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A personal brand is the uniqueness of the values of the experience you share with people. This impression becomes the perceived experience that guides their response to you as a person. My doctoral thesis is centered on branding strategy, and this has helped me to develop conscious effort in studying the psychology of repurchasing intention. Chief among the deliberate understanding I have acquired in the past six years is neuro-marketing, which tends to explain how the brain reacts or responds in respect of “choice”.

In the fitness industry, like every other industry, who likes you matters. The success of any fitness professional can be predicted. Each time I see “professionals”, I can tell whether or not they will go far. You are what you do, not what you say.

Let me share some tips on how to build your personal brand as a fitness profession.

Who are you?

Self-awareness is the fundamental approach to personal branding. The combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character is important in business. The execution of your know-how (professional knowledge) will always find expression in your personality. Every person is different, you need to find your unique value and work on your weakness. Most people suffer personality conflict, so they appear confused not just in their appearance but also in their expression.

You are who you are but need to sell yourself to your proposed customers who have their own expectations. Work on habits like poor listening skill, anxiety, among others.  

The question: “Who are you?” Also addresses what service you render. I have spoken to lots of professional trainers who do not know what they do exactly. A lady once told me she was a swimming instructor and I said I was looking for an aquatic aerobic instructor and she was confused. It is important to specify who you are based on your knowledge and area of your specialty.

What quality do you have to offer?

The world is very busy place. People are  becoming impatient and tired of the regulars. The strength of your personal brand is in the quality of value you have to offer. One of the ways to increase your value is by researching extensively into special cases of clients. Read a lot of medical journals, textbooks, consult fitness practitioners and attend seminars.

Most clients need more than just a personal trainer. Remember it is all about the experience you leave your clients with.

Development a relationship that is cordial

I like a luxurious personality as a brand. It have worked with  celebrities and top government officials who paid ten times the regular amount. People work with who they like. The power of relationship should be an inclusive part of your personal brand. It is also important to be mindful that you are hired so never take their familiarity for granted. Some are very private, do not go into their personal affair. Develop healthy conversations as a form of motivating them to exercise. Be professional by returning their calls and text messages when necessary. Anticipate the likes of your clients and make it part of your services. Talk less, listen more.

Be Professional in your appearance

Professional grooming and ethical value unique to your personal brand you as a model of what you sell. Let your gym attires be neat. People can associate your uniqueness to a specific style, colour, slogan and certain special qualities.

Create a Platform

We live in a world where people check your platform (website, social media presence) before meeting you. Professionally plan out your website and social media pages. Use good pictures and short videos that are interesting. Ensure that the information on your page is true. Get testimonies of reputable personality to talk for you. Give useful and professionally verifiable information for free to increase the traffic on your platform. This will engrave you in the mind of people and you will always be associated with specific fitness services.

Build Integrity

Your integrity is an asset to your clients. In all the aforementioned factors, be transparent, honest and authentic in your dealing with people. No matter the quality you have, if you loose out on your integrity you loose out in all. Nobody will want to deal with a business or personality that is void of integrity. Your punctuality and delivery on promises are crucial barometers of your integrity.

Consistence honesty is a virtue, people will love you for it, and your reputation is key to your valuable brand. Apologize when you are wrong and never try to make excuse, people are not foolish.

Build a brand Association

As a brand there will always be a better known brand.

In 2001, I offered to help some Nollyhood actors in the gym. They came to the gym not knowing what to do, so I volunteer to help them, took some photographs and asked for their autographs. You can request for the permission to post it on your site but ensure you speak well of them. This will pull their fans to you and add to your resume.


The complexity in the business world has called for individual and organizations to be strategic in their approach. The understanding of what drives people is significant in building a successful brand. About seventy percent of why people buy services and goods is first because it appeals to their emotions, subsequently, if it satisfies them consistently by giving good value for money, they become loyal to such services (brands). Remember your personal brand, not necessary what you call yourself, is a description you hope others will apply to your person.      

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This article was first published on 16th October 2019


Wale Haastrup has joint honours degrees in Human Kinetics and Health Education. He is a professionally certified Grade 2 Coach in Athletics and Training and a formal team fitness and conditioning manager of a rugby club. Wale's experience spans close to two decades as a sports teacher, fitness/sports coach and consultant. He is a member of sports management professional bodies and has been published in several academic journals. Wale is presently concluding his doctorate degree in Sports Administration and Management at the University of Lagos. He is passionate about Nigeria and strongly believes that Jesus mentors and inspires him.

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