by Brian Cannone

We live in a society where your abilities and skills land in a ‘solid’ second place. Then what is the first place? Appearance; your image is everything. Of course, after you have passed the first round then your abilities, skills, strengths and weaknesses come into play. Unfortunately our society today will judge someone completely based on first impressions. Our individual and personal lives are based on your appearance and the way you portray yourself. In your professional career, your image is EVERYTHING! Whether you are successful, mediocre or unsuccessful is all based on the image that you show and give to your clients and the rest of the world as a professional. Something you need to keep in mind, especially when you are keeping your professional career in mind is you need to learn how to and BE marketable.

Why is appearance and your image everything in your career? To put it very simply first impressions will make you or break you. How many times have you encountered someone that you either work with, work for, or are looking to work with and the first impression that they give you completely turns you off from that individual? This happens to everyone! Everyone will give you an analysis of who you are and what you are capable of based on your appearance and the image you portray, before they ever get a chance to really know what you are capable of and who you really are. It is essential, both in your personal and professional life, that you give the best image possible of yourself! Especially in your professional career, you need to make sure that you leave ALL doors open and readily available to yourself and be careful not to unintentionally ruin your chances or have one of the doors closed off from you.

As a fitness professional, what is the image that you wish to portray? You need to make sure that you come off as professional, polite, easy going and knowledgeable. The next question you should be asking yourself is how and why does this help your professional career. How does it help your career? The image that you put forward will forever leave an impression on your clients and prospective clients. By showing that you are professional at all times, polite and sincere, easy going and very knowledgeable you will set your clients at ease and will leave them with a very good lasting impression of who you are as a professional.

Why do these attributes help you? When you are professional at all times you will be taken seriously as a professional. Being polite and sincere helps to not only improve the image of yourself as a professional, but it also helps your clients feel more at ease around you and WANT to be around you. When you are easy going as a fitness professional you will then leave yourself more open to be approached; both clients and potential clients will feel far more comfortable to approach you and converse with you. The last attribute that you should make a necessity in your image, which is self-explanatory, is being knowledgeable. Very simply, when you know what you are doing and what you are talking about, you vastly improve your success as a professional.

The image that you portray will be an ultimate factor in whether or not you are a professional success. How does your image improve your success? Your first impression means everything in your professional life. By putting the best possible image of yourself as a fitness professional you will leave people feeling at ease, comfortable, and well taken care of when they are in your hands. If you, whether intentional or not, give off the image that you are beyond reproach, cocky, rude, or that you do not know what you are talking about you can count guarantee that you have lost that client, potential client, and most likely the people that they talk to the most when they pass around the word of their first impression of you. In the fitness industry, as in any professional industry, word of mouth means everything. If you even have one person who is turned off by the image that you have set forward, you are shutting doors to not only that particular client, but also to whoever that they pass along the word.

The best advice you can be given as a professional, after paying attention to your image, is to learn how to be marketable. What does it mean to be marketable? It means that you have the ability or are fit to be marketed. The main purpose for every business venture and professional is to make money. You are in it to be successful! When you are marketable you are likeable. When you have the skills and strengths that are marketable, you make yourself in demand as well as the product you are trying to sell. For instance, if you are an overweight fitness coach and are trying to teach people how to eat properly and give the most applicable pointers to get your clients to lose weight or reach their goals, you are a contradiction. Whether you know what you are talking about is irrelevant. This does NOT make you marketable. Another example of being marketable is if you are selling an acne medication and the face of your company has acne, you are not portraying your product in its best light. This particular model is NOT marketable for your company and/or your product. Would you buy this product if the even the face of the company cannot be helped by it?

In order to not close off opportunities to yourself, you need to learn how to be marketable. Clients are either looking to buy you or sell you; professionally speaking. Buy what you are trying to sell and using you to help sell their products and get the biggest return that they can. You want to be friendly, funny, sincere, and in all sense of the word, professional. You do not want to ruin your chances with a potential client and you want to open all possible doors in your respective professional field. By being marketable and putting your best image out there will drastically improve your chance of success in the fitness industry!