Want to know how to market your pilates studio - dive in here…
If you’re plugged into the world of digital marketing you’re probably aware of the recent Facebook conference (F8) where they unveiled some BIG changes to their focus and priorities.
Just like Apple, Facebook uses their conferences to unveil updates to their app and roll out new features, and I’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings over the past few weeks about what we can expect to change… so, I wanted to share with you what I know…
The conference was all about HUMAN CONNECTION and Facebook will continue to evolve to encourage MORE of that.
You might have noticed that groups is now front and center on the app. It’s their HUGE move away from being a source of news to enabling and supporting online communities. They want us all online connecting with each other in the most authentic and real way possible.
What does that mean for your business?
Videos, stories, lives and engagement is where it’s at.
I’m totally addicted to Instagram stories and it seems we all like them… a lot! And that’s exactly where both Facebook and Instagram are putting more and more emphasis. To maximize the benefit of this shift, post a story as often as you can. This can be a mix of video, photos and graphics. There is so much you can do so get creative! Perhaps show what your studio looks like, show a clip of a live class or share your teachers saying hello. Ohm and be sure to use the tag feature, and the stickers to make them fun and engaging!
Stories can also be a fantastic marketing tool! Stories are powerful because they have built in urgency, since they expire in just 24 hours... it seems we are all liking the content that doesn’t stick around. So your story should be a trigger to drive people to your website, to book a class or share your most recent promotion.
IGTV is something else Instagram is heavily focused on - it’s how they compete with YouTube. Know that Instagram will reward people for using it's newest feature (i.e. you’ll get more eyeballs on your content) so hop on there as often as you can to share something cool about your studio, perhaps feature some classes or tutorials!
Overall, engagement is what the algorithm is looking for!
And, it’s not about the number of likes or the number of followers anymore… your account will get more attention when you’re engaging with your community. This looks like people watching your videos for longer, scrolling through your carousel pics, comments from your followers AND you replying to their comments.
Let’s not forget that Facebook owns Instagram where you’ll soon see the Likes feature disappearing completely (Nope - not a joke!). Will Facebook eventually do the same? They didn’t mention it - yet.
Events are getting a massive overhaul and redesign - a clear indication that this is something they are mega focused on and clearly part of the initiative to help connect people, bring people together and keep people on the platform. Use events to promote workshops, special classes or open house events in your studio.
And … incase you were wondering… posting consistently is pretty much a given. If you can do it live… that’s going to get you ranked higher. If not - use a scheduler. I still love Later, Hootsuite and Buffer.
Going forward, continue to look for ways to create connections via these platforms and don’t try to be everything to everyone.
Use your brand promise and tag line often, be real, and post inspiring, relevant content and you’ll be sure to weather whatever changes come our way.
There is a romanticized notion of entrepreneurs being self-made. Single-handedly changing the world.
Stepping alone into the unknown and rising to every single challenge.
It’s not wrong, but not entirely accurate either…
(To me, it sounds exhausting actually!)
While it might seem that industry successes are unstoppable pioneers (at least that’s what their instagram feed will have you thinking) the reality is that there is a team behind them pushing them, or pulling them to the top.
Now, don’t misunderstand me - I have MEGA respect for anyone who takes the leap into business ownership. It takes courage, purpose and ambition.
And while successful enterprises may be driven forward by a single leader, that person isn’t usually completely alone.
As an entrepreneur in the wellness and fitness world (or any business), you need people around you.
People at the end of the phone, people who you can take a walk with or meet over coffee. A support network of co-workers, industry peers, business partners, spouses, family, friends and connections who can bounce idea off of. People who champion your efforts, cheer you along and help you work through challenges.
These people also help to keep you accountable, raise concerns that you (the entrepreneur) may have overlooked and give you honest (but necessary) feedback.
Maybe they ask questions, make you think… and share a new perspective.
Hopefully some of your people have industry experience, understand your business and give you valuable tips about what works…and what doesn’t. These people are the bomb ;)
Regardless of who you have around you. You need a support network.
Business thrives on collaboration, networks and partnerships.
And so do you.
More than business growth, I’ve experienced so much personal growth from connecting with people who I respect, who I can learn from and who I think would be good people to be around.
They say you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with most - maybe this is true…maybe not - but people DO inspire you and influence you in SO many ways.
Finding the right people to join you on this journey is invigorating personally and professionally.
Who is on your team?
Who is missing from your team?
P.S. If you don’t have a team but wish you did, I’ve been working on something for a while that you will love. We want to bring together a small ambitious group of studio owners who seek stronger connections with people they can learn from, be inspired by, and get real honest feedback from.
Think 6 months of live calls filled with learning, sharing, listening, Q&A, discussions and accountability check-ins. Offline, you'll get access to a private forum, guides, templates and tools that you can use to help you build your studio business.
And the best part is that this has been a collaboration from the beginning. Inspired Studio Mastermind was an idea born long ago between myself and two lovely studio business consultants who are smart, ambitious and know this industry inside out. Find out more here: www.inspiredstudiomastermind.com
Is your studio or fitness business in alignment with who you really are?
As a leader, your fitness business is a big reflection of you. This has likely evolved from your own personal view, philosophy and mindset around what you do.
Having passion for what you do is essential for success << TRUTH
And that passion for wellness is probably the reason you do what you do. You set out on this path because you had more than a little enthusiasm for what you do. Alongside that you had the desire to share it with others.
Speaking passionately about something you love, naturally draws others to you.
