How to Make Extra Money as a Personal Trainer

Personal training, like any business, takes time to build and nurture before you see a rate of return on the investment you made to start the business. This can be an initially frustrating experience for new professionals. What many overlook is the fact that your skills as a personal trainer are applicable outside of the gym setting; there are multiple ways to increase your revenue both actively and passively to support your business’s growth and development. Here are five ways to boost your income. 

1.     Publish and Present:

Breaking into the writing and speaking game in the industry takes some fortitude and commitment. But both endeavors do pay, and some publications and events pay well. Start small by developing your own blog and checking with your certifying agency to inquire about author possibilities. Some organizations have their blogs written in-house while others offer opportunities for subject matter experts to contribute. You just need to start with the ask. For presentations, you can put out feelers on your social media networks like LinkedIn to promote the fact that you are looking to speak at upcoming events. You can also apply to present at upcoming conferences. Most will publish requests for proposals early on and a link to present. My advice – start sketching out some topics you would like to present on, so you have something ready to go. 

2.     Create Courses:

This takes a lot of work on the backend – developing the curriculum, filming videos (if that is a component), developing handouts and activities, branding, marketing and then publishing the course. However, these courses do provide a source of passive income once they are published. Consider looking into platforms like Teachable and Udemy. You can also find plugins for your website that are effective and affordable. You may even look at getting these courses approved with a body like NASM so they also provide CEUs for Personal Trainers.

3.     Offer Workshops or Lunch and Learns:

You can (and should) promote your expertise beyond the gym or studio. Connecting with your community is a great way to do this. If your clients work for employers who would be interested in inviting a professional to speak on health-related topics, you have an in already. 

4.     Design Downloadable Workouts for Purchase:

These are popular with individuals who do not have the money or interest in hiring a full-time or part-time personal trainer. Create a library of downloadable workouts for purchase. You could develop a variety of options such as workouts of the day, lower body focus, upper body focus, HIIT, Tabata, LISS, beginner level lifting, body weight movements, and/or 2- or 4-week programs. 

5.     Try a Membership Model:

You might consider offering membership for different lengths of time such as 1 month, 45 days, 3 months, 6 months, and annually. These memberships would be set to renew before the expiration date. This model could provide a steadier cash flow than 10 or 20 package deals. 

Regardless of what side-hustles you choose to pursue, know that building any aspect of your business takes time and patience. Nurture the seeds as you go and start small. Don’t take on the world all at once. You’ll get there.

About the Author

Dr. Erin Nitschke is a certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, college professor, fitness blogger, mother, and passionate fitness professional with over 20 yrs experience in fitness industry 

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PS: At Fitness Education Online, we have a CEU course for Personal Trainers all around this topic “Online Essentials: Start Training Clients Online”. Feel free to check it out!

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