Building a 6-Figure Coaching Business: Is Coaching, Alone, Enough? - DirectPayNet
Online fitness coaching app on iPhone with red dumbbell weights

Building a 6-Figure Coaching Business: Is Coaching, Alone, Enough?


In an age where technology infiltrates nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that the realm of personal fitness has not been spared. In fact, one could argue that technology has revolutionized the way we approach health and wellness.

However, with this digital shift comes an array of new challenges and opportunities. In particular, the question arises: is it enough to simply be an online fitness coach?

With the fitness landscape becoming increasingly competitive, many online coaching business owners find themselves contemplating whether they should diversify their offerings and branch out into selling supplements, endorsing fitness tracking apps, and providing other health and wellness-related products and services to reach their six-figure goals.

This blog post aims to delve into this pressing question, exploring the complexities of the online fitness coaching business.

The Landscape of Online Fitness Coaching Programs

A journey back in time reveals a fitness industry that was once dominated by in-person, gym-based training. Trainers and clients alike would navigate crowded spaces, scheduling conflicts, and geographical limitations. With the dawn of the digital age, however, the industry has witnessed a seismic shift, creating a new ecosystem: online fitness coaching.

Modern-day online fitness coaching has taken the industry by storm, breaking down physical barriers and allowing fitness professionals to connect with clients around the globe. Trainers now have the freedom to operate independently of a physical gym, and clients can train wherever and whenever suits them best, making fitness more accessible and customizable than ever before.

An online fitness coach’s role varies widely, often transcending traditional fitness training. They act as personal trainers, nutritional advisors, motivational speakers, and sometimes, life coaches. They provide personalized workout plans, diet charts, motivational strategies, and constant support to their clients to help them reach their fitness goals.

These high-ticket coaches are usually active across several digital platforms, using email, websites, social media, and even dedicated fitness apps to communicate with clients, manage workouts, track progress, and provide feedback.

The market for online fitness coaching is dynamic and rapidly evolving. In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in home-based workouts, personalized fitness plans, and holistic wellness, partly fueled by lifestyle changes and partly by the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact.

While this surge of interest has led to increased opportunities, it has also heightened competition among fitness professionals. Successful coaches are continually seeking innovative ways to stand out, retain clients, and expand their businesses.

Increasingly, diversification has emerged as a potential strategy to navigate this competitive landscape. By updating the business model and offering a range of related products and services – from dietary supplements to fitness tracking apps – coaches can potentially increase their income, reach a broader audience, and enhance their value proposition.

However, this strategy comes with its own set of considerations.

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Financial Aspects of Online Fitness Coaching

Financial success as an online fitness coach is often as multifaceted and individual as the training programs they offer. Income streams for coaches are primarily derived from their client training sessions.

These may include one-on-one personalized sessions, group sessions, and specialized training programs sold as packages. Often, pricing is variable and can be adjusted based on client requirements, program intensity, or even coach popularity and reputation.

On average, the income of an online fitness coach can vary greatly. According to Glassdoor, the median income for an online fitness coach is approximately $55,000 per year, with the top 10% earning upwards of $80,000 annually.

However, these numbers can be somewhat deceptive, as they don’t account for the operating costs inherent in running an online business, such as marketing expenses, taxes, and technology investments.

Online fitness coaches also need to invest time and money into acquiring new clients and retaining existing ones. This may involve various marketing strategies, including social media advertising, content creation, email marketing, and more. Maintaining a robust digital presence can be a considerable part of the financial investment for online fitness coaches.

The financial sustainability of online fitness coaching can also be influenced by market saturation and competition, and becoming 6-figure coach is only getting more difficult. As the online fitness industry continues to grow, so too does the number of fitness coaches vying for clients’ attention. This increased competition can put downward pressure on pricing and upward pressure on marketing and acquisition costs.

Given these financial pressures, it’s no surprise that many online fitness coaches are exploring additional revenue streams, such as selling supplements or endorsing fitness tracking apps.

These opportunities not only provide an additional source of income but also offer a way to further engage with clients and strengthen the coach-client relationship. However, this approach isn’t without its challenges and considerations.

The Role of Diversification in Online Fitness Coaching

Diversification, a concept often used in investment strategies to manage risk and maximize returns, has found its way into the toolkit of online fitness coaches.

In the context of online fitness coaching, diversification refers to branching out from core services to offer related products or services. This could include:

–       selling supplements

–       endorsing or creating fitness tracking apps

–       providing personalized meal plans

–       selling fitness merchandise

–       collaborating with other brands and professionals

Several benefits can arise from diversification. Additional income streams can enhance financial stability, especially during times when client numbers fluctuate. Diversifying can also aid in establishing a coach’s brand as a comprehensive wellness solution, which can appeal to clients seeking a ‘one-stop-shop’ for their fitness needs.

