As more people become educated about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, there has been an increase in the popularity of fitness and health-related content online.
If you are interested in fitness and helping others to improve their health, starting an online fitness business could be a great way to do this.
The great news is that taking your fitness knowledge online doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, with a bit of planning and some creative thinking, you can get started with very little upfront investment.
In this article, we’ll explore how to start an online fitness business, including how to build an audience and market your services.
Let’s get right into it.
Table of contents
- Steps to Starting an Online Fitness Business
- Consider Long-term Relationship Building
Steps to Starting an Online Fitness Business
With a booming industry, competition is high when it comes to starting an online fitness business. However, opportunities are there for those who are willing to put in the work.
Here are the steps to consider when starting an online fitness business.
Choose a Niche for Your Fitness Business
The first step is to identify the niche that you want to focus on with your fitness business. This could be anything from general fitness and health advice to more specific areas such as weight loss, strength training, or nutrition.
Here are some of the most common niches you can choose from.
1. General Health And Fitness
This is a broad area that covers a wide range of topics related to health and fitness. If you choose this niche, your content could include anything from workout routines and healthy recipes to advice on staying motivated and overcoming common fitness obstacles.
2. Weight loss
If you want to focus on helping people lose weight, this could be your ideal niche. You can help people change their lifestyles and lose weight healthily by providing content that helps them do this. This could include workout programs, diet plans, and advice on dealing with emotional eating.
3. Strength Training
This niche could be a good fit for you if you’re more interested in helping people build muscle and get stronger. In this case, your business will help people safely and effectively build muscle through strength training. This could include workout routines, exercise progressions, and nutrition advice.
Yoga is another popular fitness niche that covers many physical and mental well-being topics. There is a lot of potential in the yoga industry. This can include beginner-friendly routines all the way to more advanced poses and meditation techniques.
5. Cardio workouts
This niche could be a good fit for you if you’re more interested in helping people improve their cardiovascular health. This can happen through various workout routines, content regarding heart-rate training zones, and advice on choosing the right type of cardio for your goals.
Pilates is a type of exercise that emphasizes controlled movements and core stability. If you’re interested in helping people improve their posture, flexibility, and overall strength, this could be your ideal niche. Your business could focus on providing content that allows people to safely do Pilates exercises at home or in the gym.
Crossfit is a type of high-intensity interval training that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Your business could focus on factors such as providing workout routines, advice on choosing the right gym, and tips on staying motivated. A focus on safety and proper technique are essential for this business.
8. Functional Training
Functional training is a type of exercise that emphasizes the use of practical movements to improve everyday life. This could include balance training, coordination exercises, and plyometric drills. This could be your ideal niche if you’re interested in helping people become more physically capable in their daily lives.
Find Your Audience
Now that you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to start thinking about your target audience. Here are some of the critical questions you’ll need to answer to define your target audience:
- Who are they? (e.g., age, gender, location, etc.)
- What are their interests?
- What are their pain points? (i.e., what problems do they need help with?)
- What type of content do they consume? (e.g., blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.)
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should understand who your target audience is and what they’re looking for.
Choose Your Business Model
After you know what niche and audience you’ll target, it’s time to start thinking about your business model. Here are some of the most common ways to make money in the fitness industry:
- Selling online courses and workshops: This is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with a broad audience. You can create video or text-based products (or a mix of both) of exercise techniques, nutrition, and injury prevention. Once you’ve completed your course, you can sell it on your website (more on this later).
- One-to-one training: If you want to work with clients more one-on-one, then you could offer personal training services. You can train clients in person or online and charge them by the session or month.
- Teaching online group fitness classes: This is an excellent option if you’re interested in teaching group classes but don’t have the space or resources to do so in person. You can create video-based workouts that your students can do at their convenience.
- Making fitness products: If you are an expert in a certain type of fitness, you can create products like workout plans, nutrition guides, and injury prevention programs. Once you make the product, use your website to sell it or list it on a third-party platform like Amazon.
- Affiliate marketing: This is a great way to monetize your website or blog without creating your products or services. You can promote other people’s products and services on your site and earn a commission whenever someone purchases through your affiliate link.
You can also opt for a mix of these business models. For example, you could sell online courses and one-on-one personal training services. Or you could teach group fitness classes and promote fitness products as an affiliate. The sky’s the limit!
Set Up an LLC
Once you know what type of business you want to start, it’s time to set it up legally. In the United States, the most common legal structure for small businesses is the LLC (limited liability company). This type of business offers protection for your personal assets in case your business is sued.
Knowing the fees involved in setting up and maintaining an LLC is critical to ensuring the long-term success of your business. With some fees being one time and others being recurring, it pays to be on top of your budgeting from the get-go.
Create Your Marketing Strategy
While many people know of offline lead generation strategies – print advertisements, direct mail, television commercials and similar often come to mind – they often don’t know how to generate leads online. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Being one of the quickest ways to generate leads, paid advertising can be an effective way to reach your target market. You can use platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to target people searching for keywords related to your business. Knowing who your target audience is and their pain points is crucial to making paid advertising work for you – without spending a lot of money on ads that don’t convert.
Offer Free Workouts Or Challenges
One great way to generate leads is by offering free workouts or challenges on your website or social media channels. This is a great way to get people interested in your offer and get them to sign up for your email list. Once you have their contact information, you can follow up with them and pitch your paid products or services.
Here’s an example of the content you can share with your audience.
Get Involved In The Online Fitness Community
Another great way to generate leads is by getting involved in the online fitness community. Dozens of forums and groups are dedicated to fitness, health, and wellness. By becoming an active member of these communities, you can build trust and credibility with potential leads. And if you’re providing valuable information and helpful advice, people will be more likely to do business with you when they’re ready to take their fitness journey to the next level.
