If you’re interested in how to become a fitness influencer, then you’re not alone. The rise of both Instagram and entrepreneurship has led to a huge increase in influencers. Fortunately, brand interest has also skyrocketed, so there are still plenty of paid opportunities to go around…
In this article – we explain how to become a successful fitness influencer using a simple 5-step process.
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a fitness influencer and earning money from social media, then read on…
What Is a Fitness Influencer?
A fitness influencer is someone who is influential in online fitness circles. They are known, liked, and trusted by fitness consumers which means their opinion carries a lot of weight. They use their credibility to influence others, often promoting products and services on behalf of brands.
How To Become a Fitness Influencer
Here’s an overview of how to become a fitness influencer on Instagram or any other social platform…
- Pick a niche
- Build your audience
- Become an authority
- Pitch to sponsors and advertisers
- Overdeliver and track results
Now let’s dive into each of these stages in more detail. Be sure to read to the end as it’s the last step that really separates successful fitness influencers from average ones!
1 – Pick a Niche
Fitness is a crowded industry and there are already a huge number of successful fitness influencers. Kayla Itsines, Joe Wicks, and Adriene Mishler are just a few that are smashing it. So, in order to stand out, you’ll need to be different.
There are lots of ways that you can do this – your branding, philosophical approach, and training techniques are just a few. But the most effective way is to pick a niche and own it.
Think along the lines of ‘fitness for surfers’, ‘strength techniques for golfers’, or ‘core training for back pain sufferers’. It needs to be something you either know a lot about or are prepared to educate yourself on.
It might sound like you’re limiting your audience, but it will be much quicker and easier to gain success by focusing on one area. After you’ve become the top influencer in that niche, you can expand to more areas. But the key to success is starting small and becoming the go-to person on that topic.
2 – Build Your Audience
A fitness influencer’s success is dependent on their audience. You’ll need as many engaged followers as possible in order to maximise your chances of success.
Influences usually sell their own products and services or promote those of others. They need an engaged audience in order to do this.
You might also like… How To Start a Fitness Instagram and Get Your First 1000 Followers.
So, how do you do this? The simple answer is to treat your followers as individual friends. Have two-way conversations – ask questions, respond to their replies, run polls, and take an interest in them.
If you’re on Instagram, like and comment on photos that your followers post. Make comments tailored to the post, not just a generic high-five emoji. It might take a few more minutes, but it will turbo boost the loyalty of your audience.
And remember, if you’re looking for brand partnerships, then engagement often matters more to them than reach. A thousand people who will absorb info and take action is much more powerful than 10,000 who passively scroll past a post.
How Many Followers Do I Need?
You need 1000 followers to be a micro-influencer. If you have a niche focus, friends will be interested at this stage because they’ll know what that’s a high proportion of your followers are interested in (beyond simply generic fitness – another reason it’s good to niche). At this stage, you can create and promote your own product or collaborate with others.
3 – Become an Authority
We’ve listed this as the third step, but building authority is actually something you can do alongside step 2. Don’t wait until you’ve built an audience before working on this part.
Fitness influencers need to be known as an authority on their subject. It’s not enough for social media followers to know like and like you. If you want to be a successful fitness influencer, they’ll need to trust you too.
If they don’t see you as a trusted advisor, then why would they listen to or act on your product recommendations? It’s the ability to influence opinions and purchasing decisions that brands will pay you for.
Here are a few easy ways to build your authority on a topic…
- Stay up-to-date with the latest research – share snippets or translate scientific papers into plain English, understandable to people without a science or biology background.
- Share the latest industry or niche news – sign up to press releases from leading brands and create Google alerts for your niche.
- Answer audience questions – it’s an easy way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in order to build credibility and authority.
The key thing here is to allocate time to both acquiring the expertise and sharing it with your audience.
4 – Outreach to Sponsors & Advertisers
Once you’ve established your credibility, you can begin outreach to potential sponsors and advertisers. In order to do this effectively, you’ll first need to create a media kit. This is a document that summarises your brand, your audience, and what you can offer to companies.
- Brand – introduce yourself or your brand, summarise your expertise in the niche, and the types of company that you’re looking to partner with (or products you’re looking to promote).
- Audience – how many visitors and followers do you have? What engagement levels do you typically get? Breakdown their demographics (Google Analytics or a quick survey will help with this).
- Your offering – list what you can offer to brands including pricing e.g. sponsored blog posts, social media posts, email blasts, etc.
For more detailed instructions on creating a media kit, check out this comprehensive guide from Food Blogger Pro. If you’re unsure how much to charge, Creative Impact Co. put together some pricing guidelines for influencers.
Then send them an email or DM with a link to your awesome new media kit. Follow up a week later if you haven’t heard back.
We’d suggest starting with 10-20 companies, then expanding your list based on the response. Some will come back with questions or request more info – it can be helpful to incorporate these into future versions of your media kit. Once a brand has agreed to work with you, it’s time for the next step…
5 – Overdeliver & Track Results
The key to becoming a truly awesome fitness influencer is this… You need to go all out to make the sponsored post a success. Boost social posts, pay for ads, go above and beyond to ensure the brand gets value for money.
You also need to demonstrate this value to your client. Record all the stats and results, then send it to the brand in the form of a report. This demonstrates their return on investment (ROI) and ensures that brands understand exactly what they’ve got for their money.
This is important for several reasons…
- It increases customer satisfaction and decreases the number of refund requests
- This makes brands more likely to work with you again and generates repeat business
- You can also use these statistics to convince other brands to work with you.
Your report should include statistics on reach, engagement, click-throughs, sentiment (positive comments), and total time people spend consuming branded content. Tools like InfluenceKit can automate this process for you. But if you’re starting out and don’t have the budget, just collate it manually.
Become a Fitness Influencer – Summary
So, know you know exactly how to become an Instagram fitness influencer and make the venture a success.
Start by picking a niche and building your audience. Become an authority in your chosen area in order to become ‘influential’. Pitch to sponsors and advertisers using a media kit, then overdeliver and track results. By following these five steps, you can become a successful influencer in the fitness space.