Tag Archives: personal trainer

Why do some HR and IT departments hate social media marketing?

It’s a great time to be a marketer. The Internet and social media have changed the game completely in less than a decade. TV advertising, although still restricted to those with big budgets, is no longer as effective as it was when there were only two commercial channels. Now there are hundreds, and in addition the web offers other types of entertainment. So grabbing people’s attention is much harder.

Back before video and TiVo/Sky+ the only way to escape an advert was to mute, or turn off, or go and make a cup of tea. Now you can flash through it. Consumers are no longer interrupted by marketing communications. They can ignore us. They are in control.

IT departments hate social media marketing

But whilst they can shut the adverts out, consumers still have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. If they want to buy a new pair of shoes they’ll most likely Google the brand. Looking for a hotel in Spain, they’ll go online and look for reviews on TripAdviser. And they’ll ask specific questions like, “What’s the best Indian Restaurant in Preston?” Or, “Where can I find a Personal Trainer in Luton?”

Businesses who provide content that answers these specific questions will find their customers coming to them. Actually seeking them out. Social media and the web means that marketers can create a fine mesh of links from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIin, Pinterest to their own content of web pages, blogs, Q&As, videos, podcasts, white papers, and info-graphics. Interruption marketing (TV adverts, Billboards, posters) is giving way to content marketing. And whilst the former will never disappear, the advertisers have to work harder to successfully interrupt their customers and get them to react.

IT departments hate social media marketing

The great thing about this is that really powerful marketing is now much more accessible to smaller businesses with tighter budgets. And another advantage a small company is that they won’t be constrained by their own departments. In some places there is so much resistance to social media and online content that they create their own barriers to taking advantage of technology.

Social media is often blocked from employees. The HR department don’t want their staff on Facebook when they should be working now do they? But here’s the thing. This is no different to when individual phones started to appear on people’s desks. In those days, HR’s argument was that staff would spend all their time on the phone talking to friends. It didn’t happen.

It’s never been about the technology? It wasn’t back then and it isn’t now. It’s always been about managing the staff. Don’t block social media, because in reality your staff might be able to help promote the company or create good content for you.

Then there is the IT departments. Why do some IT departments hate social media marketing?

Why to they never phone you up and say, “Listen we’ve just seen this new App, and the marketing opportunities for you are amazing”? No, it’s me that phones them and says, “I’ve just seen this new App and the marketing opportunities are amazing?”

IT departments hate social media marketing

And they say, “We can’t let you use that we haven’t the bandwidth.”

Or, “We’ll leave ourselves open to infection with nasty viruses.”

Or, “We can’t take the risk of data leakage.”

You can’t fight against innovation you need to embrace it. No doubt some people resisted in introduction of mobile phones and of the Internet itself. But now it’s impossible to imagine life without these. But HR and IT resistance can hinder big businesses and give smaller players the advantage.

Social media and content are changing the way we engage with consumers, and unlike traditional marketing communications channels they are not restricted to those with huge advertising budgets.

The smallest business can take advantage of these wonderful innovations and make themselves visible. And when you are visible and you give people answers they want, they will want to do business with you.

Over to you: Have you experienced resistance to using social media from your own HR and IT departments? How have you addressed their concerns. Have you got them on board? Please leave a comment by clicking on “leave a reply” below here.

CXWorx core fitness class gaining ground in Edinburgh

CXWorx is a slightly odd name for a fitness class. But don’t let that put you off because for a 30 minute class which focusses on core training exercises, CXWorx really does work. I can testify to the tightness in the tummy muscles it brings and the fires it ignites in the gluteals. Half an hour of torture, great music, weight plates and stretchy bands will leave you exhausted but elated.

CXWorx core fitness class

Les Mills the creators of Body Pump brought this revolutionary fitness class to the UK at the start of 2012. I wondered if it would be a little slow to take off. Not because of any flaws in the workout, CXWorx works as I said, but because some clubs appear reluctant to pay for another licence. Maybe they think their PTs can put something similar together.

Whilst take up as been slow down south, CXWorx is starting to gain a strong foothold in Edinburgh. Blazing the trail has been Edinburgh Leisure who have introduced many classes across the city. David Lloyd have followed and I hope others are interested. Les Mills have held 2 instructor training modules already and more are to follow.

One of my fitness instructor friends has already trained in CXWorx and Karl Fitzpatrick on his Group X site comments as follows:

“30 minutes passed. And job done. Ouch. But you love it. Get the lovely feeling of ache. Knowing you’ve earned it.”

And another is about to take the plunge and do the training – in his CXWorx Blog, Simon Philp reminds us about the benefits of the class:

“Formulated with a carefully structured, scientific approach and unforgiving intensity, Les Mills CXWORX tightens and tones, improves functional strength and assists injury prevention like nothing else.”

So should I consider doing the CXWorx training module?

After I qualified as a yoga teacher in 2010, and as I now teach Body Combat, Body Balance, Power Yoga and Hatha Yoga, I said no more. But there is something about CXWorx. It’s chipping away at my resolve. And as the class gains ground in Edinburgh so too does the feeling that my portfolio might not yet be complete.

Over to you: Have you trained on CXWorx? What did you think of the training module course?Are you a participant? What do you think about the CXWorx core fitness class? Have they made any noticeable difference to your core strength? Please post a comment below and let me know.

