When I first started teaching, and probably throughout the first few years I felt under a significant amount of pressure (from myself) to continually put new classes on. I wanted to seem varied and my clients to seem like I was a one stop shop for fitness. As the years have gone on however, I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I don’t need to be and actually it works better just to teach what it going to help my clients and also what I actually love and am heavily invested in personally.
But how do you know if you should be launching a new class? What about revitalising an old one? Maybe swopping one similar concept for another? It can be hard to decide, so here are some questions to ask yourself so you can evaluate your current group exercise timetable and nail down what you need for January.
What are your clients goals? What do they want from their workouts? Do they actually think there is something missing?
A lot of the time it’s the pressure we put on ourselves to mix things up. We think they are bored of something but actually they love it as it is… or maybe just with a little tweak here and there. Sometimes our numbers do not reflect how people feel about the class… we might need to improve the way we communicate about it rather than just change the entire session.
Do you love the class? Is there a reason why you might want to change it? Does it align with your goals?
If you are teaching something that maybe doesn’t sit quite so well with you anymore, then yes it might be time to change things a little. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is be true to who we are and what our business ethos is. If something doesn’t feel right, it can make us feel less effective at our job and that will continually naw away at us. That feeling can take away our confidence in other parts of our job, so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
Are you teaching a pre-choreographed concept and are you using the choreography?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to the pre-choreographed but ‘no’ to the choreography then it could be time for a rethink. If you are making it all up yourself then you’re basically just paying for the logo and the support. If you don’t think you need either of those then perhaps it’s time to evaluate the value to you of that concept. Most instructors are qualified in something whether that’s dance, fitness or a mixture of the two. It could be time to put your qualifications into practice and go a little rogue or look elsewhere for a pre-choreographed concept that matches your vibe and what you want to offer your clients.
How’s your marketing and sales going? Are you finding it difficult to get a new flow of people in?
This might well be down to the class style or concept… but it might also be down to how you are selling it, what area you are in etc.
Sometimes even struggling to know what to say about a class can perhaps tell us that maybe we aren’t in tune with it or that perhaps we need to brush up on how to sing its praises. Other times it could be down to time of day, venue location and the like. Sometimes we need to give a concept a fair bash before we give up on it.
It’s OK to cancel stuff and drop it. It’s also ok to give something a little revamp, a lick of paint if you will, an extra push in the marketing department, especially if you teach freestyle stuff. One of the biggest things for me has always been checking that what I’m doing aligns with my passion and my goals… because when I don’t feel in tune with something, I struggle. Some people are just great at sales, I wish I was, I’m only great at it if my heart is in it.
As a side note, the community fitness sector has changed drastically over the last few years. Just because you are not as busy as you were pre-pandemic doesn’t necessarily mean your timetable isn’t working. It just means that you might need to double down with your marketing efforts… which is a bit crap I know because that’s the bit that we all hate lol. Everyone’s money situation is tight. That doesn’t mean they don’t have the money to spend, it just means they are very conscious of where it goes. It’s our job to help people feel fit and healthy, and to ensure that they can see the value in that. When we are doing that effectively it means that people will be willing to spend money with us because they value what we do. Selling is not a dirty word when we are doing it because we know we can truly help someone.
If you need help with your January timetable, check out our Fitness Library subscription. Cancel anytime and use the 2 day free trial to see if its for you.