The big companies are coming in to the online training market. Beachbody have their on demand service, now Les Mills, and others will follow.
This is it tells us the market for online training is huge and growing rapidly. These guys wouldn't be investing millions if it wasn't. This is one of the reasons I was delighted when Precision Nutrition tried to enter the software market. When the big companies come in to your space you know the potential is huge.
Having well known fitness companies offer online training also makes training online a very standard and accepted thing for all people wanting expert help. Up to now convincing clients that online training is a real thing has been the biggest hurdle. Now it will become widely accepted and very mainstream. This means the online training market is set to grow exponentially.
The obvious question here is how do you differentiate what you offer from what they do and take advantage of the massive growth in demand for online training? To answer this properly lets first look at what Beachbody and Les Mills offer:
- On demand classes and programs available online or in an app. Basically this is online programs with no schedule, so you pick and chose what you want and when. - On demand nutrition lessons, meal plans and recipes to chose from. - Access to a community - Access to a coach in the community (generally not a qualified one)
As a member of PT Distinction you can set all this up in a couple of hours and offer exactly what they do and more on their multi million dollar platforms. When V3 comes out the look and feel of your service will be better than theirs as well.
Whether you run on demand automated systems like theirs or bespoke training there are a number of ways you can differentiate yourself and stand out from these guys:
1) Have a well Defined Niche
The most obvious differentiator is to have a well defined niche and set everything up specifically for your niche clients.
For example if a busy executive sees Beachbody with P90X they run a mile as they don't have the energy or time to do that. Then they come across your niche specific training for busy executives in which all workouts are 20 minutes or less because you know time is precious, food tracking is a simple photograph rather than having to tediously find each item from a list, everything is designed to get you in great shape AND make you more productive... Which one do you think the busy executive will go for?!
2) Be You
The other key differentiator is you, a real person who lives a real life, who has the same struggles that your clients have and finds ways to overcome them. These companies have images of people who look like they were born with an exercise bike glued to them! while seemingly aspirational, very few people identify with these images on any kind of personal level. Look at how the Dove real Woman Campaign transformed a shrinking brand.
This isn't to say if you're in shape don't show it, it simply means show a bit about your life rather than only well lit images of you sweating in a gym.
The human touch will always allow you to stand out from any larger business. This can be utilised in everything you do, your voice and your personality are a big draw in any content and service based business.
3) Good Communication
Another easy way to separate yourself is good communication, talking to your members and clients, looking at their results, looking at their progress, then congratulating them (or giving them a kick up the butt) and encouraging them all the way to their goal.
Beachbody can put people in to a community but results aren't viewed, progress isn't looked at and feedback from a qualified coach is non existent. It's easy to be better than that!
4) Habit Coaching and long term Results
Giving your clients habits to focus on and getting them to track those every day is also a great differentiator in terms of the service you offer. Combine this with daily messages reinforcing each coaching session and you have a very powerful results getting service.
While this one can be automated by the likes of Beachbody it hasn't been done yet so get there first and emphasise long term results.
5) Bespoke Training
If you offer bespoke training to your clients then having a big push on the custom nature of this separates you from the on demand services in a very big way.
Plenty of your content should be based around the importance of personalised program design, coaching specific to your personal needs, as well as having plans that fit around your lifestyle on a day by day basis. You can only nail these things for individual clients when offering individual services with good communication. Beachbody or Les Mills will never be able to compete with this.
Big companies entering your market will expand the market for online training dramatically. By having a well defined niche, showing your personality and life, and offering a level of service big companies can't match you can take advantage of this expanded market and grow your business big time.
The entry of big companies to your market is a huge opportunity to any great online trainer but only if you take the right steps to differentiate yourself.