Today you are going to learn Instagram marketing for bodybuilders, and how you can master social media as a bodybuilder (or physique competitor). The bodybuilding industry has taken off and social media has played a significant part in this. Everyone is sharing their journey as a bodybuilder or physique competitor on social media and honestly, it is a very crowded industry. It’s tough to stand out on Instagram as a bodybuilder, but with a proper strategy you can master social media as a bodybuilder and stand out and build a strong personal brand. This blog post is going to go in depth and guide you through Instagram marketing for bodybuilders. With this guide you will grow your Instagram following, build a strong personal brand, land a sponsorship maybe, establish a strong social media presence, and much more. Get ready to take some notes and let’s get started
Establish your Personal Brand
Establish your Personal Brand
The first step in building your Instagram as a bodybuilder is to establish your personal brand and this is one of the most important steps. Your personal brand is built off of you, not others. It’s built off of your strengths, your knowledge, and your physique as well. I want you to answer these questions for me (and for you)
1. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
2. Why would someone follow you on social media?
3. Are you extremely knowledgeable with regard to bodybuilding or are you just experienced, or just have a great physique?
4. What are your strengths with regard to bodybuilding? What body parts are more developed than others?
5. Do you have access to a high quality camera?
6. How can you better your followers lives and provide value?
7. Are you motivating?
8. What are your passionate about?
Answer these truthfully and don’t lie. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not around and what they can tell by simply looking at your Instagram. One thing that you need to understand to market yourself on Instagram as a bodybuilder is that you need to have a good personality. Bodybuilders are very active in creating video content and personality is portrayed here. However, you need to establish a strong personal brand as a bodybuilder to stand out on Instagram.
Up Your Photography Game
The sad truth about bodybuilding and Instagram is that if you want to stand out, you need to up your photography game and you need access to a high quality camera. Whether this means getting a camera yourself or hiring a photographer, you need to. High quality photos represents a high quality personal brand and the bodybuilding industry on Instagram is extremely visual. You need high quality photos of yourself in the gym, in outdoor settings, and more. On top of this, you need some good editing whether it is through a mobile app or Adobe (click here to learn about fitness photography basics).
Overall, you need to up your photography game and have some high quality photos. Also be sure to utilize and take photos that have your face in it as this humanizes your photos and makes it more appealing. Oh and by the way, photos with faces get 79% more likes. If you want to make it big as a bodybuilder you need high quality photos of you training, period.
Establish your Content Strategy
This is quite possibly one of the most important steps as well, and if you want to learn Instagram marketing for bodybuilders you need an established and thorough Instagram marketing strategy. This can be one of the most difficult parts as well because you need to figure out what you are going to post on a daily basis.
Here are a few options on content to create:
1. Motivational video content
2. Educational videos
3. Educational graphics
4. Personal stories
5. Personal opinions
However, here is where you can be creative and tie in the personal branding step. Do you have big arms? Create social media content about that (photos, videos of arm exercises). Do you have massive quads? Create social media content about you doing leg exercises. Are you super knowledgeable? Provide science based research in workout videos or graphics. You need to be creative with your content strategy and create content that is unique to you. For general workout videos, you can use your Iphone or phone to take these but photos need to be with a high quality camera. Your content needs to be based off of what you know and your strengths, whether it is through videos or photos.
An example of astounding branding and great content is Julian Smith (learn more here), as he creates great content based off of his enormous quads and delivers very educational video content. They are high quality and he delivers tremendous value to his audience. Julian is a great example of someone who creates great content based off of their strengths.
Establish your Instagram Story Strategy
Yes, we already discussed your content strategy for posts but now it’s time to go through an Instagram story strategy. Over 300 million users interact with Instagram stories daily and Instagram stories play a key role in outsmarting the Instagram algorithm. To have an effective Instagram story strategy you need to post 3-5 stories per day, yes per day at least. Here are some ideas on Instagram stories to create
1. Training Videos of Yourself (this should be a bulk of your stories)
2. You Training Clients (if you’re a personal trainer)
3. Educational graphics
4. Educational videos
5. General videos of you in your normal day (this makes you relateable)
Your Instagram story strategy should be similar to your overall normal content strategy to establish consistency and these should for the most part be videos. Video content is essential in showing your personality, humanizing your content, and much more.
