Can Running an Online Challenge Benefit Your Fitness Business?

Can Running an Online Challenge Benefit Your Fitness Business?

Online fitness challenges have seen a surge in popularity in 2017. We expect that this will only increase in 2018. After the holiday season, with spring and summer slowly but steadily coming closer, people traditionally become more conscious about their health and physical appearance.  No wonder so many gym memberships are sold during this period. These first months of the year offer a great window of opportunity to market any health and wellness services. Hosting an online challenge is a great way to grow your health and wellness brand!

Can Running an Online Challenge Benefit Your Fitness Business
Reach Your Audience with an Online Challenge

There is a huge amount of different fitness and sports challenges which you can offer. Many online challenges focus on a specific subject or area of the body. For instance, with the 28 day Ab Challenge, your workouts will focus on core movements. The main goal is to really see a result at the end of a challenge. In fact, that is a key factor for success; an online challenge is very much result oriented in a short amount of time. This model works well with the main audience on social media, who are not specifically known for being patient.

Why Online Challenges are Appealing to your Target Audience

By organizing an online fitness challenge you give your target audience exactly what they are looking for: something to focus on right here and now. Endeavors that will take more than a year to show results are not so attractive for most people in this demographic. Most online fitness challenges are designed in such a way that the participant only commits a short amount of time each day. A 28-day shred, for instance, makes you do a short workout of 20 minutes each day. Those exercises are able to be performed in the house and are often easily integrated into a normal daytime routine. This is enticing to many people since it can be difficult to make time to go to a gym when dealing with a busy schedule. A challenge like this fits much better with the way how they organize their days.

Make an Online Fitness Challenge Work for You

Online fitness challenges come in many forms, but overall the most popular and effective ones have an affordable fee. Compared to a membership at a gym and hiring a personal trainer, this fee is of course way more affordable and attractive for clients. Paying a fee to join a challenge creates a sense of obligation for the clients…they are more likely to commit and engage if they are financially invested as compared to signing up for a free challenge. For you as a trainer, launching an online fitness challenge can provide an increase in your income; you can ‘train’ many more clients in a month via an online challenge than in real life. If your program has a fee of $50 and you get 200 customers to sign up, you will bring in $10.000! Not bad for a month’s work.

Can Running an Online Challenge Benefit Your Fitness BusinessIn addition to the income, you will also be building your mailing list with the names and emails of the clients who are participating in the challenge. This will allow you to reach them in the future with other services or products that they may be interested in. And, because you know their interests, you will be able to target your communication very specifically to their needs.

Online fitness challenges also serve as a great way to get free promotion for your brand. Dedicated participants to an online challenge want to share their efforts and results with their followers. There is a good chance that photos of the challenge end up on Facebook and Instagram. With the name of the challenge added as a hashtag. A perfect marketing opportunity!

An online fitness challenge doesn’t have to cost much to organize, creates a great buzz around your brand and helps your customers to reach their goals…it’s a win-win-win! This is the best time of the year to launch a challenge. Contact us today.  We can help you set up your own branded online fitness challenge!

Top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs

Top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs

Top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs!

Every entrepreneur should have a pile of books on their nightstand (or desk, or coffee table or where ever you may read) because books by successful entrepreneurs are filled with knowledge that will help you grow as a person and as a business owner.  Reading is one of the most important investments you can make in yourself and in your business.  With the ability to buy any book affordably online and audio book options, there is no excuse.  While there is a ton of knowledge available in many different forms including youtube videos and podcasts, there is nothing that comes close to the amount of information you will find in a few good books.

If you haven’t started your reading list yet, here are our top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs:

  1. Think and Grow Rich
    By Napoleon Hill Top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs

    In Think and Grow Rich, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. This book will teach you the secrets that could bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success.

  2. The E-Myth Revisited
    Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
    By Michael E. Gerber Top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs

    In The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

  3. The Lean Start-Up
    How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
    By Eric Ries Top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs

    The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively.  Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

  4. The One Thing
    The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
    By Gary Keller Top 5 Books for Entrepreneurs

    Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams Realty and a best-selling author, overcame his own issues about focus, which makes his claims about cultivating better habits even more compelling. Multitasking isn’t fruitful, he says, since success requires long periods of laser-like concentration, not scattershot swats. If you find your “ONE Thing,” Keller says, everything else will fall into place. Keller, writing with co-author Jay Papasan, breaks his approach down into manageable steps based on research and experience. With an engaging writing style and plenty of bullet points, this reads much faster than its 200-plus pages. getAbstract recommends Keller’s methods to new managers, time-strapped executives and anyone seeking habits that build success.

