Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Personal Trainers & the Information Age!-












I can’t think of a better time to be a Personal Trainer!

I’m tired of hearing about all this recession crap.  People right and left are worried about it, but you know what?  You can sit around worrying all day long, but unless you do something about it, that worry carries no weight.  That worry actually detracts from you!  I prefer to use ANY sort of “negative” situation as a chance to do more with myself and with my business.  I’ve always been the type who works best under pressure!  Recession-schmession.  Has it affected my business?  Not in the least.  I will be the first to say that i’m HAPPY to be self-employed!  I always have loved being my own boss.  I’m doing what I love, and there will always be a need for my services.  Add to this the fact that I am doing bootcamps again…so there’s really NO excuse!  Bootcamps are a very cost-effective way to get in shape and receive hands-on instruction from a professional.

So, my main reason for this little post was to share my $0.02 with other Fitness Professionals!  There are a plethora of opportunities at your disposal to promote and build your business!  Ya gotta be crazy NOT to take advantage of all these ways to get your name out there!  

Not too long ago, I had the misguided notion that taking advantage of the topics i’ll cover below would mean that I was a sellout.  Boy, was I wrong!  I have always had the problem of believing I can do everything myself.  Most of the time, this is a great personality trait…BUT…when you convince yourself that you don’t need anyone’s help to promote and grow your business, you’re gonna find you’re left in the dust.  You simply MUST ask for help, and knowing the right people to link up with is a necessity.  Aside from this, in my world, selling-out would mean that I completely left the field of Personal Training, yet still maintained that I was a Trainer.  Selling-out would mean my world revolved around lying to people for the sake of making money.  As a woman of integrity, this is simply not an option!  You see, selling-out does not mean spending a great deal of time getting your name out there and promoting yourself.  Selling-0ut does not mean expanding on your “main” business (training clients) by offering products and services that are in-line with this.  If anything, in this day and age, if you are not working to create streams of passive income, I feel you aren’t using your time wisely.  It just flat-out makes sense for ANY profession.  I finally completed my first Ebook, which is just the beginning of bigger projects!  As a creative person, this was fun for me…and it is something extra I can offer to people.  It just makes sense.  If you are an effective and engaging trainer, and you have a great personality, why not create a DVD?  The sky really is the limit, and to not recognize this…well, I feel sorry for you!

Right off the bat, let’s talk about Twitter.  It seems everyone is on Twitter these days.  It was all over the news not too long ago, and POW…everyone and their dog has a Twitter account!  I personally can’t see the need to have a Twitter account unless you have a business or product you’re trying to promote, and/or you’re wanting to connect with like-minded people.  I have “met” a ton of fitness enthusiasts and professionals via Twitter, so it’s really been fun sharing tweets and hearing from them!  I tweet about my latest blog posts, my MTM 1.0 Ebook, and my exercise videos on YouTube.  It takes five seconds to do so, and it’s just enough shameless self-promotion for my taste!  I’ll be honest, when I first heard of Twitter, and was told that all Fitness Professionals should be tweeting, I was skeptical.  I thought “why would I care to read all these peoples’ updates?”  Know what?  Twitter works.  I love it!  This brings me to my next “must have”…

TweetDeck.  If you’re into multi-tasking as much as I am, you simply must have this application.  It’s a free download and it streamlines things – you can see incoming tweets, DM’s, and replies in the same window…AND, you can also link up with Facebook.  I love Facebook as well, but I use it more for the sake of connecting with past and present friends.  It’s been fun talking to my grade school buddies on there lately! 🙂

Third topic of conversation – YouTube.  If you train clients and you don’t have a YouTube channel, you’re waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind.  It’s free, it’s easy to use, and if you have quality content, people will watch your videos and offer feedback!  What do I use to shoot my vids?  A Flip Mino.  How do I edit my vids?  Windows Movie Maker.  I plan on getting a MacBook one of these days, which will make video editing a lot easier (and more fun), but until then, this was the software that came pre-loaded on my laptop.  Can’t beat that!  I shoot a little video, edit it, add titles, and upload it to YouTube.  Piece of cake!  My bootcampers have come to appreciate my videoing their workouts.  Why?  It’s motivating for them AND keeps them in line, because they know they are being filmed!  So, if you’re wanting to reach more people and get your “message” out there, ya gotta do the YouTube thing!

Next on the hitlist?  WordPress.  Again, it’s free.  It’s easy to use.  You have a constant stream up uploaded content, and if it’s what people wanna read, they will subscribe!  I have managed to grow a nice little group of subscribers, and I love it because the only reason I care to have subscribers is that I know I am doing the right thing.  I am not trying to build a huge list with the hopes of persuading people to buy my services and/or products.  I do not share my subscriber list with anyone, and i’m not a spammer.  I also would never purchase a subscriber list.  People subscribe to my blog because they WANT to subscribe, and this makes me happy!  I know i’m providing top-notch, usable content because people continue to subscribe.  Also, I am able to connect with my subscribers and give them a “thank you” here and there (like I did last week when I sent out over 100 FREE copies of my new Ebook, MTM 1.0).  I converted my WordPress blog to my actual domain name around the New Year, and that only cost me $15.  I don’t have a Webmaster – I am a one-woman operation!

So, how do I get so much done, you ask?  How do I train clients and manage to do all these other things?  I’m very good at multi-tasking.  I make “to do” lists and check off each task as I finish it.  I prioritize each day’s tasks.  Also, it doesn’t hurt that i’ve always been an “all or nothing” thinker, lol.  When it comes to work-related stuff, this comes in really handy!  

