Should You Start Podcasting?

Podcasting are digital recordings (usually audio ) that can be accessed on demand either by streaming or downloading. The topics range from comedy (most popular) to fitness to education. They can be any length, although from everything that I’ve read, the sweet spot is about 30 minutes.

men's Fitness after 50
One of my upcoming podcasts

I’ve been thinking about podcasting for about a year now because the podcast market has been growing every year and is a great way to reach your target audience. This is one more way that we can reach out and inform, and, in doing so, help more people to reach their goals.

There are some exciting statistics on the reach and effectiveness of podcasting.

In recent research from March 2018, PodcastInsights notes that:

 

  • 50% of all US homes are podcast fans (Nielsen, Aug 2017)
  • 44% (124 million) of the US population has listened to a podcast – up from 40% in 2017 (Infinite Dial 18)
  • 17% (48 million) listen to podcasts weekly – up from 15% in 2017
  • 16 million people in the US are “avid podcast fans” (Nielsen Q1 2018)
  • 49% of podcast listening is done at home, down from 51% in 2017
  • 22% listen while driving (in a vehicle), same as 2017
  • Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 different shows per week, up from 5 in 2017
  • 80% listen to all or most of each episode, down from 86% in 2017
  • 65% of monthly podcast listeners have been listening for less than 3 years
Fitness,Business,the Fitness Business,and Random Stuff Inside My Head
Another of my upcoming podcasts

If you’re unsure of how to go about starting, there are online courses and even podcasts on how to start a podcast. I just finished taking an online course from Adam Carolla (#1 podcast at PodcastOne). ADAM CAROLLA Teaches You Podcasting!

I know, you probably are thinking that you’re already spending too much time away from your clients to jump into something new. I get it, but here’s the thing, building your business requires that you spend time ON your business, not just IN your business. ON your business includes building your (or your company’s) brand. That includes social media marketing, blogs, videos, and yes, even podcasting. It all adds to your credibility and helps build an audience that knows, likes, and trusts you, and when that happens, you become their preferred choice with whom to do business. The payoff in new clients and more loyal current clients, will be well worth the extra time investment.

 

 

You Can, But Should You?

In the thirty-eight years that I have been a personal trainer and in health club management, I have acquired many skills. I have designed club websites, done the advertising, marketing programs, social media, written newsletters, created employee training manuals, trained staff, taught CPR to all of the staff, created new programs, yada, yada, yada. This is a great thing and… it’s also a potential problem. The great aspect is obvious. It means that I don’t have to outsource to others and can keep my expenses down, as well as get things done when and how I want them done. Sounds good, right? How could there be a down side?

Untitled design (3)Well here’s the problem, when you can do most everything, you feel like you should, and if you spend all of that time working IN your business, where are you going to find the time to work ON your business? If you hope to grow your business, then you must spend time on being the big picture person. You have to get away from the little stuff and focus on the things that will have long-lasting impact on the success of your business. There are endless systems out there to help you decide what to focus on. Here are two that I like using.

The first is the Four D’s of Time Management. Here you filter whatever task is in front of you into one of four categories. These include Do it (no question, you need to do it now), Delay it (OK, maybe you need to or choose to do it, but not right now), Delegate it (if someone else can do it, and this may mean hiring someone, have them do it), and Drop it (just as it implies, take it off your list).

The second tool is Stephen Covey’s time management grid. In this one, you can overlap tasks with the four D’s.

Square 1, urgent and important, means that the task desires immediate action and it is important to you and your business. This could be fire alarm going off in your facility or a financial decision that needs an answer now (Do It or, if you can, Delegate It).

Square 2, not urgent, but important, means that while it doesn’t need to be done right now, it is essential to do in order to build a successful business. These are the big picture decisions about your business, such as who your target market is or what your mission statement is (this needs to be you, Do It!).

Square 3, urgent, but not important, means that it desires to be done immediately, but is really not important for you to do. Here are the daily “fires” that need to be put out and often eat up your time.  You might put items like the bathroom being out of toilet paper or “spill in aisle one” on this (Delegate It).

covey grid (1)

Stephen Covey‘s Time Management Grid (paraphrased)

Square 4, not urgent and not important. This serves no real need. Imagine one of the many salespeople that will come calling on you to sell you something you don’t need or want as an example. (just Drop It!).

All this said, whether it is because we lack the staff or luck of funds to hire out, we may still have to do some of the tasks that would ideally be dealt with by someone else. Using a previous example, if you’re a one person show and the bathroom is out of toilet paper, you are going to have to step up and do it yourself. However, you should still start with your current to do list and filter the items on it through these tools. Then, when something new comes up, run it through to see where it falls and if you need to be attending to it. We are so easily caught up in things we can do, when we should, as much as possible, stick to only those that we should or must do.

 

Let Me Entertain You. Let Me Make You Smile.

