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Anna Martin

How to become a dance instructor

By Dance, Fitness business management archives and news

It’s International Dance Day today and what a better way to celebrate than sharing some of my top tips on how to make the jump from dance enthusiast to dance fitness instructor.

Moving towards a new career or class concept armed with rhythm and a desire to make people feel amazing, can seem like a dream come true for many. It was for me over 10 years ago now, when I turned my dancing career into fitness and took the giant leap to become qualified and gain a few group instructor licences under my belt. The journey has come with some challenges, like for most, but I have managed to overcome these and gone onto launch my own business and support hundreds of group instructors with their fitness business.

Here I would like to share my top 5 tips on how to get started with becoming a dance fitness instructor.

1. Find your vibe

There are so many different styles of dance and dance fitness as well as a whole host of teaching methods. If you have a passion for a certain style of dance or music then this will start to pave the way towards a certain brand or creating your own class around a specific theme.

There really is something for everyone in dance fitness – for instructors and participants, which is GREAT because we are all so different with what we love and are truly passionate about helping people stay active.

2. Connect with your clients and potential clients

It might sound basic, but what is your market really looking for? This will help shape how you construct your class if you are going freestyle. If they are after something upbeat with a higher intensity then that will let you know what bpm or movement patterns you might look at. Do they already have experience in dancing? Could this be the first fitness dance class they have ever done? Then that will change what you might add in too. The same goes for branded concepts. Choose something that fits you AND your target market will make it a lot easier to sell as well as to connect with.

3. Make sure you have the right qualifications

Ensure that whatever qualifications you have extend to the concept you wish to cover. The first port of call for someone with no fitness or dance background would be to look at a group exercise qualification. Being qualified in the style of class you want to teach will also help you to pick up cover work at a gym or studio which will help you hit the ground running.

4 Reach out to local instructors

If you are looking to teach but you have no experience, why not attend a variety of classes whilst you work out what it is you truly love. Let the instructor know that you’re intending to train up and they will no doubt be able to point you in the direction of other places to go locally or centres to reach out to that might need extra cover.

5. Think outside of the box

If you’re looking for cover work, then sure, it makes sense to offer a class that’s popular in your local area. But if it’s your own class that you’re looking for, perhaps it would be better to stand out in a busy market than offer the same style or concept. There is something magical about not being afraid to be yourself and teaching a class that makes you feel confident and your clients will feel exactly the same when they connect with you.

If you decide to start a career as a dance instructor, you may want to consider investing in fitness management software like Gymcatch to help you manage your schedule, clients and payments.

In-person fitness class

How to price your in-person fitness classes

By Fitness business management archives and news, HIIT and group

Pricing your in-person fitness classes is probably one of the most difficult decisions you have had to make for your business. Here, personal trainer, Anna Martin shares her top tips on setting your prices right.

Know your area and your target market
Every area has a price ceiling. This is going to differ depending on where you are and your local demographics. So it’s important to benchmark your price against other local fitness providers. The closer the service the better the comparison.

For example, while you can compare the price of small group training at a gym to the price of a dance fitness class, you have acknowledged that it’s a different experience and market and the client’s willingness to pay will differ. It’s important to understand what’s driving fitness consumers’ decisions to buy your services.

Most of us want to charge a fair price: provide a great service that offers the client value, but which also makes us feel valued, appreciated, and attributing a price to your own effort, skills and experience.

Within reason, price is not among the primary factors when clients are buying fitness. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that as long as you’re cheap, you’ll get full classes.

Value your skills, education and experience
If you’ve been teaching for a while, you have accumulated a set of skills. Those skills are a combination of the education earned as well as the experience you’ve gained from all the days in the trenches helping different bodies stay fit and well.

This should be considered when setting up your prices. Just because someone locally is charging less than you, don’t feel you need to price match. If you’re offering something better, charge more!

Likewise, if you are supplying quality equipment to do the class you should charge for that (and make sure your clients know they are getting the best kit). Similarly, if you are providing a service that is capacity-constrained, and therefore are restricted on numbers, that will probably also mean that you will need to increase the class price.

Don’t be embarrassed at increasing your pricing for your fitness classes. You’re not ripping-off customers: if you’re providing a quality product your client base will have no problem paying a proper price for it.

Keep a close eye on your overheads
Work out what you need to make from that class in order to make it worth you doing it (after all you have bills to pay too) and then calculate any per head or per hour cost that you may need to charge in order to make it profitable.

Include all your overheads too. Your travel, your admin time, your client support outside of the class, marketing, insurance, licenses etc.: it’s not just the hire of the venue and the time spent at the front of the class which your clients need to pay for.

One of the worst things you can do is to go in too low because you’re scared to ask for more. It breeds resentment and it’s also self-defeating. And that is the LAST emotion you want to have walking into a room full of people who are there waiting for you to bring the magic.