  5. Zero to One
    Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
    By Peter Thiel

    Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.
    Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.

What book has made an impact on you and your business?  Share with us in the comments below!

Also, keep an eye out for future posts with our favorite books on different topics.

We look forward to connecting with you!

Building Your Website

Building Your Website

At MyFitCoach, we spend our days helping others to build their fitness businesses and over the last few years, we have learned a lot about what traits are likely to make your business successful.  Over the next several weeks we will be sharing a series about what we have found to be most important in establishing your fitness business.

This Week’s Topic:  Building Your Website

Building your website can feel like an overwhelming task.  But if you invest the time to do it right the first time your efforts will be worth it.  Depending on your needs, there are a ton of different website options.  Do you need an ecommerce site to sell your products?  Are you planning on blogging or vlogging to share your expertise?  Would a simple static site to provide information about your services meet your needs?  Do you plan on offering membership services and need a back-end system that can accommodate that?

Today’s article will be focusing on the basics.  We will be writing a more in depth post that covers the details of ecommerce and membership websites that will add more functionality to your website in the near future…stay tuned!

Step 1 – Create a List of Features You Want for your Website Building Your Website

The first step to building your website is to create a list of your needs.  If you start building a website and find out that it doesn’t offer the functionality that you need down the road, you will either have to settle for less than you want, or you will have to start again.  And neither of those options are very fun.

Once you have a list, you will be able to find the right platform to meet your needs.

Step 2 – Choosing a Website Domain Name

In the ideal world, your website name would be YourBusinessName.com.  If that is available you should buy it now…do not wait as domain names get snatched up quickly!  Even if you are not Building Your Websiteready to build your website right now, you should buy and hold onto the domain name.

If YourBusinessName.com is not available, here are some tips for choosing a good domain name:

  • Choose a name that is easy to remember.  For obvious reasons you want your website name to be easily recalled by potential clients
  • Make it easy to spell.  If you choose words that are difficult to spell, you may lose clients who misspell your domain name and end up on another site.
  • Ensure that it easy to say.  This will allow your clients to easily share your website address with their friends verbally.
  • Avoid numbers and hyphens.  Potential website visitors may not know if you spelled out the number or not.  Do not use the numbers 2 or 4 to replace the words “to” or “for.”  This is almost guaranteed to confuse clients.  One exception to this is if there is a number in your business name.  If this is the case, we recommend that you purchase the domain name using numbers and also with the numbers spelled out to ensure that no matter how a client enters the address it will get them to your site.
  • Use key words that you want to be recognized for.  This will help clients associate you with your area of expertise and also help with search engine results.
  • If you are just starting out, look for a name that is available across all social media as well.  This way your clients can easily find you on multiple platforms.  If you can find a name that is available across multiple social media sites, be sure to create accounts with those names ASAP.
  • The ideal extension is .com but if that is not available, .co and .net are also commonly used.

If you are struggling to come up with ideas, contact us and we will brainstorm with you to find just the right domain name for your fitness business.

Step 3 – Choosing a host

Choosing a website hosting service can be a little confusing if you have never navigated this before, but it’s not as complicated as you may think.  Website hosting is simply a service where the company provides you with the technologies necessary to have your website accessible via the internet.  They store your website on a server that allows your clients to type in your domain name and reach your site.

When choosing a service provider, there are a few things that you want to look for to make sure you will get what you need from the hosting service.

  • Make sure the provider gives you access to the cPanel.  The cPanel is your hosting account’s control panel and allows you to edit your hosting files, see your website’s statistics and more.
  • Look for hosting services that offer “one click” installation for WordPress or the content management system that you are using (more on that below).

We have worked with several different companies and recommend Blue Host or www.Atariahost.com.  Both companies have great customer service, their Panel is easy to use, they allow room to grow (for example: upgrading to a designated server as your business grows) and their prices are reasonable.

