7 Steps to Getting Started as a Fitness Micro-Influencer
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Fitness is generally obtained in the workout room. However, your ability to change lives as a personal trainer or coach extends beyond the gym doors. This is because a huge number of people now seek nutrition and exercise guidance online.
What if, when doing their search, they were led directly to you? That’s exactly what can happen if you are a micro-influencer within the fitness industry.
What Is a Micro-Influencer?
A micro-influencer is someone with between 1,000 and 50,000 online followers. This person also has expertise in a specific area. In the case of fitness, this could be a personal trainer who works primarily with senior clients. Or maybe you specialize in kettlebell training.
A micro-influencer is different than other levels of influencer status, such as:
- Mega-influencer: This is an influencer with at least one million followers. Celebrities often fall into this category. For instance, Jennifer Lopez is a celebrity influencer with more than 55 million Facebook followers. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is another with 5.58 million subscribers on YouTube alone.
- Nano-influencer: This is a smaller influencer or someone with 1,000 followers or less. This type of influencer might be a local governmental leader. It could also be a prominent businessperson within a community.
If you’re only focused on the numbers, it may seem like a mega-influencer is the way to go. Having this high number of followers certainly expands your reach. You can connect with more people with your influencer campaign. But, for many fitness professionals, becoming a micro-influencer is the preferred influencer status of choice.
Benefits of Micro-Influencer Marketing
Keep in mind that developing a strong brand isn’t just about connecting with people. It also requires that you connect in a meaningful way. It’s like the difference between your online friends and acquaintances. You put more trust in your friends because you know them better. The same is true with micro-influencers. While they may have fewer followers, they have more trust from those who are interested in what they have to say.
Another benefit of being a micro-influencer is that your audience is more focused. People follow you for a specific reason. They want your advice regarding exercise or nutrition. Conversely, a celebrity influencer can be followed for any number of reasons. One follower may like a movie or TV show they were in. A different follower thinks they’re funny or cute. This creates a more varied following but doesn’t necessarily highlight your expertise.
Brands also like to partner with micro-influencers. For one, it’s usually cheaper. Business of Apps reports that a micro-influencer generally earns around $1,000 for a Snapchat promotion. A macro-influencer is paid around $75,000 for that same promotion. That’s a huge cost savings.
Plus, since your audience is more focused, they are also typically more engaged. From a sales standpoint, it’s easier to convert an engaged person to a sale. This leads to a greater return on investment (ROI) for the brand. A 2020 survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub found that for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, a brand can earn $5.78 in return.
7 Steps to Getting Started as a Micro-Influencer
Whether your goal is to increase your social media following or earn extra cash, you can start to work toward micro-influencer status today. These seven steps will help.
1. Define Your Fitness Niche
Micro-influencers are experts in a specific area. So, the first step is to define your fitness niche. This could involve:
- working with a certain demographic of client (seniors, youth, moms)
- working with athletes in a specific sport (basketball, football, soccer)
- specializing in a specific type of exercise (strength and conditioning, cross-training, yoga)
- assisting clients with certain needs (exercise recovery, exercise therapy, performance enhancement)
If you’re unsure of your niche, consider the areas of fitness you’re most passionate about. Or think about the clients you enjoy working with most.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Your target audience is the people you want to follow you online. The more you understand who they are, the easier it becomes to speak directly to them. You’re able to talk their language and address their concerns. Your posts resonate with them more, making you a more influential fitness professional.
When identifying your target audience, consider their age range, gender, and geographical location. Also think about their educational level, employment status, family structure, and fitness goals. Get a clear, in-depth image of who your ideal client is.
3. Start a Blog, Offering High-Value Content
In a perfect world, anyone looking for fitness advice would hire you as their trainer or coach. However, that’s not reality. But that doesn’t mean that others don’t still respect your expertise. One way to highlight this expertise is with a blog.
A well-crafted blog post educates, inspires, and motivates the reader (your target audience). It gives them the information they want. It moves them to make positive changes in their lives. In some cases, a blog is a step-by-step guide. In others, it is more of an overview of a certain topic. In all cases, it provides the reader value.
You can either write these blogs yourself or hire a content creator. You may also decide to hire a professional marketing firm to draw more attention to your blogs. This agency can help you create a successful marketing campaign. In turn, this can make you a more successful influencer.
4. Create a Business Account on a Social Media Platform or Two
A blog is a good place to post long-form content. For followers who want snippets or little pieces of advice, social media is more appealing. Pick one or two platforms and create a business page.
Use your pages to offer simple tips or post short videos showing proper form. Again, the goal is to provide value for your social media followers. This entices more people to want to follow you, raising you to social influencer status.
The best social media platforms are the ones your target audience use. For instance, if your ideal client is typically an Instagram user, open an Instagram account. Post workout videos or pics of your nutritious meals. Create an Instagram influencer marketing campaign to connect with your target market.
5. Post Regularly, Increasing Brand Awareness
Being an influencer requires engagement with your followers. The more often you post, the more opportunity there is for this engagement to occur.
When creating your influencer marketing strategy, research the days and times your target audience is typically online. Posting during the same time frames is a good way to capture their attention and engage them in conversation.
6. Build Your Follower Count to Become a Social Media Influencer
Social media marketing—such as with Facebook or Twitter ads—can bring more attention to your brand. However, don’t underestimate the value of organic growth. Growing your following naturally is one way to ensure that the followers are there because they want to be. As long as you provide value, you can become an influencer. Encourage sharing of your posts too!
7. Reach Out to a Brand for a Partnership—Think Local!
Once you reach 1,000 followers (or more), you’re ready to reach out to a brand that you’d like to promote. Instead of going straight to the big brands, aim for smaller brands or local companies. There is less competition for brand partnerships. They’re a good way to begin to get exposure without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, you’re helping to promote business within your own community!
Let them know which products or services you’ll like to share with your followers. Talk about any brand deals they may offer. Tell them why you are the right influencer for them.
Additional Ways to Boost Your Status as an Influencer
You can boost your influencer marketing campaign even more by taking a few additional steps.
- Learn from other influencers. Seek out other successful influencers and notice what they do. What does their personal brand look like? If they are a blogger, which posts get the most engagement? Do they do affiliate marketing or only influencer marketing? Pay attention to what works for them and try it in your marketing strategy.
- Use influencer marketing apps. You might also decide to use an app to boost your influencer status. For instance, Tribe helps you created branded content. Pepperjam can help identify brand partners that make the most sense.
- Sign up on influencer marketing platforms. Some companies have made a business out of influencer marketing. The influencer marketing platform Heepsy, for instance, can help you find influencers. It also helps you analyze their audience. AspireIQ assists with everything from content creation to growing your influencer network.
Earning your certification can also make you more appealing to both online followers and big brands. It gives you that extra credibility, reaffirming your knowledge and skills within the fitness realm.
If you don’t already have this accreditation, the ISSA offers Personal Trainer Certification. This course even comes with a free professional website, helping you boost your online presence even more.
Certified Personal Trainer
The Certified Fitness Trainer program is designed to equip graduates with the practical day-to-day skills necessary, as well as the theoretical knowledge needed to excel as a personal trainer serving the general public. Along with the necessary exercise science foundation, the distance education program covers client assessment, program design, basic nutrition, and sports medicine along with business and marketing skills.