Listen…   I’m sorry to sound like a parent, but it’s for your own good!

 

This is about your FUTURE…

 

It’s also a long read.

 

But, at the end of this post, I’ll explain WHY this is so important for the FUTURE of YOUR BUSINESS!

 

GROUND ZERO

 

So, let me start at ground zero by asking you a question:

 

“WHO are you listening to… and WHAT are they saying?

 

Here’s why I ask:

 

Over the past 10 years I’ve attended 100’s of “fitness sales and marketing” workshops, masterminds, webinars, seminars, trade show sessions, etc.

 

These were presentations by all the top name fitness business sales and marketing experts and consultants.

 

Only once can I remember any of these experts advising, “You absolutely MUST develop “online” products and services.

 

And, even then, it was sort of an afterthought.

 

THE SALES DRIVEN MANTRA…

 

This oversight is because the PRIME FOCUS in our industry has always been “membership” and/or “training package” sales… Sales… and more SALES….!

 

It makes sense.

 

After all, the fitness club/studio business is overly saturated and fiercely competitive.

 

But, why just sales of memberships and training packages? (…and why just “onsite” at physical locations)?

 

Why such a narrow focus?

 

It’s like Henry Ford’s famous 1909 quote: 

 

“Any customer can have a car painted any color he wants so long as it’s black.

 

In fitness, that quote would translate to:

 

“Any prospect can purchase anything he/she wants as long as it’s an onsite membership or training package.

 

Just think about that for a few seconds…

 

Now, think about THIS…

 

Pre-pandemic….. if you own a club or studio, you have an incredible amount of repeat traffic. You have people coming in once, twice, 3X, 5X and even gym rats who come in 7X per week.

 

Hardly any other service-based business has this incredible amount of quality, paid, repeat traffic — full of clients and members who TRUST US.

 

Who have enough confidence to PAY us.

 

Who have RELATIONSHIPS with us.

 

It’s literally insane!

 

Yet, we don’t maximize it. (And, I don’t mean anything exploitative.)

 

WHY DON’T WE..?

 

  • Why don’t we offer more nutritional products?

 

  • Why don’t we offer more branded apparel?

 

  • Why don’t we offer more exclusive knowledge-based services through “online memberships?”

 

  • Why don’t we offer more EVERYTHING..!!!

 

Oh yes, I’ve heard all kinds of rationale and excuses — from “floor space” and “expenses” to “it’s not who we are” or “it’s outside our scope.”

 

Here’s the REAL answer:

 

“Because for 75 years THIS is the way we’ve ALWAYS done it.”

 

What a bunch of B.S.!!! That’s “legacy thinking.”

 

If you take just ONE THING away from this post, I hope it’s this:

 

Legacy Thinking is what has PREVENTED our industry, and perhaps your business, from moving forward.  It’s held us back — like a flock of sheep.

 

Sure, there are plenty of new “bells and whistles” … but, the basic business model of “selling memberships and training packages” has not changed in over 75 years!

 

BREAKOUT VISIONARIES

 

After the 2008 economic collapse — a small number of forward-thinking fitness professionals stepped back — took a hard look at the overall landscape — and recognized they were in the middle of a digital revolution.

 

They asked the question:

 

“WHO am I listening to… and WHAT are they saying?”

 

Unlike their peers, they elected NOT to listen to the recognized fitness industry leaders.

 

They did NOT listen to the sales and marketing experts in the fitness industry.

 

Instead, they decided to listen to the new breed of DIGITAL MARKETERS.

 

They innately knew that the status quo (legacy thinking) was no longer viable in two (2) important ways.

 

1.) The digital world would CHANGE the way health and fitness was DISTRIBUTED.

 

2.) The digital world would EXPAND their markets from local to GLOBAL (and allow them to scale).

 

They began to build-out their digital presence… starting with their own high-functioning eCommerce websites.

 

[Not bragging… but, I saw it, too — and slowly changed my product line offerings].

 

These forward-thinking, breakout visionaries understood the challenges and mapped out their futures.

 

None of them were instantly successful.

 

Nope. It was long and tedious.

 

For each, it was an individual journey full of mistakes and false starts.

 

But, eventually, like all things worthwhile, their time, effort, money and emotions all paid off.

 

They morphed into successful, highly profitable online businesses (some hybrid and some 100% online).

 

Here’s a sample of successful “online” businesses:

 

 

The most important thing to know about these “online” fitness businesses:

 

They did NOT lose a single dollar during the lockdown.

 

In fact, most of them actually increased sales.

 

TRAIL OF TEARS…

 

Today, the COVID-19 Pandemic has literally sent our industry into a state of shock.

 

Some club and studio owners have been forced to shut down their businesses — forever.

 

Others, perhaps like you, are survivors with enough cash to withstand 2-3 months closure… but, just barely.

