personal training

How to Start an Online Personal Training Business: A Simple 6-Step Guide

A personal trainer recording an online session

Today, the space occupied by online personal training is bigger than ever.

Starting a personal training business from the comfort of your home is now possible, thanks to a variety of technical alternatives and personal training software.

The desire for staying healthy and fit is something that every individual possesses. Especially after the onset and repercussions of the pandemic.

So, if you’re a newly qualified trainer seeking resources to set up your training gig, look no further.

All you need to do is to follow these simple steps to start your online personal training business and convert your dreams into reality:

  1. Identify your niche
  2. Do market and competitor research
  3. Get your certifications
  4. Secure your business legally and financially
  5. Buy the necessary equipment and software tools
  6. Get clients to notice you

1. Identify your niche

The personal training industry is getting bigger by the day. In order to succeed, you need to stand out in some way to attract new clients.

You need to be aware of your target audience as it will ultimately determine the type of training regime you would be providing.

Ask the following list of questions to yourself…

1. What is your area(s) of expertise?

It may include weight training, calisthenics, HIIT, sports, endurance training, nutrition, etc.

2. Do you want to provide service to a particular group of people? Here is a potential list of people you can train:

  • People aiming for weight/fat loss
  • People aiming for healthy weight gain
  • Senior citizens
  • Middle-aged men/women
  • Working professionals with long working hours and who can allocate very little time for workouts
  • Couples
  • Body Builders
  • People with specific health issues like diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, etc.
  • Athletes(Different sports will have different training regimes)

You can classify your clients based on various categories such as age group, nature of work, activity levels, and so on.

After finding the right niche, you will discover that it helps in setting up an online personal training business. You can easily find your target audience, plan a proper workout regime and figure out what is the best way to reach them. You will be focused on being the best at what you do and for whom you do it.

Working with clients whose interests or goals align with your expertise would help you enjoy your work more. Finding your niche can also help you avoid burnout and keep you motivated throughout.

2. Do market and competitor research

A man analyzing personal training business data

To successfully create an online personal training business, it is really important to understand what your competitors are doing and what is trending in the market.

You can start by collecting data regarding the effectiveness of current practices/ marketing ideas in the industry.

Another way of gathering information could be analyzing data that has already been published. The government also offers a wealth of data and information about businesses, industries, and economic conditions.

In addition to that, you can prepare a questionnaire with the following questions to do an in-depth analysis:

  • What are the needs of potential clients?
  • How much are they willing to spend?
  • Are similar options available to customers?
  • If the answer is yes (to the above question), are they happy with the service provided?
  • If not, then what do the potential clients expect from your service?

Answers to all these questions along with proper data of age group, wealth, interests, and other information relevant to your business are also required.

The result of the above analysis will help you by:

  • Identifying problems in the field
  • Reducing risk in business
  • Making a profitable business model
  • Regulate service costs
  • Indicate who your customers are
  • Know the trends in the industry via competitor research 
  • Know the expectations of various customers

These tips will help you step on the right path and can potentially take you a step ahead of your competitors.

3. Get your certifications

Person holding a white scroll

Most personal trainers do not have the proper certifications in exercise science or exercise physiology. These certifications help classify you as an expert in that field. Hence, it is very important to have a certification in your personal training program.

You can get your certifications from renowned organizations like the AFPA (American Fitness Professionals Association). 

It is good to have a CPR(Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) certification with the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. All these organizations are recognized and accredited nationally and internationally. 

If you’re hesitant in going for that training course because of unavailability/ time constraints or simply lack the motivation to go to a training institute every day and take classes, then we’ve got good news for you. 

There are many lectures, online courses, and workshops being held all around the world which can help you get certified in your desired field of training. This will also help you edge yourself ahead of your competitors. The sky’s the limit when it comes to learning, so never stop learning and updating yourself.

