By Joseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS Faculty Member World Instructor Training Schools
The murmuring of cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant has sounded the alarms of multiple public health agencies throughout the US in recent days. As of Tuesday, July 20th, the Delta variant represents 83% of new COVID-19 cases — which since the middle of July has averaged 32,837 new cases per day nationwide. Additionally, hospitalizations in that same span are up 35% from the week prior according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Delta variant’s ascension comes at a time as many of us are finally settling back to the settings in which were most comfortable working with our clients, athletes, and students.
Let’s first dispel some falsehoods about the Delta variant and provide fitness professionals and facility operators suggestions on how to remain open in light of its recent proliferation.
1. The Delta variant is more dangerous than COVID-19. FALSE.
Variants are mutations of a virus and festooned nomenclature, in this case Greek alphabet characters to differentiate them from the original virus (COVID-19 Alpha) and other forms. A hallmark of the Delta variant are pronounced spike proteins which make it easier to penetrate cells and gain entry into angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) which are found within the cells of the skin, smooth muscles, bronchial tract, and sebaceous and eccrine glands. Delta variant is highly transmissible and potentially more contagious than COVID-19 but no more dangerous.
By Joseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS Faculty Member World Instructor Training Schools
Whether you are a newly minted college graduate or returning to the classroom following a layoff, W.I.T.S. will help you pave a path to successfully entering the fitness industry through an assortment of evidence-based pedagogical measures.
Unlike most fitness organizations, W.I.T.S. provides (30) contact hours of live instruction facilitated by an experienced fitness professional. Lectures are delivered in-person or virtually with practical sessions hosted in actual fitness settings, enabling students to learn and become confident with core tenets of personal training including interviewing, assessing, testing, training, and coaching clients.
Faculty members are well versed in educational theory and engender self-directed learning environments within the classroom and in the gym — students are given greater autonomy complemented with subtle guidance from the instructor, which is conducive to active learning. This model contrasts traditional teacher-directed models in which the teacher dictates the exchange of knowledge and cadence at which it is delivered. For aspirant and nascent fitness professionals, knowing how and why and being able interpret complex scientific information and exercise training methodologies in non-technical language for clients is critical and these skills are gained through our self-directed learning environment.
Research has shown that active learning is far more effective than passive learning — or merely being the recipient of information — in acquiring knowledge. Many of our faculty members employ the “E.D.I.P.” model to ensure competency of a given skill or subject area is established.
Educate: Students are provided a background or historical overview or rationale.
Demonstrate: Students are shown a process or procedures employing practical or real-world examples.
Imitate: Students are asked to imitate the skill or iterate the knowledge shared with them.
Practice: Students are encouraged to practice or apply said skills or knowledge until competency is achieved.
Professional and life experience is leveraged to the students’ benefit. The adage of “life is the best teacher” aptly fits here. We all bring diverse and unique professional and personal experiences to the W.I.T.S. Personal Training Certification Course. A culmination of those experiences shaped you into the person you are today, likely congealed into the watershed moment needed for you to transition into or take a new step within the fitness industry and will undoubtedly influence your approach and interest areas, as you grow as a fitness professional.
NCCA is the industry accepted standard but W.I.T.S. took it a step further to be the only fitness certification to have the practical skills exam accredited as well. None of the other fitness industry certifications has this credential in this area. Building out the infrastructure enables the W.I.T.S graduates and their employers to know that they can perform!
Upon successful completion of the course, apply those credits towards a degree. The American Council of Education recognizes W.I.T.S. as an education provider. Students who complete the course and pass the certifying examinations are eligible to be granted (3) college credits than can be applied to an academic degree program.
Joseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS has been a faculty member of the World Instructor Training Schools since 2010. Presently, Joe serves as an Employee Wellbeing Coordinator at the University of Virginia where he assists with the design, delivery, oversight, and evaluation of UVA’s comprehensive and award-winning employee wellness program, Hoos Well. Previously, Joe served as a Fitness and Recreation Specialist at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Manager of Health Promotion and Wellness at Drexel University, and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Fitness Director at Germantown Academy. Additionally, Joe maintains adjunct faculty appointments at Eastern University and Chestnut Hill College where he teaches exercise science electives. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in education and is studying the role of physical activity on mental health.
