The Incredible Power of Online Fitness Gurus – and How to Become One
If you want to sell fitness videos online, chances are you’ve been in the fitness world for a while. But being inside a gym with your students and putting yourself out there on the internet are two very different prospects, aren’t they? Luckily, it’s easier than you think to use your amazeballs exercise skills to encourage people to greatness. Here’s how to become an online fitness guru people that make people actually want to sweat.
Home Exercise is Totally a Thing
Not to go all valley girl on you, but working out at home is, like, totally a thing. And home fitness education has proven very successful for huge numbers of instructors and workout enthusiasts alike. Just look at online superstars such as Adriene of the eponymous Yoga with Adriene, and you have all the proof you need that this business model works.
Many people, when getting started in the online fitness video biz, think that they can’t reach viewers and make a difference because they’re not actually in the same room. You think you don’t have power over people because you don’t see the burn happening right in front of you, but that’s not true. As of 2012, more than 24.5 million Americans did some form of exercise at home. That’s a huge audience right there for the taking … so how do you take some of it.
Good question. It all starts with making engaging videos that other people actually want to watch.
How Not to Lose a Viewer in 10 Easy Steps
One of the hardest parts about teaching fitness online is that your students can “leave class” any time, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Not only that, you probably won’t even know. The only sign from your end will be a decline in the number of views or memberships, which isn’t good for business. Luckily, you can avoid that by carefully reviewing your content and ensuring it meets the high expectations of viewers.
- Maximize the first 10 seconds, which is the period of time you have before a viewer decides to stay or go. Be enthusiastic, positive, gentle and inviting.
- Offer lots of free content, both within the video and in the description. Think fitness trackers, etc.
- Tape yourself off-center so you’re in compliance with major video sites such as YouTube.
- Turn off other machines and close windows to minimize noise.
- Wear a microphone.
- Record more than one take and choose the best of the bunch. Over time you’ll start to capture perfect videos without a lot of extra takes, but it’s important to take this step seriously at first so you can watch for and correct mistakes.
- Offer short workouts that make people feel accomplished as well as longer videos.
- Maintain a clean and inviting studio or background space. Eliminate clutter, have clear horizontal surfaces and stack any equipment you’ll be using neatly.
- Use un-copyrighted music or pay for stock stuff. Don’t mess with other people’s copyrights, as it can bring your whole business down if you get caught.
- Don’t forget to ask for engagement! Your students are going to walk away from the video having just spent an excellent 10 minutes/half an hour/hour with you, and you want to keep yourself in their mind. So ask a question, get them to engage in the comments, redirect them somewhere else for further interaction or sales.
The good news is that, while the above steps take a little time to incorporate into a seamless flow, they’re good for both you and your students. Once established, you’ll incorporate these ideas into every video.
The Path to Fitness Guru Fame and Fortune
So the real question becomes, if you want to teach people to sweat it out at home successfully, how do you encourage them to do it even though you don’t have access to their living rooms and their brains? (Note: If you’re an exerciser rather than an instructor, you can take heed about which video approaches are most successful here. It’s worth knowing for student as well as teacher.)
While whole books have been written about how to reach people via online fitness training, the bottom line necessity is a relationship. If your viewers don’t feel like you want to interact with them and understand them, they won’t respond. People inherently want to avoid working out; you have to make it feel not only as though it’s worth it, but as though it’s fun … or at least possible.
Again, anyone reading this who is on the student rather than the teacher side, keep this in mind: If you don’t like the instructor, you will half-ass the program at best – if you don’t turn it off altogether, that is. So to be successful, it’s crucial to use a combination of inspiration, leading by example and good editing.
The Example You’re Looking For
If you’re looking for a great example, check out Total Immersion Academy, which offers awesome swimming instruction via videos. Amazing, right? Who would even think you could combine computers and water? Yet they do, and the site’s creators have been very successful as a result.
If you want to learn even more about selling your videos online and inspiring the people you most want to help, check out Uscreen, masters when it comes to selling videos online. President of Uscreen PJ Taei has helped more than 1,000 customers monetize fitness videos online, and that number is growing all the time. If you want to join the ranks of people who are kicking butt while helping others kick butt, feel free to get in touch.