As a certified health and exercise professional, you’ve been able to help your clients reach their goals and change their lives for the better. Your knowledge and experience have given you a unique perspective that continues to contribute to your clients’ success—and yours. To help more people and provide opportunities for your own career growth, you may have considered sharing your “secrets” with the masses.
Think of everything you’ve learned from other professionals who share their experience, knowledge and insight by speaking at conferences and/or writing for various publications. Their willingness to share has undoubtedly provided you with the tools you need to help your clients and advance your career.
If you are passionate about sharing your message through writing or speaking in the industry, it can seem like an uphill battle to get “noticed” in a seemingly crowded marketplace. There is a lot of “information” out there and no shortage of those willing to share it. However, few are able to create and present their ideas in a way that is unique, valuable and relevant. Even fewer have the perseverance to continue to share this message until industry organizations take notice and provide an exponentially larger platform from which to write and/or speak.
The steps below provide a framework for helping you create a valuable message that industry organizations will hire you to share through writing or speaking.
Step 1: What is your area of expertise?
Health and exercise professionals value the knowledge and perspective of others who have committed a considerable amount of time and energy to some aspect of their profession and, in turn, have produced uncommon results.
To create a message that the industry seeks and values, it’s important to consider an aspect of your profession that you have committed a considerable amount of time and energy to—namely, creating uncommon results for your clients and/or career.
Consider the following:
- Do you have an uncommon level of education (e.g., a masters or doctorate degree) specific to some aspect of health and fitness (e.g., exercise and aging, weight loss, muscle hypertrophy or mobility)?
- Have you worked an uncommon amount of hours with a unique population (e.g., children, seniors or those with unique challenges)?
- Have you had success with unique training/communication/business tactics (e.g., unique business model/culture, non-traditional equipment and/or programming)?
- Have you experienced an accelerated level of success (e.g., rapid or large-scale business growth, widely recognized client results or community engagement)?
- Is there a specific aspect of fitness about which you have committed to accruing a unique level of knowledge and/or experience (e.g., mobility, strength, physique or pain cessation)?
Fellow professionals would be much more likely to seek your perspective on something like “Medicine Ball Programming for Increased Mobility in Seniors” as opposed to “Why Fitness is Good for You.”
Step 2: What problems can your expertise help others solve?
Fellow professionals like knowledge but they LOVE solutions to their common problems and challenges. What common problems and challenges can your expertise help them solve?
- Have you been able to simplify an aspect of training that others see as complex?
- Have you experienced success (business growth, client results) with a demographic that most professionals struggle with?
- Have you been able to remove a common barrier to helping clients get results?
To get a feel for what others struggle with, get involved in the industry. Read industry publications and blogs, attend live/virtual conferences, and talk to other pros and share your experiences.
Step 3: Start creating content.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your expertise and who that expertise can help, start creating content. This could be in written or spoken form, depending on your individual strengths. Platforms such as blogs and social media make it possible to quickly and easily share your content with a lot of people. Share your content with your professional network. If you work at a facility, create and deliver content for your co-workers. No venue is too small to start refining your message.
Throughout this process, pay attention to your feedback.
- What questions are other pros asking you?
- Is what you are sharing helpful and relevant?
- What topics create the highest level of engagement and interest?
Be consistent with creating, sharing and evaluating feedback about your ideas. Many of the professionals you have heard speak at conferences or who write for publications put in hundreds, if not thousands of hours sharing their content with small audiences before they get the opportunity to share on a larger platform. Don’t get frustrated when you start to create content and it doesn’t seem as if many people are consuming it. If you stay consistent with delivering relevant, valuable information, fellow professionals will eventually pay attention.
Creating quality content also allows you to connect with other professionals who are already recognized in the industry. These pros often have connections with industry organizations and can facilitate opportunities for you to write and speak
When you contact an industry organization to speak or write, they will most likely ask for a video of you presenting or for a sample of your writing. If you haven’t gone through the process of refining your skills and message through one of these mediums, you’ll miss the opportunity.
Step 4: Apply!
Once you have refined the “What? Who? How?” behind sharing your message, start applying to speak at industry events and contacting publications about writing content. Many organizations feature blogs, journals or magazines on their websites, and they may be looking for quality content. Introductions through other professionals who are already creating content for these organizations are always a plus. However, a directory of contact information is usually available on an organization’s website.
There are hundreds of fitness events each year that seek quality presenters with unique and valuable information. The organizations putting on the events typically have a place on their website to submit a proposal for presentation topics. They will also have a directory of contact information for event coordinators.
If you have developed a relationship with a professional who is already presenting at events, ask if they would be willing to include you as a co-presenter in one of their workshops. This increases the odds you’ll get your first opportunity to share your unique message and talent.
It is likely you’ll be denied repeatedly on your first attempts to write and/or speak for large organizations. Don’t get frustrated. Many people will give up at the first sign of rejection, which allows more opportunities to those who persevere. Continue to sharpen and refine your message, and put effort into expanding your professional network by attending events and contacting pros you admire who may be able to help you share your content.
These steps can help guide your talent and passion in a direction that allows you to share your knowledge, passion and experience with others. Through this process, you’ll have the opportunity to inspire other health and exercise professionals and, in turn, their clients, to continue to achieve their goals.