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How to Start an Online Personal Training Business in 2024

How to Start an Online Personal Training Business in 2024

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on January 31, 2024 — Updated on April 19, 2024

Learn how to start an online personal training business and leverage the internet to reach a wider client base and deliver personal training programs remotely. 

How to Start an Online Personal Training Business

The online personal training business model requires strategic planning, from defining your niche to selecting the right digital platforms for service delivery. By focusing on your areas of expertise, understanding your target audience, and utilizing comprehensive platforms like Exercise.com, you can establish a successful online personal training business.

Learn how to start a personal training business online so that you can choose from the personal trainer career options that are the best fit for your skills and strengths. This online personal trainer business guide outlines the steps to launch your online personal training services and sell personal training online, emphasizing cost-effective strategies and the importance of a strong online presence.

Fitness Income Ideas

Using a platform like Exercise.com to start an online PT business can significantly enhance your ability to create and grow an online personal trainer business, thanks to its comprehensive suite of features tailored specifically for fitness professionals. See why using the best personal trainer software, the best online fitness coaching software, and the best apps for online fitness coaches can add rocket fuel to your online personal training business income.

From running online fitness challenges, to creating one of the best fitness influencer apps (check out the best white label fitness app software), to selling workout of the day memberships, to learning how to create a fitness app, to much more, there are many ways to make money with fitness, and with the Exercise.com platform you have the best online fitness coaching software and the best software for fitness influencers all in one! (Not to mention the best gym software and the best personal training software).

Sell workout plans online.

Sell Workout Plans

Run online fitness challenges.

Challenges

Create and sell fitness memberships, products, and digital offers.

Gym Payments

Manage, message, and market to your online personal training clients and leads.

Gym Marketing Automations

All from your very own custom branded fitness apps.

Custom Branded Apps
Our overall experience with Exercise.com is a breeze. We love how easy it is to integrate this app with our current workflow while providing great fitness programs for our customers and save us time in the process.
Julie Ledbetter
Owner, Ledbetter Fitness

Get a demo now!

Step #1 – Identify Your Niche and Target Audience

The first crucial step in launching an online personal training business is to clearly define your niche and understand your target audience. This specificity helps in tailoring your training programs and marketing strategies, making your services more appealing to potential clients.

  • Expertise and Passion: Align your online personal training services with your areas of expertise and passion. Whether it’s weight loss, muscle building, endurance training, or yoga, specializing allows you to stand out.
  • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to identify a demand within the fitness industry that matches your skills and interests. This could involve focusing on specific demographics, fitness levels, or training goals.
  • Competition Analysis: Evaluate other online personal trainers and fitness programs. Understanding your competition helps in differentiating your services and identifying untapped opportunities.

Focusing on a niche not only streamlines your marketing efforts but also enhances your ability to provide specialized and effective training programs. This step is foundational in building a business model that resonates with your ideal clients and sets the stage for the growth of your online personal training business.

Read More:

Step #2 – Develop Your Brand and Online Presence

Creating a strong brand and establishing an online presence are essential for the success of your online personal training business. Your brand should reflect your unique value proposition and resonate with your target audience.

  • Branding: Develop a memorable brand name, logo, and design theme that encapsulate your personal training philosophy and appeal to your target demographic. Consistency in branding across all digital platforms enhances brand recognition.
  • Website: Build a professional website that serves as the central hub for your online personal training business. Include clear information about your services, qualifications, testimonials, and contact information. Integrating SEO strategies will improve your site’s visibility and attract more clients.
  • Social Media: Utilize social media platforms to extend your reach and engage with potential clients. Regular posts about fitness tips, client success stories, and interactive content can boost your online visibility and establish your expertise in the field.

A well-crafted online presence not only showcases your services but also builds trust with potential clients. Leveraging platforms like Exercise.com, which offers customizable website and app solutions tailored to fitness professionals, can significantly streamline this process. With Exercise.com, you can ensure your brand is consistently represented, making it easier to connect with clients and grow your online personal training business.

