The Financial and Personal Benefits of Online Personal Training in 2020
As many countries start making plans for opening back-up, many gym and studios continue to remain empty and personal trainers and coaches who relied on the steady stream of members to support their business are trying to figure out how they can continue to train clients during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
The advent of the internet and social media has connected the world in ways that were not possible just decades ago. We can obtain full degrees, certifications, and teach all online. Even fitness classes are available virtually and on-demand.
When the quarantine is lifted, some trainers and coaches will choose to work at home. Others will choose to work at the beach or a park. Or, like many health and fitness experts are discovering, they can travel the world extensively, or even indefinitely, while personal training clients online.
Will Your Clients Return to the Gym?
Although gyms, studios, and workout centers present a particularly contact-filled environment they were included with physical distancing restrictions in President Trump’s Opening Up America Again plan. The decision of when and whether or not to implement the plan is left up to state governors, and as more gyms and studios get the green light to reopen, the next big question has become: Will clients want to return?
Although any public place can prevent infection risks, gyms tend to be full of high-touch surfaces that people are contacting with all parts of their sweaty bodies, making a good environment for germs to flourish. The actual level of risk depends a lot on the cleanliness and hygiene practices of specific gyms.
All gyms offer disinfectant equipment but depend on their members and clients to use them properly and regularly to keep themselves and the equipment clean. Proper gym hygiene and safety, especially now, would mean wiping down all surfaces you touch before and after use. For social distancing, you’d need to keep a minimum of six feet between people which can be tricky in fitness classes or on stationary equipment like treadmills.
In a previous post on our predictions for the fitness industry, we looked at numerous informal polls targeting fitness enthusiasts and consumers. Their response varied widely as to when they want to return to a gym or health club. Some of them said “immediately” and were very enthusiastic. Others were somewhere in between and wanted to use caution. Still, others said “never” and were looking for home gym and outdoor fitness solutions.
This means you need to be flexible and willing to adapt in order to stay successful. The fitness industry is in the midst of a shift. This week, searches for online personal training saw a 49% increase. According to Adobe, closed gyms and orders to stay at home have sparked 55% higher sales of home exercise equipment. Products like kettlebells, dumbbells, stationary bikes, and treadmills are seeing the greatest demand. Your clients are looking for alternative solutions, and in order to maintain momentum for your personal training career, you need to be figuring out how you can provide those solutions.
Why Online Personal Training?
For the foreseeable future, going to a public gym is non-essential for many people. Also after having the time to learn and become used to working out and training from home, plenty of people will want to continue to do so, especially since there are plenty of ways to get a good workout at home, especially with the virtual guidance of a certified personal trainer.
Amidst the need for social distancing and the uncertainty about when things might go back to normal, many fitness professionals are transitioning to virtual workouts and online personal training via video calls. Other personal trainers have begun offering their online programming for free or at a reduced cost during the quarantine.
Forced to close their physical doors, gyms have had to adapt fast, moving content online with virtual group workouts, one-on-one personal training with services like zoom, Skype and Google Hangout, and free prerecorded workout suggestions on social media and Youtube. The big box, independent, and franchise gyms have joined thousands of established influencers and dedicated apps already pushing their on-demand fitness routines.
Just like homeschooling, people didn’t realize all the technologies and opportunities that were available with online coaching and training until they needed it as a new business model and reality.
Online personal fitness training takes many forms. It can be a collection of streaming videos that are live or pre-recorded and shared through a platform or app like Zoom. It can include live training and coaching sessions offered in a variety of ways. There are even some hybrid training where coaching is blended with in-person and online training.
If you’re super passionate about changing lives, it is much easier to reach people online. As an online or virtual personal trainer, there are more options for clients of when and where you can meet with them. You can be with clients all around the world and still work from the comfort of your home.
As you may know, we are giving away the complete comprehensive training for online coaching and training with the purchase of a certification from NESTA and the Spencer Institute. This training has sold for as much as $2,000, but we’re giving it to you free.
Business Models for Online Personal Trainers
Coaching and training clients online can happen in countless unique ways but the starting point always remains the same: your goal is the focus on improving the health of your clients. The way you set yourself up as an online personal trainer will dictate the ways you can make money online. It also will determine the number of clients you can have.
Private Online Training
The personalized element of personal training is retained in this type of online training, but the difference is this method is that the trainer does not work with the client in-person. Using different methods of communication, whether that is phone, email, text, or an online personal training software, provides your clients with the tools and program needed to achieve their specific health and fitness goals.
Online Group Personal Training
If you want to provide the insane service, at a great price, while also making the most money, you have to work with clients in group-training formats. There’s a reason why group fitness is so popular. People like working with a team and can often get better results than they would training on their own. Trainers can hold a yoga, pilates, or other group fitness class and have the option to live-stream it, record themselves, and make their workouts on-demand via memberships. This potentially opens up the door for much larger revenue opportunities for trainers.