 

Or, maybe you’ve negotiated deals with leasors, landlords, clients etc., to maintain. But, it’s not business. It’s survival.

 

If you’ve been able to hold your own and are now re-opening, then, no doubt, you are scrambling like crazy.

 

So, this is probably a bad time to ask this question, again. But, it’s warranted:

 

“WHO are you listening to… and WHAT are they saying?

 

THE GURUS & THEIR PROMISES…

 

Every morning I’d be willing to bet your inbox is filled with advice from many of the same fitness business sales and marketing “experts” I alluded to earlier.

 

And, your social media feeds are full of ads from “expert fitness marketing gurus” — some of whom are just 20 years old…!!!

 

These same consultants are now “magically” experts on ALL THINGS related to re-opening your club or studio — despite the fact we’ve never faced a global “lockdown” caused by a contagious pathogen!

 

Don’t get me wrong.  Most of these professionals are really good at what they do. Many are good friends of mine. And, no doubt, they have some great ideas on how to bring consumers back into our facilities.

 

For now you really should listen to them. But, what about the FUTURE?

 

OFF TO A GOOD START…

 

Listen…  if there was one positive thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was THIS:

 

It forced thousands of health professionals (and maybe you) to get “TECH-SAVVY”fast!

 

Talk about “trial-by-fire!”

 

This was no easy feat for most. It involved new expenditures for software apps and microphones, cameras, backdrops.

 

And, then learning new skill sets on how to pull it altogether. And, then, ZOOM…. or other streaming video!!! (how much fun was that?)

 

You may, or may not, have done all of these specific things. But, our industry, as a whole, “stepped up” to meet the challenges.

 

FORWARD MOMENTUM

 

 

Everyone has GROWN one way or another.

 

Hopefully, your technology skill sets have grown exponentially.

 

I also hope that getting a “real world” taste of what “ONLINE” means  — and how building out an  “ONLINE FITNESS BUSINESS” can generate new profits —  will compel you to maintain — or even accelerate your forward momentum.

 

Will you continue to build out your “online” business?

 

I truly hope so. Here’s why…..

 

BE A BOY SCOUT…

 

The Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared” is the perfect motto for all health professionals — especially as it relates to the current unpredictable business climate. 

 

O.K., so here comes the brutal part of my email and why it’s so important.

 

If you want your business to get beyond “survive” and continue to grow to new levels of success, you must NOW learn to live by this motto: “BE PREPARED.”

 

Why?

 

Because most epidemiologists and public health experts forecast there will most definitely be a second wave.

 

That means our industry may face another lockdown this fall.

 

Some experts expect a third and fourth wave.

 

You see where I’m going with this?

 

Not trying to scare you…

 

My only goal is for your business to be successful… by heading in the right direction — by being PREPARED.

 

IT’S NO LONGER AN OPTION!

 

You ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY must build-out your “ONLINE” OFFERINGS.

 

And, the sooner the better.

 

So, again, I will bring up the initial question:

 

“WHO are you listening to… and WHAT are they saying?

 

Here’s the truth:  If you’re taking advice from anyone who is NOT placing an absolute PRIORITY on building out your “ONLINE” OFFERINGS, then, please, just STOP!  Period.

 

Become a FORWARD THINKER and seek out experienced, successful DIGITAL MARKETERS.

 

You can conduct your own Google search, but here are three of the most successful. For starters, just read their blogs or listen to their podcasts.

 

Pat Flynn (SmartPassiveIncome.com)
Amy Porterfield (AmyPorterfield.com)
Ryan Deiss (digitalmarketer.com)

 

There are hundreds more…

 

WHAT ABOUT YOUR ONLINE OFFERINGS…?

 

If you’re asking yourself, “What have I got to offer online?”

 

Click on any one of these links and look at what they are marketing and selling.  You can do this!

 

There are a ton of products, services and affiliate opportunities you can offer once you re-purpose into digital formats and offer them “online.”

 

Plus, if you’re already live streaming your sessions… well, your first digital offering is already DONE!

 

Yes, all of this stuff takes time, effort and money.

 

THAT’S WHY YOU SHOULD START… NOW!

 

 

I’m working with several fit pros and health coaches right now to develop their websites and digital offerings.

 

Every single one of them thought it would be faster and easier than it really is.

 

It is a process… it takes time… and, that is EXACTLY why you need to get started NOW!

 

Seriously, if you plan to make a living as an entrepreneurial business owner… don’t put this off.

 

I can not emphasize enough how quickly the NEW WORLD of health and fitness is coming!

 

It has already started and is accelerating rapidly.

 

And, even if there is NO 2nd WAVE… or if we NEVER have another lockdown… the fitness business, itself, is changing and headed into the digital world at lightspeed!

So, I tell you as a friend and as a fellow fitness entrepreneur… 

 

It’s “GAME ON!”

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