DIY Marketing and PR: One CreativeLive Student Shares His Success Story
This CreativeLive Student story is about DaKari (Doc) Williams, a multi-hyphenate fitness entrepreneur who’s harnessed his unique bundle of skills and leveraged them to build his business and explore a variety of new opportunities along the way.
As a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, Massage Therapist, Chiropractic Assistant, and CrossFit Level One certified trainer, Doc set out to grow his business by leveraging his deep understanding of personal health and fitness online.
To build awareness of his work, Doc began writing high-quality articles that would promote his site. After two years of creating stellar content with less than ideal success, Doc recognized that his articles failed to break through the noise.
Turning to Brigitte Lyon and her super-popular CreativeLive class, Simple PR for Creatives, Doc made a few straight forward changes to his content and found himself with new opportunities to collaborate and build his skill set – adding Blogger, Contributing Writer and Seasoned Interviewer to his already long list of titles.
In this Q&A, Doc shares how he made it all happen.
You shared that the CreativeLive course Simple PR for Creatives was game-changing for you. Before we get to the success you had, what was your business like before you took the course?
Before taking the course, I was following after the crowd and trying to do everything the industry experts said — I was posting to social media regularly, networking with likeminded professionals, anything I could think of that would be great for my business. After trying that for two years with my business, it wasn’t working. I felt I was going stagnant and not contributing to any growth.
What steps did you take to put the training into action?
After the class, I looked back in the two years of blogs I wrote and started remixing the most popular posts I had and organized them around things like seasonal tie-ins because the media is looking for things that are timely and trending. In class,Brigitte mentioned blogging and creating content, so I started my own podcast and went to fitness events and interviewed people there. I then contacted breakingmuscle.com to inquire about writing for them. I ended up writing a few popular articles and then leveraged my experience in writing about functional fitness to ESPN to cover the CrossFit Games Regionals.
While working at an event for my other job, (team massage therapist for the DC Brawlers), I met the hosts of the Gridcast and showed them my plan to expand my brand, FIT Labs. I showed them my key message and breakdown of my brand’s methodology, events, products etc all from the class and they liked the concepts. About two months later they called me to ask me if I would be doing a show under their banner.
Since that time, I’ve been able to leverage the training into increasingly high profile opportunities, most recently serving as a Massage Therapist for the USA weightlifting Olympic trials.
ESPN was a huge get early on! Was there anything you learned in the course that directly influenced how you reached out them?
Yes, I learned that so many media outlets want quality content! I followed the steps in the course to find a contact and made my pitch. My pitch was directly influenced by the “One Pitch Template” Brigitte shared in the course — it was a simple one page worksheet that forced me to succinctly define the key elements of my business, and why you should work with me.
What is the value of writing for ESPN for your business?
Beyond providing a second income, writing for ESPN gives me credibility when doing anything else in my profession. With so many different outlets but being part of an established brand helps elevate my brand as well. My brand is about bringing a holistic approach to health and wellness and to bring quality content over multiple types of mediums, remotely or in person.
You’ve had so much success already. What’s next for you?
I’ve launched a digital branding agency for athletes called The Toolkit, and that’s currently my main focus. But I’m also doing more events, including the Arnold Sports Festival in 2017.
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