I may not compete, yet; I may not write for bodybuilding magazine, and I may not have a radio show - yet. But I've been running bodybuilding sites, pages, and channels for over three years, and I know what it takes to create a viable forum, that people rely upon for quality entertainment. I've learnt that in order to reach a variety of people, you need to be incoporate a variety of mediums to get your message across. This is why StrengthAddicts.com has included so many interviews (with big names like John Romano and Aaron Singerman); it's why StrengthAddicts.com is offered in English & Spanish; it's why the StrengthAddicts.com Official Facebook page has over 8,000 likes worldwide - people in India and Pakistan may have a great degree of animus towards each other over religious and political differencs, but when they want bodybuilding StrengthAddicts' pages get a ton of hits from both countries (both in our Top 10 Worldwide!).
But you - the athlete - have to build yourself, much like I have built StrengthAddicts.com, and as of the last seven months - FigureBikini.com. I tell every single lady that appears on this page - from the novices to the advanced, you need a website, a facebook page, a twitter, a youtube, and you need to maintain these networks daily. Your facebook athlete's page (not your profile page) is like a little flower that you must water and care for, so that will grow to colorful and healthy. You tweets should mean something - they should have a little glimpse of you. If you think trivial is boring - then don't be trivial! Everyone eats six meals, but maybe you could prepare a meal on film, have a meal with the cameras rolling, chat with your fans on a pre-selected roster via Skype then record that session and upload to youtube. You could have a makeshit tv show this way, and the cost to you? $0.00
You want to get sponsored? You can work with a local site like StrengthAddicts/FigureBikni, nothing fancy, just a guy with a camera and a dream. You want free supplements, contest fees paid, maybe a hookup on a sweet suit for little next to nothing - I can help. But I'm one of many resources available to you.
Tanji Johnson's Save Fitness, Team Bombshell, Oddo's Angels, or Ingrid Romero's Team Edge), then I say do it. It might cost you $250-$1,000 + monthly dues, and you may have to attend camps and seminars, but it's worth its weight in gold. You'd be joining a real family where you could truly advance, with regard to getting knowledge to better you physique, as well as knowledge to be a better poser and representative of the sport (both for the Team, as well as for your own financial gain). I've never once had a bad experience with any of the major organizations; sometimes their girls are the best, and sometimes they can use some constructive criticism, but I've never had an issue with the top teams. In fact, Save Fitness (my personal favorite) has contacted me before, to thank me for the nice articles I've written about their athletes -- that 's classy.
So let's do a bit of recap. If you're an athlete, you HAVE to think about yourself. Whether you're going to do a show or two to kick off a personal training venture, or whether you plan on selling clothes, services, making money as competitive athlete, and/or going Hollywood or whatever - you need a plan. If you want to join a Team - join one where you are appreciated (not one where the pecking order has been set and you're just there to collect scraps - there's a lot of that in the smaller outfits). Make sure you have a presence on the web - you don't need a dot com, but you can at least register your name(dot)com for a whopping $6! Get a blog, a youtube channel, twitter, facebook, as many things with either your name or your business name in the url as possible. Remember that the net is much like the real (offline) world - the more consistency the better.
Whether you're on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, or Flickr - if you add a forward slash and "StrengthAddicts," you're going to find us -- same goes for FigureBikini, and it's that consistency, coupled with daily activity and CONSTANTLY RELEASED new features and innovations that are the recipe for success. If you're on a budget, don't spend what you don't have a on a trainer, a team, or a cosmetologist - spend it on the one person that needs it - YOURSELF!
Work with people that want to work with you, that believe in you. Why would you ever want to join an organization where you're second best to the girl next to you? Why would you join a Team, while on a shoestring budget, and have to pay to be told who you could talk to and who you couldn't -- all the while "the Team" isn't working to get you a sponsor or put any kind of money in your pocket? What people need to understand, is that physique sports are a business to the supplement companies, the promoters, the federations, the spray tan people, the suit designers, it's a business to the press, it's a business for the sites, so why should you think of it as anything but that?
The old rule that amateurs can't make money until going pro is bunk. That year that Frank Zane had to forfeit his Universe title for selling booklets outside the show - that was 40yrs ago! Amateurs today land great deals with companies from Met-Rx to BSN. If you're the kind of person that's got the lights on but no one's home - keep paying and HOPING that someone, some altruistic someone will put together your career for you and when you're older, injured, or sick and can no longer compete or work - that the money will just get direct deposited into your account every month. Get real! Get to work!
Legends, Ashley Lemmons & Adela Garcia
@ the 2012 Arnold