Be sure to read my latest article in this month’s issue of Fitness Professional Online. The whole issue’s theme is centered around additional revenue sources for your personal training business.
In my article I list 5 options with the accompanying web resources to implement them. Let’s take a look some of them.
You might think, “What other options for income do personal trainers have?” As it turns out, our field is quite flexible and we can offer quite a bit in addition to our core service. There are a number of complementary products and services you can include for additional revenue. Here are some other examples of additional streams that can be offered by personal trainers. You don’t need or want to ask permission to do these things. Just pick what you like or are strongest at and go do it.
1. Nutritional counseling is another revenue stream you may want to include in your business. You’ll find that the 80/20 rule, or maybe even more likely, the 90/10 rule, applies in fitness and fat loss as well. Most people think that exercise is the best way to lose fat. Not true. It’s one of the worst. The common perception is that if you start exercising, body fat will melt off like butter. The truth is that exercise can build muscle and raise metabolism, but in terms of burning the required calories to lose a significant amount of fat, it falls really short. As a result, fat loss tends to be about 10% exercise and 90% calorie control and appropriate nutritional prescription. This can be good for us as trainers because we already offer the exercise component, and most people are looking to lose some significant amount of body fat. So this presents an opportunity for an upsell or additional revenue stream into a nutritional counseling program too. You’ll want to make sure that your state doesn’t have further restrictions on nutritional information and coaching you can offer. Registered dietitians are licensed by the state and have a minimum level of education in order to provide their service. Be sure that you use the appropriate terminology and don’t overstep the scope of your training. But, if you’d like an easy way to offer this service to clients, a great registered dietitian created software to help you implement this is the Diet master Pro web software from www.lifestylestech.com. You can either offer this as an upsell when someone signs up with you for training or include it in the pricing of a package. The good thing about software is that it’s easy for you to manage and customize for each client and you can create profiles for each person.
2. Online training is another option to help more people and get your knowledge to go a lot farther than just your local market. You can do it as simply as phone/email coaching or you can use some of the online training software systems that are out there. These aren’t perfect by any means, but may offer another way to connect with customers who otherwise you would not have been able to serve. eFitnesstracker www.efitnesstracker.com is one that we like. The admin set up is a little user unfriendly, but otherwise, it’s a good service and they are excellent about keeping in touch and supporting you. Probably the hardest thing about online training is making the sale strictly over the internet without the face to face contact you’d have in person. But, this can be a great revenue stream to add to your business.
Here’s a good rule of thumb I like to use in charging for online training. Take what you would charge for 1 session in person training and that is your monthly charge for online training. So, let’s say you charge $70 for a single 1 on 1 training session in person, you’ll charge $70/month for online. Now, $70/month isn’t a whole lot of money so you’ll have to make sure that your time investment into managing it isn’t exceeding what it is worth. You want to deliver good quality programs online, but not take more time than you would to do it in person. This will be determined by how you set up the routines as well as the kind of software you choose. I would only prescribe workouts 1 week in advance. I’d send out the routines on Sunday and have the clients work through 3 full body routines throughout the week according to our principles we gave them. Then they would update each workout with what they were able to do and any feedback they had. I’d review again on Sunday and send out all of the progressions, substitutions, changes, new routines, then. So, I was really only working on it on a weekly basis 1 day a week. That was easy to manage for me and not too much of a time investment. Later on, I had our trainers manage their clients online too. I even had a trainer in Michigan (we work in Virginia) work virtually with clients online all over the country.
3. Book or eBook sales are another excellent way for you to position yourself as the expert and open up another revenue stream in the process. Producing an eBook can be done very quickly and efficiently for next to nothing. Better still is that they are an infinite supply. You’ll never run out of inventory and you can continue to resell at the same price. eBooks can be long and thorough or just in the form of a short, concise piece on a specific subject. They can be attached to or packaged in with other bonus items for higher price or used as a value added item. They don’t even have to be attached to another electronic item, you can sell a copy of your eBook with the purchase of a personal training or nutritional package from you.
Most people think producing a hard copy book is a long and arduous process. With the prevalence of self-publishing these days, it can actually be quite easy. You probably have a book either in your head right now or a book’s worth of material you’ve already written in the form of newsletters, blog posts, and articles over the years. Resources like www.createspace.com can allow anyone to produce a hard copy book in very little time. Once you have something published in hard copy, even if self-published, your perceived credibility will go way up!
4. As a trainer, you’ll likely be looked to as an expert on every piece of equipment on the market that comes along. Clients and friends will often ask you “What do you think about XYZ equipment?” That presents an opportunity for you to make recommendations that you can profit from or outright sales of your own equipment. The easiest way to profit from this is to participate in a drop shipping or affiliate program like the one from www.net2mallsdropship.com. It’s very easy. They may not have everything you want, but it can be a good place to start or an additional avenue. All you need to do is set up an account and place the company’s products on your site at a price point of your choosing above their wholesale price. When the customer buys from you at the retail price, you purchase the product from the company and input the customer’s shipping address. You pocket the difference and the company fulfills the product shipment and customer service. That way you don’t have to store and keep track of inventory. You’re only brokering the sale of the product and keeping the marginal difference. It can’t get any easier than that. There are no fees or up-front costs for you at all. It’s just pure profit in the difference in price other than your time.
5. And don’t forget that it isn’t all about you and your local market. You can offer things of value back to our industry, itself. You can offer B2B (business to business) items. Let’s say you’ve come up with a new advancement in the field. This is rare lately. There are a lot of junky trends out there, but I mean a real, legitimate advancement in the industry. It doesn’t have to be anything Earth shattering, but just something that you came up with creatively that could be of benefit to all of us outside of your business. Be careful not to give away proprietary secrets that give you a competitive advantage. You’ll have to make that decision. But, perhaps others might like to learn about your special methods. In this case, you could produce a special certification or a continuing education course for others in the industry to learn and for you to profit from. There’s no sense in learning this wealth of knowledge if it is going to die with you. Sharing that kind of information, and you being justly and nicely compensated for it, is the kind of thing that will continue to drive progress. Check with some of the larger certification bodies like ACE American Council on Exercise to become a continuing education provider. You can produce programs others can take either in person or even that are web based. You’ll have to pay an initial small fee to become a provider, but you’ll get access to their entire network of certified professionals as potential customers of your educational materials.
The cost of implementing any of these should be minimal to nothing on your part. Nutritional coaching and online training software should only require about 1 client in order to pay for the cost of the program. What’s better is that some of these can be passive income sources that don’t require you to be there, in person, in order to be making money. Anyone in the world can buy your book while you sleep. Waking up in the morning to see that you’ve distributed your knowledge to help other people outside of your local market, and didn’t have to work to do it, but still made money is a good feeling to have.
Now, that’s just five ideas. I have 22 of them in total in my book, Start, Operate, and Grow Your Personal Training Business. We’ve used all of them successfully to some extent or another. You can too.
Be sure to read the article along with the rest of the issue of FPO. Then go grab a copy of my book for the rest of the revenue stream ideas.