As a fitness professional, you are facing a major shift businesswise, which could be overwhelming. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new normal means working mostly online, but that doesn’t mean your business can’t thrive. You are probably wondering what shifting to an online fitness program really means. Here is a breakdown of all the steps you need to make to develop an online training program that your clients will cherish.
Get to know your clients and their needs
Once you start the digital fitness journey, you won’t be able to talk to your customers like you used to do in the gym. Instead of that, you need to focus on a certain type of people you want to work with and define your target clients.
Whether you want to engage working people who don’t have much time, fitness enthusiasts, old people with reduced mobility, or people who want to be stronger – your program will differ a lot. Don’t try to engage them all, because your program won’t suit anyone. The general advice is not to be too general.
Once you figure out your target audience, it is time to learn their habits, wishes, and needs. Even though you are not going to talk to people, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get to know them and learn what they want to achieve.
Research what is the problem they want to solve with home workouts and focus on the solution. While offering your workout plan, people who are already looking for answers to their problems might come across your program and try it out. Client retention is what you need to focus on.
Create a workout program outline
Don’t go into too much detail at this point, because you still don’t have the final product that people will want to buy or that it is a great fit for your clients. Instead, try to make an outline that will cover the basics. Select your primary exercises, secondary exercises, cardio options, warm-up routine, and stretching out routine. Make a weekly plan of the things you want to achieve with your clients. Besides pre-recorded and live stream classes, you can think a bit beyond and consider making interviews, infographics, articles, written guides, etc.
Consider making a nutrition plan outline as well. You already know that many clients will ask you about what to eat. Remember who your target audience is and think about their eating habits. Slowly get your clients to eat healthy while introducing meals with common groceries.
Think about how you want to deliver your online program – the technology structure
When deciding what kind of platform you want to use, always have in mind your target audience and how they like to communicate. You can make your online fitness program available as an audio guide, written guidelines, and/or create workout videos.
Think about what you want to offer and which platform can communicate all that. If a social media platform works for you – that’s great! But, you should research how you can make a profit there because some are very hard to monetize.
If you want to offer customized workout plans, a branded fitness app might be a good solution for you. With an app, you can ask some questions before offering workout and nutrition plans. You can really get to know the people who use it, collect their contacts, and get feedback. And developing an app doesn’t have to take a lot of your time. There are already developed white label solutions, such as the one from the Lean On Digital team. You can use their tech solution to make your app feel and look just like your brand, and choose which features to include in it, so that it suits your expertise.
One important issue you need to think about is a content management system. Once you start making your program, you will have a lot of content that needs to be managed. Especially if you work in a team where a few people create content. You will need a content plan and to keep track of what is happening with it. Lean On Digital can help you with that, too. With their Content Management System you can easily upload workout videos, write blog posts and post engaging fitness-related content to your branded app.
Promote your workout program
Even before you are done with creating in detail an online fitness program, you should start promoting it. Unless your target group is teenagers, you will want to collect your potential clients’ emails. You can do that by creating lead magnets – a free item or service (such as e-books, personal sessions, etc) that you give away to gather contact information. A lead magnet can make an immense email list of your future clients, who are already interested in learning something from you.
Fitness challenges are a great way for personal trainers to find new clients. Use all of the features of social media platforms together with hashtags that are both specific and general and spread the word about your workout challenge. Ask the contact details of people who want to participate. You can later send them some other valuable free content via email and let them know that your online fitness program is available.
Deliver the online fitness program
This is the part you already know how to do. Use your knowledge to make a program that will suit your target group and help them get results. But, since you are making an online program, you need to work on client motivation and making them feel comfortable with your product.
First, you need to make welcome content so that people who first came across your platform know what to expect. And after that, focus on the program itself. Always have in mind clients’ motivation and how to hold them accountable. Otherwise, they will not get the results they expected and ultimately stop working out.
You can make your clients accountable in several ways – create live stream workouts, on-demand workouts, and fitness challenges; regularly communicate with your clients to see how they are doing and at the same time get some feedback; create groups of clients so that they can motivate each other and feel a responsibility to keep a healthy routine; make a reward system for successful members.
That’s why you need to make progress tracking possible with your fitness program. That’s the best way to keep your clients motivated and to get feedback on how the program suits them.
Re-think the process
The coronavirus pandemic changed the way everything works, so it is advisable to re-think your program or working processes from time to time. Ensure that your target group finds the program effective and adjust it a little bit to improve it.
If it is possible, try out your program with a test group. Get their feedback during the whole workout process and adjust the program accordingly. Also, communicate with your clients and get their impressions of the program. Their wishes and goals might change over time and you need to be prepared for that.
Now you are ready to do online business
Even though there are a lot of things you need to think about and figure out, shifting to an online business model doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Try to use as many already developed solutions as you can and make the transition easier. Take time to devise a plan that includes every step and you’ll be making a successful online fitness program plan!