How To Start an Online Personal Training Business

Mar 7, 2023 - 12 min read
A woman talking in a video call on her laptop

Starting an online personal training business can be a difficult prospect for many aspiring trainers.

The promises of increased flexibility, remote work and the potential to earn more than they did working at a gym or studio can seem so great that the thought of actually making it happen feels overwhelming.

But don’t be discouraged - with the right tools and strategies in place, running your own online personal training business is not only achievable but also highly rewarding!

In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can launch your own successful personal training business and begin reaping the benefits that come with being in charge of your own destiny.

Start With Your Personal Trainer Certification

A person holding a certificate in their hand

Before you even plan to become a successful online personal trainer, make sure that you have completed your personal trainer certification.

You will need this credential before you can begin working with clients whether in-person or online.

Generally speaking, the process for getting certified involves completing a personal training online course and then registering with a reputable association such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or the National Academy Of Sports Medicine (NASM) .

When researching certification programs, look for one that aligns with your professional goals and offers comprehensive support from experienced professionals.

Create a Professional Website

A professional website open on a desktop monitor which is an important part of  how to start online personal training business

Your website should be the hub of all your online activities, from marketing and sales to customer service and communication.

Take the time to create an attractive, professional website that will serve as your digital shopfront.

Make sure it looks great on mobile devices and includes SEO-friendly content that will help boost visibility in search results.

Develop Your Brand Identity

Creating a strong brand identity is essential if you want to stand out from other personal trainers in the field.

Think about how you want people to perceive you and develop a unique logo and tagline that reflects who you are and what sets you apart from other trainers.

Your brand identity should carry through all aspects of your business, from social media accounts and website design to marketing materials and customer service policies.

Invest in Quality Technology & Equipment

A canon camera in a black background outdoors

To ensure that your clients receive the highest quality experience possible, invest in quality technology such as cameras, microphones, lighting equipment, video editing software, etc., so that every session looks professional and polished no matter where it takes place!

Additionally, investing in ergonomic office chairs for yourself can help prevent any potential injuries caused by long hours of sitting at a desk while coaching clients virtually over video calls or via text messages/chat rooms.

Identify Your Ideal Clients

Decide what types of clients you want to work with. Are you looking to train athletes, busy professionals, or those who are just getting started?

Once you have identified your target demographic, you can begin developing custom workouts tailored specifically for them.

Different clients will require different training plans and diet regimens, so it’s important that you decide what type of demographic best suits your expertise and experience.

Define Your Services & Pricing Model

A person holding cash in his hands

Consider how many sessions you plan to offer each month and how much time and energy you are willing to commit to each client.

This will help determine which packages and pricing models will work best for both you and your clients.

Will you be offering online fitness challenges or a personalized one-on-one session or subscription-based access to your workout videos?

There are a few different options here: per session, per month/package, or pay-as-you-go. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what makes the most sense for your business.

Consider your target market, the average length of your sessions, and the number of sessions you think your clients will need per week/month.

Make Use Of Fitness Apps For Personal Trainers

A tablet lying on a wooden table

There are many different apps for fitness coaches available for setting up an online personal training business.

Consider factors such as pricing, user-friendliness, features, customer support options, scalability, security protocols, etc., when making this decision.

Also, research what other fitness professionals are using before settling on a platform it may give you ideas or save time if someone else has already tested out the software and given feedback on its performance.

Market Your Services

A loudspeaker blasting out different social media apps

Research which social media channels are most popular with potential customers as well as any other digital marketing strategies that could benefit your business.

You should also consider creating fitness content such as workout videos or blog posts about nutrition tips that can be shared across various digital platforms.

These pieces of content can help attract more people who may be interested in using your services.

Transition Existing In-Person Clients Over to Online Clients

If you already have an established base of in-person clients, don’t worry you can still transition them over to working with you online.

Start by emailing or giving them a call to let them know that you’re now offering online personal training services.

