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fpt-titleIt’s been crazy getting to this point… The point at which I can actually see the completed project and envision the many ways the newly Super-Charged Fitness Pro Travel website will enhance the working vacation travels, businesses, careers, and education of the sport and fitness professionals who are members of the community.

Today is the first of several informational offerings that will begin to introduce you to the many new features of the community at Fitness Pro Travel.

Follow this link (FPT Re-Launch) to see what I’m talking about.

Phase 1 is awesome and will give you many tools to stay a head of the pack in your fitness or sport business, be aware that we have phase 2 laid out and ideas for phase 3. Your feedback is important to how we shape the future and usability of the community.

More details will be delivered shortly and I hope you will comment here if you have questions along the way. In approximately two weeks, we can all communicate in the new site with relative ease.

~~ Side Note ~~

Suzelle & Denise will be back from Mexico in the next couple days. You will also hear from her on the specifics of their exciting trip (that generally means more property options). She will also video or audio information for you in this process on how she sees these new features specifically benefiting your working vacation experience.

http://www.fitprobiz.com/launch-1.html to learn more of where we are and where we are heading at Fitness Pro Travel.

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I’ve been involved the past few weeks doing some consulting on web development and internet marketing for a company that is not directly tied to the fitness industry. It’s been a lot of fun from my perspective since it’s a slight deviation from direct work with fitness professionals and their fitness business or the happenings in our other offerings (working vacations, fitness business, fitness camps).

As the bulk of that project is coming out of the development stage and going more into the traffic generation and conversion stage I thought I’d take a short breath and review any lessons learned thus far.

Lessons Learned from Ultimate Ice Wraps Development

  • Timing and Speed can be more important than perfection. – While we all want and should have a quality product or service, at times it is more important to get that offer out there than wait for perfection. It is a great tactic to launch a new offering along with an event. It adds to the excitement and anticipation. UIW has spent the first part of the weekend at the NSCA conference and the second half (until tomorrow) at the National Coaches Association conference. We decided to concentrate on the primary information and product pages and functionality. It worked out great as their booth visitors were able to follow up with their website  to see and learn about their products at the time of the conference rather than running into a “website under construction” sign. (We’ll be filling in those secondary pages this week.)
  • You must evaluate the costs vs. the customer benefits. – We put the UIW website in our G2 cart, which is the same cart we provide the working vacation programs for fitness pro travel on. This cart has many features that the pro travel community are not even aware of (yet). Quality features do not come cheap and the management had to take a good look at their business and evaluate the benefit of those many features to decide which would be beneficial to their customers while maintaining their budget. They made wise decisions as the pro travel community will utilize tools that the ice wrap community will not.
  • Use of social media and in-bound marketing is of benefit to an e-commerce site. – This took a little convincing as company management have not been involved in social media. We have developed a great marketing plan that will have them active in the social media settings as well as utilizing simple interactive tools such as a blog and article marketing within their own site. I may be jumping the gun just a bit on this topic for UIW as we are still setting up accounts for them, but I am confident that the long lasting benefits of utilizing social media will pay off great dividends to them.
  • Win-Win partnership situations kick ass. – I bring this obvious point up only because you will be hearing more about some of the opportunities that we are working with UIW on that may directly be of benefit to our fitness professionals. It will be a few weeks before it is sorted out, but partnerships are on the horizon… the simplest of which is up and running now. If you are familiar with affiliate programs and want to utilize some high quality ice wraps go create an account their now. More to follow.
  • When you’re green you are growing, but when you’re ripe you’re rotting. – I am well aware that I have much to learn from fitness to business to web design to internet marketing. I know just enough about each to be dangerous. Overall I believe this is a good thing in that as soon as any one of us thinks we’ve arrived at the finish line, the field passes us by. John, my programming partner has had great opportunity to remind me how much I don’t know about programming and taught me a few things along the way. The organization for site search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, and social media presence is ever evolving and definitely keeps me on my toes. I’m pretty sure I’ll remain green. 🙂

All in all this has been and continues to be a fun project and a learning project. There seems to always be something to learn when you are given the opportunity to interact, problem solve, and build with another.

I hope these points are reminders or even hot buttons for you. I’m sure there will be another list of “things I learned” as we go through the next chapter of Ultimate Ice Wraps development.

