How to build community as a fitness professional?

You’ve probably thought about it or maybe you’ve begun to build yours, but what is community?

A lot of the time community might just seem like a “vibe”. Or you might define it as a group of individuals that enjoy each others company and who you can rely on at times when you need them? But at its core community is really about bringing people together over a shared topic, perspective or goal. It’s a network of people who connect and learn with one another, not just from you!

So before thinking about how, spend the time upfront defining who you’re bringing together and why. This will not only help you keep focus but will help the community build organically as they engage and interact with one another.

We wrote this blog post to help you think about how you might begin to frame and build your special community as a fitness creator.

Defining…your community

It can be challenging to know who exactly is a fan, follower and client of yours. For every one who might have hung out after class to chat, there are probably 100s of others who might have been too shy or too busy to do so and with whom you probably may never have interacted with. And candidly the virtual world has made it that much harder!

So to help frame your space, your community, think about what is…

“the social glue that [will] bind [the community] together for the greater good”¹

As you think about your who — or rather “the social glue” — try to avoid defining your audience by demographic in the traditional sense of the word. Instead think about the topic, perspective or goal that they share equally. Perhaps it’s a physical, spiritual or mental health goal or a passion for an activity, movement or even intensity in how you train.

In answering why— the “greater good” — give thought to what challenges might exist that together you can uniquely solve or what change you want to achieve.

And remember as you define your who and why be specific and narrow. In the beginnings of creating community there is nothing more powerful to a member who finds something unique that speaks to them at the intersection of your community’s who and why.

Building… your community

With a better understanding of who you are creating a community for and why, you can now start to think about the how.

The space you create for your community might manifest itself in many formats— WhatsApp, Facebook Groups, private Instagram accounts, Zoom hangouts—but in reality the most important thing to consider in deciding this is, what is convenient for your community and which environment will foster the most number of interactions and connections.

You’ve now defined who the community is for, why you are coming together, and how you will connect. So what’s next?

Start small. Reach out to those first 10 members who might represent a tiny subset of what you hope the community one day becomes but that initially represent individuals who perfectly intersect with your who and why. Find ways to connect intimately and personally so that not only can you connect with them on another level but to allow members to connect with one another — maybe even creating lifelong friends between them.

If you are looking for a all-in-one platform to help you start, run and grow your business as a fitness creator check us out at onPodio.com.

We simplify your business by automating class creation, bookings, scheduling, payments, email reminders, and much more to give you that professional edge.

[1] https://hbr.org/2009/07/rebuilding-companies-as-communities

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