Step 4 – Choosing a Content Management System (CMS)

Now is the time to pull out the list that you created in Step 1.  You should look for a content management system that meets all of the needs on your list.  It is also a good idea to look for a platform that will allow you to grow; if you are not selling any product now but you think you may in the future, be sure to choose a platform that will allow you to add eCommerce functionality so you don’t have to start over when that time comes.

Most content management systems offer a variety of pre-existing templates for you to choose from.  Take a look through the options before deciding what CMS to use, be sure that there is a template option that you like.

We have tried quite a few content management systems, but our favorite is WordPress which is what we use for most of our coaches’ sites.

Here are a few of the features that make WordPress our go-to content management system.

  • They offer thousands of different themes so there is something for everyone.
  • Affordable prices
  • Plenty of plug-ins to accommodate the needs of your site: integrating social media, scheduling tools, opt-in services, search engine optimization and more
  • Can integrate eCommerce functionality
  • Easy to navigate back-end for adding content and updating websites

A few other content management and website development systems to look into are:

  • Wix
  • GoDaddy
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Weebly

Make sure that you do your research and choose a system that meets your needs from step 1. Building Your WebsiteIf you are feeling overwhelmed and want some help building your website, let us know and we will be glad to help you out.  When we are building your website you can be sure you will get a great site with professional content and all the functionality you need.  Contact us for a free consultation today!

Leave a comment below if you have any questions about building your website.

Keep Pursuing Your Greatness!

How to Narrow Your Target Market

How to Narrow Your Target Market

At MyFitCoach, we spend our days helping others to build their fitness businesses and over the last few years, we have learned a lot about what traits are likely to make your business successful.  Over the next several weeks we will be sharing a series about what we have found to be most important in establishing your fitness business.

This Week’s Topic: Narrowing Your Target MarketHow to Narrow Your Target Market

As we mentioned in last week’s article, you will be able to create a brand and marketing strategy that works when you know who you are trying to reach.   In fact there are many benefits to narrowing your target market and even some dangers if you don’t.

It is tempting as a small business to accept every business opportunity or customer who comes your way, but trying to provide different services to various types of clients will set you up for failure.

The best way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is to become an expert in one area and to focus on customers who are looking for your specific services.

Let’s use one of the examples from last week’s article and start to narrow the target market for these coaches:

I am a physique competition coach who creates online training and nutrition programs for novice competitors.

Who is the ideal client for this coach?

  • Novice physique competitors
  • Looking for online programming (don’t need to be local)

This coach is likely capable of also working with clients who are looking to lose baby weight after pregnancy or help athletes to increase their speed to become more competitive.  But doing this waters down the coach’s skill set.  Instead of targeting one specific type of client and becoming an authority on physique competitions, he gets lost in the crowd of personal trainers in his area.  Plus, he is not working on what he is passionate about…in an effort to provide multiple services, he is losing focus on his why!  (If you haven’t already discovered your why, you should start by reading the first article in this series: Discovering Your Why)

It may seem counterintuitive to exclude clients when you are trying to grow your business, but if you focus on your specific target market, you will build more than a client base, you will build a brand and a reputation as an expert in your field.  Plus, you can always direct clients to other coaches who specialize in other areas.  The client will get what they need from a trainer and your colleague will appreciate the referral, and who knows, they may send some clients that fit your target market your way in the future.

How do you start narrowing your target market?

Now you know the benefits to having a specific target market, but how do you get started?

First, look at your current customer base.  What clients are your ideal clients?  Would other clients like them benefit from your services?  Looking at your specific service as you defined it last week, who are you already providing that service to? (If you haven’t clearly defined your services, you need to check out last week’s article: Defining Your Services).  If you could design the dream client, what would they look like?

Now, take a look at the Demographics for your ideal customer.How to Narrow Your Target Market

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income
  • Fitness Goals
  • Geographic Area

Don’t forget to look at Psychographics.

Psychographics are the more personal characteristics of a person.

  • Personality
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Interests, hobbies
  • Lifestyles
  • Behaviors

Hopefully by now you have a good picture of your target market.  But how do you learn how to market specifically to them?

This part takes a little bit of work, but it will be worth it.  Start by doing some online research.  See if you can find some research on your target market (no need to reinvent the wheel).  Here are a few ways to gather information about your ideal client:

  • Read current research about marketing to your ideal client
  • Follow blogs written by or to your target market
  • Visit blogs or forums where members of your target market communicate their opinions
  • Create an online survey
  • Ask your current clients for feedback

Once you have gathered your data, you will be more familiar with your ideal client and will be equipped to market directly to your target market.

