We all do, but you got to add something, start writing. Facebook blog is not enough. You have to start long-form content creation vehicle, podcast writing. YouTube is a great one, too. I never was super at that one.
As we got more guests, then I see Dani Shugart who’s one of the editors at T-Nation, long-time writer, is interacting with someone on Facebook that I’m already friends that I’ve met. I sent her friend request. I sent her a message.
I say, “Hey, Dani, I would love to have you on our podcast. I’ve been reading your stuff for years. Your stuff’s great.” She was thrilled. She came on as a guest. She was super.
Within a couple of weeks she turned around. She’s like, “Hey, all sheepish, would you consider being a contributor for T-Nation?”
It’s iconic brand that I’ve been reading for God, forever. I’m like, “Are you kidding me? [laughs] Of course.” That was where that started. Then I started writing for them and that starts to get your name out there a little bit, but it’s also this stamp for coaches.
It’s an additional stamp of credibility, authority, which is, it’s not about status. I think a lot of people go wrong because they crave status. They want to have people think they’re important. That’s the wrong lens to look at it through.
Look at it through, how much can you serve other people without expectation of anything in return? If you produce content through all these different vehicles, good things are going to happen to you. You’re going to create greater connections. Just support other people with the vehicles that you’re building.
Anyway, so that started out and I realized at the beginning of 2020 that I needed to start backing up the writing side of stuff in the podcasting with more of a social media presence. I believe that Instagram is the hub for everything.
We now know that TikTok is blowing up. It’s a bit on the wild side, but I still think Facebook has organic growth issues now in a way that it operates versus where it was before. I still think that Instagram has been and currently is the hub for authority within the fitness space.
I started the posting daily on it, taking the pieces of wisdom, knowledge, experience, practicing that skill. I study writing a lot. Along the way, I got invitation to write for Generation Iron. When I met you, Edwin Mejia who’s one of the cofounders, was supposed to come and meet me, hang out. I had a guest pass for him at Strong New York.
His flight couldn’t get it in time. I also had a guest pass for Jeff Tomko, who’s an editor with “Muscle & Fitness” magazine. I got to meet him for the first time. He’s great to work with.
Then I met some of the guys from Men’s Health. I’ll be honest, one of my aspirations is to write for “Men’s Health” someday. We’ll see if I can make that happen. I want to earn it.
I kept creating on social media, working on the way of formulating ideas. It gained a little traction slowly, slowly, slowly. I committed to it. I’ve been doing it every day for almost three years. The first year, I started with 3,000 followers through all the connections I had. It grew to 10.5-cool by the end of the year.
The next year, picked up a bit, picked up a bit. It grew to 35,000. Middle of that year, a buddy of mine who I’d gone to two of his events to support him asked me to come speak at his event. I said, “Sure. Don’t know what I’m doing, but I’ll figure it out.” It went great. That opened up a ton of doors.
I have had so many invitations to speak. It’s so much stuff ever since. I got a NSCA regional conference in December. I’m doing Kabuki Education Week again, that’ll be February this year, Raise the Bar in February in Dallas, which is a big event.
If you get started with some of these things and you just keep going, keep going, keep going, be consistent with it, travel, get it from other people, support them, and connect with them, then all this opportunity grows as soon as you have to lean into it. Take a leap of faith before you even know what the hell you’re doing.
It’s also very easy to reverse engineer where you are to say, “Here are all the things that worked.” I promise you, if you engage in a lot of these behaviors and if you aspire to be in a position where you are educating and reaching a broader group of people, then a lot of good things come.
There’s one more thing I’ll say. We often have the sour grapes narrative that a larger following is a vanity metric or we don’t need it. We hear coaches, people say you don’t need a larger following to be successful in the fitness industry. Those people that are saying it have larger followings. Friends of mine do this.
The reality is we need to shift that attitude. It’s a way to share your experience and knowledge with more people. We all are passionate about making the greatest impact possible. You can do it with this more surface-level touch point of social media.
Then, you can bring people into things like your podcast, your articles, your YouTube, your email list, your speaking engagements.