What is a personal brand? When most people think about branding, their first thoughts are probably about logos. But branding is so much more than a logo. Your personal branding is how you present yourself online and in person while conducting business. So whether you’re posting pictures on social media, teaching a class or giving feedback to a client, building a brand will help guide your business decisions.
While big gyms have the luxury of marketing teams to build a brand and create messaging that matches that brand, fitness instructors have to build personal brands. Here are 3 tips for building a personal brand as a fitness professional that will help you get and keep more clients.
1. Be clear
The whole point of building a personal brand as a fitness instructor is to give your clients a framework for understanding what working with you will be like. While in real life people are complicated and multi-faceted, building a brand that focuses on one to two aspects of your personality and style is easier for potential clients to understand.
For example, let’s consider one of the best known personal trainers in recent years – Jillian Michaels. While she may not be everyone’s cup of tea, a very clear picture of how Jillian Michaels engages with her clients springs to mind. She’s in-your-face and unapologetically intense, ready to help people take responsibility for their health. She projects that tough image in television and in her online presence, and credits the strength of her personal brand for her overwhelming success.
On the other hand, consider someone like Adriene Mischler of the popular youtube channel, Yoga With Adriene. Her personal brand is perhaps best exemplified in the hashtag on her Twitter profile: #findwhatfeelsgood. Adriene’s personal brand is one of encouraging self-discovery and self care. “Find a practice that suits your mood or start a journey toward healing. Work up a sweat, or calm and relieve a tired mind and body. Create space. Tone and trim. Cultivate self love. Make time for you. Go deeper, have fun. Connect,” says the About page of her Youtube channel. This personal brand of self love has helped her grow her Youtube channel to 4.5 million subscribers and gain approximately 600,000 followers on social media.
Use these examples as a guide to creating your own personal brand. What are the one or two things about your story or personality that make you special and set you apart from other trainers? What are your classes like? How do you connect with your clients? Boil down your essence as an instructor to find the guiding principle of your personal brand.
2. Be consistent
Once you’ve figured out what your brand is, STICK WITH IT. Being consistent with your brand identity will help you be consistent with your messaging and content online and in person. If your brand is goofy, your posts on Instagram should always have a little goofy flair. If your brand relies on inspiring others, the content you post should always be inspirational in some way.
This consistency in messaging is often referred to as your brand’s voice or tone. Giving your audience content that matches up with the brand you’ve created for yourself will keep them coming back for more. By delivering consistent content, you can build up trust in your clients and followers that they can rely on you and your personal brand.
3. Be authentic
As a fitness instructor, your personal brand should reflect how you really live your life. If your personal brand doesn’t really match your personality, it will come across as inauthentic in your online presence and during training with clients. Rather than trying to force yourself to fit the mold of what you think a fitness trainer’s brand should be, make sure that you’re being true to yourself. That authenticity will keep you from getting burnt out when you create new content.
Building a brand as a fitness instructor can seem daunting. But if you stick to your true personality and stay consistent, you will find that it’s much easier to create content that grows your business.