Then, walk them through the process of setting up the technology they’ll need (e.g., webcam, microphone) and scheduling their first session.

Build an Online Training Video Library

A personal trainer recording workout videos

Create a video library featuring demonstrations of all the exercises included in your online training programs.

This will allow potential customers to understand how they should perform each exercise safely and effectively before purchasing any programs from you.

Furthermore, having detailed video workouts available allows customers to refer back when they need additional guidance while performing their workouts at home without being present physically by your side during their sessions one key benefit of virtual personal training.

Build Your Network

Building relationships with other fitness professionals in the area will help connect potential clients with your brand and give credibility to the services you offer.

Join local meet ups or events related to health and wellness topics where people might be interested in learning more about what makes your services unique compared to others in the area - this could be a great way to gain some new leads.

Additionally, fitness networking with other online personal trainers will open up opportunities such as referring clients back and forth or working together on projects which could benefit both parties financially as well as professionally!

Invest In Insurance

Invest in the right kinds of online personal training insurance to protect yourself and your clients.

Professional Liability Insurance is essential for any business dealing with the provision of advice and training, especially when running seminars and workshops for individuals.

At a minimum, you should also have General Liability Insurance, which will cover any legal liability resulting from damage to property, or from an injury picked up during your services.

It’s also a good idea to look further into Cyber Security Insurance too; this will provide coverage if your client’s confidential information is inadvertently released due to negligence on your part. It’ll help minimize the potential risk faced by both you and your clients.

Utilize Digital Tools

Screenshot of a client management software

Last but not least - don’t forget about digital tools! There are plenty of tools available online such as Virtuagym’s Complete Coaching Software which can help streamline processes like scheduling appointments or tracking payments from clients easily without having to set everything up manually (which can take time).

Digital tools can also help automate emails or alerts related to upcoming appointments/classes or send reminders regarding payment deadlines saving both yourself and customers valuable time while still keeping everyone organized.

The Advantages of Starting an Online Personal Training Business

Here are some points to consider when deciding if an online personal training business is the right move for you.

Save Money On Rent

A hand adding a coin inside a piggybank

The biggest benefit of running an online training business is that it eliminates the need for renting a place.

With an online business model, you can train clients from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection and a laptop or smartphone.

This greatly reduces your overhead costs and allows you to focus on growing your business rather than worrying about finding a physical space to train clients.

Expansion Potential

An online fitness business also gives you vast room for expansion.

You can easily add new clients, expand your service offerings, and even create digital products like eBooks or workout programs that can be sold over and over again.

This allows you to scale up quickly and reach more people with your services.

Personalized Customer Service

A happy woman seated on a chair talking on the phone

When working online, it’s much easier to provide personalized customer service than in-person training because all interactions take place digitally.

You can get feedback quickly, respond immediately, and effectively tailor plans that meet each individual client’s needs without having them come into the office every time they have questions or want updates on their progress.

Additionally, providing video calls or live sessions gives clients access to one-on-one attention without needing any additional space or resources—making it easy for both parties involved!

Easy Accessibility

With your personal training business online, all your services are available quickly and conveniently from any device with internet access.

This makes it easier for your online personal training clients to find what they need when they need it and helps ensure that they will return again.

It also makes it easier for you as a trainer because you won’t have to worry about commuting to meet each client in person; everything can be done from the comfort of your own home!

Cheaper Advertising Options

Advertising through traditional outlets such as radio or television ads can be costly.

However, with digital advertising options like social media platforms, pay-per-click campaigns, and email newsletters, marketing your online personal training services is cheaper than ever before!

Plus, these methods allow you to target specific audiences and track results more accurately than with traditional advertising methods—so you know exactly what works and what doesn’t when it comes time to invest in promoting your brand or services further down the line!

The Disadvantages of Starting an Online Personal Training Business

Starting an online personal training business isn’t all rainbows and unicorns; there are some definite drawbacks that you should be aware of before taking the plunge. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.

