How to Beat Competitors With Authenticity and Passion

Gym © by Mimar Sinan (2008)

The biggest obstacle my business faced in its first year was a lack of credibility. Operating in one of the most competitive business spaces in the world—health and fitness—every day was a battle to separate ourselves from the fly-by-night Internet companies that make all sorts of ridiculous claims, like losing 30 pounds in three days with a magic pill, secret diet or new exercise contraption.
But here’s the thing: these rapid-weight-loss schemes exist because people want to believe that they exist. For as long as there are people who want to believe in "too good to be true" claims, they’ll always be around.

That's what makes it so hard to build credibility in any industry. So many companies operate with the same short-term mindset and only have one goal: make as much money as possible in the least amount of time. They make outrageous claims and don't deliver the results; they shut down their websites and create new ones over and over again. Unfortunately, this cycle causes people to discount all online weight loss companies as scams, making it much harder for the few authentic companies to make an honest impression.

I knew that my website had to stand out and read completely differently. Instead of the typical highlighted website where viewers scroll endlessly through claim after claim—without any contact information—I made myself the main focus, with my picture, phone number, Facebook profile and address listed on the homepage, front and center. I wanted to prove that I do live what I teach, so I told my story of how I've been obsessed with exercise and nutrition since elementary school, complete with a page of pictures and a link to my personal blog. I put my personal screen name on the site and encouraged people to message me with questions, and I spent hours answering all of those questions.

After all, if I couldn’t stand by what I was offering 1,000 percent, why even bother selling it? I believed so strongly in my offering—this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! In my eyes, I had only one job: to let people know who I was and why I was so passionate about helping people lose weight and, most importantly, how I could help them lose weight!

It worked. Even though I didn't have any success stories, testimonials or press at first, everyone who inquired about my program loved the concept and recognized my passion. Slowly but surely, as the success stories started to pour in, word spread. Journalists, and bloggers started reaching out and MBT was being featured all over the place including Good Morning America, AOL.com and many other national media outlets.

Though I no longer worry about building credibility, I now focus on maintaining the credibility that put us on the map. It's all about adopting a long-term mindset: if you do right by people and your product/service really works, word will spread. And this has allowed us to compete with huge companies that have tons of money to spend on advertising. Every day, clients are signing up that have tried big name weight loss companies before us. My product is only as good as its most recent success story!

Adam Gilbert, is the Founder and Chief Body Tutor of MyBodyTutor, a company he created in 2007 to help people finally stick to their diet and exercise plans. Because of the results his company is getting for their clients, he's constantly featured in the national media.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC leads  #FixYoungAmerica, a solutions-based movement that aims to end youth unemployment and put young Americans back to work.

About Adam Gilbert

Adam Gilbert, is the Founder and Chief Body Tutor of http://www.mybodytutor.com/pages/, a company he created in 2007, to help people ACTUALLY stick to their diet and exercise plans. Because of the results his company is getting for their clients he’s constantly featured in the national media.

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