Taking your fitness business online will be made or break during the Coronavirus pandemic situation. There are, however, many apps & services that can help, from streaming services on YouTube to online classes with conferencing software such as Zoom or Skype.
Great challenges can fuel us to pivot and innovate within our current businesses. If going online is not something you have done before then this might not only enable your business to survive in a lower footfall environment but also thrive once the initial challenge has been overcome, and it will be overcome.
If you are thinking there are thousands of videos of exercises and workouts on YouTube then you are absolutely right and yes if someone wants to know how to do a squat exercise or get a 20 minute HIIT workout they will have lots of options and all for FREE.
So why bother? Because you have a captive audience and they want to learn from YOU. If they wanted the FREE videos on YouTube, they would already be doing it.
Why choose you?
Might seem like an odd question however when you run a personal health and fitness service whether that’s personal training or group fitness classes you clients come because of you, yes you, they actually have an awful lot of choice and so just because there are already many ways they could achieve their fitness goals with online programmes and apps. They don’t. Why? Because of you.
This puts you in a very unique position with a highly captive audience that wants to be taught, trained and motivated by you. Your clients have aligned them self’s with your beliefs which you passionately and relentlessly deliver time after time. They know you know your stuff and want to learn from your expertise. you’ve just trumped ever generic app on the market so now it’s time to take advantage.
Routine, as you will know, is critically important for health and fitness and your clients just like you will rely on it to achieve those goals. These routines are likely going to be taking some major disruption over the coming weeks and months.
Your role as a fitness professional is to guide your clients through this time of uncertainty. There are hurdles you will need to overcome but it will be worth it. Your goal is not to help your client. Your pricing structure is going to be deferent so is your content and how you deliver it. Remember I said they want you, well it’s time to deliver.
What can you do?
- Persona Trainers = online PT sessions and fitness programmes
- Group fitness instructors = online and pre-recorded classes
- Studios = live classes, check-ins and one to one coaching.
Things to consider
- Changes to your clients/customers routines, income and free time.
- Music Licencing
I got this, I’ll just charge them same as what I do now. That might work but it’s unlikely I doubt your personal training client will pay you the same price to video call them for an hour as they do for you to come to their house with all the equipment and deliver a well-planned training session. Ok, I know it no just a video call but my point is we need to find an achievable and realistic way to deliver your services.
Try a monthly fee, although we could itemise every video call and email and bill our clients for it, we shouldn’t. It’s not friendly, simple and we’re not lawyers.
The simpler the better, charging monthly is defiantly one of the best ways to bill for any service and even more so when it comes to bringing your services online.
For example, if you are a personal trainer and you normally train your client once per week. Maybe you can offer a one hour guided video call workout along with everything else they should be getting anyway. Unlimited support, motivation and guidance. At home workouts and training plans and frequent check-ins for a monthly fee. It depends on your demographic but £60 to £100 per month seems realistic for such a service.
Group exercise instructors could offer monthly memberships for live group video classes. You could also record the class and add that to your content or re-sell it afterwards.
Keep your pricing simple with as few options as possible ideally just one. E.g a monthly membership. Does Netflix have a price for their monthly subscription and to buy a film separately? No. Enough said.
Changes to your clients routines, income and free time
Your client’s routines will change. It’s fairly easy to say ok I’ll deliver this service online but remember your client had also had to deal with a lot of changes. Working from home, children at home, no clubs to take kids to give them free time. You will need to understand and accommodate these changes.
Your client’s income may have dropped, they could be now be relying on sick pay or other compensation. Will they still have the funds to be able to pay for your services? Even more, reasons to switch to a monthly service where you can deliver content to multiple clients at a cheaper rate
The reason why your classes are safe and effective is that they are being taught by a fitness professional that can check technique and ensure participants are performing safe exercise and therefore less likely to cause injury.
This is why although most insurance companies WILL still cover you to provide online classes they generally have a couple of stipulations.
- You must be able to see all the participants
- There will be a cap on number who can join, normally around 6-8
Call up your insurance company before commencing a class online.
If you are playing music to a group via an online class it will need to be royalty-free or you will need a music license.
If you upload content to youtube or Facebook or another service it will be detected, copyrighted and taken down.
How can you deliver your services
For 1 to 1 coaching and training
- Facebook Live
For group sessions
- Google Hangouts
- PRO – Allows you to all participants, should be OK for groups of 6 or less.
- PRO – Free to use.
- CON – Participants can see each other.
- PRO- Allows you to see all participants, should be ok for small groups.
- PRO – Free to use, has a 40-minute cap.
- CON – Participants can see each other.
- Facebook Live to Facebook Group
- PRO – Free and easy to access
- CON – you can not see other participants, might not meet some insurance criteria.
For Delivering online content
Don’t get overwhelmed
You have likely heard a lot of talk about going online and likely you went into a panic, it’s almost like starting a new business but don’t overthink this. Sure, this could become an extra revenue stream but for now, your goal is to continue to provide value to your existing audience.
You don’t need fancy platforms ora new website you just need a way of communication to your clients. That’s it. they will pay you, perhaps a reduced fee but they will pay.
I’ll say it again, they have signed up to YOU.
Things to avoid
- Refunding everyone
- Offer vouchers/credits for the future
- Cancelling monthly subscriptions
- Reduce and continue to provide service online.
Things to DO
- Use social media effectively
- Continue to deliver content & advice
How can you charge your clients
If you don’t already have a means of charging your clients you’ll need a method of doing so and again keeping it simple wins here every time. If you have a solid piece of software that can also do this for you like MindBody, Trainerize or Class For Kids if yous sessions are aimed at kids then great. If not here are some options