As a fitness trainer, there’s a good chance you’ve considered streaming virtual fitness classes, especially since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the best things about online fitness classes is that they can be accessed anywhere in the world. This makes it possible for you to reach a much wider audience than you would if you were teaching in person.
Online fitness classes allow people to prioritize their wellness and well-being from the comfort of their own living rooms.
But where do you start?
In this article, we’re going to show you:
- How to start live streaming fitness classes (by starting your own streaming platform).
- Why live streaming fitness classes are the future of the industry.
- How a Pilates instructor from New York transitioned to full-time virtual teaching.
Let’s get into it!
Let’s go over the basics of live streaming fitness classes, including which type of classes you should focus on, where to stream, and how much to charge.
1. Decide On The Fitness Classes You’ll Live Stream
The first step is to identify what type of fitness classes you want to live stream. This will influence your approach and the equipment you need.
We’ve seen successful online fitness businesses built around lots of different types of workout videos, including…
- Strength training
… and more! If you’re a brick-and-mortar fitness studio you might want to live stream all of the above, like iChuzeFitness does here:
Or, if you’re a specialized personal trainer or facility, you might want to focus on different variations of the same type of training, like Love Cycling Studio does:
If you’re wondering where to start, we recommend choosing one style of class, the one you feel most comfortable broadcasting, and expanding your video library as you gain more experience.
The initial goal is to start live streaming workouts and see how the process works for you.
2. Choose A Live Streaming Platform
Streaming your fitness classes on Instagram live or on Facebook is a good way to attract new students. However, if you’re serious about building your online business, you need to consider owning your platform where to host your live streams.
We recommend you choose a video monetization platform like Uscreen.
If you want to build a successful online fitness business, you need an all-in-one platform that will help you reach a larger audience and turn them into customers.
With Uscreen, you can:
- Start and launch quickly.
- Charge monthly, quarterly, yearly, or one-time payments.
- Build an evergreen content catalog (More on that next!).
- Grow and connect with your community.
- Access a complete suite of marketing tools.
Starting your own live streaming platform may sound intimidating. But with Uscreen, it’s easy to set things up and customize your new live streaming platform.
3. Customize Your Site So It’s Uniquely You
The next step is to customize and design your platform. You need to give it a look and feel that reflects your style of training and brand.
The goal is to design a place your customers want to train.
These provide the building blocks for your video membership site, allowing you to easily customize and apply your own…
- color schemes
- header images
- video thumbnails
…to build a platform that’s consistent with your branding. This is especially important if you already have an audience on Facebook or Instagram that knows your aesthetic as a fitness instructor.
4. Start Cashing In On Your Streams
Now, we’re getting to the best part of this process: picking a business model. Having a clear business model that works for you and your subscribers is key to growing and scaling your fitness business.
There are 2 types of business models that work especially well for live-stream fitness classes:
- Pay-Per-Class: where people pay a flat fee to attend individual sessions.
- Membership: where people pay a monthly fee to access all of your sessions.
We’ve seen the best results from online fitness businesses that use the membership business model. Memberships create a reliable monthly income. A recurring income from a growing audience gives you stability and allows you to focus on delivering a great service.
Our research shows that 2% of your followers convert to paying subscribers. On average, people pay between $15 to $30 for online fitness classes. So, if you have 100 monthly paying members who pay $15 per month, that’s $1500 of recurring revenue per month.
You can use this handy calculator to estimate your potential earnings based on your current audience size and revenue goal.
The best part of the monthly membership business model is that your video library continues to grow as you continue to stream. Uscreen automatically saves all of your online classes into what’s called a content library.
This has 2 benefits:
- Your live stream can be viewed more than once.
- Your customers can enjoy your platform while you’re offline.
This means your paying monthly subscribers can access a growing database of new classes, which you can use to create goal-orientated playlists and categories!
5. Lights, Camera, Stream!
The next step is to get your live streaming equipment ready. Remember to start with what you already have, and make sure you’re following the basics of video and audio setup.
The core equipment you’ll need is similar for all types of live-streamed fitness classes. What works for kickboxing can also work for a dance-cardio class!
Regardless of your class type, the quality of your live stream (and the future recording) will be based on:
- Video clarity: how good the live stream looks on their device.
- Audio quality: how well they can hear your instruction.
That’s why it’s critical to invest in a good camera and mic. Let’s break it down even further…
The clarity of your stream refers to how well your customers can see your stream on their chosen device. Is it a blurry mess, or can they vividly see what you’re doing?
You can ensure the best quality for your live stream by having:
- Good internet in your studio: your internet should have upload speeds capable of broadcasting high-quality video.
- A decent camera: this can be a high-end smartphone camera or comparable.
- Broadcast software: you’ll need a live streaming platform to capture and broadcast your stream.
You can find more in-depth recommendations for each of these by checking out our guide on How To Live Stream For Beginners.
Video clarity is important, but your audio quality is even more important. In fact, research shows that bad audio quality can ruin the entire perception of your video content.
To ensure good quality audio you’ll need:
- Strong Internet in your studio: your internet should have upload speeds capable of broadcasting high-quality video.
- Microphone: we recommend a good quality headset microphone that you can wear while instructing.
- Speakers: to broadcast your music.
