By Nicole Rogers
YouTube is probably best known for viral videos, but it can be useful as a grass-roots marketing tool for all kinds of businesses; from large corporations trying to micro-market and create buzz, to small Pilates studios posting video to broaden their audience. Online video allows you to connect to local clientele, as well as to potential viewers around the world. Pilates studios that wouldn’t have dreamed of making a video a decade ago can make use of this technology to post video for minimal cost. YouTube is certainly not the only way to use online video to promote you business, but it is user-friendly and free.
Here are some of the videos by Pilates instructors interviewed for this article.
Click & Order
Erin Huggins is an especially prolific online Pilates maven, with her own Website , videos on YouTube , a blog and a Twitter account . After three years of running her own growing studio (complete with constant landlord and maintenance problems), a trip to Bali left her epiphanic.
“I had a feeling of bliss that was missing since opening the studio,” she says. “Bliss was why I wanted to open my studio in the first place. I loved Pilates so much that I was willing to close my studio to get that ‘bliss’ back. Within two months I closed up shop and moved from ‘brick and mortar’ to ‘click and order!’” Huggins has short videos on YouTube and is currently in production and post-production on her complete, downloadable workouts, which will be available on her Website within the next couple of months. She chose online workouts because they “are easy, instant and green. There is no packaging, printing, shipping, etc., and they are very appealing to the instant-gratification culture we are living in.”
While Huggins made a clear decision to market herself to the world online, other YouTube Pilates stars happened upon the format as a way to help their existing clients. Diane Murray, of Pilates Center of Bend in Bend, OR, chose to do podcasts when her clients requested a way to be able to practice Pilates at home. “Many people could not remember how to do things with proper form, and just having a written explanation was not enough for them.” Instead of referring them to a commercial DVD, Murray created her own short videos , available for free on YouTube. She also has a “Corecast” (podcast) available on iTunes.
Ada Wells, MPT, and owner of ProBalance, Inc. in Alameda, CA, started creating videos to help her clients practice at home as well. She posted a couple of videos to YouTube casually, and was shocked to see how many views her videos were receiving. Since January of 2008, one of her videos has had more than 200,000 hits. Keep in mind, all of this is posted and viewed for free. If you’re looking for egalitarian Pilates, here it is. While online videos are of course not the same as private or group...