Read More: Fitness Brand Name Ideas

Des B Fit
I am grateful to have been able to create an app for my online family to grow with, and be able to support a business that I believe in.
Desiree Pfeifer
CEO, DBFT LLC

Get a demo now!

Step #3 – Select the Right Platform for Service Delivery

Choosing the right platform to deliver your online personal training services is crucial. The platform should support video content, client communication, and payment processing, providing a seamless experience for both trainers and clients.

  • Customization: Opt for a platform that allows full customization to align with your brand. This includes custom-branded apps and websites that enhance the professional look of your services.
  • Functionality: Ensure the platform supports key functionalities such as live sessions, on-demand videos, workout plan creation, and client progress tracking.
  • Integration: The platform should integrate easily with other tools and services you use, such as payment gateways and scheduling software, for efficient business operations.

Exercise.com stands out as a premier choice for online personal trainers due to its comprehensive suite of features designed specifically for fitness businesses. Unlike generic platforms, Exercise.com provides a fully custom branded fitness app experience for your clients, comprehensive workout and client management tools, and robust support to help you scale your online personal training business effectively.

Read More:

Step #4 – Develop and Price Your Online Training Programs

Designing diverse and engaging online training programs is key to attracting and retaining clients. Consider various formats, such as one-on-one training, group sessions, and pre-recorded workout plans, to cater to different preferences and budgets.

  • Program Variety: Offer a range of programs targeting different fitness goals, durations, and intensities to appeal to a broad audience.
  • Pricing Strategy: Set competitive prices for your services by researching what similar online personal trainers charge. Consider offering tiered pricing levels to accommodate different budgets and provide upsell opportunities.
  • Value Proposition: Clearly communicate the value clients will receive from your programs, such as personalized attention, custom workout plans, and ongoing support, to justify your pricing and differentiate your services.

When pricing your services, factor in the costs associated with running your online business, including platform fees, marketing expenses, and any additional resources you provide to clients. Utilizing a comprehensive platform like Exercise.com can help streamline program development and delivery, allowing you to focus more on client engagement and less on administrative tasks.

Read More:

PJF Performance
I sold a workout program and matched my yearly salary of in-person training within two weeks of selling to my community!
Paul Fabritz
Founder and BS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, ACE, FMS, PJF Performance

Get a demo now!

Step #5 – Market Your Online Personal Training Business

Effective marketing is essential to attract clients to your online personal training business. Learning how to get online personal training clients is one of the key tasks to running a successful online personal training business because you can have the best coaching and programs in the world, but if you can’t get online personal training clients then you won’t last for long! Utilize a mix of digital marketing strategies to reach your target audience and convey the unique benefits of your training programs.

  • Content Marketing: Create valuable content related to fitness and wellness to establish your authority in the industry. This can include blog posts, instructional videos, and fitness challenges that engage potential clients.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list to keep in touch with potential and existing clients. Regular newsletters with fitness tips, program updates, and special offers can encourage sign-ups and client retention.
  • Social Media Advertising: Leverage targeted social media ads to reach potential clients who fit your target demographic. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer advanced targeting options to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Incorporating client testimonials and success stories into your marketing materials can significantly enhance credibility and trust in your services. Platforms like Exercise.com provide marketing tools and integrations that can automate and optimize your marketing efforts, making it easier to attract and convert leads into clients.

Read More:

Step #6 – Establish a Client Onboarding Process

A smooth onboarding process is crucial for setting the tone of your professional relationship with new clients. It should include initial consultations, fitness assessments, and clear communication of program expectations.

  • Initial Consultations: Offer free initial consultations to discuss potential clients’ fitness goals, preferences, and any medical considerations. This personal touch can help build rapport and tailor your programs to individual needs.
  • Fitness Assessments: Implement standardized fitness assessments to gauge new clients’ fitness levels and track their progress over time. This data can inform personalized workout plans and demonstrate value through tangible results.
  • Clear Communication: Ensure clients understand how your programs work, what they can expect, and how to use your chosen platform for training sessions and communications.

An effective onboarding process not only helps personalize training programs but also increases client satisfaction and retention. Exercise.com’s platform facilitates this process by providing tools for client assessments, program customization, and easy communication, ensuring clients receive a personalized and professional experience from the start.

