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5 Steps to Setting Up an Open House at Your Gym

Last Updated on Jul 25, 2017

Opening a fitness business can be a daunting task. Besides all the legal work, there’s construction, hiring and advertising work to get done. I’m not going to go into the complexities of opening a gym today. I will, however, go into the process of having a successful open house for your gym. Two things will happen when you open your business. You’ll either have a line our the door, or you’ll hear crickets for the first few weeks. There’s no better way to increase membership than to make sure you have people lined up outside your doors when you open for business. How do you get these people interested in your business before it open? Simple, hold an open house! Here’s how. Choose Your Date Carefully First and foremost, sit down with your marketing team and make sure you pick a date far enough into the future that you’re not going to be scrambling to put together a so-so open house. The last thing you want is a half-assed event that people attend and immediately leave. You want it to be an fun personal event, not just a sales event. I’d personally recommend a week before your grand opening. That way, most of the people who attend will be able to start working out at your facility within a week of your event. Put Up Marketing Materials Once you have a date in mind, you’ll need to start marketing your event. Create some nice fitness advertising posters, telling everyone about your business and your open house. Make sure to include any information about food, games, raffles, etc. The more exciting you make the event, the more people will show up. If you’re looking at generating new member leads, put your FitnessTexter marketing code on the flyers as well. Invite Some Local Food Trucks What’s an open house if there isn’t any food?!? Give a couple of your local food trucks a call and see if they’ll work your event. Sometimes you’ll have to pay them to cater an event, and sometimes they’ll do it for free, as long as you can guarantee a certain dollar amount in sales. Subsidize their prices a bit so that people don’t get “food...

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3 Steps to Purchasing a Billboard Advertisement for Your Gym or Fitness Studio

Last Updated on Jul 25, 2017

Setting up your first billboard for your gym or fitness business means you’ve made it to the big leagues. Maybe you started with Facebook ads and AdWords, but now you’re moving up in the world of advertising. You’ve shown that you know how to run a successful business and now you’re ready to start increasing your membership to the next level. Leasing a billboard for your business isn’t the most difficult process. However, it will take you quite a while to get all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted. Below you’ll find the three basic steps to getting a marketing billboard for your gym. Search & Locate Your Desired Billboard Location The first step to buying your first billboard marketing spot is to figure out where exactly you want to be advertising. Get into your car and go for a drive around your city, looking at the current billboards around the city. Most cities have billboard legislation, where you can’t build new signage. Taking that into consideration, you’ll want to find current billboards that you like, and then figure out who owns the billboard property. Most have the name of the media company in the bottom right corner of the billboard. The biggest billboard companies these days are OutFront Media, ClearChannel and Lamar. You’ll want to take into consideration the amount of eye traffic that hits the billboard, as well as the location. If you’re advertising on a billboard that’s 10 miles from your gym, you might be too far from home. Advertise closer to your business and you’ll get seen by more relevant eyes. Negotiate Advertising Terms with Media Company Once you find the billboard property that works for your gym, you’l need to contact the billboard media company and set up a meeting. Since you’re the underdog in this situation, you won’t have much power in negotiating your advertising terms. However, it always pays to negotiate. You might be able to get some extra time for free, or you might be able to get them to include lights in the cost of your advertising fee. Some basic rules. You’ll normally pay less per month if you sign a longterm advertising agreement. It takes quite a few man...

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Four SEO Tips for Yoga & Pilates Studios

Last Updated on Jul 18, 2017

Most small business owners believe, unfortunately, that once they launch their website, it’s instantly going to have hundred of visitors and their membership will go soaring because of all the extra traffic. Sadly, that’s about as far from true as possible. Every day, millions of websites are launched, what makes you think that your gym’s website will stand out? That’s where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) come in. SEO is just the practice of getting a website to show up near the top of a Google search for a specific keyword. If someone types, “Yoga + your_city_here”, you want to be one of the firs sites to show up. Don’t let an SEO agency sell you on boosting your page to #1 on Google. That’s impossible to guarantee, and if they are doing it, they’re a shady company. Below are some simple tips that any yoga studio owner can take to increase their website’s search performance. Make Sure You Have Claimed Your Google Places Profile First thing’s first, if someone is in your neighborhood, whips out their smartphone and searched for “yoga”, you’re going to want to show up on both the search results and the Google Maps results. That’s where claiming your Google Local/Places profile comes in handy. Have you ever seen a business listing show up on Google search and then, when you click on it, it asks, “Are you the owner of this business?” Google’s asking this because the business owner has yet to take control of their business’s profile. They aren’t able to monitor reviews, post hours of operation, upload pictures of anything. The more internet real estate that your business takes up, the most value Google is going to place on it. When you add a link between your website and your Google Places listing, you’re showing google that you’re taking ownership of your online property. Once again, don’t get burned by an SEO company saying it’s difficult to do this, it’s not. Generate Website & Social Backlinks to Your Studio’s Website Backlinks have been one of the bread and butter of the SEO industry since it became an industry. A backlink is when one website links to another website. The more links that a...

