How to become an online personal trainer

9 min read
Take your personal training sessions online to help you increase memberships and grow your business.

Take your personal training sessions online to help you increase memberships and grow your business.

Taking your classes online with the help of TeamUp's personal training software is a great way to increase your membership and to reach a wider market to help your business grow. In this article, we explore the reasons why personal trainers are increasingly taking their sessions online and how it could be beneficial for both you and your clients. We'll also lay out the steps you need to take in order to successfully launch the online and hybrid side of your business so you can easily make this transition.

A photo of a PT's screen showing clients in an online class


Photo Credit: The PT Centre

Why are personal trainers going online?

Creating an online presence and conducting business in all shapes and forms has not only become easier, but it's also slowly becoming the norm. Long gone are the days of the workout VHS and those get fit quick DVDs are going to become equally redundant thanks to the ever more intuitive apps available to us. But why exactly are we all going online?

Post pandemic publicity

COVID-19 has been a difficult time for everyone, and due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions, gyms closed. This even affected a lot of personal trainers leading sessions outdoors so people had to get creative. Thanks to apps like Zoom, among others, training sessions could keep going and even group sessions were possible. From PTs to yoga instructors, everyone was making the most of their online tools to help keep clients active and in shape during an undeniably difficult time.

Continuing capacity limits

Now that life is gradually getting back to normal, gyms are opening up, studios are welcoming people back, and class is in session once again. However, this doesn't mean that online personal trainers are now not needed. There are still certain restrictions in some places, limiting the class capacity for sessions in gyms and studios. While this could seemingly be problematic, it actually presents an opportunity. Hybrid classes are now more and more common. You can have your legal class capacity while streaming your class live to those who either couldn't sign up or just couldn't make it to your session. Once capacity limits are a thing of the past, there's nothing to stop you from continuing with this model. Increase your membership, increase your revenue.

Get out of your local area without actually leaving it

Increasing your membership with online classes opens up a whole new world for your online personal training business. Before, you'd have to entirely rely on the local area to drum up business and find clients. Going online means you can now target clients anywhere. Your online marketing strategy no longer has to cater solely for people who can easily get to your location. Instead, people from far and wide can attend your sessions from their own living rooms.


Getting your business online

Once you've made the decision to join the online fitness community, there are several steps you need to take in order to effectively lead classes and sessions. We've put together some how to's to help you on the way to being a successful online personal trainer.

Keep reading and find out what steps you should take to get your PT business online

Get certified with an accredited association

If you haven't already, getting certified is a must. You might have years of experience working in the fitness industry and a great reputation in your local area. Your clients love your sessions and they've got their friends and family coming along as well, but for newcomers looking for a PT or fitness instructor, they want to be assured that they're signing up with someone who knows exactly what they're doing.

Getting certified doesn't have to take you years, and it doesn't have to break the bank either. By doing your research, you can find the right course with the right accredited association, some of which offer online courses so you could even look at courses further afield. These things often come full circle. Don't leap at the most expensive course. A high price doesn't automatically mean it's the best option for you. You also don't have to go with the longest course. Typically getting certified can take anything from three months to two years depending on the course type and your experience.

Create a solid online marketing strategy

Getting online clients means getting your name out into the ether that is the internet. Social media has become a lifeline for businesses, and with multiple platforms out there to choose from, you can create a wide-reaching marketing campaign to target your ideal clientele.

Posting new content demonstrating your classes and showing who you are as a personal trainer gives prospective clients the chance to see the kind of workouts they can expect. Promoting your personality is a big draw as well. Clients want to see what you are all about and decide whether you're the right fit for them.

This is equally important for you though. You want your new clients to be excited about their classes with you. The last thing they want is to have a session with a trainer who isn't quite what they're looking for, and equally, you don't want to have an online revolving door of clients. Ultimately your clients keep coming back because of you, so make the most of that in your social media accounts.

