November 3, 2021
Whether you have an interest in fitness or not, you most likely have come across the famous term “fitness influencer”. With so much buzz around the term, it can be hard to resist the idea of becoming a fitness influencer.
But what exactly is a fitness influencer? Let’s take some time to define the term and go over some of the best platforms for fitness influencers. We will also list the top 3 ways to make money as an influencer in the fitness business.
A fitness influencer is someone who inspires or guides the actions of others in social media fitness circles. They are liked and trusted by the fitness industry consumers, so their opinions carry a lot of weight. By sharing their knowledge, expertise, lifestyle, as well as personal experiences regarding health and fitness, they build a reputation that results in large followings of fitness enthusiasts. Some have created a following so big, they are able to develop fitness businesses.
Fitness influencers are often highly engaged with their audience and have a reputation of being experts in their niche. This makes them great social relationship assets with the power to affect others’ purchasing decisions. Brands love to work with fitness influencers because they can develop diet, exercise, and training trends. Also, they are trustworthy enough to quickly get their followers to buy the products they are using.
You can find top fitness influencers across all social media platforms, given the different audiences and reach of each. Let’s review the main platforms for influencers and why you should start using them to grow your fitness business.
Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok are among the best social media platforms to leverage fitness influencers. Here’s more detail on why.
This is the go-to platform if you want to become a fitness influencer. The market for Instagram fitness influencers is highly developed compared to other social media platforms, and you don’t necessarily have to create videos to be noticed. Instagram supports many content formats such as stories, IGTV (read our guide to monetize Instagram IGTV), posts, live videos, etc.
Because of its versatility, Instagram is the best option for those who are just getting started and want to make a name in the fitness industry. It allows you to reach a large and targeted audience. By only sharing your healthy lifestyle, wellness tips, diet, and exercise habits, you will start seeing your follower base grow.
YouTube is the second most used social media platform worldwide, with over 2.2 billion active users. It has often been named the best platform for influencers looking to make money.
Video posts are the most engaging type of content, which is probably why the average pay per promotional post is $20 for every 1,000 subscribers. Although you can upload videos to many other social networks, they are usually short clips and don’t leave a lot of room for in-depth product promotion.
YouTube fitness influencers can take advantage of these long-format videos to share their home workout routine, yoga sessions, exercise demonstrations, and even guided meditations.
The social media platform TikTok was launched in 2016, and ever since, it has seen impressive growth gaining 730 million users in the next four years. This has turned it into a perfect target for influencers looking to grow their media presence and connect with new people.
As we stated before, video content is proven to generate more engagement, and this platform features short-form videos that go from 15 seconds to 3 minutes. This will make it easier for you to create content compared to a YouTube channel.
TikTok is strongly oriented to youngsters, with the largest group of people on it aged between 16 to 24. If your fitness niche speaks to a young audience, this is your platform.
Ultimately, the best influencer strategy is to have a presence across multiple social media. Of course, you decide where you want to start and work your way around to become a fitness influencer.
Being an influencer is a very broad term. You can be a social media influencer with 1M or 1K followers alike. Does that mean anyone can become a fitness influencer? In theory, yes. With enough discipline and commitment, anyone can be an influencer in any industry.
However, you must keep in mind; First, as a fitness influencer, people will follow and trust your advice. You must have a certain level of expertise or knowledge on fitness, health, and wellness-related topics.
Second, the health and fitness industry has become one of the most powerful across social media, and fitness influencers are more popular now than ever. However, there is a lot of competition, so you will have to work hard to gain an audience large enough to earn your influencer title.
But what is the magic number? How many followers are enough to be a fitness influencer? Let’s take a look at the 4 types of influencers and how large their audiences are.
Social media influencers are divided into 4 groups depending on their follower count; Nano, micro, macro, and mega-influencers. Here’s more detail on each of them.
Nano-influencers can have as little as 1k followers and up to 10k. Their audience is typically highly engaged and they are very vocal advocates of the products and brands they love. Because they have fewer followers, they can take the time to engage and cultivate relationships with them, and in turn, their audience appreciates their authentic recommendations as if they were coming from a close friend.
They are barely starting in the influencer world, so they are a popular target to small and mid-size businesses who have a limited marketing budget or want to launch/test a product with a new niche.
With a follower base of 10k to 100k, micro-influencers have become the most popular kind of influencers. They are also the most wanted by brands looking for specialized sponsorships. At this level, influencers are very niche-specific and have managed to attract a large audience while still keeping them engaged.
Micro-influencers are at a stage where their followers trust and look forward to their next recommendation. For this reason, established brands looking to generate more focused leads are after this type of influencer.
