As an offline Personal Trainer the biggest problem you run into as your business grows is that you cannot scale beyond a certain number of 1-1 clients.
You can’t clone yourself and therefore you’re capped out at the very most at 40ish clients. It’s rare to achieve and sustain this volume, and having this amount of clients is akin to a living hell where you spend mornings training people, afternoons (when everyone is at work) twiddling your thumbs/doing your own training, nights training the rest of your clients, and probably have a full day on the weekend too . You live your life at the gym which, whilst some people absolutely love, is not conducive to having a life outside your job.
Assuming you bill $50 per hour you take home (in the rare moments that you are home) $96’000 pre tax.
That’s nothing to sniff at all but it’s pretty easy to burn out with that intensity. And that’s the big problem with offline personal training – it’s not sustainable at high volume.
So, then you have online coaching – a method where you can leverage technology to vastly increase your ability to deliver coaching to a much larger group of clients – but what does that actually look like?
WHAT IT ISN’T
It isn’t the same as offline just delivered digitally. this is the biggest mistake personal trainers make when they try and move a portion, or all of their client base online. A lot of coaches in 2020 were forced to do this due to lockdown and this resulted in a boom for live zoom 1-1 workouts.
Zoom workouts suck! Not because you can’t deliver decent coaching through them but because they have all the downside of in person 1-1 i.e massive time constraints.
Cumbersome on-boarding where every time you get a new client you open up a fresh template and plan their next training cycle from scatch- this can be systematised and largely automated so your client can be onboarded much faster and get stuck into your programming straight away no-matter your schedule.
Posting on instagram everyday and creating cool infographics about progressive overload and hoping you become a viral sensation – this isn’t a dependable strategy. It works for some – but even the most followed coaches aren’t converting a high proportion of their following into clients.
We know all this because we have been there – read our article on all the mistakes we made building propane fitness over the last decade
WHAT IT IS
Scalable online coaching looks like an automated client acquisition system (this is possible – not easy, but possible) and a largely automated GROUP delivered service that revolves around a recurring subscription and has an average client retention of 6-8 months. The recurring is important because it allows you to increase ad spend, and pitch yourself to thousands more people than organic methods.
So what is this ‘group coaching’?
This can be an online community with space for comments and interaction where you can batch process client questions as they come in. It could be weekly q&a’s that you host with your crop of clients and answer any queries they have live on the call. It could be pre-recorded content, taking clients through your best explanations of the principles behind your training methods and coaching cues for the prescribed exercises.
The best version is a mix of all 3.
To see in detail how we have served over 4000 clients using this model follow this link to watch Jonny (Director of Propane fitness) take you through the exact way all of these concepts I have been talking about mesh together.