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The Top Successful Facility Secrets

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How likely are your members to keep coming back to you if you expose them to misinformation? Fitness trends are constantly changing, you want stay up-to-date with the most current health and wellness news. It’s not enough to rely solely on your own professional education. In order to stay ahead of the game, you should be in the know on what professional journals, publications and your clients themselves are saying. Being on top of these funnels of information will allow you to become the fact checker, refute any misinformation printed by these publications, and establish yourself as an expert. If clients feel you are the most reliable source, they will turn to you for advice on proper fitness, exercise and nutrition practices.

Be fair, but firm

We’re all only human, which means certain situations can arise where you may need to bend the rules a bit. If you find yourself in this positon, make sure your clients are aware you are bending a policy. For example, if you have a 24-hour cancellation policy but you decide not to charge someone due to illness, be sure they are aware that you are bending this policy for them this ONE TIME but it will not be tolerated going forward.

Have Trainers Assign Homework

Make your sessions last longer by continuing them outside the facility. Clients should be given certain instructions or things to focus on when they are on their own time as well. Give them mini exercises to practice at home, or require them to keep a food and workout journal. Breathing exercises, posture activities and meditation activities are some other great examples to try. Clients can discuss or show what they tracked during their next session or communicate with trainers via email.

Continue Education of Trainers and Staff

Knowledge is power. While the organizations your trainers obtained their certifications from will inform them of what they need to do to keep it current, your trainers need to continue their education in other ways as well. They can easily do this by reading verified fitness journals and publications, as well as attending classes, conventions and conferences to stay on top of fitness trends and news. These are all investments in your business, not expenses.Li

Like what you’ve ready so far? Excellent. We’ve got more tips to share in our video series.

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Your Resource Guide To Package Plans

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What is the New Package Plans feature?

For those of you who were using our older Package Plans, you were basically going in and filling out all the necessary information: from the number of sessions to the dates and time, pricing, etc. All information basically needed to be filled out at the time of sale.

The updated Package Plans feature changes that process. Our Redesigned Package Plans will allow you to preset your usual package details prior to selling, so when it does come time for the sale—it’s ready and done—in just a few steps.

How is the new Package Plans feature?

It’s a great improvement compared to what you’ve been used to. The benefits of the new Package Plans eliminates a lot of steps during the sale, which was the goal when designing the updates to the new Package Plans feature. More steps when setting up, less steps when selling. That is our goal with Package Plans.

What can you expect from the New Package Plans feature?

  • Speed improvements
  • Ability to set end dates and auto calculate the package length
  • Bug fixes brought to our attention during the opt-in period
  • Documents can be added to packages
  • Clients can agree to the document during the sale of the package
  • Members can sign documents electronically using signature pad, touch screen, or mouse
  • Capability to effortlessly create predetermined plans using a 2-3 step wizard • Ability to quickly sell packages using a 3-step wizard
  • Flexible billing installment possibilities for your clients
  • Enhanced recurring package options
  •  Newly added option for unlimited sessions
  • Refreshed look & feel 

If you have any questions or would like an overview, absolutely feel free to reach out to our support who will be more than happy to walk you through the new Package Plan. We also recommend watching our webinar: Package Plans Feature for a quick visual guide.

We want to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the updated Package Plans feature.

-The EZFacility Team

 For more support info, click above!

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The Ventriloquist, The Magician And The Right Magic For Your Business. PDF Edition

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The following is an EZFacility blog that was printed in the National Fitness Trade Journal Spring 2017 edition.

Manager, Director, Leader. These are some titles you’ve earned before becoming the business owner. As the business owner, you have effectively attained the right to control your business identity, and every business owner of course, should have control.

The funny thing is though, clients want control too and in today’s digital environment there are many ways to pull off the ol’ smoke and mirrors trick to keep clients happy while still guiding the identity of your business.

But this is where we should stop.

A big aspect of your business identity is its relationship with your clients. Tricks should never be an approach to any relationship not the start of an honest business. It should also never become a last resort for any matter of business because then the business identity turns into The Ventriloquist, making clients “believe they are in charge” when they’re actually the dummy, thus increasing the risk of a fallout.

To read the full blog article in PDF format,please click this link or the image below



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The Big Game and Your Business.

