What's to love about CFM?

Sammy Gilham award winner

What do I love about CFM? I could sit here and rattle off a list of reasons until I’m blue in the face but the more that I think about this, the more one thing becomes apparent to me. I love CFM for 3 main reasons, these are also the three main pillars I believe that CFM is built on and why it has stood the test of time.

NUMBER 1

Would have to be the sense of family and community that CFM brings to the table. Us, the on-road staff spend 10 months a year away from our friends and family and one of the main things that keeps us sane during this time is the fact that we have each other. Our colleagues fill the void of the family and friends that we leave at home. They are the ones who toast to our success when we reach new heights but more importantly they are the soothing voices that we hear on the other side of the phone when things are not going our way. They are the ones that tag you in memes that make you laugh at inappropriate times. It is this sense of family that makes you want to fly from Sydney to the South Island in NZ for one night to celebrate another team member’s “63rd” birthday. That same sense of family makes flying from Perth to Melbourne for two nights to see the crew a no brainer. This sense of community is what brings us back year after year, even when we think we are running on empty.

CFM awards party 2017

NUMBER 2

Is without a doubt the integrity that each and every CFM employee shows. From the Telemarketing team that calls the communities we are working in for hours on end to the Marketing Managers and Sales Consultants on the road. Let me take you back to my very first shift working for CFM as a Telemarketer. I had already been calling for 20 minutes and had only talked to a handful of people, all of which had hung up on me before I had finished my second sentence. I make another call, not fazed at all by the amount of rejections I had already received. As I introduce myself and say what gym I’m calling from a male’s voice interrupts me and quite rudely tells me if I every call this number again he would put me in hospital. Now I’m not sure what it was about what this man said that really triggered me but all I wanted to do was tell him to bugger off, but of course I held my breath told the man I was sorry and that I’d take his number off our call list and hung up on the call. In hindsight, I could have easily given him the same treatment that he gave me but by putting the Gym’s name and reputation before my own pride I continued calling and held my tongue. The same goes with the on-road staff. They are always putting their best foot forward and continuously put the clubs before themselves. From staying back an hour to wait for a prospect to come to an appointment because they had to work late, to waking up at 6am to get to the gym at 7:30 on Open Day to make sure the day runs perfectly.  

NUMBER 3

Is the belief that everyone has for

  1. The product we are selling and
  2. For the independent club owners, who are some of the best people in the world.

Let’s take a step back and talk about the product we are selling. We are not just going around and telling people we can get them ripped in 6 weeks and looking like Arnold in the 70’s. No, what we do is tell them the truth. That this is a journey, that yes getting to your goal will take time and you may even have to make sacrifices or step out of your comfort zone. When we do help you reach that goal we won’t just leave you. We believe in long term fitness and maintaining the results you achieve. That means ongoing reassessments and true long lasting care. It also means asking the tough questions that, yes, can be uncomfortable but more often than not are necessary. We believe in independent club owners because time and time again they show the communities they are in that they truly do care.    

For these reasons and so many more, this is why I love CFM.

 

written by Sammy Gilham CFM Marketing Manager

Sammy Gilham is a CFM Marketing Manager and 2017 Sales consultant of the year and Excellence award winner. Sammy started working for CFM in 2016 in the CFM Call Centre before progressing to Sales Consultant and now Marketing Manager. Sammy’s enthusiasm and love for independent clubs and the non active segment is infectious.

 

Indeterminate Growth

Jahna and Sammy Gilham CFM marketing managers

I have always been fascinated with the ocean and aquatic creatures for as long as I can remember. Maybe it has something to do with growing up on a tiny island, but it has always been an enigma to me. I remember being told as a child that growth of the goldfish is dependent on its surrounds so if it is kept in a little bowl and not fed too much it will stay quite small. If put in a tank and fed a little more it would grow even bigger and, in a pond if they are fed well and taken care of they will continue to grow. In a way I believe people are the same.

I grew up in a cottage in the tiny island of Ireland and I started travelling at a very young age with my family. My grandmother lived in Jamaica and I remember visiting her at the tender age of 7. There is an interesting bug that resides there which can also be found in most corners of the world. It tends to bite curious minds and one single bite is strong enough to transform the mind and life of its prey forever. You may have heard of it before, I am referring to the ‘Travel Bug’. It watched me as I thanked the beautiful air hostesses in their colourful uniforms for spoiling me with fruit platters, saw my eyes sparkle as I searched the clouds for ‘Care Bears’, then as I stepped off the plane and that warm breeze enveloped me the ‘Travel Bug’ hit and after that I would never be the same.

