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February 6, 2024

How to Start an Online Coaching Business in 2024

The pull to the online coaching space has been on the rise for a decade or so, but really skyrocketed due to the panorama in 2020. If you feel it is time for you to start an online coaching business this year-this blog is for you. So….

The time and money freedom seems like an easy sell. 

You’ve likely been bombarded with ads saying you too can drive this car, work from here, and shop here. Just pay me $6-10k for my cookie cutter program and the lifestyle is yours.

Fact is… it IS, MUCH easier to SELL IT than it is to achieve it. And even harder to achieve it in a SUSTAINABLE WAY.

This blog will NOT give you the fast track to success, because frankly that doesn’t exist. 

But if you feel called to the online space of health and fitness, are gritty AF, and open to doing A LOT of work…you’re simply unsure where to start…

THEEEENNNN you’ve come to the right place.

Prefer to watch on video? Watch here.

I am Annie Miller and I give you the tools you need to build a sustainable, data-backed health and fitness business without selling your soul to vanity metrics.


Fair questions. Because in my opinion, this is the MOST overwhelming time in business. So, hopefully today’s blog provides the clarity you’re looking for. 

First things first…we need to be sure you’re IN THIS.

If any of the following facts have you squirming, then let me be the honest friend that says, Susan, this might not be for you…

AND THAT’S OKAY. Because the online space is so accessible, I feel like there’s a narrative that it’s for everyone.

When in reality, it’s still just for those with an entrepreneurial mindset. And that’s not everyone.

But, I certainly hope it’s YOU. Let’s find out.

Your timeline of filling a 1:1 roster – assuming you take this route is around two years – and that’s if you have in place what we go over today. (wink)

1. You are all of the roles, and probably will be for quite some time.

2. You are the marketer, the coach, the client relations manager, the web design team, the email responder, and the sales team. 

3. You are the solver of all problems – most of which you will create for yourself.

4. It will behoove you to let go of “quick anything” – outside of getting quicker at making edits in your decision making, this is the long road.

Worth it – but make no mistake – it’s the long road.

You will need to have a social media presence – you get to decide what that presence looks like. 

When people tell me they want to be online but hate social media I am like [you sure about that]?  or 

Alriiiiigghhhtttt – AND this can be fun.

You can enjoy your business and the process of self development that it takes you through.

Let us assume that you decide to start an online coaching business and this life is indeed FOR YOU. YOU NEED THE FOLLOWING in order to get started

A) Be legally established – You’ll need to get a federal and local business license!

You do NOT have to start out as an LLC, though you certainly can.

We have a full training on this inside my FitsPRO Foundations Course. 

You’ll decide what entity makes sense for your business and then get legit.

B) Get proper certifications

Are certifications the value you provide your clients…absolutely not. 

BUT you should, from an ethics standpoint, be certified and have some level of proof that you are educated enough and possess the qualifications to take people’s money in exchange for health coaching.

Hopefully you can agree on that.

Your genetics or personal experience is NOT a certification.

There’s also a level of professionalism and “give a shit” in getting a cert – you took time to study and prepare etc. I *can* say, you take this seriously.

We could do a whole video on if certs matter or not. I digress. MOVING ON.

C) Be building or having built an audience

Hellloooooo if you want to sell something, you need people who trust you and want MORE from you.

That most often comes from an online audience who has previously taken in FREE information from you.

Which – for most of my FitsPRO’s happens on a social platform like Instagram.

Content is king. And is going to remain king for a very long time I presume.

Whether you’re working in person or starting an online coaching business straight out of the gate, social media is ALSO the long game. 

You truly can’t get started building your audience TOO SOON.

It’s going to take consistent, likely high frequency reps for you to develop your own messaging and creative process as well.

If you build your audience through content creation and communication, those are skills you’ll need to prioritize and hone in on. That relationship is best built when you have CLARITY on WHO the heck you’re creating content FOR. 

WHO are you wanting in your audience? 

Because I can tell you now, it’s not ANYONE and EVERYONE.

Get my FREE Ideal Client Avatar Creator and meet your ICA in 25 questions or less. Link is down below.

That’s all for building your audience.

Before we get into possibly the most important piece in all of this – YOUR OFFER – let me know below how long you’ve been in business for…

or if you’re training in person right now, or…

if you’re at ground zero and just interested in entering the space of health and fitness.

Have your offer established

It’s funny – a missing link for a lot of coaches is actually creating something that WORKS. 

Business and service is results and expectation driven. 

If what you do works, and changes people’s lives the way they thought it would, then it will continue to sell itself.

You need an approach or method that WORKS.

What the heck are you selling? Do you even know? If not, you’re not alone. 

Most coaches who come through my FitsPRO Foundations course have a VERY hard time creating what I call their “one-liner.”

Can you in one sentence CLEARLY paint a picture of what you do and who you do it for? 

Not the HOW – just the result you provide and who you provide it for? 

This is a step in differentiating yourself from the market. Which we won’t worry about for now.

If you’ve never laid out your offer, do it. Answer the following questions:

1. What is your method or steps? What process do you tend to take or plan to take each client through? 

Maybe there are different assessments? Application etc. Write it out.

2. What is the expected outcome? 

Within your offer, you need to have your client journey established

3. How does someone get onboarded to work with you?

Application? So you need a google sheet or typeform.

You do NOT need a full website. 

Please don’t stress – see my video on what you DON’T NEED to focus on when starting your biz if you need more on that.

4. What is the timeline they work with you for?

5. How much does it cost?

Don’t sleep on the nitty gritty here.

The more clear you are on your offer, the details, the client journey and the expectation, the more confident you’ll be in selling said offer to your greater audience.

Have some sort of payment method set up that is not Venmo

As you fill out your client journey, you’ll begin to see the tech stack you need – if there is an application, how is that sent out?

 If there is a sales call, in what time frame and how is that scheduled? You need calendly and zoom?

Are emails sent? You using an email platform for that? Convertkit, just your google GMAIL? 

And like I said, how are you collecting payment? Stripe? Business Paypal? etc

Inside FitsPRO Foundations, you create your tech stack based on YOUR needs. 

Because not every biz is the same. 

I provide a list of online resources, you do your research and choose what makes the most sense for you.

What I don’t suggest is getting on social media all willy nilly with no plan, no clarity, no ACTUAL offer created and saying “anyone want to get fit this year? I am taking on clients. DM me.”

You’re better than that. And hopefully this blog helps you in your process.

Note that I never mentioned building your email list.

However, 80% of my sales currently come through email marketing.

Fact is, you don’t NEED EMAIL MARKETING if you’re just getting started. 

I am biased and do encourage it. But if I had to choose the most ESSENTIAL tasks for you to focus on when starting out, email would just BARELY miss the cut.

Just know that email marketing IS something you’ll want to implement as you grow your audience because we ultimately want to migrate your social audience OFF of social and into your mailing list.

That’s all I got! 

This isn’t a course on actually STARTING your online coaching business, though I do offer that as well.

I hope this blog gave you some clear focus points moving forward!

Let me know below how long you’ve been in the online coaching space, and if you filled your roster, how long it took?

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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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