It’s been quite a few months now since many of us moved our fitness offering online to Zoom and now, those of us who kept this offering are looking for options to share recordings with clients who can’t attend live classes.
There are some cheap and easy options available like YouTube or directly on Zoom, but they come with limitations. For example, YouTube takes forever and a day to upload and videos are either accessible to everyone and their dog or can be made private.
As for saving recordings on Zoom directly (via the cloud), the recoding quality isn’t very good so it’s hard to feel comfortable charging a lot for those videos. You also won’t be able to embed the videos, have very little storage and can’t edit or brand the videos.
Anyway, in the Summer of 2020, Carly of Project HB, ran a workshop for Fitness Professionals to share her experience of creating an on-demand fitness library. Carly is streets ahead of me on this so she kindly shared her video with me which I used to write this guide sprinkled with my own experience too.
Let’s jump right in….
Things to consider about your offering
Before you start setting things up, there are a few things you should consider and think about first. Carly suggested to ask yourself:
- Will you offer permanent or time sensitive access?
- Will you provide memberships or deliver videos straight to their inbox?
- Programme based workouts or free-for-all choice?
- Single / stand alone workouts, categories or a full library?
- Monthly, weekly, or course format?
- How will you add value?
- Price points?
Once you’ve had a think about these various options, you’ll have the basics of a plan for creating your on-demand fitness offering.
Setting Up On Your Own Website
Ideally, for your on-demand offering, you will need, or want a “membership portal” – somewhere to signpost your clients to where they can get all the information about your classes and / or to access classes too.
On this page, and along with your workouts, it’s smart and probably a requirement of your insurance to add a disclaimer. Here is the disclaimer I have been using on all exercise related posts on my site:
p.s Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP.
You absolutely don’t have to have your own website to have an on-demand offering either. Platforms like Gymcatch – which I use for my live classes – now also allow you to sell on-demand access. This can negate the need for your own website – but if you do have your own site – you might as well have everything under one roof.
Carly currently embeds her videos onto her website, which need a password to be accessed. If you chose this option too, she suggested that you categorise, number and add descriptions underneath each video to improve user experience.
Your clients will want to know what they will watch, how long it will be and what equipment they will need. So make it easy for them!
Should You Offer Tasters / Free Content?
This is a little aside that came up in Carly’s workshop. It’s a hot topic between professionals with some saying you should give away nothing for free.
Personally, I’ve found a little free content is a good way to get new clients – people who haven’t trained with you before will be apprehensive to spend money if they don’t know what you’re about and what your style is.
Carly offers some free workout videos on her YouTube channel ranging in styles and time.
All The Tech Behind The Scenes
The majority of us already had to become z-list DJ’s to create the best sound experience for our live classes and now, there’s just a little more tech to take your offering to the next level. Here is what you will need to create you on-demadn fitness class offering:
- Zoom recording / Dedicated recording
- Edit in iMovie
- Host on Vimeo
- Membership through Patreon
- Access library through website
Should I use Zoom recordings or dedicated recordings?
As I eluded to earlier, Zoom recordings are pretty low quality. I did find a hack though on my mac – you can open Quicktime player at the same time as your zoom meeting, hit record and then you have much higher quality recording of the same session.
The con’s of recording your actual Zoom session though are the inter-personal chats that you may have. I have however had some clients feedback that they love that – it makes them feel like they’re in a live class.
Recording dedicated sessions have their downfalls too though- for me, I barely have the energy. You end up having to do the workout yourself and for me, on top of my teaching schedule, my own training – cycling and running, it needs to be very carefully planned into my schedule.
This also means you’re limited by your energy levels as to how many classes you can record. Carly shared that initially she spent an entire Saturday recoding around 10 videos (of differing lengths) to help bulk up the variety of her workout video library.
So when planning the launch of your library, you might want to factor in how and when you will create any dedicated recordings.
Editing Your Videos
Back in April, I shared some tips with you for planning and editing your fitness videos. If you have the funds, you can definitely outsource this bit, but I’m betting you might not be in that place right now?
Here are some programmes Carly suggested for video editing on your laptop / computer:
- iMovie on Mac
- “Create” in Vimeo (you’ll need a Pro account for this)
- Video editing for non-mac: www.movavi.com
I personally use iMovie. For recordings from Zoom, I cut off the waffle and chat at the beginning / end and add title page with class name / style. Carly also suggests to add the class description and what equipment is needed along with an outro at the end
How To Host Your Videos
This is probably the question that comes up on a daily basis. Where should you / can you host your videos so clients can get access to them.
If you choose to record your Zoom classes and store them on the cloud, you get sent a link to share with participants. Bear in mind, this will include the aforementioned waffle and chat at the beginning and end of class. You can set the recording to be deleted after a set amount of time too – I opted for 72 hours when I use this option.
If you want to have more control over your on-demand library then you need a better store option and Vimeo is what both Carly and I use.
- Vimeo Plus 5GB per week £10/pm when billed monthly + fees – annual packages available
- use code backtoit for 20% off your annual subscription
- Vimeo Pro is £16pm billed annually
- You CAN get Vimeo Pro on monthly billing, they just don’t make it easy to find
With Vimeo, you password protect videos to control access. Carly then changes this password on a monthly basis – updating clients each month. So essentially, her membership payment unlocks the password each month.
I currently use Vimeo Pro as I discovered they do a student discount. Before that I was on Plus, and founf the 5GB restrictive especially with good quality videos so that upload limit is something you would need to factor in when planning your launch.
