October 19, 2021
So you’re a budding fitness influencer looking to boost the engagement rate in your audience of fitness enthusiasts, and you want to know more about how top fitness influencers got to where they are so that you can mirror their success.
Of course, a cursory search online will show you that there are many forms that fitness influencer marketing can take.
How are you supposed to find the connections that will help you become a top fitness influencer yourself?
Well dear reader, today you’re in luck.
If you’ve got time for a quick 5-to-10-min. read, we can take a look at fitness influencer marketing campaigns across the fitness industry.
Note: If you need help with your social media influencer marketing, try System2. We are a turn-key solution to monetize your large audience. We show influencers how to make money. From website creation, client onboarding, 1-to-1 fitness software, and more. Book a call with us today and see if we can help you scale your business.
In order to make the most of your career path as a fitness influencer, first you need to know the competition.
That means understanding who the leading fitness brands are in your niche and how they leveraged their marketing campaign strategy to get their first million followers and beyond.
Let’s check out some examples of what that process looks like and how we can learn from it to create your fitness marketing strategy.
A search for online influencer campaigns will yield a huge range of results, but many of them can be broken down into a few key categories.
These include leading health and fitness businesses that are a global phenomenon with unstoppable clout behind their personal training business names, and celebrity influencers who got where they are now with some extra help from an existing following from their previous life before becoming a fitness influencer.
These are the household names, the fitness brands that nearly everyone knows, whether those people are a part of the fitness industry or not.
At first glance it might actually seem like you have very little to learn from these brands.
After all, their apparent business model appears to consist of things that you have no doubt already tried doing that just don’t seem to be working for you.
They post Facebook or fitness Instagram content with general health and fitness tips.
They peddle home workout services, and apps to track fitness goals.
They sell class videos with sports training routines.
They create books to teach readers about nutrition and how it relates to body health.
All of these things sound like good ideas at face value, but doing the same thing hasn’t gotten you anywhere.
These big brands have a secret weapon that you don’t have.
An already established community.
For brands of this size, one million followers is a milestone so far in the past that there’s no one still working at the business that remembers it.
A world-renowned fitness brand can grow off of the same kinds of effort that leave you stagnating because their audience will eat up everything they post.
The concept of the world-renowned fitness brand is a case study on the power of momentum in business and marketing strategy.
Growing your audience might seem incredibly daunting now when you don’t have much of a social media presence and your brand image isn’t well known in the community yet.
However, once you start to get things rolling, you’ll find that it only gets easier the further you go along.
Eventually, you have the potential to reach a point where you can do just about whatever you want and your audience will practically grow on its own, more and more followers pouring in to see your online content, your brand image becoming more and more ubiquitous in the industry with little more than the passage of time.
In the meantime, however, you will have to struggle to create campaigns that spread your brand image across a multitude of platforms and draw in followers little by little.
Let’s check out other types of existing model types of fitness influencers in the industry.
Lots of middle-grade celebrities supplement their marketing strategies by becoming fitness influencers as part of their wide-ranging brand image.
Most of these types of fitness influencers will get a head start with a few million followers from their existing viewership on other forms of media.
Their Instagram and Twitter posts showing off their yoga body will likely be reposted by their followers more times than your own followers will even see your posts of a similar type.
Here are a few examples of celebrity fitness influencers, along with a quick snapshot of their individual strategies for marketing themselves.
Michelle Lewin is a female model turned fitness influencer and personal trainer.
With over 14 million people following her on Instagram, she is a prime example of the marvels that a single social media platform can do for your brand and your followers.
Beginning in 2014, Lewin started out on Instagram just making posts of what her workouts had done for her body. Instagram followers saw that she had achieved results far beyond most people’s fitness goals, and they asked her for insights into her training routine.
So she started making videos and various posts detailing her workouts, and before long her brand quickly evolved to the point that she was more than a model – she quickly became one of the leading fitness influencers by virtue of her commitment to her training and the resulting model body she built for herself.
Lewin is an example of an individual for whom content creation and influencer marketing campaign were originally one and the same, as her followers multiplied by spreading word of mouth throughout Instagram.
