How to start a fitness YouTube channel

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How to start a fitness YouTube channel
How to start a fitness YouTube channel
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How to start a fitness YouTube channel

YouTube is a fantastic way to engage with an online audience for people from all walks of life.

For those in the fitness industry it can be a great way to earn some extra income and promote your brand, whether you're a personal trainer or gym owner.

So, iff you're looking to become the next YouTube star, here are our top tips to follow:

1. Get some inspiration

There’s already a lot of fitness content on YouTube inspiration should come pretty easily once you start searching. 

From Chloe Ting, with over 24 million subscribers, to OmarIsuf, who has under a million highly-dedicated followers, there's a world of choice to be inspired by.

Just be sure that when you're considering your own channel you think about how you can be different to what’s on offer at the moment. 

2. Decide on your audience

Who do you want to create content for? It's important to decide whether you wish to stand out from the competition or create a standalone income stream.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Will you cater to a specific audience?
  • Will you stick to a particular style?
  • What equipment will you use?

When you’re deciding on the equipment you’re using you’ll likely already be thinking of an audience. After all if you’re using weights as part of the routine then the audience following along will also need to have invested in weights. 

If you’re looking to capture a wide audience then you might consider limiting the amount of equipment they need to have at home. 

Alternatively, if you’d like to cater to a niche audience then you might use equipment that dedicated viewers will probably already have. For example, anyone passionate about weightlifting will likely have already invested in these items for their home gym and will want to consume specific video content that allows them to use equipment they already own.

For example, this pilates reformer workout would require viewers to own a reformer machine, which is costly and bulky, so many viewers won't have this at home. But those who do will be looking for videos to watch, so they're likely to engage with the small number of videos out there.

3. Decide on your YouTube strategy

There are a few different ways to engage with YouTube. While plenty of content creators use it as lead generation and advertising for their brand, others like the Athlean-X channel create revenue streams from engaging with advertisers. 

Before you upload anything it’s best to plan out a strategy around what you hope to achieve. This will mean that you can avoid wasting time on creating content that doesn’t help you achieve your goals.

If you’re planning on creating slick, professional-looking videos to attract big-name advertisers then you could consider investing in things like lights, microphones and video editing software.

If you’re planning on using the platform purely to compliment your clients who already visit your gym then you might be okay just to use your smartphone and a tripod.

4. Set up your account and channel

Setting up your account and channel can be a quick and easy job, but it pays to add your branding and take time to consider the keywords your audience might be searching for and include these in your wording and bio.

You might also consider creating a trailer for your channel so viewers can easily get an idea of the type of content they can expect to find. For example, Fitness Blender's trailer has a clear outline about what viewers can gain from watching their videos.

5. The 5 steps to film your video content

Now for the lights, camera and action! 

Here’s what to do ahead of and on shoot day:

1. Create a schedule for the day of shooting

Plan out your videos as much as possible before the day to avoid needing to re-shoot. 

Adopting professional approaches like storyboarding and shooting schedules might seem like overkill, but they actually save time and effort because it’s easier to keep track of what you need to capture on the day. 

The schedule should include:

  • A list of equipment you’re using and a reminder to make sure everything has a full battery and is in working order. 
  • A list of the must-have shots and which angles they need to be captured from.
  • If filming multiple videos in one day, an outline for each so you can keep track of the sequences required for each one.
  • If filming an introduction, an outline for what you plan on saying so you don’t get tongue-tied in front of the camera.
  • Setting your Out Of Office and turning off your phone (if possible) so you can limit interruptions.

2. Record high-quality sound

While much of the focus is on the visuals, often the element that makes or breaks a video is the sound. 

Avoid filming in a busy, echo-filled room if you’re planning on making it feel professional. 

You might need to hire lapel microphones if you’re after a slick and professional-grade result.

3. Capture more video footage than you think you’ll need

There’s nothing worse than getting to the editing step and realising you haven’t got everything you need for the complete sequence.

Even if you think you’ve caught the action, do it again just for safety. You never know whether it’ll come in handy, especially if you’re running multiple social media channels.

4. Capture video from different angles

Do you need to have a different angle to convey what you need the audience to see? If so, do you need to have both cameras recording at the same time or can you film it separately?

The trick to creating seamless videos is capturing a few angles at once so that you can show the viewer what they need to see without it being awkward.

The first camera would capture the front view, a second camera could capture the view from above or the side - depending on the exercise sequence you're filming.

5. Shoot to the correct screen ratio for YouTube

YouTube’s aspect ratio is 16:9 so make sure you’ve set your camera up with this in mind. 

If you’re planning on re-using the video for other platforms such as Instagram then you’ll need to be able to crop it to a 1:1 square crop and a 4:5 portrait crop as well. 

Creating videos might seem like an easy task, after-all millions of people worldwide use the platform to create content. However, anyone with experience will tell you if you fail to plan then you plan to fail.

6. Edit the videos

Editing the videos might seem like an afterthought, but in reality this is possibly the most crucial part of a successful video after the shoot itself.

If you don’t know how to use editing software such as Adobe Premiere, iMovie, Cyberlink PowerDirector 365, Pinnacle Studio, Final Cut Pro or Filmora then you can either learn via online courses or hire a professional editor who can edit down your footage into a cohesive sequence for you to upload onto YouTube.

You’ll also need to consider graphics, music and text overlays. 

Once you've finished filming now it's time to start working on the edit.

6. Upload and promote your videos in 3 steps

With the video file ready and waiting all that’s left is to upload it onto your channel, right? Not quite. There’s a few things to get right before you post your hard work online.

1. Write the supporting text

Remember to write in as much information as possible into the text fields so that viewers can easily find the content. 

2. Create a thumbnail image

The importance of a thumbnail image for your video can’t be overstated. Consider it like a newspaper headline where it gives the viewer a quick representation of the look and feel of your content. You need to:

  • Decide on an image
  • Edit and crop the image so it’s as attention-grabbing as possible
  • Use a text overlay to support the image. For example, if your video is about an arm workout then the image should be of a buff arm and the text should support this using a few well-chosen words 

3. Promote across platforms

As well as in person, promote and link to the video on other platforms, so that your existing clients will know to look for you on YouTube. 

If you have a business website then create a section there to share your content.

7. Create more video content

If you’re looking to build an audience, then it’s no longer enough to just produce a few videos and then stop.

Regular videos posted as often as possible is the best way to build a following, However, you also need to engage with the audience online via answering comments and private messages, and link up all your accounts so they can work in unison to grow your audience across platforms.

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