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Top 10 Things Successful Online Personal Training Businesses Have in Common

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May 30, 2022
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Have you ever wondered what goes into a successful online fitness business?

At PTD Ninja we have worked with 1000’s of personal training businesses over the years and this has given us a very unique insight into what works and what doesn’t.

PTD Ninja offers a ‘Done For You’ service for PT Distinction. When any fitness business or personal trainer comes to us for help setting up their PT Distinction account and their online business systems we effectively create whatever it is they want.

We will of course offer advice and guidance but fundamentally what we create is yours. This means we have seen many different systems and approaches to running an online fitness business and what goes into a successful online personal training program.

And we have data from all of it.

The Great, the good and the not so good :/

Over this two part series, I want to shed some light on what the common traits are between all the successful online fitness businesses we have worked with. Of course, there will always be an exception to the rule, but if you apply what we discuss your chances of getting great results for your clients online and creating a successful business will be much higher!

In fact, everything we discuss here is what we used to create the PTD Ninja 101 Course, so if you want to know how to apply this to your own business and to PT Distinction plus having everything already set up and done for you, please get in touch with the PTD Ninja team.

Right, let’s get to it!

The first part of this series is about what works! What are the common traits between all the successful online fitness businesses and programs?

I’ve broken this down into sections:

‘Personal & Business Skills’

‘Leads & Sales’


Personal & Business Skills

The success of all businesses always starts with you, the owner. But are there any common traits between the owners of the businesses we have seen do well?

Most definitely…

1. They know their end goal

Just like your clients, in order to be successful, we need to know what that success looks like. Without a clear end goal, most businesses lack direction and leadership. By getting clear on what your goals are you can create a plan and make sure each decision you make in your business is moving you closer to this goal.

2. They know their numbers

Numbers are pretty much everything in your business. I’m not saying you need to be an accountant or a math genius, you just need to make sure the numbers are lining up with your goals.

As a personal trainer you’ll check the clients numbers, whether it’s for weight loss or improving a PB on their bench press. These numbers measure performance and allow you, as a trainer, to make educated decisions to help improve on progress. Same goes for your business.

The most successful businesses and programs know what key numbers make a difference in their business and for their clients' results and focus on improving these.

3. They play to their strengths

Playing to your strengths is more important as your business grows, but being able to identify where your strengths lie and where you may need help is one of the key traits we see between all the successful businesses we have worked with.

Focus on what you're good at and then getting help, whether through training, research or outsourcing with the things you are not so good at.

Using PT Distinction is a great example of this. As a Personal trainer you may have little to no interest in technology, so instead of trying to build your own software or membership site, you use PT Distinction to take care of it for you so you can focus on what you do best.

Leads & Sales

Leads and sales are what bring in cash to your business. Without cash, you have no business. So, what do all successful businesses and programs do when it comes to lead generation and sales?

4. Keep the systems simple

Most trainers we speak to when coming to PTD Ninja for help believe that generating new leads and making sales is quite complicated. The thing is, nearly all of the successful online fitness businesses we have worked with had very simple systems to bring in leads and make sales.

If your lead generation or sales process sounds complicated or you maybe feel a little lost just thinking about it, then it’s time to simplify it right down and start with the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing. You’ll be surprised just how far these can take you!

5. They make the most of what they already have

One thing that always surprises me when I first look at a personal training business is the amount of ‘money left on the table’. All the successful businesses we’ve seen have a system in place for each of these 3 things.

Following up with leads - When someone makes contact, follow up, say hi and start a conversion.

Asking for testimonials - Social proof is an easy way to build trust with new leads.

Asking for referrals - Your clients do the work for you!

These don’t need to be complex systems either, in fact you can set up PT Distinction to do all this for you, automatically!

6. They have one offer, solving one particular problem

‘Less is more’ is something that comes to mind here and should be a cornerstone phrase of any successful online fitness business and personal trainer niche.

This is never more true than with your offer. We’ve seen the most success with businesses that offer one program, solving one problem for one type of person.

7. Keep pricing simple

Pricing is something many personal trainers struggle with when it comes to online personal training. My best advice would be to keep it simple. The businesses we work with that seem to make the most sales are the ones with one simple pricing strategy.

One offer and one price tends to do the best. There are exceptions of course but I’ll cover that in part 2 of this article. If you are starting out online though, this should be your first approach. Get clear on your one offer and sell it for one price, before doing anything else.


Delivery is all about how you deliver your service to your clients. This is something we specialise in at PTD Ninja. Having the right delivery systems leads to:

- A better client experience.

- Better client adherence.

- Better results.

- More referrals.

- More testimonials.

- Better leads.

- Less customer service issues.

- Less chance of refund requests.

- Freeing up hours, days, even more sometimes, in time so you can focus on other areas of your business, or just relax.

I would say all of that leads to a successful program. So what do the most successful programs have in common?

8. Everything in the program has a purpose

The most successful programs in terms of getting the best results for clients without the trainer having to answer question after question, 24/7 all give the clients less, not more!

Everything in your program should serve a purpose, one that moves the client closer to their goal. You may think that adding more resources is helping by adding more value. It’s not, it’s actually making it harder for you and your clients.

The most successful programs have content that each serves a specific purpose for the client in the program. We go more in depth with this in part 2.

9. Start slow

The online programs that lead to the best results seem to all start slow and then finish fast. Much like learning a language, your client can’t be expected to read War & Peace before being able to say hello and goodbye.

Same goes with the more successful online personal training programs. Starting with simple tasks, practicing these and then progressing them is a sure fire way to get better results for your clients online.

10. Check-In

At PTD Ninja we have built a lot of different types of programs, some have of course been completely automated. Now, I’m not saying you can’t have a successful fully automated online program, you can and we have built them. But, on average clients get better results with regular check-ins. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to run coaching calls. Using PT Distinction you can use the features to automatically run your check-ins, collect the data you need and give feedback to your clients, quickly and effectively.

There you have it, apply these 10 things to your online fitness business and your online personal training program and you’ll be well on your way to growing a successful online business and getting incredible results for your clients online.

About the author

Ash Burleigh is the founder and co-owner of PTD Ninja, offering training, certifications and Done For You services for personal trainers using PT Distinction. As a personal trainer, online coach and entrepreneur with over 13 years of experience in coaching and business, Ash and his team have helped 1000's of personal trainers take their business online using PT Distinction. You can find Ash on Instagram @ashburleigh or on Facebook @ashptdninja

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