If you enjoyed this blog you might like to try this one as well:

3 Fitness Marketing Tips inspired by a Dragon

Last year I spent a couple of weeks traveling the UK doing a roadshow for my day job. Our guest presenter was well known Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne. Through his contribution to the seminars, and over a few drinks and dinners, it was fascinating to hear his stories about how he built up, first a care home chain, and now an empire of health and fitness clubs. Given my alter ego as a fitness and Yoga instructor, and my keen interest in the fitness industry, his insights into marketing, communications and business development were relevant for both my guises.

fitness marketing tips inspired by a dragon

Here are some of the fitness marketing tips I came away with which I think will interest to my fitness friends.

1) PR your business within the local community

This is not just about advertising in local newspapers, it’s developing PR relationships with those newspapers. Getting onto local radio. Sponsoring events in local schools and clubs. And above all embracing social media to create a network of links across Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to draw visitors to your website.

For more on PR see my earlier blog on PR for fitness professionals.

2) Seek business development opportunities from change

When Margaret Thatcher changed legislation for the care of the elderly in the 1980s, Bannatyne cashed in on this opportunity by building a chain of care homes. Whilst we are not seeing legislative change in the fitness industry it is still evolving daily. New programmes like ViPR create opportunities for new adopters. And just look at the success of Zumba and how that has taken fitness out of the club chains and back into the community. Some instructors have tapped into the huge demand for Zumba and seen their earnings rocket.

The most exciting change is in marketing itself and this makes it easier to be successful. The Internet has ushered in a new era of “content based marketing” (know as inbound marketing by academics). Until recently we have been more used to “interruption marketing” (known as outbound marketing).

That’s adverts on TV, unsolicited calls, junk mail; i.e. stuff that companies bombard us with to try and get us to buy their products and experiences. With content marketing the customer is in control because they are the ones searching the web for information. Whether it is the price of clothes, the cost of a car, or information about a new fitness programme, they are searching for specifics. If you have a website or blog that provides content that meets that specific desire for information you can succeed at this new marketing style.

3 fitness marketing tips

As a fitness professional do you have your own website and blog? Maybe you think you haven’t got time or the writing skills to think of enough things to say. Well just create a list of all the questions your clients ask about exercise, diet, classes and lifestyle. Then provide the answers. There you immediately have the content you need. Get it online, ensure that the search engines can find it and customers will start to come.

Of course it isn’t quite that easy, but with a little planning this is an exciting way forward.

3) Relentlessly network for new ideas and opportunities

Network either online or face to face. Our industry colleagues, and again those in the local community, all face similar challenges but all will have different views and solutions as to how to solve them. Again through social media we have access to a world wide club of like minded people, and a library of ideas, and business tools.

But the most important lesson a entrepreneurial Dragon can impart is to “get on and do it”. Yes there is information out there. You could read websites and white papers on how to use content marketing forever. The best thing to do to expand your business is to do more marketing straight away.

Over to you: Have you been successfully marketing your business via a blog or content based website? What are your fitness marketing tips? Please leave a comment and post a link. Would you like to read more on this subject on this blog? Please let me know.

6 Ways to sculpt your core with CXWorx

I finally got to try CXWorx, the 30 minute core work out class recently launched in the UK by Les Mills the creators of Body Pump.

CXWorx for your core

Many clubs run classes sporting titles such as “Ab Attack” or “Core Extreme”. These too run for 30 minutes and feature endless sit ups and oblique curls. On paper CXWorx promises a similar experience but with the added Les Mills standard accompaniment of the hottest musical sounds from charts around the planet.

It is not the same believe me. The creators of this class have crammed much variety of exercise into the allotted time to work your core from every angle. You start by realising your core is not just the abs. As the instructor said, “What is your core? Well chop of your head, your arms and your legs and what is left is your core.”

So it includes the shoulders, the glutes, the obliques, and the muscular slings that criss-cross the body creating the X-shape of muscles referred to in the class’s title.

I was already tired having just taught a very busy Body Combat class but I promised myself I would stay as the CXWorx instructor came in. She started by giving out resistance tubes. There are three levels and I inadvertently chose the hardest one. They have handles because you need to hold on tight. Another optional extra is a weight plate.

We got started lying down on mats on the floor as the music kicked in.

  1. Warm Up: A rapid combination of leg extensions, crunches and oblique crunches. Even as early as this you learn the importance of a flat back against the floor and a strong belly and how easy it is to lose technique and arch the back. Don’t. It stops the exercises or from working.
  2. Core strength 1: Here come the hovers. This is tough stuff. The instructor introduces arm and leg movements but you have to keep the hover strong and centred. It only takes a few minutes for this to start burning.
  3. Standing strength 1: A series of lunges, squats and stretches using the resistance tubes and weight plate to heavily work the glutes and top half of the legs. I had started to shake by now.
  4. Standing strength 2: The resistance tube becomes more of a focus in this one. Range of movement is small but the tubes make it hurt. By now, only 20 minutes in, I am starting to struggle.
  5. Core strength 2: More hovers, side planks, and leg raises test you almost to the limit.
  6. Core strength 3: Lying on the belly or up on hands and knees, we finish with diagonal pointers, leg extensions, shoulder and leg raises with moves that tighten the butt. A few quick stretches and your half hour is over. And you feel elated but broken.

The people in the class were of all ages and all shapes. Judging by the moans and groans and pools of sweat, everyone was happy with their performance and would be feeling the results the following day.

“CXWorx – A great work out for your core.”

I loved the class. Will it take off all over the UK? I imagine there might be resistance initially from clubs. They won’t want to pay another licence fee when they can convince themselves that their PTs can produce a similar experience for free. I think ultimately their attitude might change as people hear about CXWorx through word of mouth.

So CXWorx is a great express workout, not at all sure about the name though.

Over to you: Have you tried CXWorx yet? How did you feel afterwards? Have you seen results in your core? Please leave a comment and let me know.