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The Nitty Gritty

  • How Lauren and Jason Pak, cofounders of Achieve Fitness, use their Instagram to educate and inspire their audience — and why they chose Instagram as Achieve Fitness’ main marketing platform
  • What their weekly social media schedule looks like and how they plan, create, and edit that content
  • How the first four years of business helped the duo master the day-to-day operations and why they now feel confident to delegate to team members
  • What their strategy for hiring new team members looks like and how they infuse empathy and kindness into everything they do, including weekly team meetings

Lauren and Jason Pak are the cofounders of Achieve Fitness, a gym based in Boston, Massachusetts. While personal fitness is what they do, their why is even more compelling. This husband-wife team set out to change the industry: they want to make the fitness industry a more approachable and positive place to be.

While the pair got into personal training by accident in 2007, their approach to growing their business is anything but accidental. They’re extremely intentional about their core values and building that into everything they do at Achieve Fitness, from planning and creating Instagram posts to hiring new coaches.

Listen to the entire episode to hear more from the Paks and definitely check out their 5 Year Business Anniversary video on YouTube to see their story in action.

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Translating your core values into your social media content

“It’s our mission not just to change our gym and our area but we really want to change the way that the fitness industry approaches helping people. We felt like, especially on social media, a lot of what happens is trainers trying to show off what they could do in order to impress other people. What was actually happening was they were intimidating other people.” — Lauren Pak

Lauren and Jason were frustrated by the fitness industry. To them, it felt unapproachable and inaccessible — and they saw that same theme extend to social media. The majority of posts that they saw were trainers showing off — and in a way, they felt, making fitness intimidating for others.

When it came to crafting their own social media presence, they decided to do things differently and made it easier for people to feel that being healthy and fit was possible for them.

We really had to take a step back and say: are we doing this for other coaches? Or are we doing this to make a positive impact on the industry? That means we need to simplify things and make it much more approachable and much more accessible,” Jason said.

Planning a weekly social media strategy

“We’re spending about 15-20 hours on social media creation so it’s pretty much a part-time job. We were only recently able to get involved with it since we were able to develop a really strong team at the gym.” — Jason Pak

For the first four years of business, Jason and Lauren were deep into the day-to-day necessities. But now that they’ve hired out some of those responsibilities, they have more time to translate their vision into Instagram content that attracts a worldwide audience. You can see their entire Instagram feed by clicking here.

At the heart of what they post is the desire to educate people. They schedule in a weekly meeting where they plan the content for the week, including taking photos and videos. Then, they post videos and demos, with a focus on proper form, like how to improve their pull ups or deadlift without hurting their back.

But they don’t just show how to do exercises properly — they also write a long description. “It doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong if you’re doing it this way,” Lauren says, “it’s just that you can tweak it to be better, you can improve your form, and you can hopefully not injure yourself with this type of movement if you do it this way instead.”

Infusing your values during hiring and developing a team

“Our interviews are not: what was your degree, what is your experience with coaching, because we know we have the experience to be able to teach them those things. The questions are more about: who are you as a person? Do you align with our core values? Are you going to be a positive, friendly face when somebody walks in the door? Are you going to be inclusive, supportive person? Those are the questions that we ask in different ways to get a really good sense of who they are at their core so that we know they’re going to be a good fit for the team.” — Lauren Pak

As you’ve read, Lauren and Jason care deeply about helping others. That core value is embedded in everything they do down to how they hire team members. As Lauren shares, they aren’t worried about hiring experienced coaches: instead, they want to find kind people who fit their company ethos and mission.

Today, the Achieve Fitness team consists of four full-time coaches, an office manager, two part-time coaches, and four front desk and Shake bar enthusiasts. And they don’t only hire according to their values — they also develop their team in the same way.

For example, every team meeting begins with feel-good moments from the week. “The first thing is never going to be: here what we need to do better because our numbers are down. It’s more like: what happened this week that made you feel really good?”

And every team meeting ends with a team high five. Together with their team, Jason and Lauren are transforming their local community for the better through their gym, hand in hand.

Hear more from Lauren and Jason Pak on this episode of What Works.

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