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The Big Game is almost here and it can really help your business. Yes, that’s absolutely right. As long as you tread extra carefully from using trademarked words such as “Super Bowl”, the Big Game can help improve the status of your business. The idea of celebrating while presenting your business may sound like a huge multitasking feat-but with the help of social media, the idea is a lot easier (and even fun) to accomplish. Here’s how you can get started right away.

Words and Phrases To Use On Social Media Posts: The Big Game, The Big Day, The Big Football Game, Pro Football Championship, American Football, The Game, Football Fun, etc.

Facebook Live is Your TV

A 30 second TV advertisement during the Super Bowl can cost as much as 5 million while videos shared on Facebook can cost a total of nothing. According to Salesforce, 73% of Super Bowl viewers use two devices while watching the game.This allows a wonderful opportunity to use Facebook and its many methods of post engagement, namely Facebook Live. By going candid, clients will be drawn in by a casual aura-and it doesn’t have to be a long video. It could be a 10-second clip of asking gym patrons for a cheer vote of their Pro Football Championship winner.

Twitter is Your Radio

In a statistic run of Twitters activity, audience views during Super Bowl 50 were at 4.3 billion. One way to take advantage of Twitter during the game is through the rotation of play by play tweets known as live tweeting. Note that the The Big Day doesn’t have to be the main event of a live tweeting session, especially if you want to put your business directly in the spotlight and not beside it. Think Budweiser (Yes Really) According to a 2012 study from the  American Veterinary Medical Association, 36.5 percent of the United States population own dogs. It’s possible Budweiser was aware of this when they added a puppy to their iconic Clydesdale in their latest commercial hit. (Fun fact: the Clydesdale was first introduced in 1933 during the end of the Prohibition Era as a method of transportation. As of this time, it is now recognized as a promotional symbol.) It’s important to recognize what Budweiser has done better than other businesses, and that is creating and maintaining a good business icon. The steps to establishing a mascot tend to be costly but with free-to-use social media platforms at your disposal, there’s nothing to lose when you put your pet on camera.

The Power of Food

According to the National Retail Foundation, viewers of Super Bowl 50 spent an average of $82.19 on food, team apparel, and decorations. Another zero cost strategy would be to share a healthy game day recipe on social media. You can even take the project one leap further and post your own how-to video across Facebook and Twitter. If the content resonates with fans, use it for other popular events and holidays. (And congratulations by the way, you got yourself a theme going!) Contests One of the best ways to ensure client engagement on social media is by using the words “contest” or “prizes”. With some imaginative thinking, you can turn the next Big Game into an effortless marketing campaign for your business facility without giving up a single penny.

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Pokemon Go and YOUR Business

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Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the new augmented mobile app exploration game, Pokémon Go, that has become an almost overnight sensation.

Downloads of the game have surpassed even the most well-known apps, including Tinder, Snapchat and Bumble and it’s percentage of daily active users has doubled that of Twitter. Users around the world are spending a shocking amount of time travelling around communities, visiting local restaurants, stores, and other businesses in their search for Pokémon. Some even go so far as driving to other nearby towns in attempts to “catch” more rare types of Pokémon.

Many businesses, both big and small have caught on to the possibilities of this growing phenomenon and are capitalizing on it by using creative marketing campaigns and app purchases to drive large amounts of traffic through their doors, with the ultimate goal of converting players into paying customers.

Health Clubs can easily jump on this growing craze at virtually no cost and with minimum allocation of time and resources–all you need to do is know how to play the game.

There are many different ways you can use Pokémon Go to attract local players to your location and, hopefully, convert them into paying customers.

1. Is your Club a “Gym” or a “PokeStop”? The two types of locations this game that attract players in droves are called Gyms and PokeStops. Thus, either of these locations can be used in any strategy you choose to promote colossal sales. Pokémon Go runs off of an augmented reality HUD (also known as a heads-up display) of the real world. Each player creates an avatar “trainer” in the game that explores the virtual world as they navigate the real one. Players flock to PokeStops to collect rewards, collect Pokeballs and collect potions. PokeStops are usually buildings or businesses (in the real world). Although there is no official map that lists and locates all the Gyms and PokeStops, players have uncovered a workaround by using a searchable world map developed for another game by Niantic called “Ingress”. Players realized that the map for Ingress maps almost every PokeStop and Gym, the only difference being they are known as “portals” in Ingress.

