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Entrepreneur, YouTube

July 20, 2023

How To Transition From In Person To Online Personal Training

We currently live in a world where it’s easier than ever to get online and say that you are accepting clients for health and fitness. But the transition from in person to online personal training can feel like a 180 difference. You’re entering a whole new profession – and in part, that’s because YOU ARE.. 

My name is Annie Miller, and I help you build a sustainable online health and fitness business without selling your soul to vanity metrics or doing sales calls. 

In this blog, you’re about to get some tough realities put in your lap about how to transition to the online space after training or working with people in person.

Prefer to learn on video? Watch the same content here on YouTube:

I am extremely biased in the fact that I think it is essential for personal trainers and health professionals to work with people in person before transitioning into the online space.

If you have already established yourself in person, but you see the potential reach, growth, and freedom that comes with the online space… I commend you for what you’ve built in person and I hope this blog helps you establish yourself in the way that you want online.

With that, entering the online space can be overwhelming.

To make your transition online easier, I highly suggest you begin establishing yourself online before you have completely left the in person side of your profession (if possible). 

Why do I suggest this? 

One, it takes time to build knowability and credibility in the online space, just like it does in person. And just because you establish yourself in person does not mean that you automatically have that credibility when you transition online. 

To some extent, you are building from Ground Zero. This doesn’t discredit any of the experience that you have – it just means that we have to learn to communicate that value you’ve already established to your new audience online.

And in my opinion, that’s the ticket.

Some people will tell you that the industry is saturated…

But does that mean that no one else should enter the industry? Should we just have no more personal trainers or nutrition coaches or registered dietitians?

NO, OF COURSE NOT! You can hear how silly that sounds.

Whether the industry is saturated or not, humans categorize. It’s something we do to make sense of things. 

And thus, people will lump you in with all the other things they perceive as personal trainers. It’s why I never wanted to call myself a personal trainer.

No shade to Globo gym trainers out there, that’s just not what I was, and I wanted to differentiate myself from that. 

That is why I called myself what I was, and still am, which is, a Strength Coach.

Regardless of what you are, I am guessing that you want to establish yourself as different from the rest of the industry. Which is a good business move, and a great place to start.

Transitioning From In Person Training to Online Training 

Begin with answering these questions: 

  • What makes you different?
  • What comes easily to you that other professionals might struggle with or don’t enjoy?
  • Are you known for your ability to motivate? 
  • Are you known for your ability to communicate? 
  • Are you known for your programming skills? 
  • Are you known for your modification skills? 
  • Are you known for marrying conditioning and strength without injury? 
  • Are you known for the way that you use minimal dose effects within your program design? 
  • Are you known for making fitness fun?

I was never the most motivating trainer… I was never going to want it for my client more than my client wanted it for themselves. 

Program design and my ability to educate clients is what made me different.

And THAT,  is exactly what I transferred into the online space. 

If you feel like you have no idea what makes you different yet, that’s okay. Don’t be discouraged. You’ll quickly find it the more often you put out content.

That brings us to the next step. 

What do you need to actually be in the online space?

There are two things you need when starting a business as a health and fitness coach in the online space. 

1. An engaged audience, who understands who you are, and what you do. 

2. An offer that you sell.

That’s it.

Obviously, you need software and a way to collect payments, but those are the logistics. 

Pick ONE Social Media Platform 

Transitioning to the online world can be one thing, distracting. Don’t try to be on all the platforms at once. Choose ONE social media platform to show up on and stick with it. 

Instagram is the popular choice because it’s where people already come for health and fitness, inspiration and education. 

It’s a platform where you can create longer form content via video if you would like to. You can also be in front of your audience on a daily basis, building relationships, and getting feedback. 

At this point in time, I do still think it is the best place to be when starting out any online space as a health and fitness professional. 

It also gives you the chance to put out content at a high frequency, giving you a higher capacity to build an audience, as well as establish your own messaging and philosophy.

Whether you consider yourself a creative or not, being in the online space requires you to be able to communicate via media. 

Embrace it as quickly as possible because you will need to develop your creative style.

Creating Your Core Offer 

As far as your offer goes, most people start with one-on-one services of some kind. 

Especially online, you need to be able to communicate the expected result with adherence to your methods, as well as what your actual method is. 

In my FitsPRO Foundations Course, we cover all of this in your offer development, and client lifespan. 

These practices allow you to be able to put on your blinders and not look at what anyone else is doing. Determine what is best for your clients and what you actually want to do with your profession. 

Selling Your Service 

The most important piece of transitioning online is ultimately, being able to sell your actual service.

For whatever reason, people get freaking weird about selling. 

Remember that, even if you are building a personal brand, you are online as a business. 

You need to sell your offer.

People need to consistently hear about it, and see it in many different lights before they purchase from you. 

So often people think that they can just get online, announce that they’re taking clients, and that they will get five applications right away… 

Only to be incredibly disappointed by the results of their one time announcement of having an offer.

In Conclusion, I Will Leave You With This: 

It’s going to take time to build an established audience who trusts you enough to give you their money.

Think about yourself as a consumer and how many people you follow on social media but have never purchased anything from. Remember THAT when you are establishing your own brand and expecting people to give you their money. 

This is also why I made the point earlier about establishing that online presence before fully transitioning online if at all possible. Because it is something that just requires reps, time, and skin in the game. 

And if you want a clear path to follow to create your dream online business, check out the FitsPRO Foundations.

Join The Discussion:

Drop in the comments below how long you have training in person before going online, or if you haven’t made the move, but want to. 

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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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