With the closing of gyms due to the pandemic a lot of fitness professionals have taken their business online. Can you have a succesful business online by filming fitness classes?
The shift to filming fitness classes at home with your phone comes with a lot of challenges, but we created this guide from our experience to help those get started filming fitness classes and generating revenue online.
Our Kinstretch Anywhere course was filmed with an iPhone so filming fitness classes at home is accessible by anyone that has a smartphone with a decent camera.
First, let’s start off with what is most important and that is audio The microphone on phones is not the best. As you get farther away from your phone the amount of background noise will increase.
A wireless mic will be your best option.
On one side you will have a wireless pack that receives the signal and it goes into your phone. On the other side you will have a wireless pack that connects to a lavalier microphone that can be clipped to your shirt or tapped to be hidden.
Here are some of the best practices for lavalier mounting.
We use the Sennheiser G4 system and it’s a standard in the video production industry.
Regardless of what lavalier system you are using you will need this cord to connect the audio to your phone.
If you are using the Seinheisser G4, it outputs in mono on one side, so you will need this small adaptor to have it output to stereo.
I have heard of people using Bluetooth mics, but have found them to be unreliable. We’ve also had friends that have used the cheaper Rhode Mic Go system, but they had issues with that as well.
If you are serious about filming fitness classes I would invest in good audio up front instead of having issues down the line and then upgrading.
Wireless Tip: With the increasing use of different radio frequencies you might run into interference with your microphone. What’s great about the G4 system is that it has a simple method of scanning frequencies to make sure you are on the best one. Here’s a guide on how to do that.
Make sure everything is plugged in before scanning. Keep the microphone transceiver off when scanning. You will be able to see in the meter if there is interference.
Scan frequencies every time you shoot!
It sucks to film a whole fitness class and when you watch it back it has a bunch of static noises that ruins your dialogue.
Second, you will need a tripod. Getting the right position for your camera and having a stable shot is very important. If you think you will only ever be filming with your phone you can start off with this tripod that has a phone adaptor.
Understanding color temperature and white balance are where I would start.
Different types of lights put out different color temperatures. Indoor lighting will generally be tungsten or fluorescent.
A common situation for filming classes at home is where you have the daylight coming in from outside and mixing with your indoor lighting. The camera will probably choose a white balance in the middle somewhere.
The daylight might add a blue color cast, tungsten a yellow color cast, or fluorescent with a green color cast.
If your environment you are shooting in does not work with just natural light you can use your normal household lights by replacing your tungsten or fluorescent bulbs with daylight bulbs. Your indoor light will now match the light coming in from outside.
Buying video lights will give you versatility with power and matching color temperatures to indoor lighting. Video lights get expensive quickly, but here is a good option for shooting indoors that a friend has been really happy with.
These lights will work indoors, but to compete with sunlight you will need to go into the pro range of lights. You might need to add an additional light or two depending on the size of the room you are trying to light. If you are feeling the lighting is too harsh, try bouncing the lights off of a wall.
Whatever lights you buy, I recommend getting lights that give you the option to change the color temperature and power output so you can match your environment.
You have a couple of options for optimizing your phone’s settings for filming fitness classes. I would recommend using the app Filmic Pro.
This app gives you the most control of your camera settings. It gives you an audiometer and you can change the shutter speed, white balance, resolution, and more.
Whatever camera app you are using, make sure to turn on your grid in your camera’s settings. The lines will help you keep your horizon line straight and center your subject.
Should you shoot your classes in 4K?
Shooting in 4K gives you more options when posting to different platforms, but it also will increase the time it takes to transfer and edit the footage.
It’s one thing if you are shooting 5-minute clips, but an hour-long class in 4K is a huge file. If you are going to be doing everything on your phone, I would recommend shooting 1080p.
If you are working from a decent computer I would recommend shooting in 4K. You can scale in on your image and center yourself as you move around in a frame. Shooting in 4K also gives you the ability to crop vertically without reduced image quality. Here are the different sizes you can create using 4K.
Shooting Tip: Think about where clips of your video will go. Keep the ratio size in mind when framing and center your subject. Go with more negative space around your subject so the frame can still work for vertical ratios.
Editing Tip: Make sure to use proxies when editing your 4K footage. It will allow your computer to play the footage easier.
If you are in it for the long run I recommend starting with Premiere or Final Cut.
Options for Sharing Classes
Sharing your full classes by reposting your IG or Facebook live might be a good way to try things out and judge demand, but the thing about social media is that at this point you can’t monetize it. Instagram did just announce revenue sharing with influencers so we will see down the road how that goes.
Social media is great for creating an audience, but to make money filming fitness classes you need to get your followers to other sites.
Thinkific is where we host our classes. It’s a great platform we chose it because it is geared towards education. You can create your landing pages easily and they have a great back end plus good customer support. For the cost, they have different monthly payment options depending on what you need.
They also have launched a $1 Million Entrepreneur Growth Fund where they mentor you in starting your online business.
