I am really excited, because I have Dynasti Hunt back for another episode. (We did a coaching call a few months ago!) But today we’re going to talk about sharing your journey, creating a personal brand, and if you’re not following Dynasti on Instagram, you should, because she’s killing it.
Dynasti Hunt juggles several careers; VP of Talent and Equity for a nonprofit organization, a group fitness instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a mentor and coach for aspiring fitness instructors. She also manages an Instagram page for her dog, which, according to some, counts as a fourth job!
In her role as a mentor, she guides fitness instructors on building a successful personal brand. A common concern she hears is about oversharing on social media, about revealing too much personal information. Dynasti advises people to figure out their own comfort level and not compare themselves to others.
She suggests creating a list of things one is comfortable sharing, things that they are on the fence about, and things that are completely off-limits. This list should evolve over time as one becomes more comfortable with the process of sharing their story and creating a personal brand. Start with just a few things and gradually share more when ready.
It’s also crucial to understand that what might be highly personal and confidential for one person may not be for another. Many health and fitness instructors often feel the pressure to share every meal they eat, or every workout they do. This, according to Dynasti, isn’t necessary. She herself doesn’t share everything, especially not her food habits. In fact, she recently posted on her page that she doesn’t share food pictures, and she loves cheeseburgers!
Early in her career, Dynasti faced the same myth of needing to share everything. It was her family and friends who helped her realize the importance of authenticity in what she shared on social media. They made her realize that sharing pictures of food that she didn’t regularly eat wasn’t a true representation of who she was.
Social media can often give a false perception of one’s lifestyle. People often post images that look cool or aesthetic, but these may not truly represent their daily lives. However, it’s equally important not to go to the other extreme and limit oneself to sharing only a few things. Being too rigid can also lead to inauthenticity.
Tips for Setting Boundaries
- Create a list: Jot down things you are comfortable sharing, things that you are unsure about, and things that are completely off-limits. This list should evolve over time as you become more comfortable with the process of sharing your story and creating a personal brand.
- Start small: Start with just a few things and gradually share more when ready.
- Personalize your boundaries: Understand that what might be highly personal and confidential for one person may not be for another. It’s about finding your own comfort zone.
When creating a personal brand, people shouldn’t put themselves into a box. It’s possible to be true to oneself and share things in an authentic, yet strategic way. This balance is what Dynasti aims to instill in the fitness instructors she mentors.
Keeping it Authentic
When it comes to building a personal brand on social media, authenticity is vital. A common question arises around creating separate accounts for personal use and a fitness business. While this might seem like a good idea to some, Hunt argues that it may not be the most effective approach.
The challenge with separate accounts is that the fitness or wellness brand page may fail to grow as quickly because it doesn’t truly represent the person behind it. In other words, it lacks authenticity. It is difficult to separate personal life from professional life, especially in an industry like fitness where connecting with clients on a human level is crucial.
Building a Presence
Regardless of the platform, building a robust online presence is important, especially for those building a fitness career independently. Hunt mentions the significance of clients wanting to take classes because of the instructor, not necessarily the discipline being taught. If you only present your professional side, you’re missing a key aspect of your brand – you as an individual. Attempting to separate your personal and professional lives may not yield the desired results in this industry.
The Power of Personal Connection
Jess gives a compelling example of the power of personal connection. She mentions how she would rather travel to San Francisco from Atlanta to attend Hunt’s fitness class rather than take a similar class closer to home. What draws her to Hunt’s class is not just the workout, but the chance to work out with Hunt herself. This highlights the importance of authenticity and personal connection in attracting and retaining clients.
Sharing the Journey: A Woman of Color in Fitness
Hunt also talks about her journey as a fitness instructor and a woman of color. Initially, she focused on sharing basic details about her classes on social media. As she became more comfortable, she began to share her own personal experiences and struggles, both as a woman and as a black woman in the fitness industry.
Her shared experiences opened up conversations about diversity and inclusivity in the fitness industry, something she noticed was lacking when she searched for it online. This realization pushed her to be the voice she felt was missing in these conversations.
There were fears of potential backlash or misunderstanding, but Hunt found the courage to share her perspective. The key, she says, is not to assume people don’t want to hear about your experiences but to share them in the hopes they will resonate with others.
The Power of One’s Own Perspective
Dynasti emphasizes the critical importance of personal authenticity, an approach that has shaped her online identity. She believes in the inherent value of her perspective and considers it her responsibility to voice it out, even if others might not fully comprehend it. As she humorously notes, “At the very end of the day, I had to reconcile that if no one else understands it, fine, I understand it.”
The Influence of Social Media
Dynasti shares a story that solidifies the potential power and influence of social media. Her decision to publicly criticize a national fitness publication’s flawed coverage of diversity and inclusion led not only to the removal of the offending article but also initiated an ongoing partnership to more effectively cover these critical issues. Her key points include:
- Harnessing social media to express opinions and start important conversations.
- Her move to write the critical response was not a calculated step towards writing for the publication, but a spontaneous reaction to voice her disagreement.
- The unintended result was that it opened a door to partnering with the publication for better representation of diversity and inclusion.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
In their conversation, Dynasti and Jess highlight the need to overcome imposter syndrome. They urge individuals to step forward and share their perspectives, regardless of how much experience or knowledge they possess. This discussion includes:
- The encouragement to use social platforms to share perspectives, even if you are still learning or new to a field.
- The importance of acknowledging the value in our own perspectives and experiences.
Valuing Impact Over Popularity
Dynasti discusses her own journey of redefining success from garnering likes and followers to focusing on the impact of her content. She shares several points on this topic, such as:
- The importance of not judging the worth of your message by the number of likes it gets.
- Recognizing that different audiences respond to content in diverse ways.
- Stepping back from the obsession of needing a large follower base to be considered a credible source.
Sharing Your Personal Journey
Dynasti shares her tips for those interested in sharing their health and fitness journey or creating a personal brand:
- Think about using five stories that define your journey, such as why you chose health and fitness, where you’re going, your unique perspective on health and fitness, how you maintain your journey, and how others describe your journey.
- Be brave. Share your story without worrying about what others might think. Treat your platform as your personal brand and a glimpse into your world.
- Use Instagram Stories. They’re a great way to share parts of your story, especially if you’re feeling unsure about sharing, as they disappear after 24 hours unless you save them.
Where to Connect
If you want to connect with Dynasti Hunt, find inspiration or perhaps join one of her classes, you can find her on Instagram at @DynastiHunt and visit her website at www.dynastihunt.com.