We all have that one person who we think dominates on Instagram. It could be a celebrity, an influencer, hell, it might even be your sister-in-law whose oil paintings rack up triple digit likes. What’s important is that you connect with their posts and they’ve turned you into a faithful follower.
But how did this happen? It started with the subtle decisions that person or brand made before they posted to Instagram.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s alot that goes into crafting a kickass Instagram photo that brings in the big numbers. So instead of leaving you to travel the uncharted waters of this photography platform, we’re going to show you how to craft an top-notch Instagram post.
Picking a purpose.
Posting to Instagram without a strategy is like hiking with no map—you could stumble into something amazing, or right off the end of a cliff. That’s why understanding how you can use Instagram to benefit your fitness business and developing a strategy is critical groundwork in getting your first post.
That groundwork is important for turning followers into customers for two reasons:
- It makes your content more compelling
- It builds a cohesive foundation for growth
Compelling content is the most valuable asset to your coaching business. It’s the reason why people come to your page and the reason they’re going to write you a check to coach them. By consistently delivering compelling content, you increase the chances of them turning into a paying customer.
Similarly, each piece of your Instagram content should be cohesive, meaning no random posts that clearly aren’t part of your business. (Yes, that means no photos from your 4th of July trip to the beach)
This cohesiveness shows intention and professionalism that many coaches and trainers miss in their everyday posts, plus it sets a standard for your brand.
Enough preparation, let’s talk creation.
There are four types of Instagram posts that every coach and trainer should live by. Not all of them will work for your audience, so try them out and see what performs best:
The Instructional Post
Instructional posts do just that—they teach your audience something interesting or helpful. This post is a great way to build rapport and trust with your followers by showing interest in their problems and providing valuable solutions.
Here’s an example of what one looks like from Hilary Downey:
The Promotional Post
Promotional posts push your audience toward your services and products. Let’s be clear, this isn’t an outright sales pitch, but rather a quick hint at the great things you have in your arsenal.
Promotional posts have a goal in mind, and that goal is to turn followers into paying customers—either by showing off a product you sell or directing them to further down the sales funnel.
Check out how Elena Kunicki crushes this post without coming off like an annoying sales rep:
The Testimonial Post
Testimonial posts showcase that client who absolutely crushed your program. It speaks directly to the people who are deciding if they should hire you—and that’s a much easier decision when a successful client sings your praises.
If you’re already working with clients or selling your services, ask them if you can share their stories in a post or series, they’ll be excited to showcase their progress.
Here’s how our founder, Amanda Nightbert, does it with her success stories:
The Inspirational Post
Inspirational posts feature quotes or images from you or other publications, coaches, athletes, etc. Whether you’re sharing a motivational anecdote or a quote that you know will make your audience laugh, these posts can help you connect with your followers and support other experts in your space all at once.
Every tutorial you’ll find on creating kickass images—whether for your website or social media—will harp on lighting. Lighting is that easy, extra ingredient that can take your final product from mediocre to magnificent. Make sure your lighting is solid to ensure that the details in your image are perfectly luminescent and your posts come out crisp.
If there’s one thing to remember it’s this—the best camera is the one you have with you. You don’t need a professional DSLR to capture epic images, your phone can do most of the work for you. Just remember to shoot both horizontally and vertically to capture every angle. Start with the resources you have at hand and check out these top apps for mobile photography.
Don’t just throw your camera up and start snapping away. Think about the composition, how you set yourself or the subject in the frame. Where do you want the audience to look? Consider how you can set up your image to tell the message you want to convey.
Composition has a variety of elements that help make your images sharp and unique to you. Since we’re not professional photographers ourselves, we figured it would help to hear more about composition from masters.
Post-Production Clean Up
After nailing composition and lighting, you can move onto editing your image. While optional, of course, this final clean up can take your images from boring to badass. You can do most of the basic editing inside your phone, but if you’re looking to take it up a notch, here are a few apps we recommend:
Developing your style can be a little difficult but most of it is just a matter of tweaking and adjusting until you land on that perfect fit for your brand. Most of your images shouldn’t require crazy amounts of editing. Like everything in life, the more simple, the better.
Don’t forget to save your settings as a filter so you can match future images with that style.
If you’re more of a visual learner here’s a helpful tutorial on developing an Instagram look to get you started.
Captivate with a Caption.
The caption for your photo or video can add a ton of value and impact to your Instagram posts. Many people overlook this and settle for boring captions that don’t engage with their audience. Be better than the rest and write a caption that’s just as impactful as the image itself. You don’t have to write a novel—in fact, short and sweet is best—but concrete details and descriptions can paint a detailed picture for your audience.
You could capture the perfect picture and create the most compelling caption, but if no one sees your post, what’s the point. That’s why hashtagging is a must in your IG game.
Hashtags act as a large digital filing system, allowing users (and your audience) to narrow in on certain themes that they’re searching for and are interested in. You can use specific keywords, like “fitness” or “instafit” that your followers will likely search to boost your views and engagement.
Since you can add a large amount of hashtags to your posts (we recommend 10-12), hide them in the comment section instead of the caption section. Also, use your location in the post as well to reach a more localized audience.
One Last Step
Instagram is an amazing tool to promote your business and gain more awareness. But it’s also an easy way to engage and build relationships with your audience. A final and important step to creating a killer Instagram post is to respond to any comments and keep that conversation and relationship going.
The more you engage, the more you will grow.
If you’re like us, getting to know your audience will be your favorite part of your social media strategy. Getting feedback and seeing how your work is benefitting the people around you is why building a community around your brand can be so fulfilling.
We’d love to get to know you too. Pop on over to our email list and join the SPRNG Training crew as we walk through how to create your dream health and fitness business..