Deciding on a career path that you have a passion for can be challenging for most people. You have to consider the level of interest you have, the long-term benefits of the profession, and whether or not you can pursue the career for a long time. For example, suppose you are one of the people who are passionate about their body’s fitness and try to lead a healthy lifestyle. In that case, you can change your passion into a highly rewarding career by becoming a personal trainer. But is it the career change that you need?
To help you decide, we have compiled the top 4 reasons why you should become a personal trainer, essentially making your gym your workplace.
1. Opportunities and Monetary Benefits
The continuous increase in the number of people facing obesity has given the weight loss industry a boom in recent years. Fueled by the need to live a healthier lifestyle, people seek the help of fitness trainers to help them stay active and lose weight. With this growth in the industry come career opportunities and an ever-increasing salary for the professionals in the field. And well, who doesn’t love some extra bucks, right?
Working as a personal trainer can give you the satisfaction of working on your own. This will not only help you become your own boss by setting a flexible schedule and timings, but it will also give you a sense of job security that is often missing when one works for somebody else. So you can pursue your passion for fitness and the ambition to build your own brand simultaneously by working as a PT.
3. Job Satisfaction
Working as a certified fitness trainer will allow you to make a difference in people’s lives and witness it firsthand. By working with people to help them improve their lives and achieve their goals, you will get a sense of job satisfaction that is missing when one works long hours sitting behind a desk at work.
4. Engaging Career
Being a personal trainer will allow you to have a career that doesn’t require you to sit long, strenuous hours behind a work desk, doing something that you are not even passionate about. Instead, it will prove to be an engaging career with an active and positive work environment, whether it is in a gym or outside in fresh air. Hence, along with the people you are helping, you will also be leading a healthier lifestyle.
Are most of your clients healthy with no underlying conditions? Most likely no. In fact, the majority of your clients probably have at least one risk factor that puts them at a higher level for complications and restrictions with normal physical activity and exercise.
The increase in the incidence of disease has risen astronomically over the past 15-20 years. Many factors have played into this, such as a decrease in daily movement (usually because of the use of technology), increased portions sizes, bad health and wellness choices and even the lack of nutrition in our consumable whole foods. This has taken the previous fitness field as we know it and started to push it into a new direction: medical fitness.
A classic personal trainer certification teaches you the basics to assess, program and progress workouts for what we are told is the average client, but that healthy person is no longer the average client. So how do you prepare yourself as a personal trainer in this new developing area of medical fitness?
We all know that if we could take the effects of exercise on the human body and put it into a pill form, there would be no need for half of the jobs in the medical and fitness world.
The American College of Sports Medicine has long used the phrase Exercise is Medicine (EIM). Their EIM global health initiative “encourages physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans and to refer patients to evidence-based exercise programs and qualified exercise professionals. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health and is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions.”
World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) has always been committed to providing the most up-to-date training for our personal trainers. Their new Advanced Medical Fitness course is bringing the medical fitness world to your doorstep and giving you the skills necessary to work with the new average client who may suffer from one of many underlying health conditions. This course will give you the knowledge to work with these clients and take referred patients from medical professionals looking to incorporate activity into their patient’s daily life. Your knowledge from this class can also protect you legally due to your ability to provide an increased safe workout environment.
The following topics will be covered in depth in this course:
Exercise Is Medicine in Chronic Care
Basic Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Persons With Chronic Conditions
Art of Clinical Exercise Programming
Art of Exercise Medicine: Counseling and Socioecological Factors
Approach to the Common Chronic Conditions
Chronic Conditions Strongly Associated With Physical Inactivity
Chronic Conditions Very Strongly Associated With Tobacco
Cancer, Significant Sequelae Related to Common Chronic Conditions
Depression and Anxiety Disorders
Prepare yourself for the future with this Medical Fitness Specialist Level I Certification that puts you a very large step above the rest of personal trainers! The MFS Level II Certification with more in-depth coverage of disease and chronic conditions will be available in the Fall of 2021.
The U.S. Department of Labor defines a stackable credential as being “part of a sequence of credentials that can be accumulated over time to build up an individual’s qualifications and help them to move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher-paying jobs.” More plainly, stackable credentials can be viewed as building blocks where each short-term credential that a person earns builds into a higher-level credential.
Where do you stand in your fitness career?
Many of us joined the W.I.T.S. educational approach because they wanted to do it right when working with people in changing lifestyles. Now what? Do I need to do more or stay in my lane and just work super hard to get to full time and maybe even management or run my own business? The answer is to work smart. Climb the ladder of what is a very substantial sophisticated industry. We deal with people’s lives. Doing the bare minimum will not get it done for our goal or the special populations that we work with along the way. The cream does rise above and goes to the top. Be the cream even though it can be fattening, LOL.
