Starting an online fitness business is a great option for a side hustle or career change. Explore our guide to today’s fitness trends and tech to help you get started.

Image depicting a website with information on how to become an online fitness coach

If you love sport and fitness, you might have considered becoming a fitness coach or personal trainer. Doing this online has become an attractive option in recent years, but making a business out of your passion requires more than just an enthusiastic mindset. You’ll need to be able to find clients, manage your bookings, market your business, and differentiate yourself among thousands of other fitness coaches out there.

Tools like personal training software certainly help you run a business once it gets going, but it can be hard to muster up the confidence to set up your own venture in the first place.

Fortunately, now is a good time to start an online fitness coaching business. The market for health and fitness in Australia is booming. According to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, employment levels in the sport and physical recreation sector have risen substantially since 2001, and for fitness instructors, rates are set to grow by a further 6% by 2025.

On top of this, technology now allows you to work with your clients remotely, so you can deliver your personal training sessions solely via the web. Virtual workouts, which many took up during the pandemic, are now here to stay. The ability to offer remote classes expands your potential client base to a global audience, not just your neighbourhood.

Fitness technology itself has become more advanced, more popular, and more accessible. Wearable devices that record steps, heart rate, movement and all kinds of other fitness data make it easy for you and your clients to monitor progress and reach whatever fitness goals you set. Add to this emerging technology like virtual reality, and you have an exciting, fast-moving industry that’s offering consumers new ways to stay healthy.

Connected fitness devices

Even though social distancing forced us to stay at home during the pandemic, many found they could still continue their social sporting activities thanks to advances in technology. Watches and other wearable devices have been available for a while, and have long been popular with runners and swimmers who want to share their exploits on social networks. Now it’s possible to go on a bike ride with your mates without leaving your living room thanks to smart indoor bikes that connect to the internet and let you (virtually) tackle some of the world’s most scenic routes. 

Online fitness challenges

Now we can record and upload our workouts online, it’s possible to take part in challenges with anyone around the world. While Insta-bragging might not be for everyone, some healthy competition with a small group of friends can help with motivation. As an online fitness coach, you can make the most of this trend by setting challenges for your classes and even pitting your students against another team led by a different trainer.

Streaming classes

When we think of online coaching, we often think of live, one-to-one sessions held over a video call. This is certainly one approach, but an online fitness coach can reach more people and reduce their costs by recording lessons and streaming them to paying clients. There will be some upfront cost here, and you may want to consider paying more to have the lessons professionally recorded. But once you have the videos, there’s no limit to the revenue they can bring in.

How to start an online fitness coaching business in 4 steps

1. Identify what makes you stand out

Knowing your differentiators is vital for any business. Whether you’re an expert on kickboxing, yogalates, or HiiT, it makes sense to concentrate on what you do best rather than following the latest fitness fad. 

2. Find your audience

It’s possible that thousands of people worldwide could benefit from your coaching skills, but you need to reach them. Ten years ago, a fitness coach would only have access to clients in their local area. But an online fitness coach can work with anyone in the world, and social media marketing software makes it easier than ever to reach them.

3. Build your brand

For an online business, a strong brand is an important way to attract and retain clients. This goes way beyond a nice looking logo and a slick website. It involves everything from the services you provide, the prices you charge, and the experience a customer has in dealing with you. Brand management software can help you master this area of your business and website builders make it easy to develop an online presence quickly without deep technical knowledge.

4. Go get ‘em!

Now you know what you’re going to do, who your business is for, and how your business will come across online, you’re ready to start bringing in customers. Online marketing can be overwhelming, but most social networks will give you ideas to develop the content that your audience wants to see. You can also look at content marketing software if you want to step up your game in this area. Plus, there’s always the option of paid advertising on these networks, which allows you to target very specific audiences that match your profile.

And once your business is up and running, you might want to consider personal training software , which is specifically designed for businesses like yours.

What are the benefits of online fitness training software?

Personal training software is a great tool to help you run your online fitness business. It offers several features that make it easy to manage physical and online classes, handle memberships and payments, communicate with your client base, and grow your business overall.

There most important features include:

  • Appointment scheduling and management, for both in-person or online sessions.
  • Client profiles, so you can keep all the information about the people you work with in one place, including basic personal information, their fitness goals and performance, and their workout history.
  • Library functions, where you can save your workouts in document or video format and share them with your clients— especially useful for those looking to operate in the online space.

One of the major benefits of personal training software is the way it automates the everyday admin tasks, giving you more time to focus on coaching. For example, it can remind your clients about appointments and let them rearrange them without you having to lift a finger. It can also help clients stick to their goals by tracking their performance and letting them know if they’re falling short. This improves the overall experience for your trainees, which helps you retain them as clients.

In summary

The first step to becoming an online personal trainer can be the hardest, but if you’re already into fitness, you’ll be used to tough challenges. All it takes is one client, and your journey to a new business has begun.

And remember, your toolkit doesn’t stop at yoga mats, kettlebells, and punching pads. To keep your business running smoothly and growing steadily, you should consider what software you’ll need to handle day-to-day management.

Looking for personal training software? Browse our catalogue!