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How to Become an Online Personal Trainer

Three Stages to become an online personal trainer

If you’ve landed on this article, it's safe to assume that you want to know more about how to become an online personal trainer in the UK.

Whether you’re already a qualified PT or you’re yet to complete your personal training qualifications, this article is the ultimate guide, explaining exactly how to start your own online personal training business in 6 simple stages:

Before we get into it, find out everything you need to know about personal training courses here or check out our full course prospectus for information on OriGym’s extensive range of health and fitness qualifications.

#1 Get The Right Qualifications, Experience & Insurance For Online Personal Training

If you want to know how to become a successful online personal trainer, it’s imperative that you have the right qualifications. 

Qualifications Required to Become an Online Personal Trainer

You absolutely must have completed a:

If you don't have either of these qualifications, you can complete both as part of a Personal Training Diploma!

Wondering why you need to complete these courses? There are a number of reasons. The first is that you cannot get a job or operate as a PT without a Level 3 PT qualification, and you can't get onto a Level 3 course without first gaining your Level 2 certificate in gym instructing.

Therefore, not having both of these qualifications would prevent you from gaining the relevant experience required to become an online personal trainer.

The second issue is that, without these qualifications, you will simply not be trusted by clients- they won’t want to part with their hard-earned cash for a trainer whose skills can’t be verified or hasn't completed the necessary training.

Finally, if you were to somehow get a client, you’d be a safety liability to that client, and a financial liability to yourself, since you must be a Level 3 qualified personal trainer in order to get personal trainer insurance.

 

Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer

Study with OriGym and get qualified to become an online personal trainer

 

Choosing the right personal training course is a whole different subject, and something that we discuss in a lot more detail in our comprehensive guide to becoming a personal trainer

The key point to remember is to make sure your training provider is recognised by CIMSPA, and regulated by an Ofqual-approved national governing body, such as Focus Awards.

Having a course with this recognition and regulation ensures that you will be trained to a nationally-agreed industry standard. This provides you, the student, with confidence in your choice of course provider, but also shows your employers and clients that you have the right knowledge and training to work as a PT.

Without having a qualification that is regulated by a body like Focus Awards and recognised by CIMSPA, you will not be a 'Level 3' personal trainer.

This is why here at OriGym, all of our OriGym’s personal training courses are accredited by CIMSPA, and regulated by Ofqual, too.

Experience Required to Become an Online Personal Trainer

online personal trainer expereince needed

Once you are fully qualified with your level 2 & 3 certificates, you should have no problem securing a fitness instructor or personal trainer role in a gym.

Whilst working for somebody else in a gym might be the last thing you want to do, gaining relevant work experience will be really beneficial when it comes to starting your online business.

If you’re committed to being successful in your career, then trust us, getting practical experience as a PT is the best way to:

  • Create a good reputation
  • Build a solid client base
  • Come into your own as a personal trainer. There really is no better way to develop your skills than to put them into practice!

If you’re already working as a personal trainer in a gym, great! However, if you’re recently qualified, we recommend that you get at least 6 months experience running face-to-face sessions before you even think about becoming an online personal trainer.

Taking this time to experience what it's like to train people in person will give you a plethora of beneficial opportunities, where you can: 

  • Discover your strengths and weaknesses
  • Develop your knowledge of creating and implementing effective training programmes
  • Figure out the client demographic that you enjoy working with
  • Determine your USP 

Each of the points above enable you to identify your skill set and get a better idea of the best niche for your business - but more on that later.

Insurance Required to Become an Online Personal Trainer

become an online pt

If you’re wondering how to become an online personal trainer, take note: you absolutely should not work as a personal trainer without first becoming properly insured for the safety of your clients and yourself.

As a PT, you must have:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance

Other policies you should consider when becoming an online PT include:

  • Specific online coaching cover
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Loss of earnings insurance
  • Loss, theft or damaged equipment

Mostly, these policies are in place to ensure you’re protected financially if you should be forced to stop working due to injury or lack of equipment, as well as protecting you from liability should one of your clients injure themselves during a session.

You can get quoted on a lot of different insurance sites catering to this industry, one of which is Insure 4 Sport, where you can delve into the niche aspects of coverage packages they offer and find something that works for you.

Just click the ‘get a free quote’ button and fill out the appropriate insurance fields. 

You can learn more about what personal trainer insurance you need in this OriGym guide.

#2 Identify a Gap in the Market for your Online Personal Training Business

How to become an online personal trainer UK graphic

Once you're qualified and have some experience working in a gym, your next step should be to decide:

  • Who your potential online clients will be
  • What kind of services you want to offer them
  • How much you want to charge

Identifying each of these things can be tricky, which is why we’ve outlined 2 simple things that you can do to get a better idea of where your online business sits in the market.

#1 Consider What You’re Passionate About 

What are you truly passionate about? Perhaps you’re something of a nutritionist, or maybe you love to assemble circuits; when it comes to deciding what you want to offer and who you want your clients to be, just find what you love and lean into it!

This will attract like minded clients eager for a niche service you provide. A great way to instigate this client attraction is to equip yourself with relevant CPD courses.

