In a continuing series of interviews with Move partners about adapting to online class delivery and instruction, we’re thrilled this week to speak to Matt Millar, founder of Powered by Broga®!
Matt and his business are a brilliant example of how to quickly change up your instruction game according to the circumstances and in this discussion Matt is generous with his tips and advice for instructors who are starting the shift toward more online instruction.
Broga: How to safeguard your fitness business by going online
First of all, tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, what do you do and why do you do, what you do?!
Hey! Matt Miller here, founder of Powered by Broga®. We are the people who introduced yoga to the fitness world!
Our mission has been to create a version of yoga that would appeal to people who have been feeling left out, or for whatever reason put-off, by a traditional vinyasa class.
We wanted men, inflexible beginners and more sports-minded people of both genders to find themselves comfortable and loving any class that is Powered by Broga®.
How has it been since reopening after lockdown? Are you fully online only now?
Lockdown has been a time to rethink and strategise differently. We lost some corporate clients because they have had to cut costs and rethink the way they do business. But this led us to consider how we could train and support our teachers more economically.
We lost the ability to host teacher training courses. But even this opened up the opportunity to explore how to deliver an equally interactive and physical ZOOM virtual training. On our last course we had students from 4 different countries which would have never happened before.
We gained an online studio. We started doing a full schedule of 30 classes week for online immediately when lockdown happened to support our teachers and the general public. Our teachers donated their teaching fees, and a little extra from Broga®, and we raised over £3000k for AgeUK in the first 4 weeks! So with that initial success we decided to create a permanent bookable online studio timetable, which has continued to be a huge success.
How have your regular customers reacted?
I think people are loving both the new cost effectiveness of an online class and definitely the convenience of being able to do a great class without having to leave their home.
What’s the atmosphere like now compared to how it was pre-lockdown days? Has your relationship with your customers changed?
Without personal contact, social media and our online relationship with customers and what we are sharing with them in our online presence has become triple important.
We have tried to really up the game on what valuable content we are offering that is also consistent with our brand.
Describe how an interactive online Broga class works!
We wanted an online class to be just like the real thing. We encourage our teachers to spend 60 percent of the time doing the class with the participants, and the rest of the time watching, encouraging and commenting on their performance.
This is really important for a live online class to give people the most human connection possible. And it makes such a difference!
How would you describe the experience of giving an online interactive class to an instructor who hasn’t done one before?
There is no energy feedback or energy you can feed off when you teach online. You have to make your own wind. You have to really up your own energy for it to connect across the digital world or else teaching can come across a bit flat.
What have you learned that you didn’t know before (about giving online classes)?
How to use YouTube and Zoom and be tech-saavy! I am the most un-technological person ever, but if I had stuck with that fear we would completely be left behind.
Imagine if COVID was resolved tomorrow (we wish!), what would you do with your business?
The digital world of fitness and health is here to stay not matter what. So if COVID ended today we would just add back in the live in-person stuff to what we are currently doing!
What are your top 3 tips for an instructor who is hesitant about giving online classes?
1. Get over your fear. You don’t have a choice not having an online presence anymore.
2. There are incredible YouTube videos on how to make great online fitness videos. Learn the clever tips and you will be proud of the quality you can achieve.
3. Watch all the Zoom video tutorials to learn all the tricks to make the experience seamless and easy for your participants.
Thank you, Matt!! So great to see your fitness business flourishing despite these difficult times. Stay tuned for more interviews with top fitness providers...