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How to Become An Online Fitness Coach in 2023 [Ultimate Guide]

Last updated: May 15, 2023

Are you looking to become an online personal trainer in 2023? Fortunately, there’s never been a better time to help people get in the best shape of their lives. These days more people are working in sedentary jobs than ever before. As a result, some people may need help building an exercise routine in their spare time. In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of starting an online coaching business, how to become an online fitness coach, and tips for promoting your business.

Here’s a quick list of topics that we will cover on how to become an online coach:

What does an online fitness coach do? how to become online fitness coach

Online personal trainers help create workout plans for people looking to get in shape. As a trainer, you’ll likely have a specialty for the type of workouts you help your clients with based on your personal experience. As a result, you’ll craft workouts someone can do in their home or local gym without needing to physically be there with them as they work out. Online fitness coaches also provide motivation, diet recommendations, and modifications to workouts based on client performance. In addition, they help keep you accountable.

Benefits of starting an online fitness coaching business

1. Earn uncapped income

Being your own boss comes with perks like unlimited earning potential. You can increase your earnings as an online fitness coach by scaling your business, taking on more clients, or charging a higher rate. You can also automate aspects of your business to earn your income more passively instead of trading your time for money. For example, instead of meeting once a week for an hour, you could create a five-minute Loom video for all of your clients weekly, so they get some face time without taking up too much time of your day. You can also sell digital products such as workout programs, meal plans, and online courses in addition to your personal coaching services. Ultimately, you can scale your online fitness coaching business in many ways to earn more.

2. Improved job satisfaction

Starting your own online personal training company can mean higher job satisfaction. You set the terms of your business, can choose which clients to keep, automate processes to simplify your life, and pursue your greatest passion: fitness. If you’ve always loved working out at the gym, you can build a clientele with a similar interest which can make becoming an online fitness coach more enjoyable.

3. Flexible work-life balance

When you’re an online fitness trainer, you can plan your week in any way you’d like. If you have to pick up the kids from school at 3pm? No problem. You set your own hours. You can live in the UK and have clients in the US, especially as an online fitness coach. You don’t need to physically be at their gym to motivate people. You can give your clients online workouts to follow along with and send them messages to check in or encourage them as they complete their weekly workout programs.

4. Make a difference

A successful online personal trainer can have a positive impact on the lives of so many people. Encouraging people to live a healthy and active lifestyle can have many benefits, such as more endorphins, disease prevention, weight management, stronger muscles, and boosted brain health. Not everyone can say they make people’s lives better, but an online personal trainer can.

5. Many career choices

As you learn how to become an online fitness coach, you’ll quickly learn that there are many possible choices in the niche you could do. For example, you can be a pre-natal or post-natal fitness coach, strength and conditioning training coach, niche-specific such as marathon, CrossFit, yoga, Zumba, etc., a professional athlete coach, or a mobility and recovery coach.

How to become an online fitness coach

online personal trainer

1. Get results for yourself and others

Before you start to sell coaching services or offer online fitness coaching to new clients, you’ll want to gain social proof for your training results. Most people will hire an online fitness coach who looks how they want to. For example, they’ll want a muscular trainer if their goal is to build muscle. If you’ve achieved outstanding results in fitness, it’s time to share those results with others.

You can also reach out to friends and family members and offer your online fitness coaching to them for free. In return, they can send you before and after photos that you can share on your website and social media. If you can get results from your inner circle, you’ll quickly be able to scale to a broader audience.

2. Pick your niche

Your fitness business needs to have a specific niche it leans into. For example, in an earlier section, we shared the different types of fitness coaching niches you can choose from. For instance, if your clients want to build muscle, you can lean into strength training. If you find you attract a clientele of runners, you might help people train for a race or marathon. By focusing on a niche, you’ll be able to attract more qualified leads to your services while ensuring effectiveness as a fitness trainer.

3. Build a website with Payhip

signup on payhip

A fitness coaching business needs a website so people can find you. You can use Payhip, a digital online store that allows coaching services to train clients. You can sign-up for an account for free with only a 5% transaction fee upon purchase with no monthly subscription on the Free Forever plan.

