The Voice for Fitness Professionals Podcast

23 Social Media Tips for Personal Trainers & Health Coaches

23 Social Media Tips for Personal Trainers & Health Coaches

These social media tips are going to come at you rapid fire. Be ready! Choose a few you need and aren’t doing. You don’t have to do them all! Do decide, do, then measure your progress. These are based on the past three weeks of sitting on two panels, actually emceeing one, and presenting 3 times on social media tips that are working right now.

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  1.  Pick the platform your BEST customer is on and OWN it first! Already on “all the sites” let them go dark and post that you’ve posted X to your first priority site (e.g. a new video on YouTube or a live on Facebook) regularly.
  1. Schedule your posts based on when your customer is using a platform.Create the schedule and stick to it. For instance if the majority of your fans are on at 4, 5, and 6pm in your time zone and it’s fairly even but Tuesday and Wednesday are the biggest days that tells you a lot about when to post key material, right?
  2. Post organically in real time when possible.It’s showing a bigger reach than scheduled posts across most platforms for influencers. YOU can plan your post and have them cued up and ready to go but have someone or you post in real time.
  1. Use your insights every week.They should dictate what you post, what you don’t, the medium of your post (long text, short text, image and what kind of image, or video) They also tell you if you’re reaching and growing to the audience you’re targeting.
  2. There IS a #hashtag strategy and should you use it.On Instagram 11-29 hashtags that are relevant to the post!If you post a recipe your tags should reflect food, healthy food, recipes, etc. If you’re “done” you don’t need more hashtags to do better. Choose the best hashtags and leave it alone.
  3. Put hashtags on Instagram posts in the first commentafter you post, not on the post itself. Don’t weave them into your post, which makes it difficult to read.
  1. Research hashtags with low, moderate, and heavy use.You’re going to get lost choosing #fitness #fitnessmotivation with millions and millions of posts. But you may get found and grow if you use #fitnessforwomen #womenwholift #womenwhorun #athomefitness and you can create and use your own. Be sure you tell your audience, hey, use this! The smaller you are the more you use those lesser-used ones. Think of it as a long-tail key word phrase. You’ll get fewer people overall but more of the right people.
  2. Don’t forget your content bank.You’ve already created videos and articles. They can become images and lists that become infographics or compilations. Long videos can become multiple teasers for your programs or long content. Are you reinventing the wheel constantly when you post? Go back to the posts that have done well. Don’t only focus on morematerial like that, but on repurposing that same content. There are new people all the time coming to your site and pages. Show them the same posts they otherwise wouldn’t see. It can be a trip down memory lane for your loyal fans and an introduction to you for your new followers.
  3. Introduce yourself regularly.Use a season or an event (e.g. anniversary, threshold of fans) as an excuse to reintroduce yourself on your platforms. Don’t assume they know what you stand for already. Share your mission, your why, and let them get to know you better with a longer description of you. Break it up with emojis and space.
  4. Choose your titles wisely.This is definitely true for video content either loaded to Facebook natively or to YouTube. It’s also true of your blogs or podcasts. (as it is your subject lines in emails)!

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  1. Make more than one unique content-sharing posts. An image of a guest you’ve interviewed for example will do better than the same podcast cover or a logo. It’s new and fresh every time. Once people are used to seeing your cover image they’ll skim over it and miss that it’s new content. As a part of Social 365 system I teach how to create 6 slices of juicy social posts from any one piece of content.
  2. Short and long posts, videos, work for different reasons.Short posts work for short attention spans and may grow your following. Short videos are seen for a greater percent of time: important on Facebook and YouTube uploaded videos. Long videos get viewed for more minutes – important on YouTube for showing up in recommended videos to more of the people who watch. Keep doing both. Short ones may gain you ability to reach more people when you’re launching program/product specific content. Long ones will target those really interested or more analytical.
  1. Follow to mimic only those people who have your model of monetizing!That said –you’re mimicking only their strategy, not their brand uniqueness. If someone else is an influencerand make money from advertisers and sponsors, and you want to sell your services, what they do will not be a direct success track for you!


unless you know someone is making money you don’t know that winning the popularity contest online is generating revenue. Is it a hobby, or is it a business and life you want to create? 500 engaged buyers who follow you may be more lucrative than 500 or 50,000 fans who “like” you.

  1. Have a back end.You don’t start with social unless you first are just testing and listening and adjusting to find what demand exists for products you’ll create. You start with already knowing what you want them to do next. Ultimately what do you want them to do next? Click to buy (may not be the best first date idea) or click to get a free “quick win” you’ve created to solve their problem or satisfy that greatest desire are options. Answer a question, tag a friend, or scroll are actions. Before you post, know. You want to have some kind of call to action. You’re training them to engage and get rewarded for it.
  2. Respect the platform.At the end of the day any platform wants viewers to stay on the platform. Don’t take them off with every post. (Somewhere between 25-75% of the time channels are finding work for them). That’s the rate you include end cards that link to your website. Have viewers like, comment, or share by engaging with them (beyond just askingfor a like, comment, or share). Have them watch another related video or a playlist. Ask for response to a poll. Allow the platform to choose the best for viewer (YouTube). The longer you keep someone on the platform the more the platform may show you some love!
  3. Use live video. Video at all is the best way to be seen and shared. Live video on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and LinkedIn (new). Boost your lives, especially those that are lead or sale generating.
  4. Use comments when you Live stream on YT, FB, and on IG. Add link to your promotion in the comments not in the text.
  5. Post better not more content.Experiment. What used to be true about 10-14 times on Twitter or 4 times a day on Facebook just isn’t any more. It’s overwhelming viewers. Post better quality less often.

