We all have light bulb moments. For Newton it was the legendary apple from the tree. Archimedes had his “Eureka” getting in the bath followed by an impromptu streaking to spread the news. For Joe Fight it was a blow to the head, literally.
“As much as I loved competing,” Joe said, “I didn’t love it as much as I love being an instructor and you can’t be a personal trainer when you’re injured.” While he will always be a seasoned Muay Thai competitor, 2 years ago Joe shifted his primary focused to instructing and opened Fight Fit Bootcamp in Markham, Ontario.
It was his love for martial arts and a firm belief that if more people were trained in kickboxing there would be a lot less violence worldwide that drove his entrepreneurship. That seems like an oxymoron, but he defends his stance.
“While I was learning martial arts my instructor made the point that if everyone knew how to defend themselves fewer social situations would erupt with chaos, bar scenes wouldn’t end in fights, dark alleys would be less foreboding,” he said. “Who would want to attack knowing that their target knows how to block?” His vision may sound far fetch but it’s an internal drive that motivates him in working with his trainees.
He is also an Otaku (a Japanese term describing people with an obsessive interest) about fitness and health. “About 90% of the members in our community are women,” he said. “A lot of their motivation is to get fit, and I love seeing people get in shape. Many are moms who we get to teach about leading a healthy lifestyle and that trickles down when they make decisions for their families. A fit and healthy mom equals a fit and healthy family.”
And his members see serious results, shedding fat and gaining muscle one exercise routine after the next. It’s not your standard gym where you jump on a treadmill or do a few sets with free weights. “At any of the ‘big box’ gyms, you’re just a member,” he said. “It’s really a changing industry because people need a community to keep themselves encouraged to lead healthier lives.”
A Changing Gym Paradigm
At Fight Fit Bootcamp, you are a far cry from being just a member. “To keep people motivated to make it out for each session, the group really does half the work. Fight Fit’s a strong community of people looking to achieve results and that community helps make people accountable. If you don’t make it out to a practice you’re no longer just letting yourself down, you’re letting everyone down.”
In his years as an instructor, Joe has turned into a behavioral specialist. He notices that people are attracted to others who are like them, people of the same size who share goals.
“Inevitably we have people who come and just don’t find what they’re looking for among our group, and that’s fine,” he said. “I can’t serve everybody and I’m always more than happy to refer them to friends. Everybody wants to be fitter and I want everyone to be fitter. The great thing is that there’s plenty of people out there who can help.”
On Fight Fit Bootcamp’s Growth
You don’t have to dig very deep to recognize that Joe’s got this 21st century marketing thing figured out for his industry. He blogs, he posts, he tweets, and through it all he champions his community. It’s resulted in huge growth for his bootcamp as evidenced by the array of testimonials found on his site. You get a very strong presence of who he is and his passion after just a few minutes browsing.
Between running a successful fitness program, training on his own, and all the other curveballs life throws, how has he found time to give Fight Fit’s web presence such huge momentum?
He credits his progress to the sport. “Among other things, martial arts has given me huge discipline. I often say that it’s both the hardest and the easiest sport. If you get hit in the head once, it won’t happen a second time. A 2 minute round can feel like forever, but each time you’re hit your focus grows to keep from getting hit again.”
It’s with that focus that he has learned to set time aside to do things. “I’ll schedule time in to write 5 blog posts all at once. I’ll plan out Facebook posts a month in advance. Even emails – I’ll put them together about a month and a half out. I automate those things by dedicating a chunk of time to them which allows me to focus on everything else instead of each week having the weight of those marketing activities on my plate.”
Automating Emails with Online Booking Helps Form Habits
As the behavioral specialist he has proven himself to be, Joe knows that it takes 21 days to form a habit. He wanted a scheduling software that would easily and seamlessly send out emails and text reminders to his attendees.
“I tried Schedulicity and doing it through our CRM tool, but both were too bulky,” he said. “With our 21 day schedule we needed to keep in constant contact with reminders to help develop healthy habits.”
Fight Fit Bootcamp also has a nutrition coach who works remotely but needs to stay in touch with clients there. “With TimeTap's online scheduling, both the staff and the clients would get emails reminding them of the appointment no matter if they were at the gym or coaching over the phone.”
And their clients love the personal touch. “As much as they may not want to make it out to the training every day, that email and text message reminder come in and they start thinking ‘Oh crap, I gotta go.’” Besides just the group and community dynamic, the reminders also help build accountability.
“Some of our members have said to me that the constant touch that scheduling appointments online allows you to have has been a huge push to get them here each day. It may not sound like a huge deal, but it’s the little things that add up to create huge results.”
Fight Fit Bootcamp has been a TimeTap user since August 2012.