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Shannon Fable

Shannon Fable is a sought-after speaker, author and thought leader in the area of fitness business development and strategic innovation. She has spent more than two decades helping impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, ACE, FIT4MOM® and BOSU® with business and program development. Fable served as chair of the ACE Board of Directors and is the co-founder of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud-based group fitness management tool that she successfully sold to Daxko in 2019. As a certified Book Yourself Solid® business coach, she helps fitness professionals navigate the industry to build scalable and sustainable careers.

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Article Archive

Self Promotion: The Keep In Touch Strategy

January 27, 2016

An automated Keep In Touch strategy is the cornerstone of self-promotion. The KIT approach helps you build your network and establish a base of enthusiastic fans who trust you and are interested in what you have to offer. The bigger your network, the more likely you are to be booked solid.

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Pleaser, Queen Bee, Sidekick: Handling Class Cliques

August 20, 2015

High school may have felt like the toughest time in your life. Navigating the social cliques was mentally draining and often confusing. After graduation, you hoped all that was behind you; however, fast-forward to modern-day group fitness studios and you may find yourself reliving some of your worst nightmares.

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Strategic Self-Promotion for Fitness Pros

August 16, 2015

Promoting yourself has never been easier. Free social media, affordable Web design and easily accessible graphic design provide ample opportunity to draw awareness to what you have to offer. But without a blueprint, you are wasting your time. Read on to uncover core self-promotion methods that can increase your business in less time than you think.

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GROOMing Habits, Part Two

May 15, 2015

If you’ve ever struggled to fill open classes or you’ve ever wanted more qualified fitness pros on your staff, it’s time to get proactive and ensure that you have the team of your dreams. GROOMing Habits is designed to arm you with the tools to make it happen. In the first installment, we covered Groundwork and Recruitment. Now let’s explore the final components: Options, Opportunity, and Manage & Meet Expectations.

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How to Deal With Class Cliques

April 19, 2015

High school may have felt like the toughest time in your life. Navigating the social cliques was mentally draining and often confusing. After graduation, you hoped all that was behind you; however, fast-forward to modern-day group fitness studios and you may find yourself reliving some of your worst nightmares. While the drama may not be as intense, there are still situations that require delicate handling.

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GROOMing Habits, Part One

February 23, 2015

Unless you’re extremely fortunate, quality instructors are not knocking down your door begging for work. Instead, you likely find yourself cycling through recently certified fitness pros who have little or no experience. They come, they go and you start over. The amount of time and attention you invest in staffing can take your eyes off the bigger picture, which is to help people get fit and healthy.

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LEAD or Get Out of the Way

March 20, 2014

When someone asks you what you do for a living, how do you respond? Perhaps you say you’re “a group fitness instructor,” “a yoga instructor” or “a Zumba® instructor.” The correct response is, “I’m a leader.” You do more than simply host amazing classes that help people get fit. It’s time to think bigger about who you are and what you do, if you truly want to Inspire the World to Fitness®.

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Core Off the Floor

May 23, 2013

?Instructors, it’s time to take your core work off the floor. There are many fantastic ground-bound exercises that target the core—and you should definitely keep them! However, if you learn how to “sneak” in core work while standing, every workout has the potential to enhance participants’ strength, power and functionality.

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A Better Way to Determine Class Value

March 21, 2013

Class value is in the eye of the beholder. Depending on where you’ve worked and what you’ve learned over the years, the metrics you use to review, modify or cancel a class can vary significantly.

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Top Fitness Instructors: What’s Their Secret?

December 13, 2012

In many sports the Most Valuable Player, or MVP, award is one of the most coveted. MVPs create big plays or big numbers—so picking candidates for the award isn’t too difficult. It may not be as simple to choose the MVPs among your group exercise instructors. First, there are no winners or losers in group exercise; ideally, we’re all trying to do the same thing. So figuring out who’s contributing the most is tough.

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Top 10 Traits of Group Exercise MVPs

September 7, 2012

In many sports the Most Valuable Player, or MVP, award is one of the most coveted. MVPs are chosen for creating big plays or big numbers. It may not be as easy to choose the MVPs among your group exercise instructors. First, there are no winners or losers in group exercise; ideally, we’re all trying to do the same thing.

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The Pros and Cons of Being a Hobby Instructor

February 16, 2012

The fitness industry’s reach extends far and wide. In venues ranging from small fitness studios in large cities to huge recreational health and fitness centers in small towns, scores of people rely on fitness professionals for guidance. While personal trainers bring in considerable revenue, group exercise (GX) instructors, on average, might actually “touch” more people. With this in mind, why aren’t there more opportunities for group fitness instructors to teach full-time? The answer is not that simple.

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The Centralized Portal

September 2, 2011

Whether you’ve been forced to overhaul your current communication strategy or you’re just making minor tweaks, it’s time to bring this column to a close. Here’s the new reality: If you expect to stay relevant as a manager, you need to think of staff as your “main audience.” Employees will react to your “performance” as any audience would. The challenge, however, is that your audience isn’t captive! You have to be crafty in your delivery and diligent in meeting each person where communication culture exists today. Otherwise, your messages may fall short.

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Creating an Online Community

August 30, 2011

Group fitness is the heartbeat of the facility, but not because of the blaring music or sweaty bodies. People exercise in groups for the motivation, accountability and energy it brings them. Wouldn’t it be great to capture this energy outside the studio? As instructors, we’ve tried almost every trick in the book to influence more end users, get more bodies in classes and help educate members. Despite this, we’re still reaching only a handful of people.

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The Benefits of Streamlined Communication

May 30, 2011

The previous three installments of this column have given you a bit to think about regarding your current communication situation. As the group fitness manager (GFM), you must balance multiple streams of input and output. You face daily communication challenges with instructors, club members and upper management. There’s no doubt you could be more productive if you spent time revamping protocols. However, it’s hard to find the time to set up those spiffy protocols when you have the weighty administrative tasks associated with being a manager.

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Advice from fitness club managers

How to Become a Fitness Manager

March 31, 2011

The pathway beyond group exercise instruction and personal training is not exactly clear cut. Fitness professionals realize early on that adding classes and clients to their already jam-packed, hectic schedules may not be the best use of their time. However, figuring out a way to increase stability and cash flow is challenging. Since most fitness professionals end up working for several facilities simultaneously and/or fend for themselves as independent entrepreneurs, finding a mentor can be tough.

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Manager Meltdowns

March 28, 2011

Regardless of how big or small your role is as group fitness manager (GFM), your success depends primarily on how effectively you communicate with a diverse audience. Each employee has a need to hear you, understand your message, store the information and act on it. Keeping employees informed can eat up a lot of time and may prevent you from getting to initiatives that could grow the business.

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Communication Conundrums: Instructor Issues

January 30, 2011

As we discovered in the previous installment of this column, group fitness managers (GFMs) are the communication hub connecting instructors, upper management, owners, members and others. This can leave you, as a GFM, overworked and misunderstood. It can also lead to major issues with instructors—issues that, if not addressed, can have a significant, negative effect on your program.

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The Leadership Labyrinth

November 22, 2010

Finding the key to effective communication within a fitness facility is a conundrum. With so many employees to manage, so many customers and potential customers to serve, and so many events to organize, group fitness managers may feel concerned that some information gets lost in translation.

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