How do I sell personal training and workout plans online?
We work with loads of personal trainers, gym owners, and other fitness professionals who all have asked themselves, “How do I sell my workouts and personal training online?”
If you are wondering how to get started selling fitness training programs and how this will fit into your overall fitness business, read on to learn how to get started. We will tell you what online personal trainer software you should use (hint: we can help you with that), and we’ll share case study tips for success directly from fitness professionals on our platform who are successfully selling training online and growing their business.
Why You Should Sell Your Personal Training Online
“I just know I should be learning how to market my fitness business and sell online.” You’ve likely had this niggling thought run through your mind for a long time, but maybe you’ve put off stretching yourself, getting out of your comfort zone, and learning new things. Well, as we like to say around here: start small, think big, go deep. Really, the advice is no different then you would give a new client wanting to reach their fitness goals.
You can do this.
Okay, Deep breath.
You can do this.
Here are three reasons why it’s time for you to consider selling fitness products and training online:
#1 – Your Clients and Future Clients are Looking for You Online
Consumer behavior has dramatically changed over the last 20 years. No industry is left unchanged, and that includes fitness.
Gone are the days when you can rely on foot traffic or yellow page lookups alone to grow your training business.
People are not only searching for you online, but they are looking to purchase online. Many people are specifically looking for an online personal trainer. Don’t you want that trainer to be you?
#2 – You Can Monetize People Outside of Your Four Walls
How many people, realistically, can make it into your brick and mortar facility on a prescribed and consistent schedule to train with you in person? In the average gym, that number is very small.
Now, how many people would love to experience your professional programming, but on their own schedule? That group of people just got larger. Even further, how many people simply live too far away to train in your facility but would still do your programming if they could? Think of those clients who move away and the members who are busy professionals and can’t consistently train in-person. That group of people got even larger. This is your easiest target market—more on that below.
#3 – You Can Stop Trading Your Time for Money
There’s a balance, we get it. You love training people, and you enjoy working with them in person to help them achieve their fitness goals. But, there are only so many hours in the day.
More importantly: You only have so many hours available in your day. If you want to grow your fitness business, you need to treat it like a true business. It shouldn’t be a stressful job that requires all of your personal time in order to succeed.
Productizing your workout programming, selling workouts online, offering distance training, collaborative workout groups, and more takes time, but in the long run it is absolutely crucial to helping you build the fitness business you’ve always wanted.
How to Create a Workout Plan to Sell Online
There are a lot of options on our platform for delivering workout programming over the internet, and our trainers do a whole host of different things: online groups with time-released workout content (members get a new workout every day/week/month), workout challenges, and many other permutations, but one tried-and-true, EASY way to get started is to learn how to create a workout program you can sell online.
Using our powerful workout delivery platform makes getting started a cinch. First, create your workout plan and schedule in our workout plan software. (Come on, you weren’t going to manually email people complicated Excel sheets and PDFs full of workouts one-by-one were you?)
Learning how to create your fitness program online is the first part of the equation. Once that’s done, you can congratulate yourself for having taken that first step of productizing your knowledge and no longer trading your time for money.
Now, you can sell the same workout plan over and over with next to no incremental cost or time demands on you. You can also start personalized or semi-personalized online training, but either way, creating your first workout plan online is a huge time saver because you can easily clone that plan and just make tweaks as needed for new clients.
Let the team at Exercise.com show you how to grow and manage your fitness business!
How much does online training cost on average?
Okay, so you want to create a workout plan and sell it online, great! The usual next question is, “Umm, how much should I charge?” Well, the beauty of digital goods is that you can test out many strategies quickly. You can test selling fitness products/programs at varied price points to multiple slices of your market until you find what works.
You may find that the busy professional who travels a lot and can’t make it in to train with you in person on a consistent schedule would be happy to pay an extra $199/month for semi-personalized programming from you that they can do on their own schedule. (These workouts can be logged using a web/iOS/Android device of their choice from anywhere in the world 24/7—all totally custom branded to your fitness business, of course, so you can grow your brand.)
Or maybe an online group with a shared monthly workout, group leaderboard, group discussion, and programming revolving around a common goal is an easy sell to a large portion of your audience for a much lower price point of just $29/month. This approach will work for you once you have everything in place. We have some trainers who aim to create an entire year’s worth of workout programming upfront, and then they simply use our software option to time release new workout plans monthly (or whatever schedule they choose).
WARNING: I know you’re thinking, “Well, I don’t have a year’s worth of programming created yet, so I’ll wait to sign up, wait to get started, and maybe when I’m ready then I’ll start selling my workouts online.” NO. Stop. You must start right away and not procrastinate. This is your future self telling you that you do not want to be in the same place you are right now a year from today. Create the first month’s plan and then you have an entire month to create the next month’s plan. It’s easier than you think.
