How to get people to listen to you

I am decently strong, I was a solid, but not spectacular, athlete. I don’t hold records. I am not trying to break records. I am a trainer and a strength coach. My blog isn’t here to convince you of anything else but the writing of information you can listen to or tell me I am full of shit.

I do have people who buy my book, it did pretty well despite me not pushing it like a crack dealer in South Central LA. I tend to do well with online clients despite zero advertising and I pick and choose clients I work with in person.

How the fuck do I do that if I don’t barrage social networking with spam, post fliers all over the gym with pics of myself looking like King Nothing and making handy little memes of information that convince you I know what I am talking about?

Its not that easy to pinpoint how, but I will try for the sake of some extra education to assist the young trainer or young coach trying break into this business.

1.  Be real

This is the easy one. If you are funny, use that. If you are good with science-y shit, use that. If you are a douchebag jock, take it to the extreme and have fun with it. Play off of who you are in a way where its easy to be real. Why is it easy? Its you, not a fake package meant to sell shit. You can fake it online to a certain extent but when people meet you and see how you are in real life, that shit isn’t going to fly for long.

2. Learn how to write without sounding like an over-enthusiast talk show host

People want info, deliver it. People want to be lifted up and shown the way, do that. People sometimes need tough love and a verbal punch to the jaw, and that takes some skill as well. You can do all that without sounding like you are cramming it down their throats with 5000 words of exuberance. A short paragraph can have the impact that a book can have if you do it correctly.

Spell shit correctly. Make an attempt to learn some basic grammar. You know, learn English, dawg. Being able to convey thoughts onto paper (or keyboard) is a skill that very few really know how to do. If people read your work and they are bored, you bet your ass they aren’t going to read too much more.

3. Know your audience

Do you write to women? Men? High school kids? Post-rehab patients? People serving 25-life? Tailor your material to them. Don’t expect to write an article called “How to get jacked for HS football” and fill it with Latin terms and complex exercise schemes and expect a kid to read that with any sort of comprehension.

I am lucky, I don’t have a target audience. I don’t care who reads it, buys the book or uses it. As long as they get something out of it to find useful, I consider that a good thing. I also swear a lot, inject goofy references, but the times I do talk about training information I do my best to give you accuracy and keep it common sense… which leads back to 1. Always be real.

4. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Its the internet, its the gym. Trolls exist online and the gym should be fun. Some trolls are assholes meant to try to talk shit, ignore those idiots. Some trolls bust balls the same way you and your buddies bust each other’s balls at the bar. Have fun with it. You would be amazed how much more enjoyable you are if you roll with the punches instead of being a spoiled 16 year old bitch.

5. Don’t ball wash “royalty”

There is a certain amount of networking you have to do in order to be taken seriously in this business. As much as I hate doing it, I do it to an extent because that networking opens you up to other opportunities and chances to learn from some fantastic minds in the fitness industry; however, the people are who pay your fucking bills.

Mr. World Record holder isn’t going to buy your book, he is writing his own. Joe Blow is going to buy it and tell others how much he likes it. Sure the strength coach circle jerk network exists, but I avoid that. I don’t need, nor want, 10 coaches pimping me out. I prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, by results from people who actually use it, not by people earning money from ClickBank sales.

Network for the sake of learning and camaraderie, not for the sake of making money. Money will come, but you will look like an asshole kissing the ass of every single coach/trainer who gives you the time of day.

6. Learn how to train people and be good with people

Writing, being real, having integrity in business is all good; if you suck as a trainer, you suck. Many people have written eloquent articles and some of them I wouldn’t trust to train me if they fucking paid me.

Learn how to coach, learn how to program, learn how to adapt to issues, learn how, and when, to change parts of a program to keep progress going.

Learn how to sell yourself to people. Yes that is part of the business. Learn how to listen. Learn how to shove your ego aside for good and focus on the good of the client. Learn how to be receptive to information. Learn how to discern between solid advice and advice from a raging moron.

This stuff takes time and its very rare for a new trainer to start off knowing slightly more than jack shit.

You may think you do because you are jacked and tan, but you don’t. There is a world of information out there from hundreds and thousands of coaches who make us look like toddlers. That is the shit you need to learn.

7. Be a walking billboard

I don’t think every single trainer/coach needs to be the best athlete or competitor, but if you look like you haven’t touched a weight in months, who the fuck do you think you are to train anyone? If you aren’t in the gym, training, being an example for potential clients to look at and say “dude, that’s a trainer here and he is getting after those squats” you are fooling yourself.

If you are a trainer and the majority of your training sessions are spent going through the motions, how do you expect clients to trust you to their progress?

You don’t need to squat 700 pounds to be taken seriously, but you do need to be an example of what it means to train.

Unless you are old and broken down, then I don’t know what to tell you… guess you better have one charming personality.


There are probably things I missed, but that’s up to you to figure out. I am not an expert on anything but how to be me and it works for me. Find what works for you and do it well. Do it better than anyone else can because this is YOUR passion, go earn it.


Check out the SECOND AND BRAND NEW Ashman Strength System e-book.

Join the Ashman Strength Facebook Page.

Check out Pump, Dump, and Hump; a fitness group based around health, lifting, and sexuality run by my wife and myself.

To inquire about training, contact us for more information or to set up a call about remote coaching.

If you are local to Kansas City and wish to kickass at my gym, visit us at Kansas City Barbell for the ultimate training experience.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.