Read More:

Step #7 – Provide Ongoing Support and Engagement

Maintaining high levels of client engagement and support is essential for client retention in an online personal training business and a big part of learning how to run a successful online personal training business that retains clients for the long haul. Regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and community-building activities can keep clients motivated and invested in their fitness journeys.

  • Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins with clients to discuss their progress, address any challenges, and adjust their workout plans as needed. This demonstrates your commitment to their success and helps keep them accountable.
  • Community Building: Create online groups or forums where clients can share their experiences, celebrate achievements, and support each other. This sense of community can significantly enhance client satisfaction and retention.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Implement mechanisms for clients to provide feedback on their training experience. This can help you refine your programs and services to better meet clients’ needs.

Providing ongoing support and engagement helps build strong client-trainer relationships, fostering a loyal client base and encouraging referrals. Exercise.com’s platform supports these efforts by offering features like workout logging, messaging, and community forums, enhancing the overall client experience and contributing to the success of your online personal training business.

Create Your Online Personal Training Business Now

Starting an online personal training business requires careful planning, a strong online presence, and the use of effective digital tools. By following these steps and leveraging platforms like Exercise.com, fitness professionals can successfully launch and grow their online personal training services, reaching a wider audience and making a significant impact in the lives of their clients. With the right approach and resources, your online personal training business can flourish, providing personalized fitness solutions to clients worldwide.

AMPD Golf Performance
“Working with Exercise.com and their team has been an amazing experience and a dream come true in terms of accomplishing a vision! Their workout technology has helped us effectively engage our community, and I highly recommend Exercise.com to grow your business!”
Andrew Banner
Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

Get a demo now!

How to Become an Online Personal Trainer

  • Learning how to become an online personal trainer is absolutely possible; it just takes work.
  • Choose a target market for your online training business to thrive.
  • When it comes to branding, reflect the image you want to convey to your clients.
  • You should have a minimum level of experience training clients and a certification from a legitimate organization before training clients online

Can you be an online personal trainer? Absolutely! If you want to learn how to become a successful online fitness coach, then you’ve come to the right place.

We have personal trainers, gym owners, and fitness coaches using the Exercise.com fitness business software platform every single day to grow their online personal training businesses (and their in-person businesses).

Here’s the thing: learning how to become a successful online personal trainer is absolutely possible; it just takes work. 

Put in the work. Don’t expect results overnight. Listen to the experts and those who’ve gone before you; and before you know it, you’ll find yourself getting the results you’ve previously only dreamed of.

Sound good to you? Learning how to start an online fitness program as a key component of your fitness business – or even the only component of your fitness business – is a formula we’ve seen work time and time again.

Let’s jump right into exploring how to get started as an online personal trainer, how to market online personal training, and why online personal software is crucial to any online personal training business model.

How To Become an Online Personal Trainer: Part 1

Choose Your Target Market

How do online personal trainers make money? They choose a target market.

Don’t be like the new restaurant whose sole marketing strategy is, “We’re going to be known for serving good food.”

Well, what kind of food? Thai? Pizza? Will it be fast-casual or plated service? Who are you trying to attract?

Similarly to the example above, don’t be that personal trainer that “Just gets results” or “Can help you reach your goals.” Sure, the focus should be on a client’s goals and helping them get results, but choose a niche and strive to be the best in that niche.

The fitness industry has endless niches to choose from. A few examples are:

  • Bodybuilding contest prep
  • Injury rehab
  • Weight loss for busy professionals
  • Post-pregnancy training
  • NFL combine training
  • Powerlifting coaching
  • Olympic weightlifting coaching
  • Marathon training

If you try to become everything to everybody, your value decreases dramatically as people start to wonder if you are really the best choice for their specific needs. 

Understandably, a big worry that professionals in every industry have is: If I specialize in a specific niche, I won’t make as much money. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Watch the video below to find out why:

Once you choose a niche and specialize in it, then your message begins to have enormous resonance with that target market. Not with everybody, mind you, but if you target your marketing appropriately then you will start to get traction.

