With the pandemic, many fit pros needed to pivot almost instantly to online instruction. Some were supported by fitness facility owners; others had to make it on their own. Entrepreneurs rose to the occasion, providing online fitness platforms that offered business tools like payment processing, registration, notifications and student management, so freelance fit pros could focus on what they love and do best—training clients and serving their communities.
IDEA member Mandi Bateman, CEO and co-founder of LubbDubb, created the San Francisco–based company in 2018 with the vision of empowering fitness professionals with the autonomy to run their own businesses, benefit from their loyal clienteles and make a livable wage.
Dedicated to this mission prior to the pandemic, Bateman saw significant growth with lockdowns. “We had been using Zoom to do educational workshops for instructors,” she says. “We pivoted our model to online classes via Zoom in 5 days. People flocked to the site . . . we have yoga, Pilates, HIIT and boot camp instructors, nutritionists, wellness coaches, everyone along the wellness spectrum.”
Bateman, who has been profiled by Inc. magazine, shares one of the biggest lessons learned. “Collaboration is the way. We’ve created ‘wellness pods,’ collections of instructors who teach within a theme. For example, ‘Defy gravity’ is a pod that serves an aging population and offers workshops on osteoporosis, breath, book clubs, journaling and all of fitness. So, we’re packaging offerings in a very holistic way as a full-service option for subscribers.”
Fit pros are not charged to list classes. They earn revenues from their own students, and they benefit from LubbDubb subscribers who take their classes. They also benefit from subscribers who take other people’s offerings. All instructors can support one another by taking other pros’ classes.
Other options that are similar, but not identical, include Moxie (moxie.xyz) and Sutra.fit.
Question of the Month
As a freelance fitness professional, are you offering personal training or group exercise virtually as a result of the pandemic? If so, are you doing it on your own via Zoom or other streaming platform, or have you joined online fitness platforms like LubbDubb with other fitness professionals? Share your experiences and tell us about the greatest lessons you’ve learned.
We want to hear from you! Email executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected].