How much does it cost to become an online coach?

By Johnny and Yusef

People who are interested in joining our PropaneBusiness programme will often ask us about the hidden costs of online personal training. We’re going to take you through some of the most common costs to expect as an online coach, from ads to insurance.

1. Ads

Some clients who come from other coaches might have been told that they’ll do better if they just post more on social media. Or they might end up relying on organic growth because they’re put off by the cost of advertising.

A photo of the Facebook page on a laptop screen
Done the right way, social media ad spend can be a great way to generate leads

And lots of people assume that ads are expensive because they assume they won’t get anything back.

Plenty of people choose to press “Boost” to give their posts more exposure.

But remember that without any real strategy, all you’ve really done here is pay for more eyeballs on your content.

Our own ads are designed specifically to:

  • link to a landing page
  • capture contact information
  • take leads through a funnel that we’ve already validated

A percentage of people will then choose to buy from us.

So, if done the right way, spending £100 on ads could lead to 40-60 leads opting in. A percentage of those people will then buy your programme.

This means that if you spend this amount and get just one sale, you should be more than covered.

And you can take that revenue and reinvest it again, to get more leads that convert to sales.

Done well, ads are an expense that’s attached to an immediate attributable return on investment.

But you should run your challenge organically first to validate your offer and make sure that all the moving parts are working.

Once that’s in place, you can reinvest some of the profits into a test run of your next ad budget to see whether it works with cold audiences.

As a test budget, try £10 a day for ten days to test whether you’re generating leads and clients with paid ads.

Thos who don’t end up buying from you might end up on your email list, which allows you to nurture that relationship with them so that they think of you when they’re ready to work with a personal trainer.

And the great thing is that the more people you get on your email list, the more often this will happen.

Running costs

So, we’ve covered ads. What about the other running costs for an online fitness coach?

Liability insurance

Fortunately, as an online coach, you don’t have to worry about renting a space. But you do need to think about liability insurance. This is essential for all online coaches. When we started out, we were paying around £300 a year, but this can vary as it’s revenue-based. If you’re not sure what sort of insurance you need, it’s best to arrange a call with a broker to talk this through.


You’ll need to pay for web hosting if you’re running an online coaching business. There are lots of fairly reasonable options available, ranging from almost free to around £20 a year.

The actual software you need to deliver your coaching will depend on the type of coaching you’re offering.

For your email marketing, we recommend ActiveCampaign. We offer an affiliate discount for this, and you can access this here.

In terms of delivering your online coaching, there are loads of options available, and you can read about these (including the ones we use) here.

But we’d recommend that you start with something free, and move up as needed.

A photo of someone taking cash from a wallet
Remember that spending money on software and other costs should actually be an investment that generates income

Just remember that there’s always a trade-off between time and money. And paying for a service will often make processes a lot quicker and smoother for you.

Whatever you go with, make sure it’s got the capacity to throw another 50 people in, without either:

  • Bumping you into an insane monthly cost
  • End up taking up hours of your time to tweak the programming for each of your clients

So, delivering your programme is likely to cost you up to around $50 per month.

Then you’ve got the cost of hosting, insurance, ads and software. All in all, this should come to around £100-£150 a month.

But you should also remember that all of this should be generating income for you. So, think of them more as investments than costs.

For example, the general rule of thumb with email automation software is that you should be getting £1 per email subscriber per month (so, roughly £5,000 a month if you have a list of 5,000 people who are active leads).

But remember that it’s better to have a smaller email list of engaged people than a large list of people who aren’t likely to bring any return on investment.

Ask yourself what you’d gain by paying for something

One final thing to remember is that:

  • your skills as a coach
  • your ability to market and sell your service

are not determined by:

  • which app you’re using
  • the software you have
  • how much you’re spending on subscriptions

You learn and develop these skills over time.

If you’re struggling to decide whether to pay for a particular service or piece of software, ask yourself this:

What would happen if I didn’t have it?

Maybe it will give you back hours of your time that you’re spending doing something manually, or maybe it will help you generate new leads.

And whatever you end up spending on the day-to-day running of your business, remember that your key goals are to:

  • get leads and clients
  • get results for your clients
  • provide a service they’re happy with
A photo of Jonny and Yusef, founders of Propane
Speak to one of the team to find out how we might be able to help you grow your online business

Want to know more?

Want to give ActiveCampaign a go for your email marketing? You can access an affiliate link here.

Want to know more about our own business processes at Propane? Sign up for some free online training that takes you behind the scenes of our business.

And if you’re ready to speak to one of the team about how we might be able to help you grow your online business, book in some time for a call with us.

free video guide: ⬇️

The EXACT process we used to build PropaneFitness to 15k/month: