As a fitness trainer, one thing is always true:
There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
You want to help as many people as possible with their fitness goals, but there just isn’t enough space in your calendar.
Well, not if you want to eat, sleep, and have any form of a social life…
So how do you help more people get the results they want, without needing to (magically) add extra hours in the day?
Well, you’ll be glad to know that the answer is pretty straightforward…
You create an online fitness studio…
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Online Fitness Studios: The Best Way To Grow A Healthy Training Business
Online fitness studios are video-based platforms that allow trainers to work with online clients. It’s kind of like an online fitness “hub.”
Through your hub, you can share:
- Nutritional advice
- Training plans
Basically, if you think it will help your audience and improve their results, you can create and share it with them through your online fitness studio.
This is an excellent option for personal trainers and course instructors because they allow you to work with an unlimited number of people in virtually any location.
In fact, online fitness studios hosted on our Uscreen platform:
- Have an average of 343 monthly subscribers
- Earn an average of $7,503 per month
- Have clients in up to 188 countries
This is a level of scalability you can’t achieve with real-world training. That’s almost the same as having one-third of the average number of gym’s members as your personal clients.
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You can achieve all of this without adding any extra hours on the gym floor.
That’s why I recommend this as a practical solution for any trainer with a busy schedule looking to earn more money. But…
It’s extra effective if you already have an established audience on a platform like…
…where you’re already connecting with an online community about the training topics you care about. (You can learn more about that in this post, here.)
Let’s take a closer look at an online fitness studio example in action…
Mini-case study: Shell Shock TV – Your Favourite Fitness Class On-The-Go
Shell Shock Fitness is a fitness center based in Franklin, Tennessee. They run a wide range of group classes that help you to “shock your mind to change your body.”
Here’s a quick promo from their co-owner, Shellie:
Shellie wanted to grow her business and bring her brand of training to people who couldn’t attend in-person classes at their studio.
Shellie used Uscreen to create an online fitness studio where she could upload and record classes so that people could follow them at home or in the gym:
Access to these classes in-person would usually cost $29.99 per month. But, members of her online fitness studio can get unlimited access to these videos for just $12.99 per month.
Shellie also added OTT apps to her VOD services, making her videos even more convenient for her clients because they can stream them to their:
Meaning, they can take their training with them and perform sessions whenever and wherever they like; from a private corner of the gym through to a far-off hotel room.
This is also more flexible for Shellie, too. She has been able to coach more people without needing to:
- Be there at the point of purchase
- Hire new staff or trainers
- Expand her training facility
If anything, it leaves her with more time and energy to devote to in-person classes, and whatever she enjoys doing outside of the gym. (Remember life outside of the gym?)
If this sounds like the kind of business model that’s right for you, then read on, because I’ll be breaking down exactly how you can do this for yourself.
How To Launch Your Online Fitness Studio In 5 Easy Steps
There are five steps you need to take to launch an online fitness studio:
- Pick a business model
- Plan your content
- Build your website
- Set your prices
- Find your audience
Let’s take a look at each of these in-depth and find the right solution for you.
1. Pick A Business Model
Online fitness studios can be broken down into two types of business model. These are based on the video on demand (VOD) that forms your studio’s foundation:
- Transactional (TVOD): people pay a one-off fee for your content
- Subscription (SVOD): people pay a recurring fee for access
The model you choose will dictate the type of business you run. So, it’s worth understanding what each of them does.
Transactional: The Pay-As-You-Train Model
Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) is where people pay a one-time fee for access to and ownership of the video(s) you create.
It’s kind of like the online streaming version of buying a fitness DVD or P90X course:
The transactional business model is great if you have one specific thing that you want to teach, such as a:
- Particular class
- Workout routine
- Seminar or workshop
You could also create a “bundle” that works as a complete one-off package for your clients.
Let’s say you’re a fat-loss focused personal trainer who has created an incredible 12-week training plan that leaves everyone looking like a greek god(ess).
The plan contains everything people need to see results:
- Training plans
- Diet plans
- Exercise videos
- Recovery tips
You could put all of the videos and resources, like downloadable PDFs, into a bundled package people could buy access too for a high price. Once they buy it, they can access it forever.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this business model.
- You can create a high-ticket offer at $197+
- Once the product is ready, you can sell it for years to come
- You can easily promote this to in-person and online clients
- It’s easy to create an affiliate offer for third-party trainers to sell
- You need to continually find new customers to keep the revenue flowing
- Your income is not recurring or predictable
- Can take a lot of time to create a comprehensive product
- You need to invest a lot of time into marketing
Subscription: The Membership Business Model
Subscription video on demand (SVOD) requires people to pay a monthly fee to access your videos. It’s basically like a Netflix subscription to your training videos.
- If they pay their monthly fee, they can access your videos
- If they stop paying their fee, they lose their access
SVOD is the perfect business model for trainers looking to build a comprehensive, client-focused online training business.
It allows you to continuously create, update, and share videos that will deliver real results for your clients, no matter where they are in the world.
You have the flexibility to post:
- Multiple training plans
- Multiple course options
- Nutritional advice, recipes, eBooks
That you can update and renew in real-time to ensure your clients always have the most up-to-date information.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this business model.
- You can earn a recurring income
- Your income is more predictable
- Customers stay subscribed for longer
- The business model is built for scale
- You can easily promote this to online and in-person clients
- Video content can easily be repurposed for marketing
- You’ll need to invest time into regular content creation
- Trade-off short-term income for long-term income
2. Plan Your Content
With your business model in place, it’s time to choose your content.
Specifically, we’re going to look at how you should structure your content and deliver it to your online clients. We’ll leave the video creation subject matter up to you!
