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Monday
Nov072011

Tickling the Industry’s Funny Bone  

By Craig R. Waters

“Members who pay late will be sent to our very effective collections team.”

A funny sign, right? One that, at least theoretically, you might be tempted to post in your own club.

It and the other examples posted below are the handiwork of Hossein Noshirvani, the executive vice president of Motionsoft, Inc., a Rockville, Maryland-based company that provides member relationship management software and billing services.

Noshirvani is quite serious when it comes to business, but he also has a keen sense of humor and a clever way with words. For the past year, he’s been creating and posting Motionsoft’s “Top 10 Signs We’d Like to See in a Gym” on The Circuit, the firm’s weekly health and wellness blog.

The Circuit offers lighthearted, but acute observations on a wide variety of industry topics, giving Motionsoft the opportunity to reach out to new people without “selling” its services, and also allows it to offer its thoughts about ways to improve the industry.

“The ‘Top 10 signs’ began as a way to let people ‘take a week off’ from the more serious topics in our blog,” explains Noshirvani, “but when readership shot through the roof, we realized that maybe giving people a quick laugh about the fitness experience had even more value.” Now, when new “Top 10 Signs” are posted, they not only quadruple the blog’s normal weekly readership, but also propagate a host of e-mail forwards and reposts on Facebook, making it a viral success.    

“The textbook answer to why we started making 'Signs' is that the key to social/nontraditional media is to create content that people actually want to engage with,” says Noshirvani “But the real reason is that it gives us a chance to remind people that many of the challenges fitness operators experience are shared by others in the industry. Some of that we can fix with smart technology that helps gyms get, keep, and know their members better and more efficiently. But the rest…well you know—sometime you have to just laugh and keep on trying new things!”

Keep your eyes peeled for other “New Signs” here and elsewhere in the future.

Reader Comments (1)

This is great! It re-introduces a little bit of individuation from one club to another. This is important, because in the old days, before chains, clubs/gyms had their own character. And I think in some respects, we moved too far the other way, with a sort of banal, look-alike model. So I think introducing individual character -- via humor -- can be an effective way to distinguish yourself. Vinko. Ivanko Barbell. www.ivankobarbell.com facebook.com/ivankobarbell
November 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIvanko Barbell

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