Personal training is a multi-billion dollar industry. For many personal trainers looking to get their share in the market, their first step is finding personal training clients locally at their gym or fitness studio.
From there, fitness businesses might branch out and begin the search for online personal training clients. This is smart because it’s an incredibly profitable way to build a business, and believe it or not, finding online personal training clients is just as easy (if not easier) than finding clients for personal training in the gym.
You don’t need to have a masters in online marketing or a huge network to find and attract new online personal training clients – you just need to follow this simple four step formula.
How to get more online personal training clients:
- Chapter 1: Realize what makes online personal training special.
- Chapter 2: Make an irresistible online personal training offer.
- Chapter 3: Market yourself locally first.
- Chapter 4: Market yourself online next.
Don’t worry, we are going to break down each of these important steps in detail so that you can put this advice into action. Let’s get right to it.
Realize what makes online personal training special.
The reason many personal trainers struggle to grow their online personal training business is because they don’t realize what makes online personal training special. If you don’t know how to describe what makes online personal training unique, then you won’t know how to leverage it for your business and convert ideal clients to actual paying customers.
So before moving on to any of the other steps, we first have to talk about what makes online personal training so great – the “secret sauce” if you will.
Online training is different from traditional personal training in that you deliver all or some of your training to clients remotely. There are three really important characteristics that set online personal training apart:
- Affordable - Online personal training is a less hands on approach to training. It takes less of your time to offer programs to clients. This means, for clients that can’t afford the traditional 2-3 in-person training sessions each week, you can offer online personal training as a more affordable option that will still bring them results. \
Flexible - There are also plenty of people that want to work with a trainer, but don’t have busy schedules or travel a lot. Online personal training is the perfect fit for those clients that need a more flexible training option and want to be able to do workouts on their own time. \
Customizable - Online personal training is much more customizable than traditional personal training. You will be able to pick and choose what to offer and add-on to your services, and clients will be able to decide on a package that is perfect for their needs.
There are so many instances where online personal training might be a better option for someone. Keep these features in mind when you meet leads that have hang ups about committing to traditional personal training. This secret sauce is what makes online personal training unique. It is what will help you find more clients and grow your business well beyond what you thought was possible.
Make an irresistible online personal training offer.
Packaging and selling traditional personal training is pretty straightforward. When it comes to online personal training, deciding how to price and sell your services can take a little more time, but coming up with a great offer is a very important step in getting online personal training clients.
You can get pretty creative with online personal training and there are many ways to package it. We have a whole blog post on this subject that you can check out here → How to Package and Price Your Online Training Services
At the minimum, we recommend offering these two packages:
- 100% online training
- Hybrid personal training
Let’s talk a little about each.
As the name implies, 100% online personal training is done completely online. All deliverables are given to clients through a method of your choosing, like a personal training platform. This is ideal for non-local clients that want to work with you or those who are always traveling or on the move. It’s also a good fit for long-term clients that need less hand-holding but still want support on their fitness journey.
In this type of training, you deliver most of the client’s program online, but still meet in person weekly or biweekly. In your in-person sessions, you can choose to do a traditional personal training session or you can use the time to do things like: go over assessments, answer the client’s questions, and demonstrate a new workout.
Hybrid training is a great option for local clients who still need your guidance every once in a while. And since clients that are held accountable for taking necessary actions are more likely to successfully reach their goals, meeting with these beginner and intermediate clients in-person consistently can make a huge impact on their results.
With both of these packages, you will include:
- Personalized workouts
- Check-in calls
But to make your online personal training offer even more competitive, you’ll also want to include 360-degree fitness services. This means adding things like:
- Nutrition Coaching
- Habit coaching
- Chat support
- Extra content like meal plans, recipe guides etc.
You can price your add-ons separately or account for them in your overall package price. Adding this extra content may feel like a lot of work, but the TrainerFu app actually makes it simple! Using the right system can help you hone a killer offer and deliver it to clients with ease.
Market yourself locally first.
The biggest mistake personal trainers make when they first start online personal training is trying to find clients online. Yes, you read that correctly!
The best place to get your first couple of online personal training clients is actually your existing network. To find clients for your new online programs, go local before you go global.
It’s not that online marketing isn’t effective – it is, and we’ll get to that shortly. It just takes a while to get started and there’s a pretty steep learning curve. So in the meantime, we recommend reaching out to existing and potential clients in your local area that you think would be a good fit for online personal training.
Remember, online personal training offers affordability, flexibility, and customization. With that in mind, here are a few types of clients you might have better luck converting to online training:
- Graduating clients- These are the clients that have been with you for awhile and are at a point where they don’t need as much one-on-one support. Online training can help them stay on track!
- Prospects looking for affordable personal training- Can you think of any people that were interested in working with you but money restraints held them back? Online personal training can be a cheaper option than several in-person sessions a week.
- Local but not so local- These are the clients that maybe live a little ways out from the gym or live in town but travel often. Meeting with you just once a week (or not at all with 100% online training) is the right fit for their lifestyles.
- Referrals who aren’t local- if you have happy clients, they’ll likely share their results with their friends and family. With online personal training, these referrals are no longer limited by location. Your satisfied clients can bring you referrals from all over the country.
- People who want flexibility- Finally, you likely have clients or prospects that for various reasons just want more flexibility than traditional personal training allows. Think about clients that have had to quit working with you because of a busy schedule or prospects like busy moms and CEOs that need personal training on their own time.
Reaching out to these types of clients in your area is a great first step to start building momentum in your online personal training business.
Market yourself online next.
As we mentioned before, you don’t have to be a marketing expert to convert online personal training clients. However, it does take time and a little strategy if you really want to grow your business to new levels.
Online marketing is a powerful tool that all personal trainers should be leveraging. There are three basic parts to a good marketing strategy:
- Attract - This means getting people to hear about you, and it might look like following you on social media, visiting your website, or watching one of your workouts on Youtube. The key thing to remember is that just because someone knows who you are doesn’t mean they are ready to work with you. This is where the next step comes in…
- Nurture - Your online platforms will serve as communication channels where you can build relationships with your leads. These relationships are everything because they are how you convince your ideal client that you are an expert that can help them solve their problems.
- Convert - After you’ve communicated your value to leads, they will feel like they can trust you. This trust, along with your killer offer, will convince them to buy from you – the final and most important step in any marketing funnel.
There are many ways to bring your leads from step 1 to step 3. We recommend both Instagram and email marketing. They work best when used in conjunction with one another. For example, someone that follows you on Instagram might share their email address with you to sign up for a workshop you’re hosting. Then, you’ll use that email to nurture the relationship and make them an offer.
We have some great resources to learn more about how to market yourself online:
- Fitness Email Marketing: The Definitive Guide
- The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing for Personal Trainers
Ok, so we’ve got one addition to this easy four-step formula! If you want to capitalize on online personal training and deliver more value to clients in less time, you should consider using personal training software built for just that.
With TrainerFu, you can:
- Build your plan 3x faster using templates.
- Deliver supplementary content like meal plans and recipe guides.
- See your clients meal logs and deliver nutrition coaching.
- Chat with clients directly.
- Build a supportive community.
- And more!
So to recap, the first thing you need to do to start leveraging online personal training is get familiar with what makes it unique and start thinking about the kind of people that can benefit from it. Start crafting your packages so that you have a killer offer; share that offer locally, and then online. A personal training software like TrainerFu, can help you along the way so that you can serve more clients and build a profitable business while doing it!