Once you start implementing your marketing plan, you will need to assess what is working and what needs to be tweaked…and in time you will establish yourself as the expert that you are and will attract the right clients!

Let us know if you need guidance with this step, it can feel overwhelming, but we are happy to help you work through it!

Keep Pursuing Your Greatness!

How To Define Your Gym & Fitness Services.

How To Define Your Gym & Fitness Services.

Define your gym & fitness services before marketing.

At MyFitCoach, we spend our days helping others to build their fitness businesses and over the last few years, we have learned a lot about what traits are likely to make your business successful.  Over the next several weeks we will be sharing a series about what we have found to be most important in establishing your fitness business.  This week we will discuss how to define your gym & fitness services.

This Week’s Topic: Defining Your Services

In our last article we talked about the importance of discovering your why.  I hope that you spent some time really digging deep and that you found it helpful.  If you haven’t quite defined your why, take a look at our last post: https://myfitbrand.com/blog/stay-motivated-discovering-your-why/.  It’s important to set a strong foundation for your business and your why is going to be your motivation when things get tough.  If you haven’t made time for yourself yet, set a date and commit to following through – remember, your dreams are worth the investment.  If you are all set with your why let’s start clearly defining your service.

It seems pretty obvious that you should know the service that you are offering, but you would be surprised at the number of professionals that can’t clearly describe what they do.

In order to create a marketing plan for your fitness business, you will need to create statements that define what industry you are working in, what customers you are serving and how you are serving them.

Let’s use MyFitCoach as an example: MyFitCoach is a marketing and technology company that serves fitness coaches and trainers by providing strategic marketing plans, website development, and tools to help coaches create and communicate their brand to establish their business.

See that!  Our statement clearly answers those questions.

 What industry we work in:

Marketing and technology (we like to multitask)How To Define Your Gym & Fitness Services

Who are clients are:

Fitness coaches and trainers

How we serve our clients:

Providing strategic marketing plans, website development, and tools to help coaches create and communicate their brand to establish their business.

Now that seems pretty simple, but this statement took some time to develop.  In fact we had to take some time to redefine our services because we were trying to provide too many different types of service to too many different types of clients.  Which leads us to our first tip on creating a definition of your services…How To Define Your Gym & Fitness Services

Narrow your Scope!

As a fitness professional you probably want to help as many people as possible.  But that is a sure-fire way to burn yourself out and you will end up being less helpful to your clients.  You may already know how you would narrow your services because it lines up with your why.  Or you may have a really broad definition of what you do, for example: I am a personal trainer.  Let’s narrow that a bit:

I am a physique competition coach who creates online training and nutrition programs for novice competitors.

OR

I am a bootcamp instructor who helps women lose weight through HIT programming at my fitness facility.

OR

I am a sports performance coach who works with high school athletes looking to improve at their sport to work towards college scholarships.

See how that is much more specific?  You will be able to serve your clients better if you focus on the skill set and passion that you already have instead of trying to help everyone reach any goal.  Which brings us to the next topic: narrowing your audience.

It sounds counter-intuitive to want fewer clients, but it’s not that you want less – it’s that you want to provide high quality of services to the right type of client.  In our next article we will be talking more about defining your target audience which will help with this, but the major takeaway here is that you will be able to create a brand and marketing strategy that works when you know who you are trying to reach.

The last thing that you need to clearly define for your service is how you will be delivering your services.

Most coaches limit themselves to providing training services at their local gym, but there are other options.  With today’s technology you can provide training services online or using an app in addition to in person sessions.
Will your services continue to be at the gym only?  Or online?  Or a combination?  Do you want to train in the gym but use an online tool for nutrition?  Do you want to provide weekly accountability check-ins via Skype?  The possibilities are endless.

How do you see your business growing?  How will you be delivering your services?

Last week we asked you to do a little homework.  And we are going to do the same today.  Set aside some time this week to go through these questions.  Be sure that you can clearly define your service, who your customer is and how you will be providing them with service.  Again, write it down!

Once you have it created, leave us a comment – we would love to hear what you are working on!

Next week we will get into the specifics of defining your target audience and how your marketing strategy will work to reach them.

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