There is an interesting movement going on in the world of fitness. Surprisingly, it is moving into the online world. Unsurprisingly, though, a lot of instructors want nowadays to know how to start an online personal training business.
Even for established personal trainers, moving into the online training business is smart. It is one of the most exciting new business options.
In a difference to conventional models, trainers meet with their clients online. But they still have a positive impact on their health.
Another attractive thing about it is that there is no income limit. Online personal training can be done at any time, even while sleeping.
So, time is not a limiting factor in making money. This makes online personal training a personal factor.
This market is expanding fast, which means that competition is very strong. Therefore, starting an online personal training business may seem daunting.
But starting a new business comes down to a few key principles, which have worked well for many startups. This article shows how to start an online personal training business successfully.
What is Online Personal Training?
A personal trainer works to improve the health of his clients. This definition allows for many different ways of doing this.
It can include improving body image, fitness levels, health, and performance. An online personal trainer does this through some kind of internet-based technology.
There are as many ways of achieving that as there are online trainers. This is a broad overview of the types of online training businesses:
- Hybrid Online and In-Person Personal Trainer
- Live Video Chat Workouts Online
- Non-Personalized PDF Fitness Programs
- Non-Personalized Video Fitness Programs
- Online Group Personal Trainer
- Private Personalized Online Training
How to Financially Benefit from Online Personal Training
No Rent or Gym Fees
It’s possible to enjoy online training anywhere and at any time. That is true for the trainer and for the client.
A few tools are necessary like exercise bands, body exercises, and creativity. These things are not location-specific though.
So when clients are traveling, all they need to take with them are some exercise bands and appropriate clothes.
An online personal training business allows the trainer to take on more clients. This in turn brings in more money.
Working online means less personal time with clients. It also removes the need to present classes personally.
This generates time and allows trainers to fit in more clients.
Unlimited Room for Expansion
Online training offers many new business and career opportunities. As a result, online trainers enjoy further financial benefits.
The following section shows what is necessary to become an online personal trainer.
Get a Certification
With the whole internet as a market, there are plenty of opportunities. Still, the online training business is a very competitive one.
With so many qualified trainers available, clients are unlikely to use someone who isn’t qualified.
Most clients will pick a personal trainer with credentials. Having some kind of certification helps to build trust and credibility.
Taking a course teaches a trainer how to help clients responsibly in an online setting. They also learn how to make a training program and set up a business.
There is no single certification that is the best. In fact, there is no certification for online personal training.
A trainer must choose one of the standard top accredited certifications. This is the same accreditation that a trainer at a local gym might have.
A certification shows that a trainer has the necessary basic knowledge. That allows them to work in the fitness industry.
Trainers with special skills are the ones that make the most money. Continuing to learn new skills is the way to grow and gain further understanding.
Get Relevant Experience
A level 2 or 3 certificate will give access to a job as a fitness instructor or personal trainer in a gym. Starting a job in a gym is probably not the end station, but rather a stepping stone to realizing a goal.
Experience is a great advantage when entering the online personal training business. It also helps to build a good reputation and gather a nice clientele to start a business with.
Before jumping into online personal training, test it out with hybrid personal training. This kind of model is a combination of in-person and online personal training.
More information on training models will follow later.
The hybrid model allows trainers to gain experience of working online. It also makes it easier to transition to online personal training.
Trainers have time to discover strengths and weaknesses and develop effective training programs. They can work with different kinds of people and determine a unique selling point.
This way a trainer can identify and develop a special skill-set and find out what kind of clients they like best.
Create a Goal
Making a good plan starts with defining the objective. That is also true when it comes to personal training plans.
Defining the outcome makes both parties accountable for the success of the plan. The client knows what they should do and is less likely to cancel sessions.
By not defining a goal, the training loses value and the client loses interest. A commitment is much harder to cancel.
A training objective must be specific in its outcome and in the timeframe. What the exact objective is depends on the kind of training and the skills of the trainer.
Some examples include:
- Lose [X] pounds in [X] weeks
- Gain [X] pounds of muscle in [X] weeks
- Increase 1rm by [X] percent in [X] weeks
- Improve 5k run time by [X] minutes in [X] weeks
Discover Potential Clients
Starting a business is challenging. People need to get to know the new business and a client base needs to form.
Picking a niche, a specific part of the market, is important.
This presents the business as the market leader in a certain kind of training. People will automatically come to a trainer that offers them something unique.
People who are looking for an online personal trainer do so for several reasons. Before opening, find out why people prefer an online trainer to a personal trainer at a gym.
Think about the kind of people that want online personal training. Then adjust any advertising to speak to that demographic.
