The Hustle: Building Your Brand

June 29, 2015


Cash, cars and a career with your abs gracing the cover of every fitness magazine at your local Barnes & Noble… This is the dream. You love what you do, and you’re good at it. Your body of work is impressive and you’re not getting any younger. Is it time for a career change? To build an industry from what you’ve built in the gym? We asked the “Drifta Lifta”, Matt Vincent, how he’s gone from gym rat to Highlands Games champion while promoting his company, HVIII, across the globe. Here are a few key elements that have attributed to his success.


“The fitness industry is a giant market, and if you have something valuable to say or sell, people will be interested. There are a couple keys to this I have found.

Disclaimer: There are a ton of athletes out doing this the right way. I don’t claim to be an expert at this. I have, however, had some success and want to share what I have learned.



This should be a no-brainer. You can’t, or I should say shouldn’t, create a brand with the idea of “I’ll get rich”. If that is your plan, you will fail. There are always some exceptions to the rule, but you can’t build a plan or brand based on that.

Is what you do, or the message you voice unique? People may share similar values as yourself and want to support your brand. My first suggestion is find something that you are passionate about and learn as much as you can. From there, find what niche of that lifestyle you want to celebrate.

Ultimate T




Having big lifts, abs, or a love of bacon is not going to be enough to separate yourself from the 10,000 others out doing the same thing. Passion is what people are attracted to. Be committed to your brand and niche. Let it drive you and share with people why you love it. Everyone wants to find a direction and passion. Maybe you doing your thing and sharing information helps someone else. That is what it is all about.

I recommend doing something that you love enough or share a message that you are passionate about enough that you will do it no matter if anyone is listening. People have a pretty good ability to figure out if you are full of shit. If you are a charlatan or “Snake Oil Salesman”, people will see straight through you.



If it is something you are not in love with, it isn’t going to work. The amount of work it takes to grow a brand is ridiculous. Simply putting up numbers isn’t enough. You have to share a lot of yourself. Write articles, film training, comment on training, help coach, share everything you know, and do it all time for a long time.

Everyone I know actually pushing a successful brand is working much harder than you think. It is absolutely a full-time job. A quick lesson; in general, nothing that yields awesome rewards or opportunity comes easy. It comes to those who work tirelessly and for free for a long time.

TEAM USPlabs Matt Vincent




Figure out who your audience is. This is just as important as your message itself. Be honest with yourself about who you want to reach. After learning about your audience, make sure that you are producing content for them. Example; if you are making information for strongman athletes, you want to write or produce content for beginners. They need the most info and want to learn the most. You wouldn’t write to the pro-strongman. They already know everything that you do. They don’t need your content.

This is just as important as knowing that your audience is not everyone. It has to be a bit specific. Keep that aim down and deviate occasionally. If you are writing as info for beginner weightlifters, address all aspects of that lifestyle. Training, nutrition, recovery, how to start, etc. Just always remember to comeback to who or what your main focus is.

I can’t explain or address enough how hard it is to grow a brand. Finding a voice that people are interested in is also not guaranteed. There is barely a rhyme or reason for what the world decides to latch onto and follow. I can say that all of the really popular people I have met are magnetic personalities and are people that you absolutely want to spend time around.

Remember that no one owes you the right to having a successful brand. Keep your ideas and goals realistic. The other absolute truth is it is going to take you a long time in the business for it to work. Every brand that you think started overnight and became huge, they already built a loyal following for about 5-10 years, then started trying to monetize the brand.


Find your message, love what you do, outwork everyone you know, and success will be a side effect of doing the right things for a long time.”


TEAM USPlabs Matt Vincent


Written by Matt Vincent


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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