It’s easy to be attracted to the freedoms born from migrating your business to strictly online personal training. But with all the competition for clients, setup, and limited hours in the day, how much does an online trainer really make, when it all comes down to it?

In Episode 3 of The Online Trainer Show, Jon and Amber talk about why there’s a huge variety of answers to the question “How much do online trainers make?”, as well as the number-one skill trainers need to master if they want to be on the wealthier end.

The odd truth about making money in personal training online

Let’s get the hard truth out of the way first: Most trainers don't make enough money online to sustain their lifestyle. It sucks, but that’s the reality. Hopefully, though, the advice below (as well as the rest of the information inside the PTDC) will help.

But some online trainers make a LOT of money, skewing the industry average much higher.

So how much can you make through personal training online?

Most trainers start off charging about $50 to $200 a month with around eight to 12 clients per month. And most, unfortunately, get stuck in that cycle, losing one client just as they gain another. Of course, exceptions exist, but we find that you can't really take on more than 25 to 30 one-on-one clients and still do a good job.

To scale past that to transformational programs or membership sites requires a good online marketing scheme to spin the flywheel of clients your way. It takes investment to pull this off, however, both in finances and time. And if you don’t know how to get it right, you might end up wasting both.

Make more money online: The number-one contributor to the profitability of online training

When comparing personal trainers who make six figures and those who make six hundred, there’s one major trait that separates those at the top. They’re much better at communicating as a whole and understanding people on a deeper level.

Communicating with current clients

Typically, when clients are first starting out, we sell them on some goal or future version of themselves. They’re attracted by your ability to bring out their potential, and they’re willing to invest in the outcome.

Yet, especially with online training, when clients dive into the day to day, it all stops. Is it really surprising that someone wouldn’t want to reinvest if they can’t truly see the value?

Instead, successful online trainers make the big bucks by constantly reminding their clients of their progress. That could mean explaining why an exercise is specifically catered toward them and their goals.

When it’s time for the retention call, you’ll not only have a bag full of evidence, but also a foundation of trust from which to future cast how much farther they can go.

Attracting new clients

This is where a lot of new trainers struggle online—a lack of content that speaks to your target market. We worked with one trainer in the PTDC who felt stuck spinning their wheels getting clients—primarily targeting new mothers. Yet, when we did a social media audit, their profile featured them lifting a log over their head.

Contrast that with another trainer in the same niche whose messaging, despite his being male, is focused on female stories—those of his sisters, his mother, and other women in his “Wonderful Women Wednesday” highlight segment. Not surprisingly, this online trainer now sells transformational programs to the tune of over $1,000 each.

With a simple branding and messaging change, clients can feel more connected to what matters to them.

Final thoughts

Online trainers make a huge variety of amounts. Ultimately, though, most of them don't make enough, and it's because they lack the ability to communicate properly and retain their clients. If you want to overcome the $800-per-month rut, however, look at what the best are doing and speak the language of your clients.

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