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Written by Len Glassman Wednesday, 01 September 2010 19:00
What do healthy recipes and fitness professionals have in common? As fitness professionals we’re always striving to encourage our clients, friends, family and community to eat healthy and learn about good nutrition, right?
But have you thought about the connection between healthy recipes and marketing your fitness services?
That’s right, there’s an incredible marketing opportunity for you to not only promote your fitness business, but also to spread the word about eating healthier in a fun and exciting way. How? Self-publish your own fit and healthy recipe book!
What, you say? You want me to publish a recipe book? How in the world am I going to do that? I don’t know the first thing about publishing a book! Plus, I don’t know a lot about creating recipes and I’m not such a great cook myself! Relax and read on; we’ve got you covered.
Create the Buzz
Just imagine the amount of marketing buzz you would create if you self-published your very own fit and healthy recipe book? We all know that people love a good recipe; especially one that’s been handed down from generation to generation. On the other hand, people love to frequent their favorite local restaurants to relax, socialize and enjoy a good meal. What if you took the best of both worlds and combined them into a community-based networking machine? Imagine your clients seeing in print, healthy versions of their favorite family recipes? Imagine further that your clients’ favorite ‘heart-healthy’ restaurant recipes are conveniently placed at their finger-tips, in an easy to read and follow format, with your name, picture and contact information on the front cover!
Rolling Out the Recipes
Compiling a collection of healthy recipes is easier than you think. You just need a little help from your clients, friends and family. First, ‘get the word out’, that you’re looking to put together a collection of healthy recipes and that you need help. Explain that you want to inspire others to lead a healthy lifestyle by having people share their favorite heart healthy recipes. Clearly worded e-mails to your contacts, personalized letters to your clients, along with Facebook and Twitter requests to your ‘friends’ should do the trick. Aim for approximately 100 recipes. The key to getting recipes is persistence and setting deadlines for recipe submissions. As an added incentive, mention that everyone who contributes a recipe will receive a complimentary copy of the recipe book. Another way to attract attention to your recipe book is to invite local, established, well-known and well-liked restaurants to contribute heart-healthy recipes. Restaurants and fitness professionals rely upon word of mouth to generate loyal customers. What better way to promote yourself to potentially thousands of restaurant customers? Don’t be afraid to ask for their participation. Arrange to meet with and explain to the restaurant owner or head chef that you are offering them a unique, no-cost opportunity to help inspire members of your community to lead healthier lifestyles by sharing their favorite heart healthy recipes.
Make It Fun with Catchy Titles and Categories
Do you know the difference between a dull recipe and a simply irresistible one? Besides the ingredients of course, it mostly has to do with the wording. For example, a run-of-the-mill chicken dish is incredibly appealing when it sounds like this: ‘Raspberry-Balsamic Glazed Chicken’. Or how about ‘Grilled Chili-Lime Chicken’? And for dessert, instead of ‘fruit-cup’, how does ‘Merlot Poached Pears with Vanilla Yogurt ‘sound? Get the idea? The same concept applies to creating food categories for your recipe book. Instead of simply naming a category ‘Appetizers’, how about ‘Heart Healthy Soups, Salads, Wraps & Apps’ instead? For main dishes, doesn’t ‘Deliciously Fit & Easy Main Courses’ sound appealing? Be creative, spark excitement and make it fun!
There are several companies who specialize in creating self-published recipe books. Expect that it will take at least 2 months to gather the recipes. You will then need to ‘type-set’ the recipes by entering them into a software program that will format each recipe to the specifications of the particular company. No doubt, you’re going to have lots of questions and choices to make along the way. How do I design the recipe book cover? What should my ‘introductory’ pages say? What text font, colors, page dividers and ‘extras’ should I include? What is the cost per book? Use a well-known, reputable company that will take the time to ‘go over, and go over again’ everything with you.
A Marketing Marvel
Ok, so you’ve gathered your recipes, sent them off to the publisher, created a dazzling cover complete with your bio, contact information and marketing messages. Imagine the excitement and anticipation that this generates! Every person and restaurant that contributed a recipe has a personal interest in letting as many people know as they possibly can that their recipe is going to be published! The marketing possibilities are endless. You should begin your marketing campaign well in advance of the book’s arrival. Prepare gift certificates for ‘advanced’ purchases as presents for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. Hold drawings for complimentary books in exchange for client referrals. Create healthy recipe book gift-baskets. Establish relationships with like-minded health and beauty local businesses (salons, spas, massage therapists) and ask them to display your book for sale. Once your recipe book arrives, (usually about 45-60 days after submission), put the recipes into action! Bake a few things and prepare a book display at your facility. Hold a ‘cook-off’ contest and ask local merchants to donate prizes for the best tasting recipe. Invite a local, well-known chef to do a ‘tasting’ at your facility as a way to introduce new client prospects.
The Ultimate Payoff
For me, the most satisfying part of developing our own fit and healthy recipe book is that our clients and members of our community actually started eating healthier. Yes, you heard me correctly; we’re actually getting our clients and local community to eat healthier as a result of the recipe book. And it makes sense. People don’t think about the recipe book as yet another ‘diet’ or something they know they ‘need to do’. Instead, they have embraced the idea of cooking healthy because it’s fun and it gives them a sense of pleasure. All the pleading and lecturing about ‘this fat verses that fat’, didn’t come close to the amazing yet simple realization that if you give people fun and exciting ways to help them live healthier lives, they will use them.
Len Glassman is a certified personal trainer and certified health nutritionist with over 20 years of professional fitness experience. He is the founder of www.FitnessRecipeBook.com, a brand new marketing and healthy-eating concept designed to help health and fitness professionals prepare, create and publish their very own 'Fit & Healthy Recipe Book' by using step-by-step instructions via a downloadable 'Fitness Recipe Book Blueprint Kit'. He is also the owner of Personal Best Training & Pilates Center (www.pb-fitness.com) in Garwood, New Jersey, a highly specialized personal training and pilates studio comprised of professional, nationally certified personal trainers, pilates instructors and nutrition consultants. He can reached at 908-789-3337.
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