Build an In-Demand Online Brand

The fitness industry has been rocked over the last few weeks with in-person training no longer being an option for most of us. Physical gyms and fitness studios have been shut down indefinitely, and there’s been a huge uptick in creating online fitness programs to support clients who are staying home.

According to the 2019 Personal Trainer Salary Survey conducted by the Personal Trainer Development Center, only six percent of their respondents were doing online training exclusively. We can be sure that number has skyrocketed since then.

The truth is that just like in-person training, competition in the online world is real. Mega fitness brands are already streaming live content and offering virtual workouts. So how can smaller studios and personal trainers create a strong online presence and attract clients to their virtual workouts?

There are three key strategies that you can put into place so that you can build an in-demand online brand that attracts your ideal clients.


Did you know that Baskin Robbins is considered an essential service? That’s something that the lockdown here in Toronto taught me. And every time I go in there, I order the same thing.

My whole life. All 36 years.

Rum raisin.

Chances are 98% of you are gagging. The other two percent of you get me. And my point in sharing that is that I am loyal to a fault to my favourite flavour. Everyone can probably agree on vanilla – it’s good, it’s non-offensive. But it’s probably not one of those flavours that you’re going for time and time again.

You cannot afford to be a vanilla-flavoured fitness brand. Identify your USP – unique selling proposition – that keeps your clients loyal and coming back for more.


One of the big reasons that brands like SoulCycle and Barry’s are absolutely crushing it is because it’s about more than a workout – it’s about a lifestyle, a promise, and a movement that their clients want to be a part of.

SoulCycle isn’t just a spin class, it’s about connecting with your true and best self.

Barry’s isn’t just HIIT training, it’s about finding your strength.

There are some questions you can ask yourself to identify your brand’s values and create a movement for your community:

  • What does your brand stand for?
  • What are its values?
  • When it comes to you taking a stand for the clients that you work with, what do you absolutely want your clients to have?
  • What do you want them to never, ever, have to tolerate again?

Having a clearly defined stand will help enroll clients into the movement you’re creating, and make them feel connected to something that’s a part of something bigger.


Donald Trump.

Kim Kardashian.

One way or another, did you have a strong reaction to those names? The reason that Donald and Kim are at the top of their game is because they’re unapologetic about who they are and what they’re about. They’re there for their tribe, and they don’t bother trying to please anyone who isn’t a member.

Leanna Baucum, a bodybuilding athlete and personal trainer who’s been a client of mine for almost two years, is a mom of two who is absolutely unapologetic about how she likes to look. She lives for having her long, blonde hair extensions, her eyelash extensions, and she rocks competition-ready body year-round. The mom who is chill with wearing a t-shirt and ponytail will never be attracted to working with Leanna. But the mom who wants to be tight and toned throughout motherhood will absolutely be attracted to her.

Let’s be honest: everyone wants to be liked. But to win when it comes to client attraction, you want to be magnetic to your perfect clients and absolutely repel the rest.

As fitness professionals, we’re pretty much all teaching squats, lunges and cardio. However, what will really help you create a powerful brand with equally powerful experiences for your clients is taking a stand, creating a movement that they can be a part of, and being absolutely unapologetic about the specific client you want to work with.


Lisa Simone Richards is a former trainer and kickboxing instructor turned publicist for online coaches. She’s worked with fitness brands for over 10 years to help their clients find them and grow to 6- and 7-, and multiple 7-figures. Find out the best way to get the word out about your coaching business at