Hybrid training basically refers to any cross between the online training model and one of the face-to-face. You can supplement a weekly group boot camp with an online resource center that involves at-home-exercise videos, a meal planning regimen, and an individualized client goal setting. This allows clients to access your services both at-home and in-person. Hybrid training gives you some experience working with clients online and allows you to begin to develop additional revenue-generating programs in the process. For example, you can take an in-person client and create a PDF workout plan for them to follow and interact with them. In between in-person workouts you allow your client to follow your guide and regularly check-in with them via email, text message, phone, or some other method that allows for tracking and accountability.
Online Personal Training Software
For many trainers and coaches, personal training software is a good choice. Online personal training software should help you train clients more effectively and efficiently. If you choose to use a software platform to help you train and coach clients you want to make sure that the platform you choose has a strong customer support team that can quickly answer questions and help you solve any problems.
Some of the most highly rated online personal training platforms include Trainerize, PT Distinction, Exercise.com, My PT Hub, TrainHeroic, TotalCoaching, and TrueCoach.
Online personal training and coaching software can be a valuable tool to create, deliver, and maintain your coaching services. The more clients you have, and the more complex your business becomes, the more you and your clients will rely on the software to keep in touch and stay on track.
How to Get Online Personal Training Clients
Being an online or virtual personal trainer means a lot of time spent at your desk. Instead of spending hours in the gym, you’ll be spending hours in front of your laptop working on marketing, messaging, creating programs, evaluating client feedback, creating social media content, editing videos, emailing, etc.
Networking is a huge way to get online personal training clients. Social media is the best place to start. More than likely you have friends who want to get fit and healthy and if they aren’t up for it right now they probably know people who are. Word of mouth holds more weight with potential clients than just advertising.
People want to know you are approachable and that you can relate to whatever journey they are going through. They want someone who can not only guide them but also motivate them and be there for them if they need any type of help. You want to come across as highly motivated, energetic and passionate about what you are doing.
You will want clients to know that you offer personalized plans just for them. Making your client feel special is a great reason for them to choose you over the competition. Clients want to know you care about them and that they are not just a number. They want to know you will be there for them and adjust their plan as they get better and reach their goals or if something isn’t working you will change the routine for them.
A lot of people get intimidated by asking for referrals but your clients are with you for a reason, so they will not mind you asking them for potential clients. If they do know someone they will help and if not you have put the thought in their mind for maybe another time. A great way to approach this conversation is to compliment your current client on what a great job they have been doing and then open the discussion to how you want to ask existing clients for referrals first since you have some openings in your schedule.
In-Home Personal Training for Your Online Personal Training Clients
In-home personal training services have always been popular, but as are becoming more popular, as they provide a convenient way to get one-on-one help with fitness experts. Private training sessions are one-on-one and can be as short as 20 minutes or as long as 2 hours. Clients love private training because it gives them the opportunity to work individually with their trainers.
Your clients don’t need anything but their body weight to exercise, but if they are asking your for some variety, a few common things around the house can help keep clients busy while training and working out at home.
For example, a chair can be used to support your client’s squats. They can also use that same chair to work their upper body with tricep dips, placing their hands behind you on the chair, walking their feet out in front, and slowly bending their elbows to lower down and back up.
If your clients like lifting weights, have them find something in their home that can act as a barbell. For example, something like a broomstick can be used to practice movements like squats. A broomstick is obviously less challenging than a fully weighted barbell, but the broomstick will help your clients maintain proper form. If you have a client who really wants to add some weight, they can use gallon jugs of water when doing squats, lunges, shoulder presses, and many other movements.
You likely already have some gym equipment in your home. If you do yoga or Pilates, you probably have a room set aside for your practice. Maybe you have a gym in your garage with lots of equipment.
As an online personal trainer, you need to get creative and do a little research to find other options. The internet can be a great resource for exercise innovations. The NESTA YouTube channel has a great collection of videos many of which include workout suggestions.
Expanding Your Online Offerings
Lockdown has prompted people to pause and reassess their lifestyle. The importance of being fit and both physically and mentally healthy has never been so real and this has led to a greater interest by our client’s in all areas and components of their mental and physical wellbeing.
Our clients are paying more attention to sleep, healthy nutrition and their wellness in an effort to strengthen their immune system and overall health, so why not take your training, knowledge, and skills to the next level and become a health coach as well? Your background in exercise and experience working with clients makes you a natural fit to become a health coach. Integrating additional coaching with your personal training will create additional revenue streams.
If you want to become a one-stop-shop for your clients, one of our most popular courses is the Fitness Nutrition Coach course, and you can find a variety of health and wellness based certifications, including sleep science, stress management, and wellness coaching through the Spencer Institute.
Starting an Online Training/Coaching Business
Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
Is your recertification coming up? Learn more about earning your CEU credits. You can find the full list of CEU courses here.
If you are ready to start your online personal training or coaching business, don’t forget to learn more about our online coaching course. You will also really enjoy this very comprehensive training course called Online Expert Empire.
There is always something exciting about earning a new training or coaching certification and applying that new knowledge of how you train your clients. This also helps you hit the reset button.
NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.