How effective is Instagram for personal trainers? If you run an online training business, it can be a fantastic tool for generating leads and increasing brand awareness. But if you only work with clients in-person, then you’ll need a slightly different strategy to attract local prospects.
The biggest challenge with Instagram is that it’s oversubscribed with fitness influencers. Standing out can feel like an uphill battle, especially with so many established trainers already on the platform. So, how can you make Insta work for you?
In this article – fitness marketing specialist, Rob Simpson, shares 5 effective Instagram tips for personal trainers and fitness coaches.
Instagram for Personal Trainers
The fitness industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world. According to the IHRSA 2020 report, the global industry revenue totaled $96.7 billion in 2019, as more than 184 million members belonged to nearly 210,000 health and fitness facilities worldwide.
However, the industry is also very competitive. If you’re a personal trainer, you’ll need to invest time, money, and energy into marketing your fitness brand. With 90% of the accounts following a business on Instagram, it is one of the best social media platforms for PTs to build their digital presence.
Here are five Instagram marketing tips that’ll help personal trainers get more followers…
#1 – Create Your Unique Brand Voice
Fitness is an extremely competitive niche on Instagram. You’ll find hundreds of personal trainers with an already well-established brand voice. To attract more followers on Instagram, you’ll need to cut through this clutter.
The best way to make that happen is to create a unique brand voice of your own.
Think about how you can make yourself stand apart from your competitors. You can analyse their profiles to see what they are offering and compare this to your areas of expertise.
If you’re an expert in weight-loss training, consider making it the key theme of your Instagram profile. Focus on offering exercise tips and nutritious recipes. Share “before” and “after” photos and testimonials from clients (with their permission of course).
You can also share other fitness-related content, tips, and advice. However, your focus should remain on your core expertise. Highlight this content as the central theme of your account. This will help you build a base of dedicated and highly-targeted followers.
#2 – Provide Valuable Content to Your Followers
Your content also needs to be of excellent quality. Posting stylish images and inspiring fitness mantras is fine, but make sure your content offers real value to your followers. With over 500 million accounts using Instagram Stories every day, your content will easily be forgotten if it lacks substance.
When it comes to fitness, you can provide value by sharing real-life successes. People are inspired by “before” and “after” photos, and real-life fitness achievements such as running a marathon. These types of stories help you to connect with your target audience.
Another thing people love is healthy meal ideas. Share photos and recipes of breakfast, lunch, or dinner items. Nora Minno, a personal trainer and fitness expert, does this consistently on her Instagram account.
#3 – Create a Content Schedule
When it comes to Instagram, creating value-packed content alone is not enough. You need to do it consistently and make sure it reaches your target audience at the right time. This is how you increase your reach and engagement.
That’s where a content schedule comes in.
You need to plan your content at least a week ahead, if not a month. You can break down your content schedule based on the type of content you want to share.
However, make sure to take the best timings for posting on Instagram into account before creating your schedule.
According to Hootsuite, top fitness-focused accounts see the most engagement on Instagram at 9am every day. The research states that Wednesdays and Sundays are the top-performing days. However, you can also get more engagement on Mondays and Saturdays. If you post outside of these hours, your content will get relatively lower engagement.
#4 – Use Only High-Quality Photos
Instagram is a highly visual platform. That’s why quality photos are the foundation of your content. While a smartphone is ok, it’s sometimes better to invest in a professional camera. You should also spend more time and resources on visual optimization and editing.
Make sure to use the right type of photos and visuals to attract your target audience. User-generated content (UGC) is one of the best ways to generate more engagement. As these photos are authentic, they are likely to find more traction with your followers.
You can also post your workout and training photos and videos. However, avoid taking selfies as far as possible.
Your photos need to be professional. Adding short DIY videos of simple workouts, exercises, and healthy recipes can also help you increase engagement. Jeanette Jenkins, a fitness expert with over 30 years of experience, regularly shares short exercise videos on her Instagram account.
If you’re working with fitness influencers, influencer-generated photos can also help you get more engagement. Make sure this visual content resonates with your brand voice. You also need to maintain consistent editing so that all the photos match.
#5 – Track Your Results
In order to get more Instagram followers, it’s vital to track your results. This will help you understand what is working and what isn’t. You can optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.
Instagram Insights, which is available with a business account, is the best place to start. You can review the engagement on each post based on likes, comments, saves, and shares. This can help you understand which type of posts drive tangible results.
You can calculate the engagement rate by dividing all your likes, comments, and saves by the number of followers at the time of publishing the post. According to Iconosquare, the average Instagram engagement rate is 4.7% globally. To better understand performance, it can also be helpful to benchmark your engagement against your competitors’.
Don’t forget to check the performance of your Instagram Stories too. However, this data is available only for 14 days so you’ll need to check these insights immediately. Here’s how you can check insights such as likes, comments, shares, and saves…
- Tap your profile picture to go to your story and see the likes, comments, shares, and saves.
- To analyse a past story, tap the ‘Insights’ button on your profile.
- You will find the insights in the ‘Content You Shared’ tab.
- Swipe on the story to see the insights.
Instagram for Personal Trainers – Summary
For a highly competitive niche like fitness, Instagram is probably the best way to promote your PT brand. Planning your Instagram marketing strategy in advance to get the best return on investment. Armed with these five tips, you will be able to get more followers and clients in no time.
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What do you think is the best way to grow your Instagram followers? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on our social channels.
Rob is the founder at FitClub Agency, a full-service fitness marketing agency that specialises in helping gyms, fitness studios, personal trainers, and sports brands. Connect with Rob on LinkedIn for a chat to find out how they may be able to help.