How to Start a Bomb Fitness Instagram Account (With Examples)
If you've been thinking about starting a fitness Instagram account, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to your success and failure.
Famous fitness influencers like Sjana Elise Earp and Simeon Panda have worked hard to perfect their brand, photography skills, and physiques, allowing them to gain millions of Instagram followers over the years.
But even if you're starting from zero, there’s no time like the present to start building your fitness Instagram account!
Today I'll be showing you step by step how to start a bomb fitness Instagram account (with examples).
1. What are Your Instagram Goals and Objectives?
Before you start creating content, you’ll need to decide what you want to accomplish with your Instagram account. Go beyond the follower count, and determine the type of impact or incentives you want in the long run.
Think of your Instagram goals like your fitness goals, once you know where you're going, you'll be able to find the activities to get you there over time.
Here are some goals you should consider for your fitness Instagram account:
Mission or Purpose: Sharing your fitness journey to inspire and help others can be your main goal. Maybe at one point, weight loss seemed impossible for you, but you started working out and planning your meals. Who knows how many people your story can inspire. Fitness Insta-Mom Christy Gomez’s main goal is to help moms like herself gain confidence back after childbirth through quick and healthy meal plans and workouts.
Endorsement & Sponsorship If you're an athlete looking for endorsement, you can use your Instagram page to get noticed by top brands. Nike sponsors Ji So-Yun, a female footballer with only 13,000 followers. Imagine what you can do once you start growing your fitness Instagram following.
Clients: As a personal trainer Instagram is a great platform to gain credibility and attract new clients. Fitness influencer Sara Vowell uses her Instagram profile to endorse her meal plans and online training program.
Ecommerce:With Instagram shopping features you can sell fitness products like supplements and athleisure wear with your fitness account.
2. Fill Out Your Instagram Account
Once you've created your Instagram profile, it's time to switch to a business account. This gives you access to features your personal account will lack, like analytics, Instagram ads, and insights to help you to reach your Instagram goals.
Three Things Every Instagram Business Account Should Have
Profile picture: Use a professional logo or head shot for your profile. The ideal Instagram profile picture size is 180 x 180 pixels. But Instagram profile photos must be at least a minimum size of 110 x 110 pixels. Try to avoid making your photo look too filtered.
Bio: Your Instagram bio is like a mini trailer, showing people who you are and what kind of content they can expect from you. Choose your words wisely. For tips on how to create the perfect Instagram bio, check out 10 Tips to Create the Perfect Instagram Bio to Attract a Bigger Audience.
Link: If you have a website or blog, let your followers know by adding it to your profile. If you don't, you can share content, ebooks, or Youtube videos.
3.Define Your Ideal Followers & Fitness Niche
Think about the type of person you want following you. That’s who were creating content for on a daily basis.
Defining your ideal follower is also known as creating a buyer persona. Not to get too technical, but when you know exactly who you want to attract to your Instagram page, you'll be able to create specific content that they'll be sure to love.
For example, if you're a fitness influencer who wants to help people lose weight from dancing, then your ideal follower is someone who loves dancing and music. Create fitness videos using dance moves to the latest songs.
Once you know who your ideal follower is then you have to decide what your niche in fitness should zone in on Instagram.
Stick to your niche, whether it be yoga, kickboxing, weight training, or even martial arts.
A niche is what brands use to decide if an influencer is perfect for them. For example, Aria Crescendo is a yoga teacher, and mom and her content say it all. It's no surprise that most of her audience are mom's who love yoga and her brand sponsor is a yoga clothing line.
4. Use High-Quality Images & Videos
Instagram is a highly visual social media platform. You'll need to post high-quality fitness images or videos on your page. This could be with a camera or your phone.
Be sure to have your face in the photo, photos with faces get 38% more likes according to Sprout Social, so smile for the camera and increase your engagement.
The key to good photos is quality lighting. At times it can be hard to find good light in the gym but try and find a spot that does you justice. You can also invest in lightboxes, GoPros or a phone ring light, to help you capture images better single-handedly.
5. Master Your Instagram Caption
When it comes to captions, they can either be short and concise or long and detailed, and with Instagram's word limit of 2,200, you can have a lot to say.
Some people keep captions short and snappy so that people can skim through and quickly enjoy the message. Other fitness influencers opt for longer, 'mini blog posts' with more detail broken up by space and a few emojis.
The choice is yours, but be sure to add a clear call to action (CTA), a call to action is a phrase that guides the reader to complete an action. Your CTA can be "click the link in the bio," or as simple as "comment below."