If you are wondering why your treading water then start swimming and start swimming with a purpose. Get certified in senior fitness, youth fitness, injury rehabilitation, group fitness, wellness coaching and administration management. Drill down even further for specialty topics in pregnancy fitness, cardiovascular, arthritis, cancer and dietary considerations. These areas, especially the certification stackable skills, will open up new markets that will help you climb that ladder of sustainable success in a brick or virtual platform. W.I.T.S. has added an alumni membership to allow you an affordable career pathway to earn our ultimate ADVANCED HEALTH & WELLNESS Certificate. This certificate is the combination of all 5 certifications which is the only one of its kind in the fitness industry.
As of the date of writing this article, more than 3 million Americans have become infected with the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”). Worldwide, that number has exceeded 12 million cases. Deaths from the virus have exceeded 137,000 in the United States (US), while deaths worldwide have climbed to over 550,000. These numbers are increasing.
Those who are most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and/or dying from it include the elderly and/or obese and those suffering from auto-immune issues or heart disease, those that have preexisting lung conditions and/or other similar issues. While the virus has the capability of rapid community spread and contraction, the virus has a somewhat low mortality rate with more than 7 million people worldwide recovering from the virus to date (almost 1 million in the US). (more…)
By Abby Eastman MS Ed, Professional Fitness Trainer and Entrepreneur
A couple months into our newish normal during Corona Virus shutdowns I was missing the gym, my friends, the energy of teaching a classes and the encouragement of my gym family. I knew I needed to get into a better routine and figure out a way to navigate the roads ahead. In our area of the country we still have shutdowns and not everything is open. And although it has been tough not having my normal space, toys and connectivity with clients, adjusting to a new normal has had a lot of perks! I have more time to exercise on my own and experiment with new full body workouts and pop into my favorite group classes I can’t normally attend via zoom. I have even brushed up on my video training skills while gaining new clients virtually.
Even though heading to your favorite gym for a daily workout or train might not be a possibility right now, here are a few tips for setting up a home workout space.
First: When at all possible stick to your regular full body workout time and help your clients do the same. Are you a morning exerciser? Great – schedule yourself in at the time you would usually hit the gym! Work with clients to help them keep their regularly scheduled time even if it has to be a remote session. Having a sense of routine in this uncertain time can help us mentally and physically stay in shape.
Second: Trainers, explore what new options you can offer clients virtually. Reach out to current and past clients to share your new services. You can provide custom, home-based programs on the equipment they have available. Try scheduling a free 15-minute virtual session to give them a jumpstart. Boot camp, small groups, private sessions, outdoor sessions and pop up workouts are just a few options you can offer if you haven’t started already. Share with clients the benefits of booking additional check-in sessions the keep their momentum. It will keep them accountable and connected while building your business.
Additionally, this is a wonderful opportunity for us as personal trainers to break out a new fitness plan and get out of our own training rut. You could try a new workout routine app, hop in a fellow trainer’s virtual class, or breakout those old workout DVD’s. Have you been meaning to try kickboxing, martial arts, or yoga? Been eyeing a new certification or continuing education course? Now is a great time to experiment with activities you may not normally get the chance to from the comfort of your own home. Bonus: now you can have your AC adjusted just how you like it! Clients will enjoy the spice you bring to their sessions.
Third: Create your space! You do not need a lot of space but having dedicated area can help you stick to your routine. Great fitness at home workout equipment options include:
These items do not take up a lot of space and can make for a great total body routine whether building muscle, bodyweight exercises or anything with fitness at home.
If you have extra space, search through your local online yard sales and gym equipment sales. Many sell refurbished gym equipment for great prices. Grab your favorite cardio machine and pair it with a bench, corner cable unit and you will have a whole new area to look forward to. Challenge yourself to stick with your workouts and reward yourself with new toys.
Trainers create your virtual space for optimal training by:
Taping off a pre-determined space for filming. Place an “X” where your computer or camera stand goes and a square of tape around the perimeter that is within the viewing area you need to stay within while filming. Makes it easy to jump into a session quickly and ensures clients can see you!
Try an adjustable camera stand. You can easily adjust the viewing area so the client can see your form while standing, seated or reclined.
Be sure the lighting is pointing toward you. Lights shining in from the side or behind you make you look like a dark shadow. It also makes it hard for clients to see you.
