How to Use Instagram as a Fitness Coach or Instructor (spin, yoga, TRX, pilates etc!)
If you’re a fitness trainer or coach and you are required to source your own clients, or you get paid on a commission based on the amount of people in the class then I absolutely believe that a strong Instagram presence will help you fill those seats and bump up the paycheque, sounds like a win win right?
Full disclosure, while I used to coach at a circuit training gym I’m not a certified instructor. I am however, certified in Instagram..okay I’m not but basically I know my stuff and I love a good sweat sesh. I digress. Let’s just get to the tips..
What to Post As A Fitness Coach
The most important thing you can do when approaching your Instagram posting strategy is to keep in mind that Instagram is a platform to serve and connect with others. We can serve others by creating content that tells stories, gives value or entertains. We connect with others by engaging on other accounts we like, starting conversations and respond to our own comments.
When it comes to posting a strategy that never wins is only posting when you have something to sell. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone post on their stories only when they are announcing their next round of bootcamps or their weekly class line up. It’s important to find a balance between your sales or pitching posts and your value giving content, AND a balance between your fitness content and your lifestyle content. I recommend every time that you build your account on the basis of a lifestyle brand where the fitness component is a KEY theme BUT not your only theme.
You are a personal brand and you want to intertwine all aspects of your life into that brand. Think about the other ways your spend your time, these topics might include your partner, your pets, your friends, or something thats more of a hobby like playing the guitar, cooking, tennis (or another form of activity that you don’t necessary teach), and you can also have smaller reoccuring themes like coffee, or wine, or smoothies, or overnight oats, or french fries - whatever you’re into. People loooove to see what you’re up to outside of the obvious work place stuff, trust me.
If you don’t feel comfortable posting anything outside of fitness that’s fine! I think you should only share what you feel comfortable sharing however, I can promise you your audience will always appreciate vulnerability and from my experience those who use Instagram to create a more well rounded personal brand see more success!
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing anything outside of your fitness offerings maybe your solution then is to create two different accounts, let’s talk about that..
Should I Make A New Account for My Coaching?
My vote on this is no. I understand that you might feel like you are annoying people with your coaching content on your personal page however like we discussed before it’s important to create and share a blend of content that shares your entire lifestyle, so if you create a separate page and it’s only about fitness/spin/yoga/pilates/etc. then there are very few reasons to follow you. Someone would most likely only follow you if they work with you, or if they are thinking about it, but that cuts out anyone that isn’t local to you. Ouch. Of course you will have people who follow that really love fitness content, but I still think you are limiting yourself.
If you are incredibly attached to your personal account and want to keep it private and only interact with friends and family on that account that is the scenario when I think you should have a separate account. So in that scenario you have a private personal account and then your “fitness” account - but as always you want to share, educate and story tell about more than just your coaching.
Also keep in mind that managing 1 account is enough work, let alone two! I’ve seen it so many times where someone starts a separate account and then their original account ends up falling to the wayside and I am regrettably one of those people! In hindsight it’s much easier to start with the audience you already have and transition your content versus starting a brand new page with zero posts and zero followers. Don’t worry about losing some of your followers who don’t want to see your fitness content. Fitness is a huge part of your life and if they don’t want to see it then that’s their decision. Plus, since you are going to be posting different lifestyle content and not just constantly trying to sell to your audience they should still have a reason to stick around even if it’s because of your shared love for donuts and not your shared love for spin class.
Now I want to touch quick on…
How to Grow Your Personal Brand
So whether you have decided to transition your personal page to be a little more intentional and work focused or you already bit the bullet and started from scratch there are some easy strategies to get your page on the up and up.
First, post consistently. Consistency is so SO key when it comes to Instagram. You want to post at the same frequency each week and about the same things over and over and over. It’s impossible to create awareness by mentioning something once so, be consistent. If you’re going to try out the IGTV side of things, be consistent, if you’re going to try posting weekly workouts or food diaries, be consistent. It takes time for things to build momentum so I’d give any strategy a solid 4-6 week go before changing direction.
Second - Make sure your selling content is diluted by other fun, entertaining or value giving content.
Third - Show up on stories. Stories are so simple and fun! My golden rule is to have a story live at all times and better yet one of you talking to the camera!
Fourth - Use your instagram bio as a place to clearly explain what you do. I’d avoid actually linking the gym or studio that you work at because then you are immediately giving someone a place to click that will take them OFF your page which is not what we want. Instead you can type the name of the gym or studio without specifically creating the @mention clickable link.
And Fifth - Give value. Like I mentioned you can give value by teaching something about your craft, providing entertainment or motivation or story telling.
Alright fit kids those are your Instagram tips and actions steps! I also created a free download with 1 month of post ideas for your fitness based personal brand! Get at it at johhhanna.com/fitnessIG
If you read this far I’d love for you to pin one of the images below! You’d be helping to spread the good word! You’re the best. Byeeee.