Have you ever wanted to start an online fitness coaching business? If you love all things fitness, like working out, counting your macros, and helping others do the same — this could be the perfect career for you.
Gone are the days when the only way you can offer fitness coaching is from inside the walls of a gym. As an online fitness coach, you are now able to offer personal training services completely remotely.
By the way, we’re Cass + Tee! As entrepreneurs with 20+ years of experience, certified coaches, web designers, and the founders of Lovely Impact, we love helping coaches make an impact online. The business of coaching is booming, and we help coaches every day with branding, web design, and business strategy!
In today’s article, we’re going to take a deep dive into the process of starting an online fitness coaching business. We’ll explore all the necessities, like certifications, salary expectations, naming your business, branding, setting up a website, legal aspects, and more.
Now let’s dive in!
What is an Online Fitness Coach?
Online fitness coaching usually involves using videos and sometimes live sessions in order to connect with your clients and help them undertake fitness routines. Your job will be to help them identify fitness goals, set up exercise plans that are suitable and safe, and then coach them toward meeting those goals.
Fitness coaches need to have a great understanding of the human body and how to tailor programs to suit the individuals that they work with, and doing this online can be an even bigger challenge – so you’ll need to be up to the task.
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Some online fitness coaches run group sessions, while others do one on ones, and some prefer to offer a mix.
How much do Online Fitness Coaches Make?
There’s a big difference in the amounts made by online fitness coaches, but most estimates place the average salary as being somewhere between $28,500 and $51,500. Top salaries are estimated at $99,000, but this is quite exceptional and will require a lot of effort to achieve.
A fitness coach’s hourly payments will depend a lot on the area, but most charge somewhere between $50 and $100 per hour. If you’re just beginning your business, you may want to charge less, but make sure you are on a par with the market in your area and don’t undervalue yourself.
Your best method for choosing a good rate is to look at what others in the area are charging and set your rates accordingly. The more experience you get, the more you should be able to charge per hour, which will see your profits increase.
How to Start an Online Fitness Coaching Business
Ready to start your career as an online fitness coach? Let’s go over the necessities:
Step 1: Become a Certified Online Fitness Coach
A really important aspect of becoming a great online fitness coach is getting yourself certified so that you and your clients both know you have what it takes to be a fantastic coach. There are many courses to choose from but based on our findings you might enjoy the Complete Fitness Trainer Certification, which should give you all the basics you need.
You’ll learn a lot when undertaking this course, including some of the most important exercises that you can use with your clients. You’ll discover some wonderful tips for helping your clients gain muscle and lose fat, which should lead to happy clients who see results.
You’ll also spend some time learning about human anatomy and how to assess your clients and their current fitness levels so that when you take on a new client, you can determine where they are in their fitness journey.
This will give you everything you need to ensure that you can build suitable and unique programs for your clients, and it will also ensure the clients are confident in your abilities. In unregulated industries like fitness coaching, it’s important to be able to show you are as good as you say!
Step 2: Choose Your Online Fitness Coach Business Name
Next on the list of how to start an online fitness coaching business is choosing your name. Your coaching business’s name is critical to how you are perceived by clients, so you need to choose well. It also has to be unique to your business, and express the vibe you want to express.
There are a lot of approaches that an online fitness coach can offer – so what are you looking to convey to your clients? Are you going to be a tough coach who always pushes them to go the extra mile? Are you going to be the friendly mentor that can help them feel good about themselves when they are struggling?
Think about what your clients want from you, and decide how to portray yourself.
Alternatively, your business name might be your personal name so your clients feel like they are getting to know you, and building a relationship with you.
You also need to consider the rhythm and sound of your coaching name and check it works when spoken aloud. A lot of coaches come up with clever names, only to find they don’t sound great when they try to talk about the business! So be sure to do your due diligence in ensuring your name is the right fit.
Step 3: Choose A Niche
You might not be sure how to choose a fitness coaching niche if you feel that you’ve already narrowed your business down to helping clients lose weight online – but trust us when we say that your niche can go a lot narrower than that. The more precisely you decide what you want to do, the better you will be able to make business and marketing decisions.
So, how do you find a niche? The first thing you need to do is work out what problem you are solving for your clients and how you are making their lives better. You may also want to do some research into your potential clients but focus on your strengths and your offerings first.
Next, determine exactly what your clients need from you and how you can provide this. They need help with their problems, but you can’t assist them if you haven’t identified what their specific problems are.
Once you’ve worked out who you’re helping and how, you’ll be able to identify what goals your clients have, and you’ve then got your coaching niche!
