How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Fitness Business in 2023
Are you looking for proven ways to grow your Instagram presence to help boost your fitness business?
Let’s discuss how to properly use Instagram as a tool to grow your business. First and foremost, if you want to be successful on Instagram, understand that it takes work and commitment. You must be consistent and committed to doing the work long-term. And the people who tell you otherwise are, unfortunately, just trying to sell you something.
What People Are Doing Wrong
Let’s first talk about what I see people are doing wrong when promoting their fitness business on Instagram.
- Never Making Offers
It’s great to see that many people commit a lot of time and energy to creating valuable free content for their audience. But while providing value is something you should definitely do, if it doesn’t positively impact your business, it’s a wasted resource.
What’s the point of building a social media following and providing all of this value for free if it doesn’t positively impact your business in some way? You have to frequently make offers for people to come and do business with you in some way.
And I know some of you might be hesitant because you don’t want to be pushy, you don’t want to upset people, or you don’t want people unfollowing you. But that’s not going to be the case unless you’re super obnoxious.
Even if someone does get upset with you making offers, it’s not really a loss to have them unfollow you on social media. If someone’s bothered by you trying to run a fitness business and just expects you to give your time, energy, and expertise for free all of the time, then good riddance.
They’re clearly not the client that you want to work with. They probably wouldn’t spend money on you anyway. So make sure you’re making regular offers and call-to-actions at least twice a week when posting on Instagram.
2. They Try To Be Liked By Everyone
I get it. Putting yourself out there can be scary. Putting videos out, especially on social media, can be terrifying. You could be thinking…
“What if they don’t like me?”
“What if people leave negative comments?”
The fact is negative people are always going to be around, especially when you have more followers and people are starting to pay attention to your business. So it’s actually a good sign that people are spending their time and energy writing negative comments about you – it means you’re doing something right!
I believe that if people aren’t disagreeing with you, then you don’t stand for anything. The only way in this day and age to never disagree with something is to say nothing at all. And even then, some people will still find a way to be offended by you being silent.
But again, those aren’t your people. So if you’re posting about things you believe in, like systems you know that have been proven to work, and some people don’t agree with that, don’t worry about it. They weren’t going to be your customers anyway. So don’t let that scare you off.
2. Tracking Vanity Metrics
Followers, likes and shares are important things to pay attention to. We need to ensure that we know what we’re saying resonates with our audience and that they engage with it. And Instagram will reward you for that. They’ll be more likely to show your post to more people.
But if you spend 10-15 hours a week creating content, and then you get a bunch of engagement, likes and new followers, but you don’t make any money, that’s still a horrible return on investment (ROI) on your time.
Even five hours spent on something that doesn’t yield you revenue is a hobby. It’s not a business activity. If you’re not generating any money from it, it’s a hobby. So focus on converting your Instagram likes, shares and new followers into sales for your fitness business.
Optimizing Your Instagram Profile For Business Growth
For small fitness business owners, your Instagram profile is your resume. So when people want to find out about you, they’re much more likely to go and check your social media than to try and search for your website.
But suppose they do find your website, and you’ve got your social media links there. A lot of the time, they’ll click those instead to try and find out more information about you and the type of fitness business you run.
So ask yourself these questions:
- How does your current Instagram profile represent you and your business?
- What does your Instagram tell me about you?
- If a total stranger knows nothing about you and then looks at your Instagram, what can they find about you in 10 seconds or less?
- Will they know straight away what you do and who you help?
Be honest with yourself and rate it out of 10. If it’s less than an 8, you have some work to do. The cool thing is it’s easy to fix.
Structure of A Winning Instagram Fitness Bio
There are some specific things at the top of successful Instagram profiles that you should incorporate. Many of them have a similar structure to their bio, as seen below which was taken from a recent Zoom call that I had with my students.
The most successful ones generally have four bullet points in their bio – three bullet points about their business, and one call-to-action at the bottom. Now you are limited to 150 characters in your bio, so you may need to work on this section and polish it up a bit, like shortening certain words so that everything will fit.
You want to have a call-to-action at the end, like providing a link so that people can check out your services. You can also ask people to ‘DM’ you or direct message you. I prefer DMs because they allow you to start real conversations with people.
Start having real conversations because you’ll better define what your audience truly wants by speaking to them instead of trying to guess. So talk to them and take notes of what they say, and use those words in your marketing content.
When writing your Instagram bio, think about what you do, who you help, how you help and some social proof. Say something about your business from the perspective of your prospects – say something that they will be interested in.
