Studio Spotlight: eTONE Fitness
How this fitness professional turned her network into a virtual fitness studio.
Take a challenge and turn it into an opportunity.
That’s exactly what fitness coach Erin Beck did when the COVID-19 pandemic forced fitness studios in California to close in March 2020. Her fitness colleagues had lost their jobs, clients were struggling with motivation, and she wanted to find a way to give back.
As a former Orangetheory Fitness coach and regional trainer, Beck not only had the knowledge and experience to create a fitness program, she had the network, too. Utilizing FitGrid’s live-streaming technology and her wide network of fitness professionals, she launched eTONE Fitness on June 1, 2020. The 100 percent virtual fitness studio features equipment-free, high-intensity fitness classes taught by certified coaches and personal trainers.
We sat down with Beck to learn more about how she created a virtual fitness studio during the coronavirus pandemic.
FitGrid: What inspired you to create eTONE Fitness?
Erin Beck: I saw the impact that COVID-19 had on our industry. Both clients and instructors were struggling! I wanted to find a way to bring clients the classes they love while providing income to trainers who had lost their jobs. I decided to create a platform where coaches could teach and make the same amount of money they would in an in-studio environment. I also wanted to serve members by giving them class options that worked for their new WFH lifestyles and helped them rediscover their motivation.
FG: How did you decide on your pricing?
EB: Our pricing model needed to make sense for both members and instructors. Everyone is hurting financially right now so I wanted it to be affordable. For me, that meant pricing our classes at half the price of an in-studio workout at a boutique fitness gym. I also wanted our coaches to make more than what they’d make coaching in a studio. I value the coaches that joined me in creating eTONE Fitness and I wanted to honor them for taking that leap.
FG: How did you choose your instructors?
EB: Before COVID, I was a regional trainer and trained coaches at 28 studios so I already had access to a lot of great talent. The people that I ended up reaching out to included instructors that had tried to help others during quarantine. I wanted coaches that genuinely care about the members because I know that’s what keeps them coming back.
FG: Where are your teachers located?
EB: Most of my coaches are located in California, but I’m also bringing on some East Coast teachers so we can have earlier classes.
FG: How have you grown your studio and acquired new customers?
EB: I’ve leveraged my existing network and so have my coaches. We all reach out to our former clients and offer them a free class. When they try it, they love it! Our instructors also take each other’s classes and tell their social media followers to join them for class. This exposes clients to new teachers and makes them more loyal to our studio!
FG: How do you retain your clients and keep them coming back?
EB: Part of our mission is to create a fitness community that makes people feel more connected during this time of social distancing. We encourage our instructors to be active on social media and interact with our members. All of our coaches use the FitGrid Pro app to send followup messages to the members in their class. This has helped keep our members motivated and encourages them to keep coming back!
FG: Any unexpected benefits of having a 100 percent virtual studio?
EB: The time saving is unreal! Originally my intention of creating eTONE was to give members a workout and coaches a place to work, I didn’t even think about the convenience! I no longer have to fight through LA traffic to coach, and members can wake up four minutes before class starts and still be on time. Parents love that they no longer have to worry about finding childcare when they want to work out. It’s amazing for both parties.
FG: What advice do you have for other studios considering going all-virtual?
EB: Get FitGrid! Seriously. The automatic creation of the Zoom links saves me so much time and completely removes the human error. We would have had to hire two additional staff members to accomplish everything that FitGrid does for us.
Join eTONE Fitness in their success with live-streaming and building a completely virtual fitness community. Sign up for a free trial of FitGrid today
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lindsay McClelland manages social media and influencer marketing for FitGrid. As a self-proclaimed "people person" who loves group fitness classes for the social aspect, she was immediately drawn to FitGrid for its innovation in keeping fitness communities together during a crisis. Her passion for fitness and wellness brands stems from her personal interests as a yoga teacher, competitive marathon runner, and former collegiate swimmer.
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level