To access this map, install the Ingress app on your phone and sign in with your google account. (If you don’t have one it’s very simple to make one and takes very little time). Once set up, you will be directed to a searchable map with all the listed “portals” which, again, are actually Gyms or PokeStops.

While many of these stops are businesses, even if you’re isn’t, there is most likely a PokeStop or Gym nearby that will still drive traffic your way.

2. Host a Lure party! Many businesses are jumping on this marketing strategy. Here’s how it works. A “lure module” is something you can buy in the app to lure wild Pokémon to a location, which, needless to say, attracts players to that location as well.

Businesses typically will buy a package of lure modules and advertise a “Pokémon Go Lure Party” for one night. Each lure is active for 30 minutes so businesses will set them to be back-t- back in order to attract the most amount of players possible for the entirety of the party. This can be extremely effective if your business is or is near a PokeStop. It’s easy to set up and costs virtually nothing. Let’s break down the cost just to show how little you need to spend to reap massive rewards:

Let’s say you decide to spend $100. This gives you about 14,500 Pokecoins which is the in-game currency. An eight-pack of Lures costs about 680 Pokecoins. Let’s break this down some more to see the real ROI this presents:

14,500 Pokecoins/680 = 21 eight-packs of Lures

(21*8)/2 = 84 Hours

$100/84 hours = $1.19 per hour

So, at the price of about a dollar per hour, you can attract crowds of players to your place of business. We also recommend offering special deals for Lure Party attendees to encourage even more participation.

3. If you are located near a Poke Gym, host a Battle! There are three different “Teams” that “trainers” (users) can be a part of in the game. These teams are called Mystic, Valor and Mystic. Teams “battle” each other at PokeGyms and the winning team “takes control” of that gym. As a result of this, users are constantly meeting at gyms anyway, so there is no need to purchase Lures, so you’ll have a constant influx of new potential customers.

To find out if your business is close to a gym, you can refer back to that Ingress map or open the game in your phone and look for tall building-like structures with Pokémon at the top. They are pretty hard to miss so you will see right away which ones are closest to your location. Businesses can take advantage of these PokeGyms in a number of different ways. Most of these methods rely on some creative marketing on your part. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Customized Pokémon Gym Badges: Everyone loves getting free stuff. You can easily customize these badges to incorporate your business name and logo when ordering from a supplier. Simply search online for “Pokémon Gym Badge” and “custom orders” to find suppliers.
  • Winner Discounts: Advertise which team has current control of your gym and offer discounts on memberships, packages, merchandise, etc for that team. You can do this on a poster, sandwich board, or any other physical advertising materials you have at your disposal.
  • Utilize Social Media: I’m sure by now you’ve seen followers on facebook posting screenshots of the game. Follow their example and post ongoing battles with searchable hashtags such as #pokemongo or #teamvalor.
  • Organize a PokeHunt: Here’s another example of a lucrative creative marketing tactic. This strategy is allows for a little more flexibility as it doesn’t rely solely on how close your business is to a Pokestop or Pokegym. Organize a Pokémon hunt that ends at your businesses with an after party to make a lasting impression and facilitate brand recognition. This is fairly simple to set up as it just requires an advertisement stating the start time of the hunt. Allow time for players to show up, and then have your staff (wearing your logo of course) lead them on this excursion. This is a really great way to promote brand awareness and establish your business as an inviting community that players or potential clients want to return to.
  • Social Media Deals: Last but not least, offer discounts for clients who post pictures of Pokémon they find at or around your facility with a hashtag that names your business. This spreads awareness on social media and let’s other players know what types of Pokémon are near you.

While it is still in its early stages, the Pokémon Go app has already presented numerous possibilities for businesses both big and small. As new updates and developments are added to the game, the opportunities will only continue to grow. If you’re business hasn’t jumped on the Pokémon Go band-wagon, it’s about time you started!

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Social Media No No’s

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I’ve addressed this area before, but I cannot stress enough how crucial social media is to your fitness or sports business. Last time in my blog, 8 Best Practices For Promoting Your Business On Social Media, I spoke about all the tactics you SHOULD be using with your various social media platforms. But, what is also, if not more important, is what you should be making sure NOT to do.