➡️ Need more inspiration? Check out our guides:
- How to choose a niche for your coaching business >>
- Freebie: Choosing Your Niche Workbook in our resource library >>
- Watch: How To Identify Your Dream Clients (And Choose A Niche) >>
Step 4: Create A Business Plan
You might think that business plans are only for financial coaches and business coaches, but as an online fitness coach, you’re going to need a great plan too. A plan will guide you when making decisions that will shape your business and should help you to slow down and make tactical choices.
Your plan is going to cover some major areas, such as:
- A mission statement
- Services you offer
- Your ideal clients and their needs
- Your unique differentiator
- Why do you want to run this business
- What your goals for the business are
You may have many of these ideas already in your head, but take the time to write them out. You will likely learn new things about yourself and about those you wish to coach, and this will give you an advantage going forward. It will also make it easier for you to express your goals to others, making you more confident in your business in the long run.
Your business plan doesn’t need to be long and you don’t have to spend hours on it, but you should take the time to do it properly. If you need to tweak it as your online fitness coaching business grows and develops, that’s fine!
How to Create a Simple Business Plan for Your Coaching Business
Unless you are applying for a loan, you do not need a traditional business plan. Do you know those crazy 300-page documents with all those charts? Yeah… those. We’re not going to make you do that!
Together, we are going to create a short, sweet, but powerful mini-coaching business plan.
Ready to get planning? Check out our in-depth guide ‘How To Create A Simple Business Plan for Your Coaching Business’ >>
✔️ Why you need a coaching business plan.
✔️ What to do before you start writing your plan.
✔️ What to include in your coaching business plan.
Step 5: Develop Your Methodology, Techniques & Tools
So, what’s next on the list of how to start an online fitness coaching business? Basically, it’s figuring out how you’re going to work with your clients and what tools you’re going to use.
It’s best to start with the methodology. You can usually figure it out by going to the end of the equation — where will your client be when you’re done with them — and working backward from there. Write down the steps you think you’ll need to help your clients take to achieve that goal, from the end to the start.
Once you’ve got an idea of your methodology, you can start working out what tools and techniques you are going to apply to help your client through all of those steps. Your fitness program needs to have a clear idea of what a standard journey looks like, even if each client gets a personalized journey.
Step 6: Create Offers and Pricing
Next, we come to a particularly tricky part of how to start an online fitness coaching business – creating packages and prices. If you’ve never coached clients before, this can be quite a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to think about the best way to help people.
Sit back and consider your sessions. What sort of packages are you excited to offer? Do you love coaching clients in one on one sessions that are just about you and your focus on them? Would you rather do joint online workshops where there’s lots of energy and everyone is motivating each other?
Use these ideas to start designing packages, and then you can think about how to price them. You will need to think about the time commitment that each of your packages will involve.
Doing group sessions can be a great way to earn a lot at once, but if your clients are getting more results from having one on one time, consider what you’d need to charge to make this happen.
Step 7: Design Your Online Fitness Coach Logo
Have you already got a great logo in mind? Coaching is one of the easier subjects to pick a logo for because if you specialize in any kinds of unique equipment or nutrition elements, you can incorporate these into your logo and give your clients hints about your business before they have even looked at its name!
Make sure you think carefully about your logo, however. You may want to use bright colors and fancy text, but make sure it’s not too gaudy or hard to decipher. Limit yourself to a maximum of 6 colors, and check how it looks if you print it in black and white, or if you make it particularly small.
Need visual inspiration? Here’s an example of one of our logo templates, Alicia . It’s vibrant, modern, and ideal for Weight Loss Coaches, Nutrition Coaches, Fitness Coaches, and Health Coaches.
Think about what sort of response your logo will trigger in your clients. Are you trying to make your business look strong, approachable, powerful – or something else? Your logo should be emotive, as well as express your niche.
➡️ Need more help? Click here for our Brand Clarity Guide >>
Step 8: Create Your Online Fitness Coach Website
The next aspect of how to start an online fitness coaching business is the website – and this is a really powerful tool for online fitness coaches, so it’s absolutely critical that you utilize it well and build it beautifully. You’ll probably never meet your clients face to face, so your website should be a top-notch experience.
See below for an example of one of our website templates for online fitness coaches:
You’re going to want to fill your coaching site with awesome content that makes clients want to work with you, but the first thing you’ll need to do is create a site map and determine where to put all the important things like the home page, your fitness videos, and your services information.
You will probably want to showcase at least some of your products and gives samples of your service on the site, so make sure you create a space suitable for doing this. There are certain details to look out for, like checking that the buffer times on videos are not excessive, or you may lose clients’ interest fast.
Remember to make sure that the videos are high quality, too; they should impress your clients and offer them true value. However, save the best of your products for those who are paying you!
➡️ Need more help? Check out these resources:
- The DIY Beginners Guide to Websites >>
- How to build your website quickly & effectively >>
- Read our guide on “How To Structure A Coaching Website” >>
Step 9: Go Legal
You might be wondering about all the “boring” parts of how to start an online fitness coaching business, and it’s time to cover those here. Let’s look at what steps you need to take before you can make your business live and start helping your clients.
