How to Build A Website For Fitness Pros

start up marketing, visual branding, website design

Before you spend any money or hire a web developer to create your personal training and fitness website watch this video for the fastest and easiest way to create a website and shopping experience on a limited budget.

I mention , , and the must-have and essential elements of a great user experience that will attract new clients and customers to your new fitness brand.

Check out more of my marketing tips for fitness professionals on my YouTube channel and let me know if you have any specific questions about how to build your personal training brand.


Ready to Launch Your Brand

Earned Media, editorial know how, Uncatergorized, website design

At least weekly, we will get a call or email from a client asking the same question – what should we work on first? Our website or hiring you to get us press?

What do you think customers are going to do after reading about you? Sure, we help produce a great editorial placement or television segment about your new innovative breakthrough and where are those new customers going to go? Yup. Right to your home page.

Budget for Both

If your company has a limited marketing budget, you must divide and conquer. It’s a daily thing, and should be a part of your business plan – website and earned media together. Making improvements to your website should become a daily habit.

Building a robust website with a great user experience will only help your PR efforts lead to business growth. The most important thing to remember is that you want to make a great first impression with an efficient and easy to navigate home page. Read here for the five most important web design tips ever from @volusion.

PR begins with the creation of a communication plan with well-written releases, a calendar of launches and professional images of your products and services. Both can be done at the same time to set your company up for social sharing success.

20 Questions about Website Design

Uncatergorized, website design

If you haven’t played the computer game 20 Questions it’s pretty accurate and a whole lot of fun. The link is at the bottom of this post.  It is totally worth the click.

Now, we’ve recently began working with a new client and we are starting with their new website design before we bring them national. What they have created is a very cool new diet program called Our Skinny, its brought to you by a doctor from Savannah, Georgia of all places, home of the deep-fried, low boil everything. Looking to shed a few pounds? You can start getting ready for swimsuit season here.

As we recreate the user experience, we’ve naturally been talking to web developers about helping us with “the back-end” of our new redesign for what is probably the easiest diet ever.  One programmer in their “discovery” process actually emailed us this long list of questions below. At first, we were taken back. We asked ourselves, Why are they asking all these questions? Why don’t they just go to the existing site and read and review it to find out the answers? But they have a point. Most clients really don’t know what they want from a website, let alone how to maintain it. They know they should have one, because, well you must have a website right? The best thing you can do before asking anyone to design your website is to know –

1. Why do you want to have a new website, or have your current site redesigned? 

2.What will happen if you don’t have a new website? 

3.How do you describe your organization in just a few sentences. 

 4. What is there about you and your background that sets you apart for a special (niche) group of potential customers?

 5. What problems do your prospects have that your business solves? 

 6. How can your particular work background help prospects, compared to others in your industry? What’s special about your products or services? 

 7. Why do you believe site visitors should do business with you and not with a competitor?

 8. Do you have a slogan or tag-line that clearly describes what you offer in terms of benefits or  features? 

 9. How do you describe your potential customers? Pay special attention to their income, interests, gender, age, even type of computer they use, e.g., old with dial-up account or newer with broadband. If your website is a business-to-business site, what sort of companies are you hoping to attract?

 10. What is your budget for this project?

 11. Who are the decision makers on this project? What is the turnaround time for making a decision?

 12. What staff will be involved? What are their roles? Is there a webmaster on your staff?

 13. What is your deadline for completing the site? 

 14. List the names of five other sites that you like. Why are they attractive to you? 

 15. Have you researched your online competition so you have an idea of what you do and don’t want on your site?

 16. What do you NOT want on your site in terms of text, content, etc?

 17. Where is the website content coming from? Who’s responsible for updating it? Is it ready for use on your website? 

 18. Are you planning to do online sales? If so, what is the product, and how many items do you want to sell online?

 20. If you’re planning to sell online, are you set up to accept credit cards?

 21. How much time will you be able to spend online, responding to inquiries that come in via your website? Once a day? Several hours a day? 

 22. If you were using a search engine, what words or phrases would you use to find your site? Which of these words or phrases is most important? Second? Third?

