So, you are considering becoming a fitness influencer? How do you start? How do you break into the already crowded industry?
According to Liam Anderson on Quora, there are three things you need to do to become a fitness Influencer: build an audience, develop influence and reach out to brands targeting your audience to discuss a collaboration.
Sounds simple, right?
Well, is becoming a fitness influencer as easy as Anderson, who has over 10 years in fitness, put it? Here is what we know.
Whether you’re a fitness instructor or one who loves to keep fit, there are 5 things you need to do to break into the fitness-influencing industry. These strategies are what anyone can replicate. These strategies are what we have observed professional fitness influencers do for years.
Everyone, especially those trying to lose weight, loves a fitness instructor; they want someone who can motivate them to work out, eat right, and lose some pounds. How do you build an audience and develop influence if this is you?
How to Start a Career as a Fitness Influencer
Narrow your Niche as a Fitness Influencer
You have chosen your niche—fitness influencer. The fitness industry is a crowded space, from general body workouts to keep fit, to bodybuilding, from pregnancy work out to losing belly fat. Because of the high number of competitions, one of the best ways to stand out and get more clients in this overly-competitive industry is by niching down.
What is the benefit of niching down, exactly?
There are two important benefits of niching down as a fitness influence. Niching down helps you to reduce your competition and be seen as an expert. Let’s expand on them, shall we?
Reduces your Competition
There is less competition when you narrow down your niche. Narrowing down your niche will help you reduce your competition by speaking to specific people. This is how you build an audience. Start by targeting a small number of people, let’s say, women who are trying hard to lose some baby weight or lose belly fat.
With a small audience, you will stand out in the crowd.
Become an Expert
Once you market to target people, people with shared needs, characteristics and preferences, you become a go-to expert.
There are hundreds of fitness influencers in your location. They spend money and time marketing to potential consumers as a fitness coach, personal trainer, etc.; how many of these ones do you think are perceived as an expert? A few.
With the hundreds that exist, be the one: the expert people can turn to for a particular need. For instance, a woman with Diastasis recti, a condition where the ab muscles separate due to extreme pressure in the abdominal wall wants to have a flat tummy, can you be the go-to expert? The Diastasis recti expert? An overweight man who has health challenges wants to be fit again. Can you lend your speciality to this area? Perhaps you have a history; you were once overweight and are now in shape. You can use your personal story to draw the attention of your target consumers. Many have used this personal-story method to attract clients; you too can.
Perhaps you can start by doing a little self-reflection and finding out the specific group of people you like working with most. Ask yourself questions like:
What is my area of specialization?
Am I passionate about building a community in this area?
Do I have a network of prospects in this market?
Do I have specialized knowledge that can help my clients attend their goals?
If you can honestly answer these questions, you’ll have a much better understanding as to whether or not the niche you choose is right for you.
Remember, knowing a bit of information about a topic doesn’t make you an expert. A fitness influencer promotes an active and healthy lifestyle on any social media platform and is trusted by fitness consumers.
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Ensure that the niche you choose is something you know so well. If your niche is to help pregnant women stay in shape/ fit or help women who have just delivered babies burn baby fat fast like the Kardashians celebrity trainers, make sure it is something you have done.
To gain people’s trust and win them over, you can start by sharing your before and after photos of how you achieved your dream body after giving birth to several children and share tips on staying healthy. Lead them by the hands, and let whomever you want to influence see you as an expert.
Fitness sub-niche ideas
The weight loss fitness niche is further narrowed down to:
- Yoga for men over 40.
- Weight lifting for vegans.
- Cardio for people with specific health conditions or disabilities.
- Specific types of diets.
The health of a particular body part.
Here are a few sub-niche for this niche
- Exercises for people who have suffered a stroke
- Exercises for women who just gave birth
- Exercises for people with spine injuries or
- Exercises for people with arthritis,
Selling workout equipment
You can create a website and start selling fitness equipment with a focused niche. Write articles and recommend them to a target audience: clients in dire need of fitness equipment.
Here’s a thing: As you narrow your niche to a narrower niche, people can easily identify with you, and in the future, if you want to expand to a broader niche, you can. Choosing to niche down and solve a specific need for a small group of people will give you the opportunity to establish a sustainable business in a non-competitive market.
Build an Audience
Once you’ve decided on your niche, build an audience. The big question is: How do you build a real audience? Perhaps you are a fitness instructor in a small gym or a person who likes to work out; if you want to become a fitness influencer, you need to build an audience beyond the four walls of the gym you work. Create social media channels and take off from there.
Social media is a vital influential tool. Every business is leveraging social media to reach a wide audience, people beyond their demography. As a fitness influencer, you should be aware of the power of social media.
Post content every day; let me see you are the fitness enthusiast and expert that you are. Be consistent; consistency will help you brand yourself and build trust with your followers. Post content daily, and let people belong to your post.