Once you’ve logged in, you can select the coaching product to gain access to countless coaching features for your very own website including:

  • Set up custom client intake flow. You can choose whether you’d like to accept anyone as a client, or make it a requirement for clients to submit an intake form before enrolling as your client.
  • Provide multiple pricing options for your clients, such as one-time purchase, subscription, payment plan, or free.
  • Integration with Calendly and Zoom for scheduling appointments and video calls.
  • Set up multiple personalized coaching sessions through your client dashboard on Payhip.
  • Establish other revenue streams by selling other digital products such as downloadables (e.g. ebooks, printables, etc), online course, memberships, or your own merch (e.g. tshirts, etc). Payhip’s platform already includes free features for all of those digital products.
  • Accepts payment in various methods, such as PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, and more.
  • Most importantly, create fully customizable landing pages for your coaching services. You can add testimonials, an intake form, videos, images, slideshows, newsletter form, contact us form, and various other elements. payhip coaching

4. Create a marketing plan

When you build your business online, it’s so essential for personal trainers to realize the importance of having a marketing plan to get more people to sign up for their program. Your marketing plan should include daily social media posts, having an active website with weekly blog posts, an affiliate or referral program to boost word-of-mouth sales, and more.

You can send regular emails to keep your clients motivated, use HARO to do media interviews to promote yourself as an online fitness trainer, publish guest blogs on fitness sites, network with people at your local gym, or even host a live annual fitness boot camp event.

Your online training can also be promoted by teaching fitness classes, creating an 8-week program where people can lose two dress sizes, add flyers in local gyms or grocery stores, partner with nutritionists and doctors to promote your services, and more. So, if your goal is to be a personal trainer in 2023, there are plenty of ways to get noticed online.

5. Create resources for new clients

A video library on your website or in Google Drive with resources for new clients will be super helpful for your training business. For example, you could create videos on nutrition, fitness, meal plan ideas, your training process, training session videos, fitness professionals to follow online, and a compilation of all your weekly check-ins. Hosting all the resources your clients need in one place will allow clients to access essential information they need when you’re unavailable.

You can also create a video with the top ten questions people ask the most or on common challenges, such as how to deal with a weight loss plateau. In addition, you can expand your video library as you grow your business and gain more training clients to see common themes that arise.

TIP: You can monetize the access to your resource library by setting up subscriptions/memberships.

6. Create customized fitness plans for clients

You can create customized fitness plans for clients with a set of videos for them to follow along to. For example, suppose you’re creating an arm workout. You might include one-minute videos on the dumbbell bench press, dumbbell bent over row, lateral raises, tricep workout, hammer curls, and more. Creating an ab workout might include one-minute videos on sit-ups, dumbbell side bend, toe touch, leg raise, hip dip, plank, and more. You might recommend a specific dumbbell weight and several reps for your clients to push themselves to do.

It’s also common for the person training clients to give a calorie recommendation based on their weight, height, and gender. In addition, you can guide your potential clients on how to lose two pounds each week or gain muscle by following a specific workout routine you help them with.

7. Set tiered pricing plans

Most training programs are available for tiered pricing plans. You can offer your services as a fitness trainer depending on varying levels of involvement. The lowest tier might be a hands-off approach with a fitness and meal plan. A mid-tier plan might involve a weekly chat or video with an update on how you performed during the week and what changes you need to make as you go through setbacks in your training program. The highest pricing plan might be your most hands-on approach to online training. Most coaches who do online fitness programs will choose to offer this tier to beginners only as it adds more work to their plate.

The goal as a trainer is to get more mid-tier clients who require minimal work with some input. You can earn more income without doing added work by making your personal training business more passive.


Join over 130,000 sellers who have launched their online businesses with Payhip

8. Ask for feedback

In online fitness coaching, you’ll give your clients tons of feedback on their fitness routines. However, you’ll also need to ask for feedback from your clients so you can retain them for long periods. For example, you might find your online training program is too difficult for some people to fit into their daily routine, or they just aren’t amped enough to do the workouts you select for them. Asking them for feedback on how they’re enjoying the workouts, the feedback you share, and your ability to motivate them through bad weeks will only strengthen your ability to do online training successfully. So, use your weekly check-ins with clients to ask for feedback on your training program.

