The pandemic has brought everyone a lot of challenges, and one of mine was how to keep going with my fitness career that was very on-the-side to begin with because I’m also in full time dance training. When both of those things came to a holt, I wanted to join the surge of online fitness classes that were popping up left, right and centre and not get left behind.
To be honest, it came at a good time for me and these past 3/4 months have definitely helped me to lay down some solid foundations for taking my fitness services online. Teaching fitness classes for me has always been a bit of a summer job, because I’m still in full time education it’s an ideal job for me to do in the evenings and weekends, working freelance and covering wherever/whenever it’s needed.
I also wanted to put my Personal Training qualification to better use and start online training clients – seeing as I was never going to work full time in a gym, it seemed like perfect timing to try out coaching online.
I started off teaching classes for free in a Facebook Group which was set up by a fellow instructor to raise money for charity and I enjoyed it more than I expected, which lead to me teaching live Pilates classes on Instagram. When I eventually moved out of my flat and back home, my mum (also a fitness instructor) had already established a decent set up to deliver her classes to her members via Zoom, which I quickly hopped onto. From June – August I had a monthly class timetable with 7 classes a week and it was one of the best things I’ve done during lockdown. I also launched a 4 week challenge prior to this and that was my first proper taste of online coaching. Both of these projects had varying levels of success, and here’s what I learnt in the process.
ZOOM CAN BE AMAZING AND AWFUL
When I tried to do Zoom classes in my flat, the quality was awful. But having an Audio/Video Engineer at home meant we managed to get a pretty good quality set up in the end. Zoom can be amazing if you know how to use it and utilise the best features and how to establish a professional looking and sounding set up in which to deliver classes. It was definitely a process but worked pretty well in the end.
THERE’S A LOT OF COMPETITION
I’ve never seen so many people wanting to offer the same thing at the same time before! There was online classes popping up all over the place, even from people who were not qualified. There was plenty of ‘fitness influencers’ offering live IG workouts who don’t have any fitness qualifications or much experience at all, and they were offering those for free most of the time – meaning my potential clients would go there instead of paying me. Of course I understand that a lot of people have struggled financially this year, but I am included in that and believe I had a valuable service to offer, and I think that my prices were reasonable (I did also offer things for free). But if I was on the other side of it all, I’d probably opt for a free option too. If you’re reading this and get workouts from fitness people on Instagram, I urge you to make sure they have the relevant qualifications at least.
CONSISTENCY PAYS OFF
I’ve really got into a consistent habit of using my Instagram to promote myself as a business as well as sharing my personal fitness journey and snippets of my life, and I feel like that consistency is paying off as most of my clients come from Instagram where I have built up that rapport and trust with my audience.
MY JOB IS REWARDING
I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to get into the fitness industry professionally, because training clients and watching them learn new skills, grow in confidence and achieve goals they come to me with is extremely rewarding to watch unfold. To have the tools and knowledge to be able to help people live a healthier and higher quality life is amazing.
YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN
I put in a lot of effort to planning my classes and content online, and as a result have had new opportunities come my way in terms of freelance fitness jobs here and there, which again I am grateful for. It has kept me busy whilst I was in lockdown and even as restrictions started to lift, I’ve not been able to go back to my other jobs yet but I had a few different fitness things come up which I’m still working on now and have kept me going, given me purpose and structure.
So that’s a kind of summary of what I’ve learnt about being a fitness instructor/personal trainer online since March this year! It’s definitely been a huge learning curve but has given me more motivation to carry on with this kind of work in the future, especially online coaching!
Speaking of, I do have a few spaces so if you are interested in having an online coach, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.