For those who don’t know, I’m an SEO executive for Myprotein’s USA site. In plain terms that means I work to get us higher up the Google rankings in key terms related to our brand (which is a pretty big deal with Black Friday coming up), and I do this by writing content, optimising existing content, building links, and doing more technical behind-the-scenes stuff too.
I spend a lot of time sat at my desk – writing content, analysing reports, emailing external parties – and I spend some time in meetings. Even as someone who’s always had jobs where I spend most of my time on my feet, I even find the sat-at-the-desk stuff fun: I write about exercise, health and nutrition for a brand I love, and connect with others who have the same interests – it hardly seems like work!
I do realise not everyone is as lucky as me, but getting a job in health and fitness is not impossible. Read on my some of my top tips for getting to work in an industry you love.
This might seem sad to some, but I recently visited the Myprotein factory and found it really exciting to see how protein powder is made. If you’ve ever tried Exante Maple Syrup Pancakes, the whole place smells like that – made me so hungry! We’ve recently had approvals for a lot of our products to be certified vegan and gluten-free, so they were really keen to show us all the process of how they did this; everything is so clean with separate areas for different types of protein. A small part of each batch is even tested by an infra-red machine before it leaves the warehouse to ensure that the amount of protein content in the powder hits the amount that it says on the label.
It’s weird, but you’d think that a brand as massive as Myprotein would have a huge automated system, but although there’s lots of containers there’s only one station for the protein to be mixed at a time. Our office is similarly small-scale, but it’s brilliant as you get a lot of responsibility and also your ideas are heard – that’s the same for customers too, so it’s easy to feedback on the ranges and get new product ranges launched.
Now time for what you’re really here for – advice on getting into the health and fitness industry. This will surround marketing, as that’s my background, but you can make these principles fit pretty much any role in this fast-growing and exciting industry.
First up, decide exactly what role it is you want to do.
When you’re at uni marketing is talked about as just marketing, or at least it was in both my undergrad and postgrad courses. You graduate and expect lots of people to be working in generic marketing roles, and worry because you can’t find a role like this.
Well, marketing is actually pretty different to that. At our place it’s split into different channels – SEO, PPC, affiliates, email and social media. Each one has a budget and targets to meet, and each channel is different to the other. I enjoy SEO because it’s a long-term project, and as well as being creative you have to be analytical too. A blessing and a curse of the channel is that things are slow to change, so you can’t just action something if you’re down that month and expect it to make a difference. PPC is a lot more immediate – the more you bid, the more clicks you get – and affiliates is more about fostering relationships with key influencers. Do some research into different marketing channels to find out which you feel you’d suit the most.
Outside of marketing, there’s so many roles you could do in health and fitness, even if you feel you’re not academic: nutritionist, personal trainer, gym instructor, manager for a health food company, healthy chef, strength and conditioning coach, events management; and I’ve also seen many people go freelance in the fitness industry recently. That could be you, too – you just need to have a laser focus on exactly what you want to do and fire on all cylinders to get there.
The health and fitness industry is growing fast, so it’s getting competitive – show your interest in a tangible way.
I’m fairly certain I got my role because of this blog. Sure, I really enjoy writing this blog, to help others in their fitness journeys and also use as a progress journal for myself, but at the same time it was something tangible that I could show in applications and interviews, and I had also practised my SEO skills working on growing my site. If you don’t fancy the upkeep of a blog, maybe join an affiliate scheme for the brand you want to work for, and develop a strategy for growing your Instagram account to make money on the scheme – it’s just a way of showing your interest whilst also being able to work strategically. It’s great having interests in health and fitness, but remember that companies are looking for you to be digitally-minded as well, so make sure to include the marathons you’ve run or the weights you’ve lifted on social media.
Get to know as many people in the industry as possible, and tell them your goal.
The health and fitness industry is very tight-knit, and everyone knows each other – however, I’ve found everyone to be mega helpful, too. Everyone was at the start of their journeys once, and I think the fitness crowd are more aware of this than any other industry – simply because getting healthy and fit requires a lot of reflection and teamwork. Sorry to sound like a cheesy fitspo quote, we can all be winners here, so why wouldn’t someone help you out?
So get to know people in your gym, in your run club, in a health food cafe, at events. Be helpful without expecting anything in return, but also make sure you tell them your goals. You’ll soon find that all the contacts you make will work as a big team to help you reach those goals. My friend Hello, Terri Lowe put me forward for my current role and was pretty persistent with management to get me in for an interview – she knew what my goals were and she went out of her way to help me get there.
I’ve only just began to touch on tips here, so if you have any questions about working in fitness and health – maybe getting a role, applications, networking, or anything further about what I do at work or what we do at Myprotein – please do feel free to leave a comment below. I know when I was applying for jobs it was both frustrating and scary, so I’ll help out as much as I can!