I recommend that you take advantage of social media pages like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Instagram, especially, enables creators the opportunity to make money while doing what they love. You will build a great number of followers in a short time if you are consistent.
Developing influencing skills is an important factor if you must succeed as a fitness influence. One online article says that beyond the fitness space, developing personal effectiveness and influencing skills in the workplace has become more important because the existing hierarchies in the corporate world are diminishing.
Influencing others is key for anyone who wants to take fitness as a career. If you want to be able to move the crowd with your voice and convince people to not just follow you but do what you tell them, you need to develop strong influencing skills.
Here are 10 proven ways to develop influencing skills through Social Media
Share your personal story.
If you want to influence people as a fitness influencer, you have to tell your own fitness story. Provide information on your journey to becoming fit. According to research, fitness influencers who share their real-life stories or experiences with their clients influence people ten times more than those who don’t.
You can show your before and after photos and videos and share stories of your real-life experiences. Let people see you as someone they can relate to when they view your post. Do not give them any reason to doubt your authenticity or expertise. Do not appear like a fictional character without any feelings or emotions or; be natural.
Posting regularly is a must for any fitness influencer. As I mentioned earlier, consistency will help you build trust in your followers. More importantly, there is a need to plan before you post.
Share workout tips and industry news
You can share your tips on how to do some workout sessions, ways to avoid injury during a workout, a beginner’s guide to working out, food to eat and avoid and other worthy items relevant and understandable for your audience, including the latest industry news.
Treat your followers like friends.
Your followers want to connect with you. They want to feel that they know you; engage with them. Show them your personality and engage with them in a natural way. Ask them questions from time to time, and answer your audience’s questions. Answering questions makes you appear like an expert before your audience. So, there is a need to do adequate research. In addition, engage your followers by going Live on IG.
Acknowledge your followers
Give shout outs to existing followers, especially those who always engage with your content through likes or comments; thank them for their constant support, and reward them with giveaways. Giveaways are ways to attract potential followers. Do regular giveaways if you can afford them. This little appreciation can have a big impact on productivity.
Collaborate with other Fitness Influencers
Collaboration can go a long way in influencing. Contact other influencers in your niche and build rapport. Show them support, share their content, mention them in your posts and network with them to gain visibility. However, don’t sound desperate; grow your followers and make sure you have something to offer them.
Remember that you are just starting. Not everyone will want to collaborate with you, an upcoming fitness influencer. They might not respond to your messages. It’s like blogging. When a new blogger wants to build backlinks and reaches out to already established bloggers requesting to guest blog, she usually receives no response. Nevertheless, with consistency and hard work, she becomes someone that is sort after.
If you can influence the people in your chosen niche, you will grow your credibility and make less effort in chasing them while you grow your income. Look at other fitness influencers; what are they doing to grow that number of following. These are what they are doing. It’s their influencing power.
Use the best fitness hashtags for visibility.
Always ensure that you use hashtags for every post you publish on your social media handles. Pick the most popular fitness hashtags in your niche to increase the visibility of your post. You never know when you might entice other Instagrammers who follow such hashtags to follow you.
Also, you can create your branded hashtags for more awareness. You will be doing your brand a lot of good if you do. this is the most important thing you can do for your brand. Branded hashtags contain the name of your brand. As a fitness influencer, branded hashtags help increase your presence on social media.
Host contests and do giveaways
Create a workout challenge, ask your followers to do the challenge, and post videos of themselves doing the challenge. They should tag you and use your branded hashtags. Encourage them by doing giveaways if you can afford them. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. You could award the post with the highest engagements with a price.
This method will help you influence your followers. They will help you grow your page. This could be your influencing power.
Geotag your location
Utilize the geolocation tag. Influence other people in your locality by geotagging your location. Research shows that Instagram posts with geolocation tagging receive 79% more engagement than those without geotags.
Geotagging can help you to boost discoverability. You can read more on how geolocation tags can help you build trust and grow your followers.
Reach out to brands for sponsorship
Now, let’s talk about how we can reach out to brands for sponsorship or other advertisement opportunities. Shall we?
Do not be afraid of reaching out. Even well-known influencers (fitness) reach out to brands. If you have an encouraging number of followers with a high engagement rate, you can approach brands with which you would like to partner. What is the whole essence of influencing if you cannot make money from it?
So, how about making a list of your favourite fitness brands (equipment, health supplements, clothing lines or gyms), buying their products and creating content around them. Tag them in each post. (do not forget to follow them and engage with their posts) There is a high chance that the more engagement and content you post, the more likely you’ll get recognized by the social media manager of that brand or perhaps another brand.
How to Be a Fitness Influencer: The Bottom Line
Influencing is hard work. It takes a lot of effort and patience before you start noticing results. However, if you can follow these strategies judiciously, you’ll be surprised at how quick you will develop influence in a short time.