How to be an Online Personal Trainer & Stand Out From the Crowd

I love online personal training.

We have the power to change our clients’ lives no matter where in the world they might reside. Learning how to be an online personal trainer, means we have the biggest opportunity to reach more people and create more impact.

Yet most personal trainers haven’t spent years fine-tuning their online marketing skills and are unsure of how to get started.

Plus, standing out online can be truly difficult - but it doesn’t have to be.

What really matters is that you set out now to continue to learn more and to educate yourself on how to be an online personal trainer. You need to keep up with the latest techniques, ideas and skills. It is the fitness professionals who have a thirst for continuous self development in their chosen field who will go further and achieve more than the rest.

This article will show you how to be an online personal trainer, and show you tried and tested steps to help you stand out from the crowd. It will show you how to get from point A to point B.

Before digging in, as a valued reader of the blog, I’d like to extend you an invitation to my upcoming and totally free online training workshop - ‘How to Confidently Create and Grow Your Online Fitness Business’.

This workshop is for you if you want to finally create a plan that will produce real results to get you in front of your target market online and create more meaning by having the opportunity to impact more people with your expertise. This workshop is our most complete training on how to be an online personal trainer.

All you need to do to attend is click here to register your free spot.

How to be an online personal trainer

1. Set goals

Just as we set goals for our clients, you too must set realistic and achievable goals to improve your online fitness business and increase the ways in how you can help people.

We know the value of setting goals with our clients and this must not be underestimated – the same applies to you.

Set goals that will help you improve in areas where you know your knowledge needs expanding, be that online coaching, software or marketing. They should be specific, measurable, achievable and have a time frame.

What do you really need to work on? Now set a clear and actionable goal to achieve it.

By doing this you’ll know exactly where you are going and how to get there, and most importantly, you’ll know when you are really pushing yourself.

2. Become a coach

It’s time to stop seeing your role as a fitness professional starting and finishing in a gym session. That’s what an offline personal trainer does. Online personal trainers guide and support their clients at all times. This means not just overseeing their training sessions in the gym, but also working on their nutrition and lifestyle habits too.

When you are fully committed and focused on working to help your online clients on a deeper level you are opening up the potential to create incredible transformations for them. Do not miss this opportunity.

When you can impact on your clients’ lives on all these levels, and do it successfully, they will be singing your praises from the roof top.

3. Be flexible

Perhaps you enjoy bodybuilding workouts, CrossFit or endurance training – but that doesn’t mean it is right for each of your online clients. Perhaps you eat paleo, fast daily or subscribe to flexible dieting – but again, that doesn’t mean your diet is right for your online clients.

The best online personal trainers educate themselves on a whole range of different methods of training and nutrition. By having a greater number of effective tools, you can then pick the right ones for the appropriate occasion. This will ensure that you can recruit - and keep - a broader range of online clients.

Also, keep an open mind to everything you might learn or discover on how to be an online personal trainer, while also using research and experience to guide you in making the best informed choices for your online fitness business.

To learn more about online nutrition and lifestyle coaching strategies, check out our free online workshop, The Proven Nutrition Strategies of Elite Trainers

how to become and online personal trainer

4. Walk the walk

It always comes as a shock when online trainers fail to practise what they preach. Knowing what to do is not enough, you should also be ‘walking the walk’ as regards your own advice.

Your own appearance, shape and attitude should reflect to your clients that you live what you preach. You must demonstrate that your own health and wellbeing is a priority, or they might fail to believe in what you are telling them.

You don’t have to be the most ripped on Instagram, the strongest or even the smartest. Simply show the same level of commitment to your health and fitness as you expect from your online clients.

5. Be collaborative

You might have guessed already, we are not alone in this industry. Instead of seeing other online trainers as competition, use them as a means to learn from and grow.

Seek out the leaders in different niches or specialities, examine their work, their ideas and learn what they really stand for. Use this as a platform to expand your knowledge to slowly carve out your own original path and thought processes.

You should reach out to these types of people in a polite and respectful manner. Provide them with something of value before asking for their help or time.

Remember - a relationship is a two-way street.

Standing out in an overcrowded industry

A few weeks back I held an online webinar about starting fat loss. I always get a few PT’s jump on these calls, to boost their knowledge and ask me some questions too.

One PT who called in asked me a great question - “What one thing would you recommend to make someone stand out as an online personal trainer?”

My answer was simple – be yourself.

Let’s be honest, we all do the same thing here, we are helping people improve their bodies and health. Sure we might disagree with certain methods and coaching styles along the way, but to our clients, it’s all the same thing to them. They just want results.

So the only way to separate yourself from ‘the pack’ is to show your potential clients who you really are. Nobody else has the same personality as you, so by allowing this to shine through and by being who you really are, you become unique in how you connect with them.

Here’s how to do this successfully:

1. Why you

It’s important to tell people why you genuinely want to help them. This isn’t about your qualifications or past transformations with clients, but is about the sole reason why you want to share your information, help people and do what you do best.

I know how powerful and transformative good nutrition can be for every one of us, so I want to tell as many people as possible about that. That’s why I love what I do and why people should work with me.

What’s your reason?

2. Become an authority

This is where most coaches start and finish - they simply reel off what courses they have completed, seminars attended and what they are currently studying. Yes this stuff matters; you should be qualified, but it’s not going to make you overly stand out anymore.

Instead get blogging, share your knowledge and experiences. Become extremely consistent to creating great information that helps people and represents value for them.

You can blog in any way you want these days, so pick a platform that you enjoy and feel comfortable using. It can be a written blog, podcast, youtube channel or ebook series. It's totally up to you. ​

For more about how to provide value first and to become an authority, check out our article 6 Tips to Create an eBook as an Online Personal Trainer

how to become and online personal trainer

3. Share your story

This is probably one of the most difficult things to do, but sharing your own journey with health and fitness is key.

What have you previously struggled with? Where did you go wrong and what effect did this have on you?

By answering these questions and sharing it with your online network, you will find people instantly gravitate towards you. Those who can especially relate to your story will feel an immediate connection.​

4. Show your personality

What are you doing when you’re not training, eating or helping others? You are human, right? Therefore show this side of your personality too. It doesn’t always have to be strictly business talk.

If you have a particular favourite TV show, share it (mine is currently House of Cards). Or perhaps you have a weird hobby that no one would guess you’re into, so share it (mine is fly fishing).

Now you have all the key components on how to become an online personal trainer, while helping you stand out in what is undoubtedly an overcrowded industry.

It’s not about having studied for years, it’s not about inventing the next big thing – it’s about being you, and sharing that with as many people as possible.

Ready to learn more on how to be an online personal trainer?

My team and I have just finished up creating a brand new training workshop called 'How to confidently create and grow your online fitness business (even if you hate tech!)'.'

Best part? It costs you nothing. This is your official invite - all you need to do to attend is click here to register.

This workshop is for you if you want to finally create a plan that will produce real results to get you in front of your target market online and create more meaning by having the opportunity to impact more people with your expertise.

Join me and I’ll walk you through the exact steps you need to take in order to get started online and my proven strategies on how to be an online personal trainer.

Want everything you need to build a successful online platform, all in one place?

If you're a health and fitness pro who would like to learn more about creating a successful, meaningful online fitness business, check out The Exceed Masterclass

The Exceed Masterclass is your essential resource for the training, advice and support you need on how to be an online personal trainer. 

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