As published in the Fitness Australia Reps Magazine March 2011.
The progress of technology has changed the way people are doing business and the fitness industry is not immune. From the dominance of search engines and social media to the emergence of cloud computing and group buying; health and fitness businesses are re-evaluating the way they communicate with existing and potential clients.
Websites & Search Engines
Search engine marketing and keyword optimisation seeks to increase the visibility of your websites on search results through paid (marketing) and unpaid (optimisation) techniques. With 90% of people starting their internet session on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, it is important for exercise professionals to have an online presence. There are multiple services that can be accessed for free and many more paid services to increase your online presence. For exercise professionals seeking to get established; update your business details on sites such as Aussieweb, Hot Frog and Yellow Pages.
Once you are established you can pay to have your own website developed or access ‘open source’ technology options such as Word Press and Joomla. Open source can give you greater flexibility around licensing and is well supported by dynamic and committed communities. Community creating tools such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs can further leverage your website investment by driving visitors to your site and improve search engine optimisation.
Local Search Engine and Directory.
Online Businss Directory.
Local Australian Business Directory.
Free Website Publishing Platform.
Free Website Content Management System.
Let’s get social (Social Media & Social Networks)
Social media (e.g. blogs, forums, podcasts) and social networks (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) are an inexpensive avenue to connect and engage with new and existing clients. With an estimated 9.4 million Australians on Facebook, your clients are potentially at your fingertips. Clients (who are your Facebook Fans) can instantly be updated with new classes, new services and any discounts your business is promoting.
Facebook and Twitter provide an opportunity for people other than yourself to market your product. Encourage your clients to give feedback on your training and invite their friends to follow your tweets or posts. Nearly nine in 10 (86%) of Australian’s online are looking to their fellow internet users for opinions and information about products and services.
Start talking to your customers on Facebook in a few easy steps.
Social networking and micro blogging service.
Strengthen & extend your existing network of trusted contacts.
Cloud Computing (or web based software)
Cloud computing is software that’s accessed over the internet through a web browser (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Google Chrome, Safari, etc), where data is stored by a third party rather than locally on your own computer. The great news with web based software is:
• you always have the latest software version,
• you can access it from a computer anywhere that’s connected to the internet,
• it’s safe, secure and regularly backed-up,
• no IT guy is required,
• you don’t have to download/install any software or ongoing upgrades.
Web based software can help you with many areas of client and business management such as online calendars, client information, payments management, client invoicing and business reporting to name a few. The increasing adoption of web based software such as Google Docs (online document management) or inForm (business management / CRM software) has changed the way many professionals access their business and client information, by enabling access to personal information anywhere, anytime using different devices and mediums.
Create and share your work online and access your documents from anywhere.
Gmail is a free, advertising-supported webmail offered by Google.
Manage and grow your health & fitness business with inForm web based software.
SMS and Email
Though these technologies are well established, it’s important to emphasise the power of SMS and email in your client communications. These simple technologies can have a dramatic impact on your client relationships, which means you can enjoy a stronger bottom line.
Group Buying Sites
Many businesses are using group buying sites such as Spreets, Cudo, GroupOne, Zoupon and Living Social as a strong lead generation tool to promote their offers and have been achieving some phenomenal results. It is important to remember however the importance of engaging with your new client and ensuring the level of service you offer them is in line with your customer ethos. Driving business that you can’t deliver is a sure fire way to damage your businesses reputation and brand.
Group Buying Sites.
What are the benefits of using CRM systems?
In its simplest form, CRM (customer relationship management) systems give users a framework to manage their business and gain a deeper understanding of their customers, leading to a more profitable business. By using a good CRM tool in your business it can
provide insight to boost your business, enable you to deepen client relationships, keep projects on track, look more professional in front of your clients and allow you to work smarter and not harder.
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