Your prices will go up, this is a fact of life. You can’t make yourself immune from inflation.

From experience, most price increases in group exercise happen when we need to, not because we would like to. It is unlikely that your price increase isn’t fair, one of the few drawbacks in this industry is that we tend to undersell ourselves when we should value ourselves more.

Increasing your prices is just a matter of good communication. Let them know face to face that it’s going to happen and then email them, giving them plenty of notice (as in weeks or even 1-2 months rather than days). But don’t make a big deal of it.

Make sure everyone knows in a thorough way, let them know when the prices will increase and to what, then move on. What you don’t want or need is spending months or weeks talking about your prices.

It’s a distraction and it’s boring and it’s not what your clients are paying for. You might lose the odd client. But it’s far better to lose the odd client at your new price than hang on to those clients charging an unsustainable amount.

Keep things simple
A common mistake that fitness instructors make is to create overly complicated pricing structures, often to try and be all things to all people. This is often self-defeating.

While lots of us are creatures of habit and show a bit of reluctance to change, you should not tie yourself to running your business in a way you don’t want to, just because you are worried about changing things up for certain clients.

Communicate clearly, explain why you need to change the way you run your business and your clients will understand and change. Spare yourself, bespoke pricing, making bookings for people, bank transfers etc. Advertise a fair, simple, and transparent price structure and ask clients to get onboard.

If you don’t give them a choice they will. If you are timid and do give them a choice, people will instinctively want to stick to what they know. That’s not because the way they do it is better, it’s just because it’s what they are used to and they don’t like change!

Lastly, now that you have worked out the right pricing for your fitness classes is time to think about your lead generation strategy and how to get more customers through the door.

For more information on Gymcatch and how it can help your yogapilatesdance or personal training business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free month.

On-Demand fitness library

How to create an on-demand fitness library

By Fitness business management archives and news

Have you been considering creating an online fitness library? You probably have lots of questions about where to start, what software to use, how to price your videos, and how to sell them.

We asked Anna Martin, Personal Trainer and owner at AMF World to give us the inside knowledge on how to create inspiring video content to grow your business.
 
1.      Stay tuned to your audience
The first port of call is to listen to your audience. Find out what people actually want and why they want to get it from you. Ask your target audience about class styles, how they want to access it alongside ideal workout duration times workouts to be, how they want the workouts to be delivered and what other information they would want alongside those workouts to make it super effective. Remember your clients want to be told what to do and on what day so point them to the right place in your library As a business owner, the more information and feedback you can receive from your client, the easier it becomes to guide them to the right content in your library.

2.      Consider your business goals and how On-Demand fits in
Is this something you want to use in conjunction with live or streamed classes? Is this a completely stand-alone product reaching a different market? Are you making it for a specific business client? What your goals are for this product will dictate how you decide to put it together. If you want it to work in conjunction with something you are already doing, then you need to work out how this integrates and interacts with what you are doing.

For example, are these On-Demand workouts going to be completely different to what you have on your timetable? Or are they designed to be there for those that couldn’t make it to the live classes?  Once you have worked out what the purpose of your On-Demand section is, it will be much easier to form a vision of how you want it to look.

3.      Finding the right video solution
Not every fitness professional has a natural aptitude or inclination to digitise their services, the majority would much rather be focusing on running classes and sessions over getting to grips with a new piece of business software. If even the mere thought of introducing tech to your business leaves you in a cold sweat, the chances are you need a simple solution or someone to do it for you. An easy-to-use and affordable platform such as Gymcatch enables fitness professionals to package and sell their products online.

This could be a collection of videos stored on something like YouTube, Facebook Groups or Vimeo platform, then offering the service through your website might be preferable. Check out Wix and V-Healthy for video solutions but there are many more ways of doing it.

4. Monetising from your fitness video content
Are you planning to charge a monthly or weekly subscription? Or are you going to charge per video or per series of videos? This will be impacted by the areas we have talked about in the points above. How will you collect payment? Do you have software that can handle recurring payments, or would it be easier to charge one collection at a time? Charging per project or per video may take the pressure off in terms of content creation but a subscription may give you a more reliable sideline.

Check out the point below before you make a decision. Obviously, we are not all providing our fitness expertise and content for people out of the goodness of our hearts so working out how you are going to charge for your services is important. Many fitness professionals charge weekly or monthly subscriptions whilst many others charge per video or per bundle of videos. Whilst charging per project can take the pressure away from the content creation side, a subscription service ensures a more reliable revenue stream.

4.      Distributing your video content
If you provide a subscription, what’s your release schedule going to be like? If you say you’re going to release videos every month or week then you have to release those videos if people are already paying for them upfront. From experience, I would always start on the lower side so you’re underselling what you will do and exceeding clients’ expectations. If you promise to release five new videos a week and then you only manage three a month, people will be disappointed. If you edit your own videos rather than just recording them live and leaving them up, factor in the time it’s going to take to get those done.