The following is a list of major “DON’Ts” to abide by in the digital space.

1. Sending automated twitter messages to new followers.

I know it’s hard to avoid the siren call of “automated” anything. Let’s face it, we don’t want to waste time individualizing each reply, but, believe me when I tell you it goes a long way. I can’t even tell you how many times I have received an automated reply that goes something like this:

“Thanks for the follow! Get my free e-book here!” or, “Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc., or my favorite, “How have you stayed motivated this week, download my blah blah blah.”

The point is, automated messages–no matter how witty and clever you think they are– give the impression that 1. I am just a number 2. You just want to clog my inbox with promotional materials instead of get to know me and my specific needs and 3. I am just not intelligent enough to realize this is an automated message and you don’t really care how motivated I was this week.

Key Takeaway: Automated messages are no beuno.

2. Grammatical Errors.

You may think it’s no big deal to make a mistake here or there, but if you think your followers aren’t judging you for each wrong use of “there”, “their”, and “they’re”, you’re dead wrong. Also consider your client demographic. Do you work in a high-end gym or boutique? If you do, grammatical errors can be extremely off-putting.

3. Responding to public negative feedback in a condescending or defensive manner.

Even if the feedback is completely untrue, responding in a kind, gracious manner makes you look really good. Getting into long-winded debates over what did or didn’t happen and what is or isn’t true not only leaves a sour taste in this complaintant’s mouth but also for your other followers and potential clients. Be the bigger man (or woman) and take this feedback as constructive criticism. It helps to think of complaints as gifts. For every person that voices a complaint, there are probably at least a dozen others with the same complaint who would rather leave than voice their concerns. Use this negative feedback as constructive criticism to improve on and build your brand and business.

4. Not having a “like” or “follow” button on your business website.

Do we even need to explain?

5. Not taking interview requests.

Interviews are a fantastic way to promote your business! Always say yes and always respond in a timely fashion. Even if the publication asking for an interview isn’t industry-specific, you are still reaching a variety of audiences and the more your brand is out there circulating, the more publicity and attention your business will get. Plus, while the interviewer may be from a smaller publication now, that doesn’t mean they will stay that way forever! And, on the same note, when the press publishes nice things about you, make sure to acknowledge them in a gracious manner. Keep that positive rapport going to capitalize on possible future feature pieces.

6. Not responding to tweets/posts/comments from people who are NOT followers.

This an opportunity to build a relationship with non-clients. Interact with these users, educate them about your brand and mission (without shoving it in their face) and eventually they just may become clients.

7. Failure to acknowledge bloggers/publications in your local area.

Follow them, repost their relevant content, like the heck out of their posts and invite them to participate in events and social functions at your facility. Start small and target local channels before attempting to step into the big leagues.

8. Having no social media presence at all.

This should go without saying—especially in a world where almost everyone is online and on some form of digital platform. The benefits of promoting your brand on these different channels is astronomical and should NOT be ignored. This is the easiest way to tap into a myriad of audiences from different demographics. While you’re at it, start up a blog too and develop a consistent schedule so subscribers know what to expect each week.

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Fitness Trends of 2016: Explore the Possibilities

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Can you believe we are already half-way through 2016? We’ve gathered up 4 of the latest fitness trends that have surfaced this year as well as what’s to come.

1. Exercise as an Experience

This developing trend views fitness as a lifestyle rather than a painful chore to “get over with” before moving on to more enjoyable activities. You may have noticed the emergence of smaller, specialized, boutique studios such as Crossfit, yoga, boxing, MMA and indoor cycling in recent years. This trend is a direct result of clients looking to get stronger, fitter and participate in a more social, intimate, and less stressful environment. Studies have proven that partner workouts or workouts done with a friend produce better fitness results and increase client motivation to reach fitness goals. These smaller studios provide a place where people with similar interests and fitness goals can come together and view exercise as a social and enjoyable experience. That’s not to say larger health clubs can’t tap into this specialized fitness trend. Many facilities are incorporating these boutique classes into their list of offerings. For example, there has been a notable increase in large gyms adding Zumba classes, boot camps, barre classes, and ever increasingly popular themed races and outdoor obstacles to establish their facility as a hub that people are drawn to have an atypical, community experience outside the gym walls. There has also been an increase in demand for body weight training exercises (which actually ranked No. 2 as a trend to watch for 2016 and beyond) as well as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which involves short burst of high energy exercises followed by short periods of rest and is crammed into a 25 to 30 minute workout. Clients are looking for a less time consuming workout that they can easily fit into their work and social schedule that still produces almost immediate results.