Much of the time, fitness is either marketed by using high intensity, sweaty, sexy bodies and promises that you too can have a hot body, or, it is portrayed as a science-based health solution that makes you want to take a nap because it’s so dull. What is often missed is the point that people are more likely to start a fitness program if they think that it’s going to be fun, and, if they are having fun, they are also much more likely to stick with it.

Untitled design (6)

The idea of entertaining your clients while working with them is not new. Richard Simmons has been entertaining fitness audiences since the 1970’s. But, even before it

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Richard Simmons

was used to promote fitness, the idea of using entertainment to educate has been around for a long time. “Learning through entertainment dates at least to Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack, which amused and instructed colonists with its mix of maxims, weather forecasts, math lessons and puzzles.” according to Greg Beato’s New York Times article, Turning to Education for Fun. More recently, programs that combine these two elements have been dubbed “edutainment”.

While still being a source of entertainment, another variation is taking tasks and turning them into games… not unlike Mary Poppins did. “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap, the job’s a game” This adding of game elements is now dubbed “gamification”.

Fitness-Marshall-Dance-Cardio-Videos-2016
For some dance fitness entertainment, check out The Fitness Marshall

So, does this mean that you should always try to entertain your clients and that workouts always have to be fun? No, of course not, but adding a little levity and fun elements to workouts can make the difference between drudgery and something they can look forward to. Imagine if your clients consistently leave workouts in a better mood than when they came in. What a great reinforcement for coming back for the next one.

(Yes, BTW, the title is a quote from the musical, “Gypsy”. I can’t help it. It’s little things like that, that makes me tick.)

 

 

My Profile Picture, My Brand

Your brand, as a personal trainer and fitness professional, is what people think about you. Their perception of you and your business, is created by everything you do and all of the content you put out. This includes all of your social media posts and even your profile picture.

trainer quad

I admit that I’m going on a little bit of a rant here, but, I think I need to at least make you aware of the issue. I would bet that at least half of the personal trainers out there use some kind of self body shot for their profile picture. I’m sure that the prevailing thought is that, “I worked hard, got into great shape, and I want people to know that I can do that for them.” Well…. yea for you. No, seriously, congratulations. However, I have a couple of issues with your posting that picture.

  1. You are perpetuating the idea that if you look good, you must know what you’re doing. We all should be able to admit that we know that’s not true. So, why play into that illusion.
  2. As much as you think you are attracting clients by showing off your body, you are intimidating many potential clients as well. The more you show off your perfect or near perfect body, the worse “normal” people feel about their own.
  3. Body shots, in general, also make it very difficult to make out your facial features and, when clients and/or potential clients are trying to connect with you, you want to make it easy for them to recognize you. (This is the same reason that you shouldn’t use a picture of your dog as your profile pic.)

MNuttingSmHS

So, what is the best profile picture? In my humble opinion, I would choose a tightly cropped headshot, professionally taken (or at least very clear), that portrays what you want your brand to be. Choose a warm and welcoming headshot that gives the air of professionalism and makes it easy to know that it is, indeed, you.

The Secret Life of a Business Card

This last December, I was asked to present at the NSCA Japan conference. Prior to the trip, I was coached on some cultural differences that I should be aware of. One of the differences that was stressed, was how the Japanese people treat the exchange of business cards. The giver holds the top 2 corners as he/she hands the card and the receiver then grasps the card by the bottom 2 corners. Upon receipt, the receiver then takes a moment, reads the card, looks up and thanks the giver and then may place the card in a place of respect (breast pocket, wallet, etc.). Don’t just take it and shove it in your back pocket. The business card is a representation of the giver and, as with the person themselves, should be treated with respect.

China business cardsThis was an interesting lesson for me and the kickoff for a point that I want to make about how most business people (this includes personal trainers) misuse the business card.

When starting with a new company or starting your own business, most people will run out and get their new business cards, because, if you have business cards, you must be in business. There’s nothing wrong with this. The business card, as in Japan, is a representation of you and your business and should be here as well. If only we would treat it as such. We don’t, of course. We will order 500-1000 cards and hand them out like they are flyers. I’ve even seen presenters at conferences walk around the venue before their session and put a business card on each of the seats. Most attendees didn’t even pick them up. They just sat on them. They were not given with respect and were not received with respect.

My own view on the use of a business card is that your focus, when looking to build your business and not simply using it as a way to stay in touch with an acquaintance or associate, should be to receive them, not give them. When someone gives you their business card they are giving you the permission to contact them. With a potential client, this means that you have the permission to call and talk with them and, hopefully, set up a time to meet with them. Then, after receiving their card, you can present your card to them should they like to initiate a conversation or change an existing appointment. This way of using your business card, empowers you. Whereas, if you are just handing your cards out, all you can do is sit back and hope that someone calls you.

Business cards are not meant to be flyers. They are meant to be treated with respect and given more selectively. Remember that getting someone else’s contact information is far more beneficial than giving yours out.