About 15 years ago, I talked about a special group of fitness professionals who we labeled, “Next Generation Trainers.”  They were the pros who were early adopters.

 

  • They were the first to embrace technology.

 

  • They were the first to initiate bootcamps, kickboxing and yoga programs.

 

  • They were the first to do many things that are now commonplace in the industry.

 

Recently, we identified a new group.  We call them “Tribal Leaders.” 

 

They are truly different.  And so are their businesses.

 

These are the fitness pros who have developed a loyal following — a TRIBE.

Two Attributes of Tribes

 

In the traditional business world, one might consider a tribe to be nothing more than a bunch of loyal customers.  But, that would be short-sighted. 

 

Being part of a tribe is deeper than loyalty to a brand, product or service.

 

Back in the day, Gold’s Gym and CrossFit were good examples of tribes.  And, certainly, Body Builders and CrossFitters were more than loyal customers.  But, interestingly, neither of them would actually fit today’s criteria for a “Tribe.”

 

The fitness professionals who are building their tribes are achieving two distinct goals.

 

1.)  They are growing their in-house club/studio businesses within their local market areas.  (proximity attraction)

 

2.) They are growing their “online” businesses from all over the world with specific online programming, products and services. (specific content)

 

Tribes Build Brands

 

Tribal Leaders are experts at building and leveraging their brands.  They recognize their brand is the “rallying cry” for the tribe.  Like tribal “war paint.”

 

Think of how Harley Davidson motorcycles, Apple computer and other “cool” companies leverage their brands.

 

Their brands are not only instantly recognizable… but, more importantly, say something about the person displaying or wearing it.  And, it tells the world that this person is a member of that particular TRIBE!

Real Fitness is the Perfect Tribe

 

Think about this.  True, credible fitness is all about “lifestyle.”  To that end, fitness is the perfect business to build a tribe.

 

In contrast…  who wants to be a tribal member of a law firm or accounting firm.  Who wants to be a tribal member of Walmart or McDonalds?  

 

Who wants to be a tribal member of your dentist’s office..? You get the point.

From Local to Global

 

Dale Benedict is owner of The Training Studio in Louisville, KY.   One look at their photo gallery and you realize they’ve built more than a clientele. 

 

 

They have nurtured a TRIBE.   And, the next step, is to take their “event training” knowledge, put it online and reach out to the global market.  With videos and other content.

 

Some of the more advanced fitness professionals are already learning to build sophisticated marketing funnels using sophisticated CRM web-based marketing applications.  Why?  Because they are building an online presence.  They are building their TRIBES!

 

Some of our Onboard 101 COACHES are definitely reaching out globally to draw people into their websites and other services beyond Onboard 101

 

 

In fact, one Onboard 101 Coach based in Australia, confided they have more U.S. and U.K. clients than Australians!  But, that’s because they’ve made a concerted effort to reach out to those markets…  and, yes… build their online TRIBE!

 

Bang the Drum…!

 

Listen, building a TRIBE is NOT an overnight thing. 

 

It’s a PROCESS

 

The process includes brand building, developing online content and learning to use the online tools that allow you to reach out and communicate with the global community

 

Especially, the fitness enthusiasts who WANT what you have to offer and WANT to join your TRIBE.

 

But, you have to start somewhere.  And, developing your BRAND, and what it stands for, is “ground zero” for the process.

 

 What Tribal Leaders Know

 

In the end, Tribal leaders within the fitness business know this principle to be TRUE.  They are generating revenue from their in-house members and clients via personal training, group programming, bootcamps, yoga, MMA, etc.  

 

And, it takes a certain amount of time and manpower to administer this part of their business.

 

However, they also are generating a second stream of revenue from their own “membership websites” that include proprietary information via webpage knowledge-based content, document downloads, proprietary videos, etc. all of which are administered with a minimum amount of manpower and time.

 

Thus, higher margins. 

 

And, higher potential of growth.

 

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