If you charge upwards of $50 or $100 an hour for clients to train with you in person, then a monthly membership to get your workout programs for just $49 a month seems quite cheap. In fact, one of the most common mistakes a trainer will make when selling workouts online is setting the price too low.
Affordable is good. Introductory pricing specials where you offer discounts for a very limited time are good as well. But don’t undersell your brand or your expertise by always pricing your training dirt cheap.
Can you make it up in volume? Well, one of the benefits of selling online workouts on our automated platform is that the marginal cost of supporting each new client is basically zero. So, you certainly could still make good money, but by pricing too cheap you may actually do long-term damage to the perception of your brand and quality of your training. Try having your prices be affordable, but a little higher than you initially thought.
Ultimately, how much you charge should reflect your brand, your market, your clientele, and your revenue and profitability goals. Remember, the average cost of training isn’t that important. You have to choose prices that reflect the value you provide. Using a professional-grade fitness software solution like Exercise.com will allow you to deliver a premium, custom-branded solution to your clients that will deserve premium pricing in return.
After all, it’s one thing to ask for money just so you can say, “let me email you an Excel file,” and quite another to ask for money so that you can give your clients their own workout app complete with a fitness journal, exercise instructional videos, and your scheduled workout program where they can log and track their progress right from their phone. They will tap your custom-branded app every time they work out, which will reinforce your brand while building their workout routine.
Whether you’re asking yourself, “How do I start an online personal training business?” Or, “How can I improve my personal training business?” You’re light years ahead of the trainers who simply dream about doing online training but never actually get started and those who start but quickly give up when they don’t get overnight results.
It’s worth repeating: much of the general philosophical fitness advice you give your clients about the power of consistency, the power of habits, the power of just showing up . . . that’s what you need to preach to yourself as you kick off your online business.
If you do small things every day – creating one new workout plan to sell online, emailing five former clients who’ve moved away, or simply showing up for a workout – your dedication will pay off. You will see success if you stick with it.
How to SELL Workouts Online
Yep, SELL. S-E-L-L. The next big question you should be asking yourself is, “How do I promote online personal training and actually sell my workouts online?” It’s one thing to create workout plans online using professional and scalable online workout software like ours, but those who do well, approach this like any other successful trainer or gym owner: you must be willing to sell and promote your programming and fitness products.
As you must know, the most successful trainers in a gym context are those who are willing to go out on the floor and talk to potential clients and promote themselves.
This is no different, except the advantage of selling workout programs online is that you are, yes, promoting yourself and your expertise to some degree, but you are primarily promoting the product, the experience, the results that a particular plan/group/workout will provide to the ideal trainee.
This is a beautiful thing, because if you are promoting yourself and your training in a gym, you could book up your schedule and quickly hit a cap on your time – and ultimately – on your income. This won’t happen when you are selling workouts online.
Here’s a perfect example of how successful online training can be:
Paul Fabritz. PJF Performance – Vertical Jump Training
PJF Performance – Zero to $220K in ARR Delivering Workouts with their Custom-Branded 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
Add in the power of recurring revenue and that’s when the magic begins. Now remember, not all success happens overnight. Paul Fabritz spent years and years perfecting his craft, building his audience, and then when the time was right to monetize that audience, they were eager to buy his workout programming in masses. It won’t happen overnight, but it can START overnight. It can start right away.
Ask yourself some of the following questions:
– Could I create one workout plan revolving around a particular benefit that I know people in my circle of influence want? (i.e. Fat Loss Workout Plan, Off Season Football Workout Plan, etc)
– Could I identify just five people I can sell that workout plan to? (On our platform, this is as simple as sharing a link. Can you email someone? Text someone? Share the link on social media? All of the billing, scheduling, and everything else is handled automatically by your new custom-branded fitness apps. Your job is to create the programming and then sell the programming. That’s it.)
– Now, can I find 5 more people?
– How can I find people that are similar to my plan purchasers that want the same things?
You DO NOT have to be a social media influencer or an Instagram fitness model to see success this way. We have many trainers who build successful online training businesses by signing up one monthly client at a time. If you can sign up three new clients a month to join your online workout group for $199/month, then by the end of the year you’ll have a recurring revenue of over $7,000 each month!
Don’t think you have enough clients willing to pay hundreds of dollars a month to join your workout group or do semi-personalized distance training with you? No sweat.
Start small by selling a one-time workout plan at a lower price point. Over deliver. Sell a one month workout plan and now that you have their email address, you can market to them when the month is up. Keep in mind: the client most likely to purchase from you now is the one who already invested in you before.
In many ways, learning how to sell a training program online is not so very different than learning how to sell a training program in the gym. In some ways, it’s easier and in others it’s harder. One thing remains the same: you must build a stable and growing recurring revenue with your training business.