Set the stage you created with all equipment clients will need so it is visible to them when they sign on.
Create a clean background behind you that is simple.
Wear bright colors! You will show up best on camera in bright, solid colors.
If you are filming at your facility, show off a familiar space to help clients feel at home.
Welcome clients just like you would at your facility and invite all types of strength training, body weight, cardio, HIIT exercise requests if possible.
While this may not be the way we are accustomed to working with clients there are plenty of ways we can continue to reach people virtually. Many clients are finding virtual workouts with a personal trainer easier to attend. Clients can stay in the comfort of their home or office, kids can be in the background and they can skip traffic!
Share with us what ways you are reaching clients; we’d love to hear what new tricks you’ve learned!
Check out our new workshops @ Pre-Sale Courses with all new full body workouts that are on pre-sale in August. Use this link to get all 3 for this special price of $195.00 Pre-Sale Courses and check out the PRE-SALE special or use the PROMO CODE minus20cert to get any individual course for 20% off individually.
Abby holds a BS and Ms Ed in Exercises Science. She has over 20 years of experience teaching health education, group exercise, yoga, and personal training. She has taught at the university and community college levels and directed a variety of community fitness programs. She has been working with W.I.T.S. in various rolls including mentoring online programs, continuing education creation, leading webinars, and teaching in-person certifications since 2004. She believes everyone deserves to feel and live their best life and is passionate partnering with others to help them get there.
Abby Eastman MSEd, ACSM Exercise Physiologist/EIM II, CHWC, E-RYT200
As the COVID-19 pandemic transforms our society and a myriad of industries, including our own, concerns about safely continuing to pursue fitness goals have emerged as fitness instructors and the clients they support weigh the risks versus rewards during these unprecedented times.
Nationwide, cases have continued to surge in spite of attempts to temper the proliferation of the virus as government organizations at the federal, state, and local levels work to strike a delicate balance between curating the health of citizens and restoring the economy. Measures such as abridging capacity and hours of operation of multiple fitness and recreational facilities, including temporarily shuttering venues and suspending services, while disruptive, are intended to keep us healthy.
Long term held beliefs about exercise adversely impacting immune system is the functioning has been corroborated by a landmark review authored by Gleeson (2007). The review demonstrated that the inflammatory response of a singular bout of intense and prolonged exercise mirrors that of infection, sepsis, or trauma, triggering the release of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor, and interleukins 6 and 10, C-recreative protein, and interleukin-1-receptor antagonists that, in concert, influence the augmentation of circulating white blood cells, known as leukocytes.
Hormonal secretion following an intense bout of exercise induced activity, specifically epinephrine and cortisol blunt the secretion of leukocytes and impair cell mediated immunity and inflammation, thereby increasing the susceptibility of infection and modulating the morbidity and severity of illness. Previous research established a strong correlation between a exercise dose and upper respiratory tract infection among humans. Health fitness exercise bouts consisting of a stimuli that is too novel, too frequent, too intense, and too voluminous to which the subject is accustomed have been found to increase pathogen infection risk. There has been a considerable amount of studies that have demonstrated the temporary ergolytic effects of acute exercise on immune system functioning, ranging from three to 72 hours post-exercise. Researchers and health and exercise professionals have coined this period of time characterized by temporary suppression of the immune system as “the open window”.
To simultaneously curtail infection risk and facilitate the achievement of improved fitness industry qualities or biomotor skills, one must account for life stress, energy availability, sleep duration and quality, travel, and exposure to environmental or climate extremes beyond the exercise frequency, intensity, volume, and type, according to Professor Neil Walsh, a faculty member at Bangor University in the United Kingdom, who outlined recommendations for athletes to maintain immune health.
