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January 28, 2020

056 | Entitlement in the Online Fitness Space [follow up episode]

The FitsPRO Podcast Episode 56 Entitlement in the online fitness space with Annie Miller

[lack of humility and credentials amongst “health coaches”]

This is a short follow up episode to last week’s talk on the importance of training people in person before transitioning to the online space (focusing on the different types entitlement with coaches).

Even when I posted in my stories that I was going to touch on this topic, I was immediately flooded with DM’s from people looking forward to the conversation.

So here we are, with a deeper and more specific episode about what I see as entitlement in the online space of health and fitness.

Imma address this from two angles.

One being from newbs – trainers fresh out of certification or schooling and they want to live that financial freedom, work from anywhere, online coaching biz life…

Second being from coaches who have worked in person for five years or so, and expect to transition online, fill their client roster ASAP and be respected from the get go…

Both scenarios are REAL – I have seen and had conversations with both, and neither will lead to success. Which is why we’re here. To face facts, and do better.

Some fields and job forces require a “climb the ladder” approach.

I’d say fitness, personal training and coaching in a CrossFit box all fit into that category.

It is a field that requires experience in order to build trust – from your colleagues and potential clientele.

Who you associate with and learn from can be monumental for your success. But no matter what, YOU NEED EXPERIENCE.

And that experience might come at a cost to you – your time, FO FREE.

It’s called an internship, or apprenticeship. You gain invaluable experience, at the payment of resources, referrals, and references that do good for your name.


This – this is what is missing in the online space. We’re talking scenario one now. The newb baby coach who has little experience, resources, or a network but wants to live that online coach lifestyle.

And let’s not even get into the lack of business experience in this scenario as well. Like you’re trying to get clients with little to no actual hands on training experience and then also trying to build a business at the same time. GOOD. LUCK. It’s not wonder the lack of success is REAL.

The culture of fitness is changing and transitioning to the online space. It has been doing so for the last five years at least. You can find top notch programming and coaching services from people all over the world. It removes the ceiling for the trainers, and increases resources for the trainee.

So yes, it’s amazing.

But with this valuable online space, we must still hold a standard for new up-and-coming trainers.

The reality is, if you want TRUE success in this field, especially online, (and by “true” I mean sustainable results for your clients and income for you), you have to start at the bottom and work your way up.

Now that doesn’t need to take five years. But I do believe the more experience you get in person, working under coaches you look up to, the more success you’ll have online IF you can translate it well.

There is much to be learned after you get that certification. SO. MUCH. TO. BE. LEARNED.

And by all means, build your online platform WHILE WORKING IN PERSON! I am not saying you can’t have a voice in the online space until you’ve trained in person. What I am saying that I’d like to squash the entitlement that people should somehow trust you, and pay you money when you have built 0% reputation in the industry.

So, I’m squashing entitlement and encouraging both – GET ALL THE IN PERSON EXPERIENCE YOU CAN – while building your online platform and ALSO learning about that space. It will make your transition so much easier. And then you won’t end up like scenario #2…


The experienced coach who has little experience in the online space but knows their shit in the face to face training space tries to make the transition and hates it. They deserve respect. People should trust them. They know more than these young online coaches.

Another example of entitlement. Also won’t have success unless they LEARN THE PLATFORM and embrace the culture of the online space – whether it be Instagram or podcasts, or Facebook groups. Whatever.

If you’re old school and you’re trying to enter the online space, you’ve got to find a way to stay true to your message but also deliver it in a way that will be understood and well received by your people.

This is where the hustle of coaching in person and building clientele can help BIG TIME in the online space.

You wouldn’t move to Mexico and refuse to speak Spanish. Or maybe you would, but you wouldn’t get very far.

Same goes when transitioning from in person to online.

You’re used to how you do things in person. You’re used to being trusted. You’ve got your systems, and methodologies. Word of mouth has been your success.

Great. Now use all of that to build your online expert presence, FROM THE GROUND UP.

Don’t be like the newb and expect overnight success. You’re not the newb to training humans but you’re a newb here, building your reputation and business in the online space.

That means you have a lot of experience to gain, right? Just like you did at the beginning of your coaching career.

You will need to be open to using A LOT of trial and error. And trust that in the process, your people will hear your clear message and decide you’re worth listening to.

Say goodbye to a successful online training biz if you’re not willing to hustle in the beginning and establish your expertise + reputation.

You put in the man-hours to build your in person biz. And look, you’ve reached your ceiling. You can only help so many humans in a day, and so you see the potential online. You can help so many more people!

Prepare yourself to put in those man hours online, my friend.

Again, this is why I encourage coaches and trainers to get in the online space as soon as possible. The jump is inevitable for most. So establish your voice, content, email lists, expertise, and strategies online while you’re gaining the training experience in person.

That’s the tits in my opinion. Yes, that is what I did. Built the online side while working 40-50 hours per week in person training clients and coaching competitive cheerleading.

That allowed me to build the stability online – a following and a few clients. I learned my programming style, found ways to do online what I did in person, while still having the stability of in person income as well.

Then I dropped a few in person as I gained online clients until we left to travel the world full time in May 2018. It was a four-ish year process. So there’s some perspective for you.

Now, I will say, I could have pushed harder and made that jump a lot sooner if I had hired a biz coach or honed in on my offers like I did in mid to late 2018. But, we all have our own journeys and I certainly wouldn’t change mine.

I simply share so you can hopefully learn something from all this.

Moral of today:

Don’t be an entitled asshole of a trainer, coach or biz owner. You have to earn rapport, respect and your expert status in the online space. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without consistency.

Do both if you can – build your online audience, maybe develop an offer or take on a few clients online while still working and gaining experience in person. That typically makes for the smoothest and safest transition.

Remember that unless you’re freaking famous, your in person reputation does not translate online without you putting in the work to make it so.

Drop the ego either way, and put in the work. If you need my Instagram 101 course or FitsPRO Foundations, you know where to find them.

If you haven’t joined my main mailing list, do so here. You’ll get Annie’s Weekly Wrap + discounts for podcast listeners!

Alright fam. That’ll be the end of this topic for now.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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