Perhaps it’s the anonymity of the internet, but there’s nothing like a popular blog post to cause vampires to crawl out from their castles and start looking for blood.
We don’t want to provide average services to average clients; our goal at Beast, it to provide exceptional services (training/programming/support) to exceptional clients (or average clients looking to become exceptional) – wow, that was a mouthful.
Look, the Strength & Conditioning “Game” is a niche business; and if you ultimately want to be the best in that business, which we do, your target clientele may be an even smaller niche. To date we’ve tried to grow the business organically; which is to say, we get a client (let’s say he or she falls from the sky), we attempt to do an awesome job for our client, and we hope that we’ve created a raving fan and that the word will travel. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I would give the company a “D” in terms of prospecting, maintaining client lists, and general marketing. The good news is that when you start on the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.
We’re decent at using Social Media; Beast is fairly active on facebook, we have a YouTube Channel, with some pretty impressive videos (remember I’m biased – please subscribe to our channel), we Tweet on occasion (although we’ve initiated a “Daily Howl,” that made its debut on Twitter yesterday – 2/16/12); I try to Blog about interesting topics and provide insider observations regarding training athletes, running a warehouse gym, and competitive strongman/powerlifting. Recently, we’ve tried to be more of a presence on the Trumbull Patch, which is a local online news source.
So, we’re definitely “out there,” and the general word of mouth has been extremely impressive; I could beat my chest and tell you about all of the accolades “our” athletes have received, but that’s well-beyond the scope of this topic.
The interesting thing that happens, when you are “out there,” is that you inadvertently open yourself up for public critique and commentary. I don’t mind being critiqued; sometimes receiving an honest critique serves as the catalyst for getting better, so that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t have a fear of constructive criticism, however I don’t necessarily agree that these types of collaboration should be conducted in a public forum.
Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about and most of these examples were comments posted on various YouTube videos (I’ve taken down some of the particularly offensive comments and left some of the others to allow the comment poster to expose their own ignorance):
We actually responded to this one on YouTube, which is extremely rare; here is the response:
“You’re entitled to an opinion, but I couldn’t disagree more; it’s the cheering for him that makes the video so special … the guy taking the video is his trainer – do you think he cares about this athlete succeeding or do you think he is a trainer simply taking a paycheck [sic] … give me the cheering and screaming any day.”
“any one [sic] could lift one side of a 500lb tier [sic] … now if he picked it up that would be amazing”
Anyone can flip a 500 lb tire? Anyone can flip a 500 lb tire? Why would you even take the time to post this comment?
“my football team & I flip 300 LBS tires. that are twice the size of that. Dont bullshit me , thats no 500 lbs” – [sic]
Really? Your team is flipping 300lb tires? Based on my experience training athletes, which is expansive, most High School upper classmen can flip a ~500lb tire for reps; a 300lb tire is extremely light for an average High School Football Player. This “athlete” should spend a little more time training or doing something positive instead of tearing down a young athlete’s effort on YouTube for no apparent reason.
I realize this post could rapidly get out of hand and turn into a total rant, which is not my intention. Ultimately, the message I’m trying to convey is that there is really no reason to undermine someone’s training efforts on a public forum.
If you see something that somehow compels you to make a negative comment, think twice before posting it; better still, sleep on it, and decide the following day if posting a negative comment is really worth your time and energy. It can’t be worth it; and if it is, you need to find a more constructive use of your time.
I’ll leave you with this story, although it’s not exactly a page-turner. I spend a lot of time watching training videos on the Internet – too much time, some would argue; mostly I observe the respective lifting techniques of some of the top lifters in the world. Heck, I bet there are some Chuck Vogelpohl videos I’ve watched a dozen times. I treat them like they are the Da Vinci Code – I attempt to see if I can “unlock” something positive, in terms of training technique, in my own training or in training our athletes.
On multiple occasions, I’ve diagnosed issues with a lifter’s technique that I believed could easily be corrected. I’ve reached out to individuals multiple times in a private manner to see if they were interested to hear my thoughts. I didn’t even offer my opinion, but rather asked their permission to provide an unsolicited opinion. Some wanted to hear what I had to say and some did not, which is fine too.
Being an “Internet Hater” or any kind of hater is a waste of time and energy and, in my opinion, generally a sign of weakness.
Leave positive comments when applicable.
They’ll make you feel better about yourself.