It’s no understatement that the last few weeks have been more than challenging. For the fitness instructor community, the closure of gyms and advice to stop running group exercise classes for the foreseeable future is more than a shock.

A pile of stop watches at different times

Take your classes online

Likely, you’ll have seen a lot of chat in instructor forums regarding streaming your classes. This is a great way to keep your current participants engaged, introduce exercise to other people, and continuing to make an income.

There are a range of resources to advise you on how to take your classes online and what you’ll need to do.

If you are an instructor member of EMD UK and have your insurance with us then you are able to offer classes online. They can be 2-way streams i.e. you can see the participant and they can see you, you can offer one way streams, where they can see you but you cannot see them, and you can host pre-recorded classes on various platforms or your own website. Please remember that you still have the same duty of care as you would if conducting your normal face-to-face classes, so please include a disclaimer that each participant must acknowledge and adhere to.

Remember, this isn’t just for now. Practicing and streamlining the way you deliver online classes could open up the services you offer once live classes start up again. Online content doesn’t have to have an expiry date so monetising online workouts that people can dip in and out of could lead to an increase in income further down the line.

Do online classes to understand what CPD you might like to do

It’s not just you that is taking content online; loads of fitness brands are delivering their classes via Zoom, YouTube etc. From HIIT to dance fitness to aerobics to boot camp style workouts, there is a wealth of online resources to keep the nation active from their own home. As an instructor, this is the perfect time to think about your own CPD journey and try out some styles different to those you currently teach. Think about it, how often do you have so many classes on demand at the click of a button? Try one, two (or maybe more!) to find out whether taking their instructor training is something you want to do. Think of it as a try before you buy system!

The classfinder Facebook page has daily links to a range of workouts from brands across the industry so make sure you check out the page and give it a follow.

Take an hour each day to do something you don’t usually have time for

Self-care is an important tool for everyone. As an instructor, all eyes are on you so often as you #StandAtTheFront and put the needs of others first. How often do you have time to concentrate on yourself?

Take one hour every day as your self-care hour. This could be taking a long bath, reading that book that’s been starting at you for months, making a new recipe from scratch, practice some guided meditation, write a journal, or maybe even learn a language.

Did you know that you can start learning a language from just 15 minutes a day? That’s the message from the language-learning app Duolingo, at least. Not only will learning a language make ordering food abroad easier (when we can travel again!) but it could help you communicate better with your current classes and even gain you a few more clients.

The UK is increasingly a multi-cultural society and access to exercise should not be barriered by language. Take the time to understand if there are non-native speakers in your communities and see if you can learn some key phrases and communication skills to encourage them to take up your classes.

Work on your marketing skills

Not every instructor needs to be a marketer, but every instructor needs to do marketing. You don’t need to be an expert to create some fantastic marketing campaigns for your classes and fitness business. It has never been easier to learn skills online and there are a wealth of marketing modules and short courses that can help instructors drive their business forward.

Google Digital Garage is a free online training programme that takes learners through 26 easy to follow modules in marketing. Each one takes around 45 minutes to complete, focusing on areas such as how to grow your business online, and how to utilise tools such as Google My Business. You even get a certificate once you’re complete, fancy, right?

Another great online marketing programme is Facebook Blueprint. Facebook Blueprint take you through all the platforms owned by the social media giant and has lessons and resources on how to use each one. This means to can learn to improve your engagement on Facebook, advertise on Instagram, and integrate WhatsApp into your business. Lessons are easy to follow, and you can dip in and out to suit you.

Not all marketing is social media though and instructors should consider the merits of the old-fashioned flyer. According to research, a flyer can have a three-week lifecycle from the period it hits the doormat to the time it goes in the bin.

Luckily, designing a flyer is made easy with Canva, an online graphic design platform. Don’t let the words ‘graphic design’ put you off though. Canva has hundreds of templates for all kinds of design needs, including flyers, posters, social media posts, reports, and more.

Promote your classes on classfinder

You won’t be in your house forever and when normality is resumed, there is anticipated to be a rush on people getting active. Give yourself the best chance of visibility by loading your classes onto classfinder – the UK’s largest directory of group exercise classes.

classfinder makes promoting classes easy; simply register yourself and your timetable on the system. classfinder is open data enabled, meaning search results can be fed to and from a range of activity searches, so ensure you opt-in to make the most of the platform. Watch this short video to understand how classfinder works.

So, there you have it; five ways to maximise your time right now. Even doing one or two items from this list could have lasting, positive impacts on you and your business. Don’t forget, you can find more resources on our free downloads page here.