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How Much to Charge for Online Personal Training in 2024

How Much to Charge for Online Personal Training?

Online personal trainers can charge anywhere from $30-80 per virtual session to $100+ for monthly coaching. It mostly comes down to your coaching style, pricing structure, what extras you plan to offer, your business operating costs, and other important factors. Set an initial price to get feedback and adjust to turn a profit.

8 Questions to Ask Yourself When Pricing Your Online Personal Training Services

1. How will you coach people?

How you decide to conduct online training will impact your level of involvement and how much time you spend with each client.

Email + Downloadables

The most popular approach is a combination of email communication and downloadables for the client (spreadsheets, PDF files, and other helpful materials). Trainers establish communication rules with their clients and touch base once or twice weekly. 

This is perhaps the most hands-off approach for online fitness coaching. Clients are given a plan to work with but are free to make important decisions. Weekly or bi-weekly check-ins keep clients motivated and accountable. 

Video/Phone Calls

Coaching through video or phone calls is another option with benefits and drawbacks. A clear advantage is that communication happens quicker, and the coach can share more information with their client. The approach is also natural and mimics how a personal trainer interacts with clients in person. 

However, the approach still requires the coach to send clients a training plan and helpful materials to avoid miscommunication or confusion.

woman video chat

One-on-One Group Virtual Sessions

The third popular option is one-on-one group virtual sessions. One clear difference is that this approach is more time-consuming because the coach must spend 30, 45, or even 60+ minutes with each client several times weekly on top of any additional communication required.

This option mimics in-person training because the coach can closely monitor each client, provide helpful feedback during exercise, and guide them through each workout. Virtual sessions are likely the best option when doing online coaching for beginners.

A Combination of the Above

Some coaches may decide to conduct their online personal training business through a combination of these tactics. For instance, there could be some communication through email or calls, sending helpful materials and training plans to each client, and coaching them through each session on video.

Take action: Decide how you would prefer to coach people online. Make sure the method makes sense for the type of client you want to attract, their goals, and your unique strengths.

2. What pricing structure will you use?

Once you have a clear idea of how you’d like to coach people online, it’s important to decide on the pricing structure. The good news is that you can pick from multiple options, some more suited for one personal training style over another.

For instance, an hourly rate might make the most sense if you want to offer virtual personal training sessions. Clients can commit to a specific number of sessions and get a discount. For instance, you can give clients a free session if they purchase ten at a time.

According to this resource, the hourly rate for a 60-minute online coaching session is $40-100. New trainers can charge around $40 to build their roster, whereas more established coaches can charge up to $100 per hour.

Monthly payments are another popular option for online personal training. These are great for coaches who work with clients through email and by sharing downloadable files. Clients have more freedom to make decisions for themselves and must only report to their coach once every week or two or reach out with questions.

Pay-as-you-go is also an effective way to get the ball rolling. Instead of having clients commit to multiple sessions or purchasing your services for several months, you can offer them the bare minimum for a small price. That way, they can test your services to determine if you would be the right fit.

For instance, instead of buying ten sessions, they can purchase one. Alternatively, instead of hiring you for three months, you can sell them a four-week training plan.

Speaking of that, another option is for clients to pay a one-time fee to gain access to something––a meal or diet plan, workout program, or a complete guide with all the guidance the client needs to achieve a specific outcome.

You can also bundle several things and give clients unique offers. For instance, clients could pay monthly for your services and get relevant offers (meal plans, eBooks, email courses, etc.) at a discount.

Take action: Decide on your online personal training package. Consider what would make sense for the type of coaching you’d like to offer.

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3. What extras will you offer?

Extras are not essential but could make your services more valuable and serve as strategic upsells. For instance, you might offer basic online training through email, but you can also provide extras like:

  • Chat access – you could use Viber, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, or another platform to stay in touch with clients, allowing them to reach out with any questions
  • Meal plan – instead of only giving them calorie and macronutrient targets, you could create meal plans for clients to show them exactly what to eat to reach their goals
  • Exercise video library – this could be a collection of pre-recorded videos with instructions on how to do various gym activities, such as squats, bench presses, and pull-ups
  • Technique correction services – for instance, clients could send videos of some of their sets (preferably the latter ones where they are more tired), and you could give them helpful feedback to improve their training form
  • Bonus PDF material – you could create helpful materials once (e.g., a guide on eating at restaurants or working out while traveling) and offer them for a discount or as a bonus for working with you
  • Access to exclusive content – if you have a membership, a paid email newsletter, or paid webinars, you could offer them at a discount to your clients
  • Other guides – you could create guides on mobility, stretching, and proper warm-ups before training and send them over to new clients for free

Each can make your services more valuable and make people feel they are getting a great deal for working with you.

Additionally, you can offer access to a private community (e.g., a Facebook group) or specialized guidance––working out during or after pregnancy, rehabbing from an injury, etc.

Take action: Make a list of the extras you could offer to potential clients. Consider which of these things you can create once ahead of time (e.g., eBook guides) and if they would be helpful to your clients.

