When you decide to dive into developing an online training business, it can be tough to know how to find your clients. Here, we'll delve into a few different ways to grow your client base when you're getting started with your business.


The pay-to-play method of getting clients is basically paid social media advertising. Sponsorship and paid email drops are included here as well.

Many people have a small level of initial success with pay-to-play advertising, as they get their message in front of people who are already listening. The problem with pay-to-play: Once you pick off the low-hanging fruit (clients who were already thinking about purchasing training sessions before they saw your paid ad), your market can go very cold—very fast. After the bulk of warm market traffic passes, it can be tough to get in with the traffic that follows.

While advertising to warm traffic can make money fast, advertising to cold traffic requires a new skillset. If you want to advertise to a cold market, it’s important to craft a super-strong offer, and to dial in on your target market. Ad testing is also key in appealing to a cold market.

If you're going to build a large business, you'll need to turn to paid advertising at some point. The larger you get, the easier paid advertising can become. If people have already heard about you and have a positive impression of your business, paid advertising will be more effective.


Get feedback—and listen

For many of us, however, paid advertising isn't a great place to start growing your business. It can be smarter to start with local clients (even though you're training them online), focusing on exhausting your local market and getting referrals.

Calling friends and family members and asking for their feedback on programs you might offer in the future can be a great way to let people know what you're doing—without coming off as salesy.

It's important to be humble enough to ask for help and to truly listen to potential client feedback. Be sure to ask clients if you can follow up to chat about modifications you're making to your program and how you incorporated their feedback. Stay curious about what your potential customers have to say. Like Jon says—people don't want to be sold to, they want to be listened to.

When you follow up, it's likely that they'll be interested in giving your program a try. If not, ask them for a referral to increase your potential customer base. Remember—your perfect clients know other perfect clients.


Deliver results

When you get your first cohort of clients, it's important that you take the best possible care of them. Of course, you work to do this with all your clients, but it's especially important that you zero in on getting results for your first group. From there, ask members of your first group to provide referrals—and watch your business start to grow.

It's normal to have some fall-off with training clients. As long as you continue to reach out and grow your network through people you've actually helped get results, your client base will continue to expand.


Don't sweat social media

When you're new in the business, it can be hard to develop the rock-star social media posts that get shared and noticed. The good news: You don't have to. Like we said, focus on getting in touch with the people closest to you, getting results, and expanding your network in a way that actually allows you to get to know people. Focus on genuine connections to create lasting business growth.

Learn a flexible framework for building your online training business.

The demand for online training has been increasing over the last decade and continues to grow exponentially. As more people adapt to a virtual world, it’s time to take action on the future of your career. The Online Trainer Academy teaches you a flexible framework that adapts to you and your unique needs, so you can have the business and life perfect for YOU.