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How to Become an Online Personal Trainer: Scaling Your Personal Training Business

Table of Contents

An online personal trainer is training clients from her home gym by livestreaming her class on her laptop.

Starting an online fitness business can be empowering. You have the freedom to make your own schedule, you can focus on your ideal client group, and you have the opportunity to help individuals throughout the world work toward their fitness goals. You get to take your business into your own hands.

However, that means a lot of the success of your business now rests on your shoulders. You have to be prepared to grow your business and take it to the next level. The same way you create buildable workouts that allow you to grow over time is how you can manage your business. You need to plan for growth.

Let’s take a look at 6 steps on how to scale your personal training business.

A trainer is on a virtual call with a client while he trains in the gym.

1: Set Goals

Where do you want your business to be in 1, 5, or even 10 years from now? Having an idea of where you would like to see your business can help you set smaller goals. It’s good to know you want to be working with 500 clients through online training courses, but it’s better to know how to scale your online personal training.

Following the structure of S.M.A.R.T. goals, you want to create tasks that are specific to your business’s needs, measurable to determine success, achievable for you, relevant to the bigger picture, and time-bound to keep you on track.

Try asking yourself the following questions to help you set your goals.

  • Where do I want my business to be in the next year?
  • How many clients do I need to have to make this possible?
  • How much more income do I need to make to reach my goal?
  • Who needs to be involved in this process?
  • What can I do to reach my goal?
  • How long will it take me to reach my goal?
  • When can I dedicate time to work on tasks?
  • What obstacles are standing in my way and how can I overcome them?

Make sure you write down your goals, have a way to know if it was successful, and a time frame for completion. This will help you visualize the work you need to do to grow your business over time.

An online yoga teacher insured with online personal trainer insurance waves hello to her client as she sits on a yoga mat and prepares to teach a session from her home.

2: Identify Your Ideal Client

Once you know the direction you want your business to go, you can focus a bit more on the client side of things. It’s important to have a main audience so you can bring in clients that will increase your revenue and grow your business.

It can be easy to want to target everyone who needs a personal trainer, but it doesn’t do you many favors in the long run. You’re more likely to find people who may not be long-term clients and are not as motivated to stay. You can end up wasting time and money by attracting people who maybe don’t have the intention of working seriously on their fitness. This is not helpful when trying to learn how to scale your personal training business.

Do you have an area of training expertise or a specific group of people you are really interested in working with? The more niche you can be, the better. This allows you to know the type of trainings you will be building and the type of people you can target for marketing. These clients are also more likely to stick with you for your expertise and refer you to other people, helping you grow your business.

An online trainer sits on her training mat in a private studio as she checks in with an online client from her phone.

3: Create Client Categories

Your ideal client group can be postpartum moms, seniors recovering from injuries, stay-at-home fathers, or young working professionals. But don’t stop there, continue to break it down into these people’s fitness needs, age, background, overall health, eating habits, and even what their daily schedule may look like.

Let’s say your ideal client is a college graduate in their mid to late 20s who is just starting out in their career. This person used to play sports in high school and maybe has slacked in their fitness and health since then. They want to get back into a workout regimen and have specific goals in mind, but can only workout early in the morning, late at night, and on weekends.

You now know the exact clients you’re looking for, where to find them, how to train them—showing you how to scale your personal training. With this “client persona” in mind, you can create different categories of client type based on their goals (strength, endurance, weight loss), preferred types of exercises (weights, cardio, lifting), and more.

An older woman sits on her yoga mat in her home and stretches as her virtual yoga teacher is broadcasting a class on the laptop.

4: Build Workouts Based On Client Type

Before you start training someone, you may want to have a new client review or have them fill out an online personal training questionnaire. This will help you know if they are an ideal client, what category they fit in, and what trainings will work best for them. Doing this can help save time so you don’t have to build a new plan from scratch each time.

As your business grows, you will have the ability to take on more clients. With these client categories created, you will know how to quickly assess their needs and set them up with a workout plan catered to them. You will also be able to improve the programs over time and add additional programs to keep your clients interested.

Take each client category and build one or more types of workouts for them. These can vary in the length of the program, intensity, age or health limitations, and how long each workout lasts. Keep in mind you may need to slightly alter these programs based on individual need.

We will go over more of the details on assembling client training packages in “Part 4: Developing Fitness Packages for Potential Clients,” of our series How To Become An Online Personal Trainer.

Are you financially prepared to handle client injuries or replace stolen equipment? With Insurance Canopy, you can be. Get a quote for personal trainer insurance today and start training with peace of mind.

Three yoga students are on a computer screen on a yoga mat as they demonstrate a pose their virtual yoga teacher taught them to do.

5: Hire Additional Help

As your business grows, so will the needs. You will have more clients to communicate with and more workout plans to create. This can take your time and focus away from other business operations such as website development, finances and accounting, marketing, and data management.

While it’s easier to fulfill all of these rolls in the beginning, you won’t be able to do it all forever. It’s okay to ask for help and hire employees who can help you manage your growing business. After all, a growing business should mean a growing income—allowing you to afford the cost of employees or freelancers.

You are an expert in fitness and your focus should be there with clients. Other people are experts in social media marketing, video editing, email communications, and more. Use their talents to help you better your business and find new clients. Ultimately this can help you move your business forward and financially manage how to scale your personal training business.

man doing workout in living room

6: Think One Step Ahead

In order to grow, you need to see where. This circles back to your goals by continually assessing them, setting new goals, and having a clear idea of your business’s future.

Look at your tasks and ask yourself how it can set you up to get to the next goal. Is what you’re doing today only going to help you today or will it also help you in the future? Will it take you to a place that will allow for more growth?

Not every single thing you do is going to be framed this way—and that’s okay! Sometimes you need to do things to help with short-term needs that require immediate attention. Unforeseen circumstances will appear and you need to be able to navigate through them. However, the more you think ahead, the more you will be able to plan for roadblocks and ways to avoid them.

Learning how to scale your personal training business can take a lot of time, preparation, and patience, but in the end you will thank yourself for planning ahead.

“How To Become An Online Personal Trainer” is a nine-part series by Insurance Canopy outlining tips and tricks to help you take your training to the next level. Check out the rest of the series below!

Part One: Finding Your Virtual Training Space
Part Three: Building Your Exercise Library
Part Four: Creating Online Fitness Training Packages
Part Five: Transitioning Clients To Virtual Training
Part Six: Gaining New Clients
Part Seven: Data Documentation & Client Organization
Part Eight: Protecting Your Business
Part Nine: 5 Additional Tips For Continued Success

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