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Trying to keep myself from rambling on to becoming a long sales letter, I’ve decided to cheat just a little bit.

I’ve attached a couple of documents here that simply lay out, side by side, the benefits of each level of membership at the “new” Fitness Pro Travel website.  I know from the emails there are many of you that need no convincing after going through the video walk through tour, but I also know there are many that didn’t go through them at all.

This should make it quick, easy, and painless. 😉

Click Here for the Side-By-Side Comparison

There really is great benefit to anyone who utilizes the program with the new features. Even with the basic professional membership you have opportunities to promote yourself, network, share your working vacation experiences, generate income, and participate in the creation of content. I hope you’ll take the time to realize it.

The Run Down on the next 36 hours:

  • 9pm Eastern 2/10 – putting up down for maintenance sign at FPT
    Transferring domain and beginning transfer of all existing content
  • ~1pm Eastern 2/11 – take down maintenance sign and welcome you back to Fitness Pro Travel
  • 8pm Eastern 2/16 – the re-launch period will end along with the 40% off opportunity

Sounds pretty simple, but I am leaving out several steps that will have me up late and at it again early.

Bonuses – I believe you can link to the previous bonuses still in the below posts.  There are two excellent bonus items I have saved and will be providing to those who jump into the Business or Enterprise membership levels right of the bat during launch week. At retail they are nearly $100 in value.

  1. First is another series from CEO of EzineArticles.com Chris Knight on article marketing and avoiding mistakes
  2. Second is an extensive e-book by the CEO of True North Business Consulting, Attorney Cynthia Pasciuto, specifically for the fitness & sport professional on setting up, promoting, and operating an independent fitness business

These are valuable as stand alone items and both of these folks were very generous to offer them for this occasion.

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It is getting very close to the end of the new Fitness Pro Travel site feature series.  I do hope that if nothing else you have enjoyed the bonuses logo1provided along the way.

Along with some of the most important information being released today dealing with the Business of Fitness, I am stoked to present you with a couple more bonus items from two big time leaders in their areas of expertise… Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the launch information page to access those items.

I’m keeping the blog post fairly short as the content most of you have come by today to see can be found on a separate webpage. I’ll provide the link one more time near the bottom.

Many of your recommendations have been implemented, as it seems to be primarily tweaks to make it best fit your needs at this point. 30 Fitness Pro beta testers have been a big help as well.

Your emails have gotten me fired up and I really appreciate them. This is going to be a beneficial resource to the entire community and I do believe when word gets out there will be many more following your lead to gain access.

If you have an account there now, you will be considered one of the “Founding Members” and special pricing and bonuses are available to you during the launch period. Do consider acting sooner rather than later as certain features are capped as to the numbers that can participate. Read on with the information page for those details and stay tuned as we are only a couple days away!

Launch Info 3 – http://fitprobiz.com/launch-3.html

The growth of social media over the past two year continues to pick up speed. 30-60 thousand new members per day at face book speaks loudly. 400%+ growth of twitter screams for you to listen… Your customers are there and therefore you should be there.

Not always “selling” but simply making connections and letting the sales take care of themselves.

FPT Launch Info #2

The next generation of social media will provide greater opportunities and tools for business networking.  Because of this we have attempted to be at the front of that curve. By following the link to further information on what is coming with the “re-launch” of Fitness Pro Travel you will get your first look inside.

The features you will find, I believe, will be of great benefit to you as a fitness professional. You will find the tools to effectively network with a very large community of fitness and sport professionals inside.  You will also find the upgraded features for simply doing as we have all done at Fitness Pro Travel for the past 6 years, researching and selecting all-inclusive working vacation opportunities.

Head over to Re-LAUNCH INFORMATION PAGE 2 for details and get ready for the new site going live sometime next week.

PS – Be sure to follow through to the bottom to view the bonus webinar on using social media for business.

PPS – Also know that while the blog tool is shown to you today, tomorrow I will have completed a special interview with a leader in the blogging world and will post the recording here. It will include some great keys for you in operating your own blog AND why it is so essential to have one.

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

Generally speaking, I love my sleep time. I definitely think and feel better throughout the day if I get enough of it and even better if a cat insomnia-tomnap presents itself as well. There are even plenty of research studies that scientifically prove that our mind benefits and much of what is accepted in the fitness industry is based on scientific research… So, what the hell am I doing out of bed so early today???

It’s 5:05am and I’m sitting in a dark home office typing away. It was just a little over an hour ago when I first rolled over in bed and the eyes would no longer stay closed.

No appointments until afternoon, morning basketball not going to run because of the newest delivery of snow that must have started around 1am, and I’m certain the kids will be running at least two hours late for their school schedule. I’m thinning I’m sleeping in… NOT.  (side note, call came in while writing this, school all out canceled)

So now to decide if there is a reason behind this blog post or is it just an opportunity to whine?

