Well let’s just say: 2020 taught us a lot.
As business owners, the pandemic forced us to re-build or pivot our service offerings. It wasn’t just that we had to pivot to stay profitable, but we had to do so to continue to serve our clients. I personally own a private personal training and small group training fitness studio as well as an online training business. Therefore, when the shutdown happened early in 2020, I didn’t have a lot of work to do to shift clients to online services. Don’t get me wrong, it was still very stressful! I pivoted my service offerings to my in-person training clients, very strategically. I also had to strategize my plan for the future of my fitness studio once we were allowed to re-open (at half capacity). Luckily, I already had my branded Trainerize app providing online training to people who needed it before the pandemic.
I already had my in-person personal training clients set up on my Trainerize app to provide them with their independent workouts for days they were not seeing me at my studio; however, I didn’t have my small group training clients set up for online training. This is something I was always wanting to do, but I just never got around to it. And anyone who runs a business knows how clients feel about change once they are set in their ways and used to a certain routine! The pandemic gave me a reason to actually make some changes in my pricing (I had wanted to do so for a while) and to incorporate my Trainerize app. Plus, my clients had no problem with the changes because it kept them moving during shut down, then we just kept it going post-shutdown.
Speaking of post-shutdown… I’d like to share where I see my online training business going after COVID, and why I believe online training will outlast the pandemic.
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1. Engagement & Accountability
There are always going to be clients who prefer the in-person experience of personal training! But that preference doesn’t mean setting them up with an app is a bad thing. Beyond virtual/online training, using an app will help you keep in touch and monitor their progress while they are away from the gym. If anything, this is a way to provide a more premium service to your in-person training clients! Think habit coaching, workout reminders, messaging, and nutrition monitoring! In-person training clients will get to feel that you are with them and holding them accountable even when they aren’t training with you at the gym. This should be here to stay for sure!
2. Technology & Industry
The world is moving more towards tech-based fitness! Think of the many companies arising with tech based personalized fitness options for home! Peloton, Mirror, and every workout app you can think of! This is where the world of fitness is going and it’s important to get on the bandwagon! We all knew the world was heading this way! However, in 2020, we had to move faster in that direction. Some trainers and consumers might not have been ready for the quick jump to online fitness coaching and virtual classes, but we all had to embrace it and run with it. Now we have 2021 to perfect it and really dominate the online personal training space!
3. Convenience & Accessibility
Many people have now purchased gym equipment for home with the closing of gyms. Others have learned that they can actually get in some great workouts at home! More than a few of my online personal training clients now have fully-equipped gyms at home and no longer feel the need to go to the gym to work out. As online fitness coaches, we can really try to target these people in our marketing tactics and provide them with structured programming, coaching, and accountability for home without having to have a gym membership.
I hope this blog helps you all realize the potential we have as personal trainers shifting into the online space for 2021—and the value of investing in your online services now for the pandemic and for the future! I don’t think this is the death of in-person training, but with the right marketing and service offerings you can really access a whole lot of potential online training clients from all over the world and build your business exponentially this year!