With people staying home to avoid coronavirus, you may be wondering what you should be doing as a martial arts school or gym owner to ensure you keep your community strong. How can you combat members calling in to cancel or put their memberships on hold?
Take your classes online!
As a school or gym owner, you’re also an entrepreneur. You’ve built a culture, which is unique to your business, and you’ve created a sense of family and community. You can continue that feeling online and show your students that you’ve got their backs!
Taking your classes online will be a total game changer for your school. Cris Rodriguez, owner of Grow Pro Agency, and Stephen Reinstein, founder at Market Muscles, have put together seven steps to get your online classes up and running:
1. GET A ZOOM ACCOUNT
You could pre-record videos and add them to an app or student section, but it doesn’t feel like an added value if your students already have access to that. With Zoom*, you can setup meetings and record your classes in real time. No other platform allows you to have interaction with your students the way Zoom does, which allows you to maintain the connection with them. Zoom has several different membership options, but Cris and Stephen recommend the Zoom Pro option. Zoom Pro allows you to record for as long as you want (up to 24 hour periods) and host 100 participants.
2. PURCHASE SUPPLIES
While you don’t have to purchase supplies specifically for recording online classes, you should. The investment is between $120-$350, depending on the level of equipment you buy, and it can make a big difference in the experience for your students. Keeping your students connected is worth the cost.
Stephen and Cris recommend getting a webcam, microphone, mic adapter, and a laptop or iPad stand (depending on what you’re using to record). A webcam will give you good quality video, so your students will be able to see you clearly. To avoid echos and background noise, especially if you’re recording classes while your school is still open, a good microphone will be important to deafen the extra noise. The stand for a laptop or iPad gives you the ability to adjust height, positioning, and tilt so that you can capture all angles.
3. PRACTICE USING YOUR ZOOM ACCOUNT
Once you’ve created your Zoom account, practice using it. Create a meeting and have your staff (or parents) hop online to make sure things are running smoothly. Not sure how to set up a meeting? We’ve got you covered – Cris recommends the following settings:
- You can schedule your meetings for specific times if you’re recording live classes.
- Give your meeting a title and date, and set a time for class.
- You have the option to set a duration for the class. Zoom won’t boot you out if you go over, so we recommend setting it for one hour.
- If you’re worried about people hopping into the meeting that aren’t students, you can require registration and a meeting password.
- Video settings > As the host, you’ll have the video on. You can also have video on for your participants, which will allow you to see everyone that’s participating. -The gallery view will let you see everyone at the same time, which is great for doing group exercises, like jumping jacks, together.
- Audio settings > allowing both call in or computer audio gives your students flexibility.
- Meeting options > Don’t “enable join before host,” which will let your students join the meeting before you have. DO “mute participants upon entry.” DO record the meeting automatically to either the cloud or your computer.
- To share your meeting link: Once you save your meeting and you’re in your meetings list, select your meeting. You can copy your meeting invitation for your students and share via Facebook, email, a landing page, etc.
4. PRACTICE WITH YOUR TEAM
Make sure you’re filming a practice run with your team to ensure you’ve got the right camera angles, your audio is clear, you’re seen, and whatever else may come up as you’re filming.
5. COMMUNICATE TO YOUR PARENTS & MEMBERS HOW THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO USE ZOOM
Let your members know how to use Zoom and access their online classes. You can create a social media post or graphic, but Cris recommends recording a video. Make sure you communicate what precautions you’re taking and what you’re doing as a courtesy to your members to ensure everyone can continue training.
6. INFORM YOUR STUDENTS OF WHAT YOU’RE OFFERING
Whether you write a blog post, a social media post, create a landing page, or add a popup to your site, make sure to let your students know what’s available to them. If you’re utilizing a student section, create a post in your student section and continue to share the recorded classes there.
7. TEACH AN ENTHUSIASTIC, ENERGETIC, HIGHLY INTERACTIVE CLASS
Making the class interactive is the key to a successful online class, according to Cris. Be pumped up so that you can get your students pumped up! Thank your members for participating, continue calling out great technique, call peoples’ names like you do during an in-person class.
Don’t forget, this situation is temporary. You may need to modify your classes to make them at-home friendly. If you decide to skip some class types, you can always do make up seminars, private lessons, or camps later on when things are back to normal.
In this time of uncertainty, you’ve been given the opportunity to level up your skill set and show your students they can train no matter what the situation. If you’re not already a member of Martial Arts Entrepreneurs, head over to the group on Facebook and request to join for more information!