The Importance of Recurring Revenue
Your goal should be to turn every client into a source of monthly recurring revenue for your business. The classic way to do this is… wait for it… sell gym memberships. Now you want to do the same thing with your online training, online fitness products, and other memberships.
Doesn’t sound quite so revolutionary now, does it? After all, gyms have been doing this for years, and it’s time you brought the soundness of the recurring revenue/membership model into the digital age.
It gets really exciting when you start to think about the various hybrid approaches you can use if you already have a facility or at least train people in person, because now you have upsell opportunities galore.
Client going to be away for the summer? No problem, have them sign up for your online distance training. Do you have young athletes whom you only encounter at a camp or during the sports season? Now they can virtually train with you all year long. If you’ve earned the trust of these young athletes and their parents already, don’t leave them to find someone else to buy training from when they aren’t geographically close to you anymore!
Online Workout Plan Sales Income Calculator
A common question is, “How much should I sell my workout plans for?” Here’s a calculator to see how much your income will be as an online personal trainer selling workout plans/groups/memberships/etc based on your monthly rate and how many clients you have:
Building an Online Following
The advantage of selling workout plans online is that your potential customer base is not limited to the people you meet in person. Those potential clients are now worldwide.
If you use a flexible, scalable workout delivery platform like Exercise.com, anyone with access to the internet is a potential customer of your training business.
Learning to transition in-person contacts to online recurring-revenue customers is a great way to get your online training business off the ground, but you should also immediately start to build a following online. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to be an expert in every channel. Just pick one or two of the possibilities below and work slowly over time to grow your audience.
No conversation about selling personal training online is complete without the mention of Instagram. Over one billion people use Instagram every month (yes, billion). 60 percent of those people on Instagram discover new products they want to buy, and more than a third of those users make a purchases with their smartphone (they could be buying your workout plans or fitness memberships!)
Instagram is also THE place for fitness influencers and fitness marketers to expand their reach. According to research, 92 percent of consumers trust the recommendations of influencers over brands, and fitness is a market with a significant penetration of influencer marketing.
Top Instagram Fitness Influencers
One of the best ways to learn how to increase your engagement and reach on Instagram is to find some fitness influencers who are already successful and learn from them. Here is a list of some of the best Instagram fitness influencers:
Michelle Lewin (13.4 million followers)
Jennifer Selter (12.7 million followers)
Ulisses Jr. (6.3 million followers)
Simeon Panda (5.2 million followers)
Julia Gilas (4.9 million followers)
Lauren Drain Kagan (3.9 million followers)
Bella Falconi (3.8 million followers)
Jeff Seid (3.7 million followers)
Sandra Prikker (3.2 million followers)
Calum Von Moger (2.9 million followers)
Bradley Martyn (2.9 million followers)
Joe Wicks (2.6 million followers)
Massy Arias (2.6 million followers)
Emily Skye (2.6 million followers)
Rachel Brathen (2.1 million followers)
Lyzabeth Lopez (2 million followers)
Alexia Clark (1.8 million followers)
Alexa Jean (1.7 million followers)
Jon Call/Jujimufu (1.3 million followers)
Now, reading the stats on these mega-successful fitness influencers can be both encouraging and discouraging at the same time.
- Encouraging: there are a LOT of people engaging with and interacting with fitness related pages on Instagram.
- Discouraging: most of us will never have millions of followers on Instagram.
But that’s okay. MANY, many trainers and fitness professionals have Instagram followings in the low thousands and yet have very profitable online training businesses.
Quite frankly, trainers with less followers can outperform some of the larger accounts because their followers are more engaged, more dialed into their brand/niche in the market, and are rabid buyers of the workout programming that they offer.
So, don’t be discouraged if you know you will probably never have millions of Instagram followers.
Personal Trainers Using Instagram to Grow Their Business
Below are some personal trainers using Instagram in a way that is both profitable and attainable. Now, ask any of these trainers who have made a successful fitness Instagram account and have a track record of doing online training on Instagram profitably, and they will tell you it’s not an overnight thing.
You have to demonstrate value day after day and be in it for the long haul. But if you do, then you can see success selling workout plans and personal training using Instagram.
Kevin Carr/Movement as Medicine (65K followers)
Tony Gentilcore (38K followers)
Dean Somerset (24K followers)
Artemis Scantalides (10K followers)
Starting to look more realistic? There are literally thousands upon thousands of other trainers, coaches, gym owners, physical therapists, and other fitness professionals utilizing Instagram to grow their business.
No, they will not likely ever crack the list of the top 10 fitness influencers on Instagram and have millions of followers, but they will slowly and steadily build their audience and will monetize that audience by selling workout plans, training groups, and other fitness products to followers who are eager for more.
The only real question is: When will you?
