Instagram could be your gateway to more clients, more followers, and more success in the fitness industry. No matter how you cut it, you need to be on there! Here are some basic lessons of how to Instagram for fitness professionals.
I know you’re not a narcissist. I’m not either. However, I am a fitness professional and my job is to help people improve their lives by getting stronger and healthier. For this reason, I need to inform people of how I can help them. In my experience, one of the best (and easiest) ways to do that is through Instagram.
Sorry, but recognizing modesty is not something people do well. Yes, it’s possible, but the only time that most people say something like, “That guy is so awesome and he’s so mellow about it” is AFTER that guy is a big fat success. Getting successful is what most of us are striving for in the first place, so worry about your blatant modesty after that point.
People have a tendency to be nervous when they start posting pictures and other content online. The fear is mainly centered around being criticized or misinterpreted. What if someone disagrees with how I perform my squat? What if I get a hater that just wants to harass me? What if my friends and family see my posts and think I’m some kind of attention whore?
Don’t worry about it! The good news is that no one knows about your new Instagram account yet, so no one is going to see it! That is also the bad news. You need to get people to view it.
One of the best things about Instagram is instant feedback. If you post a picture and people “heart” it, or they start following you, you win! You have successfully engaged their attention enough for them to provide you with free feedback. If they don’t engage your post, that is also feedback; it means your post was lame or you didn’t hashtag correctly.
What this feedback gives you is a guide to content creation and a barometer for engaging your audience. Maybe you think that your hip flexibility exercise is going to be very interesting to the 25-year-old obstacle race fanatic that you want to get as a client. Maybe, but probably not! They probably want to see muddy half-naked people smiling at the camera.
If your target market is bodybuilders, you need to demonstrate your ability to transform clients with before and after pictures. If your market is other fitness professionals, you need to demonstrate your advanced knowledge of biomechanics and anatomy. If you’re a nutritionist, pictures of tasty, healthy meals will be your bread and butter (hehe).
There is no way around it, you have to post often. Every day you’re not posting you’re missing out on exposure and potential business. It’s come to the point that if you’re not active on social media (not just Instagram), you don’t really exist. You can have all the valuable, awesome information in the world, and it simply doesn’t matter if people don’t think you’re active.
Minimally, you need to post once a day. Ideally, you would post two to three times a day. Each one needs to be interesting and different enough from the others to keep your followers engaged.
What you post is entirely dependent on your business and your target market (I gave a few examples in the previous paragraph), however, there are some standard things you can post to get going. Here is a short list that you can use to start exploring Instagram and get some feedback to see what works and what doesn’t.
Fitness Class Shots (show how many people are training with you)
Performing Exercises Outside of the Gym
Feats of Strength
Fitness Class Action Shots
Exercise Form Tips
The same day I wrote this article, I put up another called the Top Instagram Fitness Accounts for Unconventional Training. There are over 50 accounts from a variety of different fitness professionals, each offering something unique. They are ranked by their post effectiveness, rather than how many followers they have (the list is ordered similarly to a straight top-follower list, but I find this more accurate to performance). Below are 4 important lessons that you can learn from the top 10 on the list. This is a no-bs list of reasons how and why these people are doing well.
Sorry folks, but if you’re a top fitness professional, you need to look like a top fitness professional. You’ll notice that the top accounts feature extremely fit looking people. No matter how busy you are, you need to make time for a proper workout regimen and an excellent diet plan.
Unconventional Training goes far beyond simple aesthetics and is more closely related to performance. Guess what, the top guys all do ridiculous feats of strength. There is a lot of hand balancing, human flags, flips, and other impressive bodyweight stuff. The reason this resonates with a lot of people is simple; it looks cool and your average Joe/Jane is very aware that they can’t do most of the advanced moves. The problem with some Unconventional Methods, such as Kettlebell Sport, is that people can’t understand how difficult and impressive it is. Start thinking in terms of what
The top Instagram accounts are extremely consistent with their posting, and that fact goes beyond frequency. Each post they do is a well crafted video or picture that is consistent with their overall branding effort. Not a lot of randomness. It’s like a good restaurant chain, no matter where you walk in, it’s always going to taste the same. Your audience needs to be able to recognize your stuff AND see it often.
A lot of people think that proper hashtagging is an essential component of good Instagram posting, and it is up to a point. What you’ll see the big guys do is give a very thoughtful description containing useful information followed by one or two hashtags, not 50. However, in order to get on the map in the first place, you do need to be concerned with good hashtags. The best way to do that is by using a variety to find out which ones are best for you and your material.