Improve your business
Professional Development
From Passion to Profit: How to Become an Online Personal Trainer (A Comprehensive Guide)

From Passion to Profit: How to Become an Online Personal Trainer (A Comprehensive Guide)

Online personal training is an opportunity to unlock new potential in your fitness business—and make a lasting impact worldwide. In this article, you’ll discover the path to transforming your passion for helping others into a profitable online personal training business so you can boost your income and reach clients around the globe.


Online personal training has emerged as a game-changer in the ever-evolving fitness industry. It offers trainers the ability to break free from the confines of a traditional gym and reach a wider audience. But what exactly is online personal training? It's a virtual fitness experience that transcends geographical limitations and time constraints, bringing expert guidance and support directly to clients.

The key difference between online personal training and traditional in-person personal training lies in its flexibility and convenience. With just a few clicks, trainers can connect with clients from anywhere, at any time. Busy professionals or stay-at-home parents can fit workouts into their hectic schedules. It's a solution that caters to the needs of individuals seeking personalized fitness routines that adapt to their unique wants, needs, and preferences.

The benefits of online personal training are remarkable. For trainers, it opens up new opportunities to expand their reach and build a thriving fitness business. By leveraging technology, trainers can tap into a global market of potential clients, attracting individuals eager to embark on their fitness journey. Additionally, online personal training allows trainers to create tailored programs for clients with specific goals and different fitness levels.

Online personal training also empowers clients by making fitness more accessible and integrated into their lives. It provides the flexibility to train when and where they choose, whether through live virtual sessions, pre-recorded workout videos, or interactive training platforms. This newfound freedom allows individuals to prioritize their fitness and overcome barriers such as time constraints, location limitations, or personal circumstances.

As the fitness industry continues to embrace the digital age, online personal training presents a progressive and cost-effective business model for fitness professionals. By leveraging social media, targeted marketing strategies, and online communities, trainers can build a solid client base and establish their presence in the online fitness landscape.

In this article, we'll explore the steps to becoming an online personal trainer, discover ways to monetize this field and uncover the secrets to becoming a successful online personal trainer. Get ready to unlock the doors to a world of possibilities where your passion for fitness and entrepreneurial spirit can thrive while making a profound impact on the lives of individuals seeking guidance and support in their fitness journey.

How do online personal trainers make money?

As an online personal trainer, there are various avenues through which you can generate income. Diversifying your online services to create multiple income streams not only maximizes your earning potential but also allows you to cater to different client preferences and needs. Let's explore some of the key ways online personal trainers can make money:

1. One-on-One Coaching

  • Personalized Training Programs: Designing customized workout and nutrition plans tailored to individual client's goals and preferences.
  • Virtual Sessions: Conduct live one-on-one training sessions through video conferencing platforms, providing real-time guidance, feedback, and accountability.
  • Online Consultations: Offering virtual consultations to assess clients' fitness levels, discuss goals, and provide ongoing support and guidance.

2. Group Training

  • Virtual Group Classes: Organizing online group fitness classes, allowing multiple clients to participate simultaneously. This can include various formats such as HIIT, yoga, dance, or specialized programs.
  • Online Challenges: Creating time-bound fitness challenges that engage and motivate a group of participants. These challenges can focus on specific goals like weight loss, strength building, or overall wellness.

3. Online Courses, workout programs, and workshops

  • Specialized Training Programs: Creating and selling online courses or workshops focused on specific fitness niches, such as body weight workouts for men over 35, workouts for pre- and postnatal clients, weightlifting technique for beginners, and more. These programs provide in-depth knowledge and expertise, attracting individuals seeking to enhance their understanding and skills.
  • Digital Products: Creating and selling digital fitness products such as e-books, workout guides, meal plans, or instructional videos. These products provide clients with valuable resources they can access at their convenience.

4. Membership Programs

  • Exclusive Access: Offering premium membership programs that provide clients with exclusive content, additional support, and community engagement. Memberships can include perks like personalized coaching, access to specialized resources, and priority scheduling.

By embracing these different revenue streams, you can create a robust and sustainable online personal training business. Diversifying your income not only helps you reach a broader client base but also safeguards against potential fluctuations in demand or market conditions. Additionally, it allows you to cater to clients with varying preferences and budgets, ensuring that there is an offering suitable for everyone.

Remember, the key to success lies in providing value, building strong client relationships, and continuously evolving your offerings to meet the changing needs of your audience. By exploring these various avenues, you can establish yourself as a versatile and sought-after online personal trainer while maximizing your earning potential.

8 steps to become an online personal trainer

Building a successful and fulfilling career as an online personal trainer is about a lot more than knowing how to select sets, reps, and exercises. Here are seven actionable steps that will guide you in building your online coaching business and making a meaningful impact on your clients' fitness journey.

