The growth of social media, especially amongst the younger generation, has seen the rise of an all new type of famous, one that wouldn’t and couldn’t have existed just 10 years ago. It’s known as being ‘Insta-famous’, people who are famous through Instagram.
In the health and fitness industry qualified personal trainers are using the power of Instagram to sell their own workout routines, diet plans or fitness subscription services to great effect.
They have been able to build a brand and a following through advertising their own lifestyle, often through body image or exotic work locations. In some cases, they have managed to build a following of over 1 million followers, many of whom are loyal and trusting. Through Instagram, they have been able to grow a personal brand and make good money.
A couple of years ago, many people believed this was just a fad, and would soon disappear, however, due the potential for revenue in this business model, combined with the relatively low barriers to entry, this avenue has flourished and has made it an attractive prospect for many.
The main concern about this trend is that there are a number of insta-famous people with huge followings and no qualifications. And there is no one regulating or questioning their advice. The assumption often comes from believing that if they look good themselves, they must know what are doing. The information they give out could be simply what works for them, with no academic or scientific backing. This sort of misinformation is potentially damaging the fitness industry.
Sole traders in particular see them as a threat to their business, with 58% somewhat or completely agreeing that people will use these social media fitness guides and programs rather than coming to a gym or seeing a trainer. This hasn’t been the case however, as the number of people using a personal trainer or going to a bootcamp has only risen in the years Instagram has been around.
Although it can be worrying for those sole traders and businesses that do not wish to use Instagram, and they should probably reconsider, it does open up an opportunity to many that might not already be in the industry. A survey carried out by Fitness Australia found that 58% of students believe that these social media business models will provide them with new income streams. However, personal trainers and fitness businesses have seen little potential in social media, estimating only around 10% of their new clients come from social media.
Whether you love it or hate it, see its value or its harm, or a mixture of both, Instagram has shown a clear demand for online fitness programs and easily digestible inspiration. The success of Insta-fitness brings up both concerns and opportunities. For those that already have large followings, or that wish to become Insta-famous, you should make sure you are qualified to give out advice to your aspiring fans, you can take our Personal Trainer Course to get your started on that right path and to avoid any potential legal ramifications. For those sole traders and businesses that have not yet established a strong social media profile, it is perhaps time to look into improving this, before you fall behind. We have an Online Marketing for Personal Trainers that covers a lot of this.