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How to Sell Workout Plans Online in 7 Steps

Steps to Selling Workout Plans Online

Here is a look at the 7 steps:

1. Get clear on the type of programs you want to sell.

2. Select the pricing structure that makes the most sense.

3. Determine your prices with our tactics.

4. Build your website and online store.

5. Create free content to build trust and organic traffic.

6. Market yourself effectively.

7. Offer the best customer support.

1. Decide What Programs You Want to Sell

No matter what dreams you have about your online fitness business – whether you want it just to bring some additional income or become the next P90X – it all starts with brainstorming. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, or open a Google Doc and start writing down ideas.

Consider questions like:

  • What am I an expert in?
  • What kind of problems can I help people solve?
  • Who is my ideal client?
  • What unique skills or experiences do I bring to the table?
  • What type of coaching would you like to offer?

Here are a few ideas:

  • 4, 8, or 12-week training plans – this is the most straightforward way to sell workout programs online. Include all the relevant information your client might need––progression, future exercise swaps, set/rep changes, etc. Offer these as PDFs or spreadsheets.
  • Complete courses – these are typically a combination of videos, text, and illustrations covering specific topics thoroughly. For example, you could offer a course to teach people everything they need to learn about a topic: muscle growth, fat loss, etc.

    The course could even be more specialized, such as how to master the bench press or another exercise.

    Clients can download all the files on their computer or gain access to them through an online platform.
  • Combinations – there are countless combinations you can offer to clients. For instance, a 4-week training plan and meal plan, or a training plan with bonus material on proper warm-ups, progression, training effort, mobility work, etc.

    Combining things can be an excellent way to make your offers more enticing. You could offer small things as bonuses to boost conversion rates or as strategic upsells to earn more from each client and expand your fitness business online.
  • Online coaching – instead of selling some downloadables, online coaching could be an all-in-one service. People who purchase your services for a specific period (e.g., a month) would get access to you (emails, DMs, video calls, etc.) and receive the guidance they need to train, eat, and recover better to reach their goals.

    Providing a monthly workout plan with calorie and macronutrient targets is a popular option. For instance, you could use a coaching platform like Hevy Coach to create and assign training plans.

    You could also offer ongoing support and one-on-one online training sessions to beginners.
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2. Pick the Business Model for Your Online Fitness Business

business model

Once you have a reasonably good idea of how you’d like to sell fitness programs online, it’s time to consider the business model and what would make the most sense.

Popular options include:

  • Pay-as-you-go – no need for upfront commitment; clients can purchase things from you occasionally
  • Subscriptions – these could be weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and annually; clients would pay a consistent subscription like they would for many other services: internet access, TV, a gym membership, etc.
  • One-time – clients make a single purchase without committing to additional payments in the future

The pay-as-you-go model is suitable for selling workouts online. Clients don’t have to commit, meaning they are more likely to purchase. Plus, a percentage of those who like what you offer will come back in the future, ensuring some recurring revenue. This model works well for:

  • Training plans
  • Meal plans
  • Single virtual sessions (including assessments, technique correction services, etc.)
  • Seminar and workshop access

Subscriptions are another great option that could be lucrative because of the recurring revenue. However, given the commitment, conversion rates are likely to be lower. Plus, this typically means you must do ongoing work to keep subscriber numbers from plummeting. 

For example, maintaining a membership would result in recurring and somewhat predictable revenue, but it would also mean producing fresh content daily, weekly, or monthly. That could be a problem if you only have a handful of subscribers because you could put in serious hours to keep making content without making much money.

The model works well for:

  • Online coaching
  • Meal planning services
  • Accountability/motivation services
  • Memberships (where people gain access to premium content)

Finally, we have the one-time purchases, which could also be quite effective and profitable despite the lack of recurring revenue. These generally convert well because clients don’t have to commit, and a refund policy (more on that later) could foster trust.

One advantage of this option is that you could make good money by selling things you created long ago. For instance, you could create a course or eBook that covers a specific topic and sell it for years, earning mostly passive income.

The model works well for:

  • Workout plans (it’s best to create these individually for each client; you could use templates to optimize the process)
  • Courses
  • Ebooks/guides

3. Determine the Prices for Your Training Programs

Once you know what you want to sell and what business model to use, it’s time to set your initial rates. Don’t worry about getting it right from the start. You can increase or decrease your prices based on client feedback, new findings (e.g., how much competitors charge), etc.

Factors to consider when determining your prices include:

A. What You Will Sell

Selling workout programs online can mean a lot of things. On the more basic end of the spectrum, you have workout splits, such as the push/pull/legs or upper/lower split. These typically outline the trainee’s weekly training plan with recommendations for what workouts to do on specific days.

