Local businesses join forces to launch Chislehurst Fitness

Three members of the Visit Chislehurst Business Group have worked together to launch a new fitness business: Chislehurst Fitness.  Chislehurst Fitness launched in September last year, offering group outdoor fitness classes and personal training sessions at Walden Recreation Ground.
Chislehurst fitness bootcamp

Three members of the Visit Chislehurst Business Group have worked together to launch a new fitness business: Chislehurst Fitness.  Chislehurst Fitness launched in September last year, offering group outdoor fitness classes and personal training sessions at Walden Recreation Ground.

Sue Horler, Marketing Manager of Visit Chislehurst, spoke to Matt Venner, who founded and runs the fitness group, along with Mary and Mick Design and Sam Rumens from Marketing Pace.

Sue So tell us, Matt, how you came to work with Mary and Mick?

Matt Right from the start, I was keen that Chislehurst Fitness would be an active part of the town’s community. I signed up with Visit Chislehurst as soon as I could and I knew I wanted a local designer to help me with my logo. I had heard of Mary and Mick, I knew they had created fantastic brands for a number of local businesses, and I loved the idea of being able to meet a design team in person. I got in touch and we were able to meet up really quickly. We had a good chat and they asked lots of questions about how I wanted to run Chislehurst Fitness, what style of class I was offering and what kind of branding I was looking for. The conversation was both broad and specific. They took the time to get to know me and find out what I really wanted, and then we got down to the specifics of colour scheme preferences and what formats I would need the logos in.

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M&M It was lovely working with Matt, he was always smiling and positive. He admitted that running a business, marketing and branding were all new territories for him and that he was happy to be guided. After the initial meeting at which we got to know him, his new business and his target audience, we were able to start work. Matt’s positive attitude was inspirational and we quickly came up with several original ideas and presented a variety of initial logo concepts. One of these used Matt’s initials to create an eye-catching fitness design. It would have been perfect had he wanted a personal training business using just his name. But for a more general ‘Chislehurst Fitness’ logo, we played about with the letters CF, tried replacing letters with training equipment and active figures, and tried different blues and greens to represent the outdoors. A clear favourite emerged.

Matt It’s a bit of a cliché but although I didn’t know what I wanted in a logo, I knew I’d see the right one when I saw it. Mary and Mick came up with some ingenious designs, following the brief we had come up with, and many could have worked. But the one we opted for – with its simple colour scheme, the italicised text and the little running man – really stood out!

M&M When we present ideas we always tell clients to go with their gut instinct. A logo is a representation of someone’s business in a tiny form. It’s a very personal thing. You know when a logo is right for you and Matt was no exception. We worked with him to tweak the preferred logo until he was completely happy. When we got the go ahead, we converted the files into all the formats he would need for print and online media and sent them through.

Matt Being able to pick up the phone or drop in any time for a chat with Mary and Mick was a real comfort. I was learning all the time, constantly having new thoughts and ideas, but nothing was too much trouble. I love the logo, I think it works on all different media, both online and on physical products such as my advertising flags.

Sue So once you had established your brand identity, Matt, you contacted local business Marketing Pace to design a website and get support with your marketing and social media.

Matt Absolutely. I knew how to use personal Facebook and Instagram accounts but that’s about it. The worlds of branding, marketing and the use of social media for business purposes were all alien to me. I wanted Chislehurst Fitness to look smart from the off and I knew I needed help!

Marketing Pace

Sam The brilliant logo and concepts from Mary and Mick gave us a great foundation for the Chislehurst Fitness website. We worked closely with Matt to map out the website structure and we proposed a WordPress site that he could easily update. The site included a blog that he could add to himself, so as to provide regular and fresh content useful to his clients and helpful in driving traffic to the site. We also created a brief in advance of his photography shoot to ensure he had a stunning set of photos to use on the website and across his social media. Matt was happy writing his own copy, although we often help clients with this too, so we had plenty of great content to work with.

Matt What with the summer lockdown, home-schooling, and everything else 2020 thrown at us, starting up the business was pretty stressful. Sam helped take away some of this pressure by supporting me with the marketing and social media side of things.

Sam We worked with Matt, like many of our clients, on a flexible basis. As and when they need us, we offer guidance and advice, and we try to ensure that they have as much knowledge as possible so that, when they are ready, they can go it alone. We also offer monthly retainer packages for those businesses who need more regular and ongoing support.  We have worked with a number of other local businesses including Mottingham Hall Day Nursery and Forest School and Colfe’s Independent School in Lee. 

At our suggestion, Matt decided the best platforms for his business were Facebook and Instagram. We created banner images and a set of designed templates which could be adapted by Chislehurst Fitness to incorporate his key messages. It’s important for businesses to ensure a professional and consistent approach across all media.

M&M It was great seeing our initial logo-concept grow and roll out across leaflets, business cards, and flags as well as on Matt’s website and social media. It’s a great example of how different creative teams can work together to provide the best possible outcome for the client.

Sue So how is the marketing and social media going?

Sam With the support of Visit Chislehurst and the local community, one of Matt’s posts was seen by more than 4k people organically (without paid advertising) and he is regularly reaching 1-3k with his organic posts. This is a real achievement for a new business starting out.

Matt Marketing Pace gave me some excellent advice and tips with regards to social media, all of which were new to me. I knew as a start-up business, still testing the waters, I could not afford to commit to an ongoing social media package but Marketing Pace got me up and running. I know for certain that a huge part of my initial online reach was down to the support of Visit Chislehurst and the help and advice of Marketing Pace. The posts that Sue and her team kindly shared brought in a few of my first clients and I was over the moon to reach so many people. I am so please to have joined Visit Chislehurst; they have given a real boost to my business.

Sue It is fantastic to see local businesses supporting each other, particularly during such a difficult year. Our aim is to create a thriving and vibrant Chislehurst and we are proud to connect local businesses and see what they can achieve together. We are thrilled that the Chislehurst Fitness’ launch has been so successful and we are grateful to Mary and Mick and Marketing Pace for all their support helping Matt get his business off the ground.

If you are a small business looking for a new brand or for advice on the best way to get your brand out on social media, then why not get in touch with Mary and Mick and Marketing Pace. And if you need to get fit this New Year – perhaps after indulging just a little too much over Christmas! – get in touch with Matt or any of our other fantastic fitness instructors who are part of Visit Chislehurst. We wish all our members success for 2021 and we hope be able to report on many more of their accomplishments in the future.

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