Demystifying the Myths of the Holidays

Did you eat 4000 calories on Thanksgiving Day? That is what your average client ate according to a quick google search.

I can report that my caloric intake was much lower, and I still had a great celebration. I hope the same is true for you.

One of my VIP coaching/mentoring clients reported last week that this was his best November ever and at the time he still had 25% of the month to go. To say he was excited, and a bit surprised, is an understatement.

He also said he could tell it was not a fluke. He remarked that people knew his business existed and people were coming in ready to get started.  And most importantly, he was ready. The significance of his being ready should not be lost. He worked very hard to get to this place with his business and this mindset, compared to where he was a few weeks ago.

I hear all the time that you can’t build a business over the holidays, that we have to wait until January to build a fitness business. After decades in the fitness business, I am happy to report that nothing could be further from the truth.

People are very concerned about fitness at this time of the year. Most of them just ate a huge meal and many of those are convinced it turned immediately to extra storage fat. Trust me, they want what you have to offer, and you are on their mind.

How do you make December your best December ever? Or even better, how do you make December your best month ever? Below are three tips to get you on track. Be aware that these techniques will take some time, so start today. In the worst case, they can have a major impact on your January – you can’t lose.

Remember that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. 

1. Your Attitude. If you believe “the committee of they,” you will have a very hard time building your business during the holidays. My experience and that of some of my VIP clients is just the opposite! First and foremost, it is imperative that you keep your attitude positive and expectant for a great season of building your business. The books you read and your associations with other successful people are the critical pieces of the attitude puzzle you need to nourish and cultivate. Your positive and expectant attitude will be contagious and evident in all your marketing and sales efforts. Attitude is everything!

2. Create Effective Marketing Materials. Make sure all of your marketing materials -all of them- address the central theme most important to your clients/members – WIFM, What’s in it for me? Your marketing materials should have a shelf life of at least six months. Create the materials now so that you can use them throughout the winter and well into 2018.

3. Promote, Promote, Promote…. People are busy this time of the year. They still manage to take care of the things that are most important to them. Fitness is on their minds. They are inundated with all kinds of messages and promotions. You need to be part of this without being obnoxious. I have had people buy a gift certificate as a present for a friend, on Christmas Eve, only because I sent out a reminder of the offer on Christmas Eve.

Remember, action creates the results you want.

To your success!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches

Create Lasting Holiday Connections With Your Clients & Members.

Does this sound familiar? A usual trip to the store yesterday, ended up with a longer than usual trip back home.

The holiday crush has begun!

So much to do and so little time. It’s always the same. And yet we always get everything done we set our minds to do. The key is to decide what we want to get done and get an early start on it.

In the end, it’s always the little things that make such a difference to people.

Below are three critical things you can do to deepen your connection with your members and clients in the next few weeks. These events will create stories and memories people will talk about for months. And, you want them talking about you!

Remember that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

1. Holiday Workouts. I have mentioned this several times and it’s worth repeating. Holiday workouts serve several purposes and you don’t want to miss this opportunity. They keep people connected at a busy time, they are social, and they keep people tracking their fitness goals. The workouts should be structured to be a fun and exciting deviation from your usual programming.

2. The holiday card from your team. Mailing cards is a lost art for many people. This makes it all the more important for you to do. You will stand out from the competition. Get a picture of your team as a group in your branded apparel. Create a postcard with the picture on the front and some cool copy on the back, and mail it to all of your members. They will post it and their friends will see it – all good for your business.

3. Mail a personal holiday card from the owner. This is a very deep and meaningful connection. Send each of your members/clients a personal card from the owner. An inexpensive card can be created or you can buy something off the shelf. For extra impact, personalize a very short unique and personal greeting for each card with your handwritten signature.

Eating Over The Holidays (Updated)

(The following was originally posted several websites and countless newsletters ago. Nine years ago to be exact. Little needed to be changed. The basics have always been the same.)

As we approach the end of the year and the holidays, most of us fall into two categories. Either we have been working out or are planning to start working out in January. The food and parties around the holidays could be viewed as a challenge or an opportunity to get a head start on January resolutions.

Research tells us that the average person gains between one and five pounds over the holidays, less that was reported a decade ago. Research also shows that the weight gained over the holidays tends to stay with us throughout the year. That is not a good plan.

Here are 5 easy recommendations for holiday eating:

1. We have some flexible time in our schedule during the holidays. Put that extra time to good use and work out a little, or a little bit more – be more active than usual and burn some extra calories. The easiest way to do this is to go for a walk – and ask someone to join you.

2. Rather than the negative experience of denying yourself certain foods (unless you need to for medical reasons) practice “portion control.” A smaller piece of Grandma’s pie tastes great and we feel good about our self-discipline. Often, I notice that others will follow my lead and request smaller portions which makes me feel great and further strengthens my resolve.

3. Don’t skip meals during the day to make room for the big meal. Arriving at the holiday dinner with a ravenous appetite is a recipe for over-eating, and usually eating too much of the wrong foods. The starvation/binge eating also causes other reactions in the body that work against you in your attempts to control your weight.

4. Remember to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. Sometimes hunger is actually a sign of slight dehydration.

5. Be careful about alcohol, not necessarily because of the high caloric value, but because it can weaken your resolve to exercise “portion control” with your food.

Three Critical Goal Setting Mindsets

Last weekend I spent a fair amount of time on the road. We had a death in the family and it was time to pay last respects to this wonderful man.