If you enjoy these insights, be sure to join our mailing list at Fit Pro Biz

FIT Launch – fitness video programming intro

This is a video that took about 10 minutes and $5 to make. We will use this or one of two other similar versions in all future FIT Launch online training videos.

It really was very simple. A lot easier than when I fight with my adobe movie editor.

Thought maybe you all would like to check into it also for your own uses. If you make something cool, be sure to send me a link to it.
http://animoto.com

I received an email from Pat Rigsby today that had his 10 fitness business trends for 2009. I would say that several of them are more than likely to take place and several have already begun. We’ve made changes to our local offerings because of these likelihoods, you may want to consider them carefully also… Check it out:

~~
Everyone seems to be making predictions for the new year so I’m jumping on the  bandwagon;)

Here are my Top 10 fitness industry predictions for 2009…

1. There will be more health club closings than
in any previous year.  They have a broken business
model and will suffer because of it.

2. Health clubs will be eliminating the independent
trainer and taking the training in-house to try to
add revenue.

3. Most one-on-one only fitness pros will struggle.
Relying on such a small segment of the population
(the affluent) is risky with a turbulent economy and
the possibility of increased taxes on the wealthy.
If this is your main offering as a trainer you will want
to check out a program called “Clients are Everywhere.”

4. Low overhead facilities will thrive. Trainers &
coaches will trend toward places like Pam MacElree
& Jason Brown’s facility or Zach Even-Esh’s and
Away from the high end studio.

5. Non-traditional training like kettlebell training,
strongman training, band training and other out
of the ordinary methods will gain even more
popularity due to social media making more and
more people aware.

6. Trainers who don’t niche or have a hook will be
left behind.  With the explosion of social media, trends
travel faster than ever before and people are much more
able to find exactly what they’re looking for instead of settling for less.  If a mom wants help specifically
for her, finding a program like Holly’s Fit Yummy Mummy is
easier than ever before so no more settling for the crappy trainer at Gold’s.

7. Trainers will pass health clubs as a preferred
corporate fitness solution. By combining better results,
better service and more convenience trainers will be
able to better serve businesses’ fitness needs.

8. More trainers than ever before will run their
business like a business.  This is an easy one…this
has happened every year that I’ve been in the industry.
Each year trainers are becoming more and more interested
in improving their business education. The changing
economy will only accelerate that. In fact, I’d bet that
more trainers will start retirement planning in 2009 than
in the previous 3 years combined.

9. Youth fitness will once again be the fastest growing
segment of the fitness industry.  Every business mag from
Entrepreneur to Inc. has talked about one of the best
markets to be in is the youth / teen market.  Parents will ALWAYS invest in their kids.

10. Fitness bootcamps will continue to grow are a rapid
pace. The stars are aligned for this one.  The economy
will lead people to try to get more bang for their fitness buck.  Trainers are becoming more business savvy.
Clubs are moving independent trainers out. I predict a
250% increase in the number of fitness bootcamps
worldwide in 2009.

That’s it.  My 10 predictions.  I’m confident enough in these that I’m willing to adjust our businesses accordingly.  Give them some thought and decide if you should do the same.
~~

In fairness to Pat for his thought and effort into compiling this list take a moment to check out some of his offerings at Fitness Consulting Group. Rumor has it he will be opening new slots in his bootcamp blueprint program in the near future. I’ll let you know if I hear. My experience of seeing him in the social media setting is that he’s not only experienced, but also an honest trainer and business coach, so do check them out.

Personal Trainers, there are a number of business and marketing programs available to you. Barry Lovelace has a new one that you can learn more about by going to “Clients are Everywhere“.

Have other trends you see coming? Add them to the comments.

Group fitness, yoga and sport coaches are often left out of these conversations, but many of the same influences will be effecting you. What do you see coming your way in 2009?

TweetIt from HubSpot

“Special kind of stupid,” now that is the quote to listen for in this video.  Perry offers great information and is an entertaining speaker. Way more interesting than listening to me drone on.

The following video talks to the need to not be fearful and overly protective of your online privacy.  The bottom line here is that you have to make yourself available to your customers. Through making yourself and providing your personal and contact information you provide transparency. That transparency results in trust and with trust you have a much greater opportunity to provide your product or service to a new customer.

Enjoy

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