In this episode, Jon and Amber talk about whether you need a big social media following or not. And if not—what should you really focus on?

We've got good news: You do NOT need a large social media following to succeed as an online personal trainer.

When you get on Instagram or TikTok, the online training market can feel saturated—but it's not. We promise.

When you're working to build an online training business, you're not competing with people with large social media followings. You're working to build your own brand that caters to your ideal client.

The long tail

In The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, author Chris Anderson brilliantly lays out why you don't need to worry about the giants (trainers with huge social media followings, Peloton, etc.) when you're working to grow your business.

While those with huge followings will take up some clients, the long tail—everyone who doesn't buy what the big dog is selling—is nearly infinite. While plenty of people will buy into a person with a large social media following, most will not.

Working in a decentralized market

In today's world, trainers aren't subject to the gatekeepers of the fitness arena anymore. You can build your own business through social media, through your local community—you don't have to score a job at a local gym or teach group fitness classes (unless you want to) in order to grow your client base.

Be unique and find your niche

You definitely don't need a large social media following, but you do need the right kind of social media following—or the right kind of connection with your followers.

Love beer? Some successful online trainers have built strong connections with followers who share their passion for brew. Into cake? Your target market is out there—people who want to have their cake and look good, too.

Blend online and localized training

Many clients have trouble wrapping their heads around online training, and it can be helpful to also offer an in-person component. Some trainers find that it's easier to blend the two worlds, offering an in-person training program with an online support component.

Build an in-person community

A low-pressure, in-person workout or training group can get the word out like wildfire if you're working your business right. Talking with people the old-fashioned way—face to face—is just as effective as working with clients online. Great results are great advertising, and satisfied clients are the perfect marketers to tell others about your business.

The bottom line

Like Jonathan Goodman said in the podcast today—you don't need a social media following, you need to be a human. It's key for us to build connections with others as people first and as potential clients second.

It's smart to start in your own community, reaching out to the people who are physically near to you before trying to create a global enterprise. Connect with people you like—people you'd want to get to know even if fitness was off the table. Bond over common interests (outside of fitness), get to know people on a genuine level, and focus on helping them live happier, healthier lives.

Never miss an episode

All episodes are available to subscribe and listen to on iTunesSpotify, and Stitcher. You can also subscribe and watch it on YouTube.