studio/small training gym arena. During his time working in big boxes he’s helped increase revenues to over $8 million, drove personal training revenue to over $1 million, as well as increasing memberships by 2000 plus. So needless to say, he’s got a proven track record.
This year’s IDEA World fitness convention in Anaheim looks to be another can’t miss event. The line up of presenters is outstanding once again, and if you’re anything like me, the only bad thing about IDEA World is trying to pick which sessions to attend. With so many great options, there’s not a single time slot that you can’t find at least a couple that you’ll want to go to.
The purpose of this blog post is to give you my personal picks based on who and what I know. But to be fully transparent, I’m not a group exercise guy so that’s why you won’t see any picks that include P90X or Les Mills (although 2 good friends, Dan McDonogh & Douglas Brooks are absolute legends of group exercise in my books). Again, this is what sessions I’m going to attend, so I’d love to hear which ones you’re digging in the comments section at the bottom!
If you know me at all, then you will know where I’ll be on Wednesday for the precon. Yup, having “A Day of IMPACT – A Life of LEADERSHIP!” with my main man Todd Durkin. I can’t think of a better way to start off such a great weekend than with Todd.
Time Block C
Depending on how my body is feeling after the long flight from Australia I may not start my Thursday sessions until 8:10am. But if I’m feeling good then I will definitely start my day off with a workout with Dan McDonogh in TRX: Circuit Training (session 201). But if this is your first year attending IDEA World then you may also want to go to the IDEA Rookie Rumble (session 200) with Shannon Fable & Jeffery Scott to get the low down.
Time Block D
Since Todd has a session (231:Perform Better: The Secret Sauce to Creating a WOW Training Experience!) in this time slot that’s probably were you’ll find me. But my inner geek is calling me towards Lenny Parracino’s session called Assess & Address Core Dysfunction (session 237) as well as session 234 NASM: Balance & Plyometric Training for Fall Prevention in Seniors since my training business has a percentage of Seniors we work with. So I guess this one might be a game time decision. Dr. Lenny Kravitz’s talks are always good so you might want to check his session out (238:The Physiology of High Intensity Interval Exercise). Or if you want to get a bit more active, Marc Lebert’s session (247: LTS Cool New Tools & Programming for Boot Camps and Group Ex!) would be great. He’s got some great tools and if you use them I think whenever you get a chance to learn from a product’s creator you should jump at it.
This one’s an easy pick for me. I’ll be helping out in Session 271: Metabolic Stability with my good friend Josh Henkin. The info that Josh has in this session is amazing, as I’ve been lucky enough to hear about his metabolic stability program he’s been putting together for some time now. You might also like see Cassidy Phillips (or the King of the look away airplane selfie as I like to call him) Trigger Point Performance: Injury Prevention for Multisport Training (session 273), especially if you’ve never used any Trigger Point products. They are a staple in our training business. And there’s Dr Kravitz’s talk on The Physiology of Fat Loss (session 278) and another one that caught my attention from Cody Sipe called Capturing the 55+ Market – Strategies for Explosive Growth. This is one of the time blocks where I wish I could do both, but if you’re in that market Cody definitely is an expert for this demographic.
Time for the final session of day 1. If you want to end it off with a workout and energy that is off the charts go to Four Top Guns and Four Top Chicks Elite Challenge (session 312). I’ve helped out with this one every year I’ve been at IDEA World and it’s a lot of fun. If you’re looking to sharpen your Bootcamp business go see Trina Gray in Boot Camp Mania: Beyond Chants & Camo (session 311). Trina is an extremely dialled in businesswoman who doesn’t get the attention she deserves. Lots to learn from her!! But maybe you’re inner fit geek wants a bit more. If that’s the case Derrick Price’s Movement Prep-Extensibility Versus Elasticity (session 306) looks like the one I would do.
It’s time for day 2! If you want to improve your marketing I’d go to Session 411: Perform Better: R.I.P. Traditional Marketing with Todd Durkin and his marketing director Lindsey Richardson. I know their content very well and not only is it top notch but also easy to understand and use which I find is usually what stops fit pro’s from utilizing the business knowledge they gain. If you’re feeling more like a workout it’s a toss up between Sport Conditioning Goes Group! Take 2! with Peter Twist (session 404) or ViPR: Shift Training – A New Way to Lift with Michol Dalcourt (session 402). And yes, it could have something to do with them being fellow Canadians, but they are both great presenters who I always make sure to connect with and see every convention.
