How To Become An Independend Personal Trainer

Posted on 11. May, 2010 by in Marketing Fitness

7 Steps To Go Independent And Finally Quit Your Job
Guest post by Greg Crawford

Right now as I write this article, I’m on an airplane headed to the Fitness Business Summit. This will be my second one, but last year I was still a broke burnt out trainer working for a corporate gym. Today I’m a fitness business owner working fewer hours but making more money. First let me say, guys like Kaiser, Bedros, Big Chris and Steve Hochman and their blogs played an integral role in my going independent. So if you’re reading this you’re already doing something very smart.

Ok, so let me dive right into the meat and potatoes of this article: My 7 step process that took me from broke, over worked trainer that had to cancel an appointment because I didn’t have money to put gas in my car (true story by the way) to becoming an independent and financially secure personal training company.

Step 1: Find A Place For Your Business.

First thing you’re going to want to do is search Google for gyms and fitness centers in close proximity to where you are now. Make a list of all the gyms in the area that are privately owned. Forget about any chain or franchise gyms to bring clients. Because what you want to do next is contact the owners of these gyms and set up a time to meet and discuss a rental fee if you bring your clients to train at their gym. Typically in the beginning, you want to pay per session, this way you only lay out what you actually bring in. I ended up paying the owner where I’m at $10 per session for 60 minutes and $5 for 30 minute sessions. That’s pretty reasonable, plus if you build rapport with the owner over time, you can later negotiate a lower monthly fee when you’re busy.

Step 2: Transferring Your Core Clients To Your Business And Quit The Gym.

This will be the most difficult thing you will do. What worked for me was over the course of a few weeks, I started planting the seed in my clients’ head about leaving the gym and going out on my own. Now you can start to get a feel from your clients who you think will actually leave and continue with them. Keep in mind, however, that there will be a couple that you think will stick with you and a few you that won’t.

Here’s another place where things can gets tricky…most likely you signed a non-compete clause with your gym, so don’t tell anyone else of your plans and where you’re going. There are a lot of haters out there! Now…I’m not one to steal clients, but these big corporate gyms only see you as a number and will probably not even feel it if you take a few clients, so I don’t feel bad at all! Use it for what it is…your stepping stone. Do not do this step if you currently work for a privately owned gym, because that’s wrong!

Here are a couple of tips to help transfer clients of to your business:

• Offer those who stick with you an incentive like a discount on training. You’re not giving the 50% cut to the gym anymore!

• Before you quit the gym, have your core clients meet you at the new gym for a workout to let them try it out.

• Explain to your clients that if they stick with you that they will receive even a better service than you already give and it will allow you to over deliver.

Step 3: Get A Website/Blog

You need a place to communicate with your prospects and clients. Also a place where people can go and check out what it is exactly that you offer and what you’re about. I call it my “home base”. A website also sets you up as being professional and an expert trainer. Make sure you have a lot of good pictures and some video, after all people are very visual. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a good quality website and blog but just make sure you get a good webmaster. My recommendation that worked great for me and was very affordable is The Super-Trainer Licensing Program.

Step 4: Create Systems And Make Folders

You’ve heard it before; create a system for every aspect of your business. Everything from client consultations, referral system, billing, online marketing, offline marketing, agreements and assessments, sales and phone scripts, craigslist ads, workouts.

Make a folder on your computer labeled systems and then inside that folder make folders for each system and label them.

Step 5: Get EFT

Your goal is to get all your clients credit cards and implement automatic billing when their sessions need to be replenished. Make your clients sign contracts, preferably longer commitments. I don’t offer anything less than 3 months. Trust me; collecting checks every time their sessions are up is a pain in the ass. You can also keep and track your sessions with this type of software system. I use It’s a good company and they are always available to help you if you’re confused.

Step 6: Send Out Welcome Packages

I did this for all my existing clients that stayed with me and for all new business that signs up with my company. My welcome package consists of:

• Nutrition plan

• Meal plans

• Welcome letter on nice custom paper

• Referral reward info

• Referral sheet for names, numbers and emails for the clients to fill out, also I add a stamped envelope with my address already on it. Make it easy for them to just write some friends and family names down and throw it in the mailbox. Tell them exactly what to do.

• Mindset tactics

Step 7: Network With Local Businesses That Compliment Your Business

• Get low cost post cards made from vista print which shows you’re giving something away on your website like meal plans, weight loss nutrition plan, weight loss tips, or a workout. Don’t try to sell training off the postcard, just get them to go to your site. Your website should sell your training.

• Google all the local chiropractors, massage therapists, wedding boutiques, supplement stores, health food stores, nutritionists, tanning salons. Try to get as many of your postcards in these places as possible. First ask them if they would be willing to give you a coupon for their services that you want to put the coupons in your welcome packages. Most likely they will like that for their own promotion that they’ll let you leave postcards behind.

