5 Steps to Being a Successful Online Trainer

Dec 5, 2014

By Tim Saye

You want to build a successful online personal training business but you don’t really know exactly how it all works?

You’re not sure how to turn it from a good idea to a legitimate income stream that builds your reputation?

Here, in one blog post is the complete process to achieve success, nothing held back and no fluff!

This has come from my mentorships with Chris McCombs and Paul Mort, taking the Online Fitness Profits course from Bedros Keuilian and Jon Goodman's Online Personal Trainer 1K Extra Course.

Most importantly (as none of those guys have ever really done any online personal training!) my own experience of what works, as well as feedback from the great members of PT Distinction (some of whom are doing very, very well).

So, here we go, an outline of the whole process to build a large online coaching business;

1) Know your target market - Online is a great opportunity to really niche down, target your absolute ideal client and work in your specialist area. With online personal training you are not limited by your location but if you are a generalist you will likely fail outside of your current clients and referrals from them.

If you struggle with this then think of something you love doing that requires a level of fitness, then think of others that do it and how to speak to them and to target them…. From here you can simply target people training for the same things that you love.

Alternatively you could do an empathy map of your current favorite clients and go from there. http://more.ptdistinction.com/empathy_map.pdf

2) Set what you wish to offer in your packages and decide on your prices – You know your ideal client but more than likely everyone will need the same features and support in a package. What changes are the details of what each feature contains.

- Training programs which clearly show how to execute each exercise and explain how to go through the program its self.

- Each client will want to know how they should be eating and have some education on their nutrition; relevant recipes are useful as well.

- Regular encouragement and methods to keep clients accountable should be included. i.e. email encouragement, food diary reviews, training result reviews, adherance charts.

- Phone or Skype calls are very useful and help your clients as well as your chances of retaining them long term. This one is a key to creating great relationships with online personal training clients.

- If you want to train people as a group then a private Facebook group is a good way to help them all at once. Group emails and auto responders are also very good for constant contact and coaching.

Put it all together in to 3 packages.

One low priced and largely automated package so that once you set it up there is not much else to do. You can automate the delivery of your programs, set up automated emails, add in a good nutrition plan and some recipes.

Then, when you get new clients just add them to the group and all is set up. As time goes on keep adding extra content to the group and set up more emails and programs so that you have a continuity program that keeps your income coming month on month rather than leaving it as an 8 week or 12 week type package……. It is 7 times harder to get a new client than it is to keep an existing one!!

– This package works well at roughly £20 - £35 or $30 - $55 a month.

The second package can be more personalised and specific to your individual clients, add in a Skype assessment, some bi-weekly phone calls (schedule them for 10-15 mins max) and personalised programs, along with food diary reviews.

I’d still set up a group to put in some automated or repeating emails and drop in a bunch of recipes and a welcome video as these things will likely be useful for all of your clients and save you time in having to send them to each client individually.

– This package should sell at roughly the equivalent price of 2 personal training sessions on a monthly direct debit.

Package 3 should include the kitchen sink!! Think of package 2 but with weekly phone calls, monthly Skype assessment, extra coaching videos on certain relevant topics i.e cooking lessons, grocery shopping tours, mindset coaching etc… Plus regular feedback on training progress and food diaries.

– This one should be priced at roughly 4 personal training sessions and again set up on a monthly direct debit.

You don’t have to set up your prices and packages exactly like this or with all of the features I mention but this is a useful guide to creating successful online packages. As with everything do what feels best to you.

Choose which packages you actually wish to offer…. Some Bootcamp guys will choose to go only with package one, while some very high priced PTs will perhaps only want to offer package 3. Chose the one or ones you wish to offer and go with it.

Now you know your target market and have set up your package offerings…..

3) Make sure your profile is set up and/ or that your training is integrated in to your website. You want to be ready for new clients and organised to look professional when they come in. If you have a website then having it set up with your clients log in, coaching etc.. will make your service look high in quality and also bring you regular visits to your website…..

…………….. Great for SEO, and, if you have testimonials on your website, fantastic for client retention. Doing the customisation on your profile means your banner will be at the top of every page and every print out.

Now you’re ready to welcome new online clients…..

4) Get clients…. Here’s a video I made about getting clients for free - start by watching this; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTWCskfF7cU

On top of this Google SEO and Facebook adverts still work very well and don’t require too much ongoing work.

With online training I have always found getting potential clients in to a phone call is the best way to sell. Set your website up to get phone numbers for at least the top 2 packages.

For lower priced more automated packages an advert in to email series or straight in to a free trial or sign up can work well but if you don’t offer a free phone call you will always miss out on some potential clients.

Never expect ads to work first time, I usually end up tweaking or changing them 4 or 5 times before they bring me any great success…. Persevere and always have in mind what your ideal client really wants and how your coaching solves their problems. Don’t tell the world how great you are as nobody really cares other than you!!

Once your first client is in get producing your coaching…..

5) Produce your coaching using PT Distinction's online personal training software – If you are going the automated lower priced route then you should at least set up your first training programs, a welcome video or email and a bit of nutritional guidance before you have your first client, then you add to it all as that client progresses though the system…….

……….. By putting all the content in to a group and setting the programs to go x or y days after new clients sign up, other clients will simply follow along the same coaching process you are creating for your first client….. Clever hey!!

If you are doing higher priced more personal coaching then you set up a Skype assessment with each new client. Here’s an article on how to do a quality Skype assessment - https://ptdistinction.com/ptdblog.php?ennum=11

After the assessment you go away and create their personal programs and add in all of the coaching that they need to succeed. At this point you schedule your first telephone chat.

From here you continue to offer everything you say you will in your packages, producing a great service and building your relationships with your online clients. Retention of online clients is mainly about two things 1) Is your client getting results and 2) Building a good relationship with your clients.

To set up direct debits if you are UK based then I highly recommend Go Cardless www.gocardless,com

If you are from outside the UK then you can set up good direct debits using a free PayPal account, though it is a little more complicated! www.paypal.com

That’s the online journey…

Follow this journey, put some work in and persevere, then you will have a successful online coaching business.

Good luck…. Make it happen.