“Turn and face the strange,” sang David Bowie, “Ch-ch-ch-changes…”
Yup, these are strange times alright. But the good news for fitness and wellbeing creators is that Covid-19 is a unique opportunity to own your revenue stream.
What do we mean by that? Well, it’s no secret that the old studio model didn’t work so well for the people working in them.
And the Europe-wide lockdown has meant that interest in home training has exploded in the past 12 months. See point #2 below for proof.
Here are eight reasons why we think now could be the perfect time to take your teaching online. Take a look and let us know if you agree (or not!)
Cast your mind back to the Before Times. When studios were open, and buzzing with business. Chances are, you needed to do a LOT of classes before you could earn decent scratch.
And you weren’t alone: many fitness and wellbeing professionals felt underpaid by the old model. Under pressure to take on more classes than they’d like in order to pay the bills.
Which is not to slate studios and their owners, far from it. The vast majority do an admirable job of meeting customers’ needs while balancing costs.
But studios have high overheads: renting space, paying salaries for back office and cleaning staff, admin and accounting costs… The list goes on.
Once lockdown arrived, the whole scene changed in an instant. Studios across Europe were forced to shut their doors indefinitely.
So what did people do? They looked online for home workouts and yoga sessions. Check out this graph from Google Trends, which shows the massive spike in interest:
What’s interesting about the above graph is that although the spike does come down again, interest in home training has stabilised at a much higher level than before.
As the pandemic played out, people became increasingly concerned about their physical and mental wellbeing. They’ve turned to online platforms for help.
This is your opportunity to step up and serve, people! Build connections now that will outlast the pandemic, and keep your business going when life goes back to normal.
So how can you start serving that demand? Well the good news is that video streaming technology is excellent nowadays. And most people have high-speed Internet at home.
All-in-one platforms like Strydal are designed deliberately for fitness and wellbeing professionals like you. This means no more hacking together Zoom for video, WhatsApp groups and PayPal. It’s all in one place.
You may look at the growth of online platforms like Peloton and Alomoves, and think that independent professionals can’t compete with them. But that's not true.
In fact, many people prefer the individual, one-to-one attention that only a human coach can provide – and they’re willing to pay for it. Even if the coaching happens online.
This is your point of differentiation, it’s where you can compete. Nurture your community, give them some love and personal feedback, and they’ll reward you with their custom.
Just like you, they miss normality. They want to keep training and working towards a better version of themselves.
And they want to support you. They know that times have been tough for people who make their living from teaching and coaching.
It’s a two-way street, and you might be surprised to find out just how much they care!
This could be the moment you give yourself permission to prioritize yourself as a business. To learn new skills, and go after what you want.
Because the old studio model isn’t available right now, and if you can build a thriving online business – would you really want to go back to it?
It’s true – this was already happening before Covid-19. It’s not a “blip” or fad.
A 2016 study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance found that a large majority of Americans prefer to practice yoga at home.
And it’s not just yoga either: online fitness and wellbeing of all kinds has seen a major upswing in the past five years or so. Heck, Peloton has built a billion-dollar business out of it.
So the question becomes: are you ready to join in?
While it can seem like a big challenge to learn new skills and build an online business, the good news is that you’re not alone.
Many thousands of other ambitious, resourceful creators are in the same situation as you. Talk to the ones you already know in real life, join discussions in Facebook groups, and learn from them!
And of course, make use of free online resources like Strydal Learn. We’re always glad to see you stop by!