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone

  1. Partner with othersso you’ve got twice as many audience members to share with. Invite guests to do live FB with you or live streaming on YouTube.
  2. Multitask by creating lives across your platforms. Go live everywhere (With a third device you can record for IGTV.) You can create an “I see you everywhere!”response from your customers and fans.
  3. Ask your customers.When in doubt about where to be, or at least where to be first, ask you customers. They choose, not you. The advice given is often, “choose one platform and own it first.” It’s your customer that should choose. Do your homework. Who is your target? The one person who represents all those you want, and where do they hang out? Where they are and how they like to consume information should dictate what, where, and when you post.
  4. Use tools wisely.TubeBuddy for YouTube supports that platform.You’ll get custom key word strategies, go through systematic ways to take care of all the things that matter and make your videos rise to the top. It’s both a reminder and a research tool.  Not all tools are created equally. You can plan and post ahead of time but it may not always be best. Keep asking about the difference between set-it-and-forget-it and posting in real time.
  5. Use Playlists.Add videos to playlists in YouTube which encourages people to view the video they see then roll right into the next, keeping them on the platform, your channel specifically, and increases your view time. Playlists on your Facebook page can help viewers return to content you’ve created and organize it in a way they will continue to engage with too.

Overwhelmed? Need Coaching?

Social media tips without action? Just a time drain. Connect for a Special Coaching offer that will get you in the habit of creating content that you can monetize. You can do or delegate knowing it works.

Stop the madness of posting without a next step or trying to post flyers and schedules, or posting sales that turn platforms against you and alienate fans.

Book a session 

It all works best when you have a specific market, specific message, and you know when to message them. If you’re trying to reach women 45-70? Visit and get both the packaging, positioning, and support to make your next decades prosperous. Contact at with questions. 

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Speak to Sell Fitness: Presentations that Wow

Using, Unaware, or Avoiding this Underused Vehicle to Sell Fitness?

You can speak to sell fitness by creating a presentation that inspires and educates. I’m not talking about your power point. The best presentations to those groups like Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and corporations don’t use power point. They use heart. I speak to sell fitness opportunity must have the emotional factor. If you don’t touch emotion you won’t be remembered.

40-year Fitness business owner/operator Tom Durkin is here today- not to do a book review – we’ll be back with another book review soon and I’ll link to a few prior episodes here. Tom has been one of the biggest influences of fitness in the state of Iowa with multiple business locations in multiple cities. Uniquely he’s anything but a silent partner he’s operating general manager.

That means during the course of a day he’ll lead management meetings, nursery meetings, hire and train personal trainers, work in the membership office, sign employees paychecks, approve ads, and make public appearances to any number of groups including the chamber of commerce, large corporations, small businesses to grow the membership and help people. He has over 300 employees and thousands of members. He speaks. He sells.

Questions we cover in this speak to sell fitness episode:

  • Looking back over 40 years, how valuable has public speaking been in growing your businesses and your “brand” as the fitness guy?
  • Lot’s of people get asked to speak, some get asked back, and you’ve been asked back many times, what do you attribute that to?
  • You have over 300 employees – some in the position you were in when you began – but you are asked to give the presentation. Why do you think that is? Why don’t you send your employees?
  • How would you describe the kind of presentation you give?
  • How do you prepare and plan? You’ve got to have a beginning, middle, end that includes some kind of offer and we’ll talk about that separately, can you lay out how your presentation might go?
  • Story is a huge connector and it has the ability to 1) create an emotional imprint 2) be remarkable – people will retell a story who will never retell the way to build bone density or some esoteric reasons fitness changes lives … now, you’ve got an advantage of 40 years of story collecting… do you remember? When you first started what stories did you tell?
  • How do you structure your offer at the end of a presentation?
  • More than one trainer or owner listening may resonate with your message and still be thinking, I could never do that, come on that strong, use those words… what would you say to them?
  • You may be thinking, I don’t have 40 years to get good, collect stories, get confident… how can I get started now?

The thing that stops more trainers from speaking to sell fitness is confidence. You have a message, you would like to reach more people. I’ve watched one trainer who trained one-on-one clients at a whisper because she lacked confidence and didn’t want anyone else to hear what she was saying – go from that to loving to speak. It took a couple years… of her following up with calls to clients, doing consultations and asking for the sale.

Here’s the difference: confidence.

Confidence comes doing things out of your comfort zone. So say you’re a basketball player and you’ve traveled all over in college, you started, you were great at it, you always got pretty good grades, did well in most things you tried. You don’t gain confidence from that. Why? Because it came easy.

In fact, if in your life most things were easy – at least doing them average was easy – you lack confidence when it comes to something new. If you’re not good at it right away chances are you push back. Case in point?

What’s Blocking Your Confidence?

Look at your own high school or college athlete stars. Then look at the nerds who weren’t part of the popular group. Usually after high school those nerds blossom. The stars? Many of them played it safe and aren’t in very good shape any more. They go live at home where they can relive that old identity and are more likely to be overweight and out of shape. True story! Life will force you to grow and develop confidence or you’ll coast through without really gaining anything but luck.

Most of the listeners who started their own fitness business from middle class America had middle class or better grades, and sports, and dated a few people then got engaged and married and it was all pretty easy. Those who didn’t have the ideal childhood, who had to get better, have more confidence and often come on stronger. Can you relate to that?

So getting out of your comfort zone and doing things you don’t ordinarily do is key. Not once, but committing to them for 8 weeks or 3 months.