I’m going to discuss two elements of an online fitness studio:
- Macro-level content: the “big picture” of what your studio will offer
- Micro-level content: how your content looks on an individual level
Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Macro-Level Content: Your Site’s Core Message
When you look at the ‘big picture’ of your site, you need to ask several questions.
- Why are clients coming to my site?
- What do they expect to see when they get here?
- What do I want to teach?
- How am I going to teach it?
- What resources do I need to have in place?
This is a lot like planning your training for someone. You need to know the goal of what you’re creating before you put the individual pieces in place.
Let’s say you’re a strength coach. What sort of things would your site need to deliver the best possible service?
They could be:
- Strength-focused branding
- Videos that focus on technique
- Progressive plans they can print out
- Nutritional information
- Workouts for busy gyms or travel days
- Equipment recommendations and reviews
- Recovery tips
Just by looking at this list you can see the website’s theme and structure starting to take place.
You could also apply this to class-based workouts too. If you’re an instructor with a unique take on Spin classes, you might create a list that looks like:
- High-performance branding
- Bike tutorials
- Bike recommendations
- Downloadable playlists
- Workouts focusing on different levels of intensity
It’s an entirely different site, but you can still see a macro-level structure starting to take shape.
Like what SPINtv have created here:
It only takes a quick look at their page to see that – although this is a fitness site – it’s offering something much different to what Shell Shock are.
This step is crucial so don’t skip it. Really take the time to get familiar with what your online fitness studio is going to be and who it will appeal to.
Once you’ve done that you can move onto the next step.
Micro-Level: The Content Your Audience Will Consume
Micro-level content is what your audience will actually watch, interact with, and experience. It’s the videos you’re going to create.
Let’s use the strength coach example again. On a micro-level you’ll need to think about how you’re going to create content for:
- Different experience levels
- Different levels of intensity
- Different training environments
- Printable workout sheets
- Progressive training plans (and how they will be broken down into videos/resources)
- Meal plans
- Specific body parts
This can be broken down in any way that will be useful for your audience.
You’ll also need to think about how you’ll deliver your content:
- Will your courses follow a logical sequence?
- Will you record alone, or in front of a class?
- Will you use live videos or written content?
- Will you need to create PDFs?
This long list of content can feel a little overwhelming; like it’s going to end up in a chaos of videos that people will never be able to find or watch.
But, if you use Uscreen, you have the flexibility to create unlimited categories, tags, and filters to ensure the content is easy to find and navigate.
3. Build Your Website
Your website is your online fitness studio’s storefront. It’s where people will come to learn more, see your prices, and find out if your style of training is right for them.
Uscreen gives you the tools to make this easy. We have a drag-and-drop website builder that gives you complete flexibility to create your online studio, your way:
If you’d like some inspiration on how your website could look (and what is possible with Uscreen) take a look at the links below:
One thing that will really influence how your website looks – and the customers you attract – is your website’s branding.
I’ve called on our resident YouTuber, Nick Nimmon, to break down the anatomy of a $10,000 a month online fitness studio’s branding for you:
I’d also like to add that, if you can make your website’s design aspirational and give them a glimpse of the experience they’ll have training with you, your branding will be on the right track.
Once your website is built, it’s time to set your prices…
4. Set Your Prices
Online pricing is a place that many trainers struggle to get it right. While you know what your time is worth on the gym floor, it can be hard to figure out how that translates to online.
So, we did some research into online fitness studios hosted on Uscreen, to see what the optimal pricing for your website is.
Our study found that the average online fitness studio that is:
- Transactional: charges between $75 and $110 per bundle
- Subscription: charges a monthly fee of between $12 and $15
So, I recommend you start at one of these price points and then increase or decrease based on your audience’s feedback.
We also found that online fitness studios that offered a free trial earned a lot more money than those who didn’t.
The average income for a studio:
- Without a free trial – $5637
- With a free trial – $9575
It also showed that offering a free trial of around one week got the best results:
Here’s a little more insight on why free content is so useful if you’re interested.
You’re getting really close to the end now. Just one final push and you’ll have your online fitness studio up and running!
5. Connect To Your Audience
Marketing is a vital part of your new online fitness studio. You need to connect with people who will benefit from your training and will love the message you’re sharing.
In my experience, the best way you can do this is to build a community.
Communities play an essential role in the fitness industry; they bring people together around a common goal, training style, or even dietary requirement and create belonging.
You can see this everywhere from:
- Les Mills
Be honest. You could probably spot someone from all of these groups a mile away, right? And you can use this sense of community to market and grow your online fitness studio.
Here’s Nick Nimmon again to explain how you can do just that:
Or, if you’d rather read an in-depth guide, you can check out this breakdown of online communities right here.
Should You Launch Fitness OTT
Apps For Your Fitness SVOD?
The Last Rep…
Online fitness studios – in the form of video-based training websites – allow you to scale your business and reach unlimited numbers of people.
Basically, they help you smash through the barriers of your diary and help more people, in more places. The same way Shell Shock took her Tennessee-based training method to the world!
You can launch your own online fitness studio in five steps:
- Pick a business model: go transactional or offer a subscription
- Plan your content: look at the micro and macro of your business
- Build your website: use Uscreen to create a unique site, effortlessly
- Set your prices: go high-ticket or offer a low monthly subscription that builds over time
- Find your audience: go out and connect with the people you want to help
And, if you need any help with any of it, our friendly team at Uscreen is always on hand to help and advise.
(Does that make us Personal Trainers for your business?)
Is the Future of Fitness Online?
A report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry and the future of fitness.