Case Studies of Successful Online Fitness Trainers

Let’s look at a few examples of successful online personal trainers who have chosen a specific market and are experiencing great results using Exercise.com software to power their online training businesses:

Paul Fabritz. PJF Performance – Vertical Jump Training

Our client PJF Performance went from zero to $220K by delivering workouts through its custom-branded fitness apps.

“I sold a workout program and matched my yearly salary of in-person training within two weeks of selling to my community!” – Paul Fabritz, BS Exercise & Wellness, CSCS, CPT, ACE, FMS

Kellie Davis, Fit Thrive – Empowering Women’s Training

Fit Thrive uses online fitness coaching to reach women all around the world with programming designed to empower women.

“With Exercise.com, I’m able to reach people around the world with the programs that I design, implement, and push out. You don’t have that opportunity working in a local gym. So that’s been huge.” – Kellie Davis, Fit Thrive

How To Build an Online Fitness Brand

Once you’ve chosen your target market, it’s time to build your brand around that target.

Sometimes you will hear advice to “Market Your Person” or “Sell Yourself.” If that means be authentic, then yes, do that. If it means to be consistent with the message and values you are promoting, then you should. But, if the advice is for you to personally be the brand, then it’s advice better left untaken.

Why? Some business coaches call it the “hit by a bus” test. If you got hit by a bus tomorrow, would your business disappear? If people will buy your online training only because of your personal name, while that might be good for your ego, it’s not good for the long-term health of your bank account.

So, what should you do to build your fitness brand the right way? Well, for starters, your fitness business website and apps should reflect the image you want to convey to your clients.

Just like emailing PDF’s and spreadsheets full of workouts to your clients personally one-by-one is not a sustainable (or professional) approach to online training, you also don’t want to invest all of your time and money into building some other company’s brand.

For example, some fitness software companies claim to be “custom-branded,” but what they really mean is that they are “co-branded.” They will tell you that you can have your own custom-branded iOS and Android workout apps for your clients to use, but what they don’t tell you is that your clients have to search for the software company’s name in the App Store and in the Google Play Store. It’s not until your clients create an account and log in that they will even see your logo.

This is not the case with the Exercise.com platform. We are all about building your brand. And, when it comes to becoming an online personal trainer, establishing your brand is crucial.

How To Become an Online Personal Trainer: Part 2

How To Get Online Personal Training Clients

Not everyone can be successful in every single marketing channel. You must find a distribution channel that works for your business. Then, you rinse and repeat. Even large and well-funded businesses will find that some channels work for them and some don’t.

The key is to find what works for you and your business and then once you hit on a winning strategy, cut what’s not working and scale up what is working. Learning how to gain clients as a personal trainer is one of your most important skill sets.

If you are first starting out, then you might want to ask yourself what you do well and where your natural abilities and gifts might lie. For example, if you love to write, then blogging and email marketing are great places to start.

If you are great on video – charismatic, interesting, well-spoken – then video blogging using a platform like YouTube is where you might find better traction.

If you are an established brand and have already seen some success, whether with physical brick and mortar gyms/boxes/studios or other fitness facilities, then you will likely have some great insight into the customer acquisition strategies that have worked for you and can do more of the same.

No matter the niche or the gifts, however, be sure to include social media platforms in your marketing strategy. Instagram, for example, is a must for fitness professionals.

Note: when you set out to start your online personal trainer business, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still train online clients in person. Let’s unpack that one in more detail.

How to Sell Online Personal Training in Person

Yes, you read that correctly. While the phrase sounds contradictory – selling online training in person – it’s an important piece of the overall puzzle.

One of the very best distribution channels for selling online training is signing people up in person. This is ten times better if you can maintain a consistent, physical presence in a gym, a camp, or at regular events like industry trade shows and festivals. In fact, one of the very best ways to monetize the quality interactions you have in person with potential clients is to sell them online personal training.

Here are three examples that might be profitable for you to test out:

Scenario #1: Marketing to Student-Athletes

You lead a youth sports camp that trains young athletes for a certain number of weeks. Before the camp is over, you ask the athlete (and their parents or guardians, if appropriate) if they’d like to continue training with you throughout the rest of the year.