It is not possible to cater to the needs of every potential client. That is a fact to consider when starting a personal trainer business.
The point here is that picking a specialty and focusing on that will lead to success. Trying to do everything will likely not work.
These are some specialties and niches in the fitness industry:
- Professional athletes
- Children of celebrities
In the beginning, it’s best not to be too picky about clients. But with more skill and experience it’s possible to be more selective in a clientele.
Make sure clients see the special value and uniqueness of the service they receive.
Technology for Online Training
Changing from in-person to virtual may seem daunting at first, but do not let fear get in the way of realizing a dream.
To start with, there are two things needed. The first one is a camera.
This could be the camera of a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. Having a camera will allow the instructor to demonstrate the exercises.
If the clients have a camera too, the instructor can observe them and give advice.
The second is a device for keeping a record of the clients’ workout details.
It’s not necessary to have an expensive or complicated device for these purposes. As long as it has a camera and can run a word processor, like Google Docs, it will do fine.
Another important factor to consider is the space where the sessions are held. The following questions serve as a guide in selecting the appropriate area:
- Does it have enough space to demonstrate the exercises?
- Does it have enough space for all the equipment?
- Is the presentation professional and is the space clean and free from distractions? The kitchen is probably not the best place, neither is a place where people walk in and out.
- Is there somewhere to sit to watch while the client is doing their workout and update their workout details?
- Does it have good lighting at any time of the day? The best is natural light, but artificial light can work too.
Do not put the camera too close, but make sure there is enough space between it and the exercise area. This will make sure that the complete routine is visible to the client.
Also, leave enough space behind the exercise area. Some suggest that having six feet, or 1.80 meters, is optimal.
All necessary equipment should be to the side but within reach. Do not waste time fetching and searching for props.
Create Packages for Types of Clients
Some think that templated workouts are no good or are not really beneficial for the client. Templated workouts can, in fact, be very useful if used in the right way.
Often, clients fall into a specific category. A 40-year-old man who wants to lose belly fat will follow a regime similar to a person with the same objective.
So having a template can be very beneficial. Even when using a template, the exact workout will be tailor-made.
To do that, trainers must consider each client during an initial assessment.
It’s important to present the package in a way that a client can understand and use. Here are some ways of listing packages:
- Some lines on who it is designed for.
- Some lines on the expected results.
- A list of features. Include how each feature benefits a client.
For example, “WhatsApp support to keep the program on track.”
- The price and duration. For example: $1,200 for 12 weeks.
- If applicable, break the price down into a payment plan. For example: $400 per month.
- A call to action. This tells the client what the next step is.
Much online personal training uses videos to demonstrate the exercises to the client. The challenge is to track the client’s progress and know if the program is working for them.
Making exercise videos is not difficult and does not require acting classes. Basically, it is the same as demonstrating an exercise live in a gym.
Instead of doing it in front of people, it is done in front of a camera. Here are some basic tips for making a good video:
- Do not use sound.
- Have adequate lighting.
- Use at least two full repetitions.
- The ideal length of one video is 10 to 20 seconds. These are demonstrations, not tutorials. They are for use during a workout.
Most clients listen to their own music, so there is not much need for an oral explanation during the exercise demonstration. They only want a clear visual demonstration.
Set up a Website
Another key to success in the online personal training business is online presence. This enables a business to obtain an online home, a domain.
Having a personal domain is important to a personal training website. Make sure that the domain name and the name of the business correspond.
Selecting the right domain name is something that requires some planning and thinking.
The name and branding should make it clear that this is an online personal training business. The faster a client knows what the name and website stand for, the more successful the business will be.
An online training website should be to the point. It should have a direct call to action, work perfectly and load fast.
It should also intrigue people so they will want to use the services offered. The trainer can present themself as an authority in the field and show that they are the solution to any fitness problem.
Most prospective clients will first look for a website, before contacting a trainer. So, the website will speak before a trainer can personally convince someone.
Make sure the website features the following:
- Reviews and testimonials.
- Before and after photos of satisfied customers, of course with their consent.
- Details of experience, previous jobs, education, and certifications.
- Blog articles that show perspective on training topics.
- Workout templates, nutrition guides, recipes, etc.
Plan a Marketing Strategy
Coming from the world of gym fitness training, it is likely that a trainer already has a client base. These can form the basis of the online clientele.
That is certainly a good start, but it is vital to find more clients. A website is one tool for that but there are other avenues.
A website generates leads and so do emails. From time to time, it is necessary to do an email campaign to find new leads.
It is usually best to engage a marketing specialist to conduct the campaign.
There are marketing courses available that focus on the use of email. However, conducting an email marketing campaign is very time-consuming.
