Image is Everything
An image is everything. After all, the reason people probably turn to fitness professionals in the first place is to improve their image. As the professional, you should be maintaining and improving your image as well, and presenting yourself in a professional manner.
Being a personal trainer, life coach, nutritionist, or bodybuilding posing coach means that you run a small business. Running your own small business means that you wear many hats. Besides being the fitness specialist, you also wear hats for accounting, marketing, billing, and scheduling. In order to continue to grow your business, you will need to do marketing. For most in the fitness industry, your own body is your number one asset and the calling card that you have with you all the time. Everywhere you go, there are opportunities for people to see you and say, “Wow! You look great I wish I could look that good!” You have the chance to sell yourself.
Although it seems like a lot of marketing is done on social media these days, business cards are still a basic staple for marketing and they help give you a professional image. I cannot tell you how many gyms I have visited that had stacks of cards displayed for personal trainers on the front desk. These business cards seem to typically choose the standard Vista Print business card format with the chrome dumbbell design in the corner. However, I think that if just one trainer displayed a card with his or her image on it, that trainer would be chosen over the cards with a dumbbell. You should have professionally printed cards made with your image on them since you are using your body and physique as a marketing tool. Do not cut corners by trying to make them on your home printer either.
In terms of social marketing, you should be using all of the social media platforms to your advantage. You can make multiple posts a day on topics related to your area of expertise and your daily life. These posts will help viewers relate to you and get a sense of your personality.
Besides your candid mirror selfies, videos of your workouts, pictures of your healthy food, and motivational quotes, it is very helpful to have professional looking pictures. People with professional looking pictures will stand out from the rest. Invest some money and hire a photographer to make you look your best (it can be a business expense tax write-off for advertising too). While I’m taking pictures of athletes and personal trainers, I often get asked: “Hey what magazine is this for?” “Are they famous?” “Are they being featured?” Usually, the pictures are just for the athlete or trainer’s website, social media posts, or updating their personal image. So, I believe that getting professional looking pictures gives off the impression that you are important and special. While you are at your shoot, make sure to get a few great head shots to replace the selfies you used as your profile picture on Facebook and Instagram. I think professional pictures are especially important on LinkedIn.
As a photographer, I can tell you that not all photographers are good at taking pictures of everything. For instance, I am not skilled at taking family group pictures and wedding shots, but I am better at photographing other things. So, I recommend that you check out the professional’s portfolios to see if they are skilled at the kind of work that is similar to what you would like for your pictures. Just as your clients check you out before hiring you, make sure you do the same for your photographer. And remember, you get what you pay for.
Just remember, in the fitness industry, the image is everything.
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I am a full-time photographer of over 20 years with a specialty in commercial advertising and marketing photos. My interest over the past several years has been working with athletes and fitness professionals both making impactful images that show their physiques at their best and also helping with their marketing needs.
Besides fitness, my marketing clients also include home builders, real estate agents, and high line automobile dealers.