For example, an upper workout prescribed for Monday can be:

Bench Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Barbell Row – 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Seated Dumbbell Row – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Lat Pulldown – 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Upright Row – 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Bicep Curl – 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Tricep Extension – 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 15-20 reps

It offers some guidance but leaves a lot for the trainee to figure out. There isn’t much information on progression, load selection, swapping exercises, and other vital details. For these reasons, splits should cost less for clients.

On the more sophisticated end of the spectrum, we have full-fledged training plans based on specific splits but with much more information. These could be quite detailed and include access to an exercise library, PDF guides, load selection tips, how and when to progress, and much more. Unlike splits, programs generally last a specific period (e.g., 4 weeks) and outline precisely what the trainee should do from start to finish.

Depending on their depth, these could cost two, three, or even four times as much as a basic split. You can read our full guide on determining workout plan pricing.

B. Will You Offer Bonuses?

Bonuses or extras can be strategic upsells that increase the value of your offer and help you earn more from each customer. Some of these can include:

  • Chat or email access to you, where people can reach out with specific questions (it’s best to set specific rules for when people can reach out and what rules they should follow to write clear and concise messages)
  • Meal plans that work with the training plan you provide
  • Exercise video library––a collection of video instructions on how to perform various exercises; you can send these as files or as links to unlisted YouTube videos
  • Technique correction services, where clients send videos of themselves doing specific exercises, and you provide in-depth analysis and valuable feedback
  • Bonus PDF guides that could teach clients specific things like how to use a macro-tracker or workout-logging app (like Hevy), how to eat healthy at restaurants, how to warm up, etc.

You could offer some as bonuses to make your offer more valuable and boost the conversion rate, or sell them on top of the training plans.

C. The Cost of Operating Your Online Personal Training Business

Selling online training programs is straightforward, but there are some ongoing expenses to consider when determining your prices. Some of these can include:

  • Blog domain (typically paid yearly)
  • Website hosting
  • Email provider for your subscriber list (Aweber, ActiveCampaign, etc.)
  • Payment platform and its fees (e.g., Stripe)
  • Social media ads (more on those below)

You should sit down and calculate all the expenses for selling workout programs. For example, if your monthly expenses are $150 and you sell programs for $50, you would need to sell three to break even. However, if you sell them for $75, you would need two sales to cover your expenses, with the third one bringing in profit.

D. What the Competition Charges

Last but certainly not least, look around and see what other personal trainers charge. They’ve likely experimented with pricing and have come up with reasonable rates for their services. 

Use simple search terms in Google: online personal training, online fitness coaching, online fitness services, paid workout plans, 4-week paid fitness plan, etc.

For a more in-depth look at the above tactics, check out Here’s How Much to Charge For Online Personal Training in 2023.

4. Build Your Online Store and Website

A good-looking, simple-to-use website makes your business more credible and can positively affect conversion rates. It also makes it easier for potential clients to learn who you are and what you offer (paid and free content) before making a purchase.

The best long-term solution is to build a website with WordPress.org, purchase a theme from a platform like ElegantThemes (there are also free themes), and use plugins for specific functions on your website.

A plugin like Member-press pairs great with a WordPress website. It allows you to customize the entire experience, including the check-out page, and sell training plans, courses, memberships, and more. It supports multiple payment methods, including Apple Pay and Google Play, allowing you to capture more clients.

Having a website means you can centralize people’s interactions with your brand. For example, when someone visits your website, they can learn who you are from your About page and what you offer from your dedicated landing page.

The visitor can purchase, read your free content (more on that later), or sign up for your email list and become a client later.

If this seems too much of a hassle, a simpler alternative is using an eCommerce platform to sell digital products. Good options include Shopify, Sellfy, Teachable, and Gumroad. You can learn more about these and other options here.

These plug-and-play solutions work well because they could have your online store up and running in just a couple of hours. However, they lack the functionality of a complete website, expanding later can be tricky, and you’re on someone else’s platform.

Should the platform stop working, restructure, or increase the subscription cost or transaction fees, you have no choice but to agree or move your shop elsewhere.

The Refund Policy

Some people offer refunds; others do not. Having a policy in place can build trust with clients, reduce chargeback rates (when the customer requests a refund from the card issuer), and make for a more ethical business.

That said, a refund policy can also expose you to scams. For example, you could sell a workout program to someone, they could then ask for a refund and essentially get the information for free. That’s an unfortunate part of the online fitness industry, but there isn’t much you can do about it.

One option is to offer everything online instead of sending downloadables. That way, users would lose access to the content if they asked for a refund. It’s not 100 percent effective, but it reduces the risk of people abusing your refund policy for their gain.

