Online, user-generated video portals, such as YouTube, can offer fitness professionals an inexpensive way to increase exposure and attract customers. Eric Beard, MS, fitness director and master trainer for the Longfellow Sports Club in Natick, Massachusetts, explains that “online videos are an excellent way to drive traffic to your website, advertise your product or service, and even network.” Beard—a regular poster of online videos—adds that videos can boost confidence in consumers who are shopping for training services. “Using video to promote my DVD series has been the most effective marketing tool I have used. It has also led to many networking opportunities and a couple of business ventures. Above all, I feel like I am able to contribute to the development of others in my industry.” Beard offers the following suggestions for creating effective online videos:
- Use a camera with clear, high-quality audio so the viewer does not struggle to understand what you are saying.
- Be energetic. You do not have to be over-the-top, but you must engage the viewer.
- Make sure the viewer can see what you are talking about. Avoid poor angles and bulky clothing.
- Practice several times before making your final video. Take some time to get used to speaking in front of the camera.
- Don't force a topic. Talk about something important to you. If it comes from the heart, you will shine on camera.
For more information on creating online videos, see “StepTube: The Next Wave?” by Biray Alsac, MS, in July–August 2008 IDEA Fitness Journal.