by Jim Thomas, Founder and President, Fitness Management & Consulting
GGFA Think Tank Member
Health Club salespeople who still view themselves as an employee are in trouble in the new world of health clubs. Unless you have actual ownership in the health club you represent, you no longer have a “job” or a “career.” You are now a business and the health club you represent is the platform on which you sell and market. Now, if all you want is a job, read no further.
So how do you compete in this new health club world?
Like any other business in the fitness and gym industry, you’ll need an Internet presence. All the tools to establish one are free with Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter and YouTube. Also, you’ll need to establish a personal fitness brand that offers unique value in your health club.
Building your personal fitness brand, developing your health club expertise, and telling the world about both will take some effort, but the payoff is tremendous… and the short-term effort will lead to very long-term gain. To propel yourself to the top of the health club industry, take the following steps:
Create a website. Once your website is complete you should include the following information on it:
Health Club and fitness bio. Talk about who you are, your education, work experience, some thoughts on the health club industry you are working in and something personal, such as your hobbies.
Member and Client Testimonials. Create a link called, “What My Clients Say” that includes quotes and video of clients and members saying what a great job you did for them.
Client list. People like buying from people who already have experience with others like them.
“Contact me” link. At the top of your home page, include a link with all your contact info, including your office phone number, cell phone number, email address, mailing address, fax number, and so on.
Start blogging. This is your online diary, where you write about what’s going on in your health club and the fitness industry, the problems your members are having, and how you can help solve them. For the next 90 days, write at least three blog posts per week on issues relevant to your health club and members. You’ll be amazed at the viral effect a blog can have. Just make sure you keep your blogs entirely professional. No bashing your health club, the competition, or the boss. Your blog is all about creating business – and the way to do that is to keep it on the high road at all times.
Host a webinar. One of the fastest ways to become a resource in your health club or fitness industry is to teach people something they need to know. Webinars are one of the best ways to bring your expertise to potential new members. Just be absolutely sure your presentation is not a sales pitch, but is focused on helping members and non-members with a pressing fitness or weight loss issue.
Write articles and distribute online. Write some short articles sharing your insights on different issues your members and clients face and post them online. Then submit them to industry blogs and discussion groups. Published articles give you strong credibility and increase lead flow.
If you’re worried your health club or gym won’t let you do all this, don’t be. I have yet to see a health club policy that says you can’t have a website about yourself. Policy may dictate what you can say about the health club, but that’s fine. The important thing here is to just do it. Your potential members and clients will buy from the person they see as the most visible and having the most health club and fitness expertise in any given market. When you take the steps outlined above, that person will be you.
Now, go turn yourself into a trusted fitness brand!