There are quite a few things to do, like choosing the structure your business will operate under, and setting up an Employer Identification Number if you are likely to need one. You will also need to register your business and find out about any permits and licenses required.
You may find that in some areas, you need some kind of permit to be a fitness coach, so make sure you cover this thoroughly, especially if you are going to be coaching in multiple places. Do your research so you don’t end up getting fined for operating illegally.
Once you’ve done this, consider opening a business bank account so that you can easily channel your funds into the right place, and make sure you set aside the appropriate amount for taxes.
If you are looking to legalize your online fitness coaching business, be sure to download our LEGALLY LAUNCH IT Checklist from our resource library!
As coaches, we invest our time and energy into empowering others, helping them reach their goals. But have you thought about protecting your own business and hard work? That’s where business insurance steps in!
Insurance for coaching business owners is a policy you will pay for on a monthly or yearly basis which covers you for accidents and problems that could arise with your clients when you are coaching.
For coaches who value simplicity and straightforwardness, StartSure is a great option. They are committed to keeping insurance simple and offer comprehensive, easy-to-understand policies that coaches can make use of.
One of the challenges of getting insurance for coaching business owners is understanding how a policy actually protects you. StartSure combines expertise with technology to simplify how you get the custom-tailored coverage that you need.
Backed by Arch Insurance, StartSure offers mobile-friendly insurance options, so you have everything you need at your fingertips, and their range of policies makes them suitable for coaches in all the different niches.
Step 10: Create Your Coaching Contract
The contract is another big part of your fitness business, and while it’s important for all coaches, it’s particularly critical for personal trainers, where you could potentially face liability for injuries if you don’t have a contract in place.
You should consult with a lawyer to get a contract that is suitable for your business drawn up. It’s typically not best to use online templates, especially the ones that are free. They are not always guaranteed to be legally binding and may not protect you if something goes wrong.
Legal matters are crucial but often avoided. Practice provides free downloadable coaching contracts, expertly crafted by lawyers, including US and Canadian versions, along with sample contracts from real coaches.
It’s important to have a coaching contract signed by both you and all your clients, and if any client refuses to sign your contract, you should not work with them. That might sound dramatic, but if someone gets hurt while following your workout routines, you need to be protected!
Your contract will also cover your intellectual property and ensure the training techniques you come up with are protected.
➡️ Have more contract questions? We’ve got you covered:
Step 11: Get Your First Online Fitness Coaching Client
You might be pretty excited about this step – finding your very first coaching client is thrilling! So, how do you do it? In th beginning, you don’t need to throw a bunch of money you aren’t yet making on ads. Instead, you can try to grow your business organically.
The great news is, that there’s a lot of demand for online fitness coaches, and you may be able to use a variety of techniques to start attracting clients. One effective option is to make some free content that will attract people’s attention and then draw them to your business naturally.
You may want to set up a deal with a coach in a similar niche to create content for their site or utilize social media. Think about creating client challenges or solving a few minor problems for your clients, and you should soon have your first paying customer!
You don’t just have to stick to videos, either. Online fitness coaching is particularly geared to visuals, but you could also make some graphics showing people how to safely undertake common stretches. If you’re skilled with words, consider writing some instructions sheets or theories about weight loss instead.
➡️ Need more help? Check out these resources:
Step 12: Grow Your Online Fitness Coaching Business
So, last but not least in the process of getting your fitness business off the ground, it’s time to talk about growth. Once you’ve seen some momentum in your biz and gotten a few clients under your belt, you may want to start putting some money into advertising or using SEO to increase your clicks and engagement with your content.
If you’ve started to establish a social media presence, you can also use this to funnel more clients toward your site, and start adding more content to increase this presence.
You should measure the efficacy of the strategies you use, so you know what works and what doesn’t. If you find strategies don’t work particularly well, drop them.
Remember to develop your sales strategy according to where your clients are hanging out online. If your clients are constantly on YouTube, this is a great place to reach out to them. If they are more into TikTok or Facebook, try there instead.
Consider offering a few free courses to boost your word-of-mouth marketing too, and your name as a fitness coach could soon become more recognized.
➡️ Need more help? Learn how to advertise your coaching services online >>
Final Thoughts — Becoming An Online Fitness Coach
So there you have it, everything you need to know about starting an online fitness coaching business! We hope you found this insightful and motivating as you embark on this new journey.
As a fitness coach who shares their services online, you get to work smarter and not harder. By preserving your energy and sharing resources through your online coaching business, you could impact so much more people than if you were trying to do this work in person or from a gym.
Do you have any additional questions when it comes to learning how to start an online fitness coaching business? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!