There are tons of CPD courses available to fitness professionals, such as:

Not only will these courses help you to improve your knowledge of fitness and personal training, but they can also be used to help you to establish yourself as an expert for your chosen niche. For example, completing a boxing & padwork CPD would be a great idea if you wanted to target amateur boxing clients.  

Take Sydney Cummings as a case study. As an online PT working via YouTube, she’s managed to find an audience interested in something she’s passionate about- circuits.  

online personal trainer

Of course, working with YouTube instead of direct clients does not guarantee income, so you could just take the essence of what she’s doing here and apply it to your charged services.

Research Your Competitors

become an online pt graphic

Although online personal trainers do have access to a lot more clients than PTs who only run face-to-face sessions, with that increase in clients comes increased competition. 

For that reason, making it as an online personal trainer requires an effective marketing strategy and a unique selling point (USP) that really makes your business stand out.

If you want to be a successful online personal trainer, you need to provide a valuable, unique product that provides your clients with something that they can't get from your competitors.

Your USP could be something as simple as your prices, perhaps you want to become a budget online personal trainer, offering services at a lower cost than other online PTs?

Identifying this USP would require you to research your competitors. For example, you might analyse the payment infrastructure of other popular online PTs- how much do they charge and for what services? If you think you could do the same for a more affordable cost, why not do it?

In the same way, if you wanted to pursue a more specific USP, say prenatal personal training, and you noticed competitors charging more than you do for a less valuable service, you might want to consider heightening your own prices in return. 

Carrying out competitor research is essential, so check out their websites and services, look out for what they do well, and have a think about what you could do better.

#3 Build Your Online Personal Training Packages

The next step in becoming an online PT is to outline exactly what services you want to offer and draw up some onine personal training packages.

Offering more than just fitness programmes is a fantastic way to create a more lucrative online personal training business, separating you from competitors as your skills stand out. Some popular services that could make up your packages include:

  • Offering nutrition and meal plans
  • Interactive online coaching
  • Membership access to premium content 

A great example of a PT offering a variety of services is Phil Davis.

Aside from your standard online personal training classes, he offers intense muscle building- programmes and diet plans to boot.

Not only are these additional services earning him money, helping his business to thrive, they’ll also attract more clients.

Not only will he attract a niche crowd interested in a specific programme, but he’ll also catch the eyes of a wide pool of general clients who are choosing him over a competitor because he offers more than the bare minimum.  

#4 Choose The Right Platform For Your Online Personal Training Business 

When it comes to how to become an online personal trainer, you have the choice of operating from a customised website, working via social media pages, or using a combination of both!

Let’s break down how that might work.

How to Operate From a Website

There are a massive number of features you can implement on your website to communicate your services to potential clients, but it can be tricky to know where to start. 

Operating your website involves setting up vital features to attract clients passively, 

Let’s take a look at an existing, successful online PT’s site to better understand how you can use key features to operate your own site:

  • CTA Buttons

The first thing you should consider are the ‘Call To Action’ buttons on CW Fitness’s page. He operates the site with a series of buttons that link to relevant information.

For example, the ‘coaching’ button takes the user to a page breaking down the list of services he offers, enabling the user to choose a package that works for them. 

After setting this up, you just need to wait for potential clients to get in touch after evaluating your services. 

  • Contact/ Enquire Page

An enquire page is vital for operating your website successfully, as it gives potential clients a direct method of contacting you to let you know exactly what they’re after.

From there, you can schedule a consultation meeting to discuss prices and services that work for them and come to an agreement.

  • Use a Landing Page

Alternatively, if you don’t want to create an entirely new webpage, you could always just create a landing page.

Operating a landing page essentially works in the same way as a website, you just need to get yourself up and running and wait for enquiries to come in. 

A landing page is essentially a single webpage, where you can give an overview of your work and your clients’ success, and potential clients can enter enquiries and contact details. 

Landing pages are much easier to design thanks to sites such as Linktree, and they can easily be linked to or advertised via platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. 

How to Operate From Social Media

Operating a social media page is one of the best ways to:

  • Advertise your online programmes
  • Share success stories
  • Offer a contact form for potential clients

Social media pages like Facebook and Instagram are built with communication in mind- there are a number of key features integrated into the sites that you can use to outreach and promote yourself whilst operating your business page, starting with:

  • Posting Content

Operating social media pages involves posting content for interested potential clients, specifically people who’ve engaged with your profile by liking or commenting on your posts.

 

Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer

Study with OriGym and get qualified to become an online personal trainer

You can outreach to them by posting photos and updates detailing the daily goings-on of your business and services, eventually fostering a community of clients and potential clients who can tune into your online operations.

You’d need to post appropriate, relevant content that will attract clients to pay for your services, operating on these sites actively to grow your business via online engagement.

Just take a look at Coach Camara’s Instagram account: 

By posting photos and videos regularly, Camara has operated on this platform successfully enough to grow a dedicated audience over 6,000 strong, elevating his online personal training services to new heights.

#5 Secure Your First Online Personal Training Clients 

How do online personal trainers get clients? It can be tricky to get started, as you’ll need to market yourself effectively from the ground up.