Key guidelines among the few dozen presented are summarized below for personal trainers in working with potential clients:
Undulating training stress throughout training cycles and weeks
Incorporating active recovery sessions
Incrementally increasing volume and intensity, but no more than 5-10% per week
Minimize unnecessary life stress
Monitor, manage, and quantify all forms of stress, both psychological and physical
Aim for more than seven hours of sleep each night; nap during the daytime, if able to, or necessary
Monitor sleep duration and quality; ensure darkness at bedtime
Be cognizant of reduced exercise capacity in hotter, more humid environments
Permit acclimatization to changes in, or extreme weather
Uphold optimal or recommended nutrition, hydration, and hygiene practices
Do not engage in extreme dieting; be sure to consume a well balanced diet
Discontinue training if experiencing symptoms “below the neck” as they could be indicative of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)
Avoid sick and/or symptomatic people
Practice good hand hygeine
Exercise evokes a hormetic effect, or dose-dependent response, meaning that moderate exposure can be beneficial, but amounts either too minimal or excessive can cause harm. This is precisely why exercise physiology scholars and health and medical professionals alike have embraced the mantra of “exercise is medicine” in recent years. Too little exercise results in greater cardiometabolic disease (aka conditions of “disuse”) risk, whereas too much exercise results in greater injury or illness (aka conditions of “overuse”). As mentioned in an earlier post, “acute singular bouts of exercise at or above lactate threshold (55% of VO2max among untrained individuals; 85% of VO2max among trained individuals) for periods of up to, or more than one hour, contributed to temporary immunosuppression. Regular exercise among individuals has shown to yield immunoprotective benefits. The takeaway here should be, exercise during this time should be regarded as a tool to reinvigorate and recover, not bury and deliberately fatigue. Sparingly perform sets to failure and limit volume at or beyond lactate threshold.”
In summary, immune system performance and overall health can be achieved through regular exercise. During times of greater illness transmission and infection risk, fitness professionals, athletes, and enthusiasts must practice both diligence and vigilance to ward off foreign pathogens. Fitness goals should be targeted and inputs, such as time and effort should be quantified to calculate training load. Rest and recovery should be as equally, if not greater prioritized.
Gleeson, M. (2007). Immune function in sport and exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 103 (2), 693-699.
Let’s face it, the COVID-19 pandemic (in relation to a baseball analogy) has been a curveball that no one has been able to hit cleanly. That being said, we all still need to stand in the batter box and take our best swing.
As states across the country begin to allow fitness centers, health clubs, wellness centers and athletic facilities to open, there are still numerous precautions that have to be considered with coronavirus. For all of us who are actively involved with the Fitness Industry, we can’t simply think that it is going to be business as usual. Its not. All of us (members, clients, personal trainers) are going to have to be much more conscious and take a proactive approach to try and ensure the safety of everyone. This won’t necessarily be easy, but it is doable.
The following is a usable list of suggestions that should be considered when you prepare to reopen to start fitness sessions and training activities for your client base:
Fitness Facility Usage
Remove equipment (strength and cardio) from some areas and have it located in another part of your facility to help with physical distancing
Make some equipment (strength and cardio) unusable (maybe by posting sign on it), then changing which equipment is usable daily
Utilize multiple doors in the facility – One for “Entrance” – One for “Exit”
Temporarily remove all fitness accessories and portable recreational equipment (bands, balls, bars, etc.) from the fitness area
Supply additional cleaning supplies, then require all participants to clean up / wipe down fitness equipment after use
Require wearing a mask or cloth face shields be worn by everyone in the facility
Perform temperature checks for everyone entering the facility
Air flow is key so use your fans in the building and leave your fan setting for the A/C on.
Require all members or clients to sign a Liability Waver specific to COVID-19
Additional Hand Sanitizer units should be installed in facility
Limit that only 2 people may be in any rest room, at any time
Limit that only 2 people may use the elevator, at any time (if you have one)
Consider establishing a “fitness room capacity’, then require any interested participant to schedule an appointment time, in order to use the room / equipment
Consider to temporarily not allow access to the locker rooms / showers
Consider foot-plates or arm-bars to open the doors in the facility
Consider offering any live fitness-group classes virtually
Temporary suspend any recreational activities, games, and competitions on a basketball court, racquetball court, or turf field where intentional or inadvertent physical contact may occur
Eliminate the use of any room or area that cannot be monitored by a staff member
Rearrange Fitness Staff or Sales Staff offices, to help with social distancing and allow for immediate cleaning when their use is completed
Consider adjusting the operating scheduling of the facility (longer of shorter) to accommodate community members who have preexisting health conditions, along with controlling the flow of foot traffic in the facility
Staggered scheduling for Fitness Staff, so not all the staff members are in the facility at the same time
Allow Staff Member to work from home, on task and work assignments that do not require them to be in the facility
Scheduled workout sessions for specific participants, with a limit on the number of participants on the court, field or gym at a time
Once a group session is concluded, those participants will be required to leave the facility or field, so the next group can participate
Don’t allow friends or family members to wait in the facility during a session
Clients are to bring their own fitness or athletic equipment (balls, bands, clothes, etc.), to all fitness training sessions. The Staff will not be allowed give out equipment
Clients or members must bring their own water or snacks with them to all training sessions
Fitness Facility Rentals
Any group that wishes to rent or reserve any field or court in the facility must do so through a designated staff representative of the facility, do so 24 hours in advance, and supply a list of all participants who will be using the field or court
Inactive participants, reserves, or members serving in the capacity of a “coach”, “photographer”, or “referee” must maintain a distance of six feet or more from other persons at all times
Aforementioned persons must always wear a facial covering, mask, or shield while not participating
A designated staff member will determine what sports or activities will be permitted on any field or court in the facility, along with having direct and final input on any rules that are associated with predetermined sports or activities
Recreational and sporting activities with greater rates of contact, whether intentional or incidental, are prohibited
Participants are to follow self-screening measures prior to entering premises which include temperature and symptom checks. Those who have a body temperature of 100.4F or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 are prohibited from entering the premises
Those who exhibit symptoms during play or while on premises, must vacate immediately and seek appropriate medical attention
Beverages with open containers and food and snacks, specifically gum, lozenges, and sunflower seeds are prohibited due to increased risk of transmission via saliva.
