How To Become a Successful Online Fitness Coach


Do you want to start your career as an online fitness coach? 


Becoming an online fitness coach will get you more flexibility,  an opportunity to help more people with their fitness goals, and, of course, a stable income stream. This guide will discuss everything from creating your offer, getting your first paying clients and establishing yourself as an authority figure. 

What do fitness coaches do? 

Fitness coaches help people achieve their health and fitness goals. As a fitness coach, you will work with clients to design exercise routines, provide motivation, and ensure exercises are done correctly to prevent injuries.

All these mean your main responsibilities include assessing clients' fitness levels, developing customized workout plans, and monitoring progress. You will also educate clients on healthy lifestyle choices, such as proper nutrition and rest. So, isn’t a fitness coach the same as a personal trainer

The thing is, if you are a personal trainer, you can also be a fitness coach. Yet, not all fitness coaches are personal trainers. Personal trainers also offer one-on-one consultations and training and focus more on workout techniques. On the other hand, fitness coaches focus more on lifestyle changes. 

Here are the main responsibilities of a fitness coach:

  • assessing clients' fitness levels
  • developing personalized workout plans
  • teaching proper exercise techniques
  • monitoring clients' progress
  • providing motivation and support, etc. 

Do I need a certification to become an online fitness coach? 

“Can I be a fitness coach without certification?” is one of the commonly asked questions. Mostly, you do not need certification. There are thousands of coaches, including fitness coaches, who offer programs without being certified first. After all, the most important thing is having the necessary experience and skills. 

However, there are fitness coaching niches that typically require a certification. For example, if you are a fitness coach for athletes or healthcare professionals like nurses. If you do plan to obtain a certification, we have included some of the reputable programs you can choose to get started with. 

How to become an online fitness coach? 

Finally, let’s discuss what you need to pay attention to to become a successful fitness coach. First, you should identify your specific niche, create your key offer, and be able to market it. You should also think about how you can get your first clients. 

 Now, here is detailed guidance on how you can do that, plus tips from pro online fitness trainers. 

Get clear on who you are helping

Like with any other type of coaching, you need to really think about who you are helping and how you are helping them. One of the common mistakes new online fitness coaches make is keeping it too broad and general. You probably think you can attract more clients by trying to appeal to everyone. In fact, things work quite the opposite way. 

The way to stand out from the crowd is by calling out a specific group of people and telling them, “this is the way I am going to help you and transform you.”

Deciding on a specific niche is one of the first steps of Reuben Brooks’, a highly successful online fitness coach’s ACE method. According to this method, you need to

  • Attract - new clients.
  • Convert - turn your followers into paying clients
  • Enroll-  awesome client experience

To start attracting your clients, you have to decide who they are specifically. An example of that would be if you say, “I help nurses get fit and transform in 90 days or less,” if your target is nurses. 

“Calling out your audience and telling them how you will help them is the first step to attracting the right type of clients and building authority. This is important because, within three seconds, your future clients will know that you are the person who can actually help them reach their goals”. 

Reuben Brooks

Online Fitness Coach 

 Think about who you most enjoy helping and where you have the most experience. For example, it might be helping with weight loss, strength training, or working with specific populations like seniors or new moms. Whatever you decide on becomes your unique selling proposition. And this step is the most essential one, as we are going to build the rest of the steps on that. 

Get official education 

You might decide not to get the certification. And that’s totally up to you. If you have been in the fitness industry for several years and have the necessary experience, then getting a certification is not mandatory. Yet, you still do want to work on your fitness coaching skills and see how you can become a better coach. 

If you plan on getting official training, make sure that your program is accredited by the International Coaching Foundation (ICF) or  NCCA. Here are some reputable programs you can try. 

American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)  

Accreditation: NCCA

The ACE Certified Personal Trainer program gives you the skills needed to design and implement personalized exercise programs. It covers the basics of exercise science, program design, and client communication. ACE also provides resources for building a successful online coaching business. The program is self-paced so that you can complete it in 3-6 months.


The cost for the ACE CPT program ranges from $699 to $899, depending on the study package you choose. ACE offers various bundles that include study materials, exam vouchers, and extra resources.

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) 

Accreditation: NCCA

The NASM Certified Nutrition Coach program is designed to provide fitness professionals with the knowledge and skills to offer nutritional guidance. It covers the science of nutrition, how to assess clients' nutritional needs, and how to create personalized nutrition plans to support fitness and health goals. The program can be completed at your own pace but typically takes around 8-12 weeks.

Cost: approximately $899. 

Having any kind of certification will boost your credibility as an online fitness coach 

Create a specialized offer 

Now, you need to plan what you offer and how you are going to deliver the transformation to your clients. Before getting into the offer itself, think about your framework of organizing everything. 

For example, are there any additional resources you need? This might be extra workout plans, your motivational story, relevant examples, guides, etc. 

How are you going to assess your clients? Are you going to have one-on-one interviews and sessions, or is it just self-guided courses? Lastly, think about how you will set your goals. Once you know the exact framework, you are ready to proceed with your offer.

Reuben Brooks suggests that your offer should reflect the unique selling proposition you set earlier. For example, if your USP was “I help nurses get fit and transform in 90 days or less”, then your offer might look something like a 90-day Fit Nurse Transformation Program. 