4. Secure your business legally and financially

A Judge gavel

a. Get a professional liability insurance

Professional liability insurance keeps you on the safer side. It will protect you from financial losses and legal suits. Here are the best professional liability Insurance companies present in the USA. You could get in touch with them and have a look at their policies, premiums, and coverage.

b. Open a business bank account

As soon as you start accepting or spending money as your business, you should open a business bank account. Common business accounts include checking, savings, credit card, and merchant services accounts. Merchant services accounts allow you to accept all types of card transactions from your clients.

Some business owners open a business account at the same bank they use for their personal accounts. Rates, fees, and options vary from bank to bank, so you should shop around to make sure you find the lowest fees and the best benefits

5. Buy the necessary equipment and software tools

Woman Doing Yoga on Black Mat and recording it

Good functioning technical equipment is a key factor in ensuring you have a hassle-free session and provide the best experience to your clients.

Here are a basic set of gadgets or software you will need to buy:

  1. A branded laptop with over 8 GB RAM or a tablet with RAM greater than 2 GB and a screen size of over 10 inches.
  2. An internet connection can ensure a lag-free connection(preferably>7 Mbps).
  3. Training equipment depends upon the type of training you provide. It could be dumbbells, yoga mats, resistance bands, etc. 
  4. A proper setup that includes good lighting, a blank white screen background for clear visibility, a good quality camera along with a tripod for proper positioning for pre-recorded videos. All of these are available on e-commerce sites like Amazon, eBay, etc.
  5. A personal training scheduling software is a must if you want to set up an online personal training business without any problems. You will be more organized, efficient, and effective. You will be able to respond to clients quickly.

6. Get clients to notice you

Wooden Welcome Signage

It is important for the outside world to recognize your business. Here are a few ideas in which you can flex those promotional muscles:

a. Get your business listed on online marketplaces

Online marketing platforms don’t require a lot of investing, unlike other marketing platforms.

Online marketplaces like and connect personal trainers to clients. They show your profile when people search for trainers in your area, thereby increasing your chances of attracting more clients.

Some of the benefits of getting listed in such marketplaces  are summarized below:

  • It provides an additional channel to market and sells your products.
  • The platform offers reduced marketing costs coIt allows new opportunities for overseas sales – there has been noted online marketplace growth.
  • They are popular with customers and offer a convenient way to compare prices from a single source.
  • Being part of an established online marketplace provides trust between you and the client.
  • Impartial reviews of your services give new customers the confidence to choose you over others.

b. Create a Google My Business profile

Building a My Business profile with Google is a great way to increase your visibility. You will have to manage and update it regularly to generate leads and eventually pay customers from it. 

Handling over 90% of all search queries worldwide, Google dominates the search engine market. This is why it becomes increasingly important for your business to be present on this platform for higher visibility. 

For this, you can simply type “Google my Business” in the search bar and you will be redirected to the respective link where you can fill in details of your business and get listed on Google. Please make sure you have a Gmail account for the above process. You can also integrate the Reserve with Google tools for your business. This will help you convert the Google searches into bookings.

For more information, you can check out Appointy’s blog on Reserve with Google.

c. Offer a free/ low-cost initial consultation and discounts

Before jumping straight into training, it is important that you meet with your potential client in order to get a better understanding of their goals, expectations, health conditions, and physical limitations.

Your first meeting with any client is crucial. It sets the tone for your relationship with the client.

This free trial will also help you serve the client better by creating trust and making the client believe your service is the right decision.

Along with this, you can launch group membership/ couple discounts and yearly membership discounts to attract more customers.


We hope this blog helped you in acquiring in-depth information on how to start an online personal training business. You must also try to live by the following principles in order to be successful in the industry:

  • Know your traits in and out.
  • Showcase results from time to time.
  • Your energy needs to be magnetic every time you conduct training sessions
  • Inspire your clients to remain fit.
  • Be consistent with your efforts and tell your clients to do the same.

Get yourself started with these simple and easy-to-implement steps. Create your business plan at the beginning itself so that you can achieve your goals better!

Great things do not happen overnight. Keep up the hard work and I am sure you will be running a successful online personal training business in the future.

All the best!

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!