Have you noticed how really charismatic people express themselves articulately and have just the right amount of self- confidence - a confidence in what they do or stand for. They talk about their passion in a rich and clear way that draws people in.
And… did you know that charisma can’t be faked because the verbal and non-verbal cues have to be consistent and not conflict with one another.
Your body language shows your natural charisma - you are always sending out signals that are being perceived by those around you - whether you are aware of it or not.
But, we all know that your body language reflects your state of mind. If you feel anxious, your face will show it. And if you feel nervous, your body will show it.
So charisma starts with your mental state!
And, when you are talking about something you are passionate about, you are naturally at your charismatic best! Because what you are speaking about is fascinating and beautiful to you :)
So, if you feel like you’ve lost the spark, perhaps it’s time to tap back into your own natural charisma? To rediscover that passion and vibrancy that gets people listening?
Here are a few questions for you to think about:
What is the root of the enthusiasm you have for what you do?
What got you excited about it in the beginning?
What is it you love about what you do?
Being enthusiastic about what you do is absolutely essential for inspiring others to join this journey with you.
Your purpose is your vision for the impact you make on the world with your unique set of strength, talent and experiences - your drive and commitment to the future.
And, it is your combination of passion and purpose that makes you stand out. Don’t let that light go - it’s your secret weapon to success!
Good luck this week!
I’m super excited to share with you this amazing article from my friend Connie who is amazing at all things websites (especially when it comes to fitness studios). Check out what she has to say about building a better website…. Enjoy! :)
It’s no secret that your website serves an incredibly important purpose for your business. It’s where potential clients come to find out who you are, what you do and what you’re all about, and it’s where new and returning customers can check your schedule and book classes or appointments.
But your website is also so much more than that.
It’s an opportunity to take your customer on a journey— one where they ultimately become the type of loyal client who recommends your studio to all their friends.
I know it sounds a bit like marketing magic, but think about it! If you go to into a shop and it’s absolute chaos and you can’t locate anything you need or flag down the help of a sales assistant, are you likely to keep coming back or recommend it to a friend? Not likely!
Your website works in a similar way. You can’t just lead your customers to your website, and then leave them to fend for themselves. You need to figure out what journey you want them to go on in order achieve the most desirable outcome, then make their next step ridiculously clear.
But how do you do that, exactly? By taking these three steps!
1. Understand your customer
For the average fitness or wellness studio, there are only two different types of website visitors. First, there’s your existing customers who need a quick way to access their account, check how many passes they have left and sign up for their next class. They’re going to skip right over most of the content on your website enroute to the page where they can get things done.
Then, you have your new potential clients, who could still be in the researching phase of their buying decision. This group is who most pages on your website are primarily for. They need service descriptions, answers to questions and welcoming first step towards attending their first class.
You want to make it as easy as possible for both groups to get exactly what they need — and fast.
2. Be a good (web) hostess
Now that you know who your website is for, it’s important to use that information as a filter to determine what should even be on your website. Remember, just like your business, your website is not for you— or about you! It’s about the transformation you can provide your clients. So look at your home page through the eyes of you client. What are the scanning for? What jumps out and grabs your attention? Is that inline with what you know to be true about the actions they need to take?
The most obvious place to start when it comes to creating a website that ‘flows’ is your main navigation — the menu bar that normally sits at the top of the page. The menu items in this section need to be relevant for both your customer groups. Plus, you don’t want to overcrowd it and give your customers decision fatigue! A good rule of thumb is to stick with 7 or less choices in your main navigation and minimize complex drop-down menus when possible.
For your existing clients, you’ll want to make your Schedule and Pricing links are prominent and clearly labeled. Resist the urge here to hide them in a drop-down menu or give them cute, branded names. Clarity wins out over cleverness everytime!
On the other hand, your soon-to-be clients will likely need more information before they’re ready to jump in. This is where your About and Classes pages come in. You may also want to consider having a page titled Start Here or New Clients to have an area to speak directly to newbie concerns. (Tip: testimonials from actual new clients and an FAQ section are great content for this page!)
3. Link it all up
Now that you’ve got intentional pages in your main navigation giving your website visitors the first step in what they’re looking for, it’s time to finish the tour and guide them to their final (at least for today) destination. This is done by including a single button with action text (called a “call to action”) at the bottom of each page.
For studios, all roads ultimately lead to a page where they can either book or buy: typically those all-important Schedule and Pricing pages we mentioned above!
You may also want to create a page just for your intro offer, so that anytime your call-to-action is for your specific intro offer you’re able to link directly to a page where they can easily claim that offer, not be directed to your general pricing page with a slew of options they have to sift through.
However you design your book and buy pages, allowing your website visitors to checkout without leaving your website builds trust and makes for an even more seamless customer journey. To do this, check with your studio scheduling software to determine if they offer embeddable widgets.
New to using widgets? A widget is a powerful piece of code you can cut and paste that will bring key functionality from your scheduling system onto your website allowing your clients to purchase and book without ever leaving your site. MINDBODY’s system of widgets (called Branded Web) are available with all subscription levels. You can watch a tutorial on how Branded Web widgets work on Squarespace websites here.
Want to make sure your studio's website has everything you need to attract and convert your ideal clients?
Get Connie’s FitBiz Website Checklist for free here:
Connie Holen is a digital strategist, designer and Certified MINDBODY Business Consultant. She specializes in helping fitness and yoga studios make a name for themselves online by creating websites that are easily found, easy to update & give your customers an amazing experience with your brand—both online and in the studio. Learn more at pixalitydesign.com