It's a simple thing. Sign up for an online personal training platform, write up a little blurb about it on your website, and you'll get a ton of new online clients from every corner of the world...
...a great way to make passive income, right?
Not quite. I don't mean to burst your bubble, but if you think all it takes is a membership to an online training software and a blurb on your site, then you're in for a rude awakening.
The truth is that online personal training can be very profitable for fitness trainers who want to add an additional income stream. However, most fail to realize the real potential that online personal training offers and all the ways you can market it locally and globally.
Back in 2003 when I created and launched Hitech Trainer -- the most widely used online personal training software on the net -- I imagined it being used in just one way -- to train potential clients who you were otherwise unable to reach. But what we came to realize is that there are three methods of generating good income from online personal training.
Method One: Add On
Probably the fastest and easiest way to start making money with online personal training is to offer it as a value-added option to your existing clients. For example, let's say that you have a client who should be training with you three to four days per week. However, they can only afford to train with you two days per week. You can simply offer them your online training program for $60-$80/month. This will cost them much less than adding a weekly third session, yet they can follow the online training program you create for them when they're not physically training with you.
Offering online training as a value-add can benefit your business in several ways. For example, you can include online training for free when a client invests in your program with the three or more sessions per week. This gives them just a little something extra to encourage them to buy the bigger program. If you run a boot camp, you can simply include online training with your long-term, commitment-based programs. Sometimes a cool "bonus" like this is all it takes to get your clients to commit long-term.
Method Two: Down Sell
No matter how good of a "closer" you are, there are always going to be people who just can't (or won't want to) afford your training programs or clients who after some time decide to quit because of financial reasons. In the past, trainers really had no way of retaining lost clients. However, with online personal training you can easily offer this as a down-sell or just as on option for people who can't afford to train in person with you. Imagine, just 20 online training clients each paying $60/month brings you an additional $1,200/month.
Not a bad chunk of change, right?
Method Three: Go Global
Getting clients from all over the world using the reach of the Internet. Now this is by far the most profitable way to market your online personal training business - BUT it's also the most challenging way because it does involve several moving parts and some know-how.
Most trainers are under the impression that if you just put a little blurb up on your website or blog about online personal training along with a "Buy Now" button that it automatically will attract new clients in no time. Unfortunately, this is totally untrue and unrealistic.
The first two methods are the easiest and fastest ways to make your online training business profitable. However, if you really want to reach the masses using the Internet, then you'll need to sharpen your Internet marketing skills. Let's start with how you plan to find clients online. I'm guessing you want people to search for "online workout programs" or "online fitness training programs" on Google and find your site or blog, right?
That is what you want to happen, but Google isn't just going to plant you up in the number one or two spot.
Do you know what keywords people are specifically searching for to find your online training site?
If you want search engines to pop your website or blog up at the top when people are searching for an online training solution then you have to optimize your website for the keywords your ideal client is searching for. You should consider using a keyword tool like Google's External Keyword Tool to identify your keyword.
There are really two components to optimizing your website or blog. First, there's "onsite" optimization. This basically means putting quality, unique and original keyword-dense articles on your site. It also requires setting up your site the way Google considers it to be most user-friendly. Making your site user-friendly includes using proper meta-tags, H1 and H2 headings, a site map and a few other online tweaks to keep Google happy.
Second to optimizing your website or blog is considering "off-site" content, where your goal is to have a good amount of keyword-specific incoming links linking to your site from other high quality sites and web 2.0 properties.
Finally, once people find your site, they need to be sold. This means you'll want to have compelling sales copy crafted on your site that explains who you are, positions you as the expert, is benefit-rich for the reader and backs up your claims with third party validation -- social proof and compelling testimonials. Without buying costly pay-per-click ads, optimizing your website or blog is really the ONLY effective way to reach people online who are searching out your services.
The cool thing about this way of selling online personal training is that if you put your business systems in place, you can really make online personal training a very lucrative business for yourself. In fact, it could easily generate as much money (or more) as your in-person training services.
However, the success of your online personal training business is dependent upon your marketing abilities. Choosing the right software to use is critical. Offering online personal training services could be very profitable and in fact can be relatively simple for you to manage. The true secret to making it successful is in effective marketing.
What to look for in an online training software platform:

  • Real video exercise demonstrations
  • Ability for your client to track and create personalized meal plans
  • Client login section to give your members access to workout programs and meal plans
  • A social platform such as a discussion group or forum for your online training clients to use and contribute
  • The platform should be easily integrated with your online shopping cart or payment system
  • Ability for your clients to access workout programs via email
  • Ability to print out workout sheets

Bedros Keuilian offers fitness marketing and business systems for fitness professionals. Get free tips to grow your business and get more clients by visiting his blog,


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