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So, you’re taking your fitness services online. You’ve come to the right place to learn everything you need to know.

You may be wondering why train online? If yes, read here to learn about the benefits of taking all or part of your fitness business online, how to choose a niche market, and how to create a description of your ideal customer.

Now you’ve got an ideal customer profile, you’re ready to start thinking about what you can give them to meet their needs.

Or, in marketing terms, how you’re going to help them overcome their pain points and start selling. In this post, you’ll get the tools you need to decide on the best online fitness services and products to solve your customer’s problems.

Fitness Services and Products: Starting an Online Fitness Business

1. Start with your ideal customer
2. Identify your customer’s pain point
3. Overcoming the pain point
4. Online fitness services and product options
5. Programming
6. Articles and Blog
7. Video
8. eBooks
9. Email support
10. One-on-one video calls
11. Webinars
12. Online communities
13. Podcasts
14. Products

Pinterst graphic for an article about fitness servies and products when you're starting an online fitness business from Selz ecommerce for business growth

1. Start with your ideal customer

When developing services and products, it’s really important to focus on your ideal customer – if you don’t appeal to them, they won’t buy what you’re selling.

To make sure your ideal customer is at the front of your mind during the next steps, why not put their description – with an image of a representative face – up on the wall where you’re working? That way, you can look at them whenever you need a reminder of the person you’re trying to reach.

2. Identify your customer’s pain point

A pain point is basically a customer’s problem, real or perceived. When you first created an ideal customer profile, you considered the problem (or problems) they wanted to solve, and now’s the time to delve deeper into that problem.

Let’s say your ideal customer is an unfit, college-aged male who wants to look like a Calvin Klein model. On the surface, that seems like a very straightforward problem with a straightforward solution: your customer wants to improve his appearance, so you offer him a body-sculpting program.

But saying to this customer “you’re out of shape, do these exercises and this diet to fix it” probably isn’t enough to get him to buy your services.

A young man works out at a gym to get in shape, he could use some online fitness services

So what’s really at the heart of his problem? Is it insecurity? A desire to fit in or maybe a desire to stand out more? Does he feel unattractive? Does he want the confidence to do something as simple as taking his shirt off at the beach?

A bit of amateur psychology will help you better understand your customer’s needs better, which means you can not only develop services and products that will meet those needs, but you can also tell your customer why you’re the best fitness professional to help them.

So for the young man who wants to transform his body, letting him know that you understand he’s uncomfortable with his body and wants to change and that you’re offering to support him the whole way, is going to be more powerful than just handing him a body-sculpting program.

3. Overcoming the pain point

You understand your customer’s pain, now you can think about what they need to overcome it.

This is a key step because it will help determine the types of products and services your customer is most likely to purchase and the ones that are most likely to work. And if customers find your services and products effective, you gain a good reputation and are more likely to get repeat business.

Let’s use a different example this time: your ideal customer is an experienced runner in their early thirties who works a high-stress corporate job and wants to improve their marathon time.

A group running marathons inspires a woman training for a marathon

This person is probably driven and motivated, so they don’t need their hand held through the whole process. They’re probably detail-oriented and like access to a lot of information. They may also be inclined to make a statement with their appearance.

So your high-achieving runner may only need a tailored running program, nutritional advice, access to top-notch information on preventing running injuries, and some new running gear or gadgets.

Here are some things to consider when thinking about how to help your customer overcome their pain point:

  • What are their specific exercise and/or nutrition needs and how are you going to cater to them?
  • How much support will they need? And what type of support will be most useful?
  • How do they like to have the information presented? Is video best? Or written material? Maybe audio they can listen to while doing other things? Or will a combination work best?
  • What are the main barriers to them reaching their goals? Is it time or motivation or something else?

4. Online fitness services and product options

There’s an amazing amount you can offer your clients from behind a computer screen, and once you have an idea of what they need to solve their problem, you can start developing the services and products to assist them.

The next section gives you a rundown of some online fitness service and product options, with examples for you to explore to get ideas of what might work for your business.

Amanda Bisk before her YouTube training video begins, she sells fitness services with Selz ecomerce

Some of these options can be sold directly to customers, while others can be used for content marketing (more about this in the next post) or even to attract advertisers – what works best for your business will largely depend on your ideal customer.

5. Programming

Exercise programming is an obvious service for online fitness professionals, but there are so many choices for what your programming includes and how you deliver it.

Will your clients pay a premium for a highly personalized programming service with all the bells and whistles? Or would giving away free training templates to sell a different service be a better strategy for your ideal customer?

A woman doing yoga along with her online personal trainer in a one on one session with live sessions and Selz ecommerce

You can also choose to offer a one-off programming service, or you may find a membership plan fits better with your business model.

Here are some examples of different online exercise programming services:

Lazy Runner
California StrengthThe Balanced Life
Denver Steyn

6. Articles and Blog

Articles are an easy way to provide valuable content for your customers, and there’s so much scope not only in terms of subject matter, but also in terms of how you use them for your business.

Perhaps inspirational success stories will help motivate your customers and help them reach their goals or attract new customers.

Maybe your target audience loves getting the latest fitness equipment, so honest reviews and affiliate links could work for your business.

Or you might have an audience that wants to delve into the technical aspects of training or the latest science and would be willing to pay a subscription fee to access high-quality information on a regular basis.

