Marketing: What it means to professionally “sell” yourself.
The first and foremost thing that any aspiring fitness model needs to remember is professionalism. The image you portray will define all future business opportunities and potential career success. Knowing exactly what type of business you want to attract will be a direct response to the image you create regarding yourself. Take extra care with images and text used on Social Media and within the Fitness Industry.
This is the first point of call in the business of Marketing. YOU are the brand and your public relations campaign will determine the line of work received.
On this note, the definition of marketing is synonymous with creating a brand image and how to acquire a financial return. There are four key elements to marketing (product, price, place and promotion) that will help establish your profile and acknowledgement within the fitness industry and other potential businesses. Each of these elements assists the entire Marketing process and allows each fitness model to be considered within the industry as a Fitness Model Professional.
- Product – This is everything about the Fitness Model. Physical appearance, beauty, muscularity or definition and a fit and healthy body. YOU are the product. Your portfolio and photos will determine the image you convey and allow businesses to identify your suitability for their criteria.
- Price – Know in advance what you are worth. Some ambassador roles and sponsorships are non-paid but can still add value to the marketing process. Other business opportunities may yield an income to the value of your brand image and sales return. Be prepared to do some free cross-promotion in the initial stages until you develop a brand image that has a monetary value.
- Place – Get out and amongst the fitness community and network with like-minded people that can attract more work and opportunities for you. This may include, but is not restricted to Federation based competitions, Social Media engagement, exposure within print or TV media or a portfolio with an agency like AEFM.
- Promotion – Consider HOW you communicate your image and Fitness Model career to companies in order to acquire work or gain a significant sponsorship. This goes back to your image and how you present yourself as well as the actual events and program you are already engaged in. Promotion includes simple things like Social Media posts, Instagram images, paid promotional work, blogging, websites etc…..
Identify and Create your own Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
A Unique Selling Proposition is what defines YOU. Identify the key strengths within your profile and the message you convey. Are you a young model, a healthy fit mum or a strong muscular male? What defines YOU and your fitness model image? Write up a list of key words that encapsulate the message you want to present and how you deliver that via your look, your photos, your overall profile and any existing promotions you have engaged in. Your UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION must match your image and this is EXACTLY what businesses are looking for to align with their brand image and sales strategy.
What is a Target Market and who do you represent VS who you want to represent?
Once you have identified your USP the next step is to look at the key aspects of your target market. Identify who you speak to and what key characteristics define them. Then align those characteristics with your own profile and find the businesses that also have the same target market. E.g. A young fitness model, who presents herself as fit & lean, will have a USP based around her demographic age bracket and amongst other young fit females. Therefore the type of target market that this fitness model would attract includes like-minded fit young females. Her age and image most likely WON’T attract the over 40s female who is busy running a family & household.
Once this has been established it becomes much easier to convey the message to the marketplace. Brand Management is the crux of all business strategies and sales success. Companies will have set values and associations related to their brands. They will seek athletes and fitness models that match those same associations. So be sure to know WHO your target market is and WHAT your own brand & fitness model image represents.
How to Communicate your Image through Social Media and other Marketing Avenues.
Social Media has become the fastest growing medium for free publicity and personal promotion. It has its advantages and disadvantages. If utilised correctly it can have a powerful magnitude of opportunities. Every single word, image and post made on Social Media is important.
If you acquire a sponsorship with a brand, don’t assume your personal profile and page is in your control. What you show is observed both positively and negatively by the community. Selfies with excessive décolletage or semi naked chests can be perceived with harsh criticism and conflict. Ensure all images are ‘tasteful’ despite your own personal feeling of Fit-Sexy. Care should be taken when posting images that contain any profanity or written posts that overtly criticise and are unprofessional.
Keep your ‘dirty laundry’ off- line and learn to approach situations with maturity and integrity. What you say and do reflects on the Brand you represent and ultimately determines your Fitness Model profile and future opportunities. Don’t presume that your honesty or opinion is warranted, unless the opinion you make is a positive and liberating message.
Simple Steps to Writing your Proposal (Sponsorships, Ambassador Programs)
Here is ONE SIMPLE example of how to structure your Marketing Proposal and Fitness Model Profile
|Dani Bosancic, owner of Fit N Trim 4 Life, Personal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor, transformation coach, fitness model competitor and sponsored athlete.
|SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
|My PT business and client contact, together with my Fitness Industry experience brings me to the forefront of “Loyal Late Adopters” who represent 33% of the market place and over 75% of retail sales.
This includes females aged 28-48yo who are already fit and exercise at the gym. They look for healthy food options and are seeking the correct Nutrition & Exercise plan to fit their healthy lifestyle. Most of these women are Mums or busy corporate women, who are educated and have disposable income to spend on a reliable brand(s).
Brands that match my Target Market include; The Protein Bread Co, Slender Slim, Outlast Nutrition and ANB Victoria.
|My USP is a Fit, Healthy mum who also operates a business, is career oriented and successful both within the fitness industry and on the home front. My pride and joy are my kids and I want to lead by example for future generations.
|MEDIA PROFILE& COMPETITION HISTORY
|My fitness journey has seen me featured in both Print and TV media:Women’s Health & Fitness 12wk Transformation Winner, Clean Eating Magazine, Oxygen Magazine, Iron Man Magazine and Living Lean TV
ANB VIC Fitness Model O30s 2012 – 2nd Place
ANB Oxygen/National Fitness Model O30s 2012 – 2nd place
|To be aligned with your business and generate sales to the same target market.To represent your brand at Fitness Expos and events.
To USE/WEAR your products and brand during my competition prep as well as for everyday training.
To engage in Social Media Shout-Outs and cross promotions.
Conclusion and Summary
Just to recap on the information detailed in this segment, let’s summarise the key points and areas to ALWAYS consider when marketing your fitness model profile.
- Be professional at all times
- Identify your marketing image and the USP that aligns with your image
- Define your target market and align that with the brands you represent
- Use social media to your advantage with positive messages and professionalism
- Identify brands and companies that share the same values and approach them with your written proposal.
If there is one thing I would advise everyone, NEVER assume your profile is good enough for others to approach you. Winning a sponsorship is like a Business Sale Proposal – you need to WIN the account and be able to manage the ongoing sales.
So go out there and BE LOUD and BE HEARD!
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