Welcome back to the starting an online personal training business series! This collection of articles is dedicated to anyone in the business of fitness.

The first 6 articles in this series are going to shed some light on a variety of digital marketing strategies appropriate for a solo personal trainer, a boutique gym, or an online gym.

If you’ve been following this series, you’ve taken a good look at your website. You’ve tweaked it so your messaging, visuals, and workout plans are on-point.

You’ve also taken your customer’s entire life into consideration and thought about how to incorporate meal planning and diet into your content calendar and/or online personal training business plan. Now, it’s time for us to talk Instagram.

Starting an Online Personal Training Business: Instagram

As a person or business in fitness, I’m assuming you ALREADY have an account. If you don’t, start one right now! Why?

Instagram recently announced that they had grown to 500 million monthly active users. Out of these, 300 million users log onto the platform every day.

TrackMaven research found that the engagement ratio on Instagram is 8 times greater, on average, than on any other social media marketing platform – although recent tweaks to algorithms will surely change this number.

Instagram is a powerful social media platform, and it’s essence of communicating through images is perfect for anyone in the business of fitness.

The benefits of promoting your online personal training business on Instagram is that the products, services, and benefits can easily be communicated through striking images.

online personal training business

Instagram also turns a “cold call” into a “warm call” – it’s not always about number of followers, it’s about who you find, and how you connect with them 1:1.

Quality not quantity – Catherine Basu, Founder of Fit Armadillo, is a perfect example. Fit Armadillo helps mom’s, entrepreneurs, and anyone with a busy schedule fit in fitness on their own terms.

Fit Armadillo has a variety of instructors, including Basu, who use Instagram to find and communicate with new clients.

“ Don’t overlook the power of your personality to help convert browsers to followers and then buyers on Instagram. People really do buy YOU. Help them get to know you as a fitness professional and they’ll gravitate to your personality and products – if they are the right fit. You don’t have to be just like Ilona Siekkinen In fact, being different and someone they can relate to is better! ”

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Take what Catherine shares as you move into the 5 tips I’ve curated for your journey to Instagram success!

1. INSTA-STRATEGY

The customers your online personal training business attains from social media have to be wooed for quite some time. With this in mind, create a content calendar with a monthly theme that feeds a specific goal.
Let’s say your monthly theme was to: SELL MY SUMMER WORKOUT PLAN. Your theme can be the ultimate summer-bod -or- ready to be kissed by the sun. This is the fun part, there several themes that intertwine your workout plan and your customers life.

As a part of your visually striking strategy your posts can be of pristine beaches, bikini-clad crowd, couples biking, flip flops, fruits, and the ideas go on-and-on. All you have to do is think summer.

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Your messaging should be genuine, and represent the brand behind your online personal training business, and always – ALWAYS – bring your Instagram follower back to the goal at hand — to CLICK THE LINK IN PROFILE.

2. PROFESSIONAL & VISUALLY STRIKING

Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than any other kind of content! That’s why more than 70% of marketers are relying on visual assets in their marketing strategies.

Be mindful of the images you put out there. If you are unable to take high quality images on your own, pull from Instagram or visit a site like Unsplash.
I also recommend using Canva or Pablo to create good-looking content for your online personal training business. The recommended image size for Instagram is 1080 x 1080 pixels, with a caption of 2,200 characters long – although the cut off in the user feed is after three lines.

3. HASHTAGS

Instagram is big on hashtags. It’s time to research hashtags your customers are most likely to search for. If you have no idea, start meandering through your current followers, or use hashtagify.me

Create a list of hot hashtags that can accompany your strategy. This way everyone on your team will be building momentum in the same direction.
Don’t forget to create your own branded hashtag too!

4. CREATE A CHALLENGE

The number one challenge your customers face when it comes to buying signing up for your online personal training services, is finding the motivation. Creating a challenge for your Instagram followers is a great way to give them a taste of what your workout is all about.

Creating a challenge is also a great time to go live on Instagram! Video is such an engaging tool, especially when you are selling a digital product or service. Utilize this as much as you can, even if it is just a few minutes here-and-there.

Hosting a challenge is also a great opportunity to build community and strengthen the bond with your followers, especially when you re-post their content. Everyone wants to be seen and heard.

Catherine Basu from Fitness Armadillo has had a great experience from hosting an Instagram challenge:

“ A free fitness challenge over the holidays is what took me from mobile fitness trainer running all over Houston, to becoming an online personal trainer, and now the owner of Fit Armadillo.”

5. ORGANIZED FOLLOW UP

Each interaction with an Instagram follower is just like you placing a cold call to a future customer. Be strategic in your campaign follow-up.
Create a spreadsheet with most engaged followers, as well as those that are influencers. You want to think long term = Customer Lifetime Value. Create special programs and perks for them, like coupon codes, affiliate links, or first peek at your next workout program!

It’s important to use your resources to benefit the longevity of your business. It’s all about stamina. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t feel instant results from your Instagram. Social media is just one aspect of your marketing plan, please remember the conversion funnel:

online personal training business

Next up in this series we are going to talk about leveraging social media for a successful public relations initiative for your online personal training business!