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How To

How to Build an Online Fitness Business

Whether you're a fitness studio or independent yoga instructor, you can offer fitness classes online.Your reach is far, and now is the perfect time to get started.

May 23, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic may have closed or drastically limited your fitness or yoga studio’s ability to operate, but the newest Punchpass features, including seamless integration with Zoom, an online content library, and sliding-scale donation-based passes, let you tap the online market in a way that could boost your business now, and in the future. It’s great for individual trainers and instructors, looking to strike out on their own too!

Online, on-demand video is a smart and easy way to keep your clientele excited, engaged and active. Here are some pro-tips on how to build a content library that delivers value to your best customers, and even might attract some new ones.

Whether you’re adding pre-recorded content to your livestream classes, or choosing to go 100% on-demand, Punchpass’s content library feature allows you to fully customize your offerings – and most importantly, track attendance and monetize them.

One of the most exciting aspects of taking your fitness studio online is that you have the opportunity to connect to an unlimited number of people virtually anywhere in the world.

You can even use content that you’ve already recorded on YouTube, Vimeo or Zoom. 

Getting Started

If you’re starting from scratch, we recommend getting social. The great thing about Punchpass’s software for fitness businesses is that you don’t need a website to launch. You can easily publish your online class schedule for live classes and a link to your video class library on your Facebook page. Do set up separate social media accounts for your business, because you’ll be able to access a wider variety of options than you would have through your personal pages. Be sure to invite all of your most valuable clients, friends and family to like and follow you.

If you already have a website or an established business, your Punchpass online video library will seamlessly integrate into your site

The Intro Offer

If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to record a “welcome video” with an introduction to who you are, the type of classes you’ll be offering, and some basic “how-to’s” that help your customers easily understand how to access and pay for the online content.

To attract new users and give your customers a chance to “try-before-they” buy, consider recording a free, short – say 20 minute – “sample” video to showcase what students can expect in your longer video workouts.  

The Core Offering

To start, record at least a half dozen of your bread-and-butter classes. This would be a video showcasing your primary method or sequence. Include an all-levels or beginner format, as well as intermediate and advanced options.

Each week as you teach your live classes, be sure to record them, and upload them to your content library. If you’re using entirely pre-recorded material, be sure to update new classes at least weekly to keep your offerings fresh, and continue adding value. The more frequently you can upload new classes, the more content you have to monetize through single downloads, punch passes and memberships.

Over time, you may want to “sunset” some content, especially if it’s seasonal or you’ve mentioned events or news in the recordings that are outdated. You use this as a technique to drive views on specific videos too by saying “only available until…”  

Series, Workshops, Challenges, and Other Specialized Content

Creating online lifestyle programs, workshops and trainings is where the real gold in online fitness programming lies.

Right now, it’s essential that you keep your customers – especially your autopay members if you have them – connected and feeling like they’re getting big value.

Here are some specific ways to use your online content library to share lots of love, and potentially attract lots of revenue. 

Online Workshops

You and your team don’t have to wait to re-open your doors to offer those amazing workshops your students treasure. Now in particular, students are craving connection with you, and the deep dives into the training and practice techniques that you and your team have the expertise to provide. You can easily record one-time sessions lasting one to two hours, or a series of sessions (we’ll talk more about series in a minute).

You can schedule, promote and sell your online workshop easily using Punchpass studio management software’s new virtual content library feature.

Currently, themes for stress relief, weight loss, strength building and mood-boosting are all in high demand.

Remember that clients are at home, so be sure to let them know in advance what equipment or props they’ll need, and make sure they’re easily obtained. You can email registrants right from Punchpass. 

You can also use the email feature of your software to send out any supporting materials like PDF’s or links before or after your workshop. 

Workshop Series

A multi-day workshop series has even stronger retention potential because your clients are coming back again and again over time to engage your on-demand content. You can also boost your offering by combining your multiple, pre-recorded sessions with one or more live sessions. Punchpass’ integration with Zoom makes this super simple.

