The past year has opened my eyes to what I want for the future and how I can continue helping people to become stronger, goal-driven, and healthier. I started Fit Calisthenics (my first online training business) back in 2017 with the intention of expanding my existing in-person services online. My idea was to create a platform where I could build interest and knowledge of the calisthenics movement and be able to share my personal journey and the impact that calisthenics has had in my life.
At the time, this was a parallel project to my in-person offerings that I was slowly learning about, transitioning into, and building upon. I wanted to have a good base to stand on and just like I did with my calisthenics training. I fully transitioned from in-person training to online in the middle of 2019 and took the plunge to put all my energy into the virtual space. Less than a year after this decision, we were hit with a global pandemic.
2020 was a year of reinvention for many, including myself, in which I decided to re-brand Fit Calisthenics into something that would be more impactful, easier for people to identify with, and would allow me to scale the business by adding more coaches to my roster, outsourcing tasks and be able to take on more clients. My goal was always to build a business that transcends me and my personal brand to help more people get in shape, grow the calisthenics movement and help other coaches transition online. Of course, this didn’t happen overnight and I had to ask myself tough questions before taking some of the major actions required to rebrand my Online Fitness Company from Fit Calisthenics to Train HRDR.
Know Your Why
I asked myself: Why do I want to re-brand? What do I hope this re-brand will achieve for the business? Do I even need to re-brand?
Something that I did want to retain in my re-brand was the essence of my style of training and what has brought me this far as an athlete, a coach, and an entrepreneur. The idea of growth, resilience and grit all come together in the new brand. Train HRDR came out of the idea that we always have a little bit more to give simply by trying harder. We can certainly work harder, try harder, love harder, and of course, Train HRDR. I also wanted to highlight the fact that complacency breeds stagnation, and that although we may feel defeated (by a workout, by a lofty goal, or simply by life) we are never actually defeated. Fit Calisthenics felt like a stepping stone for something greater and taught me a lot about my clients, my training style and how to inspire and help people reach their goals. That’s when I realized that re-branding was a NEED and not simply a WANT.
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Know Your What
I asked myself: What areas of my current brand need to be re-branded? Is there content that I can recycle and upgrade through this process? Do I need to start from ground zero?
When thinking of re-branding I felt that it was important to take an audit of what I already had. Starting from zero can be overwhelming, so looking at major areas of the brand that I needed to transition allowed me to determine whether I needed to start from scratch or simply update and upgrade. Things like the Trainerize Custom Branded App and the website required me to update instead of starting from zero whereas elements of the branding itself like logos and social media were a blank canvas. This, of course, lightened the load and allowed me to work on certain things in the new branding while still operating under the old one.
Outside of creating a compelling idea that many people would resonate with, I also wanted to create a style of training that was accessible to anyone, and had an infinite amount of progressions or regressions to ensure that we had many options for new and existing clients and their training. That meant that I was able to look at my existing programs and tweak them to not only represent the new brand but also get upgraded in their content and delivery. Thinking ahead was crucial but the reality of any project, whether is a re-brand or the start of something new, is that you cannot plan for everything. Of course, there are bumps on the road, there are delays in the work and there are a lot of things that can get overlooked but by knowing what needed changes, and planning ahead, I minimized the room for error and made the transition smoother.
Know Your How
I asked myself: How am I going to approach the re-brand? What needs to happen first and what can I leave for later? Can I look for expert help in certain areas?
After getting clear on the WHY and the WHAT, it was time to figure out the HOW, and this is where most of the fun happened. I decided to not only leverage my existing skills (graphic design and web development from my post-secondary education) but also look for extra help in areas like marketing, sales and creative direction. I invited an old friend (who is also a fitness junkie himself and knowledgeable in these areas) to join me in the journey and assist through the re-branding. After I explained the history of my existing brand, the reasons behind the re-branding idea, the needs within the process and the vision for the future, he was thrilled to jump on board. Together, we strategized and assigned different areas of the re-branding to tackle. Things like the branding and Trainerize Custom Branded App were things that we could start working on the background while at the same time, we took the opportunity to further connect with existing clients and not only ask them for feedback and advice but also keep them in the loop through individual conversations, blog posts and email campaigns.
After all those pieces of the puzzle were in place internally, we were able to publicly announce the re-branding. This was a super exciting time in which we leveraged every single outlet and network possible. Most of our business social media happens on Instagram but we decided to hit every angle by using our personal Facebook, LinkedIn and even Whatsapp to easily share with family and closer groups of friends too. The new brand made announcements on blog posts, Instagram and email with limited offers and incentives, making it very clear to everyone who came across that a big change had just happened.
Overall, the experience of re-branding felt like something that needed to happen in order to get closer to the vision that I have for my company. It wasn’t easy and it has taken a lot of effort but the response has been great. There are still certain aspects that are being transitioned and that require more work. Things like SEO, paid advertising and better processes within our on-boarding are always being considered and optimized based on our bottom line. Knowing what your company is making, where you want to take it and having the vision and patience to see it full circle can be daunting but it’s important to always push forward with informed decision making, hard work and a commitment to the work that you do as a fitness professional. I’m nowhere close to where I want to be but I’m working day in and day out to get a step closer because just like fitness, building a strong business comes with consistency, resilience and dedication.