J: As with many others, balance is a key part to what you do day-in and day-out. Wearing so many hats, what are some things you do to balance between the different roles you play while still managing to achieve your goals in each?
A: It is difficult to find balance between it all. I have realized that some things will be lower on my priority list and to just let it be. For me, I have to make sure my family and home is taken care of before I travel for a job or am gone all day training clients. I usually am the first to wake up in the morning, which means it’s the hour of power, lay out clothes, prepare some meals & get schedules set.
My family is healthier and happier when we take the time to invest in one another and focus on what really matters. I have gotten better at planning weekend getaways or daytrips that take us away from the everyday grind. Developing relationships should be made a priority and not letting a “to-do list” or not enough time be an excuse. When my family is all on the same page and understands one another goals it’s much easier to find balance and still achieve what I need to.
J: When it came to modeling, what was the moment you knew it was something you were passionate about?
A: I never really thought about being a model. When the opportunity was presented to me 3 months after having Caden, I thought it’d be a one-time thing and I’d be done, but the company that gave me the first experience really showed me that you can make a huge impact worldwide. I found that there were several professional avenues of using my fitness and desire to inspire others. Not to mention the motivation to stay in shape and getting paid for it!
J: At the very onset of building your personal brand, what are some things you did to differentiate yourself from other talents?
A: I am not just someone who sees themselves as just a talent; I see myself as a Mother, Wife and Educator first. I have other priorities and interests that come before modeling opportunities and jobs. I think that can and has set me apart from other people.
J: Being cognizant of what your brand represents and does not represent, how did you use that to determine which jobs to pursue and which to avoid?
A: I avoid any jobs, photos or events that aren’t consistent with my personal brand by thinking about how they would be viewed by the very people that I’m trying to reach. It would really bother me if I were to see a role model of mine involved in a job that didn’t represent who they are and what they say they are. I have turned down opportunities that don’t represent my brand in the right light. It’s pretty easy for me to turn down jobs that I don’t want to be a part of.
J: You’ve been featured in quite a few publications, as well as in numerous advertising projects. Apart from being an agency-represented talent, what are things you have found successful in your personal marketing efforts? And that could be both as a model and as a personal trainer.
A: You have to put yourself out there. It’s all about social marketing these days and it’s all about who you know. Showing integrity and character is important too. You have to be more than just a face. People have to want to work with you, if they have a choice between two trainers or talents; they’re going to pick the one that they like better. I also believe my consistency in several areas, such as my morals, work ethic and priorities which have been very successful in my personal marketing efforts.
J: I’ve seen your images in publications such as Oxygen, Status, Runner’s World and even on a recent cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers. What have you found to be some good strategies you’ve used to gain recognition in the publishing industry? And also, what have you found to be some lessons learned from pitches that did not work?
A: I have to go back to my earlier answer and what has worked is building relationships with the decision makers of these publications making sure there mission statement lines up with yours. Partnering with magazines and finding out what they need, what you can offer them and not just an image. I have gotten a lot of published work by simply getting in contact with well known, trusted photographers who agree to creating projects with a targeted publication in mind.
J: In what ways have you leveraged your previous work, whether it is print or commercial, to climb the ladder to procure new projects?
A: The more exposure you get, the more willing people are to invest in you and shoot with you. Working with reputable photographers and partnering with companies who have the same beliefs have given me opportunities and the images to propose to others I want to be a part of. You can leverage your previous work and accomplishments to illustrate to companies how you fit their structure, such as my new endorsement with NUTRISHOP. They saw several of my images in Oxygen and found out who I was; they looked up my name and contacted me. It started as just a conversation and building a trusting relationship, but after communicating back and forth for a while one thing led to another and I was signing a contract.
J: In your estimation, what do you feel defines a successful fitness model?
A: A successful fitness model is a true role model who possesses the qualities to inspire others to be the best they can be. One who affects us in a way that makes us want to be healthier and happier. A motivator and mentor that propels each of us towards our various goals, whatever they may be.
J: To date, what is the most memorable project you’ve worked on and why do you consider it as such?
A: I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of great companies over the years, but to date, I would say working with Muscle and Fitness Hers was the most memorable. I felt it was the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort in this fitness industry. To not be a Pro athlete, but have been chosen for this opportunity of this magnitude really made all the hard work and determination worth it.
J: Being a part of nearly any facet of the modeling industry long enough and chances are you will come across a few of what we will call “bad apple” clients. How do you protect yourself, and your brand, in situations like that?
A: There will always be times where you run into clients who have unrealistic expectations and can never be satisfied. I think the key in these situations are to maintain a professional demeanor and to fill the job you were hired for to the best of your ability. Most importantly, you have to stay true to your beliefs and your professional integrity. In this industry there going to tell you “you’re too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short” and so on; you can’t take it personal. I’ve been fortunate enough that several of the people and clients I’ve worked for have been terrific, but there’s been a time or two where I’ve really had to suck it up and stay professional!
I protect myself and my brand by always leaving on a good note, never letting a relationship go sour, while holding true to what I believe and my boundaries.
J: How has goal-setting played a part of your business and its growth?
A: Goal setting is critical. You always have to have things you’re striving for and it’s the only way you can really measure success in my opinion. Every year, January 1st to be exact (our Anniversary) my husband and I create our family and team goals. Monthly and sometimes weekly, I set personal and business goals that keep me motivated and inspired. When you set goals the people around you set goals and achieve things that make them the best they can be.
J: What are some of the goals you’ve set for yourself in the upcoming year?
A: With my family, to take my son to Disney Land. With my business, I am very excited to be a part of a few new companies and I really look forward to developing new relationships with like-minded individuals. Trying to grow my platform through on-screen and speaking engagements to allow for more impact and inspiration. Continue to build and develop my knowledge to make my business great.
Please feel free to visit Amy Joe Palmquest’s website which is located at www.amyjopalmquest.com