As COVID-19 forced gyms and fitness studios to close, trainers and instructors quickly adapted to fit consumer demands. In a matter of days, a new industry norm was shaped in the form of at-home workouts through Instagram Live, Zoom, online personal training and much more. With the hopeful end of the pandemic in sight, many fitness instructors are considering how this time will shift their future business model.
This new era offers an opportunity for fitness instructors to move entirely to a virtual platform, or to expand their in-person business while creating another line of revenue with online offerings. In either case, competing in a crowded virtual market requires business owners to create a seamless offering that stands out to prospective clients.
Here are my eight tips that can help any fitness expert craft an online offering poised for success:
We’ve all been on Zoom calls where someone has bad lighting, poor audio or simply doesn’t know how to position a camera. While that might be fine when you’re jumping out of the shower and onto a quick meeting, it is not going to work when selling your fitness classes online.
Low-quality production is akin to having dirty towels strewn about your studio. Your virtual platform is your new studio, and it must be professional. Invest in a good camera, lighting equipment and a quality microphone. Try out several platforms like Zoom, Namastream, or Facebook live and see what works best for you.
Set the Stage
Create a space in your home that is visually appealing. It should be attractive, free of clutter, and most importantly, free of distractions. Remember, this is your business. Barking dogs and screaming kids don’t qualify as “zen” or “me” time.
Offering classes online is the same as offering classes in a gym. Create and post a consistent weekly schedule and stick to it. Your students are counting on class being held when it is scheduled, the same way they would in a brick-and-mortar gym.
As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to wear many hats and one of those is to recruit clients. One of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to market your online offerings is through social media. Pick a few channels like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, to build an audience of potential clients. Make sure you have unique profiles and post regularly.
Remember that social media is about being social, not selling. Focus on what you have to offer, rather than a hard sell. A great way to do this is to offer quality free content like health and wellness tips, an eBook, or newsletter that will gently guide your followers to your paid content.
Also, you may want to consider investing in paid advertisements to boost your presence. In these times, it can be difficult to gain the traction you’ll need to build your business using solely organic reach.
Make It Easy
When selling an online course, funneling prospective clients through the purchasing cycle is important. If it’s too complicated or too long of a process, they’ll lose interest and bail. Make sure that you use payment processing systems that are both common and simple enough for anyone to use, such as Venmo, Stripe, PayPal and credit card payments.
Expand Your Offers
The more customized you make your offerings, the broader appeal you’ll have. In addition to selling single classes, consider offering packages of five or ten classes, monthly subscriptions, or private classes.
Once you have built a base of loyal clients, make sure to get their feedback. They are the best source for what is working and what you can improve. Your clients are also a goldmine to learn what additional classes and offerings they’d be interested in, so you can continue to expand your business.
Create a Community
People have never felt more isolated and alone than they have the last year. Use your platform to connect your clients and help them build a community and connections. It’s also a great way for clients to find accountability partners to help keep them on track in maintaining their goals. Use Facebook to create a private group to interact.
The new way we work, and workout, will continue to evolve in 2021. As we head into the new year, savvy instructors will adapt with the ever-changing landscape and take it as an opportunity to expand their business proactively.
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