How to Grow a Fitness Instagram | 2023 Fitness Influencer Guide
Last updated: March 9, 2023
If you’re passionate about fitness and want to share your journey with others, starting a fitness Instagram account can be a great way to do so. Not only can it help you stay accountable and motivated as well as inspire others to lead a healthier lifestyle, but it can also become a viable income source.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of growing a fitness Instagram account and provide tips on how to grow a fitness Instagram from scratch.
Here are the quick links to the topics we’ll be covering in this article:
- Benefits of growing a fitness Instagram account
- 12 things you should do to grow your fitness Instagram account
- 3 things you should NOT do when growing your Instagram account
Benefits of Growing a Fitness Instagram Account
1. Build a Community and Share Your Passion
Instagram is a great platform to connect with like-minded individuals. By growing your fitness Instagram account, you’ll be able to connect with others who share your passion for fitness.
Your fitness journey can also inspire others to lead a healthier lifestyle. By sharing your workouts, healthy meals, and progress photos, you can motivate others to start their own fitness journey.
2. Establish New Income Sources
As your account grows and you establish yourself as a fitness influencer or expert, you may have opportunities to monetize your account through sponsored posts, partnerships, affiliate marketing, and other collaborations with brands in the fitness industry.
You may also have opportunities to start an online business selling various products such as fitness eBooks, workout programs, meal plans, fitness courses, fitness coaching, and more.
Consider reading how to make money as a fitness influencer for further information on how you can establish income sources through your fitness social media accounts.
3. Establish and Strengthen Your Brand
If you are a personal trainer or own a fitness business, having a strong presence on Instagram can help you build your brand, attract new clients, and increase your revenue.
4. Provide Personal Accountability
When you have a fitness Instagram account, you are more likely to stay accountable to your fitness goals because you have an audience who is watching and cheering you on.
12 Things You Should Do to Grow a Fitness Instagram Account
1. Be clear with your vision and mission
It’s easy to get caught up in numbers when you’re trying to grow your social media following, however, having a big picture of WHY you want to grow your social media will set you on the right path to creating authentic, engaging content that will resonate with your followers.
Your vision and mission can serve as a reminder of why you started your account in the first place, and can help to keep you accountable to your goals and values. In addition, in a crowded and competitive fitness influencer landscape, having a clear vision and mission can help you to differentiate yourself from other fitness influencers and establish yourself as a unique voice in the fitness industry.
Here are some great examples of vision and mission statements:
To help busy working moms find time to prioritize their health and fitness, and inspire them to lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.
To promote body positivity and self-love, and empower women to embrace their natural curves and strengths.
To share evidence-based research and expert insights on nutrition and fitness, and help people make informed decisions about their health.
To showcase the beauty and diversity of different types of fitness, from yoga and running to weightlifting and dance, and encourage people to try new things.
You get the idea!
2. Define your niche
With a clearer vision and mission in mind, it’s time to define your niche. Defining your niche will help you create content that is targeted, relevant, and valuable to your followers, and establish yourself as an authority in your area of expertise within the fitness industry.
Start by identifying your expertise: What are you knowledgeable about in the fitness industry? What are your qualifications, certifications, or areas of specialization? For example, you may be a personal trainer at the gym, a nutritionist, a yoga instructor, a runner, or a creator who teaches others how to become an online fitness coach.
Next, define your target audience: Who do you want to reach with your content? What are their goals, interests, and pain points? For example, you may want to target busy working professionals who want to fit exercise into their busy schedules, or new moms who want to improve their postpartum health.
Find your unique angle: What makes your content different from other fitness accounts? What perspective or approach do you bring to the industry? For example, you may focus on body positivity, eco-fitness, or inclusive fitness for people with disabilities.
Narrow your focus: Once you have identified your expertise, target audience, and unique angle, narrow your focus to a specific area within the fitness industry. This could be a particular type of exercise, such as weightlifting or Pilates, or a specific aspect of health and wellness, such as nutrition or mental health. Fitness influencer Sjana Elise, for example, focuses on producing content about Yoga, with a sprinkle of travel and other wellness topics.
