How to Build Your Online Fitness Studio From Scratch?
t never could’ve been easier or profitable to upstart your online studio venture than now. We all know 2020 was like unwanted detention that bound you to the confines of a single room.
But along came so many ways and means to go beyond the restrictions little by little. So when people couldn’t go out to their studios and gyms and fitness classes, the fitness pros identified this problem and found out its solution. Online.
Now we know that Online Fitness is nothing new. It has been in existence for long. It’s simply that the present scenario provides it the most fertile ground to thrive beyond par.
As the owner of an offline fitness shop who spent a good time building his or her personalized adobe, it must be intimidating to take a step forward towards an online venture. But don’t worry. Fitness studio softwares exist for a reason!
Here in this blog post, we will provide you a step-by-step framework about how you should set up your online fitness studio in practically no time.
So let’s begin, shall we!
01. Find Your Market Demand
Demand is what sells. It’s important no doubt. You don’t want to sell a course online or build an online yoga studio that no one wishes to visit. Right?
That’s why you should search around and figure out if demand for your fitness offering exists or not. Here are the places you should ideally look around.
- Other Online Fitness Studios
- Blogs, Forums, Communities
- Online Store: Books & Equipment
- Trainers & Consultants
- Networks and Associations
- Friends & Families
- Workshops & Live Sessions
All these platforms will help you figure out if there’s an audience out there somewhere who is actively seeking the fitness trend that you wish to specialize in.
02. Decide Your Genre
Aerobic. Boot Camp. Circuit. Crossfit. Barre. HIIT.
There are so many fitness types. Which one have you mastered? Which one do you wish to master?
If you have always specialized in one of the above types then things should be simple for you. You can certainly stick to what you taught offline. Maybe you owned a yoga studio and still wish to teach the same curriculum in the form of live yoga online
However, if you think that entering into a new fitness segment say Crossfit or Barre is viable, then start working towards acquiring trainers and/or experience in that segment.
Either way, for starters it's best to stick to one fitness type, and then add on more fitness genres (if you wish to) as you move along.
03. Research Hard
You’re stepping into a field that’s not new. You can always learn from other fitnesspreneurs who’ve set up their online studios successfully. But on the contrary, you also got these other stuio owners as your competition.
Competition is the reason why it’s necessary for you to figure out how big shots or the local studios in your industry have been operating online so well lately. You must assess them on the following points:
- What kind of fitness course do they offer?
- What is their course structure and pricing?
- How are they approaching their target group?
- What market tactics are they resorting to?
- What differentiates them from the market?
- What is that one thing which serves as their “Unique Selling Proposition”?
The answers to these questions will function as your knowledge bank. It will help you configure the vision of your own online business.
04. Decide Your Target
Are you enthusiastic about teaching home yoga to post-pregnancy moms? Maybe you feel more comfortable teaching stress-busting tactics to young grads in their 20s. Or perhaps you are the one size fits it all type?
What’s necessary here is to be aware of what target suits you, and what target you suit?
05. Figure Out Your Course
The more specific your course is, the more valuable it will be for your target audience.
Sometimes it's best to ask people what they want. If you do a basic market survey, by going through forums and blogs and all the sources listed above, you’ll surely gain some insight.
There are say tons of types of yoga courses that you know or wish to teach. But would they all have the same attraction or liking amongst your prospects?
Say you go on a research rampage and realize that post-pregnancy weight loss is an entirely different market in itself and since yoga is a light yet powerful exercise many women opt for it.
That way you know two things:
- Young moms who wish to do Yoga
- Post-pregnancy Yoga needs to be your forte
Once you know that, it’s time to gain information and build a course structure that is devised specifically towards your motive, in this case it could be helping young moms with weight loss over a time period of 90 or 120 days.
06. Decide Your Model
There are two ways you can go about this.
- Subscription-Based Model: Here you build a library of videos or offer a number of live streams on a weekly or monthly basis that provides the best home workout.
