How to become a successful online personal trainer

online-training

This weeks post comes from the incredibly talented Ben Camara, founder of No1 Fitness Group and Remote Coach. Ben shares his top tips and insight into how to start online personal training.

How to become a successful online personal trainer

Some of most of the successful people in the world have spoken highly of working with their coach, you’ll find everything from online marketing, sales and of course life coaching as more and more people look for guidance. Coaches can get the best out of you, and this is the key thing to remember when first moving online as a trainer. Results matter with the normal face to face trainer setting but even more so when moving online, you need to ensure you really are creating value.

There are many advantages to becoming an online trainer and the most obvious one being the removal of geographical and locational. barriers to getting new PT clients to train. The days for clients only having the trainer that’s in their local gym guiding their health and fitness success are gone and you truey can train with anyone you want in the world and more importantly with someone who specializes in what you need.

Online personal training is not anything new and if you’re reading this then you’ve taken some time to think about your next steps in earnming more money from your PT business, but also I am guessing you’ve thought of how to save more time for your own personal life.

Always remember though that online training is not going to be for everyone and their will be niche markets that you’ll need to focus on and cater too on their terms and their conditions. For those living in small towns with a limited number of gyms and personal trainers, online training could be the best option and for you the trainer could as an example be a first point to focus on if looking at a niche place to start marketing.

Clients may still prefer the face-to-face training, this will never change (until technology catches up), however other clients do better with online training or prepackaged online workouts because it gives them more flexibility in scheduling workouts, rather than trying to work around a trainer’s schedule.

Ok, so let’s deep dive into the do’s, don’ts and what the differences are in personal training online…

What is online personal training?

That is the first question, what is online personal training?

Online personal training is the capability to train (or guide) clients specifically online using everything from social media, email or other recent applications. Basically you are not seeing your clients face to face, unless you are on a video call. To date you’ll notice many trainers call themselves ‘online coaches’ rather than trainers to differentiate the difference between training them – being there and showing exercises and coaching them – creating a guide for the client to follow. Luckily for you, you can infact do both. Tools such as MyPTHub enable you to create guides for clients whilst applications such as Remotecoach.fit enable you to also train them in live time, in a specific live online training session.

Which ever route you take you’ll be expected to offer 1–2–1 contact time to your client – just as you get at the gym – except all conversations are done online. Exercise check ins with updates are generally done either once per week or once per month but you can create your own custom packages.

The marketplace and offerings for clients are a dime a dozen with apps offering on demand fitness more than ever before, but as you know from training clients on the gym floor, clients don’t need more offerings they need guidance and accountability.

For a client it offers many of the same benefits live trainers offer – tips on good form, coaching, encouragement – without the expense or trouble of heading to a gym.

What are the con’s?

If you are moving your business online, don’t think you’re suddenly one week in going to be sat on a beach somewhere sipping on pina coladas. As with any business it’s going to take time, effort and clear vision of what you will be offering.

If you’re not using a tool like RemoteCoach.fit and moving more into the sending of online programs, then ensure the exercises are easy to follow and you have set the clients expectations from the start – people expect results!

Clients will need your attention, be ready for this. It’s a natural reaction for more questions to be thrown at you and you should be prepared for this on a daily basis. The usual questions that would have been answered in the hour long session you had with them will be on the tip of their tongue.  A personal tip I always recommend is to set time parameters on having feedback with clients, if you don’t want to be messaged by 7pm then make that known from the start.

Making the transition and becoming an online personal trainer.

Currently, you will see a huge amount of software out there claiming to help make your online business easier. As I mentioned earlier how ever moving, online is like any business going to need planning, clear strategy and time dedicated by you to create an online client base.

Image result for online personal training

The usual transitional thought for most trainers is to think of not doing any more early mornings or late nights of face to face and only writing programs in their spare time. This can be the case, but in most cases you’ll be spending a lot of your working week either creating content to send out or checking client questions and feedback that may have arisen.

Think carefully about what you’re going to offer.

Are you an online trainer or are you selling workouts? Before starting out this a crucial thing to ask yourself.  The key to generating a successful online business comes from differentiating the two. One is a cheap product offering (a generic program for anyone who purchases it) and the other being you coaching your client to succeed, which takes adaptation, programing, empathy and much more to get your client towards their goal.

Trying to mix the two is where trainers tend to go wrong, trying to earn a lot but ultimately never delivering on the service clients expext.

Let’s look at a usual scenario – So you’ve made the jump from the gym floor where you’re charging £40 to £80 per hour to then charging £99 to £200 per month with the focus of trying to get 60–70 of these clients.

60–70 clients sign up, but now you need to write 60–70 personal programs, answer 60–70 questions (probably more) and have a 60–70 check in calls – suddenly that time saving business you were looking to create isn’t so time saving. You can’t focus on 60–70 clients, paying you £99 a month and think you’re going to be saving time. Even if you focus on only doing 40 mins of work per week per client, you’ll still be working 40 hours a week.

There are alternatives to this such as the model of just selling programs, It’s a great way to scale how ever your attention will not be the clients individual goals but rather your marketing and sales to get more customers through the door.

I first saw the power of this after winning the Men’s Health Magazine personal trainer of the year award. They asked me to write a program and answer the questions through Twitter, which came thick and fast. The V8 Challenge as it was called had 17,000 downloads in the first week which blew my mind and truly showed that there is a market for selling programs online, although the V8 was free.

You can of course do both, but just ensure you understand the difference. Are you going to sell to the masses and believe everyone can do the same workout or if this conflicts with your values are you going try to help more people online on a more personal level.

Tips to Ensure You Are Training Clients

First option is understanding what your values are. if you are interested in helping people on a more personal level then go for as close to a real life session as possible.

Of course I am being biased but using something like Remote Coach gives you the capability to train clients anywhere in the world, also to send programs as well as coach and check their health data.

If you’re going for the masses then make sure that all the exercises and the routine you’re looking to sell to your clients stay within your scope, and that means exercise prescription if you’re a personal trainer and not going into nutrition and dietary advice, or vice versa if you’re a nutritionist, then you should not be making exercise advice. Stay within your scope and ensure you’re doing things safely and effectively.

References:

Catherine SL. A personal trainer, right in your iPod. New York Times. Jan 19 2006. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/docview/433253376?accountid=167112.

Enfield L. The personal computer personal trainer FITNESS: Busy professionals are hoping to get in shape using the internet, says liz enfield: LONDON 1ST EDITION]. Financial Times. Sep 03 2005:5. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/docview/249483125?accountid=167112.

Gondo N. Step up your workout with online trainers. Investor’s Business Daily. Oct 18 2000:1. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/docview/1026809121?accountid=167112.

Parker-Pope T. The online personal trainer: A guide to getting workout advice via email. Wall Street Journal. Jul 26 2005. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/docview/398944078?accountid=167112.