Straight To Online Coaching?

Should New Personal Trainers Really Go Straight To Online Coaching?

minute read
Is being an online PT really as lucrative as it seems? Short answer: Not really. Just like everything it has it's ups and downs, so we decided to explore them.

Did you know that the Personal Training industry is experiencing a staff shortage? Not of qualified personal trainers. The shortage is in PTs who want to deliver in-person coaching.

There is an unprecedented number of newly qualified PT's going straight into online coaching without doing face-to-face first.

But there are hundreds of salaried PT roles across the country, all with warm leads, good progression, and career training opportunities. So why are these positions getting barely any applicants?

Is online coaching pulling people in with the promise of easy hours and big money?

The hard truth about online fitness coaching

Despite what some social media accounts would have you believe, you can’t set up an online coaching business from scratch and head out to Dubai the next month.

Even the most naturally-gifted, savvy online coaches spend years building a personal brand, systems, automations, marketing, and offers.

In-person PT (especially for a big brand gym) may seem less glamorous. But many of these salaried positions have leads on tap and offer structured, tried-and-tested career development opportunities.

5 reasons to consider going straight into online fitness coaching

  1. Few set up costs (but you’ll have to be confident that you know what you need)
  2. Low overheads (no facility or equipment, but think about software and systems)
  3. The potential to set your prices and make more money than in-person
  4. Less time and money on travelling
  5. Potentially more control over your working hours

7 potential pitfalls of going straight into online coaching

  1. You’ll lack real-world experience teaching technique and correcting form
  2. No experience dealing with customer disputes which may crop up in online sales
  3. No experience watching someone work through a programme and communicating programme changes with the client
  4. Relying on clients remotely following your instructions properly (with the social media posts and stories tagging you)
  5. Lack of daily informal peer support for advice and career progression
  6. Lack of structured business and career support (unless you pay for a mentor)
  7. You may feel lonely and miss being around clients or colleagues
  8. You will need to source and pay experts around tech, automation, marketing, copywriting etc

Important questions before choosing online coaching over in-person PT

We’re not saying every PT should put in time doing in-person before going online. Many coaches go straight to online and make a good career from it. But there are obvious downsides to going straight from qualification to online coaching without spending time training people face-to-face.

If online coaching really appeals to you, take off the rose-tinted specs and think about the logistics and practicalities first. After all, there’s no shortcut to success. Whether you choose to work online or in-person, it will take hard work. What are you most willing to work hard on?

  1. Think about the practical aspects of online coaching. Exactly who is your target audience. What will your offers be. How will you price, promote, sell, onboard, and run sales and marketing?
  2. What are you avoiding by not considering in-person? And what does this tell you about yourself or your approach to business?
  3. Which online coaches or business mentors are you inspired by? How much do you really know about their story – how reliable and relatable are they?
  4. Online coaching is hard work behind the scenes. Are you willing to put in the hard graft on socials, creative, content, marketing etc?
  5. Who do you have in your corner for advice, support, and practical help?

Best software for managing personal training client admin

Striive is the PT software platform that takes care of admin so you can focus on clients. See how simple it is for clients to self-manage (yes, even in person clients). Check it out with a free 14-day trial.

Not ready yet? Discover how Striive can help you here.

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