Nowadays she still makes many of the same workout videos and similar posts but also supplements her influencer marketing by offering services as a personal trainer.
People who turn to her for training then reinforce her influencer marketing by being featured in posts showing their progress.
Massy Arias is a personal trainer who has advanced to be among the leading celebrity fitness influencers.
Though she got her start as a humble sports trainer, she has channeled social media influencer marketing to direct traffic to her own brand platform on her website and sell her workout programs and lifestyle and nutrition content.
Rather than spending all her time making content for social media, she sticks to building her own brand on her own website platform, then she puts out a new type of influencer marketing campaign on social media when she’s got lots of new workout content to sell to her following.
Kayla Itsines is a personal trainer and one of the leading celebrity fitness influencers.
Much like Arias, Itsines focuses on producing workout content and using campaign efforts on social media to bring buyers for her programs.
An advantage Itsines has, however, is that she is part of a team of fitness influencers.
As a result, she has the assistance of other fitness influencers like herself to help with campaign management, lead generation, and overall social media presence.
These advantages give her more leverage to focus on maintaining her lifestyle, nutrition, and gym routine to continue to serve as a suitable model for her fitness influencer enterprise.
Having examined a few examples of existing influencers in the field, let’s examine a couple of things you might do to help bridge the gap between you and them.
So what do these big influencers have that you don’t have, and how can you make up the difference?
Well, for a start they have their own platforms.
Having your own custom branded website as a platform for your endeavors as an influencer is a major advantage.
You can’t just post videos of gym workouts on youtube and realistically expect to gather a following in any reasonable period of time that way, after all.
You need to develop a relationship with your community, get your people talking about you from new york to all around the world.
The most efficient way to do that is to have one centralized place where all of your people can go to see all of your wellness lifestyle content in one place.
Beyond that, another major thing they have that you don’t is momentum.
Being an influencer is no exception to this rule.
If you do things the hard way, making content and propagating your materials yourself through only the means available to you alone, it might take years before you see real results.
In the end, if you want to influence a lot of people, you must first influence the right people.
All business is about the right connections, and the best influencers know this.
If you want to get big, you have to start by proving your worth to people who have a bigger presence than you.
Attend sports events, travel to special gym locations, or even just try something as simple as sending a direct message to another influencer.
Show them that you have value to offer as a fitness influencer in your own right, and you might be able to convince them to give you a shout-out on their social media channels.
Or, even better, you might get the chance to do a collaboration and have their audience mix and overlap with yours.
Do this enough times and get yourself out in front of enough big names and eventually, people will start to take notice of you as an influencer in your own right.
Sometimes, especially when you’re just starting out, it can seem like there’s no right answer.
Nobody sees any value in anything you do, and the algorithms that decide which content gets shown to people never grace you with their favor.
Worse, you try to talk to people for advice and you get back nothing useful if you’re lucky, or nothing at all if you’re not.
In spite of what your subconscious might be telling you, such a scenario is not caused to give up hope.
However, if all of your better efforts yield no results for a long enough period of time, you might eventually have to turn to the great equalizer: money. Monetizing your Instagram fitness account or Facebook audience is the next step.
For the right price, professionals with the skills to help you market yourself as an influencer might be convinced to do so after all.
Of course, some people will look down on you if they find out you hired marketing specialists to generate a social media presence for yourself as an influencer.
Some might even undercut the value of your own work by saying that you didn’t earn it if you need to hire help.
The truth is, however, that in these trying times it is sometimes necessary to grease the wheels of the social machine.
If you don’t yet have the influence to offer value to people in a more nebulous way, the up-front solution of cash in hand is always very convincing.
We hope that this is a quick 5-to-10-min. read has left you with some of the information you need to begin to build your fitness influencer lifestyle.
Important takeaways include the vital necessity for your own website for people to find you at (read our article on how to create a website for a fitness influencer), and the power of connecting with other influencers by any means necessary to leverage their social credit for your own benefit.
Written by: Nathan Dresser