3. Create valuable fitness content
As a fitness page, your content is the most important factor in growing your fitness Instagram account because it’s what attracts and engages your followers. Instagram is a visual platform, and the quality of your content plays a crucial role in determining how successful your account will be.
Here are some content ideas to help get your creative juices flowing:
- Provides helpful tips and advice to support your audience in achieving their fitness goals
- Share informative posts on the latest research and trends in the fitness industry
- Search for and offer expert insights and opinions on relevant fitness topics
- Provide practical workout routines, nutrition plans, or healthy recipes
- Offer motivational and inspirational content to keep followers on track with their fitness goals
- Feature behind-the-scenes glimpses of your workouts or fitness journey
- Provide inspiring success stories through before-and-after photos (these also act as social proof if you sell workout programs, or other fitness products alike)
- Share relatable and humorous content related to fitness or wellness
- Share fun challenges or contests that encourage engagement with your followers
- Use infographics to explain more complex concepts. These types of content tend to generate saves or favorites because people want to refer back to it at a future date
4. Optimize each Instagram content
Optimizing each Instagram post for maximum quality and reach is important. High-quality and visually appealing posts are more likely to attract new followers to your account. When people come across your content and are impressed by what they see, they are more likely to follow your account to see more.
Here are some of the most important tips to optimize your Instagram posts:
- Write a captivating caption. You can use free AI copywriting tools such as ChatGPT to make your life easier. Captions can be used to ask questions or encourage your audience to share their thoughts and experiences. This can help to generate discussion and increase engagement on your post.
- Use hashtags. Hashtags can help to increase the visibility of your posts on Instagram. Use 30 hashtags for each of your Instagram posts to maximize your reach. Remember to also research the relevant hashtags and the volume of content within each hashtag to increase your chances of identifying which hashtags have the highest chance of driving the most engagement.
- Engage with your followers in the comment section. Engaging with your followers in the comment section can help to build stronger relationships with your audience. This can lead to increased loyalty and advocacy, as well as positive word-of-mouth marketing. As a bonus, you can also make tons of new friends!
- Tag other people who are relevant. When you tag other people on your post, it increases the likelihood that they will see and engage with your content. This can also help you start a conversation about collaboration opportunities with the people whom you’ve tagged. Follow people who are relevant to your niche, and start identifying opportunities to tag them.
- Take high quality photos or videos. Instagram is a visual platform, and high quality pictures are more likely to capture the attention of new potential followers. High quality photos can also open up opportunities for professional collaborations, sponsorships, and other partnerships. Brands and other influencers are more likely to work with you if you have a proven track record of producing high quality content on the platform.
- (Optional) Establish a unique brand aesthetic. A unique photo aesthetic helps to create a consistent visual identity for your account. This makes it easier for followers to recognize your posts in their feeds and builds a sense of familiarity and trust with your brand. Use photo editing software such as Snapseed to do basic editing with brightness, contrast, colors, and more. You can also purchase Lightroom presets to implement specific photo filters on all of your photos.
5. Post consistently
Consistency is key when it comes to growing your Instagram account. Your followers are more likely to engage with your content if they know when to expect your new content. This can help to build a loyal following and increase your reach and engagement.
Posting consistently also shows your commitment to your fitness journey and your followers. It shows that you take your account and your message seriously and are dedicated to sharing your knowledge and expertise with others.
6. Post at the peak times that your followers are online
Instagram’s algorithm favors content that receives high levels of engagement shortly after it’s posted. By posting at the peak times when your followers are online, you increase the likelihood that your content will receive a higher level of engagement, which can improve your chances of beating the algorithm and getting your content seen by a wider audience.
7. Collaborate with others
Collaborating with other fitness Instagram influencers has a lot of benefits including reaching a wider audience by exposing your content to their followers, sharing expertise and knowledge with others in your industry, potential for future professional opportunities, and so much more! You can collaborate by coming up with fitness challenges or giveaway together, sharing workout plans or meal plans with each other’s audiences, offering personal training sessions to each other, and more.
