If I say the words ‘Online Coach’ you’re probably picturing a smug Trainer working 2 hours in the morning then spending the rest of the day doing as they please.
But it’s time to face reality. That’s not how it is.
Online Personal Training is hard, just as hard as working on the gym floor. If you want to be successful then you’ve got to put the hours in.
Challenges of being an online Personal Trainer
There’s no physical space to find clients
Most Personal Trainers start in a commercial gym and recruit their first client by scouting the gym floor. It’s a tried and tested method that gets results. However, as an Online Coach you don’t have the physical gym to catch people’s attention, instead it’s all virtual.
Although you might have a bigger audience online, sometimes bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. Where in a gym you might only be competing against 5-10 other trainers, online you’re against hundreds of thousands more, so it’s hard to stand out.
It’s harder to build a relationship
Another reason why online training can be a challenge is because it’s difficult to build a relationship online. In the gym clients will get to know you personally, to the client online, you’re a complete stranger. It takes a lot more to win over their trust as an online coach, therefore it might take more convincing before they sign up.
You’ve got to be a jack of all trades
Being self-employed, you have to wear a lot of hats, but this is amplified as an Online Coach. Not only do you need to be a good coach, but you also need to be able to market yourself well online via social media and other online platforms. And, you need to be a fantastic salesperson. Some of the other jobs that come with online training include:
- Content creation - editing and filming
- Writing copy for your social media and website
- Creating a sales script
- Being comfortable talking in front of a camera
Top tips to aspiring online Personal Trainers
It’s going to be difficult, but online personal training can be extremely rewarding and it’s a great way to expand your business. Here are some tips to help you get going:
Set yourself working hours
When you’re self-employed there’s a certain degree of flexibility, which is great, but you still need to set work boundaries. Otherwise you might find yourself not working enough, or working too much, both of which are bad for business.
Assign yourself working hours each week like you would with any other job and stick to them. This also stops you from responding to clients at ungodly hours when you should be relaxing.
If you can, hire help
This might not be a viable option at the start, but at some point it might be worth hiring help for certain aspects of your business. Help you could consider hiring includes:
- Virtual assistant
- Social media manager
- Another trainer
By doing so, it’ll give you the opportunity to really hone in on the coaching aspect of your job and provide a better service for clients.
Fail, rebuild and try again
You probably tell your clients that it’s about consistency and not perfection, well the same goes for your online business. If you postpone launching until everything is ‘just right’ then you’ll never start.
Begin with a basic product and trial it. Offer training at a discounted price and get as much feedback as you can from your customers. The more people you train and the more feedback you receive the more you’ll know about the business and how to improve it.
Online training is the same as any business, it’s hard at the start. It’s easy to get caught up in social media seeing Coaches working from a beach in Bali. But you can guarantee that’s not where they started. You’ll have to push extra hard at the beginning to sign up clients because they need to trust you first.
What does this mean? Getting in touch with potential clients on a daily basis, posting a constant stream of content on social media and providing the best service possible to your clients. Once you’ve built a reputation as a great online coach, enquiries will roll in.
Excel at customer service
Personal Training is a customer facing job and therefore you need to have top notch customer service skills. As an Online Coach, because you aren’t able to offer that in-person service, you need to go above and beyond to make sure your clients are happy. Like we said, it’s much harder to build a relationship online as there is less contact, some ways you can build a rapport with your clients include:
- Video call check ins
- Daily accountability messages
- Replying to their questions as soon as possible
If you’re just starting your online coaching journey, you’ve got a tough road ahead, but stick at it. Remember that it’s not a race, and with constant hard work you will reap the rewards of pivoting your business online.