Who We’re Talking to:
Tricia Hovorka, Owner of Your Best Self Fitness in Salem, OH
Group Fitness Instructor
Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
We specialize in functional and corrective movement. We conduct in-person and online personal training, fitness classes and coaching.
Prior to COVID-19, did you offer live-stream classes?
I wouldn’t say we had a strategy in place, but we already had a Zoom annual membership with one account set up. My trainers do some coaching online, but one trainer was especially knowledgeable about online classes. So I quickly asked her to get me up to speed once we had the shutdown.
How has Vagaro helped you set up your online classes?
It’s been so easy just to get started. We used to create all the links then had to separately go in, log into Zoom and start the class. With Vagaro, you just pull up the class link, then it’s as simple as hitting the start button. So, it’s just made life a lot easier since the system handles notifying people when they need to log on.
What was the response when you started offering virtual classes?
Our customers were thrilled when we started offering live stream classes. We had one customer with two little kids at home, she immediately went virtual and she’s not been back since then. We have another mom, if she can get a babysitter then she’s in the studio, but if not, she participates online. I really think that it helps me maintain their memberships because they’re paying a monthly rate.
Do people enjoy the option of having both in-person and live-stream classes?
I would say 70% of our group fitness people immediately were chomping at the bit to get back in the studio. I have some people that have not come back, and it’ll probably be some time before they do. Giving them both forms of classes gives them one more thing to consider, even if they don’t use it. It’s all about offering enough value for their membership, so they keep it active.
Have you gained new clients through offering live-stream classes?
If I really promoted it and put it out there, I might be able to get in touch with people who aren’t in the area because obviously you can take the class from anywhere in the world. Instead of just having a bunch of people that we don’t know, I feel that it’s important to have that personal connection. The reason why is because I want to know the person and their limitations and what they struggle with. I want to be able to say, ‘Hey, Barbara, don’t forget to sit back in your heels when squatting.’ So, I’d almost rather keep it to people that that we know versus we don’t.
How do you advertise and promote your classes?
We promote primarily through social media, phone calls, emails, vice versa. We post pretty regularly to our Facebook. Every Monday, we post the lineup for the classes for the week. Once we switched to Vagaro and implemented live-stream classes, they came up automatically in our list of classes offered. When they’re registering for the class, they have the choice between in-person and live-stream.
Will you offer more online classes to match your in-person classes?
I haven’t really thought about changing up what we offer. Our toning class is easy to do virtually because you just grab whatever weights you have at home and our yoga class would also work well virtually. I haven’t really thought about offering something new that would have a wider appeal; although, we think all the time about new things to try and cater to our clients’ interests.
Do you plan on offering in-person and virtual classes after COVID-19?
Vagaro makes it so easy, so I can see us continuing to offer both options. A few times our members have gone on vacation or they can’t get away that morning because they’re at home, so the online forty-five-minute classes are quick and easy for them. I like giving them the option, so I think we’ll still put it out there.
Any advice you would share with other Vagaro businesses?
There’s so much flexibility that we have that I didn’t have before. I think I’d encourage people to go ahead and give hybrid classes a try. We recently had a lady that I haven’t seen in person for quite some time who sent us a very heartfelt text, just thanking us and saying that we basically saved her by offering virtual classes.
Gyms are finding ways to provide classes for clients who are eager to get back in the studio and offering virtual classes for customers who prefer working out at home. Maximize your hybrid class schedule by using Vagaro’s Live Stream Class feature so you can seamlessly conduct your service!