TIP: Ask your clients to share their feedback via a secure client dashboard to centralize all of your client communication. This is available via Payhip’s coaching feature.

online fitness coaching session

9. Improve your services

After getting feedback on your online training, adjusting your programs as an online fitness trainer will improve your client’s performance. Remember that all your clients are different and will all go through unique challenges. If one of your clients has a week where they don’t do a single workout, you might create a modified program to make it easier for them to stick with their exercises. Training sessions may be changed regularly, making those check-ins so important.

4 tips to get fitness coaching clients

online fitness coach

1. Referrals

The best way to get new fitness coaching clients is through referrals. As you build your clientele, you can ask current clients to recommend you to their friends. After all, your clients are like walking billboards of your coaching skills. If you have several clients who’ve experienced weight loss and muscle gain, they’ll likely have friends and family ask how they did it. Naturally, they’ll tell people about you as an online personal trainer.

Offering some incentive, such as a month of personal training to the person who gave the referral, might persuade them to recommend you. Alternatively, you can provide an affiliate commission, such as 10% of your monthly earnings from that new client.

2. Post before and after photos on social media

The most popular online personal trainers you can find online always have a portfolio showing their clients’ results. Asking your clients to take “before” photos before you start helping them will be so helpful for your marketing efforts. A collection of before and after pictures helps people see that you’re impactful as an online fitness coach and can help others get results (even from a distance). However, it can be hard to get those social proof photos when you’ve never had a single client. So, turn to family and friends. If you have people in your inner circle always asking you for fitness advice, tell them that you’ll happily help them for free if they’re willing to take before and after photos for your website.

3. Build a blog on your website

Having your own website as an online personal trainer is essential for promoting your services. For example, you can build an online blog to drive organic traffic for free to your website. When you offer online personal training, most of your blog posts will likely be about fitness tips, how to perform specific exercises, and general health and wellness topics. You can build up your organic traffic over time by producing two or more weekly articles, which can help you generate leads and clients for free.

4. Share your fitness knowledge via videos

Instagram and TikTok are great social media platforms for promoting your online training expertise. For example, you can create videos on the platforms where you share advice on how to burn calories, lose weight, manage your diet, and best workouts. As your clients ask you questions throughout their training, you can create videos answering those questions on social media, as others may be wondering the same thing.

Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge. When people see a successful online personal trainer sharing their expertise, they’ll likely follow you on social media and hire you when the time is right for them.

how to start an online fitness coaching business


Can you start an online fitness training business without certification?

Yes, you can! However, you need to be equipped with fitness knowledge to ensure that your guidance helps people achieve their goals without the risk of injury or harm.

Which personal training software is best?

Payhip is the best platform for hosting your personal training services. You can offer coaching services, an online course, digital downloads such as meal plans, create a membership program, and more without paying a monthly subscription, making it cost-effective for new fitness coaches.

Is online personal training profitable?

Yes, online personal training can be profitable. You can run many aspects of your business passively, especially as an online coach. About 1 in 5 personal trainers make about $75,000 annually. In addition, you can scale your business by offering physical products and selling digital downloads such as ebooks, courses, or fitness planners via Payhip.

A quick summary on how to become an online coach:

  1. Get results for yourself and others
  2. Pick your niche
  3. Build a website
  4. Create a marketing plan
  5. Create resources for new clients
  6. Create customized fitness plans for clients
  7. Set tiered pricing plans
  8. Ask for feedback
  9. Improve your services

A quick summary on how to get fitness coaching clients:

  1. Referrals
  2. Post before and after photos on social media
  3. Build a blog on your website
  4. Share your fitness knowledge via videos

Final thoughts

Becoming an online personal trainer doesn’t require any complicated personal training software. Instead, you can create a popular fitness business with an easy-to-build website using Payhip. You can promote your health and fitness company to your target audience via social media, starting an online blog, and finding a unique selling proposition. Pick a business model that gives you work-life balance as an online trainer. Don’t worry about being unable to be there in person either; virtual chats can be helpful for people who prefer to exercise at home. Plus, it’s a cost-effective way to get started.

So, if you think it’s a good idea to start an online business in the fitness industry, it’s time to create training programs, a course, and a website to help you live your dream of helping clients get in shape. In addition, consider reading our guide on how to sell fitness programs online for more ways to monetize your fitness expertise, or our guide on how to start an online coaching business for more tips on starting your online coaching business.


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