Do you ever wish you could have 1 million eyes on you at once? To some that sounds absolutely horrifying, to others, it’s a dream come true. What if I could get you in front of 500 million people. Would that intrigue you a little bit more?
I can’t put you in front of 500 million people right this second, but you could make it happen if you started showing up on Instagram. That’s right, there are over 500 million people scrolling through the feed every single day. And every day that your health and fitness brand isn’t on there, is another opportunity missed to grow your hustle into a full-time gig.
If you’re ready to stop playing games and start building an audience for your brand, you’ve come to the right people. Here’s Instagram 101 for coaches and trainers.
First, let’s make sure we know what we’re talking about…
Why you should be using Instagram for your hustle.
Before you jump into Instagram, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right platform for your business. Some brands can better market their products and services on YouTube, Facebook, or even LinkedIn. Here’s what Instagram brings to the table:
- Instagram is dynamic: Instagram offers the marketing trifecta of image, video, and story. This trio allows personal trainers to share before and after pictures, nutritionists to post short recipe videos. Massage therapists can show off their spa-like studios. Even chiropractors can scratch their audience’s ASMR itch with Instagram videos.
- Instagram is simple: In case you didn’t know, Facebook owns Instagram—big surprise right? That being said, if you’ve used Facebook before, you’re going to have no problem here. It offers analytical tools that indicate post performance, full contact information pages, and you can promote ads directly on the platform.
- Instagram is growing: 500 million people use Instagram with 60% of users engaging on the platform daily. Health influencers and fitness businesses have been able to connect especially well with their audience on this platform. In fact, fitness is one of the most popular topics on Instagram—flexing over 388 million posts.
Enough with our elevator pitch, here’s how you start pumping out content on the ‘Gram.
The Set-Up: creating your Instagram account.
To make this process as smooth as possible, you’re going to want to start a Facebook page if you don’t already have one. In order to have a business Instagram, you need to have a Facebook. You can set it up through the Instagram app, but it can get a little messy.
Next, you’ll want to set up your Instagram account. It starts with a high-quality profile picture—it can be you, your logo, doesn’t matter, as long as users can identify the profile. Then, create a bio that clearly speaks to your service and throw your email into the contact information so people can reach out with questions.
This is the next and most important thing you must do before you start slinging posts—switch to an Instagram professional account.
Recently, Instagram has created two professional account options: creator and business. A creator account has features that are great for public figures and influencers, while a business account offers features ideal for local businesses selling services or products. Since you’re looking to scale, you’re going to want to select business.
Once you are set up as a business you can view the insights and analytics to see how each post is performing and how your audience reacts and engages with your content.
The Strategy: getting traction and action.
Be a leader and a follower.
There are two ways to make it to the top: be the best at what you do or cut down the people who are at the top already. We like the first strategy. But many don’t, instead they focus all their time and effort on building their own following, rather than supporting others.
On Instagram, you can build community, get inspired, and gain a larger audience by following other accounts in your field. Don’t think of these other accounts as competition.
If you’re really offering something of value to your niche market, you can confidently support and follow other brands. Building a strong network on social will help you make connections, learn, and potentially gain a bigger following—how does that sound?
Create valuable content.
Worried that you’re not the best? You don’t have to be—at least not at everything, and not for everyone. By now, you’ve probably identified your niche market and uncovered the solutions and services you can offer them. Those who know their niche, should apply it to Instagram as well.
Don’t just post every day to check a box. Consider what would interest, entertain, or assist your market in some way and tailor your content accordingly.
Seems overwhelming? Here are a few tips to get you going:
Start by brainstorming all the ideas for Instagram content that your audience would resonate with. These might include an intro about you, an inspirational photo, before and after stories of your clients, meal prep videos, yoga position challenges, or exercise tutorials.
Next, tap into the fountain of unending content ideas: the people you’re serving—your niche. They will always have questions that make for great future content. Keep a running list of the questions clients or your niche market asks in your day-to-day interactions with them.
Depending on your field, you might hear a variety of questions, here’s just a few we conjured up:
- Are firm mattresses really the best?
- How do I stretch my hip flexor?
- Are frozen or fresh berries better for me?
- What leg exercises can I do with a bad knee?
- Do I have to get really skinny to have abs?
By addressing real questions from real people, your Instagram content will feel less like a sale and more like a person, and in this way, you’ll build a stronger, more devoted audience.
If you’re still lacking inspiration after all that, check out 50 Content Ideas we’ve pulled together for your convenience.
Step it up.
Posting valuable content is the most important, but there’s more to it than just that. Here’s a few more ways to step up your Instagram content.
Make sure your visual content is high-quality—always. This is an image-based platform after all, and pixelated photos and screenshots won’t get you very far.
Apply necessary hashtags. When you hashtag a post, that post is grouped with all the other ones with the same tag, increasing your post’s exposure. Use specific keywords your followers will search, like “fitness” or “healthcoach” in your Instagram posts to build your popularity and to boost your views.
Sidenote: pile on the hashtags in the comment section instead of the description section so your followers don’t see a flood of hashtags.
Show and tell. While Instagram is great for showing off your photos and videos, great copy is also necessary—make sure you tell the story in your caption. Use specific, concrete details to accompany your photo or video and make your posts just as powerful across all mediums.
The Schedule: creating a social routine your audience can follow.
Create and schedule around your followers and their daily usage.
Leverage your first few post’s analytics to gain an understanding of when your audience is online. Generally, health and fitness accounts see the most engagement around 9 a.m. Wednesday and Sunday. Once you’ve started posting regularly, test out different times to see what works best for your people.
Marketing your business on Instagram is a long-term investment. Creating a schedule and sticking to it is critical to gaining and maintaining a strong following. When formulating a content schedule, create one that you can stick to every week and show up on time.
The Secret: this is our most coveted social secret.
If there’s one important note to walk away with it’s this: start before you’re ready. The slow mover inside all of us wants to have everything figured out before we take the first step. Squash it—it will do nothing but slow you down.
Sure, being prepared and thoughtful about your business is important, but hesitating because you’re afraid of making a mistake or having to make changes down the road is just called procrastination. To really nail your Instagram efforts, start with an Instagram Promise—this will be your go-to guide when you want to post content.
Action is the antidote to fear. It creates progress and momentum. What is one thing you’ve been afraid to start in your business? What is one step you can take right now to start before you’re ready? Maybe it’s setting up that Instagram account and making your first post today. If so, you now know how to get it done.
We’re excited to be a part of your journey toward building a coaching empire. For more guides and support during your business growth, be sure to subscribe to our email list and join the inner SPRNG circle.