The Rise of Online Personal Training & the Road to Success

Let’s state the obvious, online personal training is rife, many personal trainers and fitness & nutrition coaches are moving all or a portion of their work online to live a more flexible lifestyle and supplement their normal 1-2-1 income. And this is a good thing, the internet has opened up a world of opportunity for everyone, so people are taking this opportunity to use it to help more and more people.

And this is key…. Help more and more people.

Many people are using online personal training as a force for good. I hope people look at my work as an online coach and see it as good ethical nutrition coaching, but unfortunately many are not doing this. Selling plans to people with no real support and no real coaching, which simply continues to fuel the yo-yo diet cycle many people are on. And this is a big problem. Please, if you are coaching online, or offline for that matter, coach people, invest in them, give them your all. Selling plans and letting people crack on is rarely creating real change, people need to be re-educated and coached through that process, so whatever coaching you are doing please ensure you are coaching compassionately and ethically.

This will also make you more successful long term, you can’t build a business long term on poor results. Awesome results come from investing in your clients and making them get truly life-changing results.

There are many pros of online personal training training and many ways to do it, with lots of tools to help you. I started doing 1-2-1 online nutrition coaching focused on sports performance and gym based goals, I did this for around 5 years and built a team of 13 coaches that also did it alongside me. We then moved into online nutrition education (The BTN Academy), and in 2016 I reignited my online coaching but worked on long term, building a group coaching system, which after 18 months of trial and error ended up in my program Fat Loss For Life which still runs today.

Types of Online Personal Training

So already you can see some of your options here:

  1. 1-2-1 online coaching
  2. Online group coaching
  3. A semi-automated coaching system (which FLFL now is)
  4. Hybrid coaching

You have to decide what is right for your business, and what fits your long-term business goals. I have mentored many trainers that have gone on to do all of the above. No single system is the best, they all have their pros and cons and you need to identify your goals, the type of business you want to run, and why (something I teach extensively on The BTN Academy as part of teaching our students how to be great coaches and have a great coaching business).

1-2-1 coaching can be easily implemented and is very personal, group coaching takes time to refine and a lot longer to build as you need larger numbers to make it work financially, a semi-automated system takes a long time to build and refine (hence I spent 18 months refining it) but the rewards CAN be bigger, while hybrid coaching can be the best of both with offline coaching with online nutrition support.

So as a personal trainer sitting here reading this right now, what is your business? Where do you want it to go, and why?

All options are viable, please don’t see any as better than the other, all can be hard work, all can be made easy work, and all options can lead to you earning good money, just like offline training can. None of these options are quick and easy wins, they all take time and effort to make work long term.

  • You could charge a premium for exceptional 1-2-1 online coaching and earn well.
  • You could put together a high-end, done for you service for professionals and earn well.
  • You could do a group 12 week fat loss and behaviour change program and earn well.
  • You could automate an emotional eating focused fat loss course and earn well.
  • You could put together a group muscle building program for guys and earn well.
  • You could put together a nutrition and behaviour change resource for your offline clients (hybrid coaching) and earn well.
  • You could just do offline coaching and earn well.

All are options, all can work, all can see you help people and earn well as a coach. I merely chose to scale my product over time into a semi-automated program that can handle a large volume of people. The upside is I can generate a lot of revenue and help a lot of people, the downside is I have to be constantly on top of my marketing to bring in a large volume of people as the cost of the product is a lot lower, so business wise it is harder work.

So please, please don’t think there are quick wins, all types and formats of programs can work.

Tools to Make Online Programs Work

I use 3 simple tools to make my Fat Loss for Life program work. Most of the marketing is done via social media, I use a website to sell the program, and these tools do the leg work in the program:

  1. An automated email journey that my clients go on when they join (it’s 90 days of coaching followed by 90 days of support) delivered via Aweber.
  2. A customised My PT Hub app which I use as a tracking and support tool to house their progress, results and tracking of diet and exercise.
  3. Facebook to support my clients as they go through the 3 phases of my coaching journey and to store key videos and documents.

Whatever you are considering, assess your options and do your research. Go and look at my Fat Loss for Life program, take a look at 10 other trainers’ programs, look at what they offer and why, consider what you want to offer and why, then start to build your future business with an online component that fits your coaching and business goals.

All are options. All can help people. All can see you earn well.

As ever in business and life, there are no shortcuts, just options that fit you and your business’s goals.

Who is Ben Coomber? Ben is a Performance Nutritionist (CISSN), coach (S&C), international speaker and fitness educator. Ben has the UK’s #1 rated podcast Ben Coomber Radio, has coached 1000s of people in his 90 day program Fat Loss for Life, has consulted and worked with everyone from pro athletes to kids playing sport, educates the nutrition coaches of the future at The BTN Academy, has worked with companies like Sky TV, O2 and Twinings Tea, has been a headline speaker at Body Power, SFN and Be Fit for many years, and continues to try educate and innovate in the world of fitness. This all stemmed from his journey as an obese teenager wanting to better his health, body and mind.

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