13 min read
If you are a personal trainer and are thinking of ways to boost your income, beginning to sell online personal training could be just the thing you need to forward your career and increase your client base. But how to go about selling services online?
Today, I’ll be taking you step by step through all the things you need to know successfully sell online personal training, while also sharing the tips and tricks that other personal trainers have used to sell online.
How to Sell Online Personal Training in 5 Steps
1. Do Your Research
2. Choose Your Services
3. Consider Certification
4. Build Your Business
5. Market Yourself
1. Do Your Research
It is important to know your strengths when starting out, as this will lead you to a better understanding of what it actually is you are selling. Ask yourself a set of questions.
- How many hours can I work?
- How many people can I comfortable teach at one time?
- What areas of fitness do I know best?
- What are the limitations of my knowledge?
- What is my niche?
Asking yourself these types of questions will help you find your ideal client base. There are already many personal trainers out there, so setting yourself apart from the competition is an important step to successfully sell online personal training.
“Do some market research, decide who you want to reach and what you want to offer as a trainer. Take a look at those that provide services similar to your own and use that as inspiration to create your own program. Start small and add on from there. If you offer too much initially, you might lose sight of your overall goal,” says Fitness and lifestyle expert Nadia Murdock.
Like in any business, being part of the crowd will not get you noticed when you sell online personal training. “Earning credibility with potential clients is job number one. Nobody will buy your services unless you have a unique selling proposition,” says NASM Certified Personal Trainer Allan Misner.
Knowing this will allow you to build your confidence going forward. It is always important to have a plan and knowing what it is you are selling.
2. Choose Your Services
You did your research and know who you are targeting. But how are you going to put this into action?
“Just being a good trainer isn’t enough. They have to know, like and trust you. Then you have to offer the right service to the right person at the right time. This is more of an art than a science,” says Misner.
We all can have busy lives so you may not be able to do one-on-one sessions all day when you begin to sell online personal training. Maybe what would be better for your time is to set up weekly boot camps, designed for a group of people. Have you thought about doing live classes online? Not everyone has the time or the ability to travel to where you might be.
With modern technology, where it is incredibly simple to set up a live video feed, you could, in theory, do a lot of classes entirely online. Of course, you could do a mix of all three options, allowing people the choice of whatever their preference would be. Here’s how to sell online personal training in four different formats.
This is a popular option to sell online personal training that you can set up right away, and it can test the waters for other types of classes you might want to try in the future. “I only focus on one-on-one coaching sessions which include shared documents such as food journals and individual workout programming, on top of that I do weekly phone calls to keep my clients as accountable as possible without actually seeing them in person,” says personal health coach Drew Kutcher.
“The one-on-one coaching is very interactive and customized. I assess movement through videos they upload to my dropbox. We have regular email interaction and a weekly call. I write custom programming geared to their specific goals and needs. For example, if a client is taking a business trip and won’t have access to a gym, I’ll write them a program they can do in their hotel room,” says Misner.
“For group coaching, I use the back end of YouTube which allows the group to gather privately and also records the session for the students to refer back to,” says Sahar Paz, yoga instructor, author of “Find Your Voice” and keynote speaker.
“My group coaching uses a forum and some pre-set programs based on the basic need of most individuals (e.g., weight loss program, strength program, etc.),” says Misner. “I will occasionally do some group calls, and I have a collection of exercise videos and guides/templates they can access through the member’s area on my website.”
- Live classes online: “With Facebook Live and Instagram Live, it’s really easy to put together a live class. It might also be a good idea to offer this as a demo in the hopes to convert viewers into permanent clients. I have personally provided a live webinar, one-one coaching which served the same purpose, offering participants a taste of what my services are like,” says Murdock.
- Sell workout plans online: Another way to generate business through your website might be to sell workout programs for people online. By oﬀering a number of diﬀerent programs, concentrating on diﬀerent aspects of fitness, you’ll have the potential of increasing your income that much more. Learn more about selling digital downloads here.
In the end, it is all down to you and how you wish to conduct your business and sell online personal training. You can definitely do all four or like we mentioned before a mix of all of the formats.
“I don’t do live classes. I have group and one-on-one coaching. With the one-on-one clients, I do a weekly call. Beyond those calls, all of my offerings are time independent. For many people, this is an excellent benefit of selling personal training online. I tell my clients I do everything a regular personal trainer does, except count reps,” says Misner.
3. Consider Certification: Do You Need to Be Certified to Sell Online Personal Training?
Knowledge is everything and going forward with a full-time online personal training business requires a particular set of skills. Opinions on whether to get certification varied, but let’s what the experts have to say about it.
Build an active audience first
“You don’t need a certification of any kind. However, you need something much more difficult to obtain, and that is the ‘audience.’ Building a strong audience of followers that trust you and recognize the value of your teaching is a key point to build an online training business that works,” says Alessia Lugoboni, a professional ballet dancer, and YouTube creator. Alessia has a Diploma in Dance with Trinity College UK and 20+ years of professional experience in Ballet and Dance.
Get covered and offer disclaimers
“To sell personal training in any capacity, it is important to have certification and knowledge of the body. As a yoga instructor, I have insurance for a reasonable annual cost that covers me when I am teaching online, private class, or outside of a studio setting. A disclaimer is always present on my videos, and my clients also sign one. I have yet to run into any issues and make sure to get a clear idea of my student’s body and limitations when teaching online.” says Paz.
