We’re all familiar with the concept of working smarter versus harder. Achieving more with the same (or less) resources is a fundamental part of improving efficiency. But how can fitness businesses achieve this in practice?
This was a challenge we set ourselves late last year. We were fortunate enough to have a huge number of marketing clients and be operating at full capacity. But this begged the question, how do we continue to grow Wellness Creatives from here? And was that even the right goal to focus on?
In this article – we share how we streamlined our fitness marketing business to maximise our time and income (plus tips on how you can do the same thing).
Here are five changes we made to our business that transformed our efficiency…
1 – Switched Focus to Products (not Services)
The biggest change we made was to switch our focus from services to products. Previously, we’d concentrated on securing more marketing clients. But now we were at full capacity, this no longer made sense.
Making this change meant we no longer had to leverage time for money, something that limits income potential. There’s only so many hours we can work in a week which put a cap on the amount of client work we could deal with. But this restriction doesn’t exist with digital products, which are limited by the size of your market rather than time.
We gradually reduced the number of freelance clients we worked with, in favour of spending time on digital products like our Fitness Industry Report, Social Media Kit, and Fitness Business Templates.
2 – User Generated Content
We also wanted to grow our website content and create even more resources for our audience. With the time we saved switching to products, we wrote more blog articles. But this wasn’t a scalable solution, so we decided to encourage user-generated content too…
We opened up the website to guest post submissions on a trial basis. This allowed us to produce more quality content and deliver greater value for our audience, without investing extra time in doing so. It also meant our community could showcase their expertise and share their own fitness business tips.
3 – Focused on Pinterest
We experimented with several different social platforms last year, including YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. But Pinterest was by far and away the biggest success. It generated consistent traffic to our site and grew way beyond our expectations.
If awareness is your marketing objective, then the other social media sites are great. But if website traffic is your goal, then you should consider Pinterest.
It delivers long term value in comparison to other social platforms because your posts don’t disappear. They remain live and searchable forever, which means they generate traffic for years rather than days.
Our focus and consistency on Pinterest has paid off. We now have over 150,000 Pinterest views per month and it dominates our social traffic.
4 – Advertising Partnerships
Another big change we made was to partner with an advertising network. This is something we deliberated over for a long time – we didn’t want to compromise the website experience for visitors by bombarding them with spammy ads. But we did know that not featuring adverts meant we were leaving significant money on the table.
We waited until we had enough visitors to partner with a high quality ad network. You can start anytime with Google AdWords but we weren’t convinced of their ad quality. Partnering with MediaVine meant our site featured higher quality ads that were relevant to our audience (and instantly increased revenue too).
5 – Sales Funnel Optimisation
The last thing we did was to review the structure of our sales funnels. Were we getting sufficient visitors into the top of the funnel? Were we converting enough into paying customers?
In our case, we had pretty sweet conversion rates (yay). So, we added more ‘top of the funnel’ content that would appeal to potential customers. This meant creating more articles that introduced our digital products to visitors (with an emphasis on practical tips rather than self-promotion).
Top Tips for Business Operators
So, how can you apply our approach in your health or fitness business? The key takeways are…
- Avoid trading time for money – could you create digital products for your clients?
- Encourage user-generated content – this could be social media posts, photos, workouts, blog articles, etc.
- Focus your social media efforts – pick 1-2 sites with the greatest return on your time.
- Consider advertising – whether you run a gym, yoga studio, or fitness blog, there are opportunities to partner with advertisers who want access to your audience.
- Optimise sales funnels – fix the leaky bucket before you pour more prospective clients (or water) in.
What Else Could We Have Done?
Of course, there were lots of things we could have done but didn’t. Some of these ideas might be followed up in the future but could still be useful to you right now…
- Credibility – featuring client and ‘featured in’ logos to demonstrate our credibility.
- Backlinks – trying to secure more backlinks to build our SEO authority. We took the position that the quality of our content should speak for itself and this approach has paid off so far. Many of our articles have garnered hundreds of shares organically!
- Cut clients cold turkey – we felt this was too much of a risk, so kept a couple of long-term ones on. At times this was tough since we were overstretched trying to do too much. But in the end it gave us the peace of mind and security we needed to make the switch successfully.
- Collated blog posts into ebooks – people like to have comprehensive step-by-step guides and all the information in one place. We could have gone down this route and expanded our digital product range but decided to focus on existing ones for now.
What Didn’t Work?
We like to experiment with different ideas and not all of them are successful. Converting blog posts into YouTube videos was one such fail.
We liked this idea because, well, video is so hot right now! We wanted to tap into the trend and ensure our content appealed to visual readers.
But in reality, the process took a lot of extra time (even using automated converters like Lumen5). So, we weren’t consistent in our efforts. This is key to building a following on YouTube so we cut our losses and doubled down on written content instead.