For your offering, we recommend starting with a subscription model. Your income will be more steady and the lower price point will make it more accessible.
Make sure to continually add value to your subscription. To keep people subscribed you will have to commit to adding new content.
We are actually working on a new subscription with all new videos so make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know!
A one-time price will work better if what you are selling is a specific program such as a 30 Day Challenge. Our example would be our Mobility Coach Plus course.
If you are looking for an option that gives you all the business tools that Thinkific does, but is more focused on video then education, Uscreen.tv is your choice. They are a leader in the video-on-demand world. They also give you the option to stream live and use their app.
Youtube is free to use and great for exposure. It is the second-largest site searched with over 3 billion searches per month.
To make a lot of money on Youtube you need A LOT of views, but it a great place to start. Again, provide value to the viewer.
If you like the membership model Patreon is a simple option. The platform is geared towards individual creators. It’s easy to set up and get started.
The cost is a percentage of your sales so you will only pay more if you grow. If you are testing the waters and don’t want to invest in setting up a platform such as Thinkific or Uscreen.tv this is a smart option.
The downside to Patreon is that they do not offer as many tools on the backend for businesses.
If you are looking into another option that’s not listed or have any questions let me know and drop a comment below!
So you’ve chosen which site you want to host your content and you’ve filmed and uploaded a few fitness classes, what’s next?
Growth will not happen overnight so it is important that you lay the groundwork at the beginning for future gains.
The number one reason that online classes should be part of your business is that it is scalable. Get your system set up from the start and you will grow.
It’s a great feeling when you wake up in the morning to see a few sign up emails and realize you made money while you are sleeping.
Spending money to market your product will be part of it, but most should start off with what they can do for free.
Spread Your Classes Organically
Break down your classes into short videos that you can post on social or Youtube.
Create clips that provide value, but don’t give away everything you got. People aren’t going to sign up with you if you haven’t shown value. You can then post these on your social channels and Youtube to promote your paid content.
It is okay to give away full fitness classes for free here and there, but I would not on social. Use Youtube.
Asking for donations during you IG/FB live could be an option short term, but I would not do that long term.
We generally break down our classes into shorter clips by two methods:
- Focus on a certain exercise/movement
- Class highlights in short bursts
Here’s a short clip example we put together for our Shoulder ER Kinstretch Class.
View this post on Instagram
FREE Kinstretch Class Available Now Our #KinstretchAnywhere students have been crushing our level 1 & 2 programs at home during quarantine. We wanted to give everyone a full class that they can use at home?? Class is linked in our story and live on our YouTube Channel? Tag someone who should take class ?? MarkowTrainingSystems.com
Add Text To Your Social Videos
When you have instruction during a clip you are going to use on social, add text to the video. A large percentage of people will be watching your videos with no sound. You still want to deliver the value of your instruction if people can’t hear our video.
View this post on Instagram
Foundational Hip Strength This is a clip from our two day workshop in Dallas where we went over a specific activiation sequence to fire up the lateral/ medial aspects of the hips before getting into a lateral sled drag. The best coaches I have been around are savages when it comes to the details. The exercises shown in this video have been around forever but far too often are those details ignored resulting is less than ideal outcomes. How many times have you coached or completed a training session and the next day woke up as if you never worked out? Being sore is never the goal but if we really get after it and you are not feeling anything…… A novice coach says “my client just has no control so that’s why the workout did not go well” ? A great coach looks for the answer within themselves “what can ? do better to reach the training outcome we need” Learn how to improve your coaching with our online course #MobilityCoachPlus by knowing what to look for, positioning yourself to use your hands for tactile feedback, and arguably most important how to ??????????? for success. Shout out to my guy @cbrainard87 for the great demo?? Link in our bio to sign up for #MobilityCoachPlus ?????????????????????.???
Save a lot of time by using a service that transcodes your audio.
Pricing is pretty reasonable at Temi. You are able to download the caption files (.srt) and bring them into your video editing software.
Create a Blog
A good blog will be your best option for getting organic searches to your site. Blogs help with SEO tremendously. Content that you create for Youtube or social media can be reformatted for your blog. Just to start you can create a post of the free classes you have on your Youtube as we did with our At Home Mobility Routines.
Here’s another place where providing value is key. A blog gives you the ability to go in-depth on a subject as we did with our Ultimate 90/90 Stretch Guide.
Start your email list ASAP.
We use Mailchimp. The goal is to try to rely less on platforms that control your audience. Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm can be frustrating. Email is in your control.
You can integrate your list with the platform you choose. When you have a new class you can notify those on your list first.
Takes money to make money
We have laid out how to get started filming fitness classes with your phone and given you the path to make money, but to reach more possible customers beyond your organic reach you will have to turn to paid advertising.
Paid advertising can be really effective and have a great return on your investment. Advertising online for an online product makes sense. For that, we will leave it to another post.
Let us know if you have any questions about getting set up in the comments below!
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