After serving in the United States Army as a medical specialist, Stephen Landrum transitioned to the civilian world of personal training. As owner, manager and personal trainer of Hard Corps in East Ridge, Tennessee, he uses his experience working with a wide variety of people in the army to serve his clients better. “The most important thing that I learned then, and have continued to prove since, is that no one is beyond help,” he says.

To communicate effectively with clients and leads, Landrum uses the free IDEA FitnessConnect tool, the largest fitness professional directory, connecting more than 16 million consumers to more than 250,000 fitness professionals online at Here he tells us about his experience using IDEA FitnessConnect.

1. How long have you been on IDEA FitnessConnect? “Since the start [August 2010],” he says.

2. What tools do you use on your profile? Which are your favorites? “I use the success stories, videos, blog, answers forum, newsletter, Twitter™ and Facebook connection, certification verifier, statistics summary, and classes and events features,” he says. “My favorites are definitely the certification verifier and the videos section. They allow me to show my education—and my personality.”

3. Why do you participate in the IDEA Answers section? “Checking the [answers] forum became a routine,” Landrum explains. “I would check every couple of days to see if I could add any insightful input to the answers. I enjoy staying in contact and discussing the latest topics with so many knowledgeable professionals and helping new fitness pros solidify their careers within the industry. I hit many bumps and roadblocks in the beginning of my career, so now it’s good to give back.”

4. Have potential clients contacted you through IDEA FitnessConnect? Landrum says at least five or six contacts per year find him through IDEA FitnessConnect. “Potential contacts say they found me and decided to pursue me based solely my profile,” he explains. “My profile makes me look professional and secures their confidence that I am a legitimate, established fitness provider.”

5. What do you do to promote your profile? “I do whatever I can to publicize it,” he says. “I have had a website, multiple other profiles and links, fliers and other means to promote myself, but still my IDEA FitnessConnect profile outperforms them all! I link to it wherever I can. I even leave my IDEA magazines in doctors’ waiting rooms with stickers saying, “Do your trainers list themselves as certified professionals? Find the qualified pros in your area by visiting and searching ‘Find a fitness pro in your area.’ In my area, I’m usually first on the list, and my profile is complete. This helps me to stand out.”

6. Do you have a story about how you have helped a client whom you’ve gotten as a result of being on IDEA FitnessConnect? “Yes,” he says. “One client teaches a flag corps about proper form on the field, but it wasn’t helping her to lose weight. Now she has lost 64 pounds and is taking her new training techniques and administering them during those flag corps practices.”

7. How have you benefited from being on IDEA FitnessConnect? “I’ve enjoyed increased exposure and credibility,” he says. “My profile has most benefited my career by being a resource for verifying my status as a certified professional.”

April Durrett

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