Oxygen Magazine AU Nadine DumasWhat started your journey into the health and fitness industry?
I was living in the Cayman Islands working as an accountant and noticed a number of people at my gym training for some kind of fitness event.  I ended up inquiring about the event and later that month attended the competition and decided to give it a go on my own.  From there I fell in love with the industry.  Later that year I moved back to Canada to finish my accounting designation, ended up putting it on the back burner and took all of my courses to become a trainer and sports nutritionist.  I invested all of my time in the industry from educating myself, teaching others, competing and 3 years later, launching my online business and moving back to Cayman where I now live.

At what point do you believe you set the foundation for what your brand was to become or what you wanted it to be?
I believe it was in the last year that I was able to do that.  Over the years I have worked really hard to maintain the integrity in my brand, figure out exactly what I wanted to do and which avenues to pursue.  Last year was when I noticed myself that it all came together.  I knew getting into this industry was going to be tough and there was a lot of competition, so I understood that it would take time to build and I allowed that to happen.

How have you managed what your brand is and how it is viewed?
I have managed my brand and how it’s viewed through my consistency in the industry.  I have invested a lot of time in my company and stayed committed to what I believe in.

What important lessons have you learned about the best ways to manage your brand or mistakes you have learned from?
It would be to stay true to who you are.  I have seen a lot of people in this industry get sucked into avenues they may not have wanted to go or were not in line with who they are.

Women Health & Fitness Nadine DumasIn a little over a year you appeared on four fitness magazine covers across the world. How have you marketed yourself to various publications and their editors?
I work very hard at maintaining my relationships with different publications and editors.  I learn about their magazines and what is the best approach to take, but also how I can align myself with their magazine. You constantly have to ask yourself, what can you contribute to their magazine that will engage readers.


What did the media features end up doing for the visibility of your brand?
It really grew my brand globally.  In one year I had features in 5 different countries, so there were many eyes on my brand, which then lead to people visiting my site.  In the end you want to be able to tell people about your product and get to know you more and what you do, so this helped a lot.

How did you cultivate and manage your growing audience?
Not going to lie, this was the toughest part.  It is only me; so there were a lot of times I felt as though I was spinning my wheels trying to make sure I was managing my growing audience.  I had a lot of advice from people that really helped me learn the proper techniques to manage it all.  I think I did a fairly good job and have learned from it, which is only helping me more for the future.

What do you do to evaluate what your audience wants as well as experts to see from you?
I think about my target market, my demographic and base it off of that.  You see what gets the most interactions, leads and conversions.  Yes you can have a post for instance, that can get numerous likes on it but then you can look into it more and see what the conversion is, did it lead to your site, did it lead to a sale, did it impact people the way you wanted it to.  Everything I post (for the most part) has a reason behind it to target a certain audience.

How are you leveraging the media features you’ve received to turn your brand into a business?
I’ve been able to use the features with numerous companies to pitch myself.  My goal this year is to go more mainstream so I am wanting to reach out to certain companies that are in line with my demographic and the route I am wanting to take.  By using the media features I am able to show what I can do, my writing style, my look and how it can work in line with their company

What are some of the various tactics you use to market yourself?
I use different tactics depending on if it’s through social media, online or in the physical presence of others.  When I am in the presence of others I am able to talk about my brand and how it relates to their product.  Media kits are always great for this.  Social media, I am able to show different sides of myself, whether it be my personal side, being a mother, a businesswoman etc.  I market according to those that I want to inspire and can relate.  Online, for instance, searching through Google, I look to position myself based on searches and get my website in front of them.

How do you determine who to work with as it pertains to the photographers you hire?
Good question.  A few key things I look for is who they work with, what my interaction is like with them whether it be through email or in person, do they shoot the style I like and that will work for my brand, and are we able to work together on a vision. Being on the same page is key.  I also look to work with photographers that want to see you succeed, they work hard in their line of work and they produce quality images (turn over time is very important as well)

What mistakes have you made or have you seen other talents make in the management of their brands?
Not truly defining what their brand is.  I think that once you can define your brand you are able to make proper decisions based from there.  There are so many that maybe have yet to define their brand or are not too sure so they reach for whatever they can get which might end up putting themselves in a position of their brand not aligning with who they are portraying themselves to be.  Its a tough industry and its very easy to get sucked into the ‘likes’ and the ‘followers’, the companies that approach you to promote their product which you may not believe in or shooting with a photographer that might not be good for your brand.  So many things have to be fully thought out before making a decision that in the end could hurt you in the long run.

What is something talents could do today to better the position of their brand?
Stay consistent.  Evaluate your audience, who are you wanting to inspire, what are you trying to achieve from your brand? These are all questions you need to ask yourself.  Also work on all channels, not just Instagram or Facebook.  Find ways to reach out to your audience.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto