Online fitness training has been around for a while, but its popularity boomed during the global COVID-19 pandemic—and hasn’t slowed down since. In fact, a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) found that online training was the number one fitness trend in 2021. Considering it ranked number 26 in 2020, this is a huge jump in demand.
So, the fitness industry is increasingly embracing the home workout market through digital technologies. Selling fitness content online opens you up to a much broader market beyond your immediate locale and makes your service more accessible to clients.
In this complete guide, we’re going to explain how you can turn your passion for fitness training into a lucrative online business. But first, let’s have a refresher on what online fitness training involves.
Jump to section:
- What is online fitness training?
- Why sell fitness content online?
- Who can sell online training programs?
- What makes a good online fitness plan?
- How do you make money with online fitness plans?
- How to sell workout plans and videos online with Dropbox Shop
- How to make your online fitness program thrive
Put simply, online training uses digital technologies to deliver an at-home fitness experience. These exercise programs are typically asynchronous, meaning the content is prerecorded or created once, then made available to watch, purchase, or download digitally. You can offer:
- Video content such as workouts and demonstrations
- Personal training courses
- Nutritional advice, meal plans, and recipes
- Fitness plans and schedules
- Wellness advice
Online training is slightly different from an online personal trainer. This sort of service usually provides a more bespoke or customized fitness program that differs from person to person. For those that would prefer their workout routines to be more personalized, and have direct communication with a trainer, then this may be a better option for them.
The increase in popularity of the home workout market isn't the only reason to launch an online fitness business. There are a variety of benefits for both you and your clients, including:
- Convenience—neither you nor your clients need to trek to the gym to meet up
- Scalability—your content can reach an almost unlimited number of people, meaning you can expand your pool of potential clients beyond your town, city, or state
- Market size—going online opens you up to a much wider marketplace. If someone can find your content, they can buy it and benefit from it
- Time—your clients can access guided workouts, videos, and plans digitally when it suits them
While not essential, there are a few personal qualities that may benefit your business:
- Passion for helping others
- Experience in fitness, perhaps from a physical fitness studio
Before launching your workout programs online, it may be beneficial to establish your reputation first. Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube will be great for getting your fitness content in front of your target audience.
Can you sell workout plans online without being certified?
Typically, becoming an online fitness coach doesn’t require a special qualification. However, you may want to consider the following to boost your capabilities and trustworthiness:
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)—One of the most popular fitness qualifications in the US and worldwide, offering education in science-based training and nutrition. Over 1.4 million fitness professionals hold a NASM qualification
- International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)—By completing this training course, you will be awarded a personal training certificate and an Associate degree in exercise science
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)—Certifications for group fitness instructors, medical exercise specialists, personal trainers, and more
There is a lot of diversity in the online fitness industry. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for trainers and clients alike—from live-streamed online fitness classes happening in real time, to dedicated fitness apps that help users to work out wherever and whenever.
But because of this, the market is becoming increasingly saturated. This means that your online fitness program needs a unique edge in order to stand out. Some things to consider when planning your fitness program include:
- Pick a specialism, such as strength training, HIIT, discipline-specific, or mobility and recovery. This can help you identify your niche and establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field
- Design programs to meet specific fitness goals, such as 30 hours of activity in a month or improving upper body strength
- Offer a variety of content—some people will prefer video on demand and visual demonstrations, while others may benefit most from spreadsheets
- Keep your content fresh—update your programs to keep current clients engaged and attract potential customers. You may want to offer holistic training programs, that take clients who have completed a beginner level through to more advanced plans
- Make it easy for your clients to find the content that suits their level (such as Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced) and goals
- Make your plan accessible for all users and easy to follow
- Expand your scope beyond exercise—consider offering advice on wellbeing, lifestyle, and nutrition
One of the benefits of operating in the online fitness industry is that you aren’t restricted to one business model. There are various ways to turn your passion for fitness into a profitable business.
Sell workout plans
A workout plan, schedule, or “roadmap” will help to identify the steps a client needs to take in order to achieve their fitness goals. By setting realistic goals and establishing a clear path of progression, your customers’ targets will become more manageable and attainable.
By creating pre-made workout plans for different purposes (such as 7-day challenges as well as longer, month-long programs) you can appeal to more people while still targeting some common goals. Even clients looking for a weight-loss plan won’t need to pay for a full-time personal trainer!
You may want to create templates to standardize your branding if part of your offering will include PDF documents and downloadable materials from your fitness website.
Sell workout videos
Supplementary to workout plans, workout videos will probably be your bread and butter. They’ll enable you to demonstrate the technique for a single exercise or routine, as well as longer guided sessions that clients can follow at a time and place that suits them.
By offering a variety of videos catering to different fitness needs, your customers can buy only the content they want or be encouraged to explore alternative tutorials they may not otherwise have considered.
Sell your time
While digital content is a great resource for advice, some customers will still benefit from face time with a fitness professional.
By offering personal sessions over video calls, you can give paying customers your full attention and provide more bespoke support for their specific needs.
Dropbox Shop is the ideal solution for retaining complete control over your digital content and sales data. With Shop, you can create a storefront to sell multiple digital files like workout videos and documents directly from your Dropbox account.
Let’s take a look at how easy it is to start selling fitness programs in Dropbox Shop.
1. Create and customize your shop
Before setting up your shop, you need to create your first listing and connect with a payment processor. After this, creating your shop is simple:
- Sign in to dropbox.com
- Click the grid icon in the top-left corner of your screen, then select Shop from the menu
- Go to the right-sidebar and select Customize (below Design your shop)
- Select the listings you’d like to include in your storefront, then click Continue
- Choose your shop’s custom link, background image, blur, and tint, then click Continue
2. Create (and update) your listings
You can add multiple files (including a combination of videos, documents, and audio) in one listing. To create a listing:
- In Dropbox Shop, click Create Item in the top-right corner of your screen
- Note: If this is your first listing, the message will read Start selling instead. You’ll need to agree to the Dropbox Shop seller terms before moving on.
- Give your item a Name and a Price
- Note: All the files added to your listing must be smaller than your available storage space.
- Optional: To offer the listing for free, toggle Offer this product for free under Price. You can change this setting at any time.
- Under Preview gallery, click the dropdown next to Add files
- Note: To reorder your files, click and drag the preview images. On the right of your screen, you’ll be able to see how your listing looks to your customers.
- Under Files for delivery, click the dropdown next to Add files
- To allow customers to download your files, leave the View only box unchecked
- If you want your customers to stream your video and audio files rather than download them, check the box next to View only.
- Optional steps
- Add a Description and/or Background.
- To allow buyers to add a tip, toggle Allow customers to add a tip to on.
- To add this listing to your shop, toggle Add this item to my shop to on.
- Click Continue
- Click “…” (ellipsis) below the name of the listing you’d like to edit or delete
- Make your edits, then click Save changes.
- Alternatively, click Delete.
3. Share and embed your listings
- Click the copy link button (chain icon) below the name of the listing you’d like to share
- Alternatively, click the link below your seller name to share your entire shop
- Paste the link where you’d like to share it
You can embed your Dropbox Shop listings into your website to let buyers purchase your items without leaving your website.
- Create the embed code in Dropbox Shop
- Click Share below the name of the listing, then Embed
- Choose a configuration and action for your listing, then click Copy
- Add the embed code to your website
4. View your sales performance
Monitoring your sales performance helps you improve your business and better understand your customers.
When you open Shop, the total views, sales, and revenue for all your listings combined will be at the top of the page below Overview.
The views, sales, and revenue for each listing will be below the copy link button (chain icon) and the “…” (ellipsis).
For more in-depth stats for individual listings, such as traffic sources and conversions by traffic source, all you need to do is click the listing.
5. Manage your customers
In Dropbox Shop, click the customers icon (two people) in the left sidebar. This will present a list of people who’ve purchased items from your Shop. You’ll also the details of their purchases, such as how many orders they’ve placed and how much they spent.
Setting up your shop is only half the battle. In order to bring in new clients, your online fitness business needs an effective strategy. How you structure your business plan will depend on a number of factors, especially how you intend to create, market, and sell your fitness program.
Specifically, there are two important factors you will need to consider to ensure your online fitness business thrives: your pricing system and your marketing strategy.
Online fitness plan pricing—how much should you charge?
In terms of pricing your online fitness program(s), one of the easiest routes is the transactional (pay-as-you-go fitness) model.
For this, clients pay for digital content via your Dropbox Shop storefront, as and when they want them. Every aspect of a particular plan or program will need to be included in the package and made available to the client as soon as they make their transaction.
Marketing your online workout content—social media is your gateway
With your Dropbox Shop storefront set up and your content ready to fly off the digital shelves, you’ll need to let people know it exists.
Social media can be a powerful tool for this. For example, you can offer free content through social channels that act as a teaser and encourage new customers to try your service.
Platforms such as Instagram and TikTok will enable you to build a community that brings people together around fitness goals and abilities. Remember to include your social media links in your Dropbox Shop seller profile!
Hit the ground running with Dropbox Shop
Dropbox Shop is the ideal solution to store, sell, and send your digital fitness content. It’s easy to create your storefront, manage your listings, and monitor your sales so you can deliver effective training programs and grow your business.