Speak to Sell Fitness Opportunities:

Speaking today includes podcasts, webinars, live video (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Instagram TV).

I speak 3-4 times a week almost every week even if I don’t get on a stage or in front of a room of people. Create it. Film it. Critique it. Get better.

Take some action. Speak to sell fitness by being interesting, animated, and interested in your audience’s goals.

Speaking Resources:

  • Toastmasters
  • National Speakers Association
  • improvisation
  • comedy club
  • drama class

They can build confidence. And they can make you a more interesting speaker. Who gets “yes” and who gets asked back? Interesting, engaging speakers who are having a good time being authentic. You can, by the way, speak to sell fitness, without being salesy, or sleazy.

Want help crafting a story that targets emotion and sells without selling? Book a sessionwith me to talk about your speak to sell skills and how to get you booked to speak soon.

Other Resources:

Link to How to Make an Irresistible Fitness Offer

How to Reach the Most Lucrative Market

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2) click listen in iTunes

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4) know how much I appreciate it!

How to Save Money Creating Videos for Fitness Marketing

Video for Fitness Marketing Tips

If you’re making video for fitness marketing (and if you’re not you’re missing out on the fastest way to attract clients) this is your episode.

I had a call with my videographer for my most recent project to get tips to save you money, get a great project, and start searching for people to hire.

When you’re ready to move past your phone (and you should be using your phone to create video for fitness marketing) for something, this is what you want to know!

Even if you’re not yet creating video for fitness marketing but you know you need to start, this will get your creative juices flowing about how to plan and what to do. (I’ll share in another podcast how to actually plan and create those videos). 

My guest is cinematographer and editor Erik Lasko based in Boulder, CO. No matter where you are his points apply to you. You can walk through the same steps I used to find help making video for fitness marketing or your product.

The majority of your videos for fitness marketing can (and should) come from your phone. One fitness icon I know has created a million+ dollar business shooting video (and editing) on her phone. For bigger projects she hires but much of her stuff is just done when she’s ready to turn the camera on.

So there really isn’t much reason not to for you. You probably have the same phone in your hand.

Questions we cover in this episode:

  • If a fitness pro is hiring a videographer/photographer for the first time and just has no idea/feels vulnerable – what are some questions she should ask to vet out a good candidate?
  • If fitness pros are hiring a videographer what kind of rates should they be looking for?
  • What are the options you as a videographer could offer for someone?
  • What’s make costs of a project (shoot and or editing) go up?
  • So to phrase that another way, what could a fitness pro do to keep rates low if just starting on a budget?
  • What are other creative ways a fitness pro can repurpose filmed projects?

Another repurpose idea:

When you’re doing a project don’t forget the value of “shooting the shoot.” Take pictures of you with the lights in front of the camera. You’ll need a second camera or phone to do it. Even that is a good tease – a reason to tell your audience what you’re working on for them.

I started shopping with a Google search and on Craigslist. You can look at local cinematography schools too. Students often have the equipment, or use of it, and will do a project for less than a pro. It might be good enough for your first project.

In other instances I flew someone in from out of state, he stayed in my guest room and we shot for 2 ½ days straight from a list of video and scripts I had well planned out. He did great work and was by comparison more affordable (including flight, uber, shooting and editing) than someone I had used for 2 other projects locally.

Erik’s little details to remember:

  • Unplug your refrigerator
  • Turn off you’re A/C
  • Plan ahead for planes and trains

Remember that noise you don’t even notice in your own environment any more can be a big bummer for viewers.

On that note, our phone call recording for this episode was not ideal sound quality. Hearing it after, I remember why I no longer use it normally. I vowed to be done with phone interviews. It’s just not worth it the risk it will work. Make sure to test-drive your sound quality. If you listened all the way through, thank you!

Connect with Erik:

Erik Lasko


Vimeo channel dynamicmediacolorado

Working with (or want to) women who need a hormone balancing fitness specialist? As part of the Advanced Specialist you get a chance to work for 4 months on your marketing to leverage what you learn and get started.

Is the Fitness Industry Cracking the Obesity Code?

Is the Fitness Industry Cracking The Obesity Code?

The Obesity Code book review is perhaps one of the most important episode we’ve done. At the least it’s a most important topic. We’ve not cracked this code or solved this problem yet. We’re all still unraveling factors that contribute. As fitness professionals we’re key in supporting individuals with obesity.

The Book:

The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung, a Canadian doctor expert on intermittent fasting and low carb for treating people with type 2 diabetes.

Six parts of the Obesity Code:

Part 1 of the Obesity Code, “The Epidemic,” explores the timeline of the obesity epidemic and the contribution of the patient’s family history, and shows how both shed light on the underlying causes.

Part 2, “The Calorie Deception,” reviews the current caloric theory in depth, including exercise and overfeeding studies. The shortcomings of the current understanding of obesity are highlighted.

Part 3, “A New Model of Obesity,” introduces the hormonal theory of obesity, a robust explanation of obesity as a medical problem. These chapters explain the central role of insulin in regulating body weight and describe the vitally important role of insulin resistance.

The Second Half of the Book

Part 4, “The Social Phenomenon of Obesity,” considers how hormonal obesity theory explains some of the associations of obesity. Why is obesity associated with poverty? What can we do about childhood obesity?

Part 5, “What’s Wrong with Our Diet?,” explores the role of fat, protein and carbohydrates, the three macronutrients, in weight gain. In addition, we examine one of the main culprits in weight gain— fructose— and the effects of artificial sweeteners.

