June 14, 2021

How to Embrace Digital Offerings and the Hybrid Model

As studio owners, you’ve been charged with an incredibly difficult task: pivot overnight from in-person training to online training. You, like most, probably weren’t ready for this shift. But you did what you had to do. You went online and saved your business. And many of you not only saved your studios, but you thrived despite the massive challenge. You might now find that your studio looks entirely different from how it looked a year ago. Your services, offerings, locations, programs, clients, staff, etc. might have totally transformed. And it’s probably not going to go back to the way it was pre-COVID. Our world is different now. Your digital offerings aren’t a placeholder—they’re here to stay. That doesn’t mean that your brick and mortar studio will disappear. But it does mean that, for the foreseeable future, you’ll need to embrace the “hybrid model.”

“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.” 

Chinese Proverb

As studio owners, you’ve been charged with an incredibly difficult task: pivot overnight from in-person training to online training. 

You, like most, probably weren’t ready for this shift. But you did what you had to do. You went online and saved your business. And many of you not only saved your studios, but you thrived despite the massive challenge. 

You might now find that your studio looks entirely different from how it looked a year ago. Your services, offerings, locations, programs, clients, staff, etc. might have totally transformed. And it’s probably not going to go back to the way it was pre-COVID. 

Our world is different now. Your digital offerings aren’t a placeholder—they’re here to stay. 
That doesn’t mean that your brick and mortar studio will disappear. But it does mean that, for the foreseeable future, you’ll need to embrace the “hybrid model.”

The hybrid model is a combination of in-person training and digital offerings.

The ratio of in-person training to online training will vary from studio to studio. Some studios will (based on their market’s needs) require a robust online offering. Some studios' offerings will remain mostly in-person, but have a digital platform for members who don’t want to train at the studio. But either way, most studios will need to embrace both in-person services and digital services. 

And we get it: You didn’t start your studio to sell online classes. You’re not set up for that kind of business. Most of you don’t have a production studio or the equipment needed to produce online workouts. 

But, like the Chinese Proverb so beautifully states, we must adapt. We must shape our businesses to fit inside this new vessel. And here’s how you can do it: 

1. Get Excited About the Change

Did you know that Play-Doh started out as a wallpaper cleaner company? The substance was designed to clean the black residue that coal heaters left on wallpaper! But when oil and gas heaters took over, and there wasn’t any black residue left to clean, the product was essentially useless. 

The owner’s family member—a teacher—suggested they use the product for modeling clay. She’d read that wallpaper cleaner could be used as clay, and had been using it successfully in her classroom. 

Once Play-Doh pivoted from cleaner to clay, they soared. Play-Doh, now owned by Hasbro, has sold more than 3 billion containers worldwide. 

If you believe that your new business model is a bummer, then it will be. You’ll use up all your mental energy/resources trying to simply survive rather than thrive. 
But if you embrace the change, if you get excited about the new possibilities, then your mind will be free to create something great.

2. Put Pen to Paper

Pour yourself a big cup of coffee. Put on your favorite “I’m creating” music. And rewrite your business plan. 

Redefine what your studio does, who your clients are, what your revenue streams are, how you get new members, what you do for client engagement, etc. 

Rebuild and reshape. 

And take comfort in knowing that you’re not starting from square one. You already have a studio that’s functioning. Just don’t waste any more time operating with your old model. 
To move forward, and to see growth, heed the following adage: Out with the Old, in with the New.

3. Get Digital Help

If you’re not digitally savvy, you need to:

  1. Learn, and therefore become digitally savvy. 
  2. Outsource. 

Anyone can learn anything. It’s up to you whether or not you want to invest your time in learning how to create a badass digital platform for your studio. 
Chances are, though, that even if you learn most everything yourself, you’ll still need help to create and nurture your digital platform. And here are some companies that can do just that: 

-Canva.com

Canva is for the studio owner who wants to deliver great content, but kinda sucks at Photoshop. It’s a free design website that can help you create professional-grade website and social media content.

-Design Pickle

Design Pickle is perfect for those of you who want great design, but aren’t graphic designers by trade. It’s affordable, quick, and incredibly user-friendly. And since your web presence is more important than ever, it’s vital that your branding looks and feels polished.

-Video Husky

Video Husky will edit all of your videos for a flat monthly rate. You submit your raw, unedited videos, and you’ll get professional, highly-produced videos sent back to you. If you don’t want to spend time learning how to edit your workout videos, this is the company to talk to.

You can do this! We know you can. 

Cheers to embracing change!

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