While some fitness professionals service their clients exclusively through online platforms, others can supplement their existing in-person fitness businesses with dedicated online training offerings. This kind of undertaking can provide busy fitness professionals with increased flexibility and thereby increase and diversify their gross earnings.
However, introspection and strategic planning are both required to design a sustainable digital training business, according to Greg McCoy, owner of Texas-based [Hidden Gym] and the presenter of Club Industry's latest free webinar.
"You really need to put on paper what your business is going to look like, what you want it to look like,” McCoy said of online training in his presentation, now available for on-demand viewing. “If you don't know what you want it to look like, it's not intentional. You're going to end up wherever you end up—not where you wanted to end up."
McCoy recommends interested trainers start by assessing their own personalities. If you’re comfortable with technology, quiet time, working remotely and designing programs then there’s a likely chance that online training is a good fit for you. Those who prefer dedicated hours and in-person interactions will be less likely to find the process fulfilling.
Next, consider your average work week and how you intend to balance in-person clients with online clients. Perhaps, in a given week, you train in-person clients for 20 hours while servicing 15 clients remotely. Every person and situation are unique, so it’s important to build out budgets and weigh various scenarios, McCoy said.
Another consideration is custom workout programs versus scalable, template-style programs. Will you be creating a unique program for every client? Or will you create a series of templates that can be scaled to almost any potential client? The former is more labor intensive but can be offered at a premium price. However, it may become sustainable to create and manage dozens of unique programs.
Lastly, you need to choose an online application through which the training will be delivered. Some trainers will prefer to utilize existing smartphone apps while others will prefer to design and distribute original documents created in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. Either way, try to tap into your clients’ sensibilities, McCoy said. What will they respond to most positively? And how will you communicate with them? McCoy recommends communicating with as many clients at once whenever possible. This could be in the form of a closed Facebook group or a Skype Q&A session.
"Start small and grow," McCoy said. "Make a priority list based on your situation. Maybe creating supporting documents is the first thing you need to work on. If you set aside three hours per week for the next three months, you're going to have a really well-built set of supporting documents."
Click here to view McCoy’s full presentation. And click here for more insights on personal training and technology from one of Club Industry’s free, in-depth reports, “The Changing World of Personal Training.”
Club Industry is continuing its Master Class Series in 2020, so stayed tuned for announcements on upcoming webinars.