Here are 10 steps you can implement right now to increase your chances of getting scouted by a company for sponsorship in the fitness industry.
Whether it be a supplement company, clothing company or any other fitness related industry in the gym sector, one thing you should bare in mind is that - in general, companies are primarily interested in what you can do for that companies bottom line - e.g INCREASE THEIR SALES.
Decide your target area of the fitness world:
Fitness clothing companies are looking for 'model' type people, do you look good in and out of the gym? How do you look in a t-shirt or stringer vest? Do you have abs? How are your facial aesthetics? You don't have to be a young Brad Pitt, but control your acne, smile and take care of your grooming if you hope to break through in the gym clothing/fitness modelling area.
Supplement companies have a broader appeal and the majority just want to show off the effectiveness of their products, so massive biceps, shredded abs and lean physiques may just be all they're after.
1. Know Your Direction
Be good at everything and EXCELLENT at one thing. What are you offering to your fanbase that makes their following worthwhile?
Choose a unique approach where you want to take your Social Media accounts - and be the best at it.
Do you want to have an original, exciting, fresh presence or do you want to be just another generic 'athlete'?
Are you here to make a full time career? You better be good. Or are you here just to bag some sweet gym wear year round and some extra money at the end of each month - decide what you want and go for it.
2. Take great photos, make great videos
Whether you are a YouTuber posting fitness videos or just an Instagrammer, take the best possible photos you are able to take/afford/produce.
You don't have to be Steven Spielberg, but you should take a level of pride in all your content across all your platforms.
Not only will polished photos & videos catch the eyes of potential sponsors, but your fans will appreciate you and your following will grow accordingly.
You don't have to spend a fortune on equipment, but every penny will be a worthwhile investment - use tripods, learn the basics of filming, learn what makes a great photo, experiment, learn, grow.
The Panasonic LX100 or Canon G7X are excellent versatile vlogging cameras.
3. Post often
To remain relevant, to grow your fanbase, take this seriously and post as often as possible. Not 18 times a day, but at least 5 times a week, minimum.
Facebook and Instagram reward accounts that post regularly, as long as the content is what people want to see - the more you post, the more often your future posts will be shown - more views = more likes = more fans, get it?
There's a fine line between posting often and posting a ton of crap, asses your content, keep your next 2/3 posts prepared, ask yourself if the content is worth peoples time and provides them with something to appreciate.
Note 1278 instagram gym selfies aren't visually appealing to anyone.
4. Respond to your fans, be human
We are in a digital world, respect everyone that you meet online, respect everyone to be respected by all.
When you initially start showing yourself to the fitness world and you are focusing on growing your subscribers and followers - take the time out to respond to all your fans questions, answer their pleas for advice, tips, diet etc.
Genuinely caring for your fans will build a LOYAL following, be human and do what you can to help others (and that doesn't mean charging them $200 for a 3 page ebook)
5. Avoid controversy
Retain your professional image if you are hoping to bag yourself a top-level fitness company sponsorship.
You will potentially repel companies away from you if you get involved with online disputes, swear, slander, fight or bicker.
Companies don't want the risk of their name being tarnished by your keyboard battles with trolls, other athletes or Tim from Oklahoma who commented "Tren hard anavar give up".
6. Use good grammar and spell correctly
Just do it.
It's 2016 and people stopped using 'txt talk' 10 years ago!
Use a spellchecker. Use full stops, apostrophes and capital letters at the start of a sentence.
The internet is worldwide, not everyone is a native English speaker - spelling properly, and writing clearly is a must if you are hoping to be a true worldwide icon!
You'll also gain respect from the companies with an eye on you, it's ideal EVERYONE can understand what you're about and what you're writing about.
7. Know Your Worth
You need to be a positive return on investment for any company - otherwise you are COSTING them, not PROFITING them - they grow = you grow, it's a reciprocal process.
So you have 50,000 YouTube subs, 100k Instagram followers and a million on Twitter, you post to all your fans about your new sponsorship with XYZ Company - does that mean 10,000 people rush to buy from XYZ Company? NO.
Evaluate your fan interaction often, asses your fanbase regularly - have a clear idea of what you want from a sponsorship and know what is acceptable and what is a one-sided deal.
Be realistic and appreciate your marketing value for what it actually produces in terms of results, you don't have to have an MBA in Business, but you do need to to know a little about the marketplace.
Are you worth more than 2 stringer vests every 6 months or a tub of protein once a year? (Read more in step 10)
8. Appreciate YouTube
If you plan on taking this fitness vision of yours seriously, it's vital you are a YouTuber.
I don't make the rules but this is just how it is - YouTube works, it is your biggest shot at fitness stardom.
YouTube is the ultimate engagement experience for your fans, and it's where you will gain most of your fans - training videos, vlogs, diet, transformation montages are all received well when done properly.
Link all your Social Media, Facebook, Instagram Snapchat etc in your video description box and convert your viewers to followers.
9. Be Patient
Oh, you want to be the next fitness legend? Get in line, there's only 5 million other guys in the queue. But don't lose faith.
It is getting continually harder to be the next 'it' guy of fitness, but nothing is impossible.
Like a garden of beautiful flowers, you must water it regularly, prune often, and care for it each and every day. With focus, persistence and determination, ANYTHING is possible - but you must put in the work.
Don't give up because you're stuck at 157 fans, experiment, learn, diversify and persist. Know whatever you want is possible.
10. Communicate regularly with the Sponsor
If it's the PR team, the owner, or the dog who actually negotiated your sponsorship - talk to them.
Keep in contact however you can, Skype, WhatsApp, Faceb... you get the idea. Putting it all on the table will benefit both parties, create a healthier relationship and is good practice in the professional world.
Address all concerns, be human. Talk about progression, ask for a better deal if you think you deserve one.
Actually create a relationship with your sponsors, make a friendship, be more than just a marketing team.