As long as the user stays subscribed to you for a small recurring fee, they can avail your services. The moment she stops paying, her access to your content stops as well.
- Transaction Based Model: You offer an all-in-one package consisting of videos, streams, guides, diets, advice, in exchange for a single time fee.
Once paid, the user gains access to your material either permanently or for a considerably long time.
The choice of your model will in turn decide how you wish to price your course and the way your revenue stream works.
07. Create Content
Once you’ve decided your course, it’s time to put it into a structure and create related content.
- What will be my lesson plans?
- What sequence will my course follow?
- Would videos/streams alone be sufficient?
- Is there a necessity to complement it with written guides?
- What will be the milestones for my clients?
- How can I keep them engaged and motivated?
- Will my service offering create long-lasting results?
This way you can create a whole content strategy of the kind of course you wish to create.
08. Distribute Content
You can distribute content in primarily three ways:
- Live Streams
Live Streams are useful for course types that require real-time action. As a yoga studio owner, you could stream those kinds of exercises that are simple and can be practiced by simply following the instructors.
- Pre-recorded Videos
Pre-recorded Videos are an ideal choice if you wish to teach complex movements that require a single demonstration but multiple repetitions by the learner over a few days or weeks.
- Virtual Private Sessions
Virtual Private Sessions are suitable for high-profile clients, groups, or learners who require special attention.
09. Choose A Platform
Many options exist while choosing a platform to stream or put out your content:
- Fitness Studio Website: Your studio website which acts like a hosting platform for your content is a great way for building an organic customer base and generating more revenue.
- YouTube: Free to use. You can earn ad-based revenue. However, users can always switch to your competitor’s channel.
- Social Media: Facebook and Instagram both offer you options to go live through your smartphone.
- Zoom: Zoom & other video-calling platforms can help you conduct live classes with up to 100 participants.
Bookee can setup video-on-demand and native zoom integration for your studio on your branded website in literally no time.
Each platform has its pros & cons and their usage completely depends upon your business needs.
10. Market. Build. Repeat.
Now that you have created your content and have a means of distributing it, only one step remains. Marketing.
Without an audience, it would be difficult to sell your course. In fact marketing and building an audience is not the last part of this process, it can very well be the first step.
If you don’t have an audience before your classes launch, chances are you might not have it afterward either.
Here are some basic marketing techniques you can adhere to for starters:
- Social Media: Start off by setting up your profiles on at least 2-3 popular social media handles. Your handles must be kept active with regular posts that catch the attention of your target groups.
- Content Marketing: Publish free content about your course as much as you can. Creating articles, videos, podcasts, infographics on your website can certainly help you increase traffic and generate leads.
- Networking: Approach and connect to experts in your industry. Pitch and convert mutual marketing opportunities. This can include interviews, guest blogs, customer referrals, and co-marketing.
- Email Marketing: Make an effort to create leads out of your website i.e. your mailing list and then send out weekly updates, offers, and newsletters to keep them stimulated about your online studio.
- Paid Ads: Paid advertisements that hit your target group via Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and Linkedin. It is a good means to generate an audience and thus consistent leads.
Each strategy needs to be initiated in phases, not in a single go. That way you can steadily gauge each one’s effectiveness, and build a successive audience.
Finally: Be Patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is an online fitness studio.
Setting it up is just the first part of it. Down the road many challenges await you. Being a studio owner of an independent fitness business you know that these things take time.
You’ll have to try, test, repeat every week, every month to see what works for your audience.
You’ll have to experiment with several marketing techniques to realize what gains the most traction. You’ll have to persist before you conquer.
Keep in mind to not give up. Not before you’ve put in the work and effort, paid attention to detail, built good foundations, and gave in all that’s necessary to ensure a running revenue stream for the good years that await you.
Kick-start your own online fitness business. Schedule a 15-minute call with us and set-it up in under a week.