I know. I know…. All the fitness sales gurus tell you that this business is all about sales…. as in “sales-driven.”
Well, that may be true for today and tomorrow… but, if you plan to have a long-term career as a health professional… then, you really need to take a longer view.
That means MARKETING.
Once again, I’m forced to bring up my age in order to make a point. In January, I will turn 66. (ouch!).
But with age comes perspective. And, I’m going to share with you some perspective that if absorbed… will serve you well.
Here’s What Happened…
In 1984, when I was in my early 30’s I worked my way up to Vice President of Marketing at Guitar Center (the largest musical instrument retailer in the world).
One of the smart things we did as a company was bring all advertising and marketing functions in-house. We created all of our own layouts for newsprint and direct mail.
We built our own recording studio to create our bi-weekly radio ads.
We did everything an ad agency could do.
Plus… budgeting, promotional planning and negotiating with media, manufacturers, vendors and a host of business partners.
My marketing department maintained a professional staff of 25 people.
It was my job to keep it all orchestrated and prioritized. And, to keep the staff on task and motivated.
One day, a young guy with long hair and wearing a sport coat came walking into my office with a box under his arms. He was from a company I knew called Apple.
He had come to demo the new Apple II computer for me.
I Will Never Forget the Next Few Moments
After he got the computer set-up, he looked me square in the eyes like he was Clint Eastwood…. and pointed at 12 staff members working on newspaper layouts in the next room and said:
“See those people out there. This box can do everything they’re doing… and do it better, faster and cheaper.”
He was dead serious. He was still staring at me… with sort of a maniacal serial-killer look in his eyes.
There was a long silent pause…. as I didn’t quite know how to react to such an outrageous statement. Finally, I just said, “Show me.”
The rest is history!
Over and Over Again
This pattern of the “new” replacing “old” repeats itself over and over again.
Of course technology is easy to see. From railroads to airplanes.
From canned foods to flash frozen foods.
Telegraph to telephone to smartphones and now… the “wearables.”
More than Replacements
There’s a lot more going on here than just one technology replacing another.
What’s really happening is all about new frontiers and expanded opportunities that are being created.
Here’s another example:
When the Linn electronic drum machine was introduced in the mid 80’s all the drummers around the Los Angeles music scene hated it.
They said it sounded like crap and that it would never catch on.
But they were dead wrong.
Record producers loved it — because it gave them a whole variety of percussion sounds — right at their finger tips.
This helped artists get their “signature” sound.
So, what did the smart drummers do?
They learned to how to program the Linn Drum Machine. After all, who better to program a drum machine than a real drummer?
And, soon the smart drummers were making bundles of money as:
- “Percussion Technician”
- “Percussion Programmer”
….or as one business card labeled it, “Digital Percussion Artist!”
Super Fast Acceleration
I tell you all this to make two points about you and your business.
The first is the undeniable fact that these changes are happening more frequently and faster than ever before.
The world of technology and innovation has accelerated.
You may not notice it in your day-to-day routine – but it is.
Most professionals who’ve been in the fitness business for a while agree that the industry has changed more in the last 3 years than in the previous 50.
With mobile fitness apps, cloud-based billing systems, funnel marketing systems, social media, digital virtual trainers, small group training, off-site training and gobs of online content... the fitness industry is changing before our eyes.
And, just like the smart drummers, smart fitness professionals are learning how to leverage these new tools.
The Future is Closer Than We Think..!
My second point is about you and your fitness business.
I hope that what I’m about to tell you will put you in a position to leverage the opportunities coming your way.
Here’s what our research is pointing toward… and I’m already seeing it happen.
- The health care system in this country is forever changed. It is changing the way medical facilities, insurance companies, small and large corporations and just about all Americans “think” about their health. It has put “health” on the forefront of their minds.
- Something else our research revealed. Americans are conducting more “health-related” searches on Google, Bing, WebMd, etc. than ever before. About 10 times as much as they did just 5 years ago.
However, much of the information found on the internet is all marketing hype or just plain wrong.
As a result, Americans, today, are more confused about their health than ever!
We were wrong about the internet making people smarter. When it comes to health, weight management and lifestyle, the internet has been more of a disservice to the public.
It All Adds Up to Opportunity
When you take just these two factors – you can see the tremendous opportunities for fitness professionals.
On one hand, Americans are truly thinking more and more about their health and health care plans.
Human resource directors at companies throughout America are looking for structured wellness and weight-management plans to help offset insurance costs and improve employee health.
Everyone is almost forced to think about it since it’s on the news every single day.
But, on the other hand, the more they seek information via the web, the more confused they get. So, eventually, they seek EXPERT ADVICE.
That means YOU!
However, to leverage these opportunities will require you to change how you think, too!
You Are Exactly What They Are Looking For!
Remember the smart drummers and how they changed their titles? It’s more than that.
By changing their titles, they changed the way they were perceived. And you should too.
There is a huge perceptual difference between “Personal Trainer” and “Health Management Specialist.”
I know you can come up with a dozen more fancy titles… so I won’t create a list. Plus, I’ve already written about the devaluation of the term “personal trainer.”
The more important point is the opportunity. And every bit of our research is pointing toward HEALTH EDUCATION.
I’m Personally Committed!
Yes, I’m personally committed to this direction as evidenced by our creation of the ONBOARD 101 online education platform .
Some folks are just “crushing it” with this system. Plus, most are using it in conjunction with their current websites to create their own branded turnkey systems.
And, yes, this is a blatant plug for my products.
Health Education is a Funnel
But, regardless of whether you use our components or something else.
The big point and big opportunity is in understanding the value and financial implications of HEALTH EDUCATION.
A health education curriculum will serve as a funnel to all other fitness services you offer.
It will open the doors and allow you entre’ into corporations, medical facilities, church groups, school systems and even hospitals (they don’t know this stuff, either).
Our research indicates that almost everybody… from every walk of life is looking for answers. Seeking the truth about health management and protocol.
And, you have both!
Health Education is a “Gateway” to Your Success..!
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