Four Steps to Starting Your Online Fitness Business

It’s safe to say, the COVID-19 lockdown has changed the face of the personal training, coaching and the fitness industry pretty significantly! No face to face sessions, limited equipment for leading classes, and a need to upskill and learn to run online sessions for individuals and groups alike.

We’re here to help you get started online and to beat the lockdown and come out stronger!

Here, we give away all the know-how you need to get started.

Are you ready?

Four Things You Need to Get Started:

1. A website
2. A client hub
3. A mobile phone & tripod
4. One social media platform

Only four things? It sounds too simple? Let’s look at each in a little more detail – were going to ask Why, What and How:

1. Your Website:

Why?

Your website is the digital equivalent of a business card! It gives you a level of legitimacy and social confidence that makes it an absolute essential and it allows people to find your online fitness business!

Of course, social media is also important to ensure you have great public visibility, but social media trends come and go; posts are momentary and then are lost to your wider audience.

A website on the other hand, is a place you control – as different platforms rise and fall, if you can direct clients onto your site, you can keep them coming back week after week, year after year.

It’s the central place you bring all of your clients to – like the gym you’ve been meeting them at for the past 3 months.

What:

So what does your website need to do?

In short, it needs to show your clients how they can get the results they want, and give them an easy way to contact you.

Having an amazing backstory as to why you started your business is fantastic, but it’s so much more important that anyone visiting your site understands how you can help them reach THEIR goals.

When it comes down to it, most of our Google searches are a little selfish – I need something and I’d like someone to show me how.

So, this is what our website needs to do if we’re going to be successful.

How:

So maybe you’re a fantastic coach – a really people person – but you’re not that tech savvy?

No problem! We’ve done the hard work for you and have a couple of solutions we think you’ll like!

1. If you’re raring to get online and want everything in one – website and client hub (more on this later!) then our platform might just be what you’re looking for! Every client hub comes with a complimentary website, already integrated and simply waiting for you to drop your images and content on to get started straight away. Click here to get started now with a 14 day free trial.

2. If you’ve got a strong eye for design, try out a drag and drop website builder like Wix or Weebly, or for the slightly more advanced, SquareSpace.

3. If you want to go all out – hire a web developer. It’s not the cheapest solution, but it gives you ultimate creative control and the ability to build a truly bespoke solution. From our time online, we can highly recommend the team at Silver Ark – click here to get in touch.

2. Client Hub:

Why:

You need a client hub to control who has access to your content! If you have paying customers, a client hub allows you to create a members area where you can deliver your carefully crafted services and content.

Think of it as a premium airport lounge! You wouldn’t be able to give a premium experience if everyone had access to everything. Well the client hub is similar, but it’s much more than a walled off area!

What:

A client hub should allow you to deliver highly valuable content and services directly to your customers. But it needs to offer more so that you can spend less time doing admin, and more time coaching, training and building a future proof online business.

For us, the client hub should become the single integrated place where you can access all of the information you need to run your fitness business, in one place. It should improve your workflow massively, automate repetitive tasks and deal with payments and subscriptions.

A good client hub will not only save you time and money, but it should also give each customer a personal account where they can book classes and sessions, access their fitness programmes and your live streams or pre-recorded content.

Of course, it needs to integrate with a fitness tracker – (we love the MyZone system for this) so that you can monitor their progress and they can not only feel the improvements as a result of your help, but see the results on paper, or rather, their mobile or laptop!

How:

A client hub needs to be really easy to integrate into your website whether you’re using a preexisting website or building one from scratch.

With the V-Healthy client hub, all you need to do is create a button on your website menu that links to your V-Healthy account (we have a guide to get this sorted), and then point the ‘Home’ button for the hub back to your website!

When your members click on that button, it’ll take them straight to the login page for their client account. This page, as with all of V-Healthy hub, can be branded for your business, so it’ll still feel like home to your customers!

