Online Training: Customization Vs. Personalization

Online Training: Customization Vs. Personalization

There’s a good-better-best approach to delivering your online coaching (read more here).

The key area of confusion now seems to be how much one-on-one time to provide your clients.

Two-Brain Business clients have a full course (called the Flex Online system) to help them build up a digital training business. But that takes a few days, so consider the method below the first step in “triage mode.” The program you set up here might become your lower-end offer or a down-sell later, or it might be the way you eventually deliver your training online. Either way, it’s your best path forward now.

If you haven’t read it, here’s our free guide to pivoting to online training fast:

“How to Add Online Training in 24 Hours.”


Personal Coaching Online


This is the real long-term play. Clients pay for accountability and workouts fully tailored workouts to their goals.

You need to think of this as “personal training” first. Consider the delivery vehicle (the internet) second. While it’s possible to automate some of the delivery, you will need to hold your clients accountable every day.

Most software platforms understand that the value of online personal coaching isn’t really the programming; it’s the accountability. And they’re set up for it. Trainerize, TrainHeroic and TrueCoach all offer 1:1 messaging through their apps.

Your packages for personal coaching online should have three tiers:

1. An accountability tier with customized workouts.
2. A personalized tier with both workouts and nutrition coaching specific to the client.
3. A personalized tier that includes 1:1 live video meetings every two to four weeks.


Personal Customization


If you own a gym, this is your first step. Here’s how to do it:

1. Take your daily group workout and paste it into a text.
2. Add custom instructions for each client.
3. Send it to the client.
4. Move to the next client.

Here’s a sample from Catalyst yesterday:


“Customization” means taking something general and altering it slightly for a specific case. You don’t have to create a separate workout for each member; you just have to show each client the same workout through a different lens—a lens that helps him or her see the workout as another step toward a personal goal.

Josh Martin, the co-founder of Two-Brain Coaching, teaches this in the Second Degree Course. And he’s been providing a sample video every day in the Two-Brain Coaches Course.

How long does customization take?

At first, it will take six to seven minutes per client per day. But industry experts say their average is two to three minutes per client per day. So as your clients get used to the customization option, you can expect delivery time to go down.

Maybe your clients love “the community.” But you can’t open your gym. Add daily video sessions or even a daily video class or two, but you must have 1:1 delivery—customization or personalization—to keep them long term!

Online Training: The Good, Better and Best Strategies for Delivery

Online Training: The Good, Better and Best Strategies for Delivery

Streaming online classes won’t keep your clients around during the crisis.

While the novelty factor is high, our data shows that attendance in online classes begins to drop as early as the third day. Some gyms are able to keep clients fully engaged for up to five days, but the rent is due in 10 days, and the crisis will probably go on for at least 60.

There’s a “good-better-best” approach to online training.

Online video classes—good or at least slightly better than nothing. But you can’t compete with the free services out there. This approach won’t set you up for long-term retention or new client recruitment. If you’re determined to stick with online video classes, you’d better be as good as Peloton: They’re your competition now.

Personal customization of your program—better. As I wrote in the free guide “How to Add Online Training in 24 Hours,” you can deliver your general programming and still bill your clients for it. But you must customize the training by explaining its personal relevance to each client, one at a time.

Click to get the free guide: “How to Add Online Training in 24 Hours”

Here’s a sample video from Catalyst:


We teach you how to personalize workouts in the Two-Brain Coaching Second Degree Course, and co-founder Josh Martin gives daily examples in the Two-Brain Coaches Facebook Group.

Online personal programming—This is the best scenario: fully customized personal programs for your clients (with or without nutrition coaching). Two-Brain Business clients have access to a full course detailing all the elements of the Flex Online system. This is what you’ll want to build if you want to offer online training after this crisis ends (and I’m pretty sure you will).

To keep your clients around past April, you need to address them 1:1 every single day.

Sure, you can add video classes and demos and social time. But don’t bank on them to save your gym.