The sharing of beverages, including water and sports drinks, from the same container, is highly discouraged
Participants are strongly discouraged from high fiving, handshaking, fist bumping, hugging and sharing other forms of physical contact with one another. Additionally, participants are discouraged from touching their faces with their hands and fingers
Personal property is to be stored along the perimeter of the field or court, and more than six feet away from possessions belonging to other persons
I recognize that there are a lot of potential rules or restrictions on the list, along with other ones that could be included. However, because we all work at various locations, with different populations, with different requirements, my suggestion would be to apply as many of these as possible to your specific athletic, fitness, and wellness training situation.
Together, we can all make a positive impact on limiting the exposure of COVID-19. Then we can all get back to what it is we like to do – physically training and conditioning our clients, members and athletes… … and swinging for the fences …
Mark S. Cassidy, MS has been actively involved with the Fitness and Athletic Industry for over 25 years.
He has held professional positions with The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, World Instructors Training Schools, Philadelphia 76ers, YMCA, Delaware Blue Coats, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, and American Heart Association. Mark has an Associate’s degree in Business from Delaware County Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Temple University, a Master’s degree in Organizational Development/Business Psychology from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has professional experience as a Fitness Instructor, Strength Coach, Sports Coach-Counselor, Exercise Therapist, Sales Manager, College Professor, and Athletic Facility Director
It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without the various forms of social media that influence our lives each day. Do you have a social media presence? Is it for your personal use or strictly for your professional use? If you do, you’re part of an ever-growing population that is adopting the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. Over the past ten years, the use of social media has exploded. According to Forbes, there are now 5.2 billion individuals with cell phones on this planet and there are 3.8 billion social media users. That means that, in all likelihood, 2020 will be the final year where less than half of the Earth’s population will be using some form of social media. That’s a pretty shocking statistic!
Looking back at the first paragraph of this post, if you answered “yes” to the question posed, you’re already on your way! What matters most to you is whether or not you’re truly maximizing your presence by understanding the role of social media in the promotion of your brand or business.
If you answered “no” to the question posed in the opening paragraph, what is it that is holding your back from tapping into this massive pool of potential revenue? Most people who avoid social media cite a lack of tech savvy or fear of “misuse” as their primary reasons for not getting their brand or business online. Consider, though, the potential revenue you may be missing out on.
A large part of proper social media use is increasing your visibility. The more visible you become, the more likely you are to monetize your online presence. Did you know that, in 2020, companies are expected to spend nearly $43 billion on social media advertising and, by 2022, companies will invest $15 billion on influencer marketing? Influencers, by definition, are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. These people, through their posts, have gathered such a following that brands and companies are willing to actually pay them for their exposure!
Social media newbies and veterans alike can benefit from the introductory concepts taught in this mini-course. For example, one of the most important things about using interactive social media is “likeability”. Do people who view your content find it to be worthwhile? Do they like viewing your content enough to follow you or give your post the cherished “like”? Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or one of the many other platforms available, Finding Your Customers: Listen, Define, and Think to Increase Your Social Media Presence will give you the necessary tools to help you increase your social media presence and, more importantly, become more “likeable” online. You will learn how to listen online, how to target markets using different social media outlets, and develop more authentic online relationships that will increase business and sales.