Shrugged Collective

Separate yourself from the crowd

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How can you stand out and separate yourself from the pack? You need to know if you want to run a successful business, particularly in the world of Crossfit.

Just consider that something like order of 150 new boxes are opening up in the United States every single month. Globally, the market continues to expand rapidly, which is a very good thing.

Without question, affiliation is still a very good idea. Leveraging a strong brand name and powerful network is probably the most effective way to establish yourself. You should take full advantage of the community and enjoy the perks of being a member. But you should be cautious about leaning too hard on anything you cannot personally control.

You don’t know what will happen in the 5 years. Be prepared to stand on your own. You must define and differentiate yourself if you want to make a real impact.


Here’s what you cannot afford to do.

Never attempt to differentiate on the basis of price. If you get into a price war you will quickly find yourself in a race straight to the bottom.

Likewise, never claim that you have a coaching advantage over anyone else, it doesn’t matter what your expertise of specialty might be. Everyone say’s that! If you play common games you will get lumped in with the masses. People will not be willing to pay a premium for you services, and why should they?

If you look and sound just like everyone else then you probably are just like everyone else.

The privilege of a lifetime is to become what you truly are.” – Carl Jung

Don’t waste your breath telling people what you’re all about.

Instead, focus on building your own brand.

First, think about the experience you are offering people. What do they see, hear and smell when they walk into your gym or business? If you have zero competition it might not matter, but in a crowded market this is absolutely critical.

A great example is music – It’s the easiest way to set a mood, right? If you don’t believe that just try playing a little smooth jazz before your next heavy training session. But also consider the marketing implications. If you play music that you love then the environment will become a reflection of you as a person. Your experiences, tastes…your mood. This will form the basis of a very unique and genuine experience, which is what people really love. An added benefit of this strategy is that you will also have a very consistent, happy client base.

People who dig the same kinds of music usually get along great. Use that to you advantage.

Happy jam #watchme A photo posted by CTP (@ctpcam) on

Get in front of people.

Think about the kind of attention that you want to draw. Think carefully about what you’d like to say, and what you’d like to be known and remembered for.

Once you have a clear, honest and genuine vision in place you just need to get your message out.

It’s not nearly as hard as you would think. You just have to be consistent.

Think about the segment of the population that you want to target? Think about your mission. If you coach athletes, make sure to highlight them frequently and often. An easy way to do that is with Instagram. Post training clips and tips. Share valuable and interesting content that reinforces your brand. Don’t go overboard with hashtags, but definitely make sure that you’re using a unique identifier that brings up nothing but your media.

Do the same with Twitter and Facebook. Keep a website and share video or blog posts. It really doesn’t matter. Your options are growing by the day. Only two rules apply to the effort.

First, be consistent. Set a pace that you can maintain and then keep it. Once people know that you’re sharing something unique and valuable consistently, they will show up in droves. However, that only matters if you keep it genuine. That’s the second rule, which we already talked about actually…

Always make sure that you’re enjoying what you do. Make the effort genuine and it will be obvious to everyone.



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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?

1 comment

  • What would you suggest a newly formed CrossFit Gym to put up on their website with not having any pictures or video yet ?

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