Hashtags have been known to increase profile visibility and make your content seen by more accounts and increase likes/followers. Did you know that hashtags can increase likes by up to 50%? You need to be strategic with your hashtag use and you can see your Instagram grow. Be sure to use the common hashtags popular among bodybuilders such as:
#bodybuilding, #Bodybuilder #arms #physique #ripped
However, be creative and use different hashtags that align with your individual post such as #postworkout, #abs #arms, #triceps, #bench and much more. You can put the hashtags in your original post copy, or as the first comment on the post. Whatever you do, be consistent.
Want to increase engagement on your Instagram page? Then engage yourself! You need to be social if you want your social media to grow (hey, that’s why it’s called social media). If you want your Instagram to grow you need to engage with your followers and build relationships. Comment on their posts, make them feel appreciated. Support them and they will support you. You should be commenting on at least 20 posts per day, Yes, 20! Put in effort, and you will see results and see your personal brand benefit greatly. By the way, if you want to become a sponsored athlete you need high engagement (click here to learn more about this).
Alright, we went over the first step of engagement and here is the next step and part 2 of “engagement”. We went over how you need to engage with your followers, but now we are going to go over how you need to engage with your non-followers. Every day you need to go out of your way and comment on other bodybuilders posts that aren’t even following you and you may not be following as well. Comment on other bodybuilders’ posts, other fitness enthusiasts’ posts, and be genuine with these comments. This will increase your profile’s visibility tremendously.
One way to engage this way is to simply find a big name bodybuilder who’s audience aligns with yours, go to their followers and engage with them. Is it sneaky? Maybe a little, but its smart.
Let’s say you are a hardcore bodybuilder with personality, that posts humorous content. What you would then do is go to Bradley Martyn’s followers most likely and engage with them. Engage and watch your brand grow.
Do you want to establish authority as a bodybuilder? Get sponsored. Whether this is an apparel brand, sports nutrition brand, or another fitness related brand. When you become sponsored, these brands will post about you and increase even more visibility for yourself. Not to mention, it makes you more credible that actual brands want you to represent them. All you need is high engagement and a strong personal brand (which we went over). Click here to learn how to become sponsored.
Alright, so now you’re an expert on Instagram marketing as a bodybuilder…well kind of. You have a strong personal brand on Instagram, a big following, and have established yourself. What’s next? It’s time to monetize your efforts. Here are a few ways to monetize your Instagram:
1. Get Sponsored (some brands will pay you)
2. Become an affiliate
3. Sell Training Ebooks (arm program, legs program, whatever you are an expert at and is knowledgeable on)
4. Become an Online Trainer
5. Become an in-person personal trainer
This is an optional step, but why wouldn’t you want to make money off of Instagram? You deserve to be paid for all your hard work. However, as you begin to grow more and more as a bodybuilder on Instagram, brands will reach out to you for sponsored posts as influencer marketing is growing rapidly.
The biggest thing you need to succeed as a bodybuilder on Instagram is to simply be yourself. Don’t try to be the next Jeremy Buendia, Ryan Terry, Logan Franklin, or Phil Heath. Be you, as your personal brand is unique to you and that’s it. It’s smart to analyze these individuals but you need to be you.
Examples of Bodybuilders Excelling on Instagram
So we went through Instagram marketing for bodybuilders, but what does a great bodybuilders Instagram look like? In order to go over this, here are some examples on bodybuilders who have built astounding personal brands, with a large following, with astounding Instagram content. Here are some posts by bodybuilders killing it on Instagram and are Instagram marketing experts. These individuals are Ryan Terry, Brandon Hendrickson, and Jeremy Buendia.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that I hope you were able to learn a lot about Instagram marketing for bodybuilders. Bodybuilders these days just post to post and mimic others. You need a thorough Instagram strategy and you need patience. Instagram fame for anyone doesn’t happen overnight unless you create viral content that is truly based off of your strengths (which we went over). I hope you learned a lot about Instagram marketing that you can implement as a bodybuilder for you to truly master social media marketing. For more fitness marketing tips, check out the Just Fitness Marketing blog which is a blog geared towards marketing just in the fitness industry. Your #1 fitness marketing resource to help you build your fitness brand, click here to visit the blog.
About Sam Wells, the author
Sam Wells is the founder of Just Fitness Marketing and is an experienced and driven digital marketer in the fitness industry that has worked with several sports nutrition brands, fitness brands, gyms, and personal trainers achieve a stronger online presence. With experience in social media marketing, branding, photography, and much more he strives to help you build the fitness brand of your dreams. This is why he created JustFitnessMarketing.com, your #1 fitness marketing resource