4. How much will it cost you to operate your business?

The primary purpose of your business is to be profitable, which means you must carefully consider all your monthly expenses. That way, you can determine how much revenue you would need to turn a profit.

time cost quality

Consider all fitness business expenses:

  • Ads. Do you run any ads online or locally to promote your services? If not, do you plan to start, and how much money would you like to allocate to that monthly?
  • Website. Consider all the expenses related to keeping your website online and running smoothly––domain payment, hosting, plugins, and so on.
  • Coaching platform. Will you use a special platform like Hevy Coach to create training plans, assign them to clients, and monitor their progress from a single dashboard?
  • Personal training insurance. While the laws are somewhat obscure, even online trainers need protection from dissatisfied clients who decide to take legal action. General liability packages from certain providers can offer the protection you need in case of such unfortunate events.
  • Payment platform. What platform will you use to get paid? Remember that some come with a monthly subscription, and all take a percentage of each transaction. Calculate that when determining your expenses.
  • Email platform. Creating, engaging, and growing an email list is advisable for any online business. What platform will you use, and how much will it cost you monthly? Aweber and ActiveCampaign are two great options.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO). Will you pay an expert or agency to optimize your website to appear higher on search engines like Google?
  • Content creation. Will you pay someone to write articles, record videos, or maintain your social media profiles to grow your audience and email list? Or perhaps you’re going to create content yourself? Either way, consider the monetary and time commitment.

Take action: Write down all the possible expenses you can think of. Use the above list for ideas, but consider additional expenses your business might have. Do a rough estimation of your monthly costs.

5. What is your unique value proposition (UVP)?

Your UVP (or a lack of one) will significantly impact your online personal training prices. But what does that mean?

Specific skills, experience, and knowledge can make your services more valuable and encourage those interested to pay more than the average person. For instance, if you’re one of the few trainers specializing in coaching older adults, that could be your UVP. 

Given the lower competition in that niche, you could more easily set yourself apart, build your roster, and prosper.

The same goes for other niches like pregnancy and postpartum, helping people with specific limitations or illnesses and recovering from injury.

Even if you don’t specialize in a specific field, consider everything that sets you apart from your competition. Perhaps you’re a certified personal trainer? Or maybe you’ve been overweight and have successfully lost a lot of weight and kept it off? 

Take action: Write down everything that sets you apart from most fitness professionals online. This could include certifications, degrees, unique experiences, knowledge in a particular area, your approach to coaching people, and more.

6. What are your financial goals?

Deciding what you want to get out of your online personal training venture is necessary for setting the appropriate rate. Do you want to replace your in-person training in favor of virtual coaching, or only use it to supplement your income?

In other words, how much would you ideally like to earn from personal training online? 

First, consider the minimum revenue you would need to turn a profit by calculating your monthly expenses. Second, decide if you’d like to transition online or work with in-person clients and online.

goals

Transitioning entirely online would likely mean being more aggressive with your pricing to make good money, even from fewer clients. In contrast, using online training to supplement your income would allow you to be more flexible with your pricing.

Take action: Decide what you want from online coaching and if you’d like it to become your primary source of income. Calculate the minimum revenue required to turn a profit and set a goal for your ideal monthly profit.

7. How much do you value your time?

You might not be able to estimate this before starting, but it’s crucial to think about it nonetheless. 

Consider your time as a personal trainer and your average hourly wage in the last 12-18 months. For instance, if you’ve worked 40 hours a week for 50 weeks in the previous 12 months and earned $55,000, your hourly wage has been $27.50.

Calculate how much time you would need to spend with each client monthly. Include all the time commitments you can think of:

  • Writing their training program
  • Creating their meal plan
  • Calculating their calorie needs
  • Putting together a list of helpful resources
  • Communicating through email
  • Answering their DMs
  • Having phone or video calls

Some of the more trivial things could be difficult to track, so don’t obsess over these. An example would be answering a quick DM on Instagram.

Let’s do a quick example where you create a 4-week training and meal plan in addition to the other things listed above. So:

  • Writing their program – let’s say, 60-90 minutes
  • Calculating calorie needs – 5-10 minutes
  • Creating their meal plan – another 60-90 minutes
  • Assembling a list of resources – 10-15 minutes
  • Weekly email communication – 60 minutes total for the month
  • Answering their DMs – this could vary greatly; it largely depends on the client
  • Phone/video calls – say, 60 minutes for the whole month

That gives us 255-325 minutes or 4.2 to 5.4 hours of time commitment. If your wage was previously $27.50, you could charge this client a monthly fee of $115 to $148. 

Of course, how much you choose to charge as a personal trainer online will depend on other factors. However, this is a decent way to break down the coaching process and get started.

Your initial calculations will likely be off to some degree, and that is okay. You might spend more or less time with clients on average, so don’t be afraid to adjust your rates accordingly.

Going through this exercise is beneficial because you need to make sure your efforts are being paid in full. If you spend 20 hours working with a client for a month but only charge them $100, your time is essentially worth $5/hour.

Take action: List all the things you think you will have to do for your online clients and estimate the amount of time each would take. This is particularly valuable if you decide to coach people through email and charge a monthly fee. 