Check out our list of up-and-coming fitness influencers.
Social media influencers who have between 100k to 1M followers are known as macro-influencers. For the most part, they have developed their audience over several months or years but despite the larger follower base, they usually have a lower engagement rate.
This is often because they have become “social media stars” and they start attracting a broader audience that may no longer be targeted by their specific niche. Regardless, macro-influencers are an excellent marketing option for brands looking to bring awareness to their products and boost their reputation.
Mega influencers have more than 1 million followers, and of course, the audience they attract is very broad. Most mega-influencers are celebrities who became famous offline (think Kim Kardashian or Cristiano Ronaldo) while others have gained their internet celeb status purely from their Instagram career.
Brands with large budgets who are working on expanding brand awareness and want to get their products in front of as many eyes as possible are often looking to work with mega-influencers.
Beware; just because an account has lots of followers doesn’t mean they are social media influencers. Fake influencers are people who gain their followers, comments, or likes in an inorganic way. There are several ways to do it, but one of the most common ones is buying them.
Websites specialized in different platforms (Instagram, TikTok, etc.) offer follower packages like “Get 10,000 REAL followers for $70”. Easy peasy. But what happens next? Accounts end up with thousands of followers (or bots) who couldn’t care less about their content. They might like or comment with an emoji every now and then, but they are not legitimately interested in what you have to say or offer.
Buying followers along with other inorganic ways of getting followers (such as loop giveaways or comment pods) will hurt your reputation as an “influencer” and keep many brands from working with you. It is not the smart thing to do if you want to monetize your fitness account.
This brings us to the next question; how much money can you make if you become a genuine fitness influencer?
From free products or gym memberships to making $37,000 for a sponsored post, the fitness influencer salary and compensations are all over the place. There is a well-known industry standard to charge $10 per post for every 1,000 followers. But this is more accepted once you hit 100,000 followers.
So what about nano and micro-influencers? Instagram accounts with under 10k followers can make an average of $88 per post, while those with up to 100k average $200 per post.
While everybody can decide how much to charge, many of them go for free products at first. Some even hold off on working with brands until they are well positioned and their account has fully bloomed. But what are the ways you can make money as a fitness influencer?
The fitness community is extremely engaged because people are constantly looking for inspiration and advice from real people who are also experts in their niche. Followers mimic fitness influencers’ habits, exercises, use the same products and even dress like them.
Because of this, becoming a fitness influencer means business, and making money is getting easier every time. Let’s go over the top 3 ways to make money as a fitness influencer.
Sponsored content is one of the most popular influencer marketing strategies. This is when a company pays an influencer to promote their service or product on their social media accounts. Influencers can share the product on their Instagram stories, TikTok or Youtube videos, posts on Facebook or blog pages, etc. The charges per post usually depend on how many followers the account has and how engaged their audience is.
Being a brand ambassador is the most desired position in influencer marketing. They are considered a premier group of influencers who have achieved a high level of credibility and power over their audience. In this case, the influencer becomes a long-term supporter of the fitness brand. They promote their association with the company in all their social media accounts and are not paid per post.
Some ambassadors are paid hourly, while some of them get a commission based on sales generated from their posts.
Many fitness influencers on social media started out as personal trainers. They have taken advantage of the huge exposure that comes with being an influencer to turn followers into clients and grow their fitness business. Social media is a very powerful marketing tool that works as a high-scale word-of-mouth strategy.
Don’t be afraid to promote yourself as a personal trainer and showcase your expertise in the fitness industry. Having an online personal training business is a proven way to make money as an influencer. Just check out the top fitness influencers like Simeon Panda or Kayla Itsines. They all offer some kind of training services.
Check out our resource comparing a fitness influencer agency versus System2 to help you monetize your account.
Fitness influencers have a huge impact on their followers, mainly because of how active and engaged they are with them. They have become powerful role models to many, making health and wellness more available. Now, when someone thinks about starting a healthy lifestyle and working out, the first thing that pops into their heads is: look for guidance on social media. And you want to be there when they look for it.
Do you already have something to offer? How about some business support to help you get through to your followers and potential clients? System2 has exactly what you need.
With the help of System2, you can get your own personalized website as well as custom-branded apps for iOS and Android devices. This will give you a professional platform to showcase your services and easily keep in touch with your clients. We also feature onboarding and payment solutions as well as marketing assistance to help you grow your fitness business.
Don’t feel like handling all the admin work that comes with a successful fitness business? Opt in for an account manager and let us take care of it!
Written by: Brenda Hernandez