Part 6, “The Solution,” provides guidelines for lasting  treatment of obesity by addressing the hormonal imbalance of high blood insulin. Dietary guidelines for reducing insulin levels include reducing added sugar and refined grains, keeping protein consumption moderate, and adding healthy fat and fiber.

Added points:

Intermittent fasting is an effective way to treat insulin resistance without incurring the negative effects of calorie reduction diets.

Stress management and sleep improvement can reduce cortisol levels and control insulin.

Three main topics for discussion of this book:

  • Proteins – whey/animal/dairy
  • Fructose
  • Carbohydrates + fat (or sweet fat)

Proteins– especially dairy can stimulate insulin significantly

  • Whey protein can raise insulin even higher than whole wheat bread
  • Increasing plant-based proteins can decrease the insulin response
  • But not completely eliminating…because of the satiety solution to weight control
  • Increased insulin promotes weight gain
  • Increased satiety suppresses it
  • (hormones secreted by protein consumption)

It’s Not “All Animal Protein is Bad”

When you talk only about increased meat consumption you talk about a large number of people reporting… often in a poor economic division of the population you find consumption of poor quality meat to be frequent.

So depending on you and your awareness studies may not reflect your personal risk at all.

Conflicting Information

The insulin spiking effects aside, dairy and meat had differing effects on weight gain though in some studies:

Dairy didn’t cause part because it’s hard to over consume cheese or milk or yogurt (according to Fung) and easier to do so with meat.


It’s “fattening carbohydrates” consumed with fat = sweet fat in the presence of cortisol that combines with insulin.

Vinegar and fiber add protective features.

Processed foods period should be avoided. It’s not the calories or even the amount as much as the processing of the foods we eat.

What I liked about The Obesity Code:

Dr Jason Fung is stating the facts. He’s citing the research. He isn’t advocating for one perfect solution. He isn’t beginning with an argument or persuasive speech wanting the reader to buy into his plan.

It’s validating some of the news you hear and debunking the simplicity of calories alone without consciously addressing the quality of food. It looks at the relationship between hormones influenced by food and the result of fat storage.

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The simple message in The Obesity Code:

  • Simply … unprocess your diet. Stop eating out of boxes and plastic wrapped foods. Start eating more vegetables, more plant based protein, more fibrous foods.
  • Use animal protein and fruits more sparingly and get the highest quality of them.
  • Avoid fructose, particularly sweet fat.
  • Manage your stress, and make sleep hygiene a priority for insulin and cortisol control.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, not just for every fitness professional, for every student, and every client. This is a great book club read at your gym. If you want to create more community I highly suggest reading it and bringing people together. Do a panel with local university professors, nutritionists, and obesity experts.

What’s up next in the book review?

The Trillion Dollar Coach

You might also like past book reviews:

How to Get, Hire, and Train a Growth Mindset

Great By Choice, Does It Describe Your Career?

Two Must-read Books For Fitness Trainers

9 Lies About Work Fitness Owners Need to Know

9 Lies About Work Fitness Owners Need to Know

New and experienced fitness owners are vulnerable to lies about work. Every trainer really is an entrepreneur on some level. Even with someone else signing your paycheck, you make your own success and growth in the fitness industry.

Actually, this book review may change – or challenge-  your beliefs about work, specifically lies about work. If you’ve been under a spell about how your work life – and maybe even personal life should be, this will open your eyes. You may get insight about yourself or employees.

The Reviewer:

Tom Durkin, Owner operator Ames Fitness and Fitness World Ankeny in the Midwest.  The CEO of Health & Fitness Management and 40 years experience in fitness industry sales and management. Not a silent partner but someone in buildings every day responding to phone calls, emails, of 315 employees and thousands of customers. He like so many others who have successful track records is a voracious reader and has a personal library of over 2000 books.

The Book:

9 Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

The 9 Lies from the book:

  1. People care which company they work for
  2. The best plan wins
  3. The best companies cascade goals
  4. The best people are well-rounded
  5. People need feedback
  6. People can reliably rate other people
  7. People have potential
  8. Work-life balance matters most
  9. Leadership is a thing

Nine is a lot for a short podcast. So we chose to dive into three of these 9 lies about work more in depth to give you an inside look at the content.

The three lies about work we selected:

  • People care about which company they work for
    • Reality is that people like you and I want to be valued.
  • The best plan wins.
  • Work-life balance matters most.

If you want to cheat and get the reasons why I volleyed for these three, read this. First, no one really cares about or has loyalty to a business. They want to be heard, want their voice to count, and want to be valued. Second, yes you’ve got to have a plan but then you better be very flexible. Because once it starts a business only ever has life because of the customers it serves. There’s always going to be a dance between what they want and what they need in fitness but customers have to want what you’re selling. You have to adjust if you want to survive. So a plan is fluid. Third, and last is the ever-present lie about work-life balance. The most success and most HAPPY people in the world are probably obsessed about what they do. THAT, is their balance.

Balance or Passion?

Reality is, I’d want a pilot who still loves take off flying my plane, one who probably sacrifices some family time and sleep to take trips. I’d want a boss or coach that comes to a meeting with five ideas for me that they’d been thinking about all weekend. I’d want a fitness professional who researches the best protocols for me and who goes against the popular fads and trends when there are problems with them. The person who has this supposed work-life balance really isn’t very passionate about work. It’s a job. Not a so-called passion many fitness professionals themselves lie about having.

Because, really they are passionate as long as they can work 9 to 5.

