Being an online health and fitness influencer is a privileged position to be in, but it is so important to take on board that it is a position of responsibility too. Unlike working with somebody in person, when you can cater for their individual needs and health requirements, mind-set, as well as their fitness ability, teaching people online is only one-way communication, despite the interactive comments.
I have personally trained over 15000 people in London and Europe, but as an elite trainer based in central London, I know that not everybody who wishes to work with me can do so due to location or lack of disposable income. This is when I decided to create the 12-Week Athlete Programme for people wanting real results via an online health and fitness product, but I also realised that not everyone is an athlete, so I dedicated time and energy on building my YouTube channel that offers free lifestyle, fitness and health advice and guidance to people across the globe. I didn’t expect the rapid success of the channel, with some of my videos reaching well over three million views and my channel having nearly 45,000 subscribers... this following was organic and began after just a few months of me offering this free online content.
It was at this moment it became clear to me that there is a huge responsibility attached to being an online influencer.
I am trained in various areas including sports science, neuro-linguist programming and martial arts, and I have years of experience working with a variety of people, and most importantly, I am constantly learning and ensuring I help others achieve their personal lifestyle and fitness goals in safe and effective ways.
Online training is certainly only going to get more popular and a way of life for people, but it is important to be cautious of who you train with and how you are training: Here are 3 key risks of online fitness training and ways to avoid them...
- RISK: As online platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are available for everybody, there is no real way of knowing how much experience or qualifications someone has, or whether the research is valid or accurate. So, the risk here is that you may not be learning in the safest way, or with the correct equipment, or with the necessary mind-set. TIP: Find out more about the instructor or influencer by checking out their website, or contacting them via email. You can even ask to see a copy of their certificates, after all if you were working with them face-to-face you would. Once you find a good trainer stick with them, but remember an online trainer doesn’t replace some one-to-one or group sessions to help you achieve your goals.
- RISK: Online fitness training means people can train when they like, for how long they like and all without spending a penny or leaving the house... but if this means that you will not get to socialise or any fresh air then it is not a good thing. It is important to have balance, in order to be holistically healthy. TIP: Combine your online fitness training with a social sport, or outdoor activity such as joining a walking group, and choose a fitness application on your mobile device that can assist your outdoor running or HITT training.
- RISK: Online fitness influencers like myself get a lot offered up on a plate with clothing or product endorsements, as well as inviting collaborations... but not all offers are good, and with fitness people endorsing food or supplement products or even equipment, they may only be doing so because they are getting paid to, or commission or free product, and not because they necessarily support the brand, and the brand may not be the right one for you. TIP: Don’t be swayed by cheap products or discount codes, check out the product and brand. Check the website, ask others what they think and then when you are happy that a product is right for you then you can benefit from the discount codes, but don’t let it be your prime motivation.
If you are an online trainer reading this... then ensure you have a disclaimer, that you offer only advice that is within the scope of your practice and knowledge, and provide your viewers and website visitors with as much accurate information as possible, including reassuring them with what your qualifications are, and don’t be swayed by all the companies that want to collaborate with you... only work with brands you are happy to affiliate with and that are reputable. I am currently working with several brands, and with the charity @JeansforGenes on their Wear Jeans Change Lives campaign.
By Marc Dressen