Maybe Instagram fitness marketing just isn’t for you. Never fear, there’s another tried-and-true marketing channel that in comparison may seem quaint, but it’s no less powerful. Email. Yes, email. Here are some ideas for learning how to do fitness email marketing:
- Create a fitness email newsletter – Provide valuable health and fitness information to your newsletter subscribers, write consistently, and then include a clear call to action to sign up for your online training or purchase one of your workout plans or groups.
- Add a contact form to your website – Encourage people to reach out to you with questions. Inbound interest can then be converted into a paid online training relationship.
- Marketing automation – Using the Exercise.com platform you can intelligently and automatically send out smart marketing automated emails based on triggers your leads and clients take (completing an assessment online, starting/finishing a workout plan, etc.)
Maybe getting in front of a video camera or taking endless selfies just isn’t your style. If the constant need for fresh visual content on Instagram is exhausting to you, but you have a passion for writing, maybe blogging is the way to go.
Chances are that you first encountered this page as a result of search traffic . . . why not start your own website and set a goal to write three times a week? Choose a market niche and then write with an ear toward what your target audience wants to learn.
If you sell football performance workouts, write about getting ready for football season. If you sell a post-pregnancy workout group, write about juggling family and fitness. You get the idea. The major advantage to this approach is that you are likely already the expert in a given niche. Now you just need to take the time to get your expertise in writing and then use it to attract people to your training products.
We can help you grow and manage your online fitness business
How do you market a personal training service?
Let’s take a step back for a minute. Imagine you see a brand-spanking-new personal trainer come up to you in the gym – first day on the job, doesn’t know what to do – and they ask you for advice on marketing themselves. What would you say? One of the first things you’d probably tell them would be to go out on the gym floor and start talking to the attendees.
Smile. Be friendly.
Maybe you have years of experience marketing yourself in person, remember many of the same principles apply online too. But instead of talking to someone in person, you’ll do that through (for example) an Instagram comment, email, or text message. Sometimes it will be automated – i.e. reaching out to people through social media advertising – but often, and especially at first, it should be you personally reaching out to people and connecting with them.
Here are seven tips for marketing your personal training service:
#1 – Be Proactive
Sitting back and waiting for clients to come to you doesn’t work in a gym setting and it won’t work online either. Now, the goal is for you to build up your platform such that you eventually be reactive instead of proactive. But, until you build up your Instagram audience, website content, or referral network, then you should constantly be reaching out and interacting with potential clients.
#2 – Start Small
You wouldn’t ask someone you like to marry you the first day you meet them . . . you need to start small with potential clients too. Get them on your email list. Answer a fitness question for them. Give them a free workout. Then grow the relationship until they are a monthly paying client.
#3 – Do Giveaways
This is a subset of starting small, but it’s important enough to be on its own. Offer discounts, giveaways, and other “free samples” of your workout programming to potential clients.
#4 – Give People Reason to be Excited
Start an online workout challenge, offer an online group where people can interact with each other, or offer a workout plan that everyone can do together. Use the Exercise.com platform to easily and efficiently do any one of those things.
#5 – Start the Relationship in Person
Teach a class, join a networking group, speak at an event. Look for ways to make new connections and then grow those connections into client relationships. Now that you have an online training component to your business, gone are the hassles of trying to schedule in-person time with clients. After all, sometimes training in person is simply impossible for people who live too far away.
#6 – Get Creative
Each niche market is different. Find out what potential clients in your target market really want and need and then figure out how to them get there.
#7 – Partner with Other Professionals
Chiropractors, physical therapists, nutritionists, and other health professionals can be a great source of referrals if you take the time to grow the relationship. Using a robust online training platform like Exercise.com will go a long way to encouraging other fitness professionals that you are a similarly credible professional.
Get Started Selling Fitness Products Online Now
Selling fitness programming and fitness products online is hard work. The internet is not a magic dreamworld where all of the normal rules of business no longer apply. You still have to know how to create professional workout plans and explain that value to potential clients, just like in a gym setting.
You still need to hustle, sell, and promote your online training, just like you would in a gym.
But if you keep after it, are consistent about doing those things . . . not being afraid to fail or try new things, then over time you will find yourself – not with a busy schedule, like in a gym setting – but with a busy online community of people happy to purchase your fitness programming and your bank account will be full.
When you use the right tools for the job – such as our powerful online workout delivery software and online group training software – then you’ll find that your selling voice is not so much shouting into the void as it is like putting a megaphone up to your lips. Just think: with our scalable online training software platform, you can grow to support 10,000 clients almost as easily as 10 clients.
We work with trainers, coaches, gym owners, physical therapists, and many other fitness professionals every single day to help them do just that. So if you want to get started growing your fitness business by selling personal training and workout plans online, schedule a demo today and let us help you join them.