This time slot is one of the easiest for me to pick, since it’s the first of my three sessions. I’ve got a great workshop called The New Evolution of Core Training (session 431), which is obviously on core training. But a couple of other sessions are Lenny Parracino’s Assess & Address Shoulder Dysfunction (session 437), Cody Sipe’s Functional Circuits for Aging Clients (session 447), and Cassidy Phillips Trigger Point Performance: Get on the GRID (session 433). And if you’re in need of a workout, Dan McDonogh’s TRX Group RIP Power (session 430) will no doubt leave you energized. But of course I would love to see you in my session (wink wink). I promise you’ll know where every abdominal muscle is by the end of the session!!
This is another session where there is no choice for me. Every year I’ve helped Todd with his Boot Camp 2014 session (although the year in the title has obviously been different) and I love watching the energy and passion that comes out of all the trainers in that session. Two other workout options in this time slot are Fraser Quelch’s Training Zone Circuits (session 460), which is a pretty cool session, or Peter Twist’s Get Twisted (session 464). If you if have a business with other trainers who work for you, Sherri McMillan’s Creating Your Dream Team – Recruiting, Training and Keeping Good Personal Trainers (session 470) should have some great takeaways. The other session that really caught my eye was Fabio Comana’s NASM: Brain Fitness – Building Mental Muscle. This is a topic that is only going to continue to grow, so this could be one session to attend to stay on the cutting edge.
Last session for Friday is a short one, but there are definitely some great options. If you’re a spin/bike person Douglas Brooks & Adam Reid will give you a great workout in RealRyder Indoor Cycling: Cardio Games (seesion 515). If you struggle with balance in your career then go see my buddy Brett Klika’s talk How to Change Lives Without Ruining Your Own! (session 498). If you have been sitting way too much the last two days, check out Sue Hitzmann’s Stop Joint Pain Series: Upper Body MELT. I’m really looking forward to getting some MELT kit’s to bring back with me. But, the one that’s really got me curious (and where I’ll be) is by the IDEA Faculty called How Technology is Changing the Future of Fitness (session 501). Technology is changing rapidly and if we don’t stay up to date on how to utilise it we could get left behind. Very interested in what they will share in this session.
Now hopefully you won’t have spent too much time “networking” on Friday night to miss this early morning block of sessions because there are some good ones! I’ll be attending Greg Roskopf’s 608: Assessing Mobility as a Function of Stability. I attended one of Greg’s sessions for the first time over 10 years ago and loved it, so I’ll be making sure to see him again now that I’ve got a chance. If you’re looking at shaking the cobwebs out with a bit of activity check out my boy Fraser Quelch with TRX: Advanced Suspension Training. Pete Holman’s 603: From the Hip – An Exploration in Structure and Function also appeals to me, especially knowing the passion and excitement Pete brings. And if I hadn’t spent so much time with Cassidy already and him telling me all about his cold roller, it would have been a tough call in this time slot as he’s got session 604: Trigger Point Performance: Cold Myofascial Compression Techniques for Recovery.
This time slot is definitely a more hands on, active one. You’ve got 3 great sessions to chose from, so you really can’t go wrong. If you work with kids you’ve got youth conditioning expert Brett Klika with 632: Sweat and Smiles: New Ideas for Training Kids. Rodney Corn’s 635: Different PLAY for Different People is applicable to anyone who wants to add a bit of fun and some smiles to their clients face. And then you’ve got Michol’s session ViPR: Training for Multidirectional Sport if you wanted to figure out how to implement this unique tool into your clients training regime. Which ever one you chose, you’re a winner in this time slot.
One of the best talks I’ve heard in years was by What We Say Matters – The Truth About Cueing by Nick Winkelman which I saw at Perform Better last June. The content included in Nick’s session is world class and will take your coaching to a new level guaranteed. I was pretty stoked to see he was doing it this year at IDEA World, so even though I’ve seen it once I’ll be at it again. But you’ve also got another great session from both Brett Klika (672: Fun and Function: Adult Fitness Games) and Rodney Corn (674: When Emotion Meets Motion). If you’d rather get a bit more active definitely go check out 689: HALO: Basic Workout for Integrated Training. Bryce Taylor, the inventor of the HALO, sent me a unit a few months back and I’ve been playing with it and really like it so far. Great tool for both beginner and advance clients, so if you’re looking at adding another tool to your toolbox this might be the one for you.
