Growing Your Online Training Business: PART I



The mostbusiness growth valuable commodity you have is your time and time management is not the solution. As a matter of fact, time management is a myth as time is unmanageable. The only thing you can manage are your choices you make with the same 24 hours of time everyone else has. So, from this point forward, I want to coach you to focus on “choice management” and abandon the myth of “time management”.

There are two discoveries within the areas of time and choices to look at as we begin to dig in to making money in training.  

Discovery Number One: There are only so many people you can train “in person” each day. This puts a cap on your earning capabilities as you drive revenue through billable hours.

Discovery Number Two: There is an obvious growing trend of online trainers.

This is where you get to make a choice of HOW you exchange your hours for dollars. A little bit of research shows you can make three-four times the amount of money as an online trainer vs. one-on-one, in person trainer. So, the decision is yours.  You are trading hours for dollars, it’s that simple. Online training has the greatest opportunity for growth. Also keep in mind, as you grow your online business, reputation, and client base, you will continue to feed people into your daily schedule of in person training. The objective is balance of revenue sources as you grow your business.

As I write this article, I recognize my audience consists of a trainers and those considering becoming trainers at various places in their careers.  There are those of you that don’t have any online business in place, some of you are just getting up and running, and a few of you have an established revenue stream. Regardless of where you are currently, I will share with you my years of experience working with and studying the behavior of the Internet Empowered Consumer and Software Development and explain how it can help you with your business.

The first thing you must realize is that you are not soley in the fitness, wellness, or training business. No matter what business you function in, you are in the human resource, human behavior, human attraction and human development business whenever people are involved. Your expertise and skill-set you share with clients just happens to be a part of the equation. On a side note, if you are reading “Get Rich Books”, burn ‘em and start reading books on human behavior. Ok, don’t burn them, but set them aside for a moment as you explore what will really work. When you understand and acquire the knowledge of human behavior, believe me the money will follow.  To understand human behavior we know how and why people think the way they do.  To shed some light on this subject we can uncover some CORE BEHAVIORS specific to people searching on the internet.

Three Core Behaviors of the Internet Empowered Consumer and how they behave online: 

Jon Cheplak

1. They want tools and information they can use and they want it now. You must have an offering of value or make a “deposit”, before you can expect engagement and make a “withdrawl”. What deposits does your current site make with visitors?
2. They don’t want to talk to you, at least not initially while they are going through a discovery process. They like the buffer of anonymity the internet provides them. Your site better be compelling and engaging to keep their attention.
3. They are looking for “What’s In It For Me?” You know, the good old WIIFM. They are not looking to go page by page and see the continued grandstanding of your accomplishments. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CONSUMER.*


Now that we have a handle on the Three Core Behaviors of the Online Consumer, let's take a look at our best potential clients and how to determine who they are.  To get to the bottom of this there are a number of questions we need to ask ourselves.

1.What percentage of the potential client base actually has the ability to accomplish the goal/result you are selling?

2. What percentage even WANT to do what you have done or BELIEVE they can? 

3. What is the largest demographic (age group and profession) with the greatest financial capability to invest in an ongoing training program you offer? If you already have a site up and running, do your images, testimonials and copy speak to THIS group?  Is this THE group you WANT to train?

4. How much business do you potentially lose from people that are intimidated by you or actually don’t believe you would take someone on like them as a client because they don’t feel they meet your standards?

This is not to say there is a right or wrong way to run your online business.  This is food for thought to help you expand your current business or get off on the right foot.  The reason I am a big believer and proponent of number three and four is because of what I have learned first hand over the years in the "off-line" business world.  Time and time again, when growing a business, I have seen that if you want to grow your business you should consider going where you the audience is biggest.  I have also seen that when you go there, you need to have a message that they can relate to and one that resonates with them.  You need to offer something they feel they can be a part of. Everyone wants to feel like they belong.

Has this answered all of your questions about running an online training business?  No, it has not.  I know that.  But, my commitment to you is to lay out a foundation of business principles to help you as you look to grow in the online world. In my next article on growing your online business, I will explore with you the “hub and spoke” strategy.  I will also share more specific content and layout ideas for your online training website.


*A quick note about number three in the CORE BEHAVIORS: There are isolated incidents in all lines of business that break the mold. Naturally there are going to be some that have been able to pull off a great online business with what would look like an “ego based” website. If you look twice though you may come to the realization that they may have supplied the "motivation" or "entertainment that the consumer desired. Congratulations to them as they have found a niche that appeals to this kind of messaging and is most certainly to be respected.

Copyright 2013 Jon Cheplak

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