I know that to make money in your personal training business most of you are just giving sessions. And sometimes that isn’t enough to make ends meet. But whether you are earning enough or not, there are always some extra ways to earn more by creating some extra income streams that you can tap into without working yourself into the ground.
So in today’s session after thinking back over what I have done in the past, and am still doing and also after talking to a bunch of trainers about what they are doing to earn money, here are my top 5 income streams for personal trainers to earn more that does not include doing more and more sessions.
I’ve tried to keep a list where you do not have to invest a lot of time in the long run as time is one thing that most trainers lack. So on the list are 5 ways that might require a bit of up front work, or extra work for a short space of time. But the best bit is that it is work that you can leverage. That means that once the work is done once, you can use it over and over again. These income streams are also scalable, so you can do it over and over again with a lot of people without too much extra work.
So let’s get started!
So first up on the list is that you can create all different kinds of digital downloads that you can sell online or actually even people in your local area since they will also have internet access!
So what digital downloads can there be?
Well, you can write some downloadable programs to start with. A lot of trainers do this and sell them as PDF’s or even turn them into ebooks.
If you have a repeatable training system that works for the majority of people, you can create your workout, give it a cool name and sell it as a stand alone downloadable product.
Once it is created, you can sell the same digital download an infinite number of times with no extra work or cost.
There are a lot of famous workouts that were done like this such as P90X. That was huge and literally made millions!
Another download you could create is a regular book and sell it as an ebook. This is something I have been thinking of doing recently. With self publishing tools and access to Amazon, it looks fairly simple. But writing the actual book might be a little tough, it is also something that you can do once and start selling without a load of time needed once it is completed.
Some trainers sell many different products through their own app. This app can take you through a workout that is more involved than maybe the PDF version we talked about before.
Apps are great, especially these days. You can include videos for support, track sessions and progress and help keep people more accountable.
While this is a great idea and there are some really great apps like Carbon by Layne Norton for nutrition, getting this setup will cost a lot of money. Apps do not come cheap, and even once it is done, it needs maintenance. While you won't be putting in that work, you will need to pay someone to do it.
Next up on the list is affiliate marketing. As a trainer you are in a unique position where firstly, your clients really trust you and your opinions and secondly, they always ask you for recommendations.
I’m asked all the time about the best supplement, protein, shoes or local physios. You can set up relationships with these companies or people where you promote and recommend their products and services and for each sale that comes through you.
This can be a real learner if you have a big audience or have high ticket offers to recommend.
Now some of you might be a ‘sponsored’ trainer. But really, this is just an affiliate arrangement where you help promote a supplement company and you get a discount code that helps track your sales and what they need to pay you. But whatever you call it, it can be a good way to earn some extra income.
Just make sure, that whatever you promote or recommend, it is something you have used yourself and was impressed by. Make sure your recommendation comes from experience, otherwise when someone asks a question or has a bad experience, you are in a better position to talk to them about it. You are also in a better position to sell it as talking from experience of something you really like will show through your enthusiasm for the product or service.
Now, 3rd on the list is online workshops and webinars. Of course this is also something you can do in person if you want. It’s just that online is more scalable and a little less work overall.
But, either way, you can create an educational workshop or webinar with a specific topic that will really help and add value to your ideal client.
Now, these need to be paid events so you need to make it good! And it is probably best not to call it a webinar. People are trained to expect webinars to be free. You could do that if you want to use the webinar just purely as a marketing and lead generating event.
But if it is paid, then it’s best to call it a workshop or masterclass or something like that.
But the greatest thing about these events is that, not only do you earn money from them, but they are great for marketing. It’s a double whammy.
It is a great way for you to expand your reach and have people enter your world and generate leads. While the cost of the event isn’t high, once people are learning from you and connecting with you, and you are building the ‘know, like and trust’ you can lead people up your value pyramid to more expensive and better products or services.
They can be a money earner, but also a great way to start off a relationship with more people that are your ideal client.
OK, fourth on the list is hosting and running some kind of challenge.
This is another great way to generate leads, grow your audience, reach new people and start to build trust and help more people.
You can run a challenge that has a very specific goal for anything from 5-30 days. Some examples might include a 30 day push up challenge. Maybe a 21 day bodyweight challenge or a 7 day hydration challenge. There really are no limits on what you can do. But there are some guidelines!
First, your challenge needs to be specific. What are you working towards, what is the result you or transformation you are helping people to achieve for the duration of the challenge?
That result or transformation needs to also be measurable so people can know if they are making progress and at the end if they reached the goal.
You need to educate and hold people accountable along the way and offer great support for the duration of the challenge.
And if you can gamify it all, that will help keep people’s interest high throughout, as there will be drop outs along the way.
Just like workshops and webinars, challenges can be paid experiences. You can earn money, and again, use them as a great marketing tool to get more and more people into your world and build relationships.
And just like workshops and webinars, once you have created it, you can rinse and repeat over and over. Once the upfront work is done, you can host a new one anytime you want without any extra work. And the amount of people that can attend is technically unlimited.
Now, the final way to make money with an extra income stream is through an online community. You can do this in a couple of ways. The first way is to have a community for your existing clients. This can be done no matter if you’re an online or in-person trainer.
Having your clients come into a community all together can help them feel like they are a part of something bigger, like they are not alone. It is something that will unite people. And they all have something in common already. First is that they are all your clients, but they are probably all working on the same goals and experiencing the same issues or obstacles.
Knowing other people are going through what you are going through is a strong motivator. This helps with support and accountability and in a community it comes from other clients, not you! So this is a great value add that requires little extra work from you.
Now, I’m not saying this is easy. In the early days that work might have to come from you and you will need to create a culture in your community where clients are happy and willing to help each other out.
Another way to run a community is to create a place where you can offer help, support and advice to people that are maybe downloading your workout plans or your app.
People that kind of ‘go it alone’ with digital downloads know that it is something that they will be doing on their own. But to offer that guidance in an almost minimalistic way can be a big selling point for them and another great value add.
Why minimalist? It’s because you are assisting in a one-to-many situation rather than a 1-2-1 like traditional personal training. This helps you leverage your time a lot better.
And again, you can eventually have other clients within the community supporting other members.
When you do personally help out and talk and give advice and it is ‘one-to-many’, you can make sure that help is recorded and stored in the community. This allows for future clients to be able to search and find it and get the help they need quickly, easily and without help from any one else at all.
Both types of communities have a lot of benefits in common. First up is that communities can help clients be more ‘sticky’. That is that it will help with retention as clients won’t want to give up and miss out on the community just as much as they won’t want to miss out and give up on you as a trainer. It can make the decision to leave a lot harder due to the fear of missing out.
A community allows for clients to talk to each other more freely which will allow you better insights to what they need or are struggling with. You can engage with them on a deeper level and have easier, more regular contact and communication with them.
And finally, the added value will either allow you to charge more for each client, it can be a part of your ‘gold’ plan for example. Or you can just charge an extra fee for being a part of the community, so you can use it as a way of converting more clients to your higher cost package.
Either way you get to charge more, or have a totally separate new income stream, boosting your lifetime value of each client, your retention levels and your overall revenue.
So that’s it. 5 extra income streams that you can take advantage of to earn more and build your personal training empire.
Remember, you don’t have to do just one. You can do all of them at different times for some and continuously for others.
All put together, you can create an amazing income. An income that might need some upfront work from you, but once it is done, you can leverage it and earn a lot from it for the long term and also scale it to a lot of people while growing your audience.