Look for other fitness Instagram accounts that have a similar number of Instagram followers as well as engagement rate as your account. Additionally, look for accounts that share similar Instagram content as well as values and vision as your own to make sure that your collaborations will align with your brand and messaging.
8. Turn your personal account into a business account
A business account on Instagram provides access to valuable insights and analytics about your followers and content performance. This information can help you understand your audience better, identify trends, and make informed decisions about your content strategy.
With a business account, you can also add contact information such as your email address, phone number, and address to your profile. This makes it easier for potential clients, customers, and brands to get in touch with you.
9. Optimize your profile picture and bio
There are 4 main things that you need to optimize your Instagram profile:
- Profile Picture: Use a high-quality profile picture that represents your brand or business. Ideally, this should be a recognizable logo or image that is consistent with your brand’s visual identity.
- Hashtags: Include relevant hashtags in your bio to help people discover your profile and content.
- Bio: Use your bio to clearly communicate your brand’s value proposition, and include relevant keywords that help people find you on Instagram. Use concise language and bullet points to make your bio easy to read and visually appealing. You can also use emojis to add personality to your bio.
- Link: Make sure your link leads to a relevant page on your website or a landing page specifically designed for Instagram traffic. Use a tool like Linktree to create a custom landing page with multiple links to different pages on your website.
As a bonus tip, remember to pick an Instagram handle or username that is easy to remember and spell. Avoid using numbers or special characters that could make it confusing for people to find you
10. Post Instagram Reels & Instagram Stories
Instagram Reels are featured on the Explore page, making them more discoverable to new audiences. This can help increase your reach and attract new followers. In today’s era where TikTok has disrupted the social media landscape with short-form video content, Instagram is also pushing the use of Instagram Reels. Take advantage of this momentum!
Instagram stories are displayed at the top of users’ feeds, making them more visible than regular posts. They also offer a range of interactive features, such as polls, questions, and stickers, that can help increase engagement with your followers. Instagram stories are a great way to show a more personal side of your brand or business, as they allow you to share real-time updates and behind-the-scenes content.
11. Go live
Instagram Live offers a real-time, interactive experience for your followers. This can help to increase engagement and build a stronger connection with your audience.
Live video is also unedited and unscripted, which can help to convey a sense of authenticity and transparency to your followers. This can help to build trust and credibility with your audience.
As an added bonus, Instagram Live sends notifications to your followers when you go live, which can help to increase your reach and visibility. It can also help to attract new followers who are interested in your content.
12. Link your other social media platforms to Instagram
Linking your other social media platforms to your Instagram can help you cross-promote your content and drive traffic to and from your other platforms. For example, you can use TikTok to promote your Instagram account. You can also use your Instagram account to promote your Youtube channel, and more.
3 Things You Should NOT Do When Growing Your Fitness Instagram
1. Don’t buy followers
It may be tempting to buy followers to quickly increase your follower count, but it is not a sustainable way to grow your account. In addition, many of these followers may be fake or bots, which can hurt your engagement rates and credibility.
2. Do not copy other creators’ content. Do credit appropriately.
Stealing, plagiarizing, or copying someone else’s content without their permission or proper credit is unethical and can damage your reputation as a content creator. It can also result in legal action being taken against you.
On a similar note, if your content is inspired by other creators, crediting other content creators appropriately can help build trust and credibility with your audience. By properly crediting the original creator, you are showing that you value their work and are committed to providing quality content.
3. Do not use Instagram solely for self-promotion
While it is important to promote your brand and products, it is equally important to provide value to your audience through informative and entertaining content. Using Instagram solely for self-promotion can turn off your followers and hurt your growth.
It’s important to remember that success on Instagram is not just about numbers, but also about building a community and providing value to your followers. Stay true to your vision and mission, be authentic and consistent, and focus on creating meaningful connections with your audience. With these tips and a little bit of patience, you can successfully grow your fitness Instagram account and achieve your goals as a content creator.
If you’re keen on learning more about how to monetize your fitness content and expertise, consider reading our guide on How to Sell Fitness Programs Online.
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