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5. Create the Right Free Content

Creating free content might seem daunting or unnecessary, but doing so offers several distinct advantages. Most notably, teaching people how to do various things or achieve specific outcomes for free builds trust. 

For example, if you create a thorough guide on fat loss, those looking for coaching or a tailored training plan might be more likely to reach out and become paying customers. Visitors to your website would think, “If their free stuff is so good, I can only imagine the value I’d get from their paid products.”

Second, good content can eventually rank on Google and YouTube, bringing steady, organic, and free traffic to your brand. Most people interacting with your brand won’t buy your products, but a small percentage will. So, the more organic traffic you have, the more paying customers your business will get.

Half a percent of 1,000 organic visitors is five potential clients. But the same half a percent of 100,000 visitors is 500 people interested in purchasing your services, workout plans, courses, etc.

Plus, even if you don’t convert most of your visitors into paying customers (you won’t), there is still the opportunity to get some of them on your email list by offering a freebie: content upgrade (e.g., fat loss checklist for a fat loss article or video), email course, PDF guide, etc.

Conversion rates here are generally higher because people don’t have to whip out their credit cards. But the offer needs to be good and relevant. A three percent conversion from the same 100,000 visitors would mean 3,000 email subscribers. You can learn more about the value of building an email list here.

As for what type of content to create, there are many options:

  • Blog posts and articles (bite-sized pieces as well as complete guides)
  • Videos (answering specific questions, broadly covering topics, etc.)
  • Video shorts, ideal for Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube shorts
  • Email newsletter (to continue providing value for your email subscribers)
  • Social media posts that provide bite-sized pieces of valuable information

Make sure the content you want to create aligns with the audience you want to build and fits into your chosen format. Check out our guide on fitness content ideas here.

In addition to free educational content, have these essential pages on your website:

Consistent branding across the various pages on your website and social media profiles builds an image in people’s minds and teaches them to associate your business with specific things.

6. Market Yourself to Build an Audience

The idea of building it and waiting for people to come sounds good. Unfortunately, things don’t work that way, especially in today’s competitive landscape. New businesses always pop up, which means marketing is crucial to getting your name out there. 

You could offer excellent products and services, but none of that means anything if people don’t know you exist. Let’s go over some crucial steps you should take to advertise yourself better:

A. Create a Foundation

The first step to marketing yourself is to build a website and create social media profiles with consistent branding elements: colors, styling elements, tone, etc. 

That way, when people come across your business on different platforms, they can instantly recognize you instead of wondering, “Huh, is that the same business or another one with the same name?” 

B. Leverage Content Marketing

Content marketing is the act of creating content (articles, videos, etc.) and sharing it freely with people online. The idea isn’t to directly market your paid products and services but to build awareness for your brand and attract people’s attention.

By providing free value, you build trust and get people interested in you and your paid services. People can’t help but wonder how much value they would get from your paid stuff if your free content helps them with a specific outcome.

For example, if you create a killer guide on muscle growth and teach people about the various intricacies, they might be interested in your training programs for muscle gain. 

Plus, as discussed above, even if people don’t purchase anything immediately, they might subscribe to your email list. This is still valuable because email subscribers are people familiar with your brand, not some cold leads. As such, they are more likely to interact with your brand and eventually buy something. 

The other benefit of content marketing is that it can result in steady organic traffic to your business, making client acquisition far easier.

C. Invest in Paid Ads

While content marketing is a great first step, it should not be your only tactic. If anything, it should be combined with other promotional tactics to create a snowball effect. One such is paid advertising

If that term sent chills down your spine, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Most people are reluctant to invest in ads because they don’t understand them and aren’t sure how to track their performance. Fortunately, as with most things, breaking things down makes it far simpler to understand.

It all comes down to four things:

  1. Research and evaluate advertising platforms.
  2. Set a monthly budget.
  3. Create your first ad.
  4. Analyze the data and refine your approach.

We’ve broken down all the tactics in our advertising guide, so feel free to read up on them later. Let’s briefly look at each of these below.

First, make a list of platforms where you can advertise. Good options include Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, but Google and Twitter (or X) are also good.

Second, set a budget that makes sense for your current revenue numbers. Don’t be afraid to start with $50-100 if that’s all you can afford. The goal at this stage is to gain experience with ads, so be okay with losing some money while finding your footing. 