I found I could upload around 3-4 (actual) Zoom recordings a week, or 1-2 better quality recordings per week dependant on the length (and therefore file size) of the class.
Privacy Options on Vimeo
On Vimeo, you have quite a few privacy options to help you control access. I use the people with the private link option and share the link when a purchase is made on my Ko-fi shop. This does mean that my clients have access for life, unless I choose to add a password later down the line.
The people with the password option is what Carly uses. You can update the password in bulk on Vimeo saving you changing it for every single video.
You can do this by navigating to > homepage > view all videos > select all > privacy > update settings.
The where can this be embedded option is also pretty handy. I have my own site as a default which means no other site could embed and share my videos unless I give them permission.
In the settings you can also turn off comments and update the setting to ensure videos can’t be downloaded.
Taking Payments For Your On-Demand Videos
This is probably the second most asked question when it comes to online classes – how to tale payment.
If you’re not already set up on a booking system, you can opt to have clients pay you via PayPal or directly into your bank account but personally, I think that is risky and also requires a fair bit of admin on your part.
Currently, Carly uses Patreon, while I use Ko-fi.
Overview of Patreon
- Way for artists & creators to sell products
- Creation packages for you to choose from – Lite, Pro & Premium
- % of earnings is taken by Patreon before you are paid
- Option to withdraw via PayPal – costs £1 per withdrawal
- You can offer one membership or tiers – people pay for more access
- You need at least the Pro package to have multi -tiered offering
You can check out Carly’s Patreon Page here.
A couple of things to be aware of with Patreon are that a) their month is based on PST time which is 8 hours behind us here in the UK and b) they add 20% VAT (that goes to Patreon) onto your prices.
Overview of Ko-fi
- Way for artists & creators to sell products
- Either free Ko-fi account, or upgrade to Ko-fi Gold for £5pm* (this link gets you 10% off Ko-fi Gold)
- No other fee’s are paid to Ko-fi with a Gold account
- Money is paid directly into PayPal and / or Stripe – fees from PayPal / Stripe apply
- No specific membership tiers available currently, but you can create a shop free of charge with no fees for Gold accounts.
My Ko-fi Shop:
I currently have a Ko-fi Gold account which I upgraded to within my first month of signing up to Ko-fi. They launched the shop feature a couple months ago, and that’s what I have been using to host my on-demand workouts.
I’m now an ambassador for them so I get to try out upcoming features and share my feedback. If you wanna try out Ko-fi Gold for a month just get in touch!
Other Payment Options:
- PayPal.me link
- Monzo.me link
- Direct into bank account
Although these payment options come with less / no fees, I feel like they are riskier. Other options provide more security for both you and your clients and also reduce admin. If people pay you via PayPal you need to find their purchase (which is sometimes with a random email address) and then email them the link for their purchase.
Other Platforms For Selling Videos:
- FitFam Pro
- Google Drive
These options came from Carly’s video. Using GymCatch for on-demand doesn’t cost any extra. If you wanna try GymCatch, you get a free 3 month trial, and if you use this referral link, you’ll get a free 4th month.
Music For Your Online Videos
Since the huge increase in online fitness classes being delivered, the issue of playing original artist music vs license free music has come up again and again.
In the Summer of 2020, we saw the launch of the new PRS online music licence which allows fitness instructors to play original artist music online but there are a number of limitations.
How Much Does The PRS Online Music Licence Cost?
The licence is £109.50 plus VAT (£131.40) and the sync add on is £43.80 (inclusive of VAT not sure without). You only need the add on if you already have an LOLM licence. As far as I am aware this license is currently only valid till the end of 2020.
You must only use it for online classes and on demand classes. Anything else like ads or social media content is not part of the licence agreement and you will be muted and unable to appeal.
You are covered for up to a maximum of 75,000 streams for the duration of the licence. See the EMD website for more info on this.
Sourcing License Free Music
License free music is the easiest and less stressful route to go down, if you need music at all.
Their music is all royalty free, meaning it can be used for online classes, both pre-recorded for YouTube or Facebook and live streaming by instructors.
You do not need a PPL or PRS license (UK), APRA or PPCA (Australia) or ASCAP (USA) to use the music in commercial fitness classes.
Final Tips For Your On-Demand Fitness Library
Before we leave you, I have some last tips to share with you from Carly to make this as smooth an operation as possible!
Buy an external hard drive – to store all your videos etc on and to keep them safe should anything happen to your laptop. My laptop doesn’t have very much storage space for big files like workout videos so I have a WD My Passport.
Record your Zoom classes – we spoke about this one before, but it’s a good way to build up some content and hit the ground running.
You might lose live clients to on-demand – offering a new on-demand service does come with the risk of losing some of your live clients to on-demand. However, when you get on-demand clients, you can tempt them over to your live classes…
Pick your price point and then stick to it – don’t price yourself too low to start with. £10 – £20 per month seems to be the average; at £20pm added value will be key.
Add perks to monthly memberships – to keep your offering fresh and secure the next monthly payment.
Let your personality shine though in your videos – your clients have chosen to pay you, for being you, rather than access free content on YouTube.
Choosing to offer a whole new service is no easy feat, but if there is one bonus, it’s that with everything being digital, mistakes can be made without losing much. As Carly said to me when the first l’down came about… “what have you got to lose?!”.
Found this post useful?
That’s great news! You can support me by leaving a comment, sharing with your colleagues, giving me a shout out or buying a me coffee…