I use the FREE services mentioned above, and I use them in a manner that I feel WORKS for me.  I don’t waste time blogging about nonsense no one will read, just for the sake of blogging.  I don’t shoot videos unless i’m inspired.  I try to provide content that meets my standards!  All of this content is not only a benefit for those near and far who take advantage of it, but it’s a benefit for my in-person & online clients.  If I have a client who is not too sure about a specific exercise, i’ll shoot a video for them and upload it to YouTube.  It’s a win-win: my client gets a more concise explanation and demo of the exercise in question, and everyone else can benefit from it as well.  Aside from this, I just love doing this kinda thing!


11 responses

  1. Terrifc post, Sarah! I love your attitude!


    May 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    • Thanks, Fred!
      I mentioned this specific post not too long ago over at Super-Trainer, and lo and behold…good ol’ fogey trainer dude that always makes a point to disagree with me just HAD to say he got a laugh out of it…i’m sure he can’t even operate a computer.

      Life is short. I say you take every opportunity that comes your way, and go for it…with your spine intact and knowing you did all you could. I mean, if it’s obvious that something could lead to reaching more people, or bettering your life and/or business…and that “something” doesn’t cost you a cent…wouldn’t you take advantage of it? I laughed at Twitter when I first heard about it, but it clicked for me one day…just made sense.

      So, the trainers out there who aren’t doing this kinda stuff…how are you getting your name out? These are FREE methods of advertisement, people…I say if you’re turning your nose up at them, thinking you’re “above” doing such things, well…you’re an idiot! 😀

      Thanks for chiming in, Fred!

      May 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm

      • PS…my reply to the bitter “i’m better than you and i train 12 people a day before the sun comes up” trainer dude’s reply of “that’s pretty funny, Sarah?” regarding my post?

        “humming ‘Dinosaur’ by Hank Williams, Jr”!!!


        May 4, 2009 at 1:48 pm

  2. Nanci

    Sarah –
    I love this! This is exactly how you should be using all this technology – so that it works for you. I love reading your posts cuz I learn so much.

    May 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    • Hey Nancy!
      Thank you! I’m glad you got a kick out of this post! I appreciate your comments! Technology is here to help us…it does make many people lazy, but I feel it’s best to use it to make one’s life more productive! I will be expanding on this specific post in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for the follow-up. This is actually a pretty big bone of contention in the fitness industry. I am on the other side of the fence these days, as I used to be closed-minded and assume a bunch of stuff. Like they say…when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me! 🙂
      I’ll probably also be adding feedback from the Super-Trainer Forum, where I posted a link to this specific post. As expected, one particular trainer just HAD to put in his $0.02…which is never that much…just says a pompous comment and never fully backs it up.
      I say, if you have an opinion, back it up!

      Keep training smarter!

      May 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm

  3. Mel

    I admire your passion and drive for what you do. I, on the other hand, who just started at the bottom or even better in the basement at the age of 38 feel overwhelmed with all of this. I sometimes wonder if it is a bit late in the day for me because I can’t even back my certificate up with own experience. I still have got so much to learn and will make a start with my first class (ladies circuits) on Thursday and hope in the years to come that a little bit of your drive will infect me.

    May 5, 2009 at 1:38 am

    • Hey Mel!
      Long time no talk! I’ve been wondering where you’ve been!
      First off, let me just say that all you CAN do is give it your best, and believe in yourself!
      Your clients are not going to know how much experience you have. I have had very few people in the past 14 years ask me how many years experience or how many clients i’ve worked with. I have offered this information, but really, no one has inquired. So, stop stressin’! You are gonna do fine!
      I still get overwhelmed, and i’ve been doing this for a while now! 🙂 I still get nervous prior to meeting with a new client. I still get nervous calling a potential client back. I was really nervous before starting my first bootcamp workout of this session…just ask my friends…I was a bit of an anxious wreck! lol All you can do is follow your heart, and if your heart is telling you to do this, then DO IT! Don’t question it! My childhood best friend’s mom went back to school at the age of 60 or so…left her high-profile job as a hospital administrator to go to nursing school! Why? She said that she had always felt in her heart that she was meant to be a nurse. She loves it! Bottom line, it’s never too late, and life is too short NOT to go for what you want!
      Keep your chin up, and I can’t wait to hear about how well Thursday goes!
      Yours in Health,

      May 5, 2009 at 7:12 am

  4. Great post Sarah, right with you I think many trainer are missing out the the many opportunities that cyber space offers in terms of marketing, and product delivery!

    TOM Godwin
    Foresight Personal Training – Manchester, UK

    May 5, 2009 at 4:20 am

    • Hey Tom!
      Thank you! I feel I missed out for a while, but hey…better late than never! There’s no reason NOT to! If you have some awesome information that people may benefit from, why keep it to yourself, right?! 🙂 I mean, there’s a ton of stuff out there that people are buying (Hip Hop Abs and stuff like that, lol) that we know isn’t worth their money! I mean, this kinda stuff gets people moving…BUT…it’s definitely not the most effective thing!
      Yours in Health,

      May 5, 2009 at 7:16 am

  5. Mel

    See email 🙂 .

    May 5, 2009 at 11:43 am

    • Hey Mel!

      I’ll give you a holler tomorrow 🙂 For sure!
      Until then…Happy Cinco de Mayo!
      Talk soon!

      May 5, 2009 at 3:41 pm

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