I’m a wellness coach for women and non-binary people who works with clients both in person and online, and I’m also a recent graduate of the Online Trainer Academy. I decided to write an Online Trainer Academy review for other trainers and coaches who are thinking about taking the course.
Through the material taught in the OTA, I have been able to better serve my online clients. Their trust in me has increased, and my value as their coach has expanded. From the very first interaction with the contact form on my website through the entire coaching process, clients know that I see them as unique individuals, not numbers. I have the OTA to thank for that.
The course is now open for enrollment again, and I hope this honest review will help other coaches and trainers get a sense of if the OTA is the right fit for them. If you’ve been considering doing the OTA but you’re not sure about the investment, read on.
Online Trainer Academy Review
Why I Joined The Online Trainer Academy
I was introduced to the work of Jonathan Goodman early on in my coaching career. His book, Ignite The Fire, is one of the first books I read about personal training, and soon after I read Viralnomics. I also joined both of Jon’s Facebook groups, Fit Pros Unite and Online Trainers Unite.
Last fall when I heard about Jon’s Online Trainer Academy opening up for enrollment, it seemed like a no brainer to me. I had enjoyed all of Jon’s previous work, plus, I was new to the world of online coaching. I figured I could use any and all help to get my bearings.
The truth is, online business can be overwhelming! I was drowning in new vocabulary and trying to sort through all of the things I was “supposed” to be doing to figure out what actually mattered. Trying to run an online business while being consumed with self-doubt about every decision you have to make is not fun.
While the OTA was attractive to me right off the bat, I still researched to see if there were any other similar courses out there. I found nothing, though. Jon isn’t kidding when he says the OTA is the first certification of its kind. Since it was also created by someone I trust, I decided to take the plunge. I made the investment (which was, admittedly, scary), and the rest is history!
What do you learn in the Online Trainer Academy?
Jon describes the OTA as “a comprehensive certification program designed to show fitness professionals how to build and grow an online training business for more income and freedom in a smart and strategic way.” I agree with this description, and I know my business has grown as a result of the course.
One of the things I loved about the OTA was that it is designed with different learning styles in mind. I learn best from reading, so I appreciated the beautiful textbook and workbook. But for the auditory and visual learners, there is an easy-to-use online portal filled with videos for every chapter that relay the same information that is in the textbook.
The course guides you through running your business online in-depth, including:
- the basics of starting out (naming your business, how much money you need to make);
- effective business structure (software recommendations, pricing, the legal side of online training);
- how to take good care of clients (assessments, workout templates, referrals);
- and, most importantly for many of us, how to get clients (marketing systems, ethical bribes, Facebooks ads).
I thought the attention to detail was amazing, and I loved how many seemingly small things Jon had thought of to improve a business that add up to make a big impact with both potential and current clients. For example, the idea to create a welcome packet for clients (with a provided template for doing so) is an extra little touch that can make new clients feel really taken care of.
The workbook pages that went along with each chapter and the chapter quizzes helped to make sure that the information stuck, and I didn’t find the final exam particularly challenging (I believe I only missed one or two questions). Plus, both the quizzes and final exam are open book, so they are not designed to trick you.
The OTA included so many ideas that I haven’t even gotten around to implementing everything I learned yet! Which means I still have plenty of room to grow and experiment with new methods.
Who is the Online Trainer Academy a good fit for?
Now having graduated from the OTA, I can say with confidence that it was a great fit for someone in my position who was relatively new to the online training world with a lot to learn. I feel so much more confident in my online coaching business now than I did before I started the course.
But like all courses, it’s not going to be the right choice for everyone. I don’t want anyone to sign up who wouldn’t actually benefit from the material, so I’ve thought about who I think the OTA makes the most sense for.
In my opinion, the OTA would be an impactful certification for coaches and trainers who are:
- 0-3 years into the online part of their training business (it really is a totally different animal than in person training)
- Struggling to make sense of online marketing, software, how to get and keep online clients, etc.
- Wanting to stand out from their peers who are succeeding by selling bullshit quick fixes and training scams online
- Interested in focusing on client care and retention in the online space
- Invested in becoming an effective online trainer and coach and learning how it differs from coaching in person
So who is the OTA not right for? If you’ve been coaching online for several years now, your systems and software are set, and you are not having any issues getting new clients or retaining clients, then I would suggest passing on the OTA. It’s not that you wouldn’t get something out of it, just maybe not enough to make the investment worthwhile.
Jon also recommends that those who have been coaching clients in person for less than 1 year not sign up for the course, but there is some wiggle room on that. I totally signed up for the course even though I was a few months shy of having been training clients in person for a year (shhh – don’t tell Jon!). That being said, I completed the bulk of the course after that 1-year mark.
However, if you’ve never trained a client before in your life, the OTA is not a great starting place. I would say get at least 6 months of direct experience with clients before signing up.
If you’d like to hear from other past OTA students who recommend the certification, you can read their testimonials here.
I strongly recommend the Online Trainer Academy for coaches who want to take their online training career to the next level. Whether you’re just starting out and literally looking to build your online business from the ground up, or if you’ve been doing online business for a little while and want to improve your systems and the efficacy of your marketing, the OTA can help.
I’m so glad I didn’t waste too much time floundering around with my online business before investing in the OTA. I can honestly say that my business has improved for the better thanks to the OTA. The course truly made me a more knowledgeable, client-centered online trainer.
There are payment plans available if paying in full is too much of a financial burden, so keep an eye out for those as well.
If you have additional questions, Jon has put together a helpful FAQ list for interested students. I enjoyed the course so much that I became a partner for it, so I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have.