Have you found your upper revenue limit as a personal trainer?
Everyone making their living through personal training will eventually face the same problem. To grow your business it needs to be scalable, but you only have so many waking hours to do the work. So what’s the answer?
Potential ways to increase profit might include:
● Increase prices
● Increase clients per session
● Hire trainers to run extra sessions
But, if you’re like me, you’ll see some issues with these options:
● You cannot continuously raise prices without narrowing your target market
● Increased training group sizes will mean a decrease in individual quality of service
● Outsourcing classes takes control of your brand away from you
There is a final option. It involves redirecting your efforts from your sessions into developing a completely scalable—passive—online personal training program.
You can only sell any given personal training session or class one time. When you develop an online training program, you can sell it continuously and indefinitely.
That is what I have done with my program, "12 Week Lifelong Change Program" and the success I have seen has inspired me to develop a second one called, "Scrawny to Brawny."
But it isn’t just putting what you do each week (i.e. your workouts, meals, etc.) down on paper. The development of an attractive online course has some key components that an in-person session doesn't.
You need to take all the skills and expertise you have in a particular area and put them into a document or program that works entirely independent of you.
From my experience, this can be much trickier than it sounds. So, here are 6 tips to developing a scalable and effective online training product:
Tip #1: Anticipate as Many Issues as Possible
It's inevitable, there will be problems. But they can be remedied.
The most crucial aspect of an online course is that your instructions must be crystal clear. You won’t be there to correct issues like form, so you need to stress its importance and clearly communicate correct execution.
The most efficient way to do this is to leverage free information on the internet in your package that aligns with what you want to say. For example, this is a resource I use to explain the importance of correct stretching. There is no point reinventing the wheel if someone already did the work, and did it well.
Tip #2: Get Specific About What You Offer
If you’re like me, then you believe any client can benefit from a personal training program that encourages discipline, nutrition, and exercise. If you build a program that includes these variables, you can sell it to anyone who needs help getting in shape!
For now, check that thinking at the door.
Your course needs to solve a specific problem for a specific type of person. Go too broad, and you will get lost in the crowd. But, solve one problem that a specific group of people have, and you will strike a chord (and likely strike it rich!).
For example, the course I am currently developing targets guys who feel they can never build muscle. There are many who will identify, but the pitch is specific enough to resonate with a relatively small niche. It won’t feel like another broad "Get fit now!" course that doesn't specify who it's really for.
Tip #3: Provide Security That What You’re Offering Works
People, in general, get skeptical when you ask them to part with their money. Give them a reason to believe you. Genuine testimonials are an excellent way to do this. Before and after photos are too.
However, the number one method to establish legitimacy is offering a money-back guarantee.
Many will balk at this. They say without training the client in-person, a money-back guarantee is a risk. But here is why that isn’t true:
● The majority of people are honest. If you offer them a quality product, they will not try to exploit your guarantee.
● Even if the rare customer does request a refund—you lose nothing. That's the beauty in online offers. You are replicating the same product over and over, as long as demand lasts.
People want to feel safe and have an out. But, for the majority of the world’s population, once they spend their money, they are unlikely to think too much about it. The challenge is attracting them to take the initial step, and a money-back guarantee helps soften the blow.
Tip #4:Be Prepared to Work Harder Initially
You have to work hard, but the benefits are worth it!
You will have to put time into getting the balance right between your in-person and online work.
In my experience, I found that I spent easily as much time answering the questions of my early online sign-ups as I did with my in-person bookings.
This is normal. No matter how long you spend deconstructing your course, even to the point the most inexperienced client could follow it, there will always be questions.
Make yourself available to answer these questions because internet reviews are your lifeline. Nothing fuels bad reviews more than frustrated clients. And while you respond to these questions, begin adjusting your course material, or create a FAQ page, so you don’t run into these issues again.
Before long, you’ll find the whole thing runs itself, and you can sit back, reaping the rewards.
Tip #5: Get Savvy with Web Marketing
You can do this yourself or pay someone to do it, but here are a few recommendations to ensure your course gets off the ground:
● A website with a clear conversion path: You need to make the steps between getting to your website and signing up for the course as obvious and simple as possible. This is something you should constantly monitor and adjust—educate yourself on conversion-rate-optimization and web traffic tracking tools.
● A blog on your site for topics related to your course: This will serve the dual purpose of drawing people to the site via different avenues and serving as a resource to answer frequently asked questions.
Above is an example of Dave Smith's blog, which brings in more traffic and the opportunity for more clients. Starting a blog on your site can help you accomplish the same thing, and in turn, market your online training program.
Tip #6: Leverage What You Already Have
If you’re reading this article, I assume you already have a healthy in-person training income. Nice job - You've put in the work to build an offline group of followers.
This means if you want to get your course out there, you already have a likely group of advocates in the clients already coming to your classes. Tell them about the course, and perhaps give them a free copy of the material.
A lot of my work comes in from referrals, and there is no reason why your online course cannot grow in the same way.