Wondering how to sell fitness programs online? It can be a fantastic way for gyms, personal trainers, and fitness bloggers to earn extra income, or even build a full-time business. But how does it actually work and where should you start?

In this article – learn exactly how to create and sell workout plans online (with zero marketing experience), including how to maximise sales and revenue.

  • Why sell fitness programs online?
  • How to create & sell online programs
    • Come up with an idea
    • Quantify customer demand
    • Create your program
    • Set up online
    • Promote & sell

TLDR: To sell online fitness and workout programs you need to come up with a sound idea, quantify demand for it, create high-quality content, host it on a platform that handles payment and delivery (like Podia or Shopify), and then promote it effectively.

I started selling fitness programs online back in 2006. I’d just qualified as a personal trainer and was trying to earn extra income. Back then, I sold workout plans through eBay because I didn’t know how else to do it. But these days it’s easier than ever to create and sell your own programs through Instagram, your own website, or third-party marketplaces.

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Why sell fitness programs online?

We’re big fans of selling workout programs online for several reasons…

  • You can reach and help more people achieve their fitness goals than you can in person.
  • Online programs can provide extra revenue and tend to be more profitable than in-person sessions.
  • They can provide leads for your more premium programs and high ticket personal training services, as part of a sales funnel and upselling process.
  • When set up correctly, they can provide passive income.
  • It allows you to expand your client base beyond people in your local area.
  • Selling online gives you freedom and flexibility to work your own hours and travel more.
  • They allow you to diversify your fitness business online and mitigate risks (e.g. when gyms were unexpectedly closed back in 2020).

In-person sessions are a great source of income, but you’re swapping your time for money, which means your earnings are always limited by the number of hours in a day. Wouldn’t it be nice to generate income as a personal trainer even when you’re not on the gym floor? Selling online workout plans provides a scalable income stream that can complement one-to-one or group training sessions.

How To Sell Fitness Programs Online

Here’s an overview of how to sell fitness and workout programs online…

  1. Come up with an idea
  2. Quantify customer demand
  3. Create your program
  4. Set up online
  5. Promote & sell

Let’s explore each of these steps in more detail (feel free to skip to step 4 if you’ve already created a program)…

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#1 – Come up with an idea

Coming up with a great program idea is essential to its success. Many PTs and gym owners will already have a clear idea of what they want to create. But for those who don’t, here are some prompts to help you come up with one…

  • What’s your specialty?
  • What do you have a lot of experience in?
  • Which types of client do you get the best results with?
  • What do you love teaching or coaching?
  • What do clients ask you about most?
  • Where do you see a gap in the market or clients that are underserved?
  • Where could you do a better job than a competitor?
  • Which fitness trends are you most interested in?

Asking yourself these questions will help you come up with some initial fitness program ideas. You’ll then need to develop them further into something more defined. Think about… 

  • What’s the goal of the plan?
  • What transformation will clients achieve by completing it?
  • Who’s the target audience?
  • What time-frame will it involve?
  • What are all the benefits associated with it?

Often the best-selling workout plans target a very niche audience with a very specific goal, such as improving performance in a specific sport or achieving a designated goal. The more niche and specific your plan is, the easier it becomes to differentiate your plan from other competitors and generate more sales.

The niche you choose should be one that you already have a lot of experience training people in. Perhaps you’re already training individuals for these goals in 1-1 or group sessions, so have a wealth of knowledge to use when creating quality programming for these goals. The focus should always be on creating a quality workout plan packed with value, as opposed to chasing a large target audience.

#2 – Quantify Customer Demand

Before you rush off to create your fitness program, it’s important to quantify whether there’s demand from customers. Is it something they’re willing to pay for?

Skipping this step is a common mistake and one we’ve made several times ourselves. But if you want to make money selling workout plans, then ensuring there’s a market is crucial. It might feel tempting to push ahead with creating it, but unless you know there’s demand, you might end up wasting your time.

There are a few different ways to establish whether there’s demand for your online fitness program…

Keyword volume

Find out how many people are searching for your program topic on Google. You can use Keysearch or Keyword Planner to get an idea of numbers.

Client enquiries

If the topic is something you’re regularly asked about, then you know there’s some demand. Check in with those people who’ve previously enquired about it and ask whether they’re interested in signing up for your online program. Get them to pay a deposit if you want to be 100% sure people are willing to pay.

Set up waitlists & presales

Before opening a new gym, most operators will have a ‘pre-sales’ period where they sell discounted memberships. You can take the same approach with your online fitness programs – set up a waitlist or sales page that takes paid orders using Podia or Shopify. Just make it very clear that the program is still in development and won’t be delivered straight away.

Check Facebook Groups & Forums

Is it something people are asking about in Facebook groups or online forums? Search online to find out whether it’s a problem that people are actively looking to solve or want more info about.

Competitors

Are other trainers or fitness businesses selling something similar? Try searching online to see what other online courses or programs come up. Check sites like Udemy to see whether they have courses on your theme and how many reviews they have. You can use this to calculate how many sales those instructors have generated.

It’s worth noting that not all fitness programs need to be paid ones. Obviously if revenue is your goal, then it matters. But if you’re creating your workout plans to establish yourself as an authority in a niche or promote affiliate products, then you might consider making it available for free.

