How to Become an Online Personal Trainer

Are you looking to become an online personal trainer? This article will cover everything you need to know about pursuing this career, including:


If you’d prefer to listen to content featured in this article we have you covered. Our dedicated YouTube channel covers this information, allowing you sit back and learn how to become an online personal trainer with ease:

If you’re ready to turn your passion for fitness into an exciting new career? Enquire about our Personal Trainer Diploma; you could be qualified in as little as 4 weeks!

About the Role of an Online Personal Trainer

Role of Online Personal Trainer

Before we break down the steps to become an online personal trainer, let’s explore the job!  

One of the biggest roles for any personal trainer online or in-person is to design and deliver bespoke training programmes to support clients in reaching their short and long-term goals.  

Depending on the service you offer as an online PT, you might also spend time performing weekly check-ins and creating marketing materials for your social media.

Online personal trainer social media

Many PTs work early mornings, evenings, and weekends to fit around clients’ schedules and complete the roles and responsibilities of a personal trainer. These hours will differ for online personal trainers, but we’ll get to that later. 

Although the average personal trainer salary is around £29,200, this varies depending on factors such as: 

  • Number of hours worked
  • Number of clients
  • Amount of experience

It can therefore be difficult to calculate an ‘average salary’, but as an online PT you will have direct control over how much you charge, as you will be setting your prices. 

Step 1: Establish What Qualifications You Need to Become an Online Personal Trainer

Become an Online Personal Trainer Qualifications

To become a personal trainer online in the UK, two qualifications are required:

Once completing these courses, you will:

Level 2 Fitness Instructor course: Qualify as a Fitness Instructor and have the necessary prerequisites to progress onto a Level 3 Personal Trainer course. If you already have a Level 2 qualification, you can jump straight in with a Level 3 course.

Level 3 Personal Trainer course: Become a fully qualified Personal Trainer, with all the necessary skills and knowledge required for designing & delivering bespoke training programmes and working with clients on a 1-on-1 basis.

personal trainer online clients

If you don’t already have either of the above qualificaitons, the most affordable and quickest way to become an online personal trainer by completing a Personal Training Diploma, which combines both the Level 2 and Level 3 courses.

Whatever route you course you decide on, you must check that any course you do is regulated by an Ofqual-approved awarding body such as Focus Awards. If you’re keen to find the highest quality course, you should also look out for CIMSPA-endorsement.

CIMSPA is the professional body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector. They ensure fitness professionals qualify with a high level of knowledge by working with awarding bodies and course providers.

Ofqual is responsible for regulating England’s vocational qualifications. These regulations ensure any Level 3 Personal Trainer provides the same high level of training regardless of the course provider. 

Step 2: Find The Right PT Course Provider

How To Become an Online PT Courses

One of the biggest factors when it comes to your studying experience and your future career prospects is the vocational training provider you decide on.

Some questions potential students should ask themselves include:

  • What study methods are available to me? Course providers may have the option to study entirely online, full-time, or part-time. Here at OriGym, we offer all three to allow our students to decide on the most suitable study method for them.
  • What post-course support do they have? A course provider that offers plenty of support after qualifying means you’ll find it easier to get your foot in the door when you enter the industry. As a result of our range of free career services, we have the highest work placement rate among competitors. This includes CV analysis and distribution, as well as opportunities for interviews.
  • What do past students say about the provider? Potential students should check out reviews on websites such as Trustpilot and Google Reviews to have an insight into the experience of previous students.

For further tips and advice on comparing personal training courses, check out our video below:

Step 3: Choose Your Specialty As An Online Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer Online Specialty

After completing your Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification and gaining practical experience, a couple of questions you should ask yourself include:

  • Who do I want my potential clients to be?
  • What services do I want to offer?

There are various CPD Fitness Courses available to online personal trainers, such as:

Not only will these courses deepen your skills and knowledge, they allow you to carve out your own niche. When you become an online personal trainer, you need to separate yourself from others by offering something they don’t. 

online personal trainer serivce

For example, by offering boxing and pad work, you can target amateur boxing clients as well as general fitness enthusiasts.

Ben Malton is an example of an online personal trainer who offers a range of services, such as fitness training, nutrition coaching, and health & lifestyle advice. Ben uses his knowledge to help clients with health issues, going beyond just fitness:

Online personal trainer - ben malton

The bottom line is, when deciding on what you want to focus on as an online personal trainer, you should consider what you’re most passionate about and build your service around this.


Step 4: Choose The Right Platform For Your Online PT Business

Online Personal Trainer Platform

When becoming an online personal trainer, it’s important to plan how you’re going to deliver these services to your clients. For example, are you going to operate through social media pages or via a business website?

To understand how you can utilise both of these platforms to their full potential, we’re going to look at each one in detail.

Using Social Media for Your Online Personal Training Business

Online personal trainer uses social media

When deciding to become an online personal trainer, many choose to operate their business solely through their social media profiles. But how exactly is this achieved?

Whilst many trainers choose to create a professional business profile, this tool is only typically used for marketing purposes, to attract new/potential clients.

Instead, when becoming an online personal trainer you should operate your business through a private account which can only be accessed by your clients. Here you will post premium content that will only be accessible to those paying for your service.

#1 – Why You Need a Private Profile That Can Be Accessed by Clients ONLY!

Personal trainer online uses private account

A private account creates a sense of exclusivity, as the content on this page will only be accessible to those who have paid for your services, rather than the general public.