I don’t have much whining to do even though I’m not all cozy in bed. With the house quiet and only the cat bitching for a little food I am getting a lot done and there is a lot to do (probably part of the reason there was no going back to sleep).  What I am realizing is that I’m getting quite a bit done and even have time for this blog post. With this new efficiency I am reminded of a program I went through by a guy named Eban Pagan.

Eban spent some time doing a video series on time management and one of the primary keys to getting more done is the elimination of multitasking. I found this hard to believe at the time and even if it were to be true, the day to day activities of a father, husband, business owner, coach, board member, etc. made it impossible to accomplish. I did and do take him at his word and the research that went into making those claims on efficiency. I have and do attempt to block tasks together. I don’t jump at email every-time the little envelop pops up. I let many calls go to voice mail and in the end I am able to stay on task a little more often.

But, if you want to take it to another level, try this insomnia thing out. Having no one else in or around the office, phones off, only you folks on the East Coast to worry about sending emails at this time, or God forbid calling… Well it’s a great benefit to your productivity and it’s getting me one step closer to having the new and improved fitness pro travel site ready for release.

Insomnia – It does your Business Good?

My excitement has been building lately for the new Fitness Pro Travel features being developed. Since we asked for your feedback on site changes that would enhance your fitness travel and business several months back, it has been a pretty steady road of research, building new fitness connections, building new business connections, request for proposals, networking, testing, reworking, and so on.

While that has made things hectic it has been and continues to be a great learning experience.

We have been able to address the majority of your thoughts and have developed future plans off of those to continue the community enhancement project. CEP? Think we should call the project by the abbreviation? 🙂  It’s going to rock.

My most recent excitement has come from several industry leaders who have added their insight to the project as of late. Those contacts have been very valuable and it looks like we’ve found a way to share much of their insight with the group.

Several have offered to throw in bonuses to coincide with the launch of our new features. That means that we all will receive some great content from fitness and business experts that will benefit each of us in addition to the new features and that’s without any cost. I know I’ve benefited by working with them and am certain you will as well with their offerings.

It looks like we are literally down to our last month before we present the results of these (phase 1) changes. Several items are completely done and we are testing them now. Others are nearing their completion. Be watching your emails in the next couple weeks for information on sneak peaks that will give you a look inside and an idea of how these new features may be utilized.

This project has not only been exciting, it’s also been nerve wracking. While I know the principles and features can directly benefit your personal, travel, and fitness business, it’s tough not second guessing and doubting the investment from time to time. I’ll leave you today with a quote from French writer Anatole France that has come to mind more than once during the process.

“To accomplish great things we must not only act,
but also dream;
not only plan,
but also believe.”

togetherSo, myself and the majority of the online business/marketing community have been singing the praises of social media for the past many months. I think for the most part it is rightfully so. But, I’ve been sensing this overwhelming feeling of overload lately.

That overload was made apparent today when I received two diffent invites to two different “fitness professional” social media websites. Wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that I am aware of at least 5 other “internet’s biggest fitness professional’s community” sites already.  And, of course in the name of research I have an account at each. UHG!

I like the idea of taking advantage of technology to essentially “network” with like minded people. There is much power in it and that is one of the main reasons you will see this ability at the Fitness Pro Travel site in the very near future.  There are now multiple turn-key ready to go platforms available to begin a membership or social networkings website, which in turn has led to a 2008 onslaught of thousands of these member sites.

With so many coming into the market there will certainly be winners and losers. The measuring stick will not be the number of accounts in each community, but the number of active accounts.

Remember the Junior High dance when the walls were lined with kids, but the dance floor was empty. There were many more bodies there than at the local small club with an occupancy of no more the 100. But at that

School dances had some benefits

School dances had some benefits

 bar you generally find an active group socializing and taking advantage of the music and the dance floor. Maybe it was the addition of booze, but the point remains. 🙂

The winners in the niche specific online social networking game will be those who possess and include the features that provide their audiance multiple reasons for joining in and participating. The is most like the smaller group in the happening bar rather than a Junior High Dance.

Finally, those winners will be the ones who can best adapt to the desires of the community. They must accept that in this new online social world they are actually just facilitators for those who become the leaders in that community.  Website leadership will be best displayed by those who are willing to pass leadership to the community (Tribe, as Seth Godin would say) and realize they are more in the role of facilitator.

My suggestions for you:

  1. Continue to try out multiple social networking sites, both industry specific and general. Learn of the various features of each and then migrate to those who are in line with your wants and needs AND seem to listen to the community for direction.  Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed as you can always pull back and pay attention to only your most pertinent ones.
  2. If you are looking to diversify you business and want to offer membership or community online programs, realize that the best leadership in this new world may be the ability to get out of the way and facilitate. There is much to it as we have discussed in the insiders club, so do your homework if this is your goal.
  3. Lastly, feel free to bring your comments, opinions, frustrations, and desires back to the table as we open up the social media at FPT in the near future. I can EASILY admit I don’t know it all and would love to hear from the community and play the role of facilitator.