To help you get started, we’ve assembled a quick list of handy tips you can use to secure your first online clients!

Tip #1 Find Effective Ways Advertise Your Business Online

Advertising your business on any scale is the key to attracting new clients, especially just as your online training business is taking off.

You don’t have to be a marketing whizz to advertise yourself online, you just need to know what tools you should use! 

For example, Google MyBusiness is a great way to get out there and attract attention.

Just by logging on with your Google profile, you can register your business to appear when people search for relative terms such as ‘online personal trainer near me’.

You can see this in action above, as businesses are highlighted clearly at the top of Google’s search results.

Not only is it an easy starting point for attracting new clients, but best of all- it’s totally free! Your online training business could be reaching dozens of potential clients within a matter of days, so put this tip into action now.

Putting out an ad online and waiting for clients to come to you is half of the process of attracting clients, the other half is reaching out to them.

Tip #2 Reach Out to Potential Clients Online

Outreaching is a vital part of getting started as an online personal trainer, enabling you to create a loyal and reliable client base.

This should be done after you’ve researched your market, then you need to just get in touch. Whether this is by messaging or calling individuals or posting your business in group pages or forums, this much is up to you. 

You should remember to highlight your skills and keep your pitch concise- people don’t want to read an essay of why you’re the best online PT around, they want to immediately understand the essentials of what you offer.

The final component of your outreaching needs to include a clear call to action- encourage them to book a free consultation and get in touch with you.

Tip #3 Offer Limited Time Discounts for New Clients

A final valuable tip is to entice clients to commit to your services by promoting a package discount. This could be something as simple as providing their first session for free, or just by reducing your price for the first few sessions.

This gives people the extra push to get started with your online coaching business when they may have otherwise glossed over the opportunity. 

Just look at Gabriel Cornwall Fitness:

His online coaching sessions operate on a reduced price for the first session, attracting clients with a considerable discount. 

#6 Scale Up Your Online Personal Training

Scaling up your online personal training enterprise is all about expansion- by this, we mean expanding your:

  • Website/ social media pages
  • Skills and qualifications 
  • Software usage

Scaling takes time and dedication to achieve success, so be sure to take the following tips on board as you seek to make your business bigger!

Tip #1 Optimise Your Website and Social Media Pages

In terms of website expansion, you should look at ways to make the user experience as friendly as possible to then lock in clients who access your site.

Consider adding dedicated pages for your different packages, and aim to make your site as a whole larger whilst also being more in-depth. 

You want to pack valuable information into these sub-pages so that the user doesn’t have to sift through irrelevant text to get to what they want to know. Take our page as an example:

As you can see with the highlighted box, these tabs each open relevant sub-pages packed with lean information. 

Even this small site expansion prevents the issue of endless, unappealing blocks of text that are indistinguishable from one another.

The site has been optimised to make the user’s experience quick and streamlined whilst also giving them everything they need to know. 

Social Media Optimisation

The idea behind optimising your social media channels is that you can grow your brand and attract new clients, allowing you to scale up your online personal training business.

In terms of social media expansion, you need to take advantage of every feature that your chosen service has to offer. 

Posting photos and status updates is one thing, but why stop there? You could expand the scope of your online personal training business by producing content with additional tools that sites like Instagram provide, such as live videos and reels.

Hosting a live video session to interact with your followers can be used in a number of creative ways, such as:

  • Hosting a Q&A session
  • Performing a live group workout 
  • Hosting a live discussion with a peer

Another great feature to use is reels- with this, you can make short form video content to entertain and inform your current followers and progressively earn new ones.

Tip #2 Implement Software into Your Online Personal Training

There are great personal trainer software options available for streamlining and scaling your online business, one of which is PT Distinction.

Software like this gives you the ability to handle more clients at a time than you could manually through an automated, streamlined system designed to save you time.

Saving valuable time dealing with administrative duties opens the door for more clients to pour in, allowing your online personal training business to grow exponentially.

Tip #3 Take Further Qualifications

This one’s pretty straightforward; the more qualifications you have, the more things you’re able to teach, meaning more clients willing to pay for your services.

You can grow your online personal training business by getting qualified in a specialist field to tap into a niche and charge more for your specialist knowledge. 

There’s a huge variety of courses you can take, such as:

You can also look at CPD (Continuous Professional Development) Courses to delve into more specific skill sets, including courses on: 

Consider taking further qualifications to stand out amidst the crowd of online PT’s and ex[and your business further. 

Before You Go!

We hope we’ve granted you the appropriate tools to start an exciting new career and answered the question, ‘how do I become an online personal trainer?’

Now get online and put your skills into action!

Have you considered taking additional qualifications to upscale your business? You should take a look at our full course prospectus and branch out your personal training skills.

Written by Harry Griffiths

Freelance Fitness Writer & Enthusiast

Harry is a freelance article writer for Origym. With a degree in creative writing at his back, he writes about all things fitness for our company blog, covering everything from exercise techniques to product reviews. A passionate weight lifter, Harry’s commitments to fitness
and wellbeing extend from behind the keyboard all the way to the gym floor.

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