Shrugged Collective

The Power of Video – Barbell Business

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Video is an essential marketing tool for gym owners, coaches and athletes that want to grow their business and brand. Nothing is more effective at building status and trust within a community.

You can’t afford to skip it.

That said, video can be a little intimidating. It’s hard to know where to start. Also, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to technology. So, we thought we’d give you some valuable tips for producing and leveraging your own video.

Gotta do the time #flightweightlifting

A video posted by CTP (@ctpcam) on


Let’s start with the fundamentals.

By now you should have a well-designed and mobile friendly website telling the world who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you can be found. If not, you really should remedy that as soon as possible.

It’s 2015, folks. Your future is online, so act accordingly.

As soon as your site loads visitors should be able to click a video that introduces you, your facility, your work, and your mission. It needs to be punchy and to the point, entertaining and honest, aspirational even. Think about the kind of person you want to attract and then target your video towards those people.

Model your work after other videos that you enjoy, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just make sure you’re offering an actual experience and valuable information. Engage your audience. Talk naturally and passionately. Show people smiling wide and having a good time in your gym, doing your training. Share the results, your impact.

That’s what people love. All anyone wants is to be part of something cool and honest. You can offer that.

Video tells your story, and it’s also an incredible asset. 

You should get in the habit of recording everything you do.

Beyond your story, record coaching tips and motivational rants. Have your camera ready at all times to capture big lifts and exciting moments in the gym. Better still, and far more efficient, create a unique hashtag and have your community share their own content.

Once a day you can pick from the best stuff and post it to your daily blog, along with a video explanation of the day’s workout, what have you. Very quickly people will start to compete to get on your site. There will be more and more high quality stuff to choose from, which is an incredible luxury. Just make sure you remain appreciative of the people providing that content.

You should also consider recording your business procedures, your coaching methods…how you do everything you do, really. This becomes valuable to your brand and business because it make everything consistent. It and easy way to systemize, and works while you’re away. Beyond the day to day, this helps also helps create your niche within the community as a whole.

That’s actually what happened with TechniqueWOD. Originally Doug wanted to create a resource for clients, something they could study at home.  Something that would cut down on live coaching repetition.  It wasn’t intended to be a global thing, but in time the audience and reach of the show grew massively.

There’s absolutely no reason the same thing cannot happen for you.

Tell great stories.

It’s great to feature yourself from time to time, but you’ll draw more attention if you focus on making stars out of members and other athletes.

Promote good people and other businesses within your community. Make it honest and genuine. This will build enormous good will. The people you help will be loyal, they will help you spread the message.

Be consistent.

Barbell Shrugged has succeeded largely for two reasons. First, we have great video content. We also work incredibly hard on trying to make it better and better all the time. You’d be surprised out how far that gets you.

Second, we publish something new every single Wednesday. That consistency is massively important. If you can stay with it people will come back time and time again because they know you’ll be offering something of value. Something interesting. Something that makes them feel good, even if it’s just 15 seconds of video. That’s all you need.

Just start. Create your drumbeat and keep it up. People will listen in time, I promise.

Your starter kit.

CTP was kind enough to share a list of stuff you should budget for if you’re ready to take video seriously. Here goes:

  1. Get a good camera and use the kit lens. You don’t need to spend a bunch of money on gear. Note: The first 97 episodes of Barbell Shrugged were filmed on a Canon T3.
  2. You need great audio. You can use your smartphone headphones, that mic is fine. Also consider grabbing a rode boom microphone for your camera, or a lapel mic if you plan on doing interviews. It makes all the difference in the world to the viewer.
  3. For software, start with iMovie or some other entry level editor. The last thing you want to do is add tons of effects and weird font animations, so stick with the simple stuff. You can graduate to Final Cut pro or Adobe Premiere in time if you need added features.
  4. Get on YouTube now. Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, all that is great. But YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet. If you want to be found, start publishing everything you can there. Yes, yes, a thousand times…YES! You need YouTube.

A final note…

Good video takes time. You have to work very hard, and you have to care. So, budget resource and time accordingly. The only thing worse than not doing video is putting bad work out there. That will only set you back.

If you need help, get it! Odds are you know or train someone right now that knows training, but is also extremely passionate about art, music, video, whatever. Seek those people out. Ask them to help you make great stuff. And most importantly, pay them very well for the work they do. That will make your life easier in the end, and it will ensure that the work remains super high quality.

Enjoy the show. If you have any questions or comments about video, just ask a question in the comments below. We’ll help you out.


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Chris Moore is a writer, recovering meathead, fledgling raconteur and rabid imbiber. He's also cohost and resident potty mouth on Barbell Shrugged, a weekly podcast devoted to Crossfit, strength, fitness and all things brash. His experience is drawn from over twenty-years spent training for and competing in American Football, Powerlifting, a bit of strongman and a dash of mixed martial arts. Also, it's possible that he's had one too many cups of coffee. A caffeine fever is a hell of a thing, you know?


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