Here are some examples of how different online fitness businesses use articles or a blog:

Get Active Health & Fitness
Garage Gym Builder
Juggernaut Strength
Breaking Muscle

7. Video

Video is a great resource for online training because it’s much easier to communicate how to perform exercises through a visual demonstration than a written description.

So one way to use video for your online fitness business is to build a catalog of exercise instruction videos to supplement programs, or to run virtual exercise classes.

A woman watches a  video on her phone while working out at the gym, she's someone you can sell fitness products to

But video can be used in plenty of other ways to provide value to your customers, like interviews with other fitness professionals or to deliver your words of encouragement and support to your customers.

As with written content, video content may be something you charge for or use to generate income through advertising or simply use to attract customers who will purchase your products.

Here are some examples of how different online fitness services use videos:

Black Belt At Home
Toos Training (on YouTube)
Online Fat Loss Program
Pilates Anytime

8. eBooks

Ebooks are yet another format in which you can produce content for your customers.

Fitness ebooks are a great selling fitness product that can supplement coaching

You can create eBooks on anything you think your target audience will be interested in, including detailed training manuals, recipe books, or the story of your own fitness journey.

Here are some examples of online fitness businesses offering eBooks:

Diesel Crew
Jessica Olie
M10 Fitness
Lauren Gleisberg

9. Email support

Email gives you a way to build a more personal relationship with people you’re training, give them individual support, and make them feel special.

You may choose to specify how much email contact a customer gets as part of your service, such as a weekly check-in, or offer them unlimited email access to you.

Here are examples of online training services that include email support:

Sean Flanagan Wellness
Clean Health Fitness Institute
Fit Healthy 365

10. One-on-one video calls

Face-to-face interaction can help you develop a deep rapport with your customers or it can give you access to information that is important for your customers’ success, such as real-time movement assessment and feedback for an athlete.

A woman  uses webinar fitness services to workout every day

A one-on-one video call could make a good add-on for premium services or be used as a promotion for new customers. Some online trainers even offer personal training sessions via Skype.

Read more: Is Your Next Yoga Challenge Starting a Yoga Business?

Here are some examples of online fitness services using video calls as part of their services:

Vit Fit
Julie Germaine
JWW Fitness

11. Webinars

Webinars are another great way to communicate with your customers.

You could use a webinar to keep your customers up to date with the latest training information or as a way to get groups of people excited and prepared for a twelve-week body transformation challenge.

Here are some examples of fitness professionals offering webinars:

Shawn Stevenson
Runners Connect
Christina Sell

12. Online communities

Giving your customers an opportunity to interact with each other may be useful for their training and provide incentive to stay connected to your business.

Being part of a community can make your customers feel like they’re part of something bigger, which can make their training experience feel more meaningful.

A woman looks for fitness services on online forums

Facilitating your customers’ ability to provide support for one another is also a way to reduce your workload.

There are many ways to set up online communities, from Facebook groups to forums to Twitter Chats, even a blog comments section can foster a community.

Here are some examples of online fitness services offering communities for their customers:

EliteFTS (Q&A section)
Yoga By Candace (Forum)
Running Mums Australia (Facebook group)

13. Podcasts

Podcasts are another means of packaging content for your audience. The popularity of podcasts is on the rise, and they’re very accessible for busy people who can listen while performing other tasks (like exercising!), or on the commute to work.

A man listens to a podcast while working out, making podcasts a great fitness product

Podcasts also feel quite personal to listeners and they’re relatively easy to do, especially if you simply plan to talk on your area of expertise as a trainer.

Here are some examples of online fitness professionals using podcasts:

Nia Shanks
Robertson Training Systems
Half Size Me

14. Products

Last, but definitely not least, you can offer your customers products for all their fitness needs and wants.

Your ideal customer might buy anything from supplements to specialized training equipment to a coffee mug with your brand on it (so they can get a performance-boosting caffeine hit before training).

Here are examples of some online fitness services selling products to their target audiences:

Dave MacLeod
Grapple Fit
Julie Lohre

Refining and testing

Once you’ve decided on the services and products you will offer to help your customers overcome their pain points you need to work on a detailed plan, including pricing.

A man works out on his phone looking too perfect If you don't understand your customer pain points it will be hard to sell fitness services

Then, when you know exactly what you’re going to offer customers, do some market research to find out if the services and products you’re proposing are what real-world customers will use and pay for.

Even if you plan to give something away for free to attract customers and build an audience so that you can sell other services or generate advertising revenue, it’s worth getting some feedback before you spend time and energy working on something.

Up next

After you’ve decided on the fitness services and products you’re going to provide, you need to be able to set up a platform to deliver them, then attract customers to use them.

Read here to learn all about your fitness services website, branding, and marketing.

About the author

Emily Friedel

Emily is a freelance writer and journalist. Before embarking on a writing career, Emily spent more than a decade working in the fitness industry. She specialized in teaching other fitness professionals about kettlebell lifting, as well as coaching kettlebell sport athletes both in person and online. Emily likes to spend her spare time in her backyard, which is full of vegetable gardens, dogs, chickens, and beehives.


  1. Kristen DeCosta

    Thanks for your comment, Debra!

  2. Debra

    Essays like this are so important to brednoniag people’s horizons.

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