Are we witnessing the “rebirth” of the fitness business model?

 

I think so…

 

… even if many health and fitness professionals don’t really “see” it.

 

It’s happening.

 

Our industry is going through a “rebirth!”

 

Maybe it’s due to the pandemic.

 

Or, perhaps, it’s the economy….

 

Or.. technology.

 

The truth is…. it’s ALL of these things and MORE….

 

IS IT JUST THE SAME… BUT DIFFERENT?

 

If you’ve been in this business for as many years as I’ve been in it (32)…. you’ve seen lots of changes.

 

And, frankly, many fitness veterans and health professionals view this as just another “change” in an industry that’s already trendy to begin with.

 

But, it’s not.

 

This time it’s really different.

 

HERE’S WHY:

 

In the past, the DISTRIBUTION of our health and fitness services were at physical locations — clubs and studios – (retail).

 

Oh sure, a few visionaries were “online” or doing “phone coaching” (remember that?) – but the overall CONSUMER MARKET was NOT READY for the digital world (wasn’t ready for phone coaching, either!)

 

BUT… COVID CHANGED EVERYTHING!

 

Listen… this was going to happen, anyway. But, the pandemic accelerated the transition… big time!

 

But, don’t misunderstand….

 

Physical locations (clubs and studios) will continue to be the mainstream core of our industry.

 

There will always be never-ending price wars among the “bottom-feeders!”

 

And, yes, it seems the “Little Black Dress” promotion will live on for eternity!

 

However, for the marketing savvy, high-ticket trainers, studios and clubs — the bar has been raised.

 

That’s because consumers now EXPECT more out of us.

 

A lot more….

 

CONSUMER EXPECTATIONS

 

I can assure you consumers are NOW ready for the DIGITAL WORLD.

 

After all, we taught them HOW to use it (Zoom, Facebook Live, Website Videos, Webinars, etc.)

 

In fact, we did such a good job they’ve totally embraced it.

 

Today, and for the foreseeable future, consumers will:

 

EXPECT a physical location to offer “online services.”

EXPECT live stream sessions when they can’t make it to the gym/studio.

EXPECT pre-recorded workouts they can access while on vacation or traveling.

EXPECT a higher level of personal relationships with staff – both online and in-person.

EXPECT a sense of “community” with other members – both online and in-person.

EXPECT a knowledge base of health information to further their fitness journeys.

 

And, that’s just the beginning…!

 

THERE’S MORE…

 

I will say this until I’m blue-in-the-face!

 

Our clients WANT and EXPECT a RELATIONSHIP with us.

 

A warm, strong, personal and productive RELATIONSHIP is what separates us from Peloton, Apple Fit and a hundred other giant digital platforms.

 

Not to mention all the free workouts on YouTube.

 

The big digital platforms are all about “scale.” They literally have no soul! They can’t possibly develop personal RELATIONSHIPS.

 

It’s like they are Toyota “dealerships”…. while, we are the Ferrari “automotive experience!”

 

Do you see the difference?

 

There’s an old saying you should memorize and hold dear:

 

“People hire the TRAINER… not the training.”

 

TAKE IT “ONLINE”

 

Boutique studios have always been good at building relationships. It’s one of the big advantages of small group training.

 

But, now, we need to bring those “relationship-building skills to the online world.

 

It’s not the same as in-person. It’s different.

 

But, YOU can do it!

 

I’ll share more about this is in upcoming posts.

 

Just KNOW this one thing is for sure….

 

Offering “online services” is the FUTURE…!

 

It’s EXPECTED!

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