If you work for a gym, the cost of your coaching program is likely set by that facility. For independent trainers offering personal training sessions online, the area of how much to charge is a bit muddier.
You don’t want to charge so little that you can’t survive but you also don’t want to charge so much that no one wants to hire you. How do you decide your rates?
Answering the question of how much you should charge for your online coaching sessions begins with first understanding how much a typical personal trainer makes today.
According to a number of professionals currently working in the fitness field, the average cost of hiring a personal trainer varies from $30 to $125 per hour (or more). However, it is important to note that your personal trainer salary potential is dependent on a variety of factors.
For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average annual wage is often higher for a personal trainer who works directly with individuals than for a personal trainer providing services within a residential facility. This is something to keep in mind if you decide to grow your business by reaching out to corporate clients in addition to individuals. They may want to pay less than you typically charge when you coach one-on-one.
Another factor impacting your pay as a fitness coach is location. The BLS also says that health and fitness trainers in New York, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia typically make the most money. While this may not seem relevant as a trainer who offers sessions online, it does give insight as to whether your rates will seem low or high depending on where your client lives. So, what should your rates be?
Setting your rates can be difficult as a fitness professional since there is such a large range. But there are a few factors that, once considered, will give you a better idea of what amount is perfect for you.
If you were told that you could earn $5 per hour as an online personal trainer, would you still want to do it? What if that number increased to $150 per hour? Would it be worth it then?
Whether you work in fitness or any other field, if you aren’t paid a certain amount, you may start to resent your career and your clientele. Work will begin to feel more like a punishment than a way to earn a living. Before you know it, you want out.
Certainly, we’d all love to be paid as much as possible for the expertise we offer. But we also all have a minimum dollar amount that won’t make providing services worth our time. Figuring out what that number is for you is a good place to start.
Have you been a fitness trainer for years or are you new to the coaching industry? The reason this question is important is that the more experience you have, the more you can charge. Why? Because with experience comes knowledge.
If you’ve been coaching clients for decades, you’ve learned tips and tricks that increase your effectiveness. This helps you create more effective coaching programs for your new clients because you can draw on what has worked for those you’ve instructed in the past.
Does this mean that you can’t charge a decent rate if you’re just starting out? Of course not. You’re still a professional. But it does mean that you should consider raising your rates as your level of experience increases.
If you are updating your house and in need of a good plumber to put a sink in your new kitchen island, who do you think would do the best job: a plumber or a certified plumber? If you answered a certified plumber, you already understand the value of certification.
When you obtain your certification as a personal trainer, you’re telling your clients that you’ve learned the information necessary to develop a safe and effective fitness program. This increases their confidence that you can deliver a workout plan that will help them achieve their fitness goals. It also makes it easier to pay you more.
Setting the rates you’ll charge for your online fitness program is also partially based on your business expenses. The more costs you have, the more you need to break even, let alone earn a decent income.
For instance, do you market your coaching sessions on social media? If so, you need to make enough to cover what you spend buying Facebook ads, Instagram ads, or ads on any other social media platform.
Other costs to consider include:
Website development and maintenance
Online coaching / video platform fees
Additional marketing and advertising expenses
Office equipment (computer, printer, software, etc.)
Office supplies (paper, pen, staples, etc.)
Create a list of all the expenses you have in a typical year and divide them by 12. This tells you how much you need to earn per month to keep your business afloat.
Another factor to consider when setting your rates as an online personal trainer is the services you provide. For instance, do you offer individualized one-on-one coaching or group training sessions? The more personalized your program, the more you can charge because you tailor the training specifically to your client’s fitness goals.
Also falling under this category is how available you are to your clients. Convenience and access don’t come without a cost. So, the easier it is for them to reach you when they have questions or need help, the higher your rates can be.
When hiring a personal trainer, coaching clients look at how many training sessions they will receive in return for their hard-earned money. The more appealing you can make this package, the more likely it is they’ll sign up.
For this reason, some personal trainers offer a discount to clients who sign up for a larger number of coaching sessions. The better the deal, the more inclined they’ll be to hire you as their personal trainer and the more money you stand to make.
Considering your ideal client, how much can they realistically afford? If you have a soft spot for training at-risk youth, for instance, your rates will need to be lower than you’d charge a celebrity in Hollywood.
This brings up another question. Should you charge every client the same amount? While you don’t necessarily have to, if you don’t and they find out, it may hurt your reputation. Plus, keeping your rates the same for everyone makes bookkeeping much simpler.
In the end, no matter what you decide to charge for your services as a health coach, you must be able to prove that you’re worth the rate you set. The more value you offer your online coaching clients, the more they’ll be willing to pay. This value could be reinforced in a number of ways, such as:
Offering testimonials from clients who swear you create a killer workout that has transformed them. If you’ve provided results as an online coach, share those success stories. Let potential clients hear how wonderful you are as a personal trainer, not from you, but from those who have taken your coaching program.
Showing before and after photos. Help people see the way you can help them transform their own body when signing up for your online exercise program. Inspire them to want to hire you to create an exercise plan for them too.
Giving a money-back guarantee on your workout plans. Saying that you’ll give clients all their money back if they aren’t satisfied with your services as a personal trainer shows that you’re confident in your ability to get results. There are pros and cons to this approach, such as reducing the client’s risk but opening yourself up to those who want something for nothing. So, it’s important to weigh this carefully if you’re inclined to follow this approach.
If your goal is to make the most money possible as a personal trainer, another way to achieve this goal is to expand your service offerings. For instance, the ISSA’s Nutritionist Certification provides the education necessary for you to develop meal plans that complement your strength and conditioning programs. This online course also comes with a free professional website and unlimited educational support. Check it out!
Start your dream career completely online! Take the course, pass the certification final exam, and be guaranteed a job - or your money back!
How Much Do Personal Trainers Cost (According to 7 PT's). UpJourney. (2021). Retrieved 13 May 2022, from https://upjourney.com/how-much-do-personal-trainers-cost.
Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022). Retrieved 13 May 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes399031.htm#st.
Alton, L. (2017). A Look at the Benefits of Money-Back Guarantees in Modern Marketing. Entrepreneur. Retrieved 13 May 2022, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/293330.