  1. Get certified and gain relevant experience: Start by obtaining a reputable personal training certification from organizations like the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), or the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). Having a personal trainer certification will not only provide you with a strong foundation in exercise science and equip you with the knowledge needed to train clients effectively—it’s also important for legal reasons, and it sends a message to your clients that says “I take your health seriously.” In addition to becoming a certified personal trainer, it’s also a great idea to gain practical experience by working with clients in person or shadowing experienced trainers to refine your skills.
  2. Set up your business: Before you put yourself out there and start taking clients, there are important business operations to consider—such as whether you’ll operate as a DBA or LLC, what insurance coverage you need to have in place, what to include in your personal trainer contract, and how you’ll collect payments. This may not seem like the most exciting part of becoming an online personal trainer, but by planning ahead and taking care of this stuff now, you can save yourself tons of time (and potential headaches) from trying to figure it out while managing clients.
  3. Define your niche and target audience: Identify your unique selling proposition and determine the niche you want to specialize in as an online personal trainer. Consider your expertise, interests, and the needs of your potential clients. Whether it's weight loss, strength training, postnatal fitness, or endurance coaching, choosing a niche will help you stand out and attract the right clients. (Heads up: Some people have different amounts of disposable income to allocate toward online personal training. This means who you select as your target audience can impact your pricing structure, an important consideration while choosing a niche.)
  4. Set up your online presence and marketing strategy: Establish a professional website or create a dedicated landing page that showcases your services, testimonials, and success stories. Leverage social media platforms to connect with your target audience and share valuable content. Develop a strategic marketing plan to promote your online personal training business, including paid advertisements, collaborations with influencers, and email marketing campaigns.
  5. Offer valuable content and engage with your audience: Create and share valuable content that educates, motivates, and inspires your audience. Write blog posts, record videos, or host podcasts that provide fitness tips, workout routines, nutrition advice, or mindset strategies. Engage with your audience through comments, direct messages, and live Q&A sessions. Building a community and fostering meaningful connections will establish you as a trusted authority in the online fitness space.
  6. Deliver high-quality coaching and track progress: As an online personal trainer, your success hinges on delivering exceptional coaching experiences. Design personalized training programs that align with your client's goals and preferences. Use virtual sessions to provide guidance, correct form, and offer motivation. Utilize online tools and personal training software to streamline client management and session scheduling, track client progress, assess their achievements, and make necessary adjustments to optimize their results.
  7. Build and grow your business network: Network with other fitness professionals, both online and offline, to expand your reach and collaborate on joint ventures. Attend industry conferences, join online communities, and participate in fitness events to connect with potential clients and partners. Building a strong network allows for referrals, guest appearances on podcasts or blogs, and opportunities to collaborate on projects that elevate your visibility and credibility.
  8. Stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices: The fitness industry is dynamic, with new research, trends, and best practices emerging regularly. Stay ahead by continuously educating yourself and staying familiar with industry updates. Subscribe to reputable fitness publications, follow industry experts and thought leaders on social media, and attend webinars or conferences. This commitment to staying current ensures that you can provide your clients with the latest and most effective training methods.

Remember, your journey as an online personal trainer is a continuous learning experience. Embrace opportunities for growth and invest in your professional development. By following these steps and remaining dedicated to your personal training clients' success, you'll be well on your way to becoming a successful online personal trainer. Embrace the opportunities that the digital landscape offers, and make a positive impact on the lives of individuals seeking your expertise and guidance.

6 compelling reasons why you should consider online personal training

If you’re passionate about fitness and helping others achieve their goals, becoming an online personal trainer can be a rewarding and flexible career option that transforms your life and those of your clients. Here's why you should seriously consider online personal training:

  1. Work from anywhere: Enjoy the freedom to work from home, a tropical beach, or your favorite coffee shop. As an online personal trainer, you can choose your workspace. By leveraging technology, you can connect with clients worldwide, breaking through geographical boundaries and expanding your reach.
  2. Reach a global audience: Traditional personal training is limited by location and capacity. Online personal training offers unlimited possibilities. Harness the power of the internet to reach diverse clientele from different backgrounds and cultures. This global reach fosters collaboration, cultural exchange, and the opportunity to impact lives across borders.
  3. Enjoy a flexible schedule: Design your schedule to suit your preferences and lifestyle. Online personal training provides the flexibility to manage your time effectively. Structure coaching sessions around personal commitments, achieving a harmonious work-life balance that brings fulfillment and joy.
  4. Explore your financial potential: Whether you’re interested in building a side gig or using online personal training as your full-time job, you can leverage various income streams to maximize your earning potential. With all of the various income streams available (like those covered above), expanding your client base to enjoy the financial rewards of a thriving online fitness business is only limited by your grit and creativity.
  5. Make a meaningful impact: Touch the lives of individuals worldwide through personalized coaching. Guide clients toward their fitness goals, transform their lifestyles, and improve their overall well-being. Witness their progress and success, knowing you've made a positive impact on their lives.
  6. Embrace the future of fitness: Stay ahead of the curve by embracing online personal training. Adapt to the digital landscape and position yourself as an innovative professional. Explore new training methods, leverage cutting-edge tools, and be a part of the exciting future of fitness. Plus, with the help of personal training software, you can easily track client progress, provide customized workout plans, and efficiently manage client schedules and payments. 

Start and grow your online personal training business with confidence

Becoming an online personal trainer can be a game-changer for your fitness career. With the power of technology and the internet, you can expand your reach, connect with a global audience, and achieve financial success. To make the most of your online personal training business, it's essential to leverage the right tools and technology. That's where Practice comes in.

Practice's cutting-edge customer relationship management (CRM) platform is designed specifically to support coaches and small business owners, like online personal trainers. Our all-in-one platform covers everything you need to succeed—from scheduling sessions, to safely storing client data, managing payments, sending important documents (like client contracts), and more. Even better? We provide easy-to-use templates and guided video tutorials to help you do it all like a pro. Interested in seeing what Practice can do for you? Sign up for a free trial now and start building your online personal training business today!

Free content
Client Invoice Template
Create client invoices faster with our free template.

Give your clients a simple and professional experience

Practice has scheduling, payments, client management, file storage and more — all in one place.
Try for free

Simple client management designed for teams

Delegate, collaborate, and oversee your client base across your team — without missing a step.
Learn more
Are you a coach? Take our quiz to find out if Practice is a good fit for you
Get started
Get a simple and professional experience for you and your clients
Get started
Text Link