Adam J Fontana
Your next 6 moves for 2021 (If you own a club)
Most of us can say 2020 did NOT go exactly how we planned it to. It was an extremely tough year for the gymnastics industry, government shut downs, the global pandemic, election year.
Now that we're getting closer to 2021, we are all starting to think ahead and see how we can make up for 2020's big loss. In this article I'm going to be diving in on the next 6 moves for 2021 to make it the best year you can possible have. Let's go.
1. Get more exposure ONLINE.
As if this wasn't completely obvious, it's not to most club owners. We have to continuously remind ourselves the day and age we currently live in.
The average US adult will spend 2 hours, 55 minutes on a smartphone in 2020, a 9-minute increase from 2019. Among smartphone users in the US, time spent with their device is 3 hours, 10 minutes per day - Executive Summary
When people were listening to the radio, marketers realized, people are paying attention to the radio. They thought, "Hey why don’t I stop what they’re listening to and sell them this product?" this has been going on forever. The only difference is it's on their i-phone now.
OKAY so you get the point, increasing your online presence sounds GREAT AND ALL but what exactly should you be doing?
Improve your SEO (Get your business to rank higher on Google)
Get a Google My Business account and post on it religiously. (If you already have one you need to optimize it)
Start posting every single day on Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest & Youtube in that order)
2. Make sure your website is top notch.
Remember that your website is your #1 Lead Generation tool. I'm going to say that one more time, YOUR WEBSITE IS YOUR #1 LEAD GENERATION TOOL.
Think about it this way...every single thing you do online (Social Media, Blogging, Google) it is all so that you can drive traffic to your website where people have the opportunity to sign up for your programs and services.
Every single thing you do is with the end goal of getting someone to land on your website. So we need to make sure your website is GREAT at converting people into interests once they land on it. If it doesn't do a good job of that, then it's useless!
Your website should have the following acceptance criteria:
Your website should be lead generating (Great Search Engine Optimization) does your website actually get people to land on it? If no one is going to your website, what's the point of having it?
Your website should be lead capturing (Your website should be able to convert visitors into interests in your programs and services, this is done through effective CTA's, Design, functionalities and more) It doesn't matter if a ton of people are going to your website if no one actually becomes a lead once they land on it!
High quality design (If your website doesn't portray high quality design, they will assume the same about your business) You have to understand that peoples first impression of your business is going to be your website 9 times out of 10. Make sure that first impression sticks.
Crucial Functionalities (Your website needs to be like an employee, if someone puts an interest in your programs and services, it should integrate that information into some sort of sales database or CRM. Put it to work! Get creative.
3. Create a real sales system for your admin staff
If someone places an interest in your programs and services, but doesn't sign up immediately, what happens to that lead? Your club needs to know every single person that has ever placed an interest in your services, the last time they were called, emailed, or texted, and when they're going to be contacted the next time.
I'm talking about a sales process. When's the last time you signed up for something right off the first call? Most likely never, which means your staff needs to be trained on how to track interests (leads) from when they first placed their interest, all the way up until they close (become a member of your club).
Our recommendation is that you have a sales database that allows you to keep all of the information of the lead, and track the time & dates that you recently contacted them.
Without some sort of sales process, you're setting yourself up to miss potential customers who would have signed up eventually. Here at My Web Solution, most people don't sign up on the first time we talk, people need time to go over their decisions. Therefore we have a system in place to make sure we contact people on a secondary date to follow up with them, upon request.
Make sure your staff is familiar with certain sales techniques, we recommend you Call, Email, and text every single client until they give positive contact (When someone answers with positive intent to sign up) make sure your staff knows not to be too pushy, but also be encouraging to sign up for your services.
4. Create online-specific revenue streams for your club
We learned the hard way in February of 2020 that we aren't able to offer our services and create revenue if our club is closed. The moment the government shut down(s) happened, everyone decided to put their services online.
Gymnastics USA in Winter Garden Florida (Our privately owned club) created the "Gymnastics USA Home learning Program". We had our coaches provide training for all levels of gymnastics through daily Live Video Streams, while the Athletes can participate by practicing along in their living room and backyard by utilizing a small mat, or on the grass. Our coaches would track and communicate with the athletes, by utilizing MySkillChart.com.
Although Corona virus has caused a major shift in the industry, this isn't the the only reason why online classes are becoming more popular.
How often do you have a parent ask "What should my child be doing at home to improve their skills?"
Instead of showing them a bunch of stretches or conditioning, you can point them to your online home learning program that they can enroll in, which is more effective, and safe.
What if your club is suffering from severe weather and it has to close down for a week? Maybe it's a hurricane, or maybe it's a blizzard. If you can continue to charge some type of enrollment fee for members who are enrolled online, this will save you from going revenue-less.
Online classes are not the only online revenue source, if you have a pro-shop you can put it online! Just because someone isn't enrolled in your gym, doesn't mean they don't want to get their granddaughter a new leotard for her birthday (Which they might buy from you).
If you're wondering, can my club do the same thing? The answer is yes. We've also provided this service to over 60 clubs across the globe. Just call (407)449-8944
5. Get Professional photos/videos taken of your club
At My Web Solution, we've made 1000's of websites. The ones that look the best are the clubs who have invested in great photos of their facility, services, and happy clients/staff.
In 2021, you need an edge on your competition to survive. If club A's photo's look blurry and outdated, and club B's look High Quality, Sharp, and up to date, who do you think they're going to choose? A lot of people base their first impression off visual cues (They haven't gotten the chance to get to know your amazing company!) so they must go off of what they know, which is what they see.
Whether you pay a professional, or know someone who takes GREAT photos, make it happen! It really sets you apart from most clubs. Go check out Gymtekacademy.com to see a great example of how their amazing content really defines their website.
6. Start running consistent digital advertisements in 2021
You absolutely need ongoing ads running so people are constantly reminded that you exist. This doesn't mean you need to have an outstanding ad budget, or break the bank on ads. However it is very easy for your business to be forgotten if you don't remind the public about what you have to offer.
If you spend $250 in ad-spend, and get 2-3 sign ups from it, depending on how much you charge for tuition, you have made your investment back. It's that simple! Of course, please hire someone who has proven they can provide real results for you. You might find it difficult when attempting to do this yourself.
And don't forget about Google! As a business, you need to appear when people search for your services. If you don't, there is a big chance that people will never discover your awesome gym. In fact, they will end up discovering someone else's gym instead, because they ranked higher on Google than yours.
Search Engine Optimization, and Google My Business. These two could ultimately change how you get leads forever.
"Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. To help customers find your business, and to tell them your story, you can verify your business and edit your business information."
If you haven't already, go into your Google My Business profile and optimize your account. To rank higher on Google, you need to have someone perform advanced SEO on your website to ensure Google recognizes your club as a valid result for the keywords searched that are relevant to your services.