CTA's help to encourage engagement, and the more engagement your post gets, the more people will follow your account.
6. Show Off Your Workout Routine on Instagram
One of the biggest mistakes some fitness accounts make: posting more about being fit rather than showing followers how to get fit.
Share your workout routines on Instagram for followers to try. People aren't just following because of your looks, they want to see the work that goes on behind your success.
Fitness Instagrammer Kayla Itsines has one million followers and she always makes time to post work out routines and videos. You should be able to find the time as well.
7. Engage With Your Followers
Whether it's 100 or 10,000 followers, engagement means much more to you than it does for them.
When you engage with followers, it helps to show that you're active, and you care about what your followers have to say. Plus 44% of people think that a brand's conversations (including direct messaging or in response to a comment posted) is more persuasive than what the brand has to say in ads.
Guess, what? You never know when you might respond to the right person who will reach out for a partnership. Even if you can't respond to all the comments, you can like the comments so followers know that you see them.
8. Share Easy to Follow Meal Plans & Prep
Naturally, you should add a few meal plans, protein products, and meal prep to encourage your followers to keep a healthy diet along with your fitness tips.
If you don't want to create the content yourself, you can repost from meal prep or health food pages like:
9. Share Fun Day-to-Day Activities
Give followers a peek of what you do when you're not working out or at the gym. It adds a human element to your brand and makes you look relatable.
Fitness Influencer Katerina Kountouris shares her day to day as a host a local tv show, going to her favorite food spots, and events she attends as an influencer. This type of content shows that you're marketable, and you can manage your life outside of fitness.
Try to keep a healthy balance with fitness and personal content. You'll have to decide at your discretion, but I usually find that a 30:70 ratio (personal to fitness) works well.
10. Go Live on Instagram
Going live on Instagram will make your account stand out. Every time you go on Live, there's a notification that's sent to your followers that you're broadcasting, making them feel FOMO (the fear of missing out) to go check out your account.
Fitness Influencer Taylor Hill goes live during her workouts to show her fans how it's done.
At the end of your Instagram live, save it to your story and add fitness hashtags, stickers so that Instagram users that follow these hashtags can discover your content.
11. Network With Other Fitness Influencers
Reach out to fitness influencers in your niche and collaborate on content. With your combined audience, you'll increase the chance of getting more followers for each other.
You can collaborate and post pictures or videos on:
- Fun workout routines
- A giveaway
- Behind the scenes
- Having fun and trying new things together
Here are some things you should keep in mind before reaching out to collaborate:
You should look for someone who has great content or a massive following. Likewise, your account should be up to par with the influencer you want to collaborate with on Instagram.
Choose someone who compliments your niche, don't choose someone solely because of their follower count. Ask yourself, does this person’s message align with my own?
Don't put all your eggs in one basket, reach out to multiple fitness influencers, you can never have too many collaborations.
12. Host a Video Series on IGTV
Each Instagram account can create their own IGTV "channel," which is where all your IGTV videos will live (separate from your regular Instagram bio + Instagram story highlights).
Treat your IGTV channel like a YouTube channel, because it is, Instagram made IGTV to compete against the video giant. The tips that can help to grow your Youtube channels can be used for your IGTV channel.
Fitness IGTV Example: Morgan Rose and Steve Cook
13. Host a Contest or Giveaway
Hosting a giveaway is a quick way to grow your Instagram followers and brand awareness.
Anyone can host a giveaway, no experience, or 10k followers needed. Once you find a giveaway formula that suits your audience, you can host a giveaway as often as you'd like. Rinse + repeat = grow.
Here are four things you need to host a successful Instagram giveaway:
Choose a prize that fits your niche. The prize you choose should be something your followers are interested in winning. For example, if you're a yoga fitness instructor, then your prize should reflect that; yoga mats, incense, or a yoga retreat!
Have a start and end date for your giveaway. This gives you time to monitor or promote your giveaway and lets your contestants know how much time they have to enter.
Follow Instagram Giveaway Rules when you're hosting your giveaway. This protects you from any legal complications down the road.
Write clear guidelines on how to enter. You want to make sure your instructions are foolproof to help increase your giveaway entries.
Need some inspiration for your Instagram Contest. Here are 10 Amazing Instagram Contest Examples (Critiqued)
14. Always Share Your Story
Your fitness journey and personal story speaks volumes about who you are and why your fitness Instagram account differs from the rest. Instagram was initially made to connect with people around the world, so connect.
If you take a look at the most popular fitness influencers on Instagram, there’s always a post dedicated to sharing their fitness story; who they are, and how far they've come. It allows you to connect with followers on a deeper level. That's apart of your brand.
