Technology will make or break your fitness business, whether you like it or not. Read on to find out why it's important to have a rock-solid technology partner like PushPress on your team. 7 minute read.
We've officially entered a time when your technological presence is every bit as important as your physical presence. Gone are the days when someone would stumble into your gym and you could let your professional expertise in your field of fitness win a client's business.
If you have failed to realize this, let this article serve as your beacon to change. If you don't adapt, your business will be struggling to compete within the next few years.
Read on to find out why the game has changed, and what you need to do to stay on par with your competition, technologically.
1. Customers Rely On Tech To Find Businesses They Work With.
Think of your last 10 business transactions. How did you find the company or product you were looking to do business with? How did you narrow down the field and how did you ultimately choose where your dollars went?
Likely, you spoke to exactly zero people in this process. If you did speak to someone, it was towards the end of the process to confirm all the research you did independently.
What factors went into your independent research? Likely a large combination of many of the following:
- Google / Amazon
- The company or product website
- Review websites like Yelp
- Social media
- Apps on your phone or desktop
The reality is, people have become accustomed to sourcing, vetting and buying products and services using technology. When they're thinking of joining a gym or hiring a fitness professional, they do the same.
A Quick Fix You Can Make
Check your website. Most fitness websites we look at are overly verbose. We all love to talk about how great we are and how much we know, but that translates to paragraphs of things that ultimately do not matter to most potential clients. Try to keep things clear, clean and simple; answering three things as quickly as possible: What can you do for your potential clients, why do they need it, and how do they get started?
If you're looking for a great website with none of the work, check out PushPress Sites! Years of research and development combined with off the shelf media, video and content makes a great site accessible in days for a fraction of the cost!
2. Your Digital Business Is All They See Initially.
Aside from personal recommendations, whatever you have available online is almost everything a potential client has to make a decision to engage with your business or not.
If your message is cluttered, if any of your online processes are confusing, or if your presence is not unified and concise, you will lose customers before they even step into your gym.
A Quick Fix You Can Make
Use landing pages. A landing page is a simple page with a single task: to get someone's contact information so you can reach out to them and begin a conversation on how you can help. If your landing page is poorly designed, you're just pissing off your potential customers.
If you're directing someone to a simple "contact us" page, you're losing the leads who don't feel like they want to initiate that conversation.
Directing people to a page that requires an "account signup" will result in lost leads who don't want to make a commitment.
In today's busy world, any slight distraction can result in a lead bouncing on you. So make sure your lead intake process is as dead simple as possible.
Want to see a great / simple landing page? Is yours this easy?
3. Modern Customers DEMAND Ease & Convenience.
The next generation of customers are upon us. The younger generation has grown up with Apple, Uber, Netflix, Google and Amazon. All of these companies have put out products that have become the staples of our modern lives - with one single focus.
Ease and convenience.
If your business does not hone in on providing maximum value to your customers at their ease and convenience - you will lose them to a company that does. Customers of tomorrow will be unforgiving to companies who make any process confusing or cumbersome.
A Quick Fix You Can Make
Take an Honest Audit Of Your Online Processes. We often don't put ourselves in the shoes of our customers. Go through your website, lead intake process, and customer experience in the eyes of a customer.
What is your lead intake process like? If you were a busy person and you were trying to complete the form, would you be pleased or annoyed?
What is you member's experience like? Do you have an app for your members to use? Is it as easy to use and does it have as great an experience as other apps your customers might use (like the Starbucks app or Amazon?)
How does your in-gym experience hold up? Is checking into class simple and fast? Is your in gym digital experience consistent with your online and mobile experiences? Are they branded the same as your gym?
If the answer to any of these questions is no - you need to take an assessment on what you can fix and how to do it.
4. You Can't Scale or Systemize Without Technology.
This one is actually more important than you might realize. If your goal as a fitness professional is to create a sellable business, you have to build systems so your business can operate without you there full time.
If you don't have technology in place that works together to form one congruent business system, you can never step away from your business; which means you essentially bought yourself the lowest paying, hardest working job on the planet.
How Do I Fix My "Tech" If I'm Not A Techie?
Most fitness professionals are not techies, and that's 100% OK. Your specialties lie in keeping up to date with the latest and greatest fitness trends and technologies.
However since your business clearly relies on technology to thrive, what do you do? Here's a few solutions for you:
Find some members/clients to fill your gaps.
Trade some services with your members or clients to get technology solved for you as best you can.
Pros: It's cheap. You might be able to get most of your technology needs solved for the cost of a couple memberships.
Cons: It'll be less reliable. Your members might move on from your services, which might lead you to owning a website you cannot update or a Facebook page you're locked out of. It'll also be spotty coverage. You won't be able to find someone in your membership to cover ALL the bases you'll need - so you'll have to either fill those gaps yourself or live without them.
Lean on your social network
Hit up your friends and family to get your technology needs covered.
Pros & Cons are exactly the same as using your membership base. Depending on your social network, the pros might be better, or the cons might be worse.
Find companies like PushPress to partner with
Companies like PushPress are in business to help, partner with them to get the most professional experience you can.
Pros: Stability and coverage should be excellent, and the "bang to buck" ratio should be off the charts. You also will get to work with someone who's dedicated to you as a client, and not moonlighting.
Cons: It might cost more than relying on your membership/friends (then again, it might not, depending on how much comped memberships are costing you). It also will require you to be a bit more organized up front. If you're working on setting up system, you need to think those through first!