Are fitness books dead?
Not if you follow country singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur Carrie Underwood's strategy. When she launched her first fitness book, she wanted to reach her audience in a way that would fit into their life easily.
To do that, many publishers change the content's format (e.g., print, Ebook, audiobook) to hook online followers. But for workout content, these offline tactics fail to give readers what they really want. That's why Underwood and her team developed the Fit52 fitness app to complement her book, Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul and Get Strong.
Not everyone has the resources of a country-rock star, though. So, in this post, we'll explain what a book with an app strategy means, how to apply it to your fitness book, and provide three tips for what to do next.
What is the Right App Strategy for Fitness Books?
When you use an app for your fitness books, you retain your training philosophy in the book while replicating the workout content in a more engaging digital format. The app could be either a branded standalone fitness app like Fit52 or an in-app program within a more prominent platform like an audiobook on Audible.
Fully developed, standalone branded apps require significant time, resources, and money to build and maintain. This app could easily cost you $35,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars to build. It all depends on the complexity of your workouts and features.
If you're a personal trainer looking to develop your online training business, then you can get by with a prepackaged app like Playbook or SuperSets.
But, if you want to give your readers an exercise app without writing another word, shooting another video, or messing with another build-it-yourself online application, then that's a different story.
If you want an app for your fitness books, start by looking for an agency that offers services and a platform that can turn your book's workout prescriptions, images, or videos (if you have them) into in-app workouts with voice and visual guidance. The platform and app should also allow your users to track their exercise performance easily.
That means you need a platform that doesn't care what exercise metric you use or whether you prescribe body weight, free weights, exercise machines, or resistance bands. Then the ultimate app should let users track exercise times, reps, distances, and loads. Something YouTube or streaming videos can't do.
A book with an app is very different from
an online personal trainer strategy. You might look at a book with an app as a "one a done" and online personal training as a relationship strategy that requires lots of time and an ongoing stream of fresh new content.
But here's a twist.
When your book/app provider builds your exercise database, you can reuse that same database to create fresh new workouts simply by reorganizing the exercises, changing prescriptions, or using different protocols.
How to Use an App Strategy for Your Fitness Books
Select a Powerful Platform
Celebrity fitness gurus will tell you that you need to tap into a powerful media platform. One that can:
Turn your fitness book workouts into in-app exercise programs across devices.
Handle your eCommerce, so you don't have to.
Provide your audience with workout guidance, and exercise tracking.
With over 300 million people using fitness apps today, there's no doubt today's app-minded fitness goers want a convenient workout.
It doesn't mean they're not reading fitness books. They are.
But Digital fitness goers want convenience with training guidance and tracking. Something fitness books can't do. They also enjoy exercising at their own pace, when and wherever they want. And, they want the option to unplug and train with or without a connection and never have a workout session interrupted again.
Pick a Provider Whose App Offers a Wide Range of Features
The fitness app market is seeing a dramatic surge, with estimates that it will reach nearly $15 billion by 2027. Innovation and flexibility have become critical with the growing interest in app-based fitness. Audio and visual workout cues only get you in the game. Users now expect their fitness apps to:
Utilize device capabilities like GPS.
Make efficient use of their time and routines.
Personalize their programs to meet their specific needs.
It's impossible to predict who will use your workouts and their circumstances. But, with a flexible app, you can allow users to customize the routines to meet their needs and still provide them meaningful, customized workout guidance and tracking.
Outsource Conversion and Support
Nothing can be more frustrating and distracting than answering technical questions. From log-in questions to download issues, technical issues take time to resolve. It's time you could spend otherwise.
With a "one a done" strategy, you want your workouts converted and supported for you. Period, end of the story. That means finding an agency that will:
Convert your content for you right from your native files (PDF, Word doc, etc.).
Provide real-time customer support from general inquiries to technical matters.
Continuously invest in their platform to improve performance and add new capabilities.
As a fitness expert, you shouldn't waste time on technology. Moreover, since you already laid out your workout program in your book, you don't want to spend your own time converting it into a different medium or messing with tools and software to support it.
When you don't have a country-rock star budget or resources like Carrie Underwood, you want to find someone who does have the resources to scale. The kind of agency that can keep your customers happy and you ahead in the technology game. That way, you can do what you love most: helping people get and stay fit.
Is a Book with an App Strategy Right for You?
Let's talk about your fitness books and see how our end-to-end technical know-how and services can quickly convert, digitize, and monetize your content with results that will take you and your brand to the next level.