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Alice Liveing on Building Your New Destination For Fitness

Alice Liveing on Building Your New Destination For Fitness

Alice Liveing is on a mission to empower you to be strong in every way you can be.

The personal trainer, blogger, and best-selling author has a passion for educating the masses on all things health and fitness.

After graduating from Bird College of performing arts, she began her career as a professional dancer and performer touring the UK with a musical, before deciding to launch herself full time into working as a personal trainer: “if I had to choose a trivia category, I’d be excellent at, it would probably be musicals” she admitted to me, with a smile.

Give Me Strength

Her app, Give Me Strength, is a combination of six years of work in the fitness space: “I’ve been a personal trainer for six years, and I’ve worked in various different roles. I’ve worked as a personal trainer, I’ve consulted on various things, and the last six years have been about me gaining competence. As a coach, but you don’t come out of PT school knowing everything and being the best PT ever.”

The last six years have really been about honing her skill set, developing her competence as a coach, and really learning from others around her:

I think the biggest blind spot I had was thinking that I found the best knowledge in books.

Albeit being extremely valuable, nothing has beaten spending time on the gym floor and being surrounded by good coaches. Over her career, she has worked in a top London boutique gym before moving to Third Space Soho, where I have been seeing clients one to one since.

“I invested my time and my energy getting a mentor, working in an excellent London gym, and just being surrounded by great coaches and how they work.”

All of that knowledge came together to create the Give Me Strength app, launching on the first of June: “the app is about empowering people with strength, whatever that looks like to them.”

There is a fitness element, as Alice and her team structured programs tailored towards various different goals, and alongside that catering to people’s well-being.

More than just fitness

As we caught up after a long week of shooting, Alice has been working relentlessly to populate the content. “We have over 100 recipes that have been shot for the app. We also have an education section where people can learn about the why behind what they’re doing.” She explains, “I don’t just want to tell people to exercise and to eat well. I want them to know why they’re doing what they’re doing and have a 360 picture of their health. ”

Yes, well-being is about exercise. Yes, it’s about food. But it’s also about sleep, stress, and a whole host of so many other things. “Some features that I’m really excited about including the ability to track your menstrual cycle and to understand where you are in your cycle to how you should train.”

Other features include daily goal habit trackers instead of macros and calorie counting: “I wanted to be about positive health behaviours and how we can encourage people to do those things on a much more positive level.”

The process of creating a product that is yours can be exhausting, and at times challenging. Yet, the rewards and lessons are invaluable.

Throughout her journey, Alice learned to not strive for absolute perfection. “When you’re creating a product that you’re about to deliver to people, you can have in your head the most perfect idea of the way that’s gonna go. Yet, the first version might not be the perfect one. Still, it will be amazing, and it will still be great, and everything that I want it to be.”

 

Going from strength to strength

Accepting that is a reminder that, just like us, our businesses are constantly evolving, from strength to strength. “I think it can be good to keep a little bit of that stuff in reserve, not put all your eggs in one basket, give all of yourself in that first product. Where would you go from there? There’s got to be growth, there’s got to be expansion, there’s got to be development.”

That’s where you really learn. Alice recalls how, when it comes to being a business person, you will grow as an individual and as a person from the feedback and growth you have experienced. “If I never started, I’d never have got to where I am now. It’s just about taking that leap of faith.”

It’s about being okay with the fact that you’re going to make mistakes, and some things are going to happen that are out of your control: “I’m not trying to achieve absolute perfection, and I’m okay in saying that.”

The truth is, much growth comes from failure or not achieving what you wanted to at first.

Over a few years, she built a Facebook group of 10,000 people across all of the challenges she’s been running on Instagram.
This has been invaluable to create and refine the flow of the app: “it allows me to have a focus group of people that is slightly smaller, less overwhelming than my Instagram following who can really give me the answers that I need.”

She asked what would make the recipe for the perfect fitness app. The answers from that are direct consumer insight she could use to implement the development of her product: “Some of the answers included things I would never have thought of, and there’s no better feedback than that.”

When it comes to taking her app to the masses, Alice has big plans, some of which involve more market research: “Nothing for me is more valuable than someone who’s already engaged knows my brand.”

In this first launch, she’ll be listening to and leaning into what her current audience wants to then expand with a broader growth strategy: “the most exciting thing is going to be seeing who’s actually using the app when it’s up and running. Seeing who our users are, what they like about the app, what they click on the most, what recipes are their favourites, how old they are”.

All of that data then becomes so valuable because you can package that up, put it into Facebook ads, and then be able to reach a whole new group of people who have never heard of you.

You’re targeting exactly the type of people that you think would be right for your app based on what you know. That’s where the fascinating stuff comes in.

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Finding balance in life

With so much on the pipeline, it is hard to switch off, as your brain plays tricks on you: “when not on social media, I would think of that time that I could be replying to messages, replying to comments, engaging people.”

The addition to her very own product has created a very different level of pressure that she has learned to navigate, Alice admits.

“I was always really engaged with my following. But I never had the pressure of building towards something mega. Now I want my audience to trust me and to engage with me on a level that I haven’t ever asked for before.”

That’s also one of the reasons she’s been teaching classes on Instagram every day. “I’ve given so much of myself to my audience; now I would like to ask for a little bit back by downloading the app.”

The way she has been consciously switching off has been encouraging time off her phone. “I’m going to be totally honest. I find that incredibly difficult,” she admits smiling. “It is pretty much with me 24/7. I’ve tried meditation, mindfulness; I journaled for a day and gave up. I’m just pretty useless with that stuff. And I’m okay to admit that.”

Unplugging, movement, and finding pockets of time away from her screens have become one of her favourite ways to pull back: “walks, runs, going for a walk with a friend, are my number one way to switch off.”

Should you really launch a fitness app in 2021, after the boom of on-demand workout and online fitness? Alice felt there was a real gap in the market. She could have sat and looked at the fitness space and said, ‘you know what, it’s so saturated.

Realising your USP

However, she realised that even if you’re entering a saturated space, you are still unique in the sense that there’s no one else like you. “The way that I coach, the way that I’ve built this app, all of their processes are mine. Those are unique to me, and they can’t be replicated by anyone else because they’re not me. I think it’s about having the confidence to take that leap of faith and say, regardless of how saturated the space is, nobody is you.”

On a business level, it’s essential to remember that the way you perceive the world, how you create your brand, and content is always going to be different because it’s yours.

“There was a real gap in the market for something uplifting and didn’t make you feel guilty, didn’t make you feel as though you weren’t doing enough, and didn’t make you feel like you have to be dripping with sweat to have a good session.”

Alice Liveing is here to be the voice of reason within the fitness industry. Someone that comes in reminds us that you can love exercise and love pizza. To take a rest day or a rest week. To define strength on your own terms and to empower others to do precisely the same.

You can found out more about Alice Liveing on her website and social media where she is @AliceLiveing and read more about her on the original interview in the Digital Magazine.

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