Talk Time is a weekly online TV talk show co-hosted by Shawna Randolph and Sean Burke. Together they, along with guests, cover a variety of topics from pop culture to healthy living. This series introduces the team. Today, meet panelist Chris Tse.
Chris is a fitness columnist, educator, and social media marketer. He’s been named Edmonton's top trainer by Post Media, an honour that is “a recognition that the work I've been doing in media, in the community contributing to charities, and as a personal trainer has significantly impacted people.” You can find Chris online as well as on Twitter and Instagram.
Why did you start a fitness and social media marketing company, and in what year?
Fitness: I've been in the industry since I was 18 years old in 2001, so we're nearing 20 years. I've done a lot of things in the industry, from personal training to owning a brick and mortar studio and now to a fitness columnist both on local and national media. I also teach at NAIT in their personal fitness training courses.
Social Media Marketing: since 2014. As my first business was growing primarily because of social media marketing, I was being asked by other companies to help build their social media presence through content development and building digital strategies. I've worked with companies like Campers Village, Sport Chek, Servus Credit Union, and Browns Socialhouse.
What are some of the contributing factors to your success and how do you stand out from the competition?
From a fitness perspective: my educational background is in research. I've been able to use this background in my career to review primary papers and understand how to apply it to people's workouts both as a personal trainer and a columnist. There's a lot of pop-science in the industry. Ultimately my critical lens and the ability to condense research into something that every person can understand has helped me build my career in media.
From a marketing perspective: I've built a side hustle to my side hustle that has now become my full-time career. I'm currently working as a full content developer creating things like short educational videos and photos with a specific focus on social media marketing. I think the understanding of how to market on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and emerging platforms along with my passion for visual storytelling has been the biggest differentiator.
What is your greatest challenge at the moment?
In the fitness industry, COVID-19 has disrupted things in a long-lasting and significant way but ultimately, we still have the same issues. A majority of Canadians are still quite sedentary, and more research is coming out about the long-term health effects of this behaviour on mental and physical health. It's a big global challenge. I'm happy to help provide more clarity to people in order to make movement a part of their lives.
In the social media marketing world, the biggest challenge is trying to cut above the noise. The digital marketing world can be a very confusing place and staying ahead of emerging platforms and new things like Instagram Reels is always an interesting thing to do. Grabbing someone's attention has become harder as people are distracted with multiple screens and apps.
What do you love the most about what you do?
Fitness: I love hearing from readers/listeners about how they have tried a different workout or now understand a concept because of my work. It means I've been able to explain a concept and deliver it in a way that excites someone.
Marketing: I think this is really where both of my worlds blend. When you create great content that is educational or emotional and it encourages someone to take action, I think that's the most satisfying thing.
What do you love about the local fitness community? How can the community best support you?
I love how welcoming the fitness groups in Edmonton and Calgary (I'm moving to Calgary in a month) are. In my experience as a columnist I've tried a lot of different workout styles – from dance workouts to ultra marathons. I've never felt excluded as long as I'm giving it my full effort. The community can best support me by supporting others: by creating more safe, accessible, and inclusive spaces. It's essential for people to feel like they belong and feel like they can workout without judgement.
What’s next for you? For the venture?
Getting back into the fitness world! I'm so excited to see Albertans out and about.