2. Professional Trainers and Instructors

Gone are the days when fresh out of college staff are sufficient enough to teach clients proper form and offer fitness advice. Credentials matter. Recently, professionals certified by ACE or ACSM and other recognized agencies are in high demand. Health clubs should strive to ensure at least half of their staff includes individuals with certifications from accredited agencies. These trainers are able to challenge customers, keep them safe AND develop workouts tailored to a client’s needs. When clients see results, this increases their motivation to reach their goals and they’re willingness to keep coming back to your club! The focus should be on developing trust between trainers and members rather than spending the majority of their time recruiting new clients.

3. Functional Fitness

To put it simply, clients will get bored of the same old routines, so switch it up! Keeping workouts fresh will keep members motivated and enable faster fitness results. Interval training has been shown to be extremely successful as it allows the combination of different exercise methods to create versatile workouts. Some of the most popular examples include body weight training with elliptical running, indoor cycling with boxing, strength training and rowing and more. The key is to provide trainers with as many workout methods as possible to keep clients interested and dedicated.

4. Think outside the box…err we mean gym!

In the world of smartphones and social media, we are more connected than ever before. This means that trainers can influence client lifestyles and continue to assist with fitness goals outside of the gym. Apps that track nutrition choices, out-of-the-gym physical activities, heartrates and more are being adopted by health clubs to help trainers add value to existing workout regimes.

Additionally, clubs have begun adding outdoor activities such as obstacle course training, boot camps, marathon prep training, and sports league pre-season training to their repertoires. This is a great way to connect with clients’ interests outside the gym!

The key thing to take away from all of this is to keep the big picture in mind. If you are considering adding one or all of these trends to your club, understand that this is an ongoing social experience that will need to be constantly updated year to year. Give clients as many opportunities as possible to find their fitness niche, have an enjoyable and successful workout experience, and establish yourself as a trusted health and wellness community hub.

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5 Ways To Overcome Gym Membership Retention Challenges

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If you are a human living on planet Earth, chances are you pay a LOT of monthly bills. You have your car payments, your cable bills, cell phone bills, mortgage or monthly rent and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t have Netflix these days? With all of these obligatory payments each month, chances are you are going to be extremely picky about how you spend your precious leftover income. A recent study found that most people who cancel their gym membership –for reasons other than relocation or medical issues—do so because they aren’t utilizing their membership to its full potential and are sick of watching their monthly dues sucked from hard-earned paychecks.

With the rise of boutique clubs offering programs and services at lower prices, gym owners are now put on the spot to create rewarding experiences and perceived value for members. The cost to save a member is much less than the cost of acquiring a new member, so there is tremendous benefit in having a set of efforts, activities and resources allocated to trying to prolong the experience with the existing member. Now, more than ever before, gym owners need to focus on making clients feel motivated and confident in their membership investment.

So, how can big gyms compete with lower-priced alternatives and meet retention challenges head on? Here are 5 key ways to consider:

1. Exceptional Onboarding and the Right Staff.

Start off on the right foot and straight off the bat. You don’t want members to feel lost, intimidated or overwhelmed when they first sign. Make it a policy to place a personal phone call to a client two days after they join or send them a handwritten postcard. Let them know that your club is full of friendly people that are easy to connect and relate to! When it comes to hiring your coaches or personal trainers, focus on quality over quantity. A critical component of an exceptional customer experiences is matching a client with the right trainer and allowing for smooth connections with other members. Hire people who are great listeners and fully committed to keeping in line with your club’s image and goals. Trainers should easily be able to identify client needs and interests. For example, if a client is into group classes, trainers should know to pair them up with other attendees and create a mini “fit fam” they can turn to for support and help reaching their goals. It’s also important to avoid “friction points” during the onboarding process and first few weeks. For example, avoid frustrating situations such as forgetting to give them their membership cards or neglecting to teach them how to book a class or use equipment properly. You must give them the tools to succeed.

