Make Your Name in The Business
As an independent gym or fitness club owner, have you considered your personal brand? I’m not talking about the fitness club brand of the gym that you founded (or plan to start). What I mean is your public name and reputation as an entrepreneur.
If you have worked with an executive coach, you may have heard of personal branding. Chief-level executives, ambitious corporate VPs, and high-tech start-up founders often work with a coach.
The goal is to enhance your credentials and be more valuable as a leader and public figure. Personal branding opens doors. Access may be the key to your future success, whether it is to build your management team, secure financing, or to expand your horizons beyond where you are now.
Build A Personal Brand That Takes You Places
The highest levels in most industries are very competitive. Your personal brand can be the entry key to the upper echelons. The people who’ve already made it tend to be tight-lipped about what you need to get there.
Consultants charge five-figure sums to advise on how to do this. However, the principles are sound and simple. As with many things, twenty percent of the work gets you eighty percent of the way there, wherever your "there" happens to be.
It’s All About Your Audience
As a small gym business owner, you may not be in a position to splash out on coaching. However, you can do much for yourself and your career by developing a personal branding mindset.
Decide what your personal values are and what goals do you want to achieve in your personal and professional life. What sort of contribution would you like to make to your community and the world? What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Figure out who is your audience, and what they want to hear from you. The core principles of personal branding are to define your message and personal story, amplify the signal, and build your reputation.
Create An Authentic Narrative
Creating a narrative can be as simple as telling your story and explaining your goals. An example of an authentic story would be something like this:
"You started a career in fitness when you discovered your passion for helping others, along with the desire to control your destiny. After studying physical sciences at college, you found success first as an independent trainer, then as the owner of one gym.
You applied marketing and leadership skills to build a full membership and motivate your trainers. To get to this point, you had to learn many things about people, fitness, and entrepreneurship.
You want to build your personal brand to increase your influence in the community and local government policy. As satisfying as your success has been, you want to find further ways to give back, and at a higher level, too."
If you want successful people and high-achievers as your peers, you need to cultivate authenticity. These folks tend to be keen observers of others, with refined judgment. So your personal brand has to come from a place of authenticity and integrity.
Branding Is Easier Than Ever
Your digital presence is now a fundamental part of your reputation in the modern world. Most of your audience find you on their mobile devices. So use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to brand your presence.
Use social media to your advantage. Instagram stories are a great way to record short messages and create visual impact.
Get on LinkedIn. It’s the number one source for information about executives and entrepreneurs. LinkedIn is the modern Rolodex, a business directory, and your resume all rolled into one.
Add Style to Your Personal Brand
Create a style guide that coordinates the color scheme and "look" on all your digital platforms. That just means a scrapbook or storyboard with examples of the look of your brand.
Create a website for your personal brand. Put your ideas and thoughts in writing in a blog. Have a professional photographer take pictures of you. If you enjoy writing about fitness, do that. If you take pictures of your daily life or videos about training techniques, those are even better.
The Secret of The Branding Spiral
If you as a leader, a robust personal brand will amplify and solidify any other brand that you advocate. That means your distinct personal brand and that of your business play off each other in a spiral that gets more traction than either one does alone.
If you are a small business owner just starting out, personal branding will amplify your successes. It will give you access to potential investors. You will attract top-flight collaborators and hire talented managers.
If you are the leader of a successful company, CEO or founder, a personal branding strategy will take you further. It may positively impact your gym business valuation when it’s time to sell.
Your next step may be joining a board of directors or taking the helm of a larger fitness enterprise. If you consciously take control of your personal brand, anything is possible.
Chan, Goldie. 10 Golden Rules Of Personal Branding. November 8, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/goldiechan/2018/11/08/10-golden-rules-personal-branding/#4eb77cca58a7 (accessed March 5, 2019).
Fagan, Lawrence. Gym Owner Leadership Approaches Reviewed. August 22, 2016. https://blog.gyminsight.com/3885-gym-owner-leadership-approaches-reviewed/ (accessed March 5, 2019).
Lloyd, Alan. Always Be Recruiting: Make Finding Talented People a Regular Activity. September 19, 2018. https://clubsolutionsmagazine.com/2018/09/always-recruiting-talented-people/ (accessed March 5, 2019).
Martins Ferreira, Nicole. 10 Personal Branding Tips That’ll Elevate Your Business in 2019. September 30, 2018. https://www.oberlo.com/blog/personal-branding (accessed September 5, 2019).