Now if I didn’t have my Gluteus to the Max: Ultimate Glute Training session in this time slot I’d be over at my good friend Anthony Carey’s session Strategic Movement and Myofascial Mobility (704). So if you want to learn how to build better booty’s come see me or if you’re more interested in improving mobility then go see Anthony. And if you’re stuck in the middle and don’t want to hurt either of our feelings, check out Amanda Vogel’s Fitness Writing: Blogs, Websites and Magazines. She’s a great writer and will definitely have some good info to share.
This is when the sadness (and hangovers) typically starts to set in. You’ve realised that IDEA World is almost finished but don’t worry there are still a couple great sessions to “get your learn on”! After grabbing a coffee and getting my stuff together I’ll pop into Chris Mohr’s 805: Nutrition in the News – The Truth Behind Media Headlines. Chris is a very honest “nutrition guy” and with so much hype and misinformation in the media I think this session is a must if you want to be able to better explain this sort of stuff to your clients. Side note: Sorry in advance Chris when I step out early, but I need to go get ready for my session.
Try to hold back the tears as it’s the very last session of the 2014 IDEA World and once again it’s me versus the evil Anthony Carey in this time slot. I’m joking. Anthony is great, just found it funny we have our sessions once again in the same time slot since I’d be in his if I didn’t have one. Anthony’s 820: Movement Variability – Training Human Software is a very interesting and cutting edge topic, as movement variability is a fairly new topic that’s getting more and more attention in the training world. My session (821: Training the Baby Boomer) is exactly what the title says, so if you train baby boomers, this is the session for you. And it’s not going to be your run of the mill information. You’re going to see exactly what you can do with older clients and I’m sure I’m going to change some of your thoughts on what they can actually do. One other interesting talk in this time slot is 824: Best Practices for Integrating Devices and Apps with Your Clients by Patrick Jak. Our society is moving more and more towards technology so would have loved to hear what he has to say on this. But maybe I’ll just have to get a preview when I visit him at Fitness Quest 10 before IDEA World.
So hopefully this helped you (instead of making your choices even harder now) to figure out who and what you’re going to attend at this years IDEA World Fitness Convention. And like I had said at the beginning, these are just the choices I would make, but I would absolutely love to hear the presenters/topics you like and are going to see. Just comment below and maybe you’ll end up changing my mind on a couple of sessions.
Over the past 3 years I’ve been lucky enough to become good friends with Todd Durkin. If you don’t know who Todd is you can check his site out here; www.ToddDurkin.com. But if I were to describe Todd in only a couple of words, it would be life transformer. He’s been one of the main reasons that both my life and career have grown exponentially in such a short time. And although I’ve learned a ton from TD, I want to share my biggest 3 lessons from him.
Lesson #1: Give Everything You’ve Got. And then some.
If you know TD, then I know you’ve heard him say this dozens of times. But I believe that sometimes it’s easy for us to let words go in one ear and out the other without really taking them in.
Instead of just doing a good job or what people expect from you, over deliver every time you interact with them. The world is made up of millions of people who settle for average, but this isn’t what makes you truly great. For me, I’m always asking myself, could I have done more or what would Todd have done in that situation.
Now I can’t think of any better way to show you what I mean about “and then some” than to tell you about the first time I met TD. On a trip back to see my family for Christmas, my partner Kristy and I decided to spend a few days in San Diego before we hit the snow. We had scheduled to do a PT session at Fitness Quest 10 (Todd’s gym) with one of his trainers, Brett Klika , who actually won the IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year award last year, but that’s a whole other story.
We had seen Todd in his office working away, but didn’t have the chance to actually meet him, but he was busy so we didn’t think twice. After our session we were walking out to our car, in the dark, and we heard this voice yell from behind “Hey guys….guys!” We turned around to see a man running towards us, and thought what the hell does this guy want!