Private accounts will also make it easier for clients to get in touch with you. Rather than getting lost in the shuffle of enquiries that your regular profile generates, their messages will all be filtered to one place.

Finally, having a private account makes it easier to broadcast important information.

For example, say you want clients to submit their measurements for their weekly progress check-in you can post an announcement to your story asking for clients to send them in.

#2 – Conduct Check-Ins Via Direct Messages

Online personal trainer conducts check in

If you wish to become an online personal trainer, it’s important to maintain a consistent line of communication with your clients. Whilst there are many ways to do this, if you’re running a private account on the likes of Instagram, you can simply send off a direct message.

Much like in-person check-ins, you should still ask relevant questions regarding a client’s workout programme, such as:

  • How did you find training this week?
  • Are you struggling with any aspect of your programme?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you more effectively?

These official check-ins should be conducted at least once a week, but you can also talk to your clients on a personal basis in order to build rapport.

#3 – Create Content That Encourages Communal Engagement

As an online personal trainer, you can also use social media to create content that encourages communal engagement.

A simple but incredibly effective way of doing this is by posting clients’ progress pictures. Similar to this example below from Roar Fitness London:

Online personal trainer post progress pictures

These posts allow you to celebrate a client’s achievements, and encourage others to congratulate their peers. This will provide motivation for the client in question, but also for others who will want to obtain similar results.

In addition to this, clients may be more likely to share these results on a private page as they know it’s filled with like-minded people who will share in their happiness. Whereas they may be less likely to share if it was going on a public profile for anyone to see.

Creating these posts help to create a sense of community, where everyone uplifts and supports each other during their programmes. In turn, this can positively affect your retention levels.


Using a Website for Your Online Personal Training Business

online personal trainer creates website

Alternatively, you could also opt to use your own website to manage your online personal training business.

Many trainers will do this after they’ve gained initial experience from using social media and cultivated a larger following of clients.

Specifically, during the creation process, you should ensure to include a ‘members section’ in order to manage your business. This page should only be accessible to paying clients, who must input a username and password in order to access your content.

An example of a members page can be found below, from PT David Kingsbury:

Example of online personal trainer DKMethod

You can treat this members section similar to your private social media accounts, where you will post exclusive content that keeps them engaged in your business.

On top of their regular workout programme and check-ins, you could also offer:

  • Monthly seminars
  • Weekly Q&As
  • Pre-recorded home workouts
  • Group challenges
  • Posts that help build up a community

All of this content should be available to every client regardless of when they sign up. Think of it like a hub, where all your most valuable resources will be available!

Step 5: Secure Your First Online Personal Training Clients

Online Personal Trainer Clients

When you become a personal trainer online, it’s important to spend time marketing your business and utilising these online platforms. 

#1 – Gain Experience Before You Become an Online Personal Trainer

Although your goal is to be an online personal trainer, it’s important to gain experience working in a gym or fitness centre. This helps you understand how to effectively train clients before taking your service online. 

It also means you can start your service with a handful of loyal clients who can then refer your training to others, rather than having to start from scratch.

#2 – Reach Out to Potential Online PT Clients 

Don’t be afraid to reach out and message new followers or those who interact with your posts!

As an online personal trainer, you will largely gain clients virtually, meaning you need to utilise your social media. 

Just be sure to keep your message concise and to the point, asking potential clients about their training or goals. If they’re looking to lose weight or train, ask if they’re interested in you training them online. 

#3 – Offer Packages as an Online Personal Trainer

This is a great way to build a base and gain an idea of how many clients you will be training. Monthly packages are also your best option as they don’t come with an end date, meaning clients won’t need to subscribe again, they can simply set up a direct debit.

When creating these packages you should try to keep things as simple as possible, which is why we recommend giving your clients 3 possible options. Naturally, the more sessions someone wants the more they will have to pay, like in our example below:

Online personal training packages

This is important for attracting clients to buy more classes, even if they’ll be getting them for slightly cheaper. Check out our guide on creating personal training packages for a complete breakdown on making them successful.

Step 6: Expand Your Online Personal Training Clients List

Become an online personal trainer with clients

Simply put, the more clients you have, the more income you’ll make! As an online personal trainer, you’ll want to continually gain clients and there are various ways to do this.

Once you have a website and social media, it’s important to continue optimising your website for ranking purposes. Make sure the information on your website is utilised to help users find your services, which is crucial to set you apart from the crowd.

You should also be sure to post regular updates and results on your social media to show you’re still actively seeking new clients.

online personal trainer website

You can also increase your client list by gaining additional qualifications such as CPD Fitness Courses and Level 4 Personal Training Courses. By having more specialised qualifications, you can attract a greater number of clients and carve out your own niche.

Another way to gain clients is through personal trainer referrals. You can ask for referrals from existing clients by incentivizing them. For example, you might offer free or discounted sessions for each new client who signs up.

Ready to Start Your Career as a Personal Trainer?

OriGym specialises in supporting both experienced and aspiring fitness professionals to reach their career goals. With our Personal Trainer Diploma, you can be qualified in just 4 weeks! or

For more information on our range of fitness qualifications, download our course prospectus here.


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About the Author: James Brady

James Brady OriGym Author
James graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. His desire to find a place where he could combine his passion for writing and love of fitness is what brought him to OriGym. He believes his passion for daily exercise, especially running, is imperative in keeping him motivated and productive. As a result, he has a particular interest in the psychology of health and fitness and the relationship between physical and mental health. Outside of work, James enjoys reading, swimming, playing tennis, rowing, writing short stories, and watching classic movies.

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