You have them sign up on their smartphone to pay a $99/month membership that gives them a new workout plan each month (all delivered automatically), exercise instructional videos, a way to securely message you for workout advice, and a leaderboard and discussion board with other fellow campers.

“Sign up now, here at camp, and you’ll get 20 percent off the price for life. We already have your credit card so, Mrs. Doe, should we sign John Jr. up right now so he can keep training hard throughout the year and improve his chances of getting into Rutgers?”

Scenario #2 – Securing a Relocating Client

Clients move locations. It’s a part of life. Maybe it’s for a job, family, or they just want a change of pace; whatever the reason is behind their move, their physical absence does not have to equate to the cancelation of your services. Try this example out the next time you’re faced with a relocating client:

“Mr. Jackson, I’d love to continue providing you with a workout plan to follow so that you can keep getting the great results we’ve gotten together and not lose any of the progress we’ve made. Just click the link I emailed you, and it will get you set right up to automatically get a new workout from me each month.”

Scenario #3 – Meeting Clients Where They’re at Financially

Throughout your personal training career, you are going to meet people who would like to train with you in person, but they are not able to afford your personal training sessions. Instead of writing them off, offer them another solution. While they may not be able to afford in-person training, they may be able to afford to pay $29/month to join your online workout group.

The possibilities of the in-person distribution channel are endless. Technically, if you know how to text or email a sign-up link and your in-person customer acquisition strategies are robust enough, then you could build up a successful online personal training business without ever doing any online marketing.

Of course, you will be much more successful as an online health and fitness coach if you can master both face-to-face and online sales. For a look at how to approach people on the gym floor to sell your services, check out the video below:

How To Become an Online Personal Trainer: Part 3

Choosing the Right Technology for Online Training

To train clients online, you need online personal training software. You cannot and should not expect to run an online fitness business with just a Google calendar and Excel sheets.

This is where Exercise.com comes into play. With the Exercise.com platform, you will build your own fitness brand, not some other company’s, and you will have a professional-grade solution that automates the busy work of personal training and running a fitness business.

With our virtual personal training software you can create fitness assessments to send to your clients that – based on their answers – will automatically schedule them into one of your workout programs that best meets their needs.

You can give your clients apps to log their workouts—reinforcing your brand every time they tap that app icon. They will also be able to watch your exercise instructional videos as they work out at the gym.

Much of your other technology decisions will be driven by your choice of marketing and distribution channels. If you plan on sending large email campaigns and want a standard provider for sending classic email campaigns, then you will want to consider something like MailChimp. If you are doubling down on social media, then you should look into a social media scheduling tool like Buffer. If you are committed to blogging, you can’t go wrong with WordPress.

Fortunately, through our partnership with Zapier, we offer integrations with over 2,000 applications, including the ones mentioned above.

How To Become an Online Personal Trainer: Part 4

Now that we’ve covered how to target a niche, how to brand yourself, how to get personal training clients, and how to choose the best online training software, let’s take rewind a bit.

Before you can become a personal trainer at home and coach clients anywhere, as long as you have internet access, you have to, of course, become a personal trainer; and you have to understand the work that goes into creating an online training platform.

The next bits of this guide will tackle how much money personal trainers make, how much online fitness trainers charge, and, to wrap up, 12 succinct steps to becoming a successful online personal trainer.

Online Personal Training: How Much Can I Charge?

How much money can personal trainers make training clients online? What’s the average income for an online fitness coach? Or, more practically, how much can I expect to make as an online personal trainer? Those are the real questions you are asking, right?

Well, just like the average salary of trainers who only train in person can vary, it’s no different with online trainers. But, and this is a big but, the major difference is that when you train online and use the right systems (like the Exercise.com platform), then – thanks to the power of software –  your success and income working as an online trainer are virtually limitless.

The beauty of online training is that it provides you as a trainer with flexibility.

Training clients one-on-one in person is limited by your time. Training clients online is a different story.