Fast forward a few years and every time I saved up a few pennies they would quickly be spent on plane tickets. I yearned to see more places, meet new people and listen to their stories. I loved how instead of feeling lost in the unfamiliar surroundings I felt as though I was finding myself (I know that sounds super cheesy but I honestly don’t know how else I can describe it). I was discovering new passions, likes/dislikes and learning more about the kind of life I would choose to lead instead of staying in my comfort zone, my personal fish bowl, and just settling for the easiest option.

At the age of 25 after working in the fitness industry for a few years, I was introduced to CFM. I was blown away by the concept! I could not believe that a company would be willing to invest to much in to a small independently owned gym with no assurance of a reward. The fact that the first line of our mission statement is ‘To primary encourage the non-active segment of the communities we work in to make exercise part of their lifestyle’ really struck a chord with me. I stayed in Europe for my first year and then chose to transfer from my little corner of the world to Australasia fuelled by the confidence and passion instilled in me by CFM and the people I had met through work.

If we take a moment to think, I believe we all know someone personally whose life could be positively affected by exercise whether it be physically or mentally. My own parents suffered with arthritis and a bad back and I saw how it depleted their self worth and stopped them doing the things they loved like walking the dog or travelling because they could not bear to be seated on a plane for so long. Unfortunately change is hard and people tend to fear the unknown so find it difficult to start exercising. Therefore, they give in to the slow decline getting more bitter as they give in to the discomfort that goes along with not taking care of your body. This does not always have to always be the case though and with little encouragement they can get over that first hurdle, embrace a new experience and continue to grow. In my opinion, CFM is a catalyst. By encouraging people to commit to a healthier lifestyle CFM are not only encouraging them to be physically and mentally strong but also nurturing them and allowing them to realise dreams that they thought were beyond them. After several gentle nudges my parents started exercising again and they are like new people now. Lenny (our rescued American Pitbull) is getting all the walks he needs, they were able to explore Spain thoroughly during their holiday last year instead of being confined to pottering around the pool and they made the 31 hour journey from Ireland to Australia to attend my wedding to a fellow CFMer.

I am honoured that my job is to travel around Australia and New Zealand helping people in smaller communities build the strength they need so that they can continue to run their own business to support their families or lose weight so they can get pregnant after years of trying or build their self-confidence so they don’t hate the person who looks back at them from the mirror. Instead of allowing them to stay stagnant we personally reach out to these people and help them push through that ‘glass ceiling’ so they can develop and become exactly who they want to be instead of just accepting their lot and staying in their little bowl.

When people ask why I choose to dedicate my time to CFM. I can say without reservation that I am honoured to be part of the movement currently sweeping through Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. CFM has provided a platform from which I can grow as a person while helping other people to do the same and that has changed me for the better. I have been drawn from my shell and hardly recognise the shy, insecure girl I once was. This job and my new lifestyle has made me adaptable, assertive and unafraid to be my true self, someone the 7 year old Jahna could be proud of.

Getting back to goldfish, they are in fact, like most fish, what is known as indeterminate growers which means they grow until they die. Though physically we cannot say the same I feel if throughout our lives if we continue to challenge ourselves, keep getting out of our comfort zones, throwing ourselves into new experiences and exploring new ideas we can continue to grow indefinitely. That is exactly how I plan to live to rest the rest of my life thanks to CFM.

 

written by Jahna Gilham CFM Marketing Manager

Jahna Gilham is a CFM Marketing Manager and two time top producer. She has worked for CFM across two continents over the span of 3 years. Starting as a CFM Sales Consultant in the UK before being promoted to Marketing Manager and moving over to CFM Australia in 2016. Jahna is a cultural leader and an asset to CFM.

The Facebook Apocalypse.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOUR GYM?

