Starting an Online Fitness Business:Website, Branding and Marketing

It has been over 6 months since the catastrophic virus outbreak and yet all walks of life and businesses around the globe are being affected. Though the stern rules and regulations are being pardoned to some extent, people are still extremely skeptical about going to places that are expected to be crowded. And one such sector that has been badly affected due this pandemic is the fitness business.

Be it personal trainers or the gyms everything has been shut with no business affecting the livelihood of hundreds of people. But the virtual podium has been the saving grace. Though initially there were doubts regarding the experience and how the classes might be, it has now become the most efficient and sustainable way to exercise. It has paved the way for people to have a flexible schedule as they get to exercise comfortably, whenever they want. Hence if you are still thinking whether or not to start your own online fitness regime, no need to second guess yourself. It has now become a tried and proven method of successful fitness coaching.

In this article we have procured a few helpful tips and points regarding how to start an online fitness business. This brief guide will take you through –

a. Planning phase
b. Collating your course materials
c. Building your online platform
d. Branding and Marketing

Let’s get started!

1. How to find your niche:

This is the major question you need to answer for yourself. This is what will help you gain the attention of your audience and boost them to choose you over others. Not only the usual exercises, there are many other alternatives that people prefer too. For example – A Canadian based company, Mindbody has recorded the below trends that people are opting for virtual training.

Topping the list is Yoga which is making up 32% of all its virtual bookings with an average of nearly 22,000 bookings per day. Following yoga, the next most popular virtual bookings are High Intensity Interval Training (15.6%), then comes Pilates (8.3%) and many more. There has also been an increase in demand for virtual meditation classes.

Keeping all these points in mind, study your customer base, think out of the box and make a Brand for yourself. The below pointers will help you get traction on how you want to portray your business and what kind of audience you want to train.

  • What is your parent market?

Eg: Weight loss, general health, bodybuilding, sports training etc

  • What do you specialize in?
  • Any sub-market you want to concentrate on?
  • Is there a category of audience you want to target? Etc

2. Developing an online platform:

All of us judge a book by its cover. If customers are not hooked to the website the first time they visit, they will totally lose interest in your virtual product. Hence your website plays a major role in promoting and retaining your customer base.

Before you dive in to develop a website you need to know what all an online fitness website should feature. This will help you not only build a robust and eye catchy website but also help in choosing the right developer and the method to build the website.

  1. Efficient panels for admin, trainers and trainees
  2. Personal profile pages
  3. Multiple login options
  4. Multiple payment options
  5. Workout listing panel with filter, sort and search options
  6. Site Security
  7. Easy Navigation
  8. Review and rating with FAQ
  9. Customer care with chatbots
  10. Loyalty programs and discount coupons

There are three ways in which you can build your own website.

  1. On your own, from scratch
  2. Hiring a team to build your website
  3. Using a turnkey solution

We would suggest you to choose turnkey solution as it is the one which is economically more efficient and the time required to launch your website is also is drastically reduced.

There are many turnkey solutions providers.

Eg: GoTo Meetings, Pinlearn, WizIQ etc

3. Compiling training course materials:

Based on what you choose to be your target audience and your niche, your course material will depend on. Fitness or anything related to health is one among the most cautious markets to be in. One wrong move can do as much damage as a motor accident. Hence you should be extra cautious while formulating a routine according to the specific groups.

First you might want to set a template for all your routines.

  1. Programming considerations: Like – number of sets, reps, rest, and tempo
  2. Order of workout schedule
  3. Workout schedule for the week

Given this is not face-to-face training shooting and uploading video is compulsory. Hence, first document your workout plan on a spreadsheet to keep track of it. Key point here is to keep the video as simple as possible. Here are a few tips that will help you to make a good workout video-

  1. No sound, however you could use a some suitable music
  2. Good lighting
  3. Show at least two full reps
  4. Keep each exercise demo up to 20 to 25 seconds long

There is no harm in sharing workout videos of others on your online platform as well. But make sure you maintain all the data on a spreadsheet so that you don’t lose track of what all you have procured.

4. Marketing your business:

How much ever attractive or efficient your website might be, without proper traffic it is as good as any other non-functional website. According to Entrepreneur.com’s business encyclopedia, “branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products”. Out-of-the-box thinking is what will get you to your desired success level.

Content is the key to any website. Think from the shoes of the customers you want to attract. What would they want to see? What are they looking for?

Workout tips, exercise instructions, diet plans, and just about anything the fitness professionals might offer. Now that people are so connected via the internet, there are many ways in which you can market yourself by attracting their attention.

  1. Social Media Marketing
  2. Email Marketing
  3. Influencer Marketing
  4. Share customer testimonies, reviews and ratings
  5. Blogging
  6. Newsletters etc

A study by Mindbody showed that there was a huge jump in consumers accessing virtual content since March of 2020. Especially given everyone was forced to work from home and all the fitness centers were shut.

73% of them use pre-recorded video versus 17% in 2019.

85% use livestream classes weekly versus 7% in 2019.

Online fitness classes are here to stay! Therefore, this is the right time for you to have chosen to build your very own virtual fitness business! If you need help or need any information and guidance regarding any of the above, do leave us a message!

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