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By: Obi Obadike
“How come nobody’s knocking on my door and giving me an endorsement contract? I’ve been on covers, features and I have a world class physique.” Well this is a statement that comes from many people in the fitness industry who believe they are entitled to an endorsement contract. The problem with that is they are waiting for someone to drop a contract on their lap unfortunately it just doesn’t happen that way. Nobody and I mean nobody is going to drop a contract in front of your lap regardless of how many covers and features you’ve done you have to chase it.
Ask yourself this: What differentiates me from every fitness model out there that would make a supplement company want to invest in me? This fitness industry is all about the hustle and the person that hustles the most will always attain more success than the person that has more talent. One of the hardest things in this industry to do is self-promote and the reason is because of how people will perceive it. We are humans and it is natural for all of us to be concerned how we are perceived by others.
Lord knows I used to be concerned about it all the time in the beginning until I realized I can’t control what people think about me and I really honestly stopped caring about what people thought of me. I can only do what is right for my career, for myself and for my family. The only way you are going to develop a following in the industry in the fitness industry is by talking about yourself and sharing what you are doing in the industry via the internet. If you have no following or fan-base in the industry there is no way any supplement company or any fitness company in their right mind would ever take the time to invest money in you or sponsor you. I am saying a true supplement sponsorship is not a supplements only contract but a paid contract where you receive a paycheck every month or every two weeks.
This is the social networking age and every major supplement company is on a social networking site because the internet at this point in time is more powerful than print from a marketing standpoint. Do you need to land 20 covers or more to land a major supplement contract? No you don’t but you do have to create the perception in that decision maker’s eyes that you are everywhere in the industry even if you are not. How do you create the perception? What is the first thing someone will do if they want to find information about you? The first thing they do is they google your name and I can tell you that every major supplement or fitness equipment company that is looking to possibly give a contract to a fitness model will do just that. That is how they are going to research what you’ve done. How that perception is created is by making yourself as visible and prominent as you can on the internet whether it be blogging on your website, blogging on some fitness site, blogging on Facebook or just talking about what accolades you’ve done via any of the major social networking sites. Once you report something you’ve done in the industry anywhere on the internet it is just about a permanent record there. Imagine being consistent with reporting all of these things I just mentioned for a couple of years via blogging. Imagine how much stuff after a couple of years would be about you on the internet and how easy it would be for a supplement company to research what you’ve done. And once they do their research they are like, “WOW he or she is all over the Internet on Google.”
No supplement company or fitness equipment company will ever know what you’ve done if you don’t talk about yourself or what you are doing in the industry via the internet. That is really the name of the game and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the industry you still have to do it especially if you still want to be relevant in the industry. The social networking age is where we are at and if you are not to up to date with it I promise you that you will be left behind and you will lose out on a lot of money and a lot of incredible business opportunities that you can make.
If you don’t have a Website, Twitter, Facebook account or a blogging account you are almost useless to any supplement company that may want to potential sponsor you and I would say you don’t exist. In fact I would advise you not to even try to waste your time try to acquire a sponsorship unless you have all three and have created some decent consistent web traffic to all of those three entities. It took me a long time to figure out this whole self-marketing game. I studied and researched a lot of tape on a lot of high profile professional athletes at the peak of their career and some of the marketing they would do before I ventured and applied this self-marketing thing for my own career.
Some of what they did was a little too much for my taste and comfort level but most of them understood the self-marketing game so well and from those efforts they always seem to land the biggest endorsement contracts and make the most money. At the time everybody said they were the cockiest and most self-absorbed people in the world and then during the latter part of their career or when there career was over they were looked at as marketing geniuses. It’s pretty funny how that happens sometimes. There is such a fine line between self-promotion and arrogance. Unfortunately it is so hard for many people to differentiate between the two unless you can really understand the marketing game and how you can apply it to your own career and become successful. Remember you have to chase the contract it will not chase you. If I hadn’t figured out and studied the self-marketing game and applied it to own my career I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have landed any of my contracts and some of the accolades I’ve attained. If you use social networking the right way and are efficient as well as consistent with it you will be able to accomplish many great things in this fitness industry.
March 2011 - Issue XI - Fit & Firm Magazine 81
-- Reprinted with Permission
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