By Sean Greeley, Special FBA Contributor

The online fitness market is booming – and expected to continue to boom until 2026. According to the industry researchers at Global Marketing Insights:

1) Online fitness training is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 30% until 2026 (that’s huge) and;
2) Individual personal training is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 34% through 2026 (that’s even bigger news for you).

What’s that mean for you? You have a great opportunity to expand your client base and income through training people online.

Many clients were forced to train online due to the global shutdowns in 2020, and many have continued to train online even after gyms have opened back up. They enjoy the convenience that training online brings, and they’re willing to pay premium prices for it.

As a fitness professional, this is great news for you. With an online fitness business, you can train more clients and double or triple your income, without having to work more hours.

This is an expanding market, and it’s not just the big tech companies selling group training, but individual personal trainers like you selling one-on-one and group coaching.

As a matter of fact, there are 4 different business models that you can leverage with an online business and you can choose the ones that fit your career and lifestyle goals. We’ve been leading hundreds of clients to grow successful online businesses in the last few years.

Here are 3 keys for you to making online training work:

1. Decide which online business training model is best for you

You won’t succeed with an unclear business model, equally unclear deliverables, and inadequate fulfillment systems. This happens because fit pros trying to ‘figure it out’ as they go, while clients suffer (clients don’t get the support needed to get the results they want). Nobody wins.

Choose the best online training model that fits your client's needs and your strengths:

  • LIVE training: “I’m with you during each training session.” This is great for beginners who lack the confidence or the discipline to get it done. Charge the same as private in-person training.
  • PROGRAMMING: “I program; you train yourself.” This is great for intermediate to advanced fitness enthusiasts or athletes. People who can get it done, but want to be told what to do and challenged/held accountable to get the best results. Charge between $200-$350.
  • HYBRID: “I program and provide additional support.” Some sessions are live and others the client does himself. This is great for intermediate/advanced who need guidance on form. Your rates here depend on how much time is included.
  • GROUP TRAINING: ‘Do the workout with me.’ This is good for beginners, intermediate, and advanced …. For people who want to have a shared experience as they work out with you. Your rates are the same as regular group training you offer.

2. Find and sign up new clients online

Too many fit pros do not clearly explain what they do and the value that they provide to the market on social media and other online platforms. Your profile is your prospective client's first interaction with you. Be professional and approachable. Make your profile about your client, not you. In just a few words, communicate:

  • The essential information about your business
  • How someone can contact you
  • Your consistent branding message and voice across all platforms.

Your PHOTO is crucial. It’s a headshot where you are up close and personal – facing the camera, well-lighted, they can see your eyes, and you are smiling. That’s welcoming and builds trust.

Post content regularly AND strategically. No random food pics, flex posts … random workout pics.  Those posts may be interesting, but they don’t move prospective clients down a path that eventually leads them to want to work with you.

You need a posting strategy aligned with your business goals.

Here are 3 types of posts that will help you build your following and grow your client base:

  • “Awareness” content. Tell people who you are and what you do for your clients. Talk about your process. Share your story: the WHY behind your business.
  • Growth or educational content. Educate people and establish yourself as a guide capable of leading your ideal client to achieve their goals.
  • Promotional content. You’ll speak to the stakes of not taking action … the best and worst case of those costs. Share success stories and testimonials.

And always have a compelling offer that you are driving people to. The next step you want them to take should always be obvious to them.

3. Create a client success system for online training

What is the best long-term marketing strategy for growing an online fitness business? A client success system!

There are 4 key components:

  1. Roadmap: Confused clients get lost, lose hope, and leave. You must make it clear (and simple) for them to see how to win and succeed with your services. Where are they now? Where are they going? How will you take them there?
  2. Delivery: Your job is to systemize your delivery of services to create a consistent high-quality experience for every client, every time. How do you create a consistent high quality experience in all the areas of Assessment, Programming, Session Delivery, Coaching, etc?
  3. Tracking: Review and track client health weekly! Have defined processes to support every client whether they’re ON TRACK, OFF TRACK, or AT RISK. What should you be tracking? How do you track it?
  4. Renewals: have a process for engaging renewal conversations. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Take the lead and support them every step of the way.


Online training is booming! Even better, online training will continue to boom well into the future. You’re not limited by geography, and you can have more flexible hours –and many of our clients end up going full-time online once they see the real opportunity that it presents..

The keys to success: Create the processes and systems you need to establish a successful business model, use social media to drive in organic leads, and be ready to lead clients to success. With those in place, you’ll be able to join those who are increasingly serving great new clients online.

Ready to build your online fitness business? Join us for a free training, “How to Launch and Grow a Successful Online Training Business in 2023.” We are hosting this training on 25 January 2023. If you are reading this after the 25th, you can register for the on-demand training and get immediate access. Register here.

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Sean Greeley, NPE Founder and CEO, has an unrelenting passion for empowering fitness entrepreneurs to create the income and lifestyle they want.

NPE delivers the #1 suite of business growth systems, tools, and coaching for fitness entrepreneurs to grow to 6-, 7-, and 8-figures. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 53,000+ fitness businesses in 96+ countries grow to the next level. NPE has been featured 8x on the Inc 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies, and has a global team based in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia.

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