That is the biggest of lies about work in the fitness industry you’ll ever hear, or say. I’m passionate about fitness. 

Passion is not Convenient

If it has to be convenient, it’s not really passion. I get it, you’ve got a family now. Or you love to golf or fish or do triathlons. And you want time to do that. Those things should fuel your passion. You have multiple layers. Passionate people never choose between one or the other. There’s never, the oh, I want to be there for my family so I can’t really earn more money. That’s not the most important thing to me now. 

The two should fuel each other not fight each other. Because you without your passion would be less for anything else. Check in with your own lies about work.

Don’t miss the biggest question, would you recommend it?

Lies About Workis a look at the myths that can create unease or dissatisfaction in your life. When your view of life is all should, ought-tos, and comparison of your life with potentially no real life, it’s hard to be happy.

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Learn more.

How to Get, Hire, and Train a Growth Mindset

Got a Growth Mindset? or Hurting Your Business Unknowingly?

This month on the book review we’re … well, we’re playing a big game of catch up!

We’re picking up right back where we left off after a review of Dark Horse and Good to Great.I’ll link to that podcastin case you missed it and you’re looking for intriguing summer reads (or audio books).

 How Do You “READ”?

And I’m curious, I’d love to hear from you about how you consume books in 2019. Do you read or do you listen? Just respond either below the show notes at or in the social media post where you saw this.

The Book:

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

The Reviewer:

Tom Durkin, Owner operator Ames Fitness and Fitness World Ankeny in the Midwest.  The CEO of Health & Fitness Management and 40 years experience in fitness industry sales and management. Not a silent partner but someone in buildings every day responding to phone calls, emails, of 315 employees and thousands of customers. He like so many others who have successful track records is a voracious reader and has a personal library of over 2000 books.

If you’re new to fitness, meaning just 10 or 15 years of experience, you may not understand how longevity is rare. There are not a lot of independent owners of fitness who have created profitable sustainable businesses that influenced thousands of lives for 40 years. That’s someone’s book recommendation you want to take seriously.

The Fixed vs. Growth Mindset 

The entire book is based on the Fixed vs. Growth mindset. It’s intended for parents, coaches, and leaders of any kind. The purpose is to help those in charge cultivate a growth mindset. So whether you are in charge of others or have children, or you want to take charge of your own mindset, this is for you.

In work, sports, relationships mindset matters. Sports is potentially most applicable to listeners though all are relevant.

Sample Mindset Differences

Fixed mindsetsays… I’m a natural… good or bad

Growth mindsetsays… I don’t really know how good I could be because I haven’t put in a lot of effort at it

Fixed mindsetsays… I’m not comfortable with that

Growth mindsetsays… I’ve never done that, I can’t wait to learn, this will be an interesting challenge

Fixed mindsetsays…. I don’t want to do that I’m not good at it

Growth mindsetsays…. I am determined to get better at this, I love learning what the steps are, it stimulates me

Fixed mindsetsays…. If I don’t win I fail

Growth mindsetsays…. this was a great learning experience!

There are always going to be “no” responses in fitness sales. We discussed the growth mindset in praising and rewarding effort.

Is this book a must-read? Yes!

Other books coming up in our books fitness professionals should-read series:

  • The Obesity Code
  • 9 of the Worst Mistakes You Can Ever Make At Work
  • Trillion Dollar Coach
  • Peak by Mark Bubbs

Book mentioned:

Talent Is Overratedby Geoff Colvin

Check out the other book review episodes: 

Dark Horse and Good to Great

2 Must-Reads for Fitness Professionals

The Positive Power of Negative Customer Feedback

The Positive Power of Negative Customer Feedback

In this post I’m sharing negative customer feedback. It’s all about how you can increase your business, and improve your customer satisfaction by attending to the customers who aren’t satisfied!

People are not used to nice. Let’s just get that out there. They’re used to being taken advantage of and automated responses where you click 1 if, and 2 if… and you never get to a real person.

The Advantage of Small

If you’re a small or medium business (or a large one for that matter with a dedicated responder) you can win with this kind of customer service. Look, none of us is going to please all the people all the time. But you can learn from them and create an ally by handling sticky situations right.

I’m going to start sharing 3 steps to dealing with negative customer feedback. Then I’ll give you 3 very practical ways to do it when you do so you are set up for success. 

3 Response Requirements for Negative Customer Feedback

  1. Reach out to get it

Instead of “no” here’s our refund policy

When someone quits, asks for a refund, or cancels a subscription – always a phone call.

  1. Listen without being defensive

Explore the options

Understand what you wanted when you purchased/registered

Find an alternative that is a good fit

  1. Be transparent

Look, I don’t want to refund you, it hurts! Is there another way I can serve you that is a better fit? Let’s look at that. And if not, I don’t want you in the wrong place for you.

What I’d like to learn what attracted you, what disappointed you, and where potentially we can do a better job messaging the membership program in the future. I’d really value your feedback, if you have a few minutes.

Sometimes the things you want to avoid become the things you learn the most from.

3 Tips for Responding

1) Make sure your customer service front line people know how to positively – and quickly – respond.

Give them scripts, and text snippets to use. Don’t assume they know what you’re thinking. If you have complaints, keep those emails, and transcribe those phone calls to use to create responses.

One of my customer service team members recently responded with a “here’s our refund policy” and it was a little cold. If I had been on the receiving end, I wouldn’t have liked it either.

You know the way to deliver a sandwich of constructive criticism. This is similar.

=>Express empathy: I’m sorry that happened. Let’s see if we can resolve this for you.

