First, hello to the PTLYNC fam! And a big welcome to any newcomers!
Today we tackle a big topic. HUGE. The best question. And that's not just a nod to Trump's recent inauguration, it reflects a burgeoning billion dollar online industry and one opinionated corner of the internet.
Let's start with the short answer.
NOT if you have a "successful" business, enjoy your contact hours, have a way of generating new client relationships, have no burning message (or desire to share), and want to stay off the internet. Then you sir/m'am should fully exercise that liberty and not bother.
However, if you want more freedom, money and reach to help people (as many PTs do), vlogs, blogs and personal websites, if done right, can be your ticket.
The experts agree, you just need an investment of time, strategy, and ideally, a way to track success, whether those success markers are monetary (sales conversions), email lists, likes, relationships, profile/business opportunities or simply, enjoyment.
So... What can a vlog, blog or personal website offer your business and you?
YOUR BUSINESS: 1) Clients 2) A Community 3) A way to authenticate/humanise your brand 4) Business opportunities (endorsements, a platform to promote adjunct products, podcasts, TV, etc.) 5) Diversification of income streams, preferably passive and recurring (think online programs, apps, e-books, a la Kayla Itsines, Rachel Guy) 6) Greater reach (and therefore ability to help more people)
YOU: 1) Personal expression (You're a snowflake!) 2) Goal Tracking (Chronicle a fitness journey) 3) Like-minded community 4) Training partners (Because bicep curls are lonely!) 5) Digital content skills (skill up!)
But first, let's get clear.
What's in a name? VLOG, BLOG and/or website?: A blog is a regularly updated web page that logs content chronologically. It's typically more conversational and personal than website content; A vlog is a video blog, where the posts are primarily in video (aka Youtube, Snapchat); A website has static content. Often people will have a blog on a website, the more "live" component of the website.
Capisce? Ok, crack on!
Because there's too much to cover in a single post, here are some valuable shortcuts.
DO: Get all the free stuff/learn EVERYTHING
There are so many fantastic free courses and free workbooks that online social media and blog gurus offer to grow their own email list (read: subscribers).
The courses actually offer up a lot of free value and help get you thinking in that headspace- ie. Who you are and what defines your brand, what social media platform works best for you, how you can offer value and who is your ideal customer? To more tech-y things like, how to set up web challenges, run facebook ads, capture email addresses and pair fonts with colours for your branding.
These are great places to start.
Personally, I've sat in on and taken great notes from Marie Forleo, Kerwin Rae, Kimra Luna, Teachable, Melyssa Griffiths, Kate from Secret Bloggers Business, and Coach Keegan of Real Body Movement.
The majority of these guys don't target PT businesses exclusively, but online businesses generally, so go out and find your masters, young Padawan.
DON'T: Be trigger happy
-Just don't get upsold on their full courses without testing and trialling techniques you learn along the way. It can get expensive fast, and there's no shortage of gurus and "gurus" out there. Source advice from people you respect and like. Anything to make the learning process more fun!
DO- Steal and skill up
Go check out what other people are doing, preferably people in your industry who are killing it. If you like their stuff and how they're going about it, then it probably speaks to you. If it speaks to you, it's probably the way you want to be heard.
If there are skills you need to gain to bridge a gap in know-how, whether video skills, content writing skills or website designing skills, do not fear. Google is your friend. As B School founder Marie Forleo swears, "Everything is figureoutable!" And when it's not, Gary Vaynerchuk says, "Outsource!"
DON'T- Force your weakness
If you hate a platform or format, like snapchat or writing content, then don't do it. Stick to your strengths and the format you like to post. Also consider where your ideal customer is and where they're looking to source information, and the platform you're using. For example, blogs were touted as being terrible investments for big brands because people don't google vlogs when they're looking to buy a product.
As for the final ruling on which one you should or shouldn't have, the jury is out. The panel is split.