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4 Ways to Turn Your Facebook Fans into New Gym Members

Last Updated on Jul 12, 2017

How many Facebook followers does your gym have? 500? 1,000? 10,000? Having lots of social media fans isn’t going to make your business succeed; turning those social media fans into new gym members is what is going to make your business successful. First one, make sure you’re getting your followers the right way and not buying them. That’s bad business and won’t help your revenue at all. Once you’ve got a nice amount of followers, somewhere in the 500 to 1000 range, give the methods below a shot to start turning those Facebook fans into new clients. Use FitnessTexter to Generate Leads Amongst Followers FitnessTexter is a text message marketing system that helps gyms turn their website traffic and Facebook fans into new leads. It works by turning the gym’s name into a text message keyword. When an interested client texts the keyword to 95577, they receive a coupon (like a free week pass) to the gym, and the gym owner gets an email with the person’s contact info. It’s an easy way to start generating leads and can definitely boost your revenue. Publicize a Bring a Friend Deal for Facebook Fans If you’ve got a lot of Facebook fans, there’s a great chance that most of them are not members of your gym. If you’re trying to get those followers to become clients, why not post a Facebook flyer offering a Free Week Pass to any Facebook fan. Simply post an image on your Facebook wall that says “Print This & Show For a Free Week” and see how many new people you can get into your business. Give a Promotion for a ‘Like’ With this method, you can kill two birds with one stone. Tell people to come into your facility and “Like” your page in front of them to receive a promotion, like a Free Week Pass or likewise. You’ll get people coming into your gym with their phones, ready to show you their “Like” and start working out. Piggyback this deal with your last one, the bring a friend deal, and you’ll have a whole boatload of people showing up ready to start working out. Encourage Your Members to Check-In There are some cool programs...

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Traveling Abroad: One Benefit of Online Entrepreneurship

Last Updated on Apr 27, 2017

This article is part of the FitnessTexter travel series. A collection of posts that highlight one of the main benefits of online entrepreneurship, traveling abroad. I don’t like to consider myself a digital nomad. I actually dislike the phrase, it sounds too pretentious and Instagram-hashtagy. A nomad would be someone that doesn’t like calling someplace their home; someone who is constantly on the move (#wanderlust!). I, on the contrary, love having a place to call home. My home, however, has changed many times during the past five years. My journey into the world of online entrepreneurship is a strange one. How it went from online entrepreneurship to traveling and living in Barcelona is another long story. Then that leaves me where I am today (April 24, 2017), sitting on my bed in Rome, Italy, next to my Italian girlfriend of nearly two years. Well, let’s get this show on the road. I graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in May 2010. I graduated with one of the most pointless degrees, marketing! Honestly, I have a hard time quantifying how pointless a marketing degree is. I learned more during my first internship/year of running a business than I learned during five years of business school. However, I would like to highlight one great professor I had, Joseph Redden. His 4000-level marketing strategy class was one of the most difficult classes I had my senior year. He got rid of all the marketing fluff (I’m talking about you Four P’s) and got down to the numbers side of marketing. Honestly, probably the only truly worthwhile course I took in Carlson besides accounting. Too much fluff, not enough substance. After graduating from college, I got a paid internship ($10/hour) at Augeo Affinity Marketing. They’re a Minneapolis-based marketing company that sets up loyalty rewards programs for large corporations. One of my assignments during my internship was to research text message marketing software. They were looking to get into the business. I did a thorough market research paper for my bosses and they promptly put it into the file cabinet. No biggie. That’s what happens to most intern research. Sometime during this internship, I realized that I was sick of...

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The Cheap Way from Cusco to Aguas Calientes | The Inca Trail for Free

Last Updated on May 16, 2017

This article is part of the FitnessTexter travel series. A collection of posts that highlight one of the main benefits of online entrepreneurship, traveling abroad. Here’s how to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu for $7. It’s not free, but it’s $173 cheaper than the train. When Marianna and I decided to hike Machu Picchu, we elected against doing the Inca Trail. Though we had heard many good things about it, it was just too expensive. The going rate these days is $650 per person. That’s insane! There was no way we were going to spend that much money on the trek. If you’ve got money to burn, give it a shot. If not, our version would be called The Poor Man’s Inca Trail. The only other option, so we thought, was to take the train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. There are only two companies that provide train transportation from Cusco and Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, PeruRail and IncaRail. I refuse to hyperlink their websites because I don’t think they deserve the traffic benefits. They have a duopoly over the entire train network to Machu Picchu and treat the Aguas Calientes locals like garbage (They have to sit in the back of the tourist trains in rundown carriages). That said, we didn’t know there was another option. We purchased our Machu Picchu tickets for Nov 16 and decided that we would purchase our train tickets in Cusco. Well, as it happens, there was a two day strike by the citizens of Aguas Calientes against the train companies for, you guessed it, mistreatment, two days before our Machu Picchu entrance date. Even if we had purchased train tickets, no one was getting into Aguas Calientes during the strike and no one was getting out. The city is only reachable by train…or so they tell you. Unbeknownst to most, it’s 100% legal to hike the train tracks to Machu Picchu. Some business owners might tell you otherwise, but that’s because they want a finders free if they get you to do their friend’s brother’s cousin’s guided tour. We passed police officers and train officials along the route and they all waved at us an encouraged us on our journey. Hiking...

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