Don’t get anxious about getting it perfect right away. As with most things, getting experience will provide the necessary insight to adjust your rates later.

8. How much do other online personal trainers charge?

Last but certainly not least, look at what other online personal trainers and coaches charge to understand the landscape better. Chances are, many of the established coaches have experimented with their pricing and have set rates that make sense.

That said, established coaches with large client rosters and multi-month waiting lists can afford to charge more because their services are in demand. You will likely have to charge less and emphasize the pay-as-you-go model to sign your first few clients and get the ball rolling through testimonials and success stories.

To analyze your competition, go on Google and use search terms like:

  • Online personal training (services)
  • Online fitness coaching
  • Online fitness services
  • The top online personal trainers
  • The top online fitness coaches

Also, go on social media and search for similar terms. You’ll come across at least a few dozen coaches who advertise their services. 

Many coaches don’t disclose their rates on their websites, so you may have to contact them through email or complete a survey first. However, some list their prices on their landing pages.

Take action: Compile a list of online trainers in a spreadsheet and see what you can learn about their pricing. Include the information in separate tabs to understand how much they are charging and what that could mean for you.

Start, Test, and Adapt

You’re unlikely to get your pricing right immediately, which is okay, especially if you’ve never offered virtual training sessions or similar services. Just as in-person coaches need time to perfect their pricing strategy, so do online trainers. 

Go through the eight questions above and set an experimental price you think would be fair for yourself and your clients. Get some feedback from clients, perhaps by opening a limited number of spots for 30-90 days and adjusting from there.

Once you’ve been working with clients for some time, revisit question 7 from above and consider whether your rates are worth your time.

Remember that being an online trainer comes with potential expenses, including website creation and maintenance, content creation, advertising, personal trainer insurance, and more. 

Continue revisiting your pricing structure every few months, especially if you don’t see the revenue numbers you hope for. Think of potential upsell tactics (offering additional things to existing clients) and communicate the need to increase your rates with your loyal clients ahead of time.

Also, keep your clients in mind. For instance, if you primarily work with college-aged adults, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to charge them that much. Perhaps a better approach in such a case would be to establish a referral program where existing clients bring on new people in exchange for exclusive benefits and discounts.

Related article: How to Start an Online Personal Trainer Business: A Complete Guide

Ways to Reinforce Your Value and Make Your Services Worth It

Let’s cover a few quick tips on reinforcing your brand and make your services more alluring:

1. Leverage Testimonials

Testimonials are one of the most powerful advertising tools you could use to promote your services to new people. 

Unlike social media advertising strategies, SEO services, and other expensive ways to grow your reach and build your client roster, testimonials from past or current clients are quite powerful and, the best part, free.

You could ask satisfied clients to write about their experience working with you or record a video. Publish that on your social media profiles and websites as social proof.

2. Share Success Stories

Success stories are similar to testimonials but with a twist. The objective is to showcase client stories, typically through social media posts or case studies. You can follow a simple template:

  • Who your client is
  • Where they were before working with you
  • Why they hired you
  • What it was like to work with them (be as detailed as you’d like to be)
  • What goals you helped them achieve
  • What roadblocks you had to overcome along the way

Depending on the size of your roster, you could turn these into weekly or monthly articles, promote them to your email list, and share them on social media.

3. Offer a Money-Back Guarantee

A money-back guarantee is simply a promise to potential clients that you’re willing to refund their money within a specific period if they are unsatisfied with the service or have another solid excuse.

There is also the no-questions-asked-money-back guarantee, which can be even more alluring for clients, but it could prevent you from getting valuable feedback from people who decide not to work with you.

Offering a money-back guarantee is an effective way to build trust with prospective clients and improve conversion rates. However, it can also invite abuse, financial uncertainty (especially if the guarantee extends beyond 30 days), and administrative hassles when managing refunds.

Conclusion

Deciding how much to charge for online personal training can be challenging, as there are multiple things to consider, such as your coaching model, business expenses, and financial goals. 

That said, breaking down the process into individual components makes it far easier to start and come up with your initial rates.

Plus, the good news is that you don’t need to be perfect from the start. You can experiment and see how your pricing affects sales, overall client satisfaction, and refund rates. 

Check out Hevy Coach before you go. This online platform allows trainers and coaches to create training programs in minutes, assign them to clients, and monitor everyone’s progress, all from a single dashboard.

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Try Hevy Coach

Intuitive personal trainer software, with a world class experience for your clients.

30 day free trial, no credit card required

FAQs

1. Why do some online personal trainers charge more than others?

A trainer’s unique value proposition (UVP), reputation, specialization, and popularity in the industry play a considerable role in how much they can charge clients.

2. How should I determine my rates as an online personal trainer?

Decide what coaching model you will use, choose a pricing structure, calculate your business expenses, consider the value of your time, and check out what your competition is doing to set your initial rates.

3. What is the best payment structure for online coaching?

It largely depends on how you decide to coach clients. For example, charging hourly might be best if you want to offer virtual sessions.

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