In this episode, Jon and Amber talk about the different types of online training services you might offer and how to figure out which one is right for you.
Before we dig in, let’s be clear: There’s no right or wrong way to serve your online clients. Figure out what business model is best for you and roll with it.
Types of online training options
No doubt about it—this method is popular, and for many of us, it’s the easiest way to get started. Many of us eventually evolve past this model, but it’s a great place to dive in. One-on-one online training typically runs $50 to $300 per month.
Pros: Allows you to form deep, meaningful relationships with clients, most similar to the type of training that most trainers understand, templates can work for clients with similar needs, no complicated software program needed.
Cons: Limit to how many clients you can take on (usually 20 to 30 clients), will not scale largely without hiring staff, can be difficult to manage deeply caring relationships with many clients.
Small group training
After one-on-one training, it’s smart to give small group training a try. You’re specific about who you choose to work with, and you’re looking for a group of clients who want to achieve the same goal. Surprisingly, small group training programs are often more expensive than one-on-one training, running $1,500 to $2,000 per month.
Pros: Deeper relationships with clients than a large-scale setting, can use conference calls/WhatsApp/Facebook to meet with clients, more scalable than one-on-one.
Cons: More templates and automated strategies mean fewer touchpoints with clients.
Membership program or one-off training products
In theory, a membership site can work, but for many clients, membership programs aren’t a great fit. Trainers who build membership sites are great at building community, have a large following, and are comfortable charging far less than you would for one-on-one or small group training. Membership programs can sound like a great idea, but most members join intending to cancel after a few weeks.
Pros: Can reach a large number of clients, can work well for trainers who already have a huge potential client base.
Cons: Clients tend to be less committed due to the low program cost, marketing skills need to be extremely advanced due to high turnover rate, high maintenance level required.
Developing a single workout or program that clients can access in a single purchase can provide passive income without maintenance.
Pros: No maintenance or management needed, provides value to clients, provides introduction to the trainer, and may funnel clients to one-on-one or small group training programs.
Cons: None, but don’t start here. It’s important to have success with one-on-one or small group training alongside or before developing DIY products.
The bottom line
One-on-one training is an excellent way for us to cut our chops, learn how to work with clients, troubleshoot issues that come up during the training process, learn how to properly support clients through life stressors, and learn how to develop relationships that keep clients coming back to us for more.
After one-on-one training is mastered, small group training can be a great way to continue developing strong relationships while also generating more revenue. Small group training allows trainers to provide support to members—and allows members to support one another. Many trainers find they can actually charge more for small group training than one-on-one services.
Membership sites are generally not a smart idea. Few trainers find success with apps and websites that offer the same services to a large number of clients. Most clients join these sites thinking the price is low, they’ll cancel after a month, and it’s worth a try. Trainers generally are not realizing their full earning potential with membership sites.
DIY products are a smart way to develop passive income while freeing up time to focus on one-on-one and small group training clients. While this isn’t an end-all-be-all, it can help trainers offer clients value while also providing exposure that may eventually lead to more one-on-one or small group clients.