The Fit Pro/Blogger Interview series was started on my blog a few months ago as a way for me to ask my fellow fit bloggers entrepreneur-type questions. It is so fun because I LOVE learning what awesome stuff others are doing in the fitness and online communities. I think most of us fit bloggers and fit pros are looking for ways to monetize our blog, excel in the online training space, and/or grow as fit professionals.
I have decided to change the name of the interview series to “Fitpreneur Interviews” – I think it better conveys what the interviews are all about… fitness and business!
I met Annmarie a few years ago at a FitBloggin conference in NYC. As the one-day event came to an end, participants were asked if we wanted to go for a little run around the city. I figured, when in New York City…
The run was a great way to connect with other bloggers in a non-structured way. Although, I did not run with Annmarie, she was waaay too fast! But we did chat after the run and I have followed her blog ever since!
Nicole, Lindsay, me, and Annmarie
(in matching Hoka One One shoes)
Annmarie is a DVRT Master Instructor, avid long distance runner, foodie behind TheFitFoodieMama.com, fitness studio owner, and mama of two sassy sisters!
Both a busy mom and business owner, she writes about the benefits of strength training for runners and specializes in creating allergy friendly recipes geared toward busy athletes and moms alike.
On her blog at Fit Foodie Mama
Pinterest: The Fit Foodie Mama
Facebook: Fit Foodie Mama
Her fitness studio: Strength In Motion Studio in Oswego, NY
I wanted to talk to Annmarie a little more about opening her own studio (how awesome is that!?) because I feel I have always dreamed of owning my own studio and had a hundred questions! But I narrowed them down to four for the interview. 🙂
You have been blogging for 2 1/2 years and built up a readership from around the world really, how did opening a studio change your marketing approach to target the local community? What did your launch look like??
It’s so crazy to think about the relationships I have built over the last few years and how so many readers and other bloggers have become my friends in real life!
To be honest, I hid my blog and interest in fitness from my local community until just the last year or so. Obviously, opening up a studio changed that and in retrospect, it would have been a smart idea to build up relationships in my local community first.
Don't hide your blog. Build relationships in your community! #Fitpreneur Interview w/ @fitfoodiemama Click To Tweet
Essentially, I had to start from scratch as far as marketing was concerned and the launch was “open house” style though not as big as I had envisioned. I happened to live in a VERY small town and everything is word of mouth here so it ended up being more of a waiting game.
Thankfully, my husband already runs a successful chiropractic practice which also helped to spread the word about my studio. I now have a group of loyal ladies that have also contributed to the growth of my little studio!
What was one of the biggest struggles of opening your own studio?
One of the biggest struggles was really just getting people to understand one, that it existed and two, what it was all about.
I am targeting runners and athletes which is a really small and unique market where I live. I am also using a really unique approach to strength training with the DVRT system using the Ultimate Sandbag. While it is gaining popularity (due to it’s convenience and effectiveness), it is still relatively new to those outside of the functional fitness world.
Any advice you would give someone who is thinking about opening their own studio?
Have a plan. Have something to offer that is new, exciting, and different from what everyone else is offering around you. Granted, I live in a very small town but DVRT and the Ultimate Sandbag is incredibly unique in most fitness markets which has really helped me to stand out from the rest, both online and at my studio.
Since you have a background in blogging, do you offer any online programs for studio clients as well?
That is something that I JUST started doing. I actually just released two programs: a DVRT Ultimate Sandbag program for busy parents and another program that includes 10 strength training workouts for runners.
I also offer custom training plans which are tailored to individual needs and goals and include both running and strength training workouts.
Notes: Through these interviews, I am seeing a couple similarities between fitness entrepreneurs. One, is the importance of defining your niche (Ariana and I talked all about this in our interview) and two, how sharing your blog with your friends, family and community brings in your most loyal followers and best customers (Check out Sarah’s interview for more on that!).
Do you share your blog with your community? If so, how has it impacted your blog?
Have you ever wanted to open your own fitness studio??