Technical Issues

A frustrated woman holding a phone in her hand

Technology can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to running an online business. You need to have reliable equipment and personal training software that won’t crash mid-session or fail to connect with clients.

That means investing in good tools and having a backup plan in case something does go wrong and that takes time and money.

A woman tensed with all the paperwork

Depending on where you live, there may be certain laws or regulations governing the operation of an online personal training business.

This could include needing special insurance policies, paying for permits and licenses, or even following specific protocols regarding how you store client data or conduct sessions remotely.

Be sure to research the legal requirements for your area before launching your business.

Limited In-Person Client Interaction

A personal trainer talking to his client

One of the biggest drawbacks (at least for some people) is that when working with clients virtually, there isn’t as much in-person face-to-face interaction as there would be in person which can be hard for some trainers who thrive off of building relationships with their clients through direct contact and conversations.

Moreover, without being able to see someone in person during a session, some trainers may find it harder to assess their client’s progress and offer tailored advice based on what they need at any given moment in time.

Startup Costs

A person holding a dollar bill in his hand

Another disadvantage of starting an online personal training business is the high startup costs associated with it.

You’ll need a website, online personal training software, equipment, etc. all of which can add up quickly.

Additionally, if you want to create videos or other digital content for your website or social media pages, that can also get pricey over time.

So be sure to factor in these costs when considering whether or not this type of business is right for you.

Competing with Free Options

Two people at the starting line on a race track

Let’s not forget about all those free fitness classes available on YouTube or Instagram Live.

It can be tough competing with free options when your own online services cost money so make sure you stand out by offering value beyond what people can get from these free resources.

The Future Of Online Personal Training Business

Let’s take a look at how the industry is evolving, and what this means for the future of online personal training businesses.

Corporate Wellness Programs

Employers are increasingly looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs while boosting employee morale and productivity through corporate wellness programs.

As a fitness professional, you can take advantage of this trend by offering corporate employees group classes or one-on-one sessions as part of your wellness initiatives.

These sessions can be tailored to meet each individual’s needs while also providing an effective way for employers to support employee health and wellbeing at a time when many companies are adopting a hybrid working schedule.

Pre-Recorded Workouts

With pre-recorded workouts, online trainers can offer clients an easier way to work out from home without requiring extra equipment or supervision.

While pre-recorded workouts do not provide the same level of accountability as in-person sessions do, they are still an effective way for clients to stay active and motivated during times when they may not be able to make it into a gym or studio for a session with a trainer.

Virtual Coaching Classes

Due to increased interest in virtual learning platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, virtual coaching classes have gained traction in recent years.

Online personal trainers can take advantage of these platforms by providing live coaching classes that allow clients from all over the world to participate in real-time training sessions without having to travel or commute anywhere.

This is especially useful for busy professionals who need flexible workout solutions that fit around their schedule while still getting effective results from home.

Youth Exercise Programs

As childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles become more prevalent among young people, youth exercise programs are becoming more popular.

By offering youth exercise programs tailored specifically towards children’s needs, online personal trainers can help kids learn new skills while also having fun with physical activities that keep them active and healthy.


The rising popularity of online personal training businesses presents numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs looking for creative ways to reach customers around the world without being hindered by geographical boundaries or time differences - all while providing them with quality services delivered efficiently every time.

As such, it’s important for any aspiring entrepreneur within this sector to understand both its potential benefits as well as its unique set of challenges so they can make informed decisions on how best to approach opening up shop on their own terms in order to build a sustainable business model that will stand the test of time going forward.

By following the tips outlined in this article you have set yourself up for success as an online personal trainer. All that’s left now is getting out there and doing what you love most—helping people achieve their health goals!

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Eduardo Carreras

SEO Manager

Eduardo Carreras is Virtuagym's SEO Manager. With a background in sports & fitness and over a decade of Digital Marketing experience, he approaches the health-tech industry with passion and structure alike.