=>Deliver the bad news/refund policy: Here’s a reminder of our refund policy.

=>End with a positive: However, every situation is unique and we want to understand what’s happening for you and fix it. Debra would like to talk personally to you. What’s the best phone to reach you and what days and times are good for you?

2) Do it at a time you’re upbeat and ready.

For me that’s morning after coffee and maybe a dog walk!

It’s the first thing I do in the morning (or the second, right after something I know will be positive!) – if of course that fits with the individual’s time.

Even if it’s not though, I will use something like Bombbomb to create a video response or a simple audio message to them via text or email … so if their schedule and mine aren’t aligned for a direct connection right away, I still am reaching out. They hear my voice and or see my face so they know I’m authentically trying to understand them before anything else.

In that message I don’t allude to anything more than exploring options, desire to understand what’s happening and request more feedback about her experience. It’s less than a minute. But it gives hope for a neutral not negative conversation.

3) Set your mind: be willing to do the right thing.

I will refund if someone is in the wrong seat on the bus. You don’t want an unhappy customer. That can spoil the goodness you have going. It’s draining for you. In the case of a program – say that’s $200, it’s just not worth it when there’s 10 people who ARE right for it.

It’s a good opportunity to review:

  • Your refund policy
  • Where that refund policy lives and whether they see it right before they click to purchase
  • What you say on your sales page and product pages about “who this is for” and “who this is not for”

My Recent Brush with Negative Customer Feedback

The customer I just talked to yesterday happens to be a Physical Therapist. She bought the program for herself. By creating a positive problem-solving experience for her, I may have increased the likelihood that she refers the women in my demographic she’s working with in her practice to me. When you can exchange one for many? Yes.

You can save a customer who gives negative feedback. You can often create a raving fan in them. Whether they buy or stay or not, they will be impressed if not shocked that you took time to listen.

My book recommendations if you’re setting up a system for Negative Customer Feedback:

The Power of Small

The Power of Nice

Both above by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

Show notes at

SEO for Fitness Businesses | What You Need to Know

SEO for Fitness Businesses: Are you Findable?

SEO for fitness is not a sexy topic compared to fat burning, health coaching, and cooking classes. Without it though you will be missed by those customers who want your services. Why waste time thinking about your logo, colors, and the words on your pages if you don’t optimize your “findability” factor?

This episode is all about how to make you the one they find when they’re looking for answers.

And they are looking. There’s proof everywhere that SEO can be powerful if it’s done right. There’s good news in this episode. If you’re a heart-centered fitness pro you’ll like the path to better SEO for fitness businesses.

My guest is Alec Gorjestani, an engineer who has been writing all kinds of software for 16 years. From automated vehicles to mobile to web software, he likes to build things. His wife is a Zumba instructor so he’s got an inside glimpse at what fitness pros do like to focus on. Alec runs a business and understands the unfun tasks that are required to run a business and help people find wellness options they’re looking for. He’s committed to helping you do just that.

Here’s what Fitness Pros Need to Know About SEO.

Questions we cover in this episode:

  • Is S.E.O. dead?
  • What is it?
  • How can a fitness pro organically increase SEO?
  • How are many websites overlooking simple things they can do to support SEO?
  • What are the next level steps in SEO for fitness businesses?
  • What questions should a business owner be asking developers or tech staff? (that they don’t know to ask) – Alec gave three tips! Don’t miss those!
  • Where should you be looking to know how well you’re doing with SEO for fitness?

Fitness Pro Tip: Google Search Console

  • How long does it take, given the SEO for fitness tips are implemented, to see a boost in SEO?

Connect with Alec:

You may also like:

4 Easy Marketing Steps That Will Grow Your Fitness Business

How Fitness Videos Can Grow Your Business

Join the Fitness Marketing mastermind – a 4 month program to launch or lift your fitness business

to learn whether it’s fit for you and get the personal invite schedule a call or reach

Launching a Fitness Business: Live Coaching Call

Launching a Fitness Business

My guest today is Karla from Arizona and a shout out to FitnessFest events where we ran into each other.

Karla asked a couple great questions that I have a hunch may be of interest to you too.

Whether you’re got a business you want to grow, you’re itching to leave working for a boss and interested in launching a fitness business  or somewhere between this live coaching call can help you too.


I teach yoga for community andemployeesin the school district in which I work. I use a school within the district to teach my classes.  I run the classes via the “Academic Support Systems” department. So, it’s kind of my own thing, but yet runs through the school district.  I don’t have much support getting the school district to “advertise” for me with social media, as I don’t think they like the word “yoga” and it’s connotations; all I get is a paper flyer that is sent out via e-mail to the school secretaries to post/display by teacher mailboxes.


Is there a way to use social media on my own to promote my classes? Can I set up my own webpage or Facebook page for this?  What other types of social media can I use?  I am not very techie and have very little experience with social media…I’m 58 years old and just getting started understanding how it all works.


YES! By all means! The School should love that you do it. Does the school have a page? If so tag them. Start posting regularly.

Share an article that is supportive of the purpose of the classes you teach. Who pays you? What is the mission of the agency paying you or hosting you? What can you share in alignment with that mission?

While they may not see value in promoting or hosting. They will see great value if they start getting positive PR from what you do.


I am also working on my Health & Wellness Coach certification (will be done in Sept/Oct.). I already am certified with the following:  ACE Group Fitness, RYT 500 Yoga, Cycling, NCSF Personal Training.  I would like to start my own LLC, but not sure how to start out getting clients.  What are the most powerful ways to start using social media to get going?


