After the wonderful response to last week's #WCW with Jessica McKee I suppose I had better keep this thing going! So here is my #WCW #2...
Rachel Holmes has spearheaded the Fitness Industry for over 20 years, been at the forefront of fresh thinking and keeping momentum going via her weekly Choreographytogo newsletter, has pioneered many a group-exercise and weight-loss programme and rules social media as the queen of fitness. All hail Miss Holmes!!
Me: Rachel, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I thought I'd flip reverse it and turn the tables as it's usually you doing the interviews or getting your pool of wonder women to contribute to your newsletter. Now it's your turn...
Your website, "Choreographytogo.com" says that your newsletter goes out to 45,000 instructors daily. (I'm sure it's much bigger than that- please feel free to correct my figures) When you first started it did you really understand the power of having a 'list' or was it a pleasant surprise?
Rachel: Its going to 76,000 people now including all of the new Kick Start Fat Loss subscribers so its quite a hefty list these days
I knew how VITAL having a list was early on. When I started my community classes I always got everyones postal address and phone number and would send postcards out snail mail style with my class details on. When I started doing education for Instructors, workshops & trainings I also created a database of addresses to send my information out to so of ouse with the advent of the internet and digital in 1997 I began getting email addresses as I could see this was FREE and so much easier than sticking stamps on postcards! It seemed like the dream idea -and I grabbed it with both hands.
Me: You've trained 3500 instructors in Fitness Pilates (including myself). If you could give me one tip about getting bums on seats with courses (RaveFit for example) what would it be? (Cheers!! Lol)
Rachel: Be YOU. Be Authentic and Be CONSITENT. Sorry Zoe that's 3…. Consistency in my book is KING or Queen. ;-)
Me: I can be so rubbish at being consistent, must try harder! You're always at the forefront of what's going on in social media. How do you keep up and decide what to put your time and energy into?
Rachel: Probably as I'm obsessed! LOL
I love communicating with people both in person and on social media. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to go to sleep as I enjoy what I do so much, it never feels like work and I LOVE the new platforms - I reckon me, you and Jo Parry were the first UK Fitpros who used to really work MySpace then we jumped over to Facebook as soon as it dropped… I can’t recall many others being as early adopters as we were.
I just go with how I feel about a platform right now I’m getting ADDICTED to Periscope……. I read, I love VIDEO stuff. Love to get my head in front of the camera, me! I always wanted to be on TV and tried so many times so now I figure I'll create my own live TV via social media!
Me: What drives you? What gets you up at ridiculous o'clock in the morning?
Rachel: Well I got up at 4am to write this for you, Miss McNulty —— EXCITEMENT I truly enjoy every day and what it brings.
Me: (Very much appreciated btw) How do you structure your day? When do you workout? When do you cook/prepare your meals etc?
Rachel: I LOVE to get up super early and write. At least for the first hour. I train then for myself either run - I’m a total plodder and listen to podcasts or books when I run or if Im pushed for time Ill do a 10minute HIIT at home. Lauren who is my Social Media Manager comes in about 7am and we have a brainstorm and set up projects for the day. I teach classes most mornings at Virgin or David Lloyd. Im back in the office by 11:30 and we film cooking videos, workouts, VLOGs and then the afternoon is spent on projects… I tend to lose concentration about 5/6 so I may take a class with Jayne Nicholls we have been going to Cross Fit which I enjoy or tonight we are going to the Buddest Centre in Derby for Meditaion. I could easily keep working through but I do try and do other things!
Me: KSFL (Rachel's Kick Start Fat Loss programme and franchise business) has absolutely exploded and is getting great results across the nation. I see many ladies in the press having shed stones and changed their lives. Tell me about the involvement with the NHS.
Rachel: Its been a tough one. The NHS are so very stuck in a very old style model of eating and NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) move very very slowly. We have made in roads with the NHS but I think its going to be a slow process making big change. I'm thinking about getting involved with politics and government. It may be a faster route to spreading the clean eating, cooking from scratch, sourcing local produce message. I've always been interested in politics and my friend Sarah Jane Walls in Glasgow stood for the SNP in Scotland and we have been talking about this a lot recently. Who knows… I'm defiantly open to to it!
Me: Wow! Where else in the world do you have franchisees? Did I see you take a trip to Dubai to launch there?
Rachel: YES I went to Dubai and there is a lot of interest of there. We have Ireland. Gibraltar. Jersey, of course Scotland. I had several meetings over in the US recently as well.
Me: Was it a difficult process to create the franchise business?
Rachel: Yes and No. Its been a HUGE workload and I have learned SO much. Managing a team of people, helping them run their businesses, advising and motivating and coming up with new plans, marketing and PR is something I thrive on. For a while I solidered on alone but you can’t do it all. No one can so I know have employed a team who all contribute to the Kick Start Business. WE use social media so much that its almost like running a 24 hour 7 day a week TV channel providing great content. Lesley is my personal PA. Lauren is my Social Media & Project Manager. Keeley runs the KSFL Twitter & Instagram and then of course I havethe amazing Kelly Reed-Bansks who manages Fitness Pilates and Nicola who tutors the qualifications for us.
Me: How can people become a franchisee or join the programme for weight loss?
Rachel: If you are really ready to step up and join the fastest growing lifestyle brand then contact me as Id love to chat with you. If you have a studio KSFL fits in so well with your timetable especially if you have members going to slimming clubs they should be coming to YOU! And if you want to join one of the detoxes of clubs head over to kickstartfatloss.net
Me: What advice would you have for your teenage self?
Rachel: Don’t waste time on inappropriate boyfriends!
Me: (Oh that is a good one!) What advice do you have for other women in the fitness industry and in general?
Rachel: If you have an idea make a plan and go for it. There has never been a better time to launch your stye/brand/class with social media. ANYONE can do it. You can overcome technical challenges by outsourcing stuff you can’t do and focus on stuff you and enjoy. Think about your idea. Will you STILL be as passionate about this in 6 months. In 1 year. In 5 YEARS?
Me: What do you see the future holding for you in an ideal world?
Rachel: Business-wise KSFL as established as the number one Diet, Fitness & Lifestyle Club worldwide. I want to open KSFL Transformation Centres and Kick Start Healthy Delis for which I'm looking for commercial proerpty right now.
Personally - more travelling. I LOVE travel I just got bak from the US and I soon as I touched down at Heathrow I started planning my next trip!
Thank you so much to Rachel for these answers, they've certainly given me food for thought and motivation and I'm sure her words will be resonating with hundreds of you out there. If you don't get Rachel's newsletters yet sign up here and be sure to check out KSFL and please do leave a comment below!
To all my #WCWs, have a Wonderful Wednesday!