Here’s an example, if you’re offering a four week “Flab to Fab in 30 Days,” series, you can load one pre-recorded training session per week into your content library to a “registrants only” area that password protected. Plus, you can offer a live, weekly Zoom meeting for participants through Punchpass’ live video option to keep everyone motivated, check in on their progress, help them through challenges and acknowledge their victories.

You can also add in extra bonus content like videos of you making healthy recipes, providing a guided meditation, or simply offering motivational “you can do-it” encouragement.

Anything you think will help your audience and improve their results, you can create and share it with them through your online fitness studio. So get creative!

Lifestyle Programs

Another great offering that you can sell at a higher price point, is online lifestyle programs and fitness challenges. The beauty of these is that once you record the first program, you’ve got the content to offer forever, over and over again.

You can either choose to offer this as a program everyone signs up for and participates in at the same time – which allows you to easily add in some live, group or one-on-one coaching – or you can allow people to start the program anytime, completing it on their own.

If you’ll be leading the program for a group to do at the same time, be sure to set a registration deadline, send out materials ahead of time, and consider adding in a weekly or daily live check in session in addition to the pre-recorded training sessions or classes.

If you will offer this as a stand-alone program, once you have all the material recorded, you can set the program videos to be available for anyone who registers and pays and people can start and complete the program on their own at any time.

The fun part of lifestyle programs is that in addition to your group class or training routine videos, you can get super creative with adding in cooking, coaching, mindset, pro-tips, hacks, power moves, and behind the scenes from your healthy lifestyle content. These types of videos have the power to build true lasting connection between you and your students.

Check out how Punchpass client Elevate Fitness+Wellness is offering their members nutritional coaching through their content library.

Punchpass client Elevate Fitness & Wellness Content Library

Punchpass clearly tags each pass and membership offering on their pricing page with “content library” flag so that customers know they get access to all the online offerings.

Content Library Pass List


Remember that 30 Day Challenge you were planning? Your online, on-demand Punchpass video library makes it possible. Stream live or pre-record your weekly motivational meeting messages. Load up as many training videos and classes as you need to keep your challenge participants going.

What a great way to keep yourself motivated too. With the commitment to film and post a class a day for 30 days, you’ll have your own video content challenge that will leave you with an amazing library at the end!

Acknowledge and connect with your challenge group using social media. Facebook Groups is a great way to connect your virtual class library with your students and interact with them about their experience. Or create a special hashtag and give your group a way to connect, share the love and support each other through Instagram. Bonus – your fitness business gets some great user-generated marketing exposure. 

Pricing & Packaging

The beauty of Punchpass is that it seamlessly integrates all of your fitness businesses existing class passes and memberships into the online library purchasing system. If you’re a start-up business you can create a variety of payment methods for your customers who access your on-demand content.

There are basically two models of online fitness video pricing. One time purchases, which are like drop ins, and allow users to pay a one time fee, and then have unlimited access to the video forever, sort of like buying a movie on Amazon. Or a membership based plan, where customers commit to a monthly payment to gain access to a certain amount of content that’s provided to them.

In the examples we’ve given above, where your fitness or yoga business is offering a combination of “regular” classes, workshops and special events, we recommend a combination of pricing options. Offer your classes with the option to buy a single class, a class pass or a monthly membership to access all the classes in the library. Use your current pass structure, or consider discounting your bricks and mortar pricing for the new digital content (this is more typical right now, and will help you increase participation in your new content).

For workshops, series and lifestyle programs, set these at a one-time purchase price to register. We recommend giving members a percent discount as a bonus. 


Get the word out about your amazing new online offerings through email and social media.

Encourage your most loyal students to share invitations to join in the fun by posting and forwarding. Consider offering a free taster to your most engaged clients in exchange for a testimonial and some social media shout outs.

Consider doing some Facebook and Instagram live broadcasts. Keep your tone playful, encouraging and fun as you share about how excited you are to be offering online fitness coaching. 

Elevate Fitness+Wellness does a great job of encouraging its customers to do this by putting email and social share buttons right on the webpage that contains their video library content.

Most of all, have fun and don’t let perfection be the enemy of action. We encourage you to get in front of the camera and go for it. The more videos you film, the better you’ll get.