2. Incentives/Rewards:

Who doesn’t like presents? Offer rewards and incentives to keep clients coming back. This is extremely critical for the first few weeks and months. Offer a $25 reward for attending a trainer’s program or for getting their picture taken. Offer a free class to clients who attend classes twice a week for 60 days, or 3 free PT sessions once they reach 3 months. Maybe after one month, you give them one month free (who doesn’t like free!) or a special discount at your smoothie station—the possibilities are endless. The point is, you need to keep your clients interested and perceive the value of returning to your club.

3. The 21-Day Rule and Effective Software for Tracking Activity

One of the most frustrating issues clubs face is figuring out WHY a client leaves. Most of the time, it could have been anything. Did they dislike one of your instructors? Was the music too loud? Did they face gymtimidation? WHAT WAS IT? The challenge is your lack of information. Aside from asking how a client is doing every time they sign-in at the front desk, how can you track client activity and identify “fragile” members before they leave?

The solution here is all-in-one management software. Most gym software out there has more sophisticated tracking tools that will allow you to identify information such as who hasn’t been visiting your gym as often. Once you have this precious information, you can start putting together a strategy to interact and re-engage them. You can also use sophisticated tracking tools to easily see which classes have the highest attendance and focus your marketing efforts on promoting them even more.

Using these tools, you can then implement the 21-day rule. The rule is simple: if a member has not visited your facility after a full 21 days, your club reaches out to re-engage them. Be sure to establish a membership retention team to reach out 21 –days, 60 days or even once per quarter. Methods of re-engagement can range from sending an encouraging email to personally checking up on the client the next time they attend a class. Your goal is to reignite their motivation to be a part of your club’s culture and “family”.

4. Cutting Edge Classes

Last but not least, offer classes and programs catered directly to your clientele’s interests. Keep on top of trends! Want to compete with that boutique Crossfit gym down the road? Offer Crossfit classes and, while you’re at it, create a Groupon to encourage clients to bring a friend! Do your research to make sure you remain on the cutting edge.

These are just some tried and true tactics to combat retention issues; but in reality, the possibilities are endless. Start with these 5 key tips and use what works best for YOUR facility.

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Corporate Fitness Programs

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Remember a little something called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010? This federal statute has completely changed the landscape of corporate fitness programs. In an effort to reduce health insurance costs, the ACA established new incentives and policies to increase the accountability to corporate fitness and wellness programs.

These incentives can be broken down to two types of programs:

Activity –Based: With “activity-only” programs, employees simply have to engage in a certain activity in order to be rewarded. For example, employees might be required to run for 45 minutes three days a week, follow a particular exercise plan, or stick to a strict diet. The point is, they don’t have to reach a specific weight, measurement or numerical goal to be rewarded.

Outcome-Based: This type of program requires employees to attain a specific wellness goal. This can include hitting a specific numerical goal, such as weight, BMI or blood pressure measurement. This can also mean quitting smoking or drinking. When employees achieve their measurable goal, the benefits kick in. Some corporate programs will issue up to 30% in refunds when a goal is met.

What does this mean for fitness clubs?

Well, first of all, if your club currently doesn’t offer corporate wellness memberships, you are missing out on some serious revenue. To keep up with ever-changing corporate programs, clubs have had to rethink their programming and product strategies. Clubs must offer outcome-based membership programs that include efficient documentation of results. Club operators must track everything from participation to outcomes including biometrics, health improvements, smoking cessation, etc. so that corporations can present these results in comprehensive formats for insurers.

Health facilities can capitalize on this new trend in corporate fitness incentives. Instead of just offering corporate memberships with lower pricing, clubs can work with corporate HR departments to add certain programs and services to these memberships in order to add value and increase the company’s wellness benefits. For example, one company worked with a client corporation to create a 12-week program that aimed to lower cholesterol. Employees that participated in the program reduced their cholesterol by 5%, resulting in about $18,618 in healthcare savings for their company. Clubs can also work with corporations to create competitions. For example, create a weight-loss competition where the team wins a monetary prize and a full refund of their registration fees if they maintain their weight for a specified amount of time. The possibilities are endless!

The goal is to establish your club as a valuable centerpiece to the companies’ wellness program. Don’t simply watch from the sidelines. Set up your club to be part of the ongoing effort to promote health and wellness in the work environment. It’s not going away any time soon!