On January 11th, 2018, Mark Zuckerburg and his Facebook team made an announcement regarding the upcoming Facebook update and the significant changes it entails for Facebook Pages. These changes are so significant that the Social Media Marketing world have dubbed it the ‘Facebook Apocalypse’. Read the full announcement here... (read more)

In brief, Facebook have vowed to move the Social Media platform back to being ‘social’. More meaningful interactions and discussions with friends and family. Less posts from publishers and brands and not-so-newsworthy articles. It was a big announcement, with big implications for the future of Facebook Pages for businesses. So how will this affect your club’s Page and how worried should you be?

 

In regards to your current members/page followers

If your club’s Page is meaningful and purposeful, is up-to-date and has high-quality posts relevant to your members, you probably don’t need to worry. It means you’re doing what Facebook want you to do – connecting people. See the updated News Feed Values here: (https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/06/building-a-better-news-feed-for-you/) If your members are commenting on your posts genuinely and are viewing and interacting with your Page on a regular basis, your posts are likely to appear in News Feeds as much as they usually do.

‘Posts with purpose’ should be your priority moving forward. What do we mean by that? Don’t post just for the sake of it thinking you need to fill space, post for a reason. Posts that give new information about the club (“Look at this new piece of equipment!”), ask members questions (“Share your best pre-workout snack!”), celebrate member’s achievements (“Craig ran his first half-marathon this weekend, well done Craig!”), are entertaining (“Check out this class highlights reel from this week!”) or just share the heart-and-soul of your club (“Watch this interview with club manager Jackie!”). These posts will naturally facilitate interactions and discussions that the Facebook Algorithm like, and as a result will favour your posts and page over the other pages that don’t. See more about the Algorithm and how News Feed Rankings work here: https://media.fb.com/2017/10/24/introducing-news-feed-publisher-guidelines/ If certain post types are not generating interactions, omit them from your Social Media plan so not to affect your ranking. And it goes without saying that all posts, static or video, need to be of a high, professional quality. Competition between your Page and other Pages is now fierce.

 

In regards to marketing/reaching new audiences

Our assumption is, once these changes take place, paid advertising will almost be the only way to have your posts reach wide and new audiences. Organic Reach will be difficult to achieve. It will also mean that ‘winning’ the top spot for advertising spaces will be difficult and advertising, if not set up efficiently, will become expensive. Understanding how to run Facebook advertising beyond boosted posts is important for clubs, right down to the bidding optimisation, post frequencies and ad placements. As is smart spending with strategy and staying up-to-date with changes to the Facebook Algorithm. 

It is clearly stipulated in the announcement ‘engagement-bait’ posts will be demoted, so like/share/tag posts can no longer be a marketing strategy for businesses. To reach new people, content for paid advertising must follow similar principles to your page posts, aiming to ‘spark conversations’ between people. And to get attention in the first place, content needs to be valuable and videos, images or graphics need to be high end.

Facebook is the leading marketing tool for health and fitness clubs, attributing to over 46% of sales. So understanding and utilising this technology effectively to market your club is essential to stay in competition with other clubs, and to outshine them.

 

Making Way for New Technologies

For some time now Facebook have been pushing Videos in News Feeds. As stated in the announcement, this is no longer the case with static images and standard video posts being equally prioritised. However, more recently Facebook have been pushing Live Videos. See a December announcement regarding this here: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/12/news-feed-fyi-for-video-intent-repeat-viewership-matter/ These posts will continue to have extra leverage as they are an interactive experience for users, not a passive one, and this is what the changes are all about. So ensure Live Videos are part of your Social Media plan, and even better if your live videos encourage people to ask questions and make comments in relation to the videos content and live videos are episodic. It is expected that in coming months Facebook will be introducing other technologies such as ‘chat-bots’ and more complex messenger and story functions to further enhance user engagement and experience, so keep your eye out for further announcements.

So just remember, the point of the these changes is to make this leading Social Media platform more social. Authenticity and community is key. The same way you try to foster a welcoming, inviting, inclusive space within your club’s four walls, Zuckerburg wants to see you creating these spaces online too. So think about your members and what you can offer them on Facebook to enhance their experience of being part of your club, and potential members and what may make them feel welcomed and included in your community. In doing this there is no doubt your Facebook Page and in turn your health and fitness club, will flourish.  