First, you don’t need an LLC to start getting clients. Launching a fitness business involves testing the concept first. You need a website.

Then if you’re using social media you’re using it to drive people to a website. You have zero control over social media. It’s here but you have nothing to show for anything you do there unless you have a way for them to come off social media onto your website and an EMAIL list. You must begin building an email list. Use Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or Aweber for free or $5 until you have more subscribers but get it. And a way for people to sign up on your website so you can then communicate with them.

The best use of social media is video. Live, recorded, shared.


I also am trying to narrow down my focus (target audience) as you had mentioned in your presentation at FitnessFest.It’s hard because there are so many aspects of fitness that I love and want to share!  Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Beginners to exercise…people who are hesitant to get started…easy, practical, fun and “do-able” ways to get moving and be healthy
  • Yoga for beginners
  • Health/Wellness Coaching (in person and on-line)


I think you can easily combine these. When launching a fitness business you do want to focus but these overlap. Your market may not know they’re looking for yoga. They know they’re beginners. They also may not know they’re looking for health & wellness coaching (it’s intangible) but they know they should be exercising. You can start there. But that’s not still a niche. Is this a beginner who’s 20 or who’s 50? Or 70?

Is it a male? Or a female?

Is it a married or single person?

Someone budget minded or with money to burn?

Why aren’t they exercising now? What have they tried? What do they hate about exercise and personal trainers?

When you’re launching a fitness business the biggest mistake trainers or business owners make is thinking they know what the customer is really thinking.


Bottom line… I am scared…I have worked FOR a school district (stable job/money, insurance, etc.) my whole life. I have had the “itch” to do something in the health/wellness area for 25+ years!  I have always taught fitness classes as a “second career”, but I want to try something maybe part-time to transition.  Not sure if I should just jump in and do it full-time or do it little by little.  I know there’s no easy answer for that!  Any thoughts or words of wisdomJ?


START.. keep your job, but do a side hustle. Launching a fitness business has to have deadlines but you want a safety net. Get some steady income coming in. Start with who you know. Are there teachers not exercising that want to? You’ve got a pool of clients. Who possibly want the same time slot. So begin a group and optimize your time.

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Fitness Marketing to Midlife Women [That Works]

Fitness marketing to midlife women, that works

Five years ago she was ignored.

Today she’s not ignored but she’s stereotyped.

Midlife woman trying too hard to look younger, a face frozen and plumped with Botox, wearing clothes she can share (but look slightly “off”) with her daughter.

A midlife woman who’s operating on the 1980s metabolism science she learned. Relies on calories, steps, heart rate, and data, that ignore the state of her hormones.

A midlife woman who enjoys at least a glass and maybe three of wine most days, starts with coffee and flirts with fasting but has no idea what a “healthy diet” is for her today.

A midlife woman who thinks exercise is about burning… calories, off fat… so she can “fix” what she doesn’t love about her body.

She’s all these and more.

If she gets a compliment it’s veiled in a disclaimer.

You look great for your age.

Body shape motives are not the only thing that gets her going.

Promoting weight loss may be detrimental to her participation.

Don’t forget the women who don’t need to lose weight but who have experienced a relocation of body weight, those with disease risk factors, who want more energy, want to be proactive in aging, or gain bone density.

Women control an incredible amount of buying power.

Even before women were in the workplace equally they influenced 80% of household decisions. They still do now that they are in the workplace.

They are diverse.

Even marketing to the niche of women post menopause is unique.

ICAA categorizes them as “athletic” if they regularly exercise 3 or more times a week.

For some this is running, biking, lifting and swimming, but for others it’s a walk or yoga.

So, clearly you can’t treat them all the same.

Naturally, though, it’s easy to think you know her. You may be her. Your mom, aunts, or prior clients are her. Therearecommon denominators.

But the things that make them unique are what make their program and the way you attract them and serve them unique.

If you miss them, you’ll lose her.

Barriers to marketing to midlife women:


“For active, athletic, middle-aged women there is just nothing.

A 22-year old doesn’t get it and I’m not in wheel chair, there isn’t much for us between.”

Even if you offer something between the gap described above by a Flipping 50 program participant, you may not be getting the message across.

You want to reach her:

1) Where she is

2) With a message created for her

2) In a way she hears it

3) Without offending her

The Biggest Mistakes Fitness Marketers Make (and we’re all fitness marketers)

Thinking they are all the same:

How do you think of them?

Do you imagine they’re frail, stiff, in pain, lack energy, did aerobics with Jane Fonda or Jackie Sorensen, are empty-nesters, have grandchildren, have belly fat, cellulite, want weight loss, want belly fat loss…

Did you know?

Some of them are doing their first triathlons, learning to swim so they don’t drown in open water, going to training camps to ride bikes in mountains, skiing downhill at 50 miles an hour, wearing bikinis, learning to weight lifts and have kindergarteners?

And starting their entire lives over by themselves or with someone new, starting businesses… so they’re not afraid of a little grind.

Thinking you know her goal:

If the title of your program isn’t a coffee table book you’d happily display at your home, rethink it. No 50-something, 60-something, and there’s a strong chance 70-something wants to “own” needing a fall risk reduction class.

She doesn’t want to buy the fear she wants to buy the transformation.
Don’t think you know what she wants. Don’t put it into words what she needs with your titles. Describe what she wants.

It might be performance – golf, running, starting triathlon, (or anything else after retirement).

It might be to avoid cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, or muscle or bone density losses.

More positively though, it is hope.