He was part of a unique breed of hero – A WWII veteran. Into his 90s, he had lived a rich and full life.

Moments like this are always a reason to reflect on one’s life. The long-distance travel, as well as the time of the year, contributes to this introspection and the inevitable look forward to the coming year.

Bill Gates is credited with the quote, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

In my consulting and mentoring work with fitness professionals, I find there is more than a ring of truth in this quote. In fact, in my own early career my enthusiasm for the future and my willingness to risk big nearly cost me my career.

I only survived because a very kind and understanding mentor had a heart-to-heart conversation with me that re-centered my enthusiasm and helped me build a solid foundation that catapulted my future forward.

In short, he helped me get my head on straight when it came to planning out the next year.

He helped me with three things that made all the difference in my job performance and the future of the big fitness organization I was in charge of at a ripe old age of 30.

Here is what he shared with me – three mindsets for a creating a successful marketing plan for 2018.

1. Study your past year. Take a careful look at the past year. Think through what went well and what needs work. Make a list of what happened and why. What was your role in the success or lack of?

2. Look carefully and enthusiastically toward next year. Too many people believe in magic. We hold to the belief that suddenly everything is different on January 1. It is simply another day. Yes, we can change the course of our life, but this requires behavioral habits that take time to acquire. Anything short of the commitment to do the work to achieve change is simply wishful thinking. Be brutally honest about this without giving up an optimistic attitude and belief.

3. Set yourself up to be successful. My mentor really had to work with me on this one. I was too aggressive in my thinking. Like the football game, I needed to drop back a few yards to set up my next play. It was humbling and, more importantly, it worked! By planning on doing one thing at a time, and focusing on each little victory, over the next year we experienced unprecedented growth that surprised even me.

Start your thinking about next year now. A last-minute plan on January 1 is pretty much doomed to failure. However, if you do your thinking and start building the habits now, when January 1 happens you are already on your way!!

Remember, action creates the results you want.

Make it an awesome day!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches

Marketing Calendar Must-Haves

If the digital world agrees, this email will arrive in your inbox approximately 52 days from the end of 2017. That is only 7 and 1/2 weeks!

The next 52 days will be full of all kinds of holiday activity and end-of-the-year hustle and bustle. People will dig deep and finally accomplish one more goal for 2017.

This is not a time to “wait until next year” but a time to keep focused on what we can do today to impact this year. The more momentum we have going into 2018, the better the odds that 2018 will surpass your expectations.

Our marketing calendars need three things scheduled now. We know from experience with fitness professionals that once something is on the calendar the potential of it being accomplished grows exponentially.

What is really neat is that, although there are three things, they boil down to one thing – making your fitness business a warm, welcoming and exciting place for people to go after their fitness resolutions and goals in 2018.

Stand out from the competition by putting these three things (#3 is the very best!) on your marketing calendar. Promote, promote, promote and build the excitement now.

1. Holiday Workouts. Our clients who take advantage of these events see an incredible benefit. It can just be a special workout, or a themed week, a couple’s workout, or a fundraiser for example. It can involve Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.

2. Host a Holiday Party. I missed the boat on this one early in my career until I finally realized how important these events are for people. Whatever you do, make it fun and festive. People like to have fun.

3. New Year’s Day Workout. There is something special about a New Year’s Day workout. Ten in the morning is the best time. People are ready to go. Take advantage of the one day of the year when the most people are thinking about getting back into shape. Look at it as a marketing gift.

Put these on your calendar now and start talking about them. There is a very good chance someone will ask you if you need help with the planning and organizing. Boom! Life just got a little more rewarding.

Remember, action creates the results you want.

Make it an awesome day!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches

Holiday Promotions

Last weekend we decided to make one more trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway to catch what is left of the fall colors. It was beautiful for a while. Then, as we reached higher elevations, the weather changed and we were in grey clouds full of snow, ice and driving wind.

That first exposure to winter conditions is always a mixed bag of excitement and stress. The changing seasons are invigorating and a reminder of the coming holidays.

Thanksgiving is only three weeks away.

Are you ready for the holiday season? A great holiday season is the perfect way to get a running start on a fantastic 2018.

Are you planning special events for the holidays to bring in new people, showcase how you can help them and get them engaged in our programs? If not, you should be. Only once a year do you get this kind of opportunity.

Here are three things that should be in your schedule now so you have the time to adequately promote and generate excitement among your members and clients.

For the 2017 holiday season:

1. Special Workouts. Isn’t everyone concerned about how much food they are going to eat at Thanksgiving dinner? How about a special workout on Thanksgiving morning? You could even make it a fundraiser for a cause near and dear to one of your members. Start talking it up now for maximum exposure.

2. Bring a Friend Week. People are busy during the holiday and they are usually more open and filled with that special holiday spirit. In many cases, they are more open to your programs than any other time of the year. In the back of their mind is the need for new goals for the next year. Do what you can to be “top of the mind” when they are ready to get started in January.

3. Special Promotions. What incentives could you offer to get people in the door to try your programs out? A complimentary first session is a great start, but what else can you do to separate yourself from the competition? How about a complimentary week-to-week eating plan starting January 1st? Note: Avoid price discounts like the plague – you don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.

Put these promotions on your calendar today and lay out a plan to make them happen. End the year with more business that you thought possible!

Remember, action creates the results you want.

Make it an awesome day!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches