Online fitness ranked #1 on ACSM Health & Fitness Journal’s 2021 trends list. Convenience, comfort, savings on renting lockers, parking and saving for shy people: this is a great springboard for growth for both fitness club owners and trainers themselves.
How to instill in customers a love of sports on the web? Let’s discuss.
Online training has its pros and cons
- Ability to connect coaches from anywhere in the world
- The ability to build a client base from emails and “warm up” people with the automated email flow
- You can connect shy people to training that do not go to the gym
- Technical difficulties of training organization
- Lack of personal communication with clients
- It is more difficult for a coach to control the technique of performing exercises
How to move customers online: a step-by-step guide
If there are several trainers in your fitness club, you can connect each one to a separate target audience: someone will take on a weight loss marathon, someone will recover from injuries, others will take a course for young mothers, for example. Aim for the narrowest target audience, but try to reach as many narrow audiences as possible.
Create a template with training exercises for your typical client (3-4 variations) and a video library based on the template.
It is important to specify the intensity of the workout, the order of movements and the number of workouts per week.
This will greatly simplify life for both trainers and clients. With a list of exercises in hand, ideally record a video tutorial for the client on YouTube. It is likely that beginners with no experience in sports will come to you.
There are many options for where to start training:
– Webinar platforms like iSpring Learn, eTutorium.
– Live on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.
– Conference Venues: Xroom.app, Zoom, Skype
The last option, by the way, is good because the coaches can see their trainees and control the process of their training. In other cases, there is a possibility that after 10 minutes a person will turn off the air.
Even if your trainers are champions and you need to recoup your advertising budget, don’t play with high prices. People pay more for an offline gym because it is close to home. But, the web environment offers a huge selection of alternatives, including those outside the country. Set the online training cost at least 2 times, and ideally 3 times less than live.
Few people do this, but it’s what you should start with. You can allow yourself to not study the audience if you run workouts for existing loyal customers that you know everything about. In any other situation, try to learn more about your audience: ask about their state of health, training history, goals and level of motivation. Firstly, you will be able to control the load during training. On the other hand, this has an encouraging effect on the client: they feel special and are sometimes even ready to overpay for it. As for eCommerce, it can be implemented in the client Personal Profile. For example, the ability for a trainee (registered user) to specify health conditions and training history available for viewing for coaches (the chosen coach).
Quick start to launch an online gym
To sell the first fitness program online, a budget of $300-$500 is enough. It will be able to pay for:
- Some advertising;
- eCommerce site launch;
If your gym already has an impressive online audience, promoting online training will cost a little less, if you need to start from scratch, then it will be more expensive. In any case, the investment should pay off after 1-2 months of work. The profitability of online training is about 50%
And now let’s look at the 4 most popular ways to make money on online training:
Full-fledged training “From simple to complex”, where as a rule there are video tutorials, additional useful materials and feedback. It can take place both offline or in instant messengers.
You need to come up with and record a course, place it on your eCommerce fitness platform, run ads on it, connect people to training in time and track their progress.
A short series of workouts (usually a week) that you can even do on Instagram. It’s faster, cheaper, but less profitable. People can send reports to the coach directly in a messenger, and advertising can be limited to promoting posts for subscribers.
YouTube channel promotion
A long-term strategy that can work for you for many years. Next to short videos that stir up interest, there may be recorded courses with access via a link. Great alternative to learning platforms.
Modern platforms like CS-Cart with little customization can collect registrations or sell memberships to classes with your trainers. They can also send emails with automated mailing lists to the registered audience, freeing you from some of the chores.
Personal trainer brand
People go not to companies, but to people. Therefore, the first thing you should do is build a coach brand. Promote your Instagram account (ideally the business one), attract followers through ads, and keep posting regularly. It is better to systematically publish 2 posts a week than to do 5 at once once a month.
Below is a tentative media calendar for an online gym blog with headings:
- Sports and diet humor
- Healthy recipes
- Results: before and after
- Behind the scenes of gym life
- Training theory
- Posts about the life of coaches
- Customer reviews
- Promotions and discounts
- Games, contests, quizzes, discussions
- Emotional stories of the online gym attendants (goals, progress, and feedback)
To sum up
To build strong connections with your customers, running a social media network will not be enough. Ideally you need to bring all sources to one channel: your site. To make it work as an online gym with payment options, you will need to buy an eCommerce license fitting selling digital products (one-seller shop if you build a personal brand or a marketplace for ‘selling’ coaches’ courses), select the domain name and hosting, choose a theme, connect specific add-ons to air YouTube, Instagram or other media content right on your website, set up mailing. It’s almost done! Start building your online gym right now, to see the first results in the nearest time. We can help you with the technical part of the business!
Cases that can help in building an online gym
- Perfect Nails, a nail store
What to borrow: YouTube Video gallery with courses presentation
- SeeWhatHappens, online store selling glasses
What to borrow: Online Appointment Feature