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Supercharge Your Blog: Blogging for Fitness Website SEO Benefits.

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It’s no longer a secret that blogging is one of the most important features on your website if your goal is to improve SEO, increase conversion rates, and generate leads.

97 Display manages hundreds of fitness websites globally, and our most successful clients have a few things in common, one of which is that they all blog.

Blogging doesn’t have to be scary. Many of our clients aren’t professional writers and fear that the content they produce won’t be helpful or that people simply won’t read it. Ultimately they fear wasting their time over something that may not generate any immediate results. But the fact is that blogging can be used for technical and SEO benefits… not just for audience education. This means that even if no one ever reads your blog it can still be beneficial to your website! Let’s discover 3 ways to supercharge your blog for SEO:

1. Backlinks & Sitelinks

Your blog is one of the most natural ways to include large numbers of backlinks & sitelinks on your website.

Backlinks: hyperlinks on your website to other URLS (such as your social media business profiles)

Sitelinks: Hyperlinks on your page to other pages on your website (such as “click here to view our new schedule)

Backlinks and Sitelinks are beneficial to your SEO because it communicates to Google specific keywords that your URL is talking about. The more backlinks & sitelinks, the more confident search engines are about the content on your site and the more likely you will rank higher in search engines.

One of my favorite way to naturally include backlinks on your blog is to end EVERY blog post with this:

“Learn more at our social media channels!

Timothy’s Fitness Facebook Page

Timothy’s Fitness Twitter Page

Timothy’s Fitness Google+ Page”

Where each of the lines hyperlink directly to the respective social media page.

BUT DON’T STOP THERE!

Next: Go to each other the social media channels and link back to that specific blog post.

● Facebook: New blog post! Learn more about our group training spring schedule:

www.fitnesstimothy.com/blog/group-training-spring-schedule

● Twitter: New blog post! Learn more about our group training spring schedule:

www.fitnesstimothy.com/blog/group-training-spring-schedule

● Google+: New blog post! Learn more about our group training spring schedule:

www.fitnesstimothy.com/blog/group-training-spring-schedule

This will create a web of links back and forth between your blog and your social media channels.

 

Get into the habit of doing this! Over time you’ll build a strong web of backlinks between your website URL and your social media channels which will clearly communicate to search engines the content and services of your website…. which is essential for top rankings!

2. Be Smart With Your Blog Titles

Your blog title is the most important aspect of your blog post. It is what tells search engines what your blog is about and it has the most SEO influence.

Avoid titles like:

“Ten Fat Burning Tips for January”

For a fitness business website, this title has no strategic keywords in place. It has no location keywords, and no service keywords. While it may read nicely it’s missing out on the natural opportunity to plug more strategic keywords on your website as titles!

Here is an example of an SEO friendly alternative:

“Beat the Cold: Denver’s Best Fitness Program Tips for Burning Fat this January”

This title communicates the same content but includes valuable keywords such as “Denver” and “Fitness Program.” This is especially helpful for small towns and surrounding suburbs that you want to rank in. Remember, you can always go back in time to old blog posts and update titles with these keywords!

3. Include Video & Image Tags. Videos and images will increase user engagement and improve the likelihood that your readers will actually read your blogs.

Just placing images & videos on your sites without tagging them, however, does nothing for your SEO.

An image is a perfect place to place otherwise awkward keywords in a perfectly “Google-friendly” way. Anytime you upload and image to your blog, simply name it something keyword rich- like “Denver Personal Training and Fitness Classes” EVEN if the picture is something completely unrelated.

Search engines will crawl your blog, however they can’t see your images – they can only see your description of the image. By naming your image something keyword rich you’re telling search engines that this image has to do with your specific keywords. This is HUGE! Any image or video gives you an opportunity to plug as many keywords as you can into the description or title of that image.

Since your website visitors most likely won’t see the title of your image, you won’t have to worry about how readable your keywords are- just make sure they are there!

Learn more tips for improving your website performance at www.97display.com!

Authored By:

Timothy Sarazen – Director of Operations at 97 Display.

97 Display Creates Websites & Lead Generating Campaigns for Fitness Business. Learn if 97 Display can help your fitness website! Visit www.97display.com.