I wouldn't quite class myself as a success yet. I am a work in progress but I know a thing or two about hustle, work and building a personal brand.
I work in a thriving industry; fitness and today I want to talk about knowing your worth as a active fitness professional on social media.
It is so easy to get caught up in the glamour and seduction of free trainers, hashtags and a complimentary meal but the raw fact is, trainers don't pay your rent, a weeks worth of "free" food in exchange for your exposure...isn't actually a real benefit. Your voice is worth more than that, or let me rephrase, your voice can be worth more than that if you are patient and picky.
Fitness bloggers, "celebrity" fitness trainers and boutiques are popping up left right and centre, to the point where your message could easily get lost in the melee of the #fitspo stream. How do you stand out, what direction are you going and what do you want?
The most important thing you need to establish is, "what is your end game?" Why are you here? What do you want? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Do you get out of bed in the morning for the hope of a freebie fitness product or is it more?
Go check out your EXPLORE stream on instagram. You will find a variety of fitness accounts, both popular and not so popular. Check out the differences. Are their feeds journeys or just one big sales pitch. The best and most engaging accounts belong to people who don't have to sell to us. They have pictures that tell stories and give us a glimpse of who they are. I read an incredible book called "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook" by Gary Vaynerchuk and it helped me grasp the idea of story telling on social media. The Jab being the story, the Right Hook being the call to action. You need to build a following, express an authentic voice, show who you are, before you can create a successful call to action. Otherwise, your calls to action become white noise and ineffective.
If you promote every brand that sends you a free protein bar, then why would anyone believe you when you say it's the best?
I have been doing the instagram thing for a long time and I have seen a huge rise in interaction and followers when I stopped trying to please my followers, when I stopped "trying" and when I was honest. I show the good, the bad and the ugly. I have a flexible plan in my head on how I should post, what works and what doesn't but I allow that to be organic, based on what's going on and importantly I keep the sales pitch off it. If I post a product, it's rare and it's because I genuinely believe in the quality of it. Also, importantly, I know I am worth a little more than a box of protein bars. I have genuine reach and I am influential, I don't want to be a human billboard, amongst ten thousand other human billboards. Google tells me the average billboard in london costs £1000 per month. Just saying.
Here's what you need to do. HOLD OUT. Be you, the real you. Show people what you are all about, forget the free shit. Think about your end game and work relentlessly towards that. If you do that with integrity and perseverance a few things will happen. 1) Success, 2) Happiness and 3) Bonus, you'll get free shit...(and more to the point, the free shit you actually want).
In the end of the day, the free stuff will dry up. In a few years, fitness will be old news. Right now it's fashionable, exciting and all the rage but eventually the hype will move on to train spotting or something, and unless you are jumping the bandwagon to that, you want to have more to show for it than a few outfits and some empty protein tubs.
Build your foundations, your brand and YOU, that will stay with you forever.
Don't show up, Turn UP!