Building A Personal Brand In The Gym

The term “branding” used to be reserved for big corporate brands like Nike but with the advent of social sites, personal branding has become a fundamental part of our professional lives. As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”


But you might be asking yourself, what exactly does a personal brand look like?


A personal brand is a combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are, it’s how you present yourself to the world. Effective personal branding differentiates you from your competition and allows you to build trust with current and future clients. This is why we are consistently encouraging our staff to develop and construct personal brands to showcase their unique skill sets and provide an increased value to our athletes, clients, and all of our audience members.



Recently, we reviewed the overall subject of branding and personal branding, including how to develop a personal brand and the benefits a successful personal brand can provide. Branding is the creation of a name, symbol, or design that is easily recognizable or identifiable with a company, business, product/ service (Smithson, 2015). Personal branding utilizes the comprehensive concept of branding within an individual’s personal development of a brand. It is how an individual promotes his/her own unique skill sets, knowledge, personality, experiences, etc. to the public (Influencer Marketing, 2020). Personal branding involves the process of telling an individual’s personal story.


This story should reflect the individual’s personal conduct, behavior, beliefs, values, actions, interests, spoken and unspoken words (Influencer Marketing, 2020). Building a true narrative and creating a story around your brand that the target audience can engage with is critical when constructing a personal brand. Generating relatability and not simply pumping your personal brand is increasingly important during personal branding development. Luka Hocevar, the founder of Vigor Ground Fitness, has built his brand around strength and conditioning but has reinforced his narrative around being a former professional basketball player. Transitioning from an athlete to a strength and conditioning coach to a business owner is a true narrative that highlights his personal brand. The narrative you create for your personal brand is the narrative you want other people to share with other people. The story should generate word of mouth. The story you want people to tell when you are not in the room.


When creating a personal brand, there are a number of factors to consider. There are five significant aspects of personal branding that our coaching staff emphasizes: focus, authenticity, consistency, successful examples, and failure/uncomfortably (Chan, 2018).


Focus: Being focused on a niche makes it easier for you to develop a personal brand. “Carve a niche, then carve a niche within the niche” - Adam Smiley Poswolsky, author (Chan, 2018). Greg Robins and Tony Bonvechio of the Strength House, work within the niche of strength and conditioning but developed their personal brand niche of powerlifting within the niche of strength and conditioning. Their business’s brand consists of athletic strength and conditioning, but their personal brands consist of powerlifting within strength and conditioning. Keeping messages consistent within the niche market increases reach and effectiveness within the target market. It makes it easier for people to remember who you are.


Authenticity: Being genuine creates an original brand. Being authentic and genuine eliminates the potential to have a “copycat” brand (Chan, 2018). Being transparent is key because people can see through the disingenuous brands. Your personal brand should amplify who you are, not necessarily define who you are. Being authentic also makes creating content much easier. It keeps content creation within the realm of your expertise. Authenticity works directly with the concept of implementing an individual, true narrative into personal branding.


Consistency: Creating content consistent with the narrative and focus you have selected is increasingly important. The term ‘being on brand’ or ‘right on brand’ is not a negative consequence of consistency. It means people are remembering you, reinforcing brand recognition and recall. Consistency transitions to offline as well as online. Being consistent offline reinforces your effectiveness and authenticity online. Live your brand. Creating a brand from your lifestyle simplifies personal brand development tremendously.


Successful Examples: Using successful examples as a template for your personal branding endeavors can assist in enhancing personal branding strategies (Chan, 2018). Study successful personal brands, and implement/ alter some of the strategies you find into your personal brand strategies.


Failure/Uncomfortably: Failure comes with every endeavor, and building a personal brand is no different. There will be repeated trial and error combined with mistakes and overall failure. Simply use these outcomes as learning tools to continue to improve your development. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. This is the most difficult aspect of this process. Learn from the mistakes and the failure that is experienced during the early developments of personal branding, and use these lessons to continue improving your personal brand.


At BPT, we highly encourage every coach who walks through our doors to work cohesively with our overall brand and platform when working on their own personal brands because of the many mutual benefits. One example of benefiting each other is by highlighting each other. We are currently doing this by including the citation of who generated the content within our social media posts. We also highlight other coaches using our social media platforms such as reposting each other's content, filming training sessions, and more. This cohesive process benefits both the coaches and the organization as it allows for a continuous cycle of content generation.


By utilizing the tools provided through BPT our coaches have a better chance of success by building up a reputation with an already built-in community while developing their skills and taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the gym. Additionally, demonstrating our coaches’ training sessions gives us the opportunity to share our coaches’ unique skill sets, knowledge, and interests within the strength and conditioning industry.



References

Chan, G. (2018, November 08). 10 golden rules of personal branding. Retrieved February 18,

2021, from

https://www.forb es.com/sites/goldiechan/2018/11/08/10-golden-rules-personal-branding

?sh=3a77240c58a7

Marketing, I. (2020, November 17). What is personal BRANDING [free personal Brand Health

checker]. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from

https://influencermarketinghub.com/what-is-personal-branding/

Smithson, E. (2015, October 14). What is branding and why is it important for your business?


Retrieved February 18, 2021, from

https://www.brandingmag.com/2 015/10/14/what-is-branding-and-why-is-it-important-for-

our-business/#:~:text=Branding%2C%20by%20definition%2C%20is%20a,from%20othe

%20products%20and%20services.


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