I am one of those strength coaches that really enjoys interacting and learning from others. There are some seriously powerful (AND FREE) tools out there that can connect you with some of the top trainers. Over the last few months, I have concentrated on a few social mediums that have boosted my knowledge base, added big numbers to my website, and put me in touch with some serious trainers.
When I was in college, I refused to sign up for Facebook. I thought it was one of those things that my friends were wasting their time on, and I didn’t see a use for it. However, my friend Jim Smith over at the Diesel Crew mentioned that I should start a Facebook account to network with other trainers. I’ve been on Facebook now for just over a month. I have met some great people, had some intelligent discussions, and started my own group for Bull Strength (now over 775 members strong). In terms of my website, Synergy Athletics, Facebook has become the #2 referring source and has contributed to my 25% traffic increase this month!
Advice regarding Facebook: Build trust by conducting intelligent discussions. Comment on other people’s statuses, make friends, and talk training. There are a lot of worthwhile groups to join. Do not get on there and start pushing your own stuff right away!
Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging site that allows its members to send and receive updates (known as tweets). Tweets are written up to 140 characters in length and posted. It’s like a combination of text-messaging and blogging. You can even have an ongoing dialogue with a group of followers. This week I joined Straight to the Bar’s Scott Bird (and everyone else who chimed in) for a discussion on “Bull Strength“.
Advice regarding Twitter: As with everything else, content is king. Make pertinent and respectful tweets. Also, there are a lot of helpful applications to look into. Mr. Tweet can help you find followers and get followed yourself. Wondering how you are doing? Check out Twitter Grader. All you have to do is put in your twitter name, in my account it is “jhashey,” and Twitter Grader will analyze your account and give you a number grade. They also have a website and Facebook grader.
There is no shortage of training forums on the Internet. Forums are a great place to ask and answer questions. I am a member of a handful of forums, but primarily post on the Diesel Crew’s and the Ross Training forums. Forums are also in my top referring sites.
Advice regarding Forums: Again, content is important. Forums can also be a place for “internet haters“, so make sure you address people with respect and stay away from those types of discussions. Also, for success, I believe in quality over quantity! I like to keep my training log updated and answer a few questions here and there.
There are plenty of social networking sites out there in addition to the ones above, such as MySpace, FriendFeed, and YouTube. If you get involved in too many at once, it may be overwhelming! I would recommend recycling some of your information. For example, many people set Twitter to update their Facebook accounts automatically. One post will cover two sites! I keep my log on both the Diesel Crew Forums and Ross Training since there are different users on both that provide different insights.
For any strength enthusiast, these sites are definitely worth checking out. Also, for any trainer or business owner, these sites are a great way to learn from others and post your own unique information!