First off, thanks for speaking to us. Can we start by going through who Class-ify are, and what your mission is?
At Class-ify, we are on a mission to help thousands of personal trainers around the world build independent online businesses and create a better life for themselves.
We give PTs support, accountability through a sales and marketing system to help them to get more clients and grow their revenue. We also simplify things, providing all the technology an online trainer needs to communicate, track & monitor the progress and get results for their clients.
What was the inspiration behind your founding?
Several of my friends are personal trainers and when lockdowns hit the UK most of them suffered huge drops in revenue because they weren’t able to work with their face-to-face clients. Some of them found ‘hacky’ ways to get online, using a streaming platform (e.g. FB live, Zoom) and asking for donations.
At the same time, I was being coached by another friend called Mark, who was already working with clients online and his business was thriving. Mark has built an incredible business, getting clients (including myself) amazing results through something called online coaching.
Myself and my two co-founders saw an opportunity to help personal trainers that wanted to build a successful online business but didn’t know how. This gave me an opportunity to personally combine my passions for fitness and helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
What would you say is the biggest advantage you have over any competitors currently?
We provide PTs with a simple step-by-step sales and marketing system to get clients online, plus all the technology required to get clients’ results online.
We also understand what it takes to build successful online businesses and have a team with expertise in all the key facets to support PTs every step of the way, regardless of where they are on the journey and the size of their social media following. If a trainer is willing to invest the time and effort into themselves, we will look to help them. We’re pretty unique in this sense and our trainers love us for it.
How important is the connection between one of Class-ify’s account managers and a client?
It’s extremely important. The Class-ify Account Manager is the PT’s own coach. The world’s top athletes and business people all have coaches, so we believe this is really important. Building a business is hard, especially if you’re a solopreneur, our Account Managers provide PT’s with high support and also high challenge in achieving their personal goals. If you tune in to any of our Instagram Lives with our coaches, you will always hear PTs thanking their Account Manager, which we love to hear!
What effect have the past two years or so had on online coaching?
More and more clients and trainers are becoming aware of online coaching. It was a growing trend prior to lockdowns, but this has been accelerated as people are becoming more accustomed to having relationships with their coaches online.
What are some of the biggest benefits of online coaching?
Traditional face-to-face personal training is expensive and the best trainers are often fully booked at peak times.
An online coach sets a client a holistic plan and monitors the client’s progress with their training, nutrition, sleep, and stress levels – all the things that have an impact on a client’s progress towards their goals. Regardless of whether they are working out at home, or in the gym, the client knows has a plan to follow. The online coach then checks in either weekly or fortnightly, providing support and accountability to the client. The coach monitors the client’s progress and adjusts the plan accordingly.
Online coaching is typically much more affordable and, personally, I have found I get much better results because the coach is looking at my performance across the whole week, rather than just the training sessions I am with them in the gym.
We saw you went public with a crowdfunding campaign in September. What was the thinking behind that, and how did it go?
The campaign massively exceeded our expectations as we achieved 261% of our funding target. We’re extremely grateful to everyone that has supported us.
The reason we went down the crowdfunding route was that we wanted to give our friends, families, and customers the opportunity to be part of the journey and become shareholders in the business. It was also a good opportunity to expand our reach to a new audience.
Do you think online coaching will continue to eat into the fitness market as the world hobbles back to normality?
We believe the future of fitness is a hybrid of at-home and gym/studio workouts. Online coaching sits perfectly across the two, as the client chooses where they want to work out – it’s just the coach/client relationship that moves online.
What would you say is your biggest success story to date?
When we started the business, we wanted to prove our hypothesis that there was a gap in the market for a platform to help personal trainers to build online businesses. Through the power of social media and our customers tagging us on Instagram, with hardly any marketing expenditure, so far we’ve managed to work with trainers in 17 different countries. It’s been amazing to see the team helping people all over the world.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings for Class-ify?
We want to help tens of thousands of personal trainers to become successful online entrepreneurs and in the process have a positive impact on the health of millions of people around the world.