Level up with TeamUp: how the right management software will help your business grow

Make the most of easy-to-use management software

Using personal training software for your fledgling online personal training business is not only going to help you coordinate and structure your administrative needs, it's going to help you host your classes as well. You don't want to opt for generic management software though. Investing in management software specifically for fitness professionals means that every tool and feature has been built to solve problems that business owners in the fitness industry encounter daily. With TeamUp, you'll have access to a number of intuitive features specifically designed to help fitness instructors simplify their bookings, payments and hosting online classes.

Hosting online classes through your dashboard

With TeamUp, you have a fully integrated class management system that links with Zoom to automate the whole process for you - it works just like your in-person sessions too. When your members sign up for a session, they will automatically be sent a confirmation email with a link to the online class. They can also access it through the members' dashboard and their app. You can also set up reminders to go out to your members shortly before the class so your members don't miss their session. It's so easy and with minimal time spent on any admin, you will be free to grow your business and deliver incredible sessions.

Still in demand? That's why we have On Demand

Becoming an online personal trainer doesn't mean you have to host live classes all day every day. With our On Demand feature, you can allow your members to access your classes whenever they want. This option is perfect for anyone who was unable to attend your session. Whether they worked late, had a family commitment or if they're on holiday somewhere far off and exotic but still want to keep to their fitness goals, you can curate a library of content that allows your paying members to access a class wherever and whenever they like.

Enjoy the simplicity of our new Appointments feature

Running side by side with classes, Appointments is ideal for personal trainers. Whether you're running online sessions, face-to-face, or hybrid classes, Appointments is the perfect solution for one-to-one sessions and consultations. With a seamless scheduling system, you can easily create slots in your schedule for your clients to book one-to-one time with you. As well as offering the option of a one-to-one class, it is also perfect for you to arrange consultations with your new clients. Spend some time getting to know them and assessing their needs so that you can help them set achievable fitness goals before embarking on your training sessions.

No more no shows or late cancellations

In Classes/Appointments, you can do more than just schedule classes and send out reminders. You can set a cancellation period. There's nothing more infuriating for a personal trainer than planning a session for clients only for them to not show up, online or otherwise. You can set your cancellation policy in such a way that there is a cut-off time before a client would lose that session from their membership plan. You can even have a waitlist for any clients who didn't get an initial slot in one of your classes. The first client on the waitlist will automatically be booked in for the session and sent an email informing them that they have the slot. If they decide to cancel, don't panic; the next client on the list will then be added to the class.

The end of chasing payments

Our payment integrations with GoCardless, Stripe, Pay Simple, Paypal, and more mean that you no longer have to chase clients for payments. You can set up your payment policy so that clients and members have to pay for a package or class before attending. You can now avoid those awkward conversations with clients chasing up payments, and you won't lose out on revenue from late cancellations or no-shows. Creating a pre-payment plan makes your clients accountable so they are less likely to cancel or not show up to your classes.

Enjoy a more personalised customer service: we're on call to be there

Here at TeamUp we value you and helping your business grow above everything. Our customer success team know the software inside and out. Unlike many of our competitors, we offer a personalised service. What this means is a member of our team will help you set up your account when you're starting out based on the information you provide when signing up. All your customer information can be imported for you so you don't lose any of your records. If you have any doubts or issues in the future, you can book a call for a time that suits you, or simply email in for support.

Final thoughts

Expanding your business to include an online format is easy to achieve. Using intuitive software to organise your admin and host your classes will ultimately cut down the amount of work and planning you have to do, and by ensuring you have certification from an accredited association, you're offering assurance to your new members. Your online classes will also allow you to cast your net further when marketing to new customers, and help to increase the number of participants you can host in your sessions.

For more tips about taking your business online, check out our support guides here:

Setting up Zoom on TeamUp

An Overview of Classes/Appointments

An Overview of On-Demand Content

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What is the best gym management software?

What is the best gym management software?

What is the best gym management software?

What is the best gym management software?

What is the best gym management software?