 This year, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her controversial debut, Switzer ran the Boston Marathon again with the same bib number she wore in her first. “People still treat older people the way they treated us women 50 years ago, which is, ‘Be careful! You might hurt yourself!’ when in fact the opposite is the case,” Switzer told Prevention. “The more you do, the more you can do! There are lots of women who have run marathons at 70, 80, even 90. I was only eighth in my age group at Boston [in 2017], for heaven’s sake!”

Prevention Magazine, Nov. 2017

Examples of Michele Obama, Ernestine Shepherd, Madonna Buder -The Iron Nun, and a growing number of aging iconic fitness professionals are showing the world a new way to age.

But it’s not normal yet.

Because even she will say, “I think I look pretty good for my age.” She’ll say, “I’m getting so old.” She’ll say that even while she doesn’t want to be treated as “old” or invisible.

She feels invisible.

Environment is everything. Have you noticed how people are flocking to sites where exercise over 50 or aging is included in the title? If positive things happen there, people will gather. Be one of them. Be positive.

Be correct, but be positive.

Growing Bolder is one of the most well-know sites for older adults. Why? It positively portrays aging. It defies traditional treatment of aging. It makes fun on occasion of older adults. But it does so in a playful, not condescending way.

The Aging Triathlete and Thriving Not Surviving are two Facebook pages by midlife and older women describing their own journeys from inactive, or in need of a health intervention, to triathlon training.

Did you know?

Age-related decline in triathlon (swim, run, and bike) starts earlier in swimming than in cycling or running. Isn’t that bizarre since you and I would both probably recommend swimming more and more as someone got more limited with joint issues.

Not Acknowledging Her Barriers

Not knowing how far and wide fitness benefits take them

Not having had good examples

Having old habits and thoughts about exercise

Time (perceived need)

Fear of getting hurt

Lack of trust for fitness “professionals” 

Relate to Her and Overcome Objections

You might be thinking…is a golden phrase to use when you’re working on this type of copy.

Create a Better Offer:

Solve a real problem

They know they have

They are actively seeking a solution for

They have some urgency for

So you can…

Relate to Her. You must:
Be Vulnerable

Tell a Rags-to-Riches story

Reveal your real life vs. Cinderella life

Tell your story…

Start with, when I was…

Know What She Wants, What She REALLY Wants

  • It’s not weight loss.
  • It’s not dumbbells.
  • It’s not a scale or tape measure.
  • It’s not a salad.

What is your WHY?

  • Your Why
  • Your Business Why
  • Why she should do it right now

Get testimonials for marketing to midlife women from midlife women.

How do you get a perfect testimonial?

This question:

What almost stopped you from registering/getting started?

Audit your images:

Are you showing HER?

Are you showing the dream? 

She doubts:

Your program will work

For her

She doubts her.

Universal Truths of Marketing to Midlife Women

She thinks she’s unique.

She thinks she’s flawed.

She thinks she’s uniquely flawed.

It’s not a good time.

Just because you’ve always done something or thought a certain way doesn’t mean you can’t change it.

She has free will.

She’s failed before.

This is not her first rodeo.

Success dulls the knife. Failure sharpens it.

Failure is data. She doesn’t know that yet or think it yet.

She blames failure on a lack of willpower, discipline, or motivation.

She’s a prove-it-to-me girl.

Make sure you know what you’re talking about.

  • Facts and what she calls herself.
  • 70-year olds don’t call themselves “seniors.”
  • 50-year olds resent getting the AARP card in the mail.
  • She doesn’t recognize herself in the mirror sometimes.

Write copy like you ARE your ideal customer. Get a copywriter that is your ideal customer. If you have a 20-something writing copy or on social media make sure they give you examples of their work. Get a focus group together and get their thoughts. Listen to them. Don’t object or defend. Let your current customer tell you what they would have wanted to hear.


Have a Third Party interview your ideal customer.

Create 5-6 questions. Use these as examples:

  • If you could wave a magic wand what would you like to change about your fitness right now?
  • How long have you felt this way?
  • What have you tried?
  • What do you hate about _______?
  • What would you love to see change?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

She likes to give and she’ll support businesses that do more than profit or provide a service.

  • Partner with a charity (shoes, mittens, winter coat drive, food pantry)
  • Percent of proceeds donated
  • Employ underprivileged
  • Support water in the world
  • Scholarship youth into your programs
  • Host community events

Change your approach

What if you mocked your own product and service?

Explain how it works instead of catchy titles.

All the things that midlife women hate and turn them off…

  • Baby Gap shirts on muscle bound men
  • Made-up women working out in LuLulemons
  • Chicken breast and egg whites
  • Walking into the male dominated weight room

Pink Dumbbells are Your Enemy!

Women respond to colors of the sunset.

She IS working. She may have the corner office.

She IS overwhelmed.

She DOES think a lot about her family and juggle responsibilities.

She is willing to spend. She’s not finding good choices.

She wants someone who understands her kinesiology, physiology, endocrine system, and her socialization.

She’s got some unlearning to do.

She may decide to do a marathon or a triathlon in a decade or so.

She’s not done.

But she does need to get started.

These and more are the way to fix mistakes you’re making in marketing to midlife women, make yourself the best choice, and once you get her, help her and keep her loving life… and the role you play in it.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

If you’d like some help. But you’re not sure where to start. Yet the idea of being a coach with a business you love helping women love their lives sounds like exactly what you want to do… and you want to stop having a hobby and start having a business – with a life – then set up a time to talk about how to make that happen.

I’ll give you my input on what you need to have a business model that works. You may choose not to pursue it but you’ll know.

BOOK a Consultation

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