Aloha everyone. In addition to the Meet our Shaka Team series where we interview athletes, we also want to share some of the best fitness business tips we can find with the entire fitness community. In this segment, we'll be gathering tips, daily routines, and how to's from the best business minds we can find. So keep an open mind, and I hope you find the information useful and applicable in your business/team.
First a little about myself. My name is Joshua Baldovino. A young buck, eager to share my thoughts on business, but even more eager to learn and network with other great minds. I graduated with a Communications Degree from San Jose State University, and a Master's of Public Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In terms of athletics, I trained Tae Kwon Do, from 1994-2012, and BJJ and MMA for a few years with hopes of getting big. However, I quickly realized how much getting hit in the head repetitively hurt, and switched to CrossFit.
In terms of business, in 2008 I took over management of the martial arts school in the Bay Area. Here is where I learned the ropes of new member recruitment and retention strategies. After a 5 years of managing that business, I moved to Hawaii to pursue my Master's Degree. During that time, 2012, I founded the company Shakas and Snatches and was on the opening ownership of CrossFit Volition. These ventures really allowed me to fuel passion for business, and now I'm addicted to learning everything I can about business.
Now here is where we begin today's tips. We'll start with a light hearted and simple topic.
"Photography for your gym". If you are not currently taking a billion pictures of your gym, members, and events you are missing out! Pictures, or media content in general, are essentially free, but lead to an endless amount of marketing. And if you already are taking and posting pictures... continue reading anyways. You may just see it in a new way, that inspires you add a bit of flare.
Social Media x Photography = Gold Mine!
Let's face it. We all know the benefits of Social Media to your business. I'm well aware that anything I post on the business account, can greatly affect our monthly income. Product highlights, or member highlights are invaluable. Imagine if your favorite brand, for example Shakas and Snatches, reposts your picture/video. How does that make you feel? Well believe it or not, your members will feel the same way! If you post pictures of your members, highlighting a member of the day or week, you are making their day. They see that they are recognized and appreciated, and will add value to their retention equity.
But note, these can't just be any pictures.
They have to be decent quality pictures, and not just the ones you shoot with your iPhone. I encourage you to invest in a decent quality DSLR or one of those new fancy Sony A series. One of the best investments I ever made for my businesses. Pictures especially for athletic businesses must be sharp, crisp, and different than what they can do their phone. By providing free high quality images; of flattering angles or epic action shots(think Sally Smith, the mom of 3 who deadlifts 225lb), you are stroking their ego a bit. And if its high quality, something that they can only get from you, how likely are they to share it, repost it, or better yet, make it their profile picture? Now every time they engage on social media, you've planted the seed of your business to their family and friends, aka their social reach.
Take it a step further....
Now these pictures are posted on your Facebook and Instragram. Great. But so does every other gym. How can you link it to your website so that people who see it, can also run into your business information? Think member highlight blogs! Just like the athlete blogs we're doing for Shakas and Snatches. You provide value to your members, team, etc, and they share it to their social reach and BOOOOOOM! All of there friends who clicked are now on your website, looking at their friends weekly member highlight page, and then to your class schedules, and hopefully end at the CONTACT FORM. Just image the impact that your highlighted member, ie. Sally Smith has on her social reach. Her transformation pictures, diet tips, and what she loves are highlighted on your website. Moreover, the benefit of each of these new public viewers have an existing relationship with Sally. Its not a cheesy commercial, where everyone assumes the models are photoshopped. But it's Sally, the girl they went to college with, and is now more fit and stronger than ever. How much more does that resonate with your new public audience. Its a mindset of, "Hey! I know her! If she can do it, so can I."
My challenge to you.
Chances are you already knew this. Its a simple concept. But how often do you do this? Is it consistent? Do you consistently post different members, or is it always the same few? I bet most of the businesses reading this don't do this consistently. I challenge you, for one month post a member of the day. It takes 5 extra minutes to get a good picture and post it. But I promise you the 5 minutes it takes you or your staff to do this will be invaluable and will get people talking.
If you take me up on this challenge. Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to talk to you about your marketing journey, and I'll swing some Shaka Gear your way for making it the month. Til next time! Aloha!