Pitching To The Media
If you want to get some free publicity for your fitness business, then pitching the media is a great option. You can start by reaching out to local publications and see if they’re interested in writing a story about your business. Having a unique story or a specific angle as to why you started your fitness business is a good way to differentiate your business from others. This can help you get interest from national publications or bigger broadcast outlets. Being featured in the media can help you reach a new audience of potential leads.
Start A Blog Or Podcast
Blogging and podcasting are great ways to generate leads for your fitness business as creating helpful and informative content can attract people to your website or social media channels. By including CTAs (Call to Action) in your content, you can encourage people to sign up for your email list or contact you to learn more about your products or services.
Collaborate With Other Fitness Businesses
Finally, collaborating with other fitness businesses is a great way to generate leads. This could involve hosting joint events, offering discounts or cross-promotions, or simply sharing each other’s content on social media. By teaming up with other businesses in the industry, you can reach a whole new audience of potential leads.
Map Your Marketing Funnel
A marketing funnel is a process that leads potential customers through your marketing message to eventually becoming paying customers. It’s essential to map out your marketing funnel to know what steps you need to take to lead someone from being a potential customer to a paying customer.
While the above image shows various steps to the marketing funnel, you decide how simple or complex you want your funnel to be. For example, you might have a very simple funnel that just has four steps:
Going with this four-step funnel, here’s what you’d consider at each stage.
The first step in the marketing funnel is awareness. This is when someone becomes aware of a problem or need they have. While they might not know of your solutions just yet, people at this stage of the funnel start researching potential solutions to their issues.
The next step is interest. Here, someone realizes you have something to offer and wants to learn more about it. They may visit your website, sign up for your email list, or follow you on social media.
Next up, comes the decision. This is when someone decides whether or not they want to buy your product or service. They may compare you to other businesses in the industry, read reviews, or talk to friends or family who have used your service.
The last step is action. This is when someone takes the plunge and buys your product or service. Once they become a paying customer, you must continue providing value, so they remain customers and don’t churn.
By mapping out your marketing funnel, you can better understand what steps you need to take to lead someone from being a potential customer to a paying one. Understanding your marketing funnel allows you to create content and marketing campaigns designed to move people through the funnel and convert them into paying customers.
Create a Website and Blog
As an online business, one of the most important things you can do is create a website. Your website will be the foundation of your business, and it’s where people will go to learn more about what you offer.
Customers have become more advanced, and with readily available public search tools, they can check a lot of business information before they make contact. If you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers, as people will likely go to your competitors who do have a web presence.
On the other hand, having a website with social proof, payment security, and other key features can help show customers you are running a real business and make them more likely to buy from you.
From using a website builder, to hiring a web designer to create a custom website, there are several different options for creating a website. But no matter what route you choose, it’s essential to ensure that your website is professional, informative, and easy to navigate.
In addition to creating a website, you should also start a blog. This will be a great way to attract new visitors to your website, and it will give you a platform to share your expert knowledge with your audience.
Build Social Media Presence
Several different social media networks are great for promoting a fitness business. The most important thing is to choose the social networks that your target audience is using.
These social networks offer a variety of ways to promote your business, including posts, images, and videos.
Facebook is great for promoting your fitness business because it offers flexibility regarding what you can post. You can share photos, videos, articles, and more to help people learn about your business.
Twitter is also a great social network for promoting your fitness business. It’s a quick and easy way to share updates about your business, helpful tips, articles, and more.
Instagram not only allows you to share traditional media such as photos and videos, but with features such as Reels and Stories, you now have a more creative way to share content with your audience. It’s also a great way to connect with other fitness businesses and influencers in the industry.
Tiktok is a newer social network growing in popularity, especially among younger audiences. It’s an excellent platform for sharing short videos related to your fitness business.
Finally, being present on YouTube allows you to share videos related to your fitness business. You can use this platform to create helpful tutorial videos, product demonstrations, workout videos, and more. Plus, YouTube offers a variety of marketing tools that can help you promote your videos and attract new viewers.
Create Your Content
At this point, your website, blog, and social media platforms are set up, and you’re ready to start creating content. But what kind of content should you create?
When it comes to fitness content, there are several different options. You can create items such as:
- workout videos
- recipe videos
- motivation videos
- transformation stories
- tips and advice videos
- behind-the-scenes videos
- Q&A videos
- and more.
The key is to create helpful, informative, and engaging content. By providing value to your audience, you’ll be more likely to attract leads and customers to your business.
In addition, consider that adapting and recycling your content for various platforms is key to making the most out of your efforts.
This means that one video can be turned into a blog post, an infographic, or even a social media post. As such, you’ll get more mileage out of your content and reach a wider audience by utilizing all the different content formats available to you.
Consider Long-term Relationship Building
Making sure your customers stick to their fitness journey is important for your business. This means you need to focus on building relationships with them from the start.
You can have a more successful business by finding a way to provide accountability, support, and motivation to your customers. This will help you to stand out from your competition.
It will also help people stick to their goals and be more successful.
Offering other services, such as nutrition counseling, lifestyle coaching, or mental health support can make your business more well-rounded and attractive to potential leads.
Another way to build relationships with your audience is by creating an email list. This will allow you to stay in touch with your subscribers and regularly provide them with helpful information, tips, and resources.
You can use your email list to promote new products or services, announce sales or discounts, and run competitions or giveaways. Building a relationship with your audience will make you more likely to convert them into paying customers.
An online fitness business is a great way to make a living while helping others improve their health and well-being. But before you can start reaping the rewards, you need to work hard to build your audience and create valuable content.
By following the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be on your way to setting up a successful online fitness business. This is your chance to make a difference in the lives of others – so go out there and make it happen!