Well hope this helped a little for those either thinking about going independent or those ready to make the jump. I will tell you this; it will be scary and very hard to do in the beginning. But as long as you stay focused and have a clear vision of where you see yourself going, everything will work out and you’ll never look back!

Greg Crawford


Thanks Greg for that awesome post. I’m always thoroughly impressed by how aggressively trainers like you take action, and how quickly you’re able to get on your feet and become profitable.  That’s living out the American dream.  And what’s even more impressive is the fear and uncertainty you have to overcome in order to take this action.  With hundreds of millions of people living in J.O.B. (just over broke) hell in our society, stepping out on your own is something very special and unique – if it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it (because heaven knows they wish they could).  You actually had the guts to do it, do it quickly, and make it work, and for that you deserve heavy, heavy praise.

What Greg was talking about that gave him the website and all of the materials he needed to go solo was the SUPER-TRAINER LICENSING PROGRAM. The LICENSING PROGRAM goes off the market at it’s current low price on Friday, May 14th at midnight sharp PST, no exceptions.  To make it easier to jump on board, we’re offering a three payment option.   To get all of the info, just click here.

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Travis Tucker

11. May, 2010

Good job dude – dump the gym and never look back.


12. May, 2010

Great job Greg – yeah, I totally agree, quitting your job is like pulling off a bandaid – the longer you take, the harder and more painful it’s going to be. It’s better and faster to just get started – there’s a lot of power and momentum in that.

Jason Aurman

12. May, 2010

Good tips Greg! Your story sounds exactly like mine when I was getting started. I was FLAT BROKE working for my gym – it was like slave labor. As soon as I got out, I was making twice as much money from my clients almost instantly, and working fewer hours too.


12. May, 2010

Nice article Greg.

Kaiser, as usual you are playing a pivotal role in trainers careers.


Jeremie Guarderas

12. May, 2010

Greg, way to step up!

It’s a small world… Last week my client told me she met this trainer at a local bar. She asked me if I know Greg Crawford – he has a book call “21 to rapid fat loss”

She showed me his business card and right away I knew he invested in Kaiser’s program. The color scheme, the layout etc – it was great to see Kaiser’s program work right before my eyes.

Greg you are doing a great job marketing yourself – keep up the good work!


13. May, 2010

Congratulations Greg!
And Kaiser, you’re going to be getting an email from me very soon like this one ;-)

Scott M.

13. May, 2010

Hey Greg –
Awesome job dude –
Working for yourself is the best feeling the world = nothing like it –
You write your own checks, so keep hustling.
– Scott

Devon NYC

14. May, 2010

Wow really inspirations story but it makes sense – that’s what happened to me after I bought kaiser’s book, and it’s the same story that Kaiser tells in the book tooo –

Once you get started and get a few clients your set – personal training is easy if you know what you’re doing!

Big Will

17. May, 2010

Good job Greg! Your story’s real similar to mine – findig this blog really changed my life!


17. May, 2010

Cool story – good job Greg.
In my life I’ve seen a lot of the same thing. Once I surrounded myself with better people, that’s when things started to turn around for me.
I dropped out of highschool when I was 16 and started to move around with a croud of losers and nothing happend for me for a long time – I was working at a shoe story, a grocery store, and in a supermarket. I even went to finish up my ged and couldn’t do that.
I ended up getting a job at a gym and that’s when things started to change. My boss was a really cool guy and an amazing role model. i learned a lot from him.
I started to work out and started to learn more about fitness.
I started in the gym as a front desk guy, but ended up becoming a trainer.
And a few months later, I was winning the monthly sales contest almost every month.
I credit all of this from being around guys like my boss and a few of my coworker and some of my awesome clients.
When I started reading Kaiser’s blog, I got the idea I could train outside of the gym.
I talked to my boss, and he said that if I found clients outside of the gym I could train them in my time off. As long as it didn’t interfere with my work schedule and I didn’t steal clients, he didnt have a problem.
I also told him about ideas like group sessions – and other things I learned here. Now alomost all of the trainers in the gym are doing some kind of group sessions when the gym gets busy. He loves it because everybody is making more money.
I just wanted to share my story here too , becuase it’s alot like yours.
Congratulations on all your success, and thanks to Kaiser for givnig out so much great information.

Kaiser Serajuddin

17. May, 2010

Great work Jeremy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a similar story. And you story hits really close to home because it’s very similar to mine. Success is so dependent on the people you’re surrounded by, that I’d have to call that the most important factor. Keep up the amazing work guys and keep us posted on your progress.

Danny V.

24. May, 2010

Wow! Awesome job Greg! I just got started at my first job at a big gym.
I talked to kaiser in a speed session (thanks Kaiser for that by the way!) and he told me this is the best way to get some experience.
I’m hoping to get out of here and start my own business real soon. A post like this is really inspiring that it’s possible
Thanks guys!

Greg Crawford

28. Jun, 2010

Just want to thank everyone for the comments and think its great that we have these blogs like Kaisers to learn from each other.
Sorry for the delay…for some reason my comments werent going thru.
Thanks again

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