When first starting Johnny Kahuna and then Kahuna Strength I wanted it to be on ‘social media’ connecting with the people.
It almost worked for a moment, after all it is how I found out about the amazing work kids like Jordan Ogden and Miranda Fuentes were doing with Surfers For Autism. It’s also how I met a fellow Sober Surfer - Jonny Fryett and connected with his mates in England, connected with Keith Thrasher who led me to Mason Roland who I consider like a little brother and spirlalled out to Iron Spartan - Chris and his wife Amber, then RJ aka master Deadpool Mask Maker (who donated a mask to Mason!). Connecting wth Rachel Gillern, Ryan Portella, Angela “BIRCH” (like the tree) Brittany Snell and her husband. I met Kent Leckie who led me to the impressive Rose Brunner, Luis Santa and his wife Yolanda, boxing champ turned bodybuilder Andrew Mark Cleary etc… These are the best benefits of social media accounts - connections turned friendships.
The business side of social media is ugly and sad. It’s saturated with girls of all ages posting pictures that correlate to the term ‘sex sells’ -- especially those way to young and whose parents should keep an eye on them. — all in hopes to become a ‘social media influencer’ for a brand which is a silly term for just a “hype man”. Facebook has changed your news feed so that the pages you "Like" are not seen as often and have to pay to advertise to be seen http://socialtriggers.com/facebook-lowers-my-reach/ and Facebook is constantly changing your newsfeed http://wallaroomedia.com/facebook-newsfeed-algorithm-change-history/. Instagram "Social media influencers" want you to pay them to post about your product even though their followers are just looking for T -n -A or they don't care about your brand anyway. I believe brands who buy into this have lost their culture or worse yet they are cultivating an unsustainable culture that doesn’t relate to them or their consumers. It’s almost like fooling their customers and eventually the brand or company becomes a fad, much like the ones that saturate the fitness industry as “Spam Brands” Which I’’ll talk about momentarily.
As far as ‘free stuff’ goes - my friends have always wanted to purchase/pay for their clothes, they know that there is no ‘free’ because ‘free’ actually cost me money. I’ve had more than one person meet me say “you should give me a tee and I’ll wear it for you like advertising” my response is not rude it’s simply perspective. I ask “Did ‘Nike’ send you that shirt for free? “ When I have sent things out it has been because I wanted to send it out. I’ve had people send me items before and I know it’s not “free” because it cost them time and money, the former being the most precious and I always let them know how grateful I am. Just as those that have received items from me have always told me the same. I have sent clothes out to friends and to people before for JK clothes but in exchange I didn’t just ask for a post or say they could keep the clothes but I also built and retained a friendship with them as I feel that is more important. And believe me, making connections that turn into friendships is 100% the best thing about Johnny Kahuna and Kahuna Strength, I firmly believe that this not only sets us apart but sets us up for life long success. People are not a commodity, materials are. People are for building friendships and making lasting connections.
Back to the “Spam Brands”. It has always been a great time to start a business - there is no wrong time. America was built upon businesses starting, failing, starting again, failing, re-focusing and starting again, and again, until success. There has also been ‘fly by night’ businesses since the beginning and now is no different. Unfortunately one of the industries saturated the most with these brands/companies is the fitness industry. This especially angers me because working out has been so very beneficial to improving the quality of my life and is the reason I started Kahuna Strength. It’s not flashy and the phrase I came up with “The Power of An Island” I interpreted as building the brand like building an island, we choose who we let on that island, and as it grows it becomes stronger. Seeing these spam brands which includes people branding themselves as well, comment on your post with a “looks amazing” when you know they are just commenting to get seen ( a well publicized social media marketing technique) or worse yet the standard Dream Elegance spam brand post of “Looking great, DM us for information on how to become a DE ambassador” or “Contact us to become a rep”. This stuff takes away from those of us who are planning for the long term, building a brand, and a sense of culture inside the business.
When I first started Johnny Kahuna and Kahuna Strength I had hoped to use social media as a way to build the brand and reach more people, after all I love connecting with people. But in just a few short years I quickly realize I would prefer saving my money and opening a small Johnny Kahuna retail shop by the beach with a small outdoor gym attached. This would allow me to connect with YOU on a personal level.
- Andrew aka KahunaDrew