PPC Advertisement: Facebook and Google
It is an open secret that ads on Facebook and Google are the most powerful strategies in marketing. Using them will make sure that thousands of people become familiar with a business.
To do this effectively, identify the best keywords as well as the target audience. This simple strategy also boosts website hits.
Fitness influencers reach an incredible number of people, all potential clients. Through them, prospective clients can find out how to get the results they are after.
To engage influencers in an effective campaign, gain their trust and get them excited about the services. Using influencers is not easy and involves mutual benefits.
It is good to lead people to a website but the trick is to keep them coming back. The right content is essential in generating leads and forming a loyal customer base.
The best thing is to create content that brings out the strengths of the online personal trainer. A personal trainer with good presentation skills could post YouTube content or start a podcast.
Writing, if that is a personal skill, is even better and simpler. Start a blog to lead people to the sales pages.
Social media is one of the best ways to market online personal training businesses. After determining the name and brand identity, make frequent posts on social media.
But do more than just post. Engage with other users.
Respond to their posts and they will likely find their way to the business account or website. Some popular platforms are:
- Facebook (groups)
Try not to focus on one platform. Use different ones to reach as many people as possible.
Podcasts present interesting and relevant audio information. As a result, many new clients will find their way to the online personal training business.
It is a great way of keeping clients interested as well. Many people listen to podcasts while they are traveling to and from work, and for leisure.
Start a personal podcast or find other podcasts in which to participate. Many podcasts look for guest speakers and it also helps them to reach their audience.
Choice of Software Platform
Investing in software is essential to expand an online training business. Software makes many tasks easier.
It helps to manage clients, make programs, and hosts documents and videos. It also makes billing and payments easier.
Invest time in doing research. No two personal training businesses are the same.
Online personal trainers have different skills, clients, target audiences, and needs. So, everyone needs to determine which software is best for them.
Some trainers might focus on databases for recording clients and payments. Others on interfaces for programs for diets.
Having identified some good software suits, try them out using the free trial options. There are many complete software packages for small businesses, including online personal training.
Many of them come with a desktop version, in combination with a supporting mobile version. It is a monthly recurring expense, but it is more than worth it.
Decide What the Best Pricing Model is
Setting the right price is not easy. A good basis of price is the quality of the training provided, the results, and the amount of time that it takes.
Lowering prices is much easier than increasing them. Therefore, it is better to start with prices that are a little higher.
That provides an opportunity to test the market. It is possible to lower prices later or offer clients special prices and offers.
Online training packages don’t often differ from those offered in a face-to-face setting. The thing that is different is the way of tracking client progress.
Trainers need to keep them accountable, also for their financial commitment. That is important for the client’s result and to maintain an income level.
This section discusses the common models and price ranges for online personal training.
- 1-on-1 (one to a few). One trainer works with five to thirty clients.
This model is the easiest to start with, but few online personal trainers stick with it. Price range: $100-500 per month.
- High-Ticket Transformation Programs. In this model, one trainer works with a few affluent clients.
All clients have defined measurable targets. These include lowering weight, fitting a smaller dress size, or developing bigger arms.
Gaining this kind of clientele requires experience and reputation. Trainers must create new content, use sales skills, and invest in paid advertising campaigns.
Price range: $1,000-5,000 for 8-12 weeks.
- Hybrid Online Training. The hybrid model combines online and in-person training and coaching.
This option is very well suited for gym instructors, who do not want to give up the in-person classes. Also, trainers making the transition to online work will benefit from this way of working.
Price range: $50-200 per month. A trainer will usually charge extra for the face-to-face sessions.
- Low-End Membership (One to Many). A personal trainer of this type usually has a large number of clients, sometimes more than 50.
These clients pay a lower fee than the ones above. This can work well with an online client base that follows programs via an online platform.
It is important to constantly generate new leads. Price range: $10-50 per month.
Ending thoughts on how to start an online personal training business
Becoming an online personal trainer takes determination as the industry is growing fast. Competition is strong.
A new online personal trainer needs to stand out from the rest. They should prove to be an expert in a certain field to prospective clients.
an online personal trainer’s objective is to help clients achieve their personal goals. If clients do not see the promised results, they will find another personal trainer.
That is true whether the personal training is provided live or online.
Take time to build a solid client base, give them excellent service and get referrals from them. Make good use of technology and automate as many parts of the process as desired.
Make programs that help clients reach their goals, not only in the short term but for long and healthy lives. Clients’ satisfaction is the single most important thing in building a successful business.
These were only some considerations to start and build an online training business. There are many more that will add to your success.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how to start an online personal training business, you should also check out this one with fitness hashtags to use on social media.