Once you’ve done this, all that is left is to personalise the booking and pricing options, grab your Stripe API (a little bit of code that lets Stripe talk to your hub and process payments) then you’re up and running!

For all setup guides, click the link here!

3. A Mobile Phone & Tripod:

Why:

This seems like a bit of a strange one at first glance, but these days, almost any smart phone is capable of capturing pretty good video and photos. So, in the palm of your hand you have all the content creating technology you need to get started!

As you learn more and get more practice we would recommend upgrading your equipment, but for the foreseeable future, the lowly smart phone will be a more than adequate partner for your online adventures!

With a smartphone, you can stream straight to Vimeo or a similar platform to live stream (the client hub can pick this up so your clients head straight to their account and hit ‘live’ to join you), or use Zoom to conference call with clients (again, via their account on the client hub!), so this makes things really quick and simple!

What:

Whether you already have a smart phone or not, let’s quickly touch on the key features, and make a couple of tripod recommendations to get you up and running.

In short, your phone needs to be capable of capturing video – ideally using the rear camera for quality! Front facing cameras are great, but usually the resolution is a little lower. The big advantage however is that you can see what you are recording live – we’ll let you try both and see what you prefer.

For the tripod, you might already have one available. If not, I’ve shot a lot of video off the small but flexible Foto Pro UFO 2 – it’s my favourite find for a while now, and offers great stability and is ultraversatile. Best bit is, you can throw it in a bag and take it anywhere with you, meaning location shoots are on the cards!

How:

Don’t be intimidated! It’s going to be okay!

Step one is to setup the tripod and phone, ready to shoot. Think about what’s behind you (or not behind you) when framing the shot – we don’t want things that are distracting or that look like they are growing out of your head!

If you are recording content to upload later, or as part of a longer programme, hit record, run your session and at the end, hit stop. You can then edit the video from your phone using the built in editor in your gallery app, or for more serious editing, download an app to do this for you.

Be sure to check the play store or app store for some great free options!

If you’re live streaming or conference calling, open the appropriate app (Vimeo or Zoom for example) pop in the details it asks for and hit go live. It can be that simple!

4. One Social Media Platform

Why?

There’s loads of social media platforms out there! With so many, it’s really hard to keep up. Do you post to all of them? Do you even need to use them?

The simple answer is, they are not essential, but we would recommend using one to drive some extra business to your website.

We won’t go into the specifics of doing that here, but for now suffice to say it can be very effective with time and experience.

So why only one platform? If you’re just starting out in the world of social media there’s already enough to learn. If you’re starting out online, it can be hard enough to create enough content for your members, let alone for your sixteen (small exaggeration here) social media accounts!

So starting with one allows you to get started without being overwhelmed, and actually, if you spend a little time finding out which one most of your ideal clients are hanging out at, there’s less benefit to be had from spreading so thinly!

What:

Social media goes without saying really! But what do you use them for?

Well, as we’ve already touched on, they are brilliant places to build a following that you can send over to your website where they can sign up and become clients!

They are also a great place to help people – giving away some free content and building some authority – a fancy way of saying, helping people to trust you so they want to work with you!

As so many people are on social media platforms now, it’s the digital equivalent of door to door sales, but a lot less pushy, much more personal, and much more fun for both you and your potential clients!

How:

How do we do it? Well, that beautifully simple combination from step 3 will serve you well again – one smartphone and one tripod!

Make a video, take a picture, share something encouraging – the choice is yours. Try it out, see what works, see what doesn’t and tweak it from there!

So there we have it – Four essentials (if we include social media, which we would recommend) to get your business online and serving your customers.

In summary, we need a website so people can find us, we need a client hub so we can manage the whole business from one place and curate the content we share to paying members, we need a smartphone and tripod to create the content, and we need ONE social media platform where we are active to let people know about how we can help them achieve their goals.


If you found this helpful, contact us to find out how we can help you get started today.