To our shock it was Todd. And he had chased us down because he felt bad that he hadn’t had a chance to meet us and to say thank you for coming to Fitness Quest 10 on our vacation. He then proceeded to tell us it was because he was on a business call and that he was still on it so he had to run back inside to finish it. But he told us he wanted to make sure that he had the chance to thank us.
Now how many gym owners would do that? And that’s exactly what “and then some” is. Making the time or effort no matter what.
Lesson #2: Be There for People
This one probably seems like a given and something that everyone does but I would be to say there are differing levels of this. And Todd has shown me what it really means.
Whether it’s taking that extra second to connect with someone at a convention, or reaching out to ask how someone is doing, TD embodies this. He’s an extremely busy man, much busier than anyone I’ve ever known, but if someone needs something he finds the time.
After only knowing Todd for 18 months I was over in San Diego and really wanted to sit down and get some advice and guidance on some things going on in my career. This is also the same time he has all his NFL guys in preparing for training camp, as well as prime conference time. Basically, his busiest time of the year! But guess what? He made time, and not just 5 minutes. He rearranged things so he had 60 minutes to spend with me.
Actually, while I’m writing this I’m waiting on a call from Todd. This morning a very unique opportunity has come up, but I’m not sure how to deal with it, so messaged him to ask for his advice. Instead of just telling what he thinks, he is going to call me to discuss it and come up with a solution. He’s the type of person who is always there for you.
Lesson #3: How to be World Class in the Fitness Industry
Only because I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with Todd not only in his gym, but at various conventions I’ve been able to watch how he conducts himself. He truly is a one of a kind individual in everything he does.
There are so many small things I’ve picked up from him that I wouldn’t even know where to start. But that’s part of the lesson. It’s all these little things that make you world class. From the way you speak to people to the questions you ask to the words you use to the energy you give. Todd is truly world class in every aspect of his life.
If you know TD then I’m sure that you relate to at least one of these. And if you’ve never met Todd I would highly recommend to go hear him speak or even better check out his 3.5 day mentorship.
And for those of you who have met Todd I would love to hear in the comments section below what Todd has taught you.
This week’s guest is Mike Wunsch from Results Fitness. Mike is one of the smartest guys around when it comes to programming. He’s got an absolute wealth of knowledge and is lucky enough to have pretty much anyone who’s anyone in the fitness industry come and do in service sessions with him and the staff at Results Fitness.
After spending a great weekend with Martin Rooney, this was one of a few things that really resonated with me. He brought up the concept of being so pure with what we do as fitness professionals that we lose touch of the actual client. This is something that I can say without doubt that I have been guilty of in the past, and working with a number of other fit pro’s, see it all too often.
So ask yourself the question, are you too pure with what you do with your clients? Now you might be thinking what the heck is he talking about? And all this means is don’t let what you think is the scientifically proven “best” thing for your client get in the way of what might be the best thing for your client on a given day. That may mean that sometimes you might want to pick an exercise for the simple reason that your client loves it. Or completely scrap the periodised program for today, for a bit of an impromptu fun to lift your client’s spirits.
One thing that can often get lost in the world of fitness is the fact that it is part science and part art. And if you’re only looking after one side, you’re doing a disservice to your clients. This is the exact reason why you’ve seen trainers who have lots of clients, yet don’t really know how to coach a squat properly or put together a solid program. But you’ll also see the most technically sound trainer who would be able to tell you, to the degree, how much lumbar flexion every one of their clients has during a squat, struggle to get clients.
It’s because these trainers are only focused on the art or the science of being a trainer. Do you think telling your client not to go to Zumba once a week because she loves it, is really helping her? Last time I checked moving around, getting a sweat up and laughing are all good things. Would that same client benefit from doing a couple of resistance training sessions each week too? Damn right, but if you’re the trainer telling her she can’t do Zumba, you’re probably not going to be able to help her see the benefit of weight training long term.
So don’t be so pure that you remove all the fun from your clients training. If you take a step back and realise without the enjoyment that is associated with exercise, your clients may not stick with their training very long. Because when you think about what we are actually asking our clients to do, we seem crazy. Come in, do a bunch of hard work that’s going to make it hard to lift your hands over your head and wash your hair. Oh, and you might have a hard time getting back up off the toilet.
Train smart, but don’t be so pure and forget exercise is fun.