Most newcomers who enter the fitness industry view their nascent personal training career with sparkling eyes and unbridled optimism. They worked hard to transform themselves, found success, and now they want to share this passion with the world.
I hate to burst their bubble, but only a small percentage of the population can make a personal training career really work for them.
Why, you wonder, you’re really passionate about this!
Let me list the reasons: First, it’s expensive, both for your own finances and for your time and energy. It’s also location dependent, a bane to your overall schedule and “free time”, and is often very obtrusive.
And if you don’t have the right personality, spending an hour one-on-one multiple times a week is simply an intimidating and uncomfortable experience for many clients, which could actually be an obstacle to them starting an exercise program.
It may sound like I’m just a jaded veteran and complaining, but the fact is that I love the fitness and personal training industries. I was a trainer for 8 years, wrote the best book for trainers, and still pour my sweat and energy into this great community because I truly believe in the industry.
As with anything, though, I just think personal training has its dark sides. While many people can certainly find personal training to be a fulfilling and lucrative career, it has its limitations. For our clients, it’s clear that “one size doesn’t fit all” and blindly hiring a trainer in a neighborhood gym is not necessarily the best way to get fit. And still many barriers present themselves for the client, including cost, a lack of accountability systems in place, and of course, general doubt over the trainer’s actual competency.
Today I want to offer a different solution.
It is a solution that solves every major issue that clients, trainers, and gym owners all suffer from in this personal training industry.
The solution is online personal training.
I’m just going to go ahead and claim that everybody wins with online personal training. More importantly, online training is better for the client.
Take a look:
Why online training is better for clients
- It’s more cost effective for the client (and for you, if you get your systems in place).
- Scheduling is not an issue. Have to show up at 6:12 p.m.? No problem. When clients work with somebody online, this issue simply doesn’t exist.
- With a bit of research, clients can work with a top trainer who specializes in exactly what they need instead of getting placed with a trainer at the gym (who is usually the new guy or girl).
Why online training is better for gym owners
- Instead of losing clients when they move away, gym owners can keep them as an online client and plug up what would’ve been a major leak in income.
- Clients can refer everybody they know because location isn’t an issue.
- Offering an employee who’s a coach the ability to design programs for online clients in his or her down time and splitting the revenue is a huge value add for trainers, and will lead to better retention. (And we all know that retaining good trainers is the key to a successful fitness business.)
Why online training is better for the trainer (a.k.a. you)
- Time is your most precious resource and the only limiting factor you have. Training clients online allows you to scale your time.
- You’d be able to make money even when you’re not in the gym.
- Business shouldn’t dictate fitness. Sessions should not all be one-hour or 30-minute blocks, on the dot. Online training allows you to give clients what they need, with a bit more flexibility.
- Referrals become much easier to obtain because you can take on friends and family members of current clients that live far away.
- You can charge less per client and make more, exponentially increasing your income.
Some people prefer to work one-on-one in an in-person setting. Or they might just read a magazine or online article and try to follow that instead of hiring a trainer. Online training simply adds another option, and it’s one that would only become much more popular and viable in the coming years.
If somebody believes that a relevant expert in the subject made a program specifically for him or her, there’s a better chance that the person will follow it.
Self-efficacy increases adherence to a program.
Besides, walking into a gym and getting buddied up with a trainer don’t necessarily give a new client confidence that this trainer is right for him. If, however, a client goes online, finds a trainer that he resonates with, and becomes comfortable with the compatibility, the chance of adherence goes up.
Put simply, there is no one “best way” for a client to get the ingredients to success, such as workout direction, a supportive network, and the accountability. Every client is different and needs different types of support. Online training solves a lot of common problems that frustrate trainers (scheduling, compliance, client retention, and so on) and thwart client results (accountability, an incompetent or inattentive trainer, and so on).