Every day, people are looking for personal trainers online. People are looking to buy workout programs, wanting to join workout groups, and participate in a workout community. Why can’t it be you that helps them? You can make money in fitness online. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Here’s an example of that might work:

Let’s say you charge $129/month to join your online workout group and you stock it full of benefits – a new workout plan every month, leaderboards, apps for logging workouts in the gym, interaction with other group members, and more. Once you have your workouts ready to be time-released on schedule for the group, your top priority becomes recruiting more people to join.

In the beginning, if there are only a few people in your group, you will need to be heavily active. As the group grows, the utility of being in the group grows with it—more people to interact with, and more engagement, with less coming directly from you.

Overdeliver on actually providing client-focused benefits, and as you grow, you will slowly start to ratchet up that recurring revenue.

Online Personal Training Income Calculator

A common (and important) question is, “How much should I charge for online personal training?” Here’s a calculator to see how much your income will be as an online personal trainer based on your monthly rate and how many clients you have:

For example, if you charge only $99 a month for online training and you add seven new clients every month, here’s how much money you’ll make:

  • After 12 months: $54,054
  • After 24 months: $207,900
  • After 36 months: $461,538

Now, let’s run those numbers with you charging more for your online training—something many trainers should do. If you charge $179/month and add seven new clients a month, here’s what your online training alone would bring in:

  • After 12 months: $97,734
  • After 24 months: $375,900
  • After 36 months: $834,498

How about $249/month?

  • After 12 months: $135,954
  • After 24 months: $522,900
  • After 36 months: $1,160,838

Now, if you invest in marketing, get referrals, grow your online presence, and get 25 new signups a month (definitely doable) while charging $249/month, check out the seven-figure incomes you’d be banking from your online personal training business:

  • After 12 months: $485,550
  • After 24 months: $1,867,500
  • After 36 months: $4,145,850

Play around with the online training income calculator above and take the below three lessons to heart:

#1 – Have a long term mindset: Success doesn’t happen overnight. If your only interests are getting clients fast, making money fast, and earning a quick buck, then you will likely crash and burn.

#2 – Increase your prices: Deciding what to charge for online personal training is one of the most important decisions you will make. Don’t be afraid to test out different price points, limited-time offers, and various pricing schemes.

#3 – Remember, retention is key: You must deliver a valuable service. Which is more appealing: taking the old school route where you email PDF workouts or using a professional, custom-branded app that features complete workouts, assessments, feedback, and simple tracking?

Qualifications for Becoming an Online Trainer

Do you need to meet set qualifications to become an online personal trainer? Technically, no.

However, most would agree that you should have a minimum level of experience training clients and a certification from a legitimate organization (more on that soon). But everyone starts somewhere, so view the qualifications in this guide as steps to aspire to in your fitness journey.

Below are phases for online fitness trainers to strive for, and some steps you should follow as an online trainer who plans to take your business to the next level.

Steps to Online Personal Training Success

Below are practical steps you should take to grow your fitness business and see personal training success online.

#1 Build a Brand

This is so important it’s worth mentioning again.

Nothing says small-time like sending clients workout plans via an emailed spreadsheet or PDF. Today, people are accustomed to downloading an app, purchasing online, and having a workout experience they can take with them anywhere they go. Your goal should be to have them think of your brand every single time they tap your app icon to log their workout.

#2 Stop Trading Your Time for Money

This is arguably the toughest part for many people. If your goal is to have success offering personal training online, then you absolutely must bust out of the in-person paradigm of trading your time for money.

Sometimes, we’ll see trainers who do fitness coaching online using video conferencing; and while that can be a valuable addition to your online training packages, it should never be the primary focus. Otherwise, you are just trading earning an hourly rate training people at the gym to earning an hourly rate training people over video conference.

The allure of online personal training done right is that once you build your fitness marketing machine and set up your online training platform – yes, this part takes work and time – then it will earn money for you and work for you 24/7 even while you’re sleeping.

Those exercise videos you created two years ago will continue to be used by your subscribers for many years to come. The work you put into your online business now will make you a hefty recurring revenue.

