It’s that time of year again, when people the world over optimistically vow to eat less, exercise more, and finally get in shape. You can help them out by setting your own New Year’s resolution: to get in the online training game.
Being an online personal trainer is great. You can help more clients, dramatically boost your income, and cut down on hours, leaving time for that “work-life balance” thing you keep hearing about.
You can train people from your neighborhood and from halfway around the world. Best of all: You don’t have to worry about time constraints or gym protocols and simply focus on what’s best for the client.
You can do this one of two ways:
- Keep your in-person training gig and supplement with a small number of online clients (say, 10 to 20).
- Step back from training in person and take on a large number of online clients—100 or more. (Yes, that many.) At a monthly rate of $100 per client, you could rake in $10,000-plus each month.
I know 100 sounds like a lot, but it’s totally doable. Follow the steps below (and advice from the Online Trainer Academy) and you should end up working with more people in less time, while making more money, and helping your clients achieve their New Year’s resolutions along with your own. It’s going to be a good year all around.
1. Decide on client type
The key to scaling up is templated workouts, which means you need clients with similar goals and needs. Cap it at three types—the more similar, the better. For example, 25- to 40-year-old males looking for muscle; 30- to 50-year-old men and women seeking fat loss; and middle-aged men making the transition from heavy lifting to more sustainable, joint-friendly workouts. Or you could seek 18- to 30-year-old females with “bikini body” goals; 25- to 40-year-old postpartum women; and 30- to 50-year-old women with tight schedules who just want to fight back against time and gravity. Pick any groups you want; their payments all process the same.
2. Write three to four program phases for each type
You can make custom tweaks for individual clients later. (For example, a client with shoulder pain might do an incline neutral-grip dumbbell press instead of a bench press, but still do the same sets and reps at the same tempo.) But each client in the same category will receive a similar template.
3. Ask rapport-building questions on your online application form
Favorite movie, comic, whatever—anything you can use to bond with the client (important for customer loyalty). As I always say, people buy trainers, not training. Establishing rapport is just as important as any marketing. And don’t forget to ask why they want to train with you in the first place; this forces them to clarify what they like about you, and may provide valuable intel on what it is that attracts people to you. And whatever that thing is—keep doing it.