Online Personal Training: Getting Started in 7 Steps

Personal training can be a tricky business in terms of being financially successful. This is partly due to that fact that there is a limit that clients are willing to pay for personal training (PT) services, and partly due to the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week to accommodate all potential clients – whilst still having a life yourself that is.

Having said that, establishing online personal training services could be a great addition to your business in terms of reducing overheads, travelling time, total time spent working 1-1 with clients and therefore more time to grow your client base, and reach further afield. Ultimately, working with more people in less time and reaping the financial rewards.

Personal training can be the best job in the world but there’s a reason that the industry has a large turnover rate. Training clients 1-1 is rewarding but not sustainable. Sooner or later any successful trainer reaches a point of saturation, and then it needs to be about working ‘smartly’, instead of trying to cram more than 24 hours into any day!

On top of that, PT is expensive, and there’s no getting around it. You may think that you’re worth it, and you’re probably right, but the reality is that personal training is very much a luxury.

These past number of years have seen a major downturn in the economy and spending £90+ a week on personal training is just not an option for most people. No amount of sales acumen can get around it, and this is where you need to learn to work smarter, not harder. This is where ‘Online Personal Training’ comes in to it.

Most PT’s reading this probably work for a gym, and to be honest in order to establish yourself and have support from other fitness professionals, starting off your PT career from a gym is probably the best way. It gives you structure, provides you with the necessary facilities, potential clients are constantly on-hand, and it allows you time to establish yourself and gain some experience. However, once you have become skilful, experienced and have tasted a bit of financial success, looking into starting a personal training business online could well be the next logical step in order to make your PT business more sustainable, and more financially successful.

The big question though… ‘Where do you start?’ Hopefully this blog has already given you a little food for thought, but the intention of this blog is not to tell you that you must set-up an online aspect of your business in order to be a successful PT — quite in the same way that the points to follow regarding how to get started online are merely to provide you with some guidance and ideas.

  1. Software is important. Unfortunately, the days of excel spreadsheets are over. Good software will automate almost every aspect of your business. It’s definitely worth doing some market research around this area to ensure that you get set-up with a sound bit of software.
  2. Decide your ‘client type’. Start by selecting 3 ‘types’ of clients that you would like to work with online. This way, you can categorise clients that have similar goals/aims and they can work off the same template specific to their category of goal.
  3. Write a few phases of programming for each ‘client type’. This way, each client in the same category will receive a similar template with a couple of individual tweaks specific for them based on his or her questionnaire answers. You individualise aspects of the program to suit each client – for example, if a client has an injury or is unable to perform certain exercises.
  4. Create a website.  There are so many options out there for building your own website, so again, it’s worth doing some research on this to make sure you have the right one for you and your business. If you already have an existing website, more often than not you can integrate their service seamlessly.
  5. Decide on the best payment processing service. Paypal is easy to implement, fees are reasonable, and you can deposit money directly to your bank account for free. If you want to use another service to accept credit cards online, you can. There are a lot of options, so again, do a little market research to make sure you select a method you’ll be happy with.
  6. Film a video of all exercises included in your programs. Take a day and film a 20s video of each exercise you include in your programming phases above. Upload them all to a YouTube channel or your website. If you decide to include a new exercise later on, simply add it.
  7. Become the ‘expert’. The simple answer of how to get personal training clients is to make sure everybody knows that you’re a personal trainer. Once your software and website is set-up, start posting workout tips on your Facebook and Twitter. Ask your friends and family to help you spread the word. Word of mouth is such an effective marketing method and costs nothing! People are always happy to find affordable fitness solutions from a qualified trainer.

Like most other successful business, systems are everything. Do everything you can to get it right from the start; invest time into doing the groundwork; the market research regarding websites, payments systems; and put time and energy into ensuring as many people as possible know about your business.

Getting set-up online is the future of personal training; a cheaper option and more attainable for the average person, especially considering today’s economy. If you enjoy working with your clients 1-1 and in small groups, you can still do it locally, but setting up online gives you so much more scope to achieve financial success. You can potentially have clients all around the world! It’s definitely something worth considering, don’t you think?