It’s clear to see all around us, from top fitness businesses to A-list celebrities, social media is an integral part of what we should be doing.
Instead then, throughout this article I want to get to the very heart of the matter – how to actually see success with social media when starting an online fitness business.
The problem is, there’s a ton of different platforms to get good at, they all work slightly differently and it’s difficult to track your return on effort.
So the question I constantly get asked around social media is – ‘Ru, what should I be doing in order to be successful with my social media?’
That’s what we will be answering throughout this article.
But here’s the mistake I made when trying to figure all of this out, I thought social media was EVERYTHING.
I therefore spent way too much time on it when starting my online fitness business, and as you will learn, this is a big mistake.
Why? Because social media alone isn’t going to drive thousands of people to your door and guarantee you get tons of online clients.
It’s one piece of the puzzle, which you must find the right place for. Yet it’s an important piece to get right, and when you do everything else appears much easier.
I’m going to show you how to do that, and don’t worry, you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get it just right.
Ready for it? OK, let’s dive in some more.
Social media isn’t rocket science.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you already have an active account for at least 3-4 different platforms and you use them daily.
Yet despite already using them, you may not be having the success you would like, or think you deserve, for the effort and time you put into it.
Well I’m going to put it out there and say that’s because your efforts aren’t that good.
Most trainers suck at social media.
After years of experimenting myself, I commonly see the same rookie mistakes made by personal trainers when starting an online fitness business, which are really holding them back.
The good news is, once you understand what these are, you can get to work and fix them quickly. For many people, this is probably the best place to start in order to see more success.
So let’s dive into what these are exactly:
Have you ever posted on Facebook and it gets no likes or comments?
Or have you ever done a live video and everyone leaves after 2 minutes?
Well, the number one reason for that is because your content is rubbish.
I know, that's harsh, but I’m speaking from first hand experience here.
People will only be interested in your social media updates if they see value in them.
This means you should be entertaining your audience or providing a solution to a problem they have. If you can do both together, you’re on to a winner.
This means being more creative.
You can no longer expect a lot of people to see your posts where they offer little value. So posting the time of your next bootcamp or that you’re off to have another workout means very little to the majority of people.
Ask yourself, what’s in it for them? Why should they click that link to your boot camp, why should they ‘like’ that you’re off for a workout?
When you do this, you’re likely to produce much less content or updates, but instead make what you are producing amazing.
We’re talking about social media success, so I’m assuming your goal is to get more clients or improve your fitness business by doing it well.
If so, then you must know exactly who your ideal client or customer is.
Then you should ensure your social media updates not only provide value, but value to that sub-set of people.
Trying to produce content or updates to impress everyone is a sure fire way to impress no-one.
So what is it you really do? And for whom?
Just shouting from the rooftop that you’re an online personal trainer and that you can help everyone get fit and healthy means very little these days. Just take a good look around and you’ll see that you’re not alone with the message.
So what if you changed this to:
“I help stay at home mums improve their bodies in as little as 15 minutes a day by providing highly customized workout programs".
Now you know what you do. Now you know who you can help. And now you know what content to share on social media to make it a success.
Perhaps you know someone crushing it on Instagram with daily quotes. Perhaps you know someone on Facebook killing it with live videos.
So you think, “it’s easy to do that, I’ll do that too, and it will be a success. If it works for them it will work for me too.”
You can’t just follow someone else’s platform or formula.
Why? Well think back to mistake 1 and 2. You should have your own unique way of delivering value to your selected sub-set of people.
When you get that right, you won’t need to copy other people.
It means you will attract your own audience and they will keep showing up to hear what you’ve got to say.
Sure, by all means take some inspiration from those who are crushing it on certain social platforms, but if they’re doing something similar to you, then you’ll just become a clone.
It’s easy to feel like we need to be using every social media platform available to us, but we don’t.
Again, the platforms you use and specialize in will need to be directly linked to how you deliver your value and to whom.
If your focus is you and your coaching services, then platforms that help you get your personality and advice across to people in the easiest way are best.
Something like Facebook is ideal because you can create live videos to show your personality and easily share your blog posts that people will click on.
But if you have a fitness product, then different methods should be used.
You’ll want to get your product in front of as many people as possible (using creative methods of course), and show the benefit of its use.
So a visual platform like Instagram is ideal here, and you can also link people to your site to buy.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure as to which social platform to really get focused on, think about which one will best serve you and your potential audience.
However it’s important to mention that it can be the culmination of all of your social media channels that will lead to great results.
Most people connect with their favorite brands or products on multiple platforms, so being somewhat ‘present’ on the various options available isn’t a bad idea.
It can also give your audience the option on how they want to follow you.
The take home point here is, get really good at using a small number of platforms, but be socially present on the others that aren’t a top priority for you.
If you take a look at anyone who has success on social media, they always have one thing in common: they are extremely consistent at posting valuable information to their audience.
You must too.
Building an engaging and loyal social following could take years. But if you’re very consistent, by which I mean daily, with your efforts, you can quickly reduce that time frame.
We all secretly want overnight success, let’s be honest. So when that doesn’t happen it can feel disheartening. But the magic happens in the long-term, after you’ve put in the hard work.
For the majority of people, being consistent on social media is too much work.
But here’s the truth: The first time you post on that new social media platform, you’ll probably have no likes or comments. Don’t let this put you off, do the same again the next day, and then the next.
If you’ve applied everything we’ve discussed up to now, you should be gaining some traction.
Soon, you’ll have learnt what works for you. Then it’s just a matter of ‘rinse and repeat’.
I can’t remember the last time I hit ‘post’ on a social media update, because everything is scheduled.
That doesn’t mean I don’t stay engaged with my different platforms, it simply saves a lot of work.
Covering all the social media platforms we use can be made easy with purpose built software.
Not only can you quickly schedule your content to go out, you can monitor results as well.
Another added advantage is that you can share your best stuff more than once. This is highly recommended.
For example, if you share a new blog post that you’ve spent hours creating, then you’ll want as many people as possible to know it’s available for them to read.
But think about how long the average post stays in Facebook or Twitter feed these days. It’s usually only a matter of hours.
If you’ve got something really good to share, then don’t be afraid to post it more than once.
Here’s good example of this:
Lately I was promoting a free training workshop for online personal trainers.
On my Instagram, the day before the workshop we posted the same image and content about the workshop 3 times - one in the morning, the afternoon and again in the evening.
Each time the post received the same number of likes and comments.
This shows that different people were seeing the post and engaging with it at different times of the day.
A content scheduler can help you do all of this, so you can get on with the rest of your life.
This is closely related to our previous point, as timing really does matter.
If your typical client works 9-5, then posting your best stuff while they are at work isn’t a great idea.
Whenever I’m sharing a Facebook post or blog with my general audience I’ve seen better results from doing so on an evening.
That’s when the majority of people are at home, with their feet up and looking for things to do. They now have the time to check their personal emails or click on a link to read your blog.
Yet I can do the opposite with updates for personal trainers or those in the fitness industry. We typically have more time on our hands throughout the day and are likely checking social media platforms or email more frequently. So posting during the day can work better here.
As you can see, it’s important to not only get your content right, but at what time you share it as well.
Take note of when you publish your posts and how well they do.
It’s important to experiment with this and find out what works for you and your audience.
There’s a ton of information out there, both free and paid, that suggest various social media hacks for faster results.
While some of these do work, many are outdated.
I’m sure you’ll agree, social media is changing at a rapid rate.
What was really working last year may not work at all this year. If something you’re trying isn’t working, then perhaps it’s outdated and no longer a good option.
Always check your sources of information and get someone to confirm if it’s still a valid method to use.
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