 23. Other than what search engines will produce, what methods do you have in mind to spread the word about your website? 

 24. Once your website is completed, how long do you think it will be before you begin bringing in significant business from the website? 

25. How do plan to market your website?

 26. How do you plan to encourage repeat visitors and referrals?

 Following are the “must answer” questions; please do no leave any of these.

  1.  What do you want someone to do once they’ve visited your site—that is, what is the call to action?
  2.  How should a user feel when they visit your site, and what should be their lasting experience?
  3.  Name three sites that appeal to you and explain what it is you like about them.
  4.  Name three sites you don’t like and explain why you dislike them.
  5.  What is your budget and ideal time frame?
Here’s the 20 Questions link.

Friends with Benefits & Word-of-Mouth Referrals

customized promotions, future of marketing, location based marketing, Uncatergorized, website design, word of mouth campaigns

refer a friend program at

When asked what sources “influence your decision to use or not use a particular company, brand or product”  71% claim reviews from family members or friends exert a “great deal” or “fair amount” of influence(Harris Interactive, June 2010)

We created a website referral program for one of our client’s that has proven to be a very successful marketing program. We know that word of mouth referrals are one of the best promotions our client has (as with most businesses), so when we redesigned their website, we thought of every possible way to get these customers to refer friends online right from the home page.

1. Customers are prompted to offer referrals by clicking on the home page “Refer a friend” button. This simple pop-up takes all of ten seconds to fill out  and allows these customers the ability to refer friends to a location nearest them while earning reward points.

2. Even better, the auto response email then thanks that customer for the referral (via email) and directs the new referred customer (via email) right to a location that is convenient with them. The new customer also receives an automated email letting them know that a friend referred them and the benefits of our client’s services.

3. Thirdly, the location that was “referred” gets an email notifying them that this new customer should receive 10% off their first time service.

You can check it out here.

Our newest client, a cosmetic dermatologist, liked this idea so much he wants something similar for the new website we are going to design for his practice.

Diamond in the Rough – How to Polish up Your Brand Image

brand management, experiential retail, memorable logos, Uncatergorized

We recently had a great company with huge potential ask us to proactively manage their PR. We were already co-marketing with them by hosting bikini fashion shows at the grand opening and anniversary parties of a spa franchise client.

They finally came to one of our parties, which featured their fabulous designer swimwear on great looking models (which we partly bartered for spa treatments) from some of the hottest swimsuit brands out there and they wouldn’t leave until we talked about blowing up their brand.

They saw our work in action and they liked it.

This particular company has been in business for 30 years, has two stores (a really cool mother/daughter team) and they recently started an e-commerce site.

So, on a Sunday, we went to their home to talk about getting some great press for their site.

It was a “get to know each other” meeting and what we found was this –

They had five different logos (two different biz cards, one half-done shopping bag, and two completely different online web designs – they just kept changing it up.)

1. Be consistent! Pick ONE logo and run with it. And don’t let your nephew (you know the SVA student) try to design it. Go to the pros, your logo is an investment in your brand.

Their stores had seen better days. Truth be told, they were so busy selling swimwear that they didn’t have time to paint the place (never mind repair the floors, shelving, signage, check out and dressing room).

2. Get your place camera ready. You can’t invite the media in for a story until you look picture perfect. It’s that simple.  You want to look good on camera. Real good.

Their websites (why are their two different stores on line???) were held together with duck tape. Shaky, jumpy, flashy, mashy websites do not make for a happy user experience. They make for a confusing “I’m shopping somewhere else” experience.

3. Hire the right developer and think through the user experience. Now they developed a website with a guy from Moscow who died. I am not making this up. Leaving them to repair, manage and deal with a site that was actually selling $300 bikinis 24/7. The home page images were uploaded by their friend in France, without prices/descriptions or a click to the cart. Now you tell me, how do I tell Lucky Magazine that this is THE place to get the hottest Brazilian tropical print cut out suit of the season??

Now, we had to have a meeting with them to let them know we would LOVE to do their “PR” and get them on Good Morning America, The Today Show and in Elle Magazine, but first we had some polishing up to do.

And you know what, they’re listening. We are so excited when clients do that sort of thing. You know, like take our advice.