The fitness world has experienced a revolutionary shift in the past year. When asked how that’s changed the skill set needed to excel in this new environment, MyFitPod™ Co-Founder Rodney J. Morris, put it this way: “Today’s fitness professional must be competent and confident delivering fitness experiences using technology. Period.”
If you’re one of the fit pros who has tried to transition from in-person to online, you know how overwhelming and stressful it can be. Getting online, finding the best streaming platform, getting the equipment you need to record, edit, and post your content, learning to deliver pre-recorded and virtual sessions, and having the confidence and know-how to market yourself and ask followers to become customers … it’s a lot.
Some of you are still too frustrated or discouraged to make the leap. You’re waiting for things to get back to the way they used to be. Well, you might have a very long wait because those days will probably never come back. Even when we’ve gotten back to zero new cases of COVID, the genie isn’t going back into the bottle. Your students now have developed different habits, they interact with the world differently. Fitness seekers know now that they can get a highly customized experience of convenient fitness with great trainers, without paying a monthly membership, and without leaving home.
Now they’re looking for someone they can follow and be inspired by in a way that fits into their daily life. For them, fitness has become infinitely more accessible in terms of time, location, and convenience, and they’re not about to let go of that. And for the people who have never set foot in a gym because they didn’t think they’d fit in, now there are endless opportunities for them to work out in the place they are most comfortable- their home.
Ultimately, this makes it harder for fit pros to connect with new followers and keep them engaged because, right now they’re being inundated with offers from all the other fitness presenters who are also just getting into the virtual game. And it won’t take long for consumers to establish new habits and new favorites. So now’s the time to put yourself out there so you can be part of that new routine, before it’s too late.
The shift to online has provided an opportunity to remove old boundaries. You need to cultivate a following- not just in the local area that you marketed to before, but everywhere else in the world. That means that while you’re still delivering in-person classes when you can, you’re also live-streaming classes that provide virtual interaction with clients, and you’re building a library of on-demand offerings for times that you can’t do it live, so your followers can train with you whenever they want to.
Fit pros need to connect and communicate with their clients in a completely different way now. Teaching online isn’t the same as teaching in person. Everything from greeting clients to engaging with them and cueing them is different online. Fitness presenters who are shining in the virtual world are those who aren’t trying to replicate the in-person experience, rather, they realize that online is a distinctly different experience that can be just as valuable, engaging and effective.
And not only do you need to be able to guide experiences through a camera now, managing your time when you’re not teaching has taken on a whole new importance. Fitness professionals aren’t just trading time for dollars anymore, because planning, prepping, downloading, uploading, communicating, troubleshooting, and marketing all take time, and they all happen before and after the times that you are working with clients, getting paid.
So, what you need to do is combine technology, accessibility, and availability with your pre-existing staggering talent. You need to appeal to the consumer that wants what they want when they want it in the way that they want it. And you need to do it now.