Health Coach Shannon Eng shares her fitness journey in a blog form caption to motivate her followers and clients.
15. Use the Best Fitness Hashtags In Your Post
Hashtags help to make your post more discoverable to people who don’t follow your Instagram account.
You can place hashtags in your Instagram post:
You can place hashtags in your profile bio:
You can place hashtags in your Instagram Story:
You'll have to pick the most popular fitness hashtags to improve the visibility of your post, here's a list of the best fitness hashtags for your niche to use for your next post.
Motivation Hashtags: FitnessGoals, FitnessMotivation, Fitspo, YouCanDoIt GoalSetting, NoExcuses, BodyGoals, GymMotivation WeightLossMotivation, JustDoIt, FindYourStrong, GetFit
Workout and Gym Hashtags: GymLife, Workout, LegDay, ChestDay, TrainHard, Gains, Toning, Squats, AbWorkout, Cardio, GirlsWhoLift, WeightTraining
Healthy Eating and Weight Loss Hashtags: Health, EatClean, HealthyFood, HealthyEating, HealthyLifestyle, Nutrition, CleanEating, MealPrep, FitFood, Vegan, MuscleFood
Running Hashtags: Running, RunnersOfInstagram, RunningMotivation, MarathonTraining, SeenOnMyRun, TrailRunning, CrossCountry, InstaRunners, Cardio, RunnerLife, RunningTips
Bodybuilding Hashtags: bodybuilding, bodybuilder, gains, muscle, shredded, BodybuildingMotivation, BodyTransformation, FitFreak, BodybuilderLifestyle, PowerLifting, SwoleLife, CleanBulk
Yoga Hashtags: YogaLife, Yogi, Balance, BeginnerYoga, DailyPractice, Namaste, Flexibility, InstaYoga, YogaLifestyle, Asana, Vinyasa
Crossfit Hashtags: crossfit, crossfitter, CrossfitGames, CrossfitCommunity, CrossTrain, CrossFitFamily, CrossFitLife, HIIT
Sports Hashtags: Sports, Sportsmanship, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Lacrosse, Football, Volleyball, Softball, FieldHockey, Hockey, Team, TeamPlayer, GetInTheGame, JustDoIt
16. Reach Out Brands For Collaborations
There are thousands of influencers on Instagram who want to be noticed by fitness brands, so you'll have to take a more active approach.
A rookie mistake is waiting for a brand to reach out to you when expert influencers do quite the opposite. They reach out to brands!
Make a list of your favorite fitness brands (clothing line, equipment, health supplements, locations, or events) and buy their products and create content around them (don't forget to tag the brand). The more engagement and content you post, the more likely you'll get recognized by the social media manager of that brand or another.
Check out Hubspot's guide on How to Get Sponsored on Instagram (Even if You Currently Have 0 Followers).
17. Offer a Discount or Sale
Everyone loves discounts, especially when it's for a brand that their favorite fitness influencer swears by. Create a buzz with an exclusive discount from your eCommerce store or a brand you're collaborating with as a fitness influencer.
In your post talk a bit about why you love the brand and slip your discount code at the end, take a look at fitness influencer Ryan Tremaine Klarenbach's post with his collab with Feel OKI beverages.
18. Network at a Fitness or Challenge Event
Get out of the house or the gym and attend local fitness events or challenges. This will help you to do three things:
- You can network with your local fitness community, and with find influencers you can work with in the future.
- Get fresh new content to post on Instagram from the event
- Connect with gym or brand owners at events for possible sponsorships or to become a brand ambassador.
Abhish Desai posted about himself as well as the group he met at a bear crawl challenge.
Follow the Best Instagram Fitness Accounts
6. Don Saladino
7. Emily Skye
9. Massy Arias
Here are 18 ways to start a bomb fitness Instagram account:
- What are Your Instagram Goals and Objectives
- Fill Out Your Instagram Account
- Define Your Ideal Followers & Fitness Niche
- Use High-Quality Images & Videos
- Master Your Caption
- Show Off Your Workout Routine
- Engage With Your Followers
- Share Easy to Follow Meal Plans & Prep
- Share Fun Day-to-Day Activities
- Go Live on IG
- Network With Other Fitness Influencers
- Host a Video Series on IGTV
- Host a Contest or Giveaway
- Always Share Your Story
- Use the Best Fitness Hashtags In Your Post
- Reach Out Brands For Collaborations
- Offer a Discount or Sale
- Network at a Fitness or Challenge Event
Bonus: Follow the Best Instagram Fitness Accounts