With the new year comes new beginnings. Back by popular request is our “wish list” for 2021!
1: Let’s replace the term SALES with INFLUENCE.
The term influence is defined as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something”.
To be a successful influencer, we’ve found these five characteristics a must:
Whether you are making a video, writing an article, or promoting active living, the public has a sixth sense for detecting insincerity and have become more sophisticated with regards to their overall knowledge of active living. An important aspect of authenticity is practicing what you preach as it is this quality that reinforces messages.
Consistently create content:
To produce a following, consistently engaging your audience is a must for a successful influencer. We must remember that content is consumed instantaneously therefore maintaining current content is often a challenge. However, as we’ve seen with some of the greatest influencers of today (positive and negative), keeping your content up to date is essential to staying relevant with regards to the influence you will have on your following.
Managing your followers:
A videographer friend of mine recently received a “like” from a celebrity he follows and celebrated that moment like he hit a game winning shot. That reach out, that simple recognition from the celebrity, reinforced the fact that a follower was relevant in some way and immediately bolstered the bond the videographer perceived to have with the celebrity.
Trust is the guide for virtually every decision we make. When we believe in the information given to us and surround ourselves with people we believe in, together they will guide us to decisions. Conversely, a break in trust can be devastating as statistics state that nearly 50% of consumers indicated they would stop buying a product if trust is lost. They say when you show authenticity you create the space for others to do the same. It requires vulnerability, transparency, and integrity but well worth the effort as it is the essence of trust.
While trust is the glue that connects influencers with their audience, passion is the fuel. With passion brings energy and creativity and is tremendously infectious. Passion flows to and from influencers to followers creating a connection that is symbiotic in nature.
Our jobs as leaders in the Active Living space is NOT to manipulate people into a decision. Instead, it is our responsibility to bring forth the tremendous benefits of what exercise can bring and navigate people towards a safe and rewarding journey.
Enough of the term “SALES”. Let’s be positive INFLUENCERS and bring forth the benefits of active living… instead of trying to hawk memberships to people.
2: Let’s truly make Active Living become an extension of the medical world.
Despite what some people imagine, a medical fitness model does not occur just by placing a Physical Therapy office inside a gym. One of the key ingredients to a medical fitness model is the development of individualized health risk management to maximize a person’s health and quality of life. It’s an investment and would affect ratios but a strong and definitive commitment to medical fitness by industry experts would bridge our industry to the medical field and tear down the proverbial firewall that currently exists.
3: Let’s hope programming models will adapt and embrace “Club without walls” offerings.
4: Let’s move the industry forward with regards to technology, partnerships, and overall mission.
The essence of club life is connecting.. NOT distancing. Technology has proven to make the user experience more efficient and dramatically aids the most vital part of the member/club relationship- communicating. Communication is not just texts anymore.. it’s sounds, videos, and feedback and makes the user experience an interactive one. Apps such as heart rate monitors and sleep monitors provide quantitive data (needed for the above mentioned medical model) while technology brings even the simple act of jumping rope with a smart rope a more dynamic experience.
It’s not just enough to have all these wonderful tools at our fingertips. We need to utilize them consistently and more productively to bring the industry to a level other industries will want to partner with us. A great example is the auto industry as they have partnered with Samsung and Apple to produce an exceptional driving experience, and much safer one, by utilizing technology. As my colleague Geoff Hampton states “One of the greatest keys to success is the ability to evolve.” He’s right!
5: Let’s see a resurgence of independent owners.
While the proverbial playing field has been uneven for some time, as we come out of the pandemic, everyone will be starting from scratch. With nearly 25% of all clubs permanently closed, displaced members will eventually seek places to turn to and the opportunity to service potential business will be significant. In the last two weeks I’ve visited 3 vacant clubs that are in “turnkey” condition that eventually will reopen under new ownership. Additionally, there are numerous storefronts and commercial real estate vacancies that will be available for entrepreneurs to retain at favorable prices. Combined with the fact that virtually new equipment is available from closed venues, the initial steps into the industry are much easier then they were a year ago.