Whether you’ve got a basic website from GoDaddy or you spent $30k for a custom job from the web design firm up the street, you’ve likely had to write or approve website content. If I’ve already lost some of you content is the general reference to the interesting stuff people read and look at on your website. For the sake of this article I specifically mean text and photos.
Just in my little area of the world I can almost throw a stick and reach half a dozen CrossFit boxes, but if you try to use the web to find one that stands out, good luck. This isn’t to say that the boxes in the area aren’t all great, I’m sure they are. However, if I’m thinking like someone who has never stepped foot in a box I tend to think that their only impression is a kettlebell. While the sport has a culture of its own, I implore box owners to dig a little deeper and make their box stand out to be unique.
Life has many simple truths, one of which is that people tend to gravitate towards others like themselves. In a way that’s what makes up the community of CrossFit. However, if the only thing your box is touting is a sense of community and camaraderie, your message is likely getting lost in the mix.
Defining your own take on CrossFit isn’t that hard, or at least it shouldn’t be. Of course there will be some common thread of why you and other box owners got into the business, much less the sport. However, beneath the surface there is likely a story that will compel like-minded people to join your gym. I talk to a lot of CrossFit box owners and I hear a different, touching story every time.
A while ago I spoke with a box owner who realized that in his late 30s at 350+ lbs. he was facing potential serious health risks. He found CrossFit to be the community and strength he needed to get his health on track. Another box owner I spoke with told me that he opened his CrossFit box as a way to build toward an even bigger dream of defense and empowerment courses for women. I spoke with another box owner who was a career personal trainer who felt like he could reach more people, affect more change and make more money running a box?
So what if that box owner who lost 150lbs focused on helping people in a similar situation to himself? Don’t you think that he’d stand out in a crowded marketplace? Don’t you think that would help someone who would otherwise be intimidated to step right into the intensity of CrossFit? Wouldn’t it make sense that people who are looking to make a drastic life change wouldn’t pick his box over another?
Do a bit of soul-searching and figure out what makes sense for you and your goals. Find that unique story and start writing about it. If your box doesn’t have an active blog, get one. Syndicate your content as well. WordPress is excellent for broadcasting updates, but so is Blogger. There are other tools too and frankly it doesn’t matter which you use.
Also, pictures do speak a thousand words. Get yourself a good quality camera. You don’t have to go out and get a $5000 DSLR, but don’t rely on your camera phone. While many boxes get great WOD photos and videos, I think this is a time to get personal with your members. On the day of signup, and each month at renewal get a high quality shot of each member. Of course make sure your contract has a photo waiver/release. Post these photos in your box. Let people see their transformation. Let others see the transformation. Too many people don’t do this for a number of reasons, but allowing new or potential members to see the life changing force of CrossFit is powerful. Even in a crowded marketplace, you can stand out.
So, to sum things up. Create lots of good content. Be regular with posting and sharing. Be unique.