You can get a more in-depth look at how to ensure high-quality audio for your fitness live stream in this video:
6. Schedule And Promote Your Live Stream
Okay, now we’re getting to the really fun stuff! In this step, you’re going to schedule and promote your first live-streamed fitness class.
You should schedule your first live stream at a time that’s reasonable for your subscribers to attend. It should be accessible, and easy to fit into their schedule! Read our article on the best times to go live to see recommendations based on research.
Here are 3 tips to maximize the number of people that attend your stream:
- Be Clear About the What, When, and How: make sure all of the information is correct, so people can turn up on time, with the right equipment.
- Create a Virtual Countdown: you can enable pre-registration on Uscreen which will display a countdown to your live stream.
- Build Anticipation with Sneak Peeks and Trailers: create short snippets or behind-the-scenes clips you can post on your marketing channels.
You can even use a tool like Canva to create custom graphics that clearly display the time, date, and type of class you’re going to be live streaming.
You should then make a list of all the possible places you could post about or share your stream, like your:
- social media
- email list
- website homepage
You can also read How to Create a Killer Live Streaming Strategy, so you can focus on the efforts that will bring the best results.
7. Love Going Live!
If you’ve completed all of the previous steps, you’re ready to go live! It’s time to turn the cameras on and do what you do best: provide an excellent workout routine to your clients.
The length of your live stream should depend on what type of class you’re streaming. For example, if you’re streaming a Hatha Yoga class, it usually takes an hour. But if it’s a quick cardio workout, streaming for 30 minutes is ideal.
The good news is that you can translate your in-person sessions’ length into your live stream classes. But remember your students have more distractions when working out of their own home, and they have limited equipment.
That’s why it’s important to communicate what kind of equipment they need and alternative options. If they still need to buy dumbbells, what can they use instead?
You might think your to-do list ends once you finish your stream, but there’s more!
8. Post-Stream Checklist
You might have mixed feelings after your first live stream fitness class. Some things went well, but there are areas to improve. Welcome to the life of a fitness content creator!
But it’s hard to know exactly what happened in real-time. So, in the hours after your live stream, we recommend you:
- Respond to any unanswered comments or questions.
- Look for useful feedback.
- Post a summary of the stream and ask for feedback in a community space.
You should then save the video to your library and publish it on your website. This will make it available to any paying customers who missed the stream or would like to see it again.
We also recommend that you go back and watch the live stream for yourself with a notepad and pen. Takes notes on what you did well, and what could have been better. This is the best way to get better at being on camera!
More Than Just Peloton: Live Streaming Is the Future of Fitness
We’ve entered a new era of fitness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how you need to coach, engage, and interact with your clients. It also has a massive effect on how people are staying fit.
In fact, industry research shows:
- 72% of consumers love the flexibility of virtual classes.
- The average price of a monthly subscription is $15 to $30 per month.
- 41% pay a monthly membership fee.
Online fitness studios and fitness streaming services are becoming the go-to way to build a predictable income.
Having a live-streaming fitness platform will allow you to:
- Futureproof your business: by having a reliable income stream you can rely on as long as you retain your audience, regardless of industry.
- Profit from high demand and low supply: lots of people want online exercise classes, but the industry is far from saturated. You have the opportunity to become the new Peloton of your fitness niche!
- Grow your reach: live streaming lets you connect with people all around the world. You can grow your facility far beyond your local area!
Let’s take a look at a fitness business that has moved online and reaped the rewards.
Case Study: From New York Studio to Global Pilates Audience
Ashley Deleon is a Pilates instructor in New York, where she started her own private studio in 2011. In May 2020 (during the start of the pandemic), she started teaching virtually full-time and made her classes accessible globally using Uscreen.
She currently has more than 250,000 followers on Instagram where she mainly shares short videos, focusing on helping her audience achieve their movement goals.
Her bio includes a link to her on-demand video subscription platform, Ashley DeLeon Pilates, where she offers both on-demand video and live classes. Essentially, she uses Instagram to grow her audience, showcase her Pilates classes, and turn her followers into paid subscribers.
Wrapping This Up…
Live streaming fitness classes is the future of the fitness industry. By creating your own live streaming platform, you can host a live streaming fitness class that attracts new customers and keeps your current ones coming back for more.
We’ve covered a lot in this article, so here are the key actions that you should take right away:
- Decide On The Fitness Classes You’ll Live Stream
Identifying what type of fitness classes you want to live stream is a crucial step for the future of your business.
- Choose A Live Streaming Platform
Streaming your fitness classes on Instagram live or on Facebook is a good way to attract new students, but consider owning your platform.
- Customize Your Site So It’s Uniquely You
You need to give your platform a look and feel that reflects your style of training and brand.
- Start Cashing In On Your Streams
Now, we’re getting to the best part of this process: picking a business model.
- Lights, Camera, Stream!
The next step is to get your live streaming equipment ready.
- Schedule And Promote Your Live Stream
In this step, you’re going to schedule and promote your first live-streamed fitness class.
- Love Going Live!
It’s time to turn the cameras on and do what you do best: provide an excellent workout routine to your clients.
- Post-Stream Checklist
Takes notes on what you did well, and what could have been better.
Once you gain more experience, you can always upgrade your live streaming equipment, add more classes, and continue to update your business model.