If you are a fitness professional and you are not using facebook or twitter by now stop reading this article and go strike yourself with a mildly heavy object, I’ll wait. 

 

Whether you “get it” or not social networking is where the people are so as a professional or business owner that’s where you need to be too.

 

Let’s touch on two points; what is the best way for fitness professionals to use SN and how to do that without taking too much time out of your already busy day.

 

Social Networking is a telephone not a bill board

 

Stop spewing exercise facts and promoting programs on your personal page and engage with your followers. For a fitness professional this gives you the opportunity to see what clients and members are like and doing outside the gym (where 90% of success and failures happen). Ever have those conversations where their nutrition and exercise log just don’t add up with their results and current state? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a glimpse into their time outside the gym that did not get written down?  It also gives them a chance to learn about you.  As a fitness professional members and clients will put you on a pedestal and view you as more of a superhero than mere mortal. They see you as someone they could never be in a million years, letting them see behind the curtain and showing them your human and have/do deal with challenges can do wonders for their drive, goals and expectations

 

Become a coin collector

 

Steve Shenbaum founder of Game On Media has a wonderful philosophy called coins.  Coins are a single item in your life that makes you smile.  We all have thousands of coins and when we begin to share them with others we find people we have coins in common with. Social Networking is the perfect platform to share your coins, let others get to know you and see what coins you have in common.  People want to get to know you and when they feel connected to you they will have more brand loyalty for your business.  There is a rule though; try to make 80% of your coins non-physical.  They already know you are an athlete and master of all exercises and sports, show them the real you.  What else do you love?  For many of us sports and fitness is a passion and has always been a large part of our life but it is not all we are.  We are not only defined as a runner, football player or trainer, there is more to you and that is what they want to know.

 

Putting coins into action

 

It starts with a list… Give you self some quiet time to sit down and write out your list of coins. What makes you smile? What do you love? What is unique about you? What are your favorite subjects to talk about? Just keep writing, anything that comes to mind, needless to say it will be a long list.  Here are a few of mine;

 

Rock climbing with my wife, Lake Huron beach days with my daughter, zombie movies, Batman, Led Zeppelin, physics, classic rock, cooking, reading, self-development, bow hunting, Under Armour….

 

These are just a few but these are things I get excited talking about and cause an instant connection with someone when I discover they love that thing as well.  After you have your list created you know have a powerful tool to help you develop and increase your presence on social media. Any one of your coins can give you a thousand different posts or items to share with your followers and posting on coins will create connection and interaction.  One night I was driving home from and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen came on the radio & 10 minutes later I had a sore neck and no voice.  I posted that on facebook and it got like 50 likes and over 20 comments, you can post exercise facts all day and get one or two likes or you can share yourself with your followers. It’s no secret to any of my facebook followers that I love Batman.  In the months leading up to the release of the Dark Knight Rises my wall has been peppered with all kinds of cool Batman posts and pics from friends.  The cool part is that they know me well enough to know my excitement for the movie so whenever they see something Batman related they think of me, how cool is that!?  If time is your biggest hurdle there is a great website called Hootsuite where you can schedule posts on a number of social networking sites.  Sit down once or twice a week with your list of coins and schedule a post a day, this is a very simple way with little time commitment to interact with your followers and help them get to better know you.  No go forth and become a Coin Collector!

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About caseystutzman

Casey Stutzman is an AFAA certified trainer and has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 2004. Since 2006 he has acted as the Head Trainer at the Bay Athletic Club in Alpena Michigan. Casey’s love of athletics and competition drove him in to the fitness industry. He uses his experience as a division 1 college football player, amateur bodybuilding competitor, strongman competitor to help others reach their goals in all areas of fitness. Casey spends his time at Bay Athletic Club teaching Boot Camps, small group training sessions, training clients and working with participants in Bay Athletic Club’s Corporate Fit Challenge program. He also develops strength and conditioning programs and does performance training for a number of local athletic organizations and high school teams. As an Ignite Performance Master trainer and Master Instructor for TRX Casey travels North America to educate and connect with fitness professionals to help them offer more to their clients and athletes. Time outside of fitness is occupied with reading, travel, indoor rock climbing, snow sports and being an active outdoorsman. He enjoys spending free time with his wife Mary Beth, his daughter Vesper, son Indiana and Turkish the family dog.

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