If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that there’s a huge opportunity for fitness professionals to expand their business online. After all these days, people continue to look for convenient access to fitness from the comfort of their homes. And although the industry may be competitive, starting an online fitness business lets you to scale your business by tapping into new niches and expanding your clientele beyond your geographical location.
So, if you’re looking to take advantage of this growing trend, we’ve devised a list of 8 steps to get you started. Here’s what we’ll be covering if you want to skip ahead:
Why start an online fitness business?
There are many reasons to start an online fitness business, including scaling your income and reaching a wider audience. As well as expanding your offerings to new areas of interest.
For example, you can add a package that allows clients to purchase customized nutrition plans as an add-on to your on-demand workouts or monthly membership fees. Or you can run specialized workshops or weekly classes on topics of interest to your clients—the possibilities are endless!
In addition, growing your online business allows you to create a name for yourself in the industry and ultimately grow your fitness brand.
Finally, 2023 exercise trends suggest that clients continue to search for convenient and flexible access to fitness. Your online fitness business can help achieve exactly that!
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An 8 Step Guide To Starting An Online Fitness Business
Starting an online fitness business requires a bit of upfront planning, but we promise it’s well worth the effort it takes to build the business of your dreams. These 8 easy steps will get you started in no time.
# 1 Establish an audience and a niche
We won’t spend too much time on this point because we’ve nailed it home so often, but like any good business plan, it all starts with knowing your audience and establishing your niche. Because when you take the time to understand who you’re talking to, then you learn what problem you’re helping your clientele solve. And when you know what people want to solve, you can match your services to meet their needs.
When choosing a niche, we recommend starting with a broad and then niching down. Some popular broader fitness niches include:
- weight training
- CrossFit and
Once you know your broader niche, you can narrow it down even further by identifying the target audience you’d like to serve. For example, do you want to teach yoga to prenatal moms? Or would you love to help athletes build muscle and recover from sports injuries?
We recommend thinking about what excites you in the industry and the type of people you’d like to serve because it’s much easier to build a business when it’s doing something you love.
TZ TIP: Once you know who you’d like to serve, create a few customer profiles with your ideal client. A great way to do this is to think of your current top three clients. Then, write down everything you know about them, from their age to their interests and reasons for purchasing your services. These three clients will become your customer profiles of similar clients you’d like to attract.
#2 Determine a business model
When it comes to building your online business, it’s important to take the time to think about what business model you’ll use. The great news is that it’s completely up to you as an entrepreneur! Some of the most popular models include one-on-one classes, group live-stream classes and pre-recorded classes.
One-on-one classes are essentially personal training sessions online. It’s a lot like having your personal training clients in the gym. But, you can be more flexible with your schedule and reach a wider audience outside of your current geographical location.
Group live stream classes
Group live stream classes are as they sound—a group fitness class held online. Keep in mind that these classes require you to show up live to teach. The number of clients who can attend your live stream classes depends entirely on the platform you choose to stream from.
Pre-recorded or On Demand classes
Pre-recorded or on-demand classes are pre-recorded workouts you upload for clients to purchase. In this model, clients pay either a flat rate or a monthly rate to access your videos. You can also include add-ons like meal plans or 1-1 coaching sessions with you.
When choosing your business model, take the time to consider what model best helps you reach your financial and flexibility goals. And don’t be afraid to combine several models to maximize your profit and reach!
#3 Make a business plan
Once you know your niche and the types of classes you’d like to host, it’s time to create a business plan. Writing a business plan doesn’t need to be complicated, and many free downloadable templates are available online.
When creating your business plan, the most important things to consider are how much it will cost to run your business compared to the revenue you’ll bring in.
Additionally, when writing your business plan, consider your unique selling point or what it is that sets you and your services apart. Doing so will help you when it comes to building out other areas of your plan, such as your marketing strategies.
#4 Build a website
Once you have a solid business plan and a strong knowledge of who you serve, it’s time to build your website. There are several ways to do this. For example, you can build your website on a platform like Wix, Squarespace, or Go Daddy. Or, depending on your budget, you can have someone build it for you.
The most important pages to include when you’re starting are your homepage, about page and contact page.
On your homepage, you’ll put all the information you have about your services and what you do. Be sure to answer why people should train and purchase services from you.
When a business is new, people visit an about page to confirm that your company is reputable. So, it’s here where you’ll want to tell them everything about you and your experience. Don’t be afraid to bring your personal fitness journey into the mix. ITts a great way to help people relate to you.
Be sure to include a way for people to contact you, whether it’s through a fillable form that goes right to your inbox or a page with your email and contact info.
Finally, be sure to include a place where people can sign up for your fitness newsletter. It’s a great way to build an email list of new leads.
#5 Source equipment
Depending on the type of fitness classes you’ll be running, you may need some equipment—whether it’s a yoga mat, pilates reformer, weights or exercise ball. Take the time to think about all the equipment you’ll need, including a way to play music.
In addition to exercise equipment, it’s worth considering what equipment you’ll need to record your videos, including a high-quality camera and additional lighting for filming. Doing so will give your videos that added professional feel!!
# 6 Create content
Creating content is a big part of your online fitness business. From social media posts to blog posts and videos, high-quality content is one of the best ways to position yourself as an industry leader.
When creating content, don’t be afraid to keep your fitness journey at the forefront. Your audience will resonate with your wins and struggles you’ve had along the way.
Finally, the great thing about taking the time to create high-quality content is that you can repurpose it. For example, you can take a blog post and easily shorten it to a social post or even convert it into a video. For some great content ideas, start here.
# 7 Brush up on your business skills
Don’t worry; when it comes to brushing up your business skills, we’re not talking about running out and grabbing a new degree. However, understanding a few business basics, such as some bookkeeping, write-offs and how to prepare for your taxes, can go a long way in setting your business up for success from the start.
Some great people to talk to before you launch are an accountant. An accountant can help you prep, and a lawyer can make sure you have the right liability and release forms for your clients.
#8 Market your business
Once you’ve completed all the other steps in this article, it’s time to get out there and market your brand-new fitness brand! Because without marketing, there will be very few clients, so take the time to write a solid 12-month marketing plan and then get out there and promote, promote, promote!
Finally, starting an online fitness business is a fantastic way to scale your business and create financial freedom for yourself in 2023.
Trainerize can help you organize your on-demand library, keep track of leads, connect with clients and more. Download your free 30-day trial to kickstart your online business today.