How Often Should I Post?
I would recommend posting at least once a day. The problem is most people won’t be consistent, or they’ll give up after a few days. So if you are serious about making Instagram work, commit to it and don’t give up.
Give it at least three months before you decide to throw in the towel. As I said, Instagram will not be a quick and easy win. It will take consistency.
In regards to the time of day you post, it doesn’t matter. So post whenever it’s convenient for you. The way that Instagram chooses how it delivers your content, when it delivers it and to who is decided by a whole bunch of different things in their algorithm.
But one of the key things is whether people have been engaging with your posts. So ultimately, just focus on creating high-value content.
Batching the work
Creating high-value Instagram posts every single day takes up A LOT of energy. First, you’ve got to get into the right frame of mind to think creatively to create the content. Then you’ve got to come up with the images and videos you want to post. So it can be time-consuming even if you’re just doing a single post.
A better and faster way to ensure you post every day is by batching the work. For example, spend a couple of hours one day a week (I prefer either on a Monday or Friday) to create seven pieces of content.
Be strategic and think about what you can share that will move you closer to the result you’re looking for. What can I do that’s going to engage my audience? What can I do that is going to demonstrate something to them?
You can use software to schedule those seven posts, but I don’t recommend it when you’re just starting out. It might make your life easier, but we’re trying to create a new habit here.
Suppose you think about the psychology of how to change and be consistent. In that case, we don’t just want to create all the content and then just put it into some software and schedule that to go out every Friday.
That’s because what’s going to happen next Friday is you’ll forget about it since you haven’t gotten into the habit of doing it yet. But once you do, you can start using software to schedule them out.
Having said that, the jury is still out as to whether or not scheduling them affects the performance of the posts. I’ve personally experienced that you get better reach when you manually post it yourself.
But other people have told me they haven’t noticed any difference. So it’s something you can try and test. If you find a drop-off in the reach when using software, go back to doing it manually.
categories that sell
If you’re stuck on what types of Instagram posts to create for your fitness business, these posts work quite well.
- Social Proof – This consists of things like testimonials, case studies and success stories. It’s anything that demonstrates you have helped people before.
- Expertise – Have you been featured anywhere, like in a podcast, in an article, or maybe you’ve written an informative blog post? Share it. You can also demonstrate or teach your prospects something that will help them.
- Values – Showcase what makes you unique, what you specialise in, and your belief systems. Post your values to attract your ideal clients.
- I’m Looking For… – These posts are where you specifically call out your audience. This might look something like, “I’m looking for five women who want to lose 20 pounds in the next 90 days. DM me for more info.“
Types of Instagram Posts
Start to get familiar with these main types of Instagram post formats that are available to you.
- Stories – Portrait mode images or videos you post that will disappear after 24 hours.
- Image Post – 2 different types of dimensions that you can use.
- Carousel – Up to 10 images in a single post that your followers can swipe across.
- Video – A type of longer video format post that can be up to 60 minutes long.
- Reels – A shorter type of video format that’s similar to TikTok.
- Lives – Videos you film live with Instagram users tuning in to watch you.
Instagram hashtags are still important. People used to include 30+ hashtags in their posts. There’s been quite a lot of research into this recently and what they found is you want to have ideally less than 10 hastags. Just make sure your hashtags are relevant to your post.
How To Grow Your Instagram Followers
There are many ways to grow your Instagram following, but asking your email list to follow you is a great way to get started.
You could also try paid shoutouts, where influencers will give your business a shoutout in return for a fee. It’s good to note that only 30-40% of your new followers will be good-quality leads, but it’s definitely a quick way to grow your page.
Additionally, you could try the ‘Boost‘ feature, where you can boost your top-performing posts to reach a larger audience, leading to more followers.
But the best way to grow your following is to ensure that you’re consistently posting high-value content. Always remember, consistency trumps tricks.
Use Instagram to grow your email list
Another great way to use Instagram to grow your Fitness Business is to offer a free resource if people sign up to your email list.
You can put the link to the free resource in your Instagram bio, and direct people to the link in bio to sign up. If you’d like more information on how to build and grow an email list, we have a great tutorial on that here
How to Use Instagram to Boost Your Fitness Business - In Conclusion
We hope you found this Ultimate Instagram guide valuable. To recap, here are the main things to remember:
- Make an appointment with yourself to create seven pieces of content, and make that a recurring weekly appointment.
- Get into the habit of posting at least once a day.
- Make offers at least two times a week.