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How to be an online personal trainer in 2024

How to be an online personal trainer in 2024

If you want to learn how to be an online personal trainer or fitness coach, then you've come to the right place. Wix Fit can help you with the logistics—your website, videos, bookings and pricing plans—but there's still a lot of competition out there, so you'll need to think through your business strategy if you're going to stand out. (If you haven't moved your business online yet, check out Wix Learn to get started.)

What is online personal training?

As the name suggests, online personal training refers to any type of coaching or practice that takes place online. Online personal training has never been more popular—or customizable. You can work with clients one-on-one, in small groups or in classes that scale as large as you want. And you can stream your content live or create pre-recorded workouts. You can also opt for a hybrid fitness model, in which you offer both in-person and online sessions. The beauty of online training is the flexibility it offers fitness business owners and their clients. You can film from home, offer more variety in your classes and reach people far beyond your neighborhood.

How to be an online personal trainer

01. Determine your fitness services

If you were opening a brick-and-mortar location, you wouldn’t just say that you offer "workouts.” You’d say that you’re a yoga studio that focuses on meditation or a CrossFit gym that caters to athletes. You need to do the same when you’re creating your online personal training business. Who is your ideal client? How will you meet their needs?

02. Create a website and an app

Your fitness website is the foundation of your online presence and the heart of your fitness business. It’s the place where your customers learn more about your services, buy products, sign up for classes and access your video on-demand content. Learn how to build a fitness website that highlights your business offerings and check out the best fitness websites for more inspiration.

Keep in mind that most of your clients are on their phones for a large portion of the day, so an app is crucial to your career as an online personal trainer. Check out the Branded App by Wix to build your own app with your own branding. You can customize the look to suit your style, then build your business with stores and bookings. (Read more: Why gym owner Nicole Carlile considers her branded app a form of lockdown insurance.) Note: If a branded app isn't a fit for you at this time, you'll still be able to edit your website with the Wix app, and your clients can download the Fit by Wix app.

PWR UP, Let's Get Fit fitness website homepage

03. Highlight your certifications

Differentiate yourself from other online trainers with certifications that reflect your authority and expertise. This builds trust with your athletes and reassures them that you’re qualified. Read up on the best personal training certifications to see what works best for you. Once you pass the test, display your certification proudly on your website and in your social media bios.

04. Bring your voice to life

You probably don't think about your voice a lot in person—it just sort of comes out. But if you're going to be an online personal trainer, you'll need to think about how to translate your real-life personality digitally. What aspects of your personality do you want to highlight? Are you motivating? Funny? No BS? Work that kind of language into your website.

05. Be an all-star content creator

Production quality matters. When shooting a workout video, make sure you aren’t back-lit, angle the phone or computer so that your body is clearly visible and keep your background simple. You can use this video maker to create a variety of videos, like promo shots and longer sessions. (Read more about building your video library next.)

No matter how much experience you have as an in-person coach, transitioning to the online world can still be difficult. You can’t interact with clients in the same way, so clearly explain everything the first time around. And if you're going live or hosting a Zoom workout, write down the three most important points and practice saying them before the session, especially if you plan on introducing new moves.

The same goes for building and selling online fitness programs. Step-by-step programs are a great way to engage clients and help them meet their fitness goals. But you won't be there in person to correct form, so be very clear when programming your workouts. Read more about how to create and sell online fitness programs here.

06. Build a video library

Online personal training = video. As you create more video content, you can sell your videos or subscriptions to your videos directly on your site. You can also create a members-only section of your website, where users log in with a password to view exclusive fitness video content. Many of these sports and fitness website templates already include areas to showcase your video library.

Ananda fitness VOD library

07. Schedule wisely

People like predictability, so choose a consistent time for your live classes—and stick to it. Ideally, you want them to be when people are most free: before work (6 am to 9 am), during their lunch hour (11:30am to 1pm) or after work (5:30 pm to 8 pm). You may be able to appeal to multiple groups simultaneously, like early-risers in San Francisco and lunch breakers in New York, so look at where the majority of your clients are dialing in from and work around their schedules. (Note: Your clients can book classes directly from your site using Wix Fit's scheduling software, and you’ll be able to manage calendars, staff, attendance and clients.)

Predictability is an important part of the classes themselves. Do you always begin the warm-up as soon as the class starts? Or do you spend the first few minutes explaining the workout? Or maybe you chat for a bit and wait for late-comers to log in? Any approach is fine, but rotating through them at random will confuse and frustrate your members.

08. Get paid

You'll lose potential clients if your purchasing process is confusing and hard to navigate. And as an online personal trainer, people aren't going to pay you in person, so you'll need to accept payments on your site. To do so, you'll need to upgrade to a Wix premium plan. Then, go to Accept Payments on your site's dashboard and select the payment options you want to use.

09. Encourage connection

You'll need to go out of your way to build a fitness community online. Save time before and after class for questions, and create groups so people can connect with each other on their own. Make sure to comment on any social media posts that you're tagged in, too. And to stay connected with clients in between classes, send a fitness newsletter regularly.

10. Promote, promote, promote

If you want to be an online personal trainer, you need to be as visible as possible on social media. Instagram and TikTok are popular platforms for trainers. (More: The fitness professional's guide to using TikTok)

Some ways to build your social media presence:

  • Partner with wellness brands for more exposure

  • Create video teasers to give people a preview of your workouts

  • Post weekly to establish a regular relationship with your audience

  • Encourage clients to share their workouts on their own social media accounts

  • Add something new to the space. There are millions of yoga poses on Instagram. What makes your post unique to your brand?

  • Use Instagram Reels to increase your reach

You can try different fitness marketing strategies to see which one works best for you, but just remember that you're playing the long-game as an online personal trainer in a competitive space. Quality, on-brand posts are key for any fitness professional, on any platform.

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