If personal fitness is a central part of your life, you have talent or a background in science and nutrition, and you love to work with people, the personal training business may be for you. While most personal trainers accompany their clients to the gym, some potential clients such as frequent travelers or those who live in remote locations may only be able to use your services via the Internet. They are your market for an online personal training business.
Get certified as a personal trainer, and obtain any other professional qualifications, such as a nutrition or exercise physiology degree, that will help you provide a high quality and professional experience. This will lend credibility to your services, allow you to charge a higher rate, and ensure that the advice you give is sound.
Create a business plan. List all of the costs of starting up, including setting up your website, appointment scheduling and personal fitness tracking software, incorporation and filing fees, insurance premiums, video equipment, and marketing expenses. Also estimate how many clients you can reliably handle at a time, and how long it will take to get each of your clients.
Price your services competitively, based on your market's expectations. If you are catering to professionals who travel internationally and are available to them around-the-clock based on their time zone, you may be able to charge more than the typical gym-based fee of $60-$70 per hour.
Register or incorporate your business, and set up a business bank account and credit card. Speak to an attorney and accountant to make sure that you have the correct insurance and liability waivers, and are charging and filing taxes appropriately. Be sure to tell both of these professionals that you'll be working online and thus your clients may be located in other states and countries.
Assemble the materials you will need in order to conduct your training properly. This may include links to websites with exercise descriptions and videos such as exrx.net, books or websites that present scientifically sound nutrition advice, a full listing of exercises that can be performed outside a gym or with minimal equipment, sample training plans, and so on.
Create your website and marketing materials. Your website is your “office” as well as your advertisement, and should reflect the highest standards of quality. Fill it with information that is helpful to your clients and spend time or money ensuring that is professional, appealing and easy to use. Offer to write columns and articles for fitness websites such as Figure Athlete, and include links to your website.
Evangeline Marzec is a management consultant to small high-tech companies, and has been in the video games industry since 2004. As a published writer since 1998, she has contributed articles and short stories to web and print media, including eHow and Timewinder. She holds a Master of Business Adminstration from Thunderbird School of Global Management.