As anyone who’s worked in the fitness industry knows, making money as a personal trainer typically means long hours. Whether you’re in the “first client at 5 a.m., last client at 9 p.m.” camp, or you’ve maxed out your prime, after-work clients, leaving you on the floor seven days a week … online personal training offers the allure of freedom.

Transitioning from in-person to virtual personal training can not only open up more hours for your own health and wellness, but, with a well-thought-out plan, it can actually make you more money.

In today's episode of The Online Trainer Show, Jon and Amber talk about smart decisions you can make today for a seamless transition to financial and personal freedom.

The primary ways to make money as an online personal trainer

Virtual training, especially at the start, doesn’t have to look too different from what you’re already doing.

The core of your online personal training revenue should come from things like:

  • One-on-one training online
  • Virtual small group programming
  • DIY programs, such as one-off ebooks
  • Time-based transformation programming (12-week fat loss, New Year's resolution, etc.)
  • Automated membership programs

While those last few can really turn a profit, try not to get ahead of yourself at the beginning. Remember, you wouldn’t get a brand-new client single-leg squatting on a Bosu ball before they could do a basic bodyweight squat.

The same principle applies here—you're not gonna automate programming for 10,000 people if you can’t do it one-on-one first.

Everybody should start selling basic, 1-on-1 sessions at anywhere from $50 to $250 a month. It’s an easy transition, and it’ll build you a solid foundation from which to grow.

Other ways to make money online

Once you’ve gotten your feet wet by training clients virtually, you might want to explore other revenue streams, such as:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsorships
  • Selling ads

Generating income this way, however, means learning the ins and outs of making money online. You’ll need to build connections, learn how to use different software, and invest some of your hard-earned money. That’s why we recommend starting with what you know.

Getting started with online personal training: services, pricing, and more

Even in the modern world of virtual training, there’s nothing like old-school pen and paper.

Grab your notepad and write all your services on one side. Next to each entry, write the time it’s going to take you to provide that service. Finally, take a look at how much time you actually have, and compare it to how much money you need to be making right now each month.

If a service takes up too much time for not enough revenue, either cross it off the list or figure out how you can charge more for the same service.

Your Freedom Number—making online personal training profitable

Your Freedom Number represents how much money you need to make to take risks, take time off, better yourself, and reduce your overall mental load.

Everyone's Freedom Number looks different. If you’ve got kids, hiring out laundry or groceries could free up valuable family time. If you love to travel, an extra few grand per month (plus the ability to work from anywhere) might be the ticket. Whatever that looks like for you, freedom means wealth in time and money.

Time-based, transformation programs with a specific, measurable goal can quickly get you where you want to go. They’re scalable past one client per hour, and you can measure results … which means you’ll have a much easier time selling and marketing it.

But before you run off to create your “12-week Beach Body” program, pump the breaks. Most people should probably grow into a transformation package surrounded by other hands-off services that improve your bottom line and turn a profit.

And hey, you might find you can make $1,000 a month off of five clients without offering a transformation package. Whatever your decision, there’s a lot of money in online personal training, but you won’t know if you never get started.

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