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Building Your Brand

How to Grow Your Online Personal Training Business (Ultimate Guide - 2024)

If you're ready to grow your online personal training business, we talk about how to do it and introduce you to the best way to deliver personal training online.

By Mighty Team

July 31, 2023

11 min read



    If you’re ready to grow your personal training business, we’re living in a time of endless possibilities. With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a huge growth in personal trainers (19% from 2021-2031), and the global training market estimated to reach $65 billion by 2033, it’s an industry with tons of opportunity.

    And taking your business online can create a whole new world of possibilities and scale.

    If you're ready to grow your online personal training business, this post will tell you how. We'll talk about how to do it and introduce you to the best way to deliver personal training online.

    If you want more support in building your online community, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for Free!


    What is an online personal training business?

    An online personal training business is one where a trainer uses a digital platform or software to offer digital products or services. Online personal training happens virtually and can be done using both synchronous and asynchronous tools. Many online personal trainers grow into products like fitness apps or branded digital products.

    How to build a fitness app

    Here are some of the common features of great online personal training businesses:

    • Discussion forums

    • Webinars

    • Video content

    • Written content and posts

    • Live events

    • 1:1 coaching

    • Live courses

    • Pre-recorded courses

    • Programs

    • Digital downloads (e.g. training plans)

    We've seen online personal training businesses from nothing to six, seven, and even eight figures.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Event Series -Body Soul Collective

    Why your online personal training business needs to grow

    Online personal training businesses can reach a lot of different points where they’re stuck and need to grow.

    Here are some of the common points where we see personal trainers get stuck and what they need to get to the next level.

    Which of these best fits your business?

    Stage 1: Need to Launch

    If this is you, you need to get your online personal training business off the ground. You might have a few ideas and some interest for some early clients, but you need to create a clear value offer and learn how to acquire customers.

    Solution: You need to define your product or service and find an ideal client.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Build a Fitness App

    Stage 2: Need stable revenue

    You've got some customers but are struggling to balance everything. You've figured out how to sell and deliver a product, but your business isn't strong enough yet to be stable.

    Solution: Focus on who you serve best and figure out how to find more of those clients.

    Stage 3: Need systems

    You've got consistent business and revenue, but you're struggling to keep all the balls in the air. You're exhausted and facing burnout, and feeling revenue leak because your products and tech are too complex.

    You need systems to help you step back and be a business owner–after all, you didn't set off to just make yourself another full-time job.

    Solution: Simplify, streamline, and automate your business and tech.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Body Soul Livestream Paired Light

    Stage 4: Need scale

    Your business is doing well and you have some raving fans, but you need to take it to the next level, learning how to serve more people. You're building better tech or using a team to scale.

    Solution: Use new tech and/or team members to serve people at scale. Get away from 1:1 and create more products.

    Pro Testimonial Slider Kula - DeviceDemo

    How to grow an online personal training business (8 strategies)

    1. Niche down

    Hard to believe, but trying to serve too many people can be your downfall. So many personal trainers building online need to find a niche.

    When you can identify a clear ideal client and you know how to serve them, you're in a position to create a profitable business.

    One of the coolest examples of this on Mighty is Martinus Evans's Slow AF Run Club. It serves "back of the pack runners," teaching them to start running for the first time. And having this clear ideal member helped Martinus’ community earn $140,000 in his first year – not to mention features in Men’s Health and the New York Times.

    Niching down to find your ideal client signals to them that you are the right person to help them. Here are a few ways to find an ideal client.

    • Search your story. Often you're best positioned to help the person you used to be. You know who that person is… talk to them.

    • Interview ideal clients to find what they are looking for and how much they're willing to pay.

    • Create a focused test offer (e.g. a webinar or event) to see if there is interest.


    2. Build flywheels, not funnels

    Popular marketing wisdom would have you believe that your job is to build a funnel. You know the drill. You start with a ton of people, filtering through a step-by-step process until you create a sale for the tiny percentage who are interested.

    Funnels have their place.

    But we are seeing a new type of business pop up that is super successful… without a funnel.

    It's called a flywheel.

    When you create content, bring your ideal clients into conversation, help them learn and grow, and then effortlessly sell to them, you've got a flywheel.

    We see it with community-based personal training businesses all the time. People join to get the benefit of a membership. But once they're in your ecosystem, they make friends, create content, ask questions, and even proactively look for new products.

    A community flywheel is such a game changer that McKinsey studied it last year and called it the business of the future.

    And it's the perfect model for an online personal training business.

    It works like this:
    Create content and value, bringing customers into conversation (either on
    social media or in an online community).

    1. Encourage conversation and engagement as clients connect with you and each other.

    2. Create a high-value product or service that meets the needs of your ideal clients–it's not hard to figure out their needs, because you've been in conversation with them.

    3. Offer it to members of your community. And don’t worry, even the ones who don't buy stay in your ecosystem and keep getting value from you until they’re ready–unlike a funnel where they probably just disappear.

    4. Learn, grow, and adapt. Keep serving and listening and you’ll see more opportunities.

    A flywheel helps if you scale effortlessly, and it brings your marketing, product, and customer experiences all into the same place.

    grow personal training business

    3. Start a community

    We’ve sort of hinted at it, but starting your own online community is one of the best ways to build a flywheel. You get your members and clients under your own brand, in your ecosystem, consuming content you create (and creating their own).

