3 Tips to Make It In the Fitness Industry
1. Get Respect, Not Money
It seems in the industry today that the tide has shifted, at least on the surface. The old school way of doing things was to train people for years to establish your credibility. After this “10,000 hours to get good at a skill” of learning the ropes, then you ventured into creating a product. At that time you had something to say that people wanted to listen to. Now, it seems, this mentality has changed. Young coaches and trainers just starting out, begin by creating a product without the experience. In my opinion they are trying to get that money too quick.
Now, I’m not telling anyone not to make money or preventing anyone from selling anything. But let me offer some clarity.
They have the sequence all screwed up, right? Well, yes and no.
Just because they created a product right out of the gate, doesn’t mean anyone is going to buy it. No one knows you and you haven’t built your online reputation, i.e., social equity. It is sort of like building a successful blog. You might have the best content, videos and the coolest hair – but it doesn’t mean anyone if no one is going to see it.
If content is king, traffic is the dude that oversees the king and tells him what to wear when he wants to feel pretty.
You need to build your reputation and develop a network. Your circle of influence determines everything. Who do you know and what do they say about you when you’re not around? What is being said about you on social networks?
That is huge.
Reputation comes with years of training clients, training yourself, being awesome to people, writing good material, influencing others and making a difference.
First you get the respect, then you get the money, then you get the power! (ahahahahaha – evil laugh)
2. Creativity and Inspiration
People want to be inspired, and the fitness industry is no different. I mean how many posts about push-ups can you really take?
I’ve built my reputation on being different. Not doing the same stuff everyone else is doing – and you should do the same. If you want to stand out and really turn people’s heads, inspire them with your creativity. Also, you need to align this with your passion. If your passion is the fitness industry, then get creative in the weightroom. I’m not talking about dancing on bosu balls while juggling snakes. I’m talking about learning how the body moves and not restricting yourself to ONLY conventional training.
If your passion is working with kids, get outside of the “textbook” approach and inspire them like no one else ever has, just by doing it YOUR way.
This means not just copying what everyone else is doing. Because let me tell you something really honest – insincerity will show through immediately.
Think about this…
Arnold changed bodybuilding forever and millions of young men wanted to be him. But unfortunately, even if they copied his bodybuilding routine they would never get to his level. They would just be a poor copy of the original. Trust me, you were never going to get that lead part for Kindergarten Cop bro.
Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Just be who you are. That’s what’s really cool.
3. Give, Don’t Take
You are my br…you are my bro….you are my brother…
I have a little advice for you young fitness professionals.
You have to give and give and give…stop trying to take.
Everyday I get 5-10 emails asking if I’ll promote a new product from complete strangers.
It usually starts off like this,
“Hey [fill in my name],
I love what you’re doing on [fill in my site] and I’d like to tell you about the new fitness program I just created. I was hoping you would put in on your site or send it to your newsletter.”
Obviously, it is a form letter and obviously they’re completely insane.
I don’t know you or anything about you. Why would I suggest your program to my newsletter subscribers? These people count on me for the best fitness info I can give them and they count on me to be honest with them. I would never promote your product or anything about you if you come at me like that.
The fitness industry (and life) is about building relationships with people. If you know me, you know money is not a driving factor – it is people.
If someone promotes my product that means they are my friend and I have spent time with them at their facility, at seminars, on the phone, in emails and collaborating, i.e., I have known them for years.
If your goal is to alienate yourself in the industry, ask someone you don’t know to promote your product.
How about this?
Send an email asking if there is anything you can do for me? Need a guest blog post?
Or, “Hey, I just wanted to say I appreciate your work and hope you are having a great day.”
You need to go back and look at #1 above about developing your network and circle of influence. It takes years and it isn’t something that happens overnight.
If you focus on what’s important like building your knowledge base, building relationships and building your site – everything falls into place. Focus on the laying the foundation, not on the outcome or money.
That is how you get respect.
By Smitty on January 12th, 2012
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