When designing your offer, also think about:

  • How much time can you allocate for each client?
  • What’s the end result?
  • What resources and benefits does your fitness coaching package include?
  • Do you communicate with the clients? How and how often?
  • What’s the price of your fitness coaching program?

Now, depending on the points and criteria mentioned above, your pricing can differ. However, for a three-month coaching program, you can have $1500 as a starting point. The great thing is there is no rule of thumb when it comes to pricing your coaching program. So if $1500 is too high or low for you, you can adjust the pricing based on the peculiarities of your program. 

Tip: Make sure to break the outcome of your whole program into mini-outcomes. Based on that outcome, you can set mini-goals. Let’s say you have a 3-month program. Decide on a specific goal for each month until your client can reach the final outcome of your program. 

You can also decide to deliver your offer in a package. In this case, including personal calls with you will be a good idea. This can be weekly, biweekly, or monthly calls about 45-50 minutes long. 

Work on your branding as a fitness coach

Throughout the journey, you should aim to create a good rapport with your prospects, both online and offline. It will greatly help you with your branding and marketing. 

How are you going to achieve it? Simply let your clients know how much you resonate with them and communicate that you understand the struggle they are going through. 

“What you really need to do is to create a rapport with your audience and let them know that you truly understand the hardships and the challenges they go through on a daily basis. You also want to let them know that their body and life will change forever once they make positive changes in their nutrition, training, and discipline. ”

Reuben Brooks

Online Fitness Coach 

Of course, you can get this message across through online and offline channels. When speaking about online channels, social media is usually what comes to mind. And the best way to build that trust and rapport with your audience is to create a story behind your brand and tell that story. For most fitness coaches, this story behind the brand that helps their audience trust and resonates with them is THE REASON they started that specific program. 

For example, you might have struggled with weight loss at some point in your life. And then, the journey you created for yourself became transformational, and that unique method helped you achieve your desired weight. So now you want to share your method with everyone so that they are also able to achieve that goal-weight. This becomes your mission, which is also included in your USP. 

Your branding helps you to communicate your personality as a coach, your humor, your character, and your traits, which make you authentic. Once you manage to communicate this authenticity your audience becomes 10 times more likely to trust you and buy from you. 

Social media platforms are not the only channel to convey your mission and your branding. You can also use YouTube to share your lifestyle as well as training. 

Build your online fitness coach website 

If you want to appear legit and credible, you also need your fitness coaching website. You do not have to start from scratch, which requires a lot of time and resources. Instead, you can use Uteach’s website builder functionality to get your professional website done in minutes. 

For example, MadonFit uses Uteach to offer its fitness training and courses. 

On your website, you want to:

  • Add sections for services offered, such as personal training, group classes, and nutrition advice.
  •  Include client testimonials and success stories to build trust. 
  • Provide an easy-to-navigate schedule and booking system if you offer live training.
  • Share a blog with fitness tips and updates. 
  • Ensure there's an About page with your credentials and experience. 
  • Make contact information and social media links easily accessible.

Collect testimonials 

As you work with several clients, do not forget to ask for testimonials and show your clients’ results. Testimonials are one of the best ways to get new clients faster.

The reason it is so is that testimonials show that whatever transformation you offer is legit and your program works. That’s how it adds an additional layer of credibility and trust for your clients. Plus, we usually buy from business and people we trust. 

Once you deliver the client the promised result and transformation, you can ask them some questions to guide them, such as the following:

  • How has my coaching helped you in your fitness journey?
  • What do you enjoy most about working with me?
  • How do you feel during and after our sessions?
  • Would you recommend my services to others? If so, why? 

This is how you can add testimonials to your website and share them on social media. 


Let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions. 

Can anyone become a fitness coach? 

Anyone can call themselves a fitness coach. However, becoming a successful and effective one typically requires a combination of formal education, certification, practical experience, and personal attributes. 

Formal education in exercise science or kinesiology and certifications from reputable organizations (e.g., ACE, NASM, ACSM) ensures a foundational knowledge of human physiology, exercise techniques, and nutrition. Practical experience, whether through personal fitness achievements or working with clients, is crucial for understanding real-world applications and individual needs. 

Are fitness coaches in demand? 

Yes, fitness coaches are in demand, driven by a growing public awareness of the importance of health and wellness. 

The rise in lifestyle-related health issues such as obesity and heart disease has increased the emphasis on preventive care and fitness. Besides, the popularity of personalized fitness plans, the surge in online and virtual coaching options, and the expanding wellness industry contribute to this demand. Fitness coaches who can offer specialized skills, such as training for specific sports, working with older adults, or providing nutritional guidance, are particularly sought after. 

How much can a fitness coach earn? 

Your earnings as a fitness coach can vary widely based on factors such as location, experience, specialization, and type of employment. 

On average, a fitness coach in the United States can earn between $30,000 and $70,000 annually. Entry-level coaches or those working part-time may start on the lower end of the scale, while experienced coaches, especially those with a strong client base or specialization in high-demand areas (e.g., sports training, rehabilitation, or nutrition),can earn significantly more. 

Top-tier personal trainers in affluent areas or those working with high-profile clients can make over $100,000 per year. 


Monetize Your Skills Online

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As a result, you will be able to dedicate MORE time to creating & selling whatever you want:  coaching sessions, training, and webinars. Triple your income with bundles and memberships. 

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Many online learners are waiting for you to light their way. Book your free demo with our expert now and see how you can become a better and more efficient business coach with the help of Uteach.