Training Tips

How to Create a Successful Fitness Instagram in 5 Easy Steps

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Instagram, How to Create a Successful Fitness Instagram in 5 Easy Steps

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Why should every personal trainer have an Instagram profile? It’s a huge platform for reaching current clients and young, prospective clients. It can help you engage better, build your brand, and establish a positive reputation. 

Setting up an account is easy and takes just a few minutes. It’s a little more difficult to take that basic account and turn it into a successful business tool. We’ll take you through the steps, from getting started to adding content, building a brand, and connecting with others. 

Why Should I Create a Fitness Instagram? 

Whether you coach clients online or only in person, using social media is a smart way to grow your business. Ideally, you will be active in a variety of spaces, but if you only have time to focus on one social media platform, Instagram is a good choice, especially if your target audience trends younger. 

You don’t strictly need an Instagram account to succeed in personal training, but consider these important reasons to build a page. 

Know How to Create a Successful Fitness Instagram to Get Clients

A successful personal training business is measured in clients. Of course, there is more to success than simply having a long list of clients—satisfied clients, meeting client goals, a decent income—but you certainly can’t succeed without them. 

One of the most obvious reasons to get on Instagram and to build a busy page is to gather Instagram followers that transition into new clients. Your account helps you reach many more people than you can in person. Target locals for in-person training and anyone around the world for virtual coaching. 

Improve Engagement with Existing Clients

Adding to your client list is important, but successful trainers also establish strong relationships with those clients. Instagram is another tool for staying in touch, providing feedback, selling new services, and building trust. Not only will clients appreciate this as a point of contact, but most have also come to expect businesses to have an Instagram account. They’ll be looking for you. 

Harness the Power of Social Media Marketing

Many businesses of all types are already on Instagram, using it for marketing. More than 75 percent of businesses in the U.S. use Instagram and post regular stories on the site. Up to 200 million Instagram users visit at least one Instagram business profile every day, and a third of viewed stories are from businesses. (1)

Don’t get left behind while other trainers benefit from the marketing opportunities on this popular platform. Use it to network with other professionals and influencers; point back to your website; sell your own products; and manage your reputation online.

Build Brand Awareness

Modern marketing is all about building a brand to develop a following and customer loyalty. To be successful in a packed industry, you need an identity, a niche, and a target audience. Instagram is a great tool for building brand awareness. It allows you to share stories that personalize your brand and connect with influencers and clients that match it.

Why Instagram? 

Again, to build a successful fitness business it helps to have a presence on all the major social media sites. There are only so many hours in the day, so if you need to focus on one for now, there are several reasons to choose Instagram (1):

  • Reach over 500 million daily users. 
  • Target a younger audience; 53% of Instagram users are between 18 and 29 years old. The next biggest age group is between 30 and 49. 
  • Instagram has more engagement than Facebook.
  • Most Instagram users take some type of action, such as clicking on a website link. 
  • Instagram content is visual, which is ideal for selling a fitness brand. 

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Instagram, How to Create a Successful Fitness Instagram in 5 Easy Steps

How to Create a Successful Fitness Instagram in 5 Easy Steps

It’s not hard to get on Instagram and to build a successful page, but it does require some time and dedication. You can’t leave your Instagram feed alone for days at a time or neglect your followers and expect to come out on top. Follow these steps and keep it up; your reward will be a dedicated following. 

1. Clarify Your Goals

You’re eager to get started and make the page live, but it’s better to take some time to map out a plan first. This will help you focus the goals of the page so that you can better target your audience. The most successful accounts have a clear objective, brand, and style. Make a list of what you want to achieve with an Instagram account, beyond metrics like numbers of followers. Here are some goals to consider: 

  • Reaching and signing new clients
  • Developing authority in a fitness niche
  • Building a brand that people trust
  • Sharing your personal fitness journey
  • Engaging with existing clients
  • Sharing content for clients
  • Becoming a fitness influencer

Your goals will determine what you do with the page, so clarify these before doing anything else. 

2. Set up an Account

Now you’re ready to set up an account, which is simple. You probably already have a personal account, but if not, begin by downloading the free app on your phone or use your computer to create a business account. The basic elements you must have in your profile are a professional profile picture, a thoughtful and concise bio, and a link to your website. These are the first things new visitors will see, so take time to perfect them. Look at the Instagram bio of a fitness influencer or trainer you admire for inspiration. 

3. Build Content

You can’t get followers without content, but you also can’t post just any content. With your goals and audience in mind, build a library of content in line with those goals and of value to your audience. For example, if your main goal is to engage with your current nutrition coaching clients, post meal plans, recipes, and your own experiences in the kitchen. 

Use photos, videos, and the live feature on Instagram for variety and interest. Post pictures and video of high quality. If that means taking some time to learn how to take a better photo, it’s worth doing so. There is a lot of competition out there, and blurry pictures and shaky videos just won’t cut it. 

Also take advantage of hashtags in your posts. Use relevant fitness hashtags to reach people who are not yet following you. If you aren’t sure which hashtags to use, look at posts for successful trainers, coaches, and influencers with big reach. Follow their lead. 

You don’t have to become an Instagram fitness influencer to get benefits from an Instagram account, but it doesn’t hurt. Check out this ISSA blog to learn more: How to Be a Personal Trainer and Social Media Influencer

4. Boost Content That Works

You may not get it right at first. Maybe your Instagram story you thought would be engaging just isn’t getting interaction. But those five-minute workout videos are blowing up. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t and then boost the kinds of posts people like. If you’re stuck and trying to figure out what to use for your next Instagram post, here are some ideas that work well for most fitness influencers: 

  • Pictures of what you’re eating
  • Videos of your workout
  • Fitness, wellness, and nutrition tips and tricks
  • Before and after photos, if your clients agree to let you use them
  • Your regular, day-to-day activities
  • Instagram live videos
  • Instagram stories and reels
  • Shares from other fitness and nutrition influencers
  • Products you like 

5. Follow and Engage

Once you have built up some strong content, and are continuing to add to it daily, work on engaging with others. Start following other professionals in your industry and relevant influencers. This grows your network and improves credibility. Reach out to existing clients to get more follows. 

With followers on your page, it’s time to engage. The best Instagram pages are run by people who post valuable content but also engage with people. Social media is a two-way street based on genuine interactions. Like and comment on your client’s posts as well as those of influencers you follow. Use the platform to encourage and inspire your clients. 

Try these tips for helping your clients find the motivation to stick to their workouts and meet their goals. 

Tagging is another way to increase engagement on Instagram. Tag specific clients on posts you think they’ll appreciate. It’s a quick way to connect and show clients you’re thinking about them. Tag influencers for credibility and authority and brands and products that are in line with your own brand and audience. 

Instagram is a great way to reach more people and to increase engagement. Whether your main goal is to build a worldwide brand, become an Instagram influencer, or connect better with existing clients, Instagram can help you get there. 

Try the ISSA’s new Certified Online Coach program to learn how to make your business virtual. Online coaching is a growing industry, and this course will provide the skills and knowledge needed to join the trend. 



  1. Newberry, C. (2019, October 22). 37 Instagram Stats That Matter to Marketers in 2020. Hootsuite. Retrieved from

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