The most important thing is that this is a viable source of income or client retention, avoid letting it become a viable source of stress by overestimating what you’re able to achieve – especially if you are a one-man-band. When distributing your content my main piece of advice is to start small, it is more important that your content lands as promised to your paying subscribers rather than omitting or delaying content. If you promise five videos per month and can only provide three then your client base will start asking questions of you. Overpromising on content and time, especially for one-man operations like many in the fitness industry is more likely to generate stress than it is to generate a viable income stream.

How to get your fitness brand to stand out

By Fitness marketing and social archives and news

How to get your fitness brand to stand out from the crowd using social media

 

Social media has become the hub for fitness and wellness-related content. It is the place to be for all fitness professionals who use social channels to effectively broadcast their brand. However, with social media becoming ever so crowded, how are some fitness professionals able to grab people’s attention and stand out from the crowd?

In this article, entrepreneur and fitness professional, Anna Martin, shares her top 5 strategies to stand out from the crowd and get your fitness brand noticed online.

‘My biggest reach on any post is always if I have shared something about myself. It goes deeper than a couple of photos of a night out and a three-word caption with a couple of emojis.’

Anna Martin
Owner AMF and Anna Martin Fitness

We all know the feeling of staring at the phone thinking “what the hell am I going to write this time”. The world of social media has become overwhelming in the last few years. Gone are the times of sharing a grainy screenshot of a logo and seeing the class bookings roll in. Social media has become a whole business of its own, and one that it can feel difficult to keep up with. It doesn’t have to be quite the labour-intensive production that it first seems, however.

Here I share my top tips to make social media work for you and your fitness business. 

1. Bring your quirk and tell your story

It’s easy to spot a copy and paste caption or status a mile off. It sounds nothing like that person’s usual posts and will do nothing to improve their reach or status. The best and easiest thing to do is to first understand who you are as a fitness professional and why your clients come to you.

Ask your clients, find out what it is about you that is appealing. If you’ve been through a difficult journey, then share some of it. It doesn’t have to be a warts and all diary entry to connect with people. In fact, sharing your story and becoming unique in that way will attract your ideal clients. 

2. Understand the algorithms

Social media companies didn’t create their platforms to be nice. They created them to make money. We get to use them for free, in return of our data. They then use the data for businesses to run well-targeted adverts. The more adverts placed, the better it is for the social platform.

Spending time in the platform contributing and engaging is key too. If your content makes people spend longer time on social media, the algorithm will see us as a positive contributor. Facebook and Instagram measure engagement using things like DMs, comments, likes, saves, and shares. They even zoom in on pictures, or rewatching the same videos.

The more interesting your content is to your target market, the more people you will reach. It sounds so robotic, but that’s what is in it for them. We don’t need to create content specifically with this in mind, but it’s good to know when it comes to evaluating why our ‘Come to My Class’ graphic didn’t get great reach. 

3. Get personal about your fitness journey

My biggest reach on any post is always if I have shared something about myself. It goes deeper than a couple of photos of a night out and a three-word caption with a couple of emojis. If I write about my journey with scoliosis for example or my journey with teaching group fitness, those interactions are much higher. It’s easy to forget that social media is a relationship-building platform. It’s like chatting to someone on the gym floor, or someone coming up to you on the high street. If we think about it like that, then it’s easier to decide what kind of content you want to put out there. 

4. Be consistent

It’s about showing up. It might not be every day but if it’s regularly rather than sporadically. Once you set your frequency your followers/friends will start to become excited about your posts. Gradually it’ll feel less like an effort and more like a conversation which is the ultimate goal!

You’ll be told things like ‘post 6 times a week’, ‘post 3 times a day’ but the truth is, it needs to be a schedule/routine that you can stick to and build from. Don’t let yourself be pushed into something that is too hard for you to maintain. We are all different and so are our clients, that’s why we will gradually work out how much is too much for them!

5. Use unique visuals

Use your logo and brand colours to make sure you are easily recognisable from your social media posts. It can be as simple as overlaying a transparent png of your logo onto a video, especially if it’s not of you. Once you have your brand colours nailed down, use something simple like Canva to give your social media posts that personalised look. Once you have templates set up, the time is taken to get the content made will rapidly reduce, leaving you more time to do what you do best – flex in front of large roomfuls of people. 

There are times when we all feel like we are shouting at an empty room, but going back to basics will help you get in touch with who you are talking to and what they want to hear from you. Although the latest trend might work for some people, for other’s it’s not the way to go and it’s far better to understand who is listening to you and how best to help them achieve their goals. 

Build your own community using Gymcatch!