#3 Always Be Learning

If you have the mindset of a lifetime learner, you will be happy for the opportunity to dive into studying for a new personal training certification or learning about a new technology or marketing solution that will grow your business. Commit to continuous education and this commitment will reward you time and time again throughout your life.

Read business books and fitness books. Find a mentor. Learn from those who’ve done what you want to do.

#4 Focus on Your Target Market

Create messaging and benefits that appeal to the clients you are trying to reach, not to make yourself look good to other trainers and fitness professionals you look up to. See the world through the eyes of your potential clients. What are their fitness goals? Why should they trust that your training is the best choice out of the many options available to help them achieve those goals?

#5 Learn from Other Successful Trainers

Call it mentorship. Call it copying. Call it being open to learning new things.

Regardless of what you call it, there is gold to be mined if you simply open your eyes and investigate the business practices of personal trainers who are already successfully marketing and selling online.

#6 Get Creative With Your Marketing

No, this doesn’t mean to be inappropriate or invent a persona just to reach clients; by “creative,” we mean: be open to trying new things and willing to fail in nine out of ten marketing campaigns in order to find – and scale up – that one winner.

#7 Practice What You Preach

This is treading on thin ice, but the cold, hard truth is that, in some cases, prospective clients will judge you for how you look, how you present yourself, and for how consistent your life is with what you say.

By all means, be honest, be real, be authentic, but if you have a philosophy that you can get anyone a ripped six pack if they just train hard enough and eat right, then you better have an impressive six pack to back that up.

Is it fair? Not always. Does it contain more than a grain of truth? Yes. Can you be a great coach and not “look the part”? Absolutely! Can you be absolutely ripped and be a horrible coach? 100%. Again, most personal trainers don’t need to be competition ready to build a following.

It all comes down to your niche and this doesn’t just apply to your physical appearance. If your sole focus is training vegan bodybuilders, you better be a vegan; if your specialty is marathon training, you should be a runner.

#8 Get Certified

This is the elephant in the room for online trainers who skip this step.

Do you need a personal training certification to train someone online? No, you don’t.

Do you open yourself up to criticism that you are not a fitness professional if you don’t? Possibly.

Are there any downsides to getting certified? Outside of the time spent studying (which isn’t a waste) and the money spent on the testing and credentialing, no. If you are serious about investing in yourself and your fitness business, then this is a must. There are many programs to choose from, but keep in mind that the best and most respected personal training certifications are from ACE, NSCA, and NASM.

#9 Use Your Strengths

Play to your strengths when deciding what approach you should take for marketing and growing your fitness business. If you’re awkward and clumsy on the camera (and practice isn’t helping), but you love writing, then don’t force the fitness vlog. Instead, you should dedicate time to write, write, and write some more (as an added bonus, many organizations will accept published articles as part of your annual CEUs).

Conversely, if you can hardly string two paragraphs together without wanting to smash your keyboard into pieces, it’s probably time to switch from “powering through it” to “knowing your strengths.”

That being said, you MUST be willing to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new things. Fail, start again, fail again, force yourself to write or make a video even when you don’t feel like it. Playing to your strengths is never an excuse to just sit back and be comfortable, but it is a call to do an honest self-assessment of what you do best.

#10 Network With Other “Influencers”

Look for ways to help others. Talk to people doing what you want to be doing. Partner together in various ways to reach out to each other’s audiences and grow both of your businesses at the same time. Working in fitness online is not a zero-sum game.

#11 Use Testimonials and Other Social Proof

People are rightfully hesitant about claims they encounter on the internet. But, if you can show real testimonials from real people who you have helped with your training, then your conversion rate will skyrocket.

You can also write and be quoted in notable fitness magazines and on fitness websites and then make those associations known on your website. One successful online trainer on the Exercise.com platform, Tony Gentilcore, does a great job at building social proof for his online training business:

#12 Use a Software Solution That Will Help You Grow

Whether you’re a large, well-established gym with multiple locations or you’re a fitness solopreneur who just recently began training clients, the Exercise.com software platform will support your business and help you scale both your in-person and online training. From assessments to creating and selling workout plans online, to custom-branded apps and much more, the benefits are truly endless.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your path to becoming a successful online personal trainer by booking a demo of our online personal training software today.