Social media tools will not be going away, although I do believe we’ll be coming up on a sorting of those sites before long. It’s time to start getting excited about the features we are adding at FPT that include social media. If you want to rally your current student/client/athletic group into a social media or membersite checkout the resources HERE or contact me to get info on the next time we run a program on getting these systems started.

Your Health & Business Success
Tom

Last two weeks have been insane… In a good way.

If you follow the mailing list you are well aware of the daily onslaught we had of new working vacation resorts and resort positions added two weeks ago at Fitness Pro Travel. Rumor has it that onslaught may not quite have simmered down yet.

Wayne Martin leading a Yoga Workshop on the Grand Lido Deck

Wayne Martin leading a yoga workshop on the Grand Lido Deck

Good news for you if you like the affordable travel options.

As you can see by my lack of blog attention last week, it was another busy week. This week was filled with

fun and education at the Fit Beach Conference we assist the Fit Bodies company in putting on in Negril, Jamaica.  I’ll post more on those highlights soon.

There is always a ton of learning going on when you have a gathering over a 5-7 day period in and out of the conference sessions. Participants not only get class time with industry leading professionals, but also a couple dinners, lunches, beach time, evening outings, etc. for added question, answer, and networking.

… It’s tough to express the true value of these get-a-way events.

I also ran through a short book during the week by Seth Godin, “Tribes”.  Quick and easy read. If you are interested in how the ever evolving social media technologies are effecting how your clients/members/students are making decisions and gaining information, this might be right for you. I’m sure I’ll hit more on this in the coming weeks.

… Better yet, if you want an idea of the features you’ve heard me mention we are working on and are getting crazy close to activating on the Fitness Pro Travel site, this book will paint a pretty good picture. It was pretty cool to read a “hot off the presses” book that reflects the feed back we got from our “tribe” and encourages the activities and features we are “no turning back” into building.  (whew)

 Well, the first early notice I’ve sent on new happenings at the Fitness Pro Travel website went out yesterday morning to the News and Notice list. Within an hour of that notice I was contacted that we have another coming on line this week.
 
I don’t know that I’ll be putting out notice every time we get new properties & positions, but since I started it this morning figured I’d follow up on today’s happenings.
 
First, looks like a another property coming on line in Mexico and for that matter there are high hopes for a couple few more. No details on the final specialty positions requested, but it should be on the site later this week.
 
And, within two hours of getting notice of this new MX location…. Another call from an old friend came in.
 
Breezes Runaway Bay contacted us to add the position of Golf Professional to their requested pro list. This is the first golf position requested, so it is rather exciting.
 
If you know of a golf pro or two, your referral to create an account at fitness pro travel would be appreciated. We’ll have that position and specialty criteria posted later this week as well.
 
Now, I’ll be working to get those done asap… Fit Beach begins next week and there are several details to complete before heading back to Jamaica.
 
Busy week.

A new short video has been posted to the “my account” page for all Fitness Pro Travel members.

One of the requests from our summer surveys on what we could do to make the site more useful overall to the fitness professional, included more easy access information for utilizing the site.

Near the end of summer we added the “Tom & Suzelle” interview (you can access this through the faq page) and this new video will go through a couple options you have for performing searches on the site.

Yep, I know it’s fuzzy, but I think you will be able to follow along.

It’s important to always be moving forward. If not you’re going backward or are stagnant. Genererally neither of those is a good thing.

My heads been spinning this last week with projects going on in several different locations, but I want all of you who come here to see what’s happening with the fitness pro travel site upgrades to know we are still moving forward. You will see small changes here and there in your account on regular basis over the next month.

We have assembled a stong advisory council, whom you will meet in the near future. They have and will be assisting in making sure the features function properly, are efficient, and are significant in one way or another to the fitness professional. Each of your comments along the way are still encouraged. I can guarantee you that I don’t have all of the answers, but with the advice of several industry leaders on the council as well as feed back from members of that community, I have no doubt it’s going to be very cool.

Tom

Took a little time during my post Crue Fest concert recovery to add some video taken at the IDEA conference to the Fitness Pro Travel site. I made these with Suzelle in response to one of a number of member pros requests for more information on each of the locations available for working vacation.  Yes, we are amatueres and it shows, but hopfully it will give you a bit more info for deciding where you want to travel.
<VIDEO>

I’m also getting close to completing some video info for you with more details as to the features we will be bring the Fitness Pro Travel web site. We are already coming up with many great ideas for a second phase of upgrades, which I’ll mention when we release the many new features of phase one.

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