Example – Free programs on ‘how to use a TRX’ or ‘spin bike workouts for triathlon training’ could be used to generate affiliate sales of these products and earn commission.

Once you’re confident there’ll be demand for your program, it’s time to start creating it…

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#3 – Create Your Fitness Program

So, how do you make a workout program to sell? First, create an outline of your fitness plan that lists the deliverables and content it’ll include. Then flesh this out so it’s clear exactly what the program will cover.

Think about what format would be best for delivering your content to clients. There are several different options to choose from…

The format of your workout plans comes down to personal preference and audience needs. What will you most enjoy creating and how will your clients follow it best?

The most important part of a workout plan is of course it’s programming. Ultimately this is what individuals are buying the program for, but that doesn’t mean a quality plan shouldn’t include other sections.

Adding additional content and information to your workout plans is how you build in extra value to your plans and set them apart from other alternatives. Some examples of adding more value include…

  • Nutritional guidance
  • Meal plans, menus, or shopping lists
  • Progress tracking charts
  • Fitness calculators
  • Checklists and cheatsheets
  • FAQ section

Top tip – draft your program’s sales page now, before you start creating the content. This will help you spot any gaps in the program or things that would make it more appealing, before you spend time making it. That way you can include these things from the start instead of going back and rerecording videos or redrafting ebook chapters. It’s a trick we’ve picked up over the years and makes for a better fitness program in the end.

To create your fitness program content, we’ve found the following approaches work well…

There are no set rules or format a plan should follow, but it needs to be clear, well structured and easy to follow. Remember that people will be following your plan unaided, so every part needs to be crystal clear.

Top tip – It’s well worth trialling your plan with close friends or family first to check someone unfamiliar with the programming can follow it without assistance. It will benefit you massively when it comes to your reviews & customer satisfaction.

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#4 – Set Up Online

Once you’ve created and perfected your workout plan, it’s time to make it available online. There are two main options for this – upload it to an online marketplace for fitness programs or sell through your own platform.

Online market places can be appealing because the people visiting them are actively looking for workout plans. The downside is that yours will be listed alongside hundreds of others, so it can be hard to stand out against the competition. There’s also been a fair amount of churn with fitness market places in recent years, with big names going out of business.

We’ve found that it’s better to have your own platform and sell directly to your own audience. You have more control and face less competition this way.

Tools like Podia and Shopify make it really easy to do this, even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy. You can upload your fitness program files to them, set up a sales page, and they’ll take care of handling customer payments and automatically deliver the program to them. 

Then you can either embed or link to the sales pages from your gym or PT website, social media channels, or just use their online shop functionalities.

You might also like… A Simple Shopify Guide for Gyms or How To Write A Persuasive & High-Converting Fitness Sales Page.

50 Fitness Marketing Templates

#5 – Promote & Sell Fitness Programs Online

The final step is to promote and sell your online workout programs. Here are some of the most effective methods we’ve used over the years…

  1. Google Ads – by targeting relevant keywords, your ads will show when people search for phrases related to your program.
  2. Blog posts – that educate potential customers about the benefits of your program, generate demand for it, and address common queries.
  3. Social media reels and live videos – these formats get excellent engagement and are an effective way of promoting your fitness program.
  4. Email funnels – combine an opt-in freebie with a welcome series of emails to generate high-quality leads and convert them into program clients.
  5. Social media advertising – target people with relevant interests or who follow competitors with social media ads promoting your program.
  6. Guest posts – write articles on websites or blogs that your target audience is likely to read.
  7. Testimonials – collect client testimonials and then use them on your sales page, ads, articles, social posts, and any other marketing channel you can.

Adverts and social media tend to generate immediate sales, but require continual funding or effort. Blogging and email on the other hand take a bit longer bit longer to generate sales, but are more passive once the initial work is done. We recommend using a combination to generate consistent leads and sales of your program.

Fitness Sales Funnel Example

This is an example sales funnel that you can use to sell workouts online. It combines Google Ads, a lead magnet, and email sequence to convert browsers into buyers. But you can use social media, blogs, or guest posts instead of ads if you prefer.

You might also like… Digital Marketing Ideas For Selling Personal Training Online.

Sell Online Workout Programs Yourself

So, now you know exactly how to sell workout plans online. By following the steps in this guide, you’ll soon have a steady flow of fitness program sales.

Coming up with a sound idea, quantify demand for it, creating high-quality content, and promoting it effectively will all contribute to its success. And after you’ve done it once, you can replicate the process for other workout program ideas you have in the back of your mind… You’ll be selling online fitness programs like hotcakes in no time at all!

Fitness Business Templates

Take a look at our Fitness Business Bundle for ready-made sales templates. They take the time, hassle, and guesswork out of marketing and promotions…

Our ready-made templates make it quicker, cheaper, and easier to promote your fitness business. They can improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns. If you aren’t an experienced marketer, then templates also provide a useful guide for you to follow.

Fitness Business Templates

Whether you run a gym club, personal training studio, or online fitness business, these templates will save you time and effort. They’ll help you to plan and organize your promotional activities so that you generate more revenue. You’ll get 60+ templates covering sales, marketing, lead gen, client training, and business start-up resources.

How To Sell Online Fitness Programs Successfully

Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer (BSc Sports Science) & nutritionist (MSc Human Nutrition) with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience working with global brands.