Tony Gentilcore
Exercise.com makes my life easier by providing an all-in-one solution and the opportunity to help those who otherwise would never have access to my programming!
Tony Gentilcore
Founder, Core Online

Get a demo now!

Is online personal training profitable?

Yes, online personal training can be highly profitable due to its scalability, lower overhead costs compared to traditional in-person training, and the ability to reach a global client base.

How much does it cost to start an online personal training business?

The cost to start an online personal training business can be relatively low, primarily involving website development, software subscriptions, and marketing efforts. Initial costs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the complexity and quality of your online platform and tools.

How do I start an online personal trainer?

To start as an online personal trainer, obtain necessary certifications, define your target market, create a website or platform to host your services, develop your training programs, and use social media and digital marketing to attract clients.

How do I get clients for online training?

Attract clients for online training by leveraging social media platforms, creating engaging and informative content, offering free trials or workshops, utilizing email marketing, and encouraging word-of-mouth through satisfied clients.

What should I charge for online personal training?

Pricing for online personal training varies based on your experience, program complexity, and market demand. Rates can range from $50 to $200 per session or more, with package deals or monthly subscriptions offering flexibility for clients and steady income for trainers.

How do I choose the best online personal training software?

Talk to one of our business coaches and demo the Exercise.com platform. Ask us for some examples of other trainers and fitness businesses who are already doing what you want to do. We will be happy to get you set up exactly like them so you can learn from those who are successful and then make the process your own.

Read More: Best Personal Training Software

How do I make money as a personal trainer?

As is the case with any business venture, earning money requires a lot of work and a lot of trial and error. The steps laid out above can help you learn how to set yourself up for success.

How much should I charge as an online trainer just starting out?

As an online trainer just starting out, your charges should reflect your qualifications, experience, and the value you provide. Rates typically range from $50 to $200 per session, with considerations for package deals or subscriptions to encourage long-term commitments, so make a decision to price according to the value you think you can provide, not just how much experience you may have.

Is online personal training in demand?

Yes, online personal training is in high demand, especially as people seek flexible, convenient options for fitness that fit their lifestyles and as technology makes virtual training more accessible and effective.

How many online clients for personal training?

The number of online clients a personal trainer can manage effectively varies based on the level of personalization and interaction required. Trainers can typically handle 20-50 clients, with scalable programs allowing for more.

Is it hard to start a personal training business?

Starting a personal training business can be challenging due to market competition and the need for effective marketing and client retention strategies. However, with a clear plan and leveraging online platforms, it can also be highly rewarding.

Do you need a certification to be an online fitness coach?

While not legally required, having a certification from a reputable organization can enhance your credibility, help attract clients, and ensure you provide safe and effective training.

How does online PT work?

Online PT works by delivering personalized fitness programs, guidance, and support through digital platforms. This can include video consultations, custom workout plans, progress tracking, and regular check-ins via apps or websites.

Is virtual personal training effective?

Yes, virtual personal training can be highly effective, especially when it includes personalized workout plans, regular feedback, and accountability measures. Advances in technology have made virtual training more interactive and engaging.

How many clients do online personal trainers have?

The number of clients an online personal trainer can manage varies, with many handling 20-50 clients. Efficiency depends on the level of personalization and the systems used for client management.

Is personal training business profitable?

A personal training business can be profitable, particularly with the addition of online services that allow for scalability and reduced overhead costs. Profitability depends on effective client acquisition, retention, and efficient business operations.

How can Exercise.com help me run a successful online personal training business?

Exercise.com can help run a successful online personal training business by providing an all-in-one platform for managing clients, delivering personalized workouts, tracking progress, scheduling sessions, and processing payments. Its customizable software supports business growth by streamlining operations and enhancing client engagement.

Tony Gentilcore
Exercise.com makes my life easier by providing an all-in-one solution and the opportunity to help those who otherwise would never have access to my programming!
Tony Gentilcore
Founder, Core Online

Get a demo now!

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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