There is no doubt that health and fitness are currently among the hottest topics on the planet. Whether it’s “getting into shape”, eating better or just living a healthier lifestyle, people are becoming hyper-aware of what they put in and what they do with their bodies. If you’re a fitness facility of any size or form, and you’re wanting to expand, then you’re going to have to think of ways to digitise your business and incorporate the exciting trends that are happening in your industry. Fitness facilities must digitise!
One of the most common misconceptions about doing anything online is just requiring a presence. This used to be the case when web professionals were throwing the term “web 2.0” around as the next big thing. Now entire businesses are digital and sometimes only digital.
So how do you take a largely physical industry and transform it into one that adopts the various digital solutions and potential innovations that are out there? Well, the simple answer is to listen to the people that are your clients. So as owners or managers of fitness facilities, why would you need to digitise your business? Here are a few reasons (and solutions for you):
3 reasons why fitness facilities must digitise
1. People want to know you’re legit
When people sign up to a gym or CrossFit box, they’re committing to transform themselves. When fitness facilities are smaller and don’t have the backing of huge marketing spend, people will want to make sure you can be trusted with improving their bodies (and sometimes more).
To win people over, you need to position yourself as a thought leader. One of the easiest ways to do that is to start a blog (on your website) that you dedicate time and invest in educational content that helps people identify something that you’ll eventually be able to help them solve. Kelly Starrett from MobilityWOD does this really well. He continuously publishes content in various mediums and is well known around the world for being an expert in his field. This has proven to be one of the best marketing funnels for his business.
Other ways to position yourself as a thought leader:
- Write an ebook and self-publish it (or use an indie publisher)
- Start a podcast and interview people in your field
- Host online seminars to help people improve themselves
- Create an online training programme
2. People want to be connected
No one has ever had as much information at their fingertips as they have had today. Because of this, people also know a lot more about a range of subjects which does mean you’re not dealing with naive people. They want to know the best way to train and they want to know now with live data to back it up. People want to run each kilometre faster, do more pushups in a minute, have a lower heart rate and lift heavier weights.
Having access to information could be simple, for example, your fitness facility’s opening and closing times, what your rates or membership fees are or even what fitness services you are able to offer. Or it could also be more exciting and complex by using fitness technology, such as wearables, to enhance your workout programmes. The advancement of technology in the sporting arena has bred a new kind of athlete – one that is very much in the public eye. This has lead to people wanting to reach new heights, and technology allows both professional and social athletes to adopt more advanced training routines.
Some ideas on putting information in front of your clients:
- Connect machinery with wearables to enhance workouts
- Upload workouts to activity tracking services for customers to easily record workouts
- Create a way for customers to be held accountable to the goals you set
- Publish helpful resources like healthy recipes, improvised workouts when travelling or even ways that will improve their health outside of fitness
3. People want to live longer, better lives
Most people will agree with that they want to live longer, better lives. As owners of fitness facilities, I’m guessing you all want people to live longer better lives as well. Fitness is just one of the ways that will help people achieve that. Discovery Vitality is a great initiative that drives people towards living healthier lifestyles. Its success is around the fact that they just want people to get healthier (their entire business benefits from people living healthy lifestyles). The success of Discovery Vitality is around motivating people to live healthier by rewarding them.
Building mechanisms into your business that reward people for hitting the goals you want them to achieve is a great way to do it. If it’s building a loyalty system that rewards people for attendance or rewards them from reaching their fitness goals then you’re going to get people who are deeply committed to your business. It ties into the fact that most humans know that their health is important and when you couple that with reward you will get a motivation that you will never get from a Monday morning inspirational quote.
Here are some ways to motivate people:
- Give them discounts at partners for attendance using a central system
- Build an app that helps you record their goals with rewards based on hitting these goals
- Connect with insurance companies that reward their clients on healthy living
If you’ve read this far, I think you might be convinced that even though many fitness facilities are very physical by nature, digitising parts of your business will help you and your clients live better lives.
If you have ideas or want advice, we’re a bunch of people that love making healthy decisions (a lot of us are fitness enthusiasts as well) and we would love to have a chat with you regarding digital innovation within your business over a glass of kale juice (just kidding, we actually prefer coffee). Feel free to get in contact with us or book a free, no-obligation consultation call and let’s see how we can take your business into a world of possibilities.