As I said in my presentation last week, the fitness industry has taken the Instagram world by storm. In the Instagram world they are known as the “#fitfam.” Professionals and amateurs alike use Instagram to promote their fitness products and attract new clients. For amateurs especially, Instagram offers them a way to become insta-famous insta-fast, turning their small start up personal training business into a worldwide sensation.
Before social media revolutionized the way fitness experts communicated with potential and current clients, people who wanted to get in shape had to pay big bucks to either join a gym, hire a personal trainer, or buy the latest fad workout video. Now with the help of social media users can easily access fitness and nutrition advice via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WordPress.
By utilizing a social media platform like Instagram, fitness trainers can reach clients from all over the world. Many personal trainers have taken advantage of this worldwide stage to share their healthy living advice and fitness success stories via social media. So much so, that Instagram feeds across all of these platforms are flooded with fitness and nutrition information, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. Breaking into an industry that is already on social media information over load may seem impossible, but a handful of personal trainers have found a way to rise above the noise.
Although there isn’t a one-way path to success, here are a few takeaways from the most insta-famous trainers in the industry about how to engage potential clients via social media and grow a small training practice into a worldwide business:
1. Upload easy and accessible fitness videos.
Most trainers upload short videos of highly effective workouts to their social media accounts. These clips of trainer’s workouts can give their followers a taste of what their fitness program is all about. This is an opportunity for clients to actually try one of the workouts for themselves. Many potential consumers may be hesitant to buy into a full-fledged fitness program that they don’t know much about. They want to know if they will actually have a chance at executing the workouts before they buy in. If successful, these snippets of your entice followers to join the trainers full fitness program. However, it is especially important to make it clear how followers can move forward with that process. To do this, many trainers have a link to their website’s purchasing page in their bio.
2. Inspire change.
By far the most engaging posts on trainer’s Instagrams are quotes. Some are inspirational, some are humorous, but all of them tap into the emotions of anyone struggling through a fitness journey. By most engaging, I mean this type of post tends to earned the most likes and comments, which are key signs of customer engagement.
3. Offer advice and respond to questions.
Instagram provides a platform on which to share simple tips and tricks that can help your clients reach their fitness goals. Many trainers will share nutritional advice about which foods best complement their workout regimen. Some also will talk about tips for keeping proper form in certain moves or tricks for using various pieces of equipment in order to achieve the best results. Even more importantly, many trainers use social media to listen and respond to fitness questions posed by clients. Instagram allows trainers to answer their client’s questions and concerns either in a private, via a direct message, or public setting, via public post.
4. Share success stories.
Sharing success stories can kill two birds with one stone. First, it advertises the success of your fitness program, inviting new customers to buy into your program. Secondly, it motivates your current clients to stick with it. After all, nothing motivates people to get off the couch more than seeing others succeed at reaching their fitness goals. Trainers do this by collecting authentic quotes from clients who have personally experienced the effects of your fitness program and instagraming “before” and “after” photos of the client captioned with the testimonial.
Fitness and health are innately personal and emotionally charged topics. However social media platforms like Instagram can diminish this key aspect of the trainer-client relationship. Trainers must make a conscious effort to connect with their followers on a personal level. Many do this by posting about their fitness journey struggles, their health philosophies, and real life achievements of well-being. This may take the form of photos, quotes, or quick anecdotes. These relatable insights into a trainer’s personal side may also reveal parts of their everyday life too. For example, some trainers post pictures with their families, photos of their pets, or snapshots for their latest vacation adventure. Ultimately these posts show followers their personality. In the fitness industry, the trainer’s personality is their brand, and it should shine through these authentic posts.
By following these simple steps, many trainers have built their small local business into worldwide operations, complete with world tours and more. I imagine we will see more amateur trainers break into the fitness Instagram scene in these ways and other new, unique ways. It will be interesting to see who is the next new insta-famous fitness star is and how they will push the limits on social media client engagement.