Next up, craft your first ad. Focus on five key things:

  • Headline – it should be short but specific and eye-catching. A good headline will get people to stop scrolling (no easy feat) and give your ads at least a few seconds of attention.
  • Copy (the ad’s main text) – it should be enticing and relevant to your target audience. Crafting a compelling copy requires understanding your target audience and what problems they need help solving. Consider copywriting services if you’re unsure how to write good copy.
  • Visual elements (photo, illustration, video, etc.) – use an appealing video or image that evokes a positive emotional reaction. Show people you empathize with their problems and can help them overcome roadblocks.
  • Call-to-action (CTA)what you want people to do. Be clear and specific––for example, ‘Click Here.’ The CTA is as crucial as any other element because it gets people to do something. If the person stops scrolling to see your ad, you only have a few seconds of their time and must get them to take action.
  • Targeting options – demographic targeting (age, gender, education, etc.), geographic targeting (if you want to target people in a specific city), and interest targeting (e.g., people who’ve shown interest in fitness topics before) can help you deliver your ads to people more likely to purchase your workout plans.

Finally, analyze how your ad is performing and refine your approach. Focus on these key metrics:

  • Click-through rate (CTR) – the percentage of people who click on the ad to learn more. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions (how many people see the ad in their feed).
  • Conversion rate – the percentage of people who take the desired action (e.g., buy a workout plan from you) after clicking on the ad and getting directed to a sales page. To calculate it, divide the number of conversions (sales) by the number of ad clicks and multiply by 100.
  • Return on investment (ROI) – this determines if your ads are profitable. To determine that, look at the total money spent on advertisements versus the revenue you generate from workout plan sales. Ideally, you should create a different landing page for visitors from ads to track the flow and calculate the ROI more effectively.

D. Leverage Reviews, Testimonials, and Transformations

reviews

Getting the ball rolling can be tricky. Nobody knows you, and it’s difficult for people to trust you with their money. However, once you’ve made some successful sales, reach out to clients and ask them to review your product or share their results.

One person getting good results from your program can be a form of advertising through a testimonial, case study, or a before/after photo shared on social media.

Testimonials are typically more challenging to come by, especially in the form of recorded videos, where people talk about your product in a positive way. However, it never hurts to ask. Even if a small percentage of clients make an effort to leave a review or testimonial, those can add up over time, gradually building your credibility and reputation in the industry.

Showcasing client transformations is also powerful. For example, suppose someone loses a significant amount of fat while running your 8 or 12-week program. In that case, you can display the positive results on your sales page and social media profiles as free advertising.

7. Offer Additional Resources and Customer Support

Passive income is a dream for many. The idea that you can create something once and sell it on autopilot for years is alluring because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t want money regularly coming into their bank account?

The problem is that it seldom works like this. Sure, you can create a product and make plenty of sales on autopilot without doing extra work. But people will generally have questions, even when you explain things in detail on your landing page and include a thorough FAQ section. So, be ready to help because emails with questions will inevitably come.

One person might be curious about potential modifications to the training plan, another might wonder if the program would even work, and a third person won’t like your product and will ask for a refund. 

Your job is to provide excellent customer service, which contrasts with what we are generally used to. Even good companies often take multiple hours (or days) to respond to simple queries, making communication frustrating for the customer.

By promptly replying to answers, you create positive client experiences, making people more likely to use the training plan they’ve purchased from you and get good results from it. That would translate to more positive reviews and testimonials and fewer refunds.

Additionally, look for patterns in the questions you receive, use the data to create an FAQ section (which you expand over time), and find ways to develop training plans people can understand more easily.

Explain how each program works, what different metrics mean, how people can adjust the plan when necessary, progression tips, and more. The clearer you can make it, the fewer questions you will have to answer, and the easier it will be for clients to jump straight in and start seeing progress.

Final Words

Selling workout programs online is not the most complex approach to an online business, but there are some things to consider. Paying attention to certain details will make your job easier, save you time, and boost client satisfaction.

First, clarify what you want to sell, what business model you want to use, and how much you will charge. Then, create your website, online store, and social media profiles to promote and sell the programs.

Once you’ve laid the foundation, start creating free content to provide value and put yourself in a good position for organic traffic. Results are rarely immediate, but a solid content strategy will help you tremendously in the long run.

In addition to content, consider paid ads to reach more people and leverage reviews, testimonials, and client transformations to expand your business further and drive more sales. 

During all of this, provide excellent customer support by answering questions promptly and gathering valuable feedback. Understanding your client’s needs will help you craft a better FAQ section and improve the workout plans you’re selling.

If you’re looking for a platform to create and distribute workout plans to your clients easily, check out Hevy Coach. You can make quick changes when necessary and track everyone’s performance and adherence 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. Is selling online workout plans profitable?

Like most business models, it can be profitable, but it takes time to get the ball rolling, especially if you’re starting with no audience.

2. Do you need a certification to sell workout plans online?

No, you don’t need a certification to sell fitness programs online. That said, having one can add to your credibility and build trust.

3. What is the best way to sell products and services online?

There isn’t a single best approach. Some people rely solely on social media; others build a website (as recommended above); and a third group leverages eCommerce platforms like Shopify.

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