Interview with Jon Goodman aka the “Social Media Guy”


May 2013-

Alrighty ladies and gents, its that time again for another awesome interview. This month we have Jon Goodman aka the “Social Media Guy.” Someone that we really respect in the fitness industry as well as the ever so growing and popular social media realm. When we say this dude is smart, we mean he’s pretty damn smart. So please take out your pen and paper and get ready to learn some valuable insights from Mr. Goodman.


DDT: Could you give us a little background info on who Jon Goodman aka the “Social Media Guy” is?

Jon: Sure. I’m a dude who used to teach dudes and dudettes stuff to get them into better shape. Then I wrote a book to help other people train dudes and dudettes and found I liked writing about stuff. So I kept doing it—writing about stuff that is. As my interests in stuff to write about changed, I followed my intuition and wrote about stuff that interested me, researching and experimenting along the way.

So I guess that’s why I’m here today. People seem to like it when I write about social media stuff so they keep asking me to do more about it. I like the psychology of social media—so that’s the kinda stuff I focus on.



DDT: That’s awesome and that book you wrote, “Ignite The Fire” was very helpful for us and others. You have built a very prestigious and well known resource website named the PTDC (Personal Trainer Development Center). Can you tell us what made you start this great resource?

Jon: I saw an opportunity. Certifications existed and training education was everywhere, but it seemed to focus on the same concepts and miss, what I felt, was the most important aspect of training: the soft side.

I’d been an avid blog reader previously and found that the best blogs were well written and interesting to read. The medium seemed to call for it in order to be successful. So I set out to learn the art of writing, practicing hours a day. Years later, I’d call myself an okay writer, but still have a long way to go.

What’s set the website apart is not the content, it’s two things: the network and the accessibility of the information. Taking 14hr bus rides to New York City just to meet one person, spending my savings in order to network, and sleeping 4 hours a night for two years were what started the site, and I’m honored it’s helping so many people around the world.


DDT: True dedication and hard work goes a long way. We understand you spent a great deal of time out in Hawaii, can you give us and our readers some details on what exactly VIRALNOMICS consist of and what your coaching group consist of?

Jon: Viralnomics concerns the psychology of social media. Specifically, I write about the why in getting messages to spread online, instead of the how. I’m a psychology fanatic and spend my days reading books, studies, and papers on what makes us, well, human. Viralnomics is about taking complicated psychological concepts and building actionable systems for social media mastery.

My two coaching groups are for serious fitness and health entrepreneurs. It’s a place to meet others like themselves and learn how to build an online business either from the ground up or to take an existing online business to the next level. We offer all the support, direction, and accountability you need to be successful. We have awesome people in there looking to build supplemental income streams and others who are making an online business their primary vocation.

Oh yeah, and I’m in Hawaii, you’re right. I’ve been here for over 5 months and it’s been an amazing experience working remotely. That said, I can’t wait to come home soon to Toronto.



DDT: Through all the blood, sweat, and tears throughout your journey so far, what would you say has been your toughest obstacle to overcome?

Jon: I’d say the only obstacle that has come close to breaking me was finding an editor for Ignite the Fire. Before then, I had a very optimistic view of the World and that almost changed it. I ran into more scammers and cheats than I’d like to remember. At that point, all I wanted to do was share my work with people and I didn’t care if it made me a cent. I was prepared to lose money on it. Yet, everybody I met throughout my search merely tried to take advantage of this young writer.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Bryan Krahn of T-Nation who was the first person to take the time to truly give me an open and honest opinion and for that, I can’t thank him enough. Finally I was fortunate to find Kelly James-Enger who I’d recommend to anybody writing a health or fitness book. Both her integrity and skill are top-notch.


DDT: You are one hell of a social media wiz. In your book “Race To The Top”, you give some very detailed and useful tips to be successful via social media. What made you want to write this book and what fascinates you so much about social media?

Jon: I can’t put my finger on what fascinated me about it, which is partially why I’m so obsessed. I see social media as the ONLY important marketing medium moving forward and I’m attempting to be at the forefront of it.

Race to the Top was written during a time when I was still training. In my down hours I decided to set out to know more about the psychology of social media than anybody else in the planet (my personal goal). The first step was watching feeds and trying to recognize patterns. Like something out of a Beautiful Mind, I stopped sleeping and even when I was awake I was in a perpetual state of dreaming. There were days when I could actually see myself, kind of like an out of body experience—it sounds fucked up, but it’s true.

I filled piles of notebooks with observations and saw some crazy patterns, many of which I still haven’t written about. There’s just too much.

Race to the Top happened because it had to happen. I had no plans to write it. On a whim, I blacked out for two weeks: I cancelled my clients, told my family I loved them and I’m be out of touch for a while, told my girlfriend I needed a week alone, and shut off social media.

The book took me 14 days to write start to finish. I sat in a coffee shop for 14hr days writing. It exploded out of me. Upon finishing, my whole body shook. It was the first time I’ve ever had such an intense experience. Kind of like a “holy fucken hell, how did that just happen?” It was also the first night I slept more than 2 hours in at least 3 weeks (I slept 16).



DDT: If you could choose one social media platform that would be the biggest game changer for an aspiring personal trainer, which one would that be and why?

Jon: It depends on what the trainer wants to build. Twitter is great for building relationships if you use it strategically. Facebook is best for anybody trying to get content to spread. In addition, they are both important for social proof if a trainer is trying to get recognition by the press.


DDT: In your humble opinion, what would you say is the biggest flaw right now in the health and fitness industry?

Jon: To be honest, there’s too much negativity in the health and fitness industries. I don’t want to add to it. There are flaws, yes, but I don’t want to mention them. I’d rather only talk, promote, and help spread the good stuff.


DDT: We’re all for spreading the good stuff! If you could predict the future 10 years from now, what do you see happening with the health and fitness industry?

Jon: Well it’s already happening, but the industry is going to continue to evolve. It’s still young and we’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time. I believe it will cement its place as the most profitable and powerful industry in the world. I also believe that it will continue to become more accessible through online training programs.


DDT: Can you give us your daily philosophy that you live and die by each day?

Jon: I have a couple:

  1. Kaizen (continual improvement for the better).
  2. There aren’t any dumb questions. Always ask if you don’t understand.
  3. Surprise people with kindness, often and everyday.
  4. Smile. Fucken smile. All the time.
  5. And finally, make good art—everything else in your professional life is secondary. Make time to make good art.


DDT: What does Jon Goodman enjoy doing on his spare time? (Please do not be shy or hold back here 😉

Jon: I’m not interested in partying and haven’t had an alcoholic drink in over 3 months. I may not have one again; haven’t decided yet. I read a lot. So in my spare time you can usually find me reclining with a book and highlighter (I mark up my books). Lately I’ve taken to reading two books at once: one classic fiction and one psychology.

It also may surprise people, but I consider myself a curious introvert. Unless I’m in a situation that I consider myself an expert in (fitness or social media) I’m shy and reserved. Large social gatherings aren’t all that enjoyable for me so I generally avoid them. That said, I’ve taken 6 months off of dating here in Hawaii and am looking forward to spending some time with cute females again when I get back to Toronto.

Photo on 2013-04-30 at 3.15 PM Jon Likes Pie!


DDT: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Where can our readers learn more about you, Viralnomics, and the Personal Trainer Development Center?

Jon: Viralnomics & PTDC

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