I had the pleasure of working with Amanda Adams in the fall of 2013 and our work recently made it onto the cover of Fitness Magazine in South Africa. In talking to Amanda, I learned a lot about her fresh approach to managing her brand and how she has shifted her goals within the fitness industry.
James Patrick: As a talent you’ve truly begun to diversify yourself and the business model which represents your brand – can you explain about why you are doing this as well as your goals?
Amanda Adams: Thank for noticing! Differentiating your brand is something every model and/or business owner should understand. It starts with understanding the needs of your audience and/or customers, and deciding how you can best serve them in a way that’s unique to your talents and abilities.
How I viewed my brand when I first started out in my early 20’s, compared to how I view it now is very different. At first I saw it as more of a hobby and just went through the motions. I have always been authentic, and people respond well to that, but I had no concept of how it could be a career.
It wasn’t until about a year ago I realized that I wanted to make this a career. That meant that I needed to treat my brand like a business. I’m not talking about a soul-sucking corporate approach. I’m talking about putting my money where my heart is. I invested money in areas that needed improvement, assembled a team of professionals that complemented my strengths, while encouraging and challenging me, and focused on what I really wanted myself and brand to represent.
JP: You just landed an international fitness magazine cover. What steps did you take to market yourself to achieving this?
AA: I’m extremely honored to be on this cover. I have always been a fan of the look, design, and message of Fitness Magazine South Africa, all of which align with my brand. I’ve known for a while that this a magazine I wanted to work with. I had the opportunity to be featured in one of their other publications in 2011, Muscle Evolution. I could have easily just thanked the photographer for submitting my picture and be done with it. Instead, I found who the editor in chief was, reached out to him and thanked him myself. I also kept up with him over the years, met him in persona at fitness expos, and informed him that one of my goals was to be on the cover of Fitness.
But I knew that it wasn’t enough to just state my goal. I needed to prove to him and his business that I could be an ambassador for their message.
A magazine is a business. I knew for that magazine to want to take the time to promote myself and my brand, I needed to represent what their brand believed in as well. I took the past year (2013) to really focus on my website, providing quality content, and showing the publishing industry that I had more than a pretty picture to offer their customers. Once I was confident with where my brand and website was at, I invested in a great photographer (one that actually worked with the type of magazines I would want to be in) to have a killer photo to submit. That’s when I contacted James Patrick. His work was exactly what magazine editors wanted. His look is fresh, clean, and sharp. After we shot, we both reached out to the Fitness Magazine team with the shots we got. A killer picture + a respected brand/talent = COVER!
JP: I understand you’re going through the process of revamping your website to match your new brand – what is that process like and what does it involve?
AA: Yes! I can’t wait for website to get the upgrade it deserves. What does that involve? Research, time and investment.
In January I launched a beta version of my first exercise and nutrition program, “The Amanda Adams Bikini Body Program.” The beta users have already experienced amazing results. The full program launches in April, and I want to continue to grow my business and provide quality content and products for my followers. So again, I made an investment. I hired a business coach to help me figure out the direction and look of my brand as well as focus each month on my content, and specific strategies for developing and releasing products and services. I’m in the middle of working with website developers, copy editors, and other professionals. I want my website to be a resource that people can depend on to deliver quality information, encouragement, products, and even entertainment. It isn’t just a hobby anymore.
JP: What are the ways in which you are presently managing and marketing your brand?
AA: Social media is obviously a great way to reach people all around the world. I definitely take advantage of any social media account I have to really interact with my followers, (actually answer their questions and listen to them). However, you have to also make sure you are consistently giving them great content. I make sure that each week I am releasing new blogs, tips, and advice to keep them engaged and motivated!
I’ve also reached out to companies that have products or goals that my brand would mesh well with. This allows both teams to bounce ideas off each other and reach other followers they I may have not found before. Partnering with other people and companies that are on the same track as your brand, is a great way to market yourself.
JP: What are the best lessons you’ve learned thus far in your career in respects to brand development and management?
AA: Two lessons come to mind. Both involve talking to myself (yep, it’s kind of weird).
The first is to ask yourself if you would hire you. Specifically, this is the conversation I have with myself on a regular basis:
“If you want companies to work with you, if you want your followers to be loyal to you, and if you want to be your own boss one day, then look at how you work and represent yourself right now. Are your actions consistent with what you represent and preach? Would your hire yourself?”
The second lesson concerns my transition from a hobby to a business.
“You can only do it by yourself for so long. Taking the cheaper or easier route will just give you a lower quality result. Work with people that are where you want to be. Hire people that will get you the results you want. You’re investing in a new life!”
JP: Any last advice you would like to share with other fitness talents?
AA: Really sit and think about what’s unique about you and why you want to get your message out so badly. You might find that fitness isn’t the route that really fits your ultimate goal. That’s okay! There’s so much more out there. The sooner you figure out what you really want, the sooner you can start mapping out a plan of action. Once you figure it out, you’ll probably be scared as shi*. That’s usually a good indication that you found it.
Special thanks to Amanda for the opportunity to work together as well as for this interview. Be sure to check out her website at www.AmandaAdams.com as well as her Facebook Page at www.Facebook.com/AmandaAdamsFit – you can also find her on Instagram @AmandaAdamsFit