A CFM strategic marketing campaign includes the best Social Media and Digital Marketing Team in the fitness industry.  They specialise in Facebook Business Advertising, videography, graphics and continue to the industry standard.  To find out more about how a CFM marketing campaign can help your club contact (03) 8643 7474 or  asiapacific@cfm.net 

 

written by Hannah Robertson, Head of Social Media @ CFM

4 Key Open Day Secrets

Open Days are high effort, high energy and now more than ever are guaranteed of success if the marketing build up is multi-faceted and powerful.  Here are 4 key secrets from 2017’s CFM Open Days from across Australia and New Zealand.

CFM OPEN DAYS 2017

1 - Theme and Commitment

Themed events, whilst the concept is older than CFM’s 27 years it’s success rate hasn’t waned.  From Christmas in July, to Tropical, Football, Basketball, Super Hero, they all continue to work, especially when everyone is 100% committed.  Games and challenges have never been easier to promote with the use of live feeds on our social media channels.  Bouncy castles, DJ’s, face painting are really basic ways that set the tone for a great day.

CFM open days

  2 - Multi-faceted Marketing

To promote it – Over the years, through the boom of Telemarketing, to Flyers, Newspaper, TV, Radio, and now Social Media, the biggest lesson we’ve learnt is if one medium is done on its own it simply doesn’t have the impact.  Whilst we can use less of the older styles of marketing, a proper multi-facted approach to pushing your Open Day far exceeds one stream pushed.  The signage, corporate outreach, and local awareness through Buzz and Guerrilla Marketing make’s any Social Media push real and tangible to your prospective members.  The tangibility of your Open Day will double your show rate and new member figures.

 3 - Social Media Event and Lead up

The social media content leading up needs to be consistent and involving.  Involve current members and don’t be afraid to ask for organic reach through shares, likes and importantly, attending or those interested in the Facebook Event.  Live events throughout the day are crucial to help the evening rush.  A tip on you social media content, use videos and put effort into them.  74% of all Social Media traffic are now Videos.  Professional Videos are a must.

    video will dominate the internet this year

    4 - Community Involvement

    Get local businesses involved, and benefiting with a small logo on all of your advertising.  The local stalls and businesses can offer trials, freebies and a small discount for the day, all done at your club during the day.  

    In 2017 to date at CFM, over 900 sales have been made during Open Days, at an average 32 per Day.  That’s 32 people who take the nerve-wracking plunge and commit to a healthier, happier life through a long-term membership, on top of the countless happy current members the atmosphere of the day delivers. 

     

    written by Liam Robertson, Director of CFM

     

    Easy Way To Convert Facebook Followers Into Members

    convert followers into members

    Most Gyms and Health Clubs have a member to Facebook like ratio of about 5%-10%, that is for every 20 people that like your page, 1 of them is a member.

    These people following your page are interested. They are aware they have a need to improve their health and fitness and potentially think that you just might be the place that can help them. These people are your easiest opportunity to grow your membership base, because they have brand awareness of you, a need for help and just require the final push to take the next step. We often pour thousands of dollars into creating more brand awareness, yet we don’t utilize the birds in hand and turn them into sales.

    So how do we get the followers to come into the club, dip their toe into the water and use your facility? I’m going to run through one option of utilizing the successful offer of a 7 day free pass.

    The traditional approach to getting out free passes is to print flyers or cards and distribute these by putting them on the counters of other local businesses, handing them out at Shopping Centres or giving them to local Sporting Clubs. This is effective, but some downsides are that its time consuming, costly to print and requires follow up and maintenance in order to be successful.

    The easier and more effective option is to use Facebook to get the offer out to your followers for you. Once the offer is claimed, Facebook will even send an email to the prospect with the voucher. All they then need to do is present this to you at the Club, you collect their relevant information and away they go.


    How To Do This?

    • Click ‘create an offer’ on your Facebook page
    • Set an expiry date
    • Load an existing or a new 7 day pass image. For the image, use something attractive, simple and relevant to your target market. Also note - Font must not be greater than 25% of the image size.
    • Select ‘Redeem in store’

    So there it is, a successful way to stimulate the followers who need a greater incentive to join. This will get them into your club on a trial and the rest is up to you...

     

    written by Ben Revitt CFM Head of Business Development

    Ben Revitt has worked for CFM for over 10 years. In that time he has worked at over 60 clubs across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. With a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing and social media, Ben has been the Head of Business Development at CFM since 2015.