These days are like never before, fitness professionals face mounting challenges to adapt to new realities as a result of COVID-19’s social distancing measures. Most gyms remain closed to stop the spread of this deadly virus, so owners/employers are struggling to keep their businesses afloat while their employees are unemployed and/or scrambling to find ways to supplement their unemployment cheques and/or savings.

On the flip side, this pandemic has sparked creativity and entrepreneurialism among fitness professionals, many of whom have already identified alternative revenue streams that may, ultimately, wind up being just as–if not more–lucrative post-COVID.

As founder of the Hot Booty Ballet Company, I’ve incorporated these 3 revenue-generating activities into my business and personal routines that may inspire action and ideas in other fitness professionals during this pandemic–and beyond:

 1-Deliver personal and/or small group training online

Community is at the heart of the fitness industry. Especially during these unprecedented times, keeping your clients and community connected so they can stay both physically and mentally fit is crucial to the survival of the fitness industry, which thrives on relationship building through group and one-on-one interactions. Offering group training online makes it possible for your participants to have fun while taking part in a healthy activity in which they can continue to share their common passion for physical fitness with like-minded individuals while personal training online helps strengthen the bond clients formed with you as their instructor and strengthen their loyalty to you.

Many of your clients, especially your regulars, miss your energy, smile, encouraging words, and tips on how to work out safely.

The good news is that through video technology inherent in social media platforms, you can keep offering fee-based classes to clients.

Tips for delivering online training:

Before:

Start by googling and choosing a social media platform with video capabilities, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Facetime, and the like. Then test that platform (sound quality, portrait or panoramic picture, whether your device should sit on a tripod or counter, etc.) on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop with a fellow fitness instructor or family members a few times. When you’re confident you’ve found the right platform and ironed out all the technical kinks, craft an invitation (email or social media) to your clients that includes step-by-step instructions on how to log into your class.

During:

Before you start your class, guide your participants on how to place their mobile devices so you can see their entire body and provide them with exercises that are tailored to their spaces and needs. You can also ask them whether they can hear your music above your voice. Throughout your class, ask them whether they can still hear and see you and let them know that if they can’t hear you, they can still see you and keep moving or that they can reach out to you after the class to help resolve their technical issues.

After:

If you’ve catered to a small group, you may prefer to collect more formal feedback by distributing a quick Survey poll to your participants to inquire about what worked well; areas for improvement;  technical issues, etc.  While there is no shortage of free online workouts available to fitness novices and enthusiasts who are now confined to their homes, bear in mind that your clients will be willing to pay a fee to participate in your online training sessions because they trust YOU, love YOU and miss YOU. After all, you gelled with them in person before the pandemic, and you’ll succeed in proving that your small group or personal training online sessions are a value-added service for them that will help you stay relevant and top of mind following the pandemic.

 2-Offer your expertise to companies

Companies are hard pressed to find ways to keep their employees physically and mentally healthy and socially connected. Fortunately, social distancing doesn’t mean that people have to be completely cut off from one another. All large corporations have employees who are accustomed and set up to work remotely or, in our current reality, from home. Seize this opportunity to offer your fitness/wellness expertise to corporations that may want to provide an online wellness program to their employees. For example, you can offer online workouts, online cooking classes or demonstrations, fitness challenges, and daily workout routines. Start by researching and identifying larger companies, contact their HR departments, and come to an agreement on services and remuneration. If you succeed at teaching online, who knows? These companies may decide to retain you to teach virtual or physical classes post-pandemic.

 3-Apply for physical activity and wellness grants

 One area of opportunity that is untapped is that of applying for physical activity and wellness grants offered by national corporations, local charities, philanthropists, and others who fund organizations and individuals seeking to expand or start a fitness activity or wellness program for adults or kids, especially during COVID-19. Millions of grant dollars are available for the taking, especially if you teach participants who are 60+ years of age. Your go-to resource to search and apply for local or national grants is The Foundation Center, which has a database of 100,000+ private foundations, public charities and corporations. You can narrow your key search words to “fitness activity and wellness grants” for your specific program and age group.

In conclusion, as fitness professionals, our expertise and know-how remain in high demand–even though we have to provide them remotely–because we can help counter the physical, social and emotional distancing this pandemic has foisted on all of us in such a short time. By securing funding from grants, delivering fee-based, online personal and/or small group training, and offering services to companies that want to provide their employees with an online wellness program, fitness instructors can keep making a positive impact on the physical and mental well-being of our population.

What do you think about these revenue-generating ideas? What activities have proven successful for you and your business?

Author: Suaad Ghadban is a leading fitness and health expert/presenter. She is well-known for her personal and unique approach to fitness. With 15 years of teaching experience and 22 years of training under her belt, Suaad has created a very fun & effective ballet inspired booty program called Hot Booty Ballet™. You can catch her regularly on Global TV dishing out the latest fitness trends. Please feel free to reach us at [email protected] for more information.

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