Obtain your prospects trust
“I don’t believe you have to be certified, but you definitely need a way to earn trust. Why should I hire you? What do you bring to the table? I am certified through NASM, but I also do a podcast and run a Facebook Group. Over time, this has helped me earn trust and get clients,” says Misner.
“In my opinion, it’s highly advised that someone be certified when seeking a career in online personal training. Not only for legality reasons but also for the safety of your clients,” says Murdock.
4. Set Up the Business to Sell Online Personal Training
Choosing the correct company to help you begin your online personal training business is extremely important. This is your career we’re talking about, so finding a place that will allow you to set up a professional online store with ease should be the utmost priority.
Putting together a website
If you want to use an Ecommerce platform to sell online personal training, Selz is a great option! You can choose from a number of themes that will highlight your individual branding, and the best part is it requires absolutely no coding knowledge at all. If you do desire a little more advanced customization to your site, Selz supplies the tools you will need to make your site the very best it can be.
You will be able to create all the diﬀerent pages you will need, from an “About Me” page to a “Contacts” page. It can all be done through this website. This won’t be just another blog, you will have your own unique domain name as well, bringing an extra level of professionalism to your business. You can even choose from a range of languages.
The most important aspect of any business is your customer base, and this is even more true with selling online personal training. With Selz, you’ll be able to create a slick email list and communicate directly via their in-app messaging service. These types of tools will be extremely valuable when communicating with your clients or prospects.
If you are looking for the perfect company to help you set up your online personal training business, this is a well-recommended option. Take a look for yourself and see all the things they will be able to bring to your new business.
Build an exercise library
Once you have decided on your website, you need to decide some of the content that will be included. Having your web page only used as a way to organize your training sessions, will make for a boring site. You want to add interesting and unique features to draw people in.
Image via Trainer+
You want this to be the place they go for their fitness needs. Try creating an exercise library. Simple videos that take people through a certain exercise. These should be short and precise, but long enough for people to fully grasp the movements. Creating an exercise library is a sure-fire way of bringing repeat traﬃc to your website and a way of getting your brand out to the public. If you’re going to sell online personal training, this step is a must!
Video and audio equipment
But how to do this? If you want to build a strong exercise library, as well as record fitness classes for people to view, you first need to purchase a few things. Cameras today are everywhere and using the camera on your phone is a good place to start as you get more adept at filming, you will want to upgrade to something a little better. Take your time and seek good advice as to which cameras will suit you the best. Prices can range from reasonable to extremely expensive with cameras, as well as the complexity of actually working them. This is also true with the microphone. You’ll want to capture everything you do with clarity, but unfortunately, higher-end brands cost money which you may not be able to afford. Try starting with a simple DSLR camera and go from there.
After you have researched and purchased a good camera, you will need software to edit your footage. Again, there are many options, from professional programs such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut, to incredibly simple to use programs like Windows Movie Maker. Depending on your knowledge of this technology, you may want to seek the help of someone who can teach you the fundamentals of editing.
As to where to store all these videos, the best option would be to use YouTube. Creating a page where you can just upload your entire catalog of videos is useful, and you can still link these with your website. The key is to ensure your product, your personal training videos, are of high quality that people will want to watch over and over again.
5. Market Your Online Personal Training Business
Marketing is maybe the most important aspect of any business next to the quality of what you are selling. Here’s how to increase personal training sales.
Social media and videos
“Having a strong social presence helps, but it all depends on the market you hope to reach. If your goal is to keep the demographic close to home starting in a gym or studio to create some buzz will make it easier to convert some of those clients into online customers. If your ultimate goal is to have a national reach, social media marketing, that includes videos will be hugely beneficial,” says Murdock.
“It started with a lot of 1:1 encouragement. I took the same philosophy of when I teach an in-person class – I acknowledge by naming the people in my class. They know I see them, and I’m invested in their practice. Three days a week I block out time and message people in my online community to check in their practice and invite them to join group sessions,” says Paz.
Instagram and email marketing
“Social Media obviously can be a great resource but how you use it is the key. My main avenue of getting people to sign up is by telling my story and how I got to where I am currently in my health and fitness journey, and I show this personal, human side of myself mainly through Instagram.
Pictures of me with my awesome wife Jenna on a date, pictures at the beach, photos shooting archery in the backyard, pictures of my dogs, pictures of me at a baseball game drinking a beer. I want people to see that you can be in really good shape physically and mentally and also have tons of fun doing it! I don’t want only to post pictures at the gym, there’s a lot more to life! Even though I do spend a lot of time at the gym staying in shape, there are countless other things I do to have fun and stay sane. From there I send people to my email list where I am able to give people free content such as at-home workout guides, recipes, food prep hacks, etc. with the ultimate goal of getting them to jump on a phone call with me to discuss one-on-one training shortly down the road,” says Drew.
“Beyond the know, like, and trust that any online business would need, an online coach must have a compelling offer. If a potential client wants to lose weight, you’re not going to do well offering a mass building course/class. As I’ve heard, it put, sell them what they want, deliver what they want and need. That will lead to super fans who will provide the best testimonials for what you offer,” says Misner.
Starting to sell online personal training can be an extremely profitable and enjoyable way of making money, as well as a way for your career to be in your own hands. In this article, I’ve gone over some advice and some of the steps to get you started with your business and with a little luck, it’ll help you on your way to a long and fruitful career as an online personal trainer.