    We love communities for an online personal training business… You can bring courses, content, community, and commerce together. It’s all you need to help clients reach the next level.

    Start your own for free! Check out our community name generator to narrow down your niche and spark your creativity.

    Try Our Community Name Generator

    Our AI engine is here to help you create a community name that feels like magic. Just share a few words about who your community is for and we’ll get to work.

    Examples: coaching clients, meditation novices, vegan chefs, dog lovers, aspiring entrepreneurs, etc.

    The names generated by Mighty Co-Host™ are examples only and may be used by other businesses or subject to third-party rights. For more information, check our Terms.

    4. Choose an all-in-one

    There's a mistake we see again and again, it stops your personal training business from growing.

    If you're running a calendar app, a video platform, course software, email software, and a payment processor as separate platforms, you're living a waking nightmare.

    The best way to fix it is with the best app for personal trainers: an all-in-one platform that does everything you need.

    If you're working across multiple platforms, people will get confused and drop off–we call this community leakage.

    Get everyone in the same place with an all-in-one coaching platform that has all the native features you need, and it will simplify your life and help you grow.

    Listen to Cristy “Code Red” Nickel talk about moving her fitness business to her own app changed everything:

    5. Build scalable offers

    Building a one-on-one online personal training business can be great, but at some point you're going to run out of hours in a day.

    In order to grow your digital business, you'll need to find ways to scale your offers. Chances are, this will mean one of two things: serving more people at once or using digital products.

    For example, if you recorded a training program and offered it in a package with live instruction, you could serve more clients with less work. If you offer group coaching, you could serve multiple people at once–and maybe even offer it at a lower price point.

    Using bundles and digital products to create scale frees up more time while providing more value.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Live streaming

    6. Offer more

    You might be tempted to think business growth means attracting new clients. But surprisingly, one of the best sources of growth might be the clients you already have.

    We find that many coaches and trainers overlook the potential that's already in their flywheel. Look and listen at your existing customers, engage with your community, and you'll see plenty of opportunities for new revenue growth.

    Maybe it's a dedicated course or a high-ticket product. Maybe it's a private group session. Whatever it is, find ways to offer more to your existing clients.

    image - elearning platform

    7. Try some ad spend

    Sometimes spending on ads to acquire customers can make sense. Obviously, you'll have to figure out where this fits in your customer acquisition.

    It might mean getting some potential clients into your community flywheel. Or, you could go with a traditional funnel and move clients toward the sale.

    The two most common ways to approach ads are Google cost-per-click (CPC) or social media ads.

    • With Google CPC, you bid on a keyword that you are willing to pay for. When someone types that query into Google and clicks on your link, you pay a fee. But this can be worth it if your product generates more revenue than it costs you to get ad clicks.

    • With social media marketing, it's a little less targeted. You focus on building audiences with interests that match your business and serve them relevant ads.

    8. Focus on the right social

    Since we are on the subject of social media, let's talk about focusing on the right social media.

    Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to be on every social media channel actively to grow an online personal training business.

    Focusing on one or two platforms and learning to use them well can create more value than trying and failing to use them all. Find out where your potential clients are AND mix it with the type of content you love to create.


    For example:

    • Teaching busy execs how to squeeze personal training into their day? Try LinkedIn.

    • Doing short video demonstrations on how to do workouts? Try TikTok or YouTube (Shorts).

    • Full workout video classes? Try YouTube and/or Facebook Video

    • Inspirational pictures and quotes? Probably Instagram.

    By focusing on the social media platforms your users spend time on AND that host the content you love to create, you increase your chances of success.

    Pro homepage - testimonial section - Kula by Yoga with Adriene

    How to get clients as an online personal trainer

    Here are some of our best ideas for how to get clients as an online personal trainer:

    Grow your community: An amazing community can service the platform for your flywheel.

    Offer value on social: Many successful training businesses start from personal trainers offering value on social media–often with video.

    Create a lead magnet: Giving some of your best stuff away to get people into your ecosystem is a proven way to get new clients.

    Work your email list: If you already have people who have signed up to hear from you, that's half the battle. See if you can offer them value.

    Consider ads: If done properly, paid advertising can be an effective way to get people into your flywheel.

    Join marketplaces and message boards: There are places where people are already looking for virtual personal trainers.

    Ask for referrals: If you do great work, your existing raving clients can be the best way to get referrals to new ones.

    Host an event: Live events can be a cool way to get in front of people, show your face and woo potential clients.

    Ready to grow?

    Whatever your stage, if you’re ready to grow your personal training business to the next level, hopefully, this guide has helped. And if you’re looking for a platform to help you launch and grow a thriving online personal training business, come build with Mighty!

    Mighty Networks mixes content, courses, community, and commerce. It gives you a ton of flexible features for your training business: gated Spaces, live streaming, live & pre-recorded courses, virtual events, chat & messaging, member profiles, and more. It comes with a beautiful Mighty Networks app, but you can also launch your own branded training app when you’re ready.

    In fact, Mighty is the only platform that lets you build and own your complete flywheel, selling access and bundles in 135 different currencies. Get started free for 14 days!

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