Starting a fitness Instagram can be a great way to establish your brand. Whether you run a gym, PT business, or sell products online, Instagram is likely to be an effective marketing channel.
But where do you start? If you’re short on time and want a super-clear guide, then read on. In this article, we summarise 5 simple steps to starting a fitness Instagram and getting your first 1000 followers…
Step #1 – Get clear on your objective
With any kind of marketing activity, having a clear objective is crucial. The reason you’re starting a fitness Instagram will influence the kind of content you post. Do you want to promote active aging or post-pregnancy programs? Are you trying to get new gym members or PT clients? Or will you be driving traffic to your website where you sell online programs?
Once you’re clear on WHY you’re starting a fitness Instagram, you can tailor your profile and content accordingly…
Step #2 – Create an awesome profile
A strong Instagram profile will help you get found in search results. It’s often the first thing people see, so needs to make a positive first impression. The 3 most important elements of your profile are:
- Profile picture – use a professional logo or headshot photograph
- Bio – include keywords to help potential followers find your content
- Link – drive people to a lead capture page, not just your website homepage
There’s a lot more to an awesome profile, but nailing these 3 things is fundamental. To learn about this topic in more detail, check out our article on creating a killer fitness bio for Instagram.
Step #3 – Develop content for your ideal client
Now it’s time to create your content – we’re talking about images, captions, and hashtags. In terms of imagery, mouthwatering healthy meals, inspirational quotes, and aspirational fitness activities (like beach yoga) all work well. But you need to think about what will appeal to YOUR specific audience, and content that’s authentic for your brand.
When it comes to captions, there are several schools of thought… Some people keep them short and snappy so that people absorb the key message even if they’re skimming. Others write longer ‘mini blog posts’ with a lot more detail, using emoticons to break up the text. We like to use a mix of both, and include a clear call to action such as ‘double tap if you agree’ or ‘follow our bio link for more info’.
Step #4 – Follow & interact
Starting a fitness Instagram isn’t just about creating great content – it’s about interacting too. Identify other accounts that your ideal client might like, and then check out that account’s followers. Follow anyone who might be interested in your content – most people will take a look at profiles who follow them, and some will follow you back.
In our experience, around 20% of people follow back, so you’ll need to follow about 5000 people to get your first 1000. That may sound like a lot, but it breaks down to approx 165 per day over a month.
The key is to genuinely interact with the people who follow you back. Like and comment on their content, so you start to build relationships. What we DON’T advocate is the follow/unfollow method – this is where you follow people, and then immediately unfollow them after they follow you back. This may get your follower count up quickly, but it doesn’t develop any kind of real relationship. So it’s unlikely to lead to strong engagement or develop raving fans who’ll purchase what you offer.
⇒ Should I use Instagram bots? There are many companies offering automated ‘bots’ that’ll automatically follow Instagram users on your behalf. They can save a lot of time, but Instagram may ban your account if they find out, so tread carefully.
Step #5 – Rinse, repeat & scale what’s working
The next step is to identify what’s been most effective and double down on those efforts. After you’ve reached a milestone (say 30 days or 1000 followers), spend an hour reviewing your Instagram profile and posts. Evaluate what’s worked well and what can be improved.
What types of post were most popular? Which account’s audience followed you back most often? Were there any specific themes or hashtags that performed particularly well?
Once you’ve identified the most effective elements, focus your efforts on those for the next 30 days. This will ensure that your account continues to grow rather than hitting a plateau.
Starting A Fitness Instagram In 5 Simple Steps
Following these 5 steps will help you establish a strong foundation for your fitness Instagram. Having a clear objective will ensure that your social efforts align with your business goals. A strong profile and creative content will help you appeal to your ideal client. Following others enables you to develop relationships with people who may be interested in your offering. And evaluating your efforts will help you scale quickly, and build your fitness Instagram into a truly effective marketing channel.
Our social media kits make it easy to drive leads, engagement, and loyalty for your fitness business. Ideal for busy gym operators and studio owners, they enable you to benefit from our marketing agency expertise for a fraction of the usual cost. The ready-made social posts save you time and effort – learn more here.