Furthermore, diversification can lead to audience expansion, enabling coaches to reach new client segments they might not have been able to otherwise.

However, the path of diversification is not without its potential pitfalls. Offering a broader range of products or services can result in a divided focus, potentially diminishing the quality of core coaching services.

Additionally, if the products or services chosen for diversification are not in alignment with a coach’s values or brand identity, they risk losing credibility in the eyes of their clients. Not to mention, diversification often requires additional upfront financial investment, which may not guarantee returns.

Strategies for Successful Diversification

Successfully diversifying your offerings in hopes to become a six-figure business involves careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a deep understanding of your brand, ideal client, and actual coaching clients. Here are some key strategies to keep in mind when contemplating diversification.

Identify the Right Products/Services that Align with Your Brand and Values

When considering which products or services to add to your coaching practice, it’s essential to ensure they align with your brand and values. For example, if you advocate for natural and holistic wellness, selling synthetic supplements may not resonate well with your audience.

Similarly, endorsing a fitness app that you wouldn’t use yourself may undermine your authenticity. Diversification should feel like a natural extension of your brand, not a forced addition.

Leverage Social Media and Other Platforms for Marketing

A robust online presence is crucial for the successful promotion of your diversified offerings. This might involve regular posting on social media platforms, email marketing, blog writing, or even hosting webinars and online workshops.

Whichever methods you choose, ensure your marketing efforts are consistent, engaging, and accurately represent the value of your new offerings.

Build Relationships with Suppliers and Partners

If you’re selling products, it’s crucial to build strong relationships with reliable suppliers. If you’re partnering with other businesses or professionals, take the time to understand their values and operations. A positive relationship with suppliers and partners can enhance the quality of your offerings and help ensure a smoother operation.

Don’t forget to follow up with those you work with, even if it’s a limited-time partnership. You should never leave a relationship out to dry.

Balance Your Primary Coaching Responsibilities with Additional Ventures

While diversification can provide multiple benefits, your primary responsibility remains delivering high-quality coaching services to your clients. Ensure that any additional ventures don’t detract from the quality or commitment level of your coaching. This might involve effective time management, delegating tasks, or using automation tools.

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Audience Perspective

Your audience, or clients, are the lifeblood of your coaching business. Therefore, any steps toward diversification should ideally meet their needs and align with their expectations.

Clients usually engage with an online fitness coach for their expertise in guiding them toward their fitness goals. They appreciate individual attention, tailored plans, and the sense of motivation that comes from a personal connection. Any additional products or services you introduce should ideally serve to enhance this core experience.

For instance, a fitness app that helps clients better track their progress could potentially enhance their overall experience, providing them with a tangible way to see their results. Similarly, if you specialize in weight loss coaching, offering personalized meal plans or endorsing high-quality nutritional supplements could provide additional value to your clients.

However, diversification can also pose risks to the client-coach relationship. If clients feel that selling products has become more important to you than their personal progress, they may become disillusioned. Similarly, if the products or services you endorse don’t deliver on their promises, it can harm your credibility and damage the trust you’ve built with your clients.

This can have a massive effect on a small business, as testimonials can truly make or break a business.

How’s Your Online Fitness Coaching Business Running?

The world of online fitness coaching is dynamic, challenging, and incredibly rewarding. As a coach, you have the power to impact lives, inspire change, and share your passion for fitness with people all over the world.

But, in a market that’s becoming increasingly saturated, it’s essential to find ways to stand out and enhance your offerings. Diversification can be a powerful tool in your arsenal, allowing you to increase your revenue, reach a broader audience, and provide a more comprehensive service to your clients.

From group coaching via Zoom to online courses, podcasts, activewear, and supplements, having a 6-figure coaching business is a full-time hustle.

However, as we’ve explored in this post, diversification is not a decision to be taken lightly. It requires careful planning, a deep understanding of your brand and audience, and a commitment to maintaining the quality of your core coaching services. It’s about striking a balance between enhancing your offerings and preserving the integrity of your coaching.

If you’re ready to take that next step and begin diversifying your online fitness coaching business, one crucial aspect you’ll need to consider is your merchant services provider. You’ll need a reliable, flexible, and secure way to handle payments for your expanded range of products or services. This is where DirectPayNet can help. As a leading provider of online merchant solutions, DirectPayNet specializes in supporting businesses like yours.

Diversification is a journey, and like any journey, it begins with a single step. If you’re ready to start that journey, consider opening an online coaching merchant account with DirectPayNet. Embrace the opportunities that diversification presents, and continue to evolve and grow your online fitness coaching business in this exciting digital age.


About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.