Before the COVID pandemic, most gyms and fitness centers conducted classes and led consultations almost entirely in person. That’s changed. As people lived more of their lives along digital channels, video-led fitness services increased in popularity.
Many clients now love the option to maintain their wellness routines from the comfort of their own home. They can do it with ease, as many aspects of fitness are well-suited for video.
Forward-thinking fitness brands already provide their services via video. They’ve got good reason to: video sessions give clients more options for reaching their fitness goals and can be a deciding factor for time-strapped individuals looking for a flexible routine. They also satisfy those who prefer the convenience of digital experiences and can expand your membership beyond your local area.
If you’re concerned about producing video content that matches your brand’s high standard for quality, that’s understandable. You are a fitness professional, not a videographer. But with the right webcam or mobile phone, plus a few tricks of the trade to polish your performance, your fitness center can easily deliver highly professional video sessions and consultations.
Here are three steps to creating (or improving) your videos:
1. Take time to practice
The most important part of your video is the delivery. Whether you’re conducting a nutrition consultation or sharing detailed exercise instructions, clients expect the same energy and confidence they would get from you in person. If you don’t feel natural in front of a camera, take time to practice what you’ll say and do before you start.
Create a script – and get comfortable with it.
Write a script covering everything you want to communicate. Ensure the core message is clear by repeating important points and then summarizing the session towards the end.
A good rule of thumb is to create a script or outline using this format: First, tell your clients what you’re going to do or share (“Today, let’s work on our upper body”); then repeat what you’re doing or trying to achieve while you’re doing it; finally, tell your clients what you just did (“Thank you for joining me for this upper-body workout.”) Following that simple structure maintains a steady consistency with each session and can keep clients engaged and invested.
If you’re new to video sessions, practice some of your key points and phrases to make sure they flow well and get used to addressing the camera to connect with your clients.
Polish your delivery
Pay attention to your posture and eye movements when you’re speaking. Ensure a confident delivery by maintaining a steady gaze – you can choose a point at or near the camera to focus on.
Take some time to make sure you’re covering the most important points for the length and level of your class or consultation. You may also want to practice in front of a mirror to get comfortable with your lines.
2. Prepare for success
You and your message should be the center of attention, so prepare the setting to avoid any unnecessary distractions.
By creating a pleasant environment with good lighting and minimal noise, you can make your digital offerings as attractive as your in-person experience.
Keep the right notes
Not everyone is good at memorizing. If you think you might struggle to remember your lines, keep some basic notes outside of camera view to make sure you’ve covered all the key points.
If the video is a consultation, write down any questions you need to ask beforehand, or keep your fitness software open on the relevant form or page for consultation notes.
Set up the location
Find a filming location which looks clean and professional. It doesn’t have to be a plain, white wall; a few items in the background can add depth, personality, and a touch of your brand. Just avoid any setting that appears messy or disorganized.
Make sure you have plenty of natural light or use indoor lighting to brighten up the setting. Avoid sitting or standing in front of a window if you can – the background light might make you appear darker. If you can’t find another location, make sure to adjust the blinds.
Set the camera up close to eye level. Do a few on-camera practice runs, watch the video back, and adjust until you feel the angle and flow are just right.
Keep your clients informed
Prior to a video engagement or session, send an email or text message to tell the client what to expect, and if they need to bring or prepare anything. With fitness management software like Zenoti, you can send automated reminders to clients ahead of their appointments.
3. Record or stream with confidence
When you’re ready to start the video session, relax and know it doesn’t have to be perfect (and might not be!). Share some of that familiar (but professional) reception you would deliver in person. Remember that the session is for your client’s benefit. They are likely happy to see you and eager to participate, so try to let go of any nerves and be yourself.
Do your best to minimize outside noise that could interfere with the video session. Put a note on your door and silence your phone. If your computer or tablet is required during the consultation, turn off the sound and close any unneeded apps or programs.
Connect with your clients
Be as conversational as you would if your clients or students were standing in front of you. Try making occasional eye contact with the camera to help build a connection. If you take notes, be sure not to just stare at your notepad or screen. Pause to look at the camera as you continue your session, and feel free to include hand gestures to keep your client’s attention.
Dress professionally, just as you would for any in-person class or session. Solid colors usually work best on camera – but avoid wearing all white, as it might look too bright.
Finally, keep water close at hand and don’t forget to have fun. With some practice and preparation, your video sessions will feel as natural as talking in person.
Introducing video to your fitness business
There is a host of video conferencing tools to suit every type of fitness business. Zoom is the most popular platform with 46% of adults worldwide using it regularly.
The Zenoti all-in-one fitness software platform integrates with Zoom. It offers your clients a familiar interface for their online fitness sessions and saves time by automatically creating Zoom invites when you book a video session.
Zenoti also helps you grow your brand effortlessly with tools for bookings, sales, marketing, analytics and billing.
To see how Zenoti can support your fitness business online and offline, contact us.