PLANOLY Small Business School: Physical Therapists/Fitness Trainers - How to Grow Your Business on Instagram

    January 20 2020

    Small businesses stand to win big on Instagram in 2020.Marketing your business on the unparalleled social unifier isn't just an option anymore - it's a modern-day necessity. Two hundred million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily. Moreover, one-third of the most viewed Stories on Instagram are those from business pages.Yet there's often a stigma that unless you own a very particular type of small business, marketing success on Instagram will be limited or nonexistent. The evidence tends to lean towards visual storytelling, and the notion that if you own, say, a dental practice, there isn't an intriguing visual aspect to your Instagram presence. Or, more intimately to this story, a lack of adoring imagery as a rehabilitation center/physical therapist and fitness training.It's certainly not incorrect that fashion brands, restaurants, and artists fare best on the photo-driven app. But just because their success comes more natural doesn't mean that yours is impossible. You require a different approach, a different reason for existing on Instagram, one that will chiefly aim to teach, explain, and inform.PLANOLY-Blog-Post-SMB-Fitness-Image-1-2

    Questions to Ask Yourself

    Before plunging deep into the trenches of social media marketing on Instagram, there are few questions you must first ask and answer:What is your purpose for marketing on Instagram?What do you hope to achieve?What problem(s) will you solve for your customers?Is your customer on social media?What's the message you hope to convey?What content does your audience want/need to see?Are you adding value to your customer's lives?Once you've got those preliminary questions out of the way and have a firm understanding of your purpose on Instagram, it's time to strategize content. This will undoubtedly rely heavily on your audience and the brand story you aim to tell. Here, we'll breakdown strategic content planning points for each small business:

    Rehabilitation Center/Physical TherapyContent Strategy

    As a physical and mental wellness outpost, your primary content focus should orbit your ability to provide information while equally making potential clients feel a sense of security.There's an inherent need for those recovering from physical harm or emotional trauma to both feel understood and handled with extreme care. Privacy will also be paramount. You'll want to provide success stories, inspiring testimonials that speak to your center's ability to heal the body as well as the mind.PLANOLY-Blog-Post-SMB-Fitness-Image-2-2

    Who's Doing it Right & Why

    Provide recovery facts that ensure potential clients feel good about your facility. Therefore, as a result, it plants the idea that their attendance will result in similar positive results. The Prehab Guys, a team of strength and conditioning experts from California, use their Instagram account with over 500k followers to show examples of technical workouts that steer suffering clients back to good health.As each member of the three-person team is a certified physical therapist (CPT) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), they back each of their workout videos with compelling yet understandable anatomy. It speaks not only to their collective expertise but provides insight into their point-by-point plan to heal the body and strengthen the mind. They also make sure to provide testimonials from clients and brand co-signs from other industry experts.Zenith, a quaint yet impactful rehabilitation center in Dallas, Texas, appeals to its fast-growing social media following a bit differently. As opposed to The Prehab Guys and their insightful video concepts, Zenith's approach is far more traditional. They've keyed on still images with compelling food graphics that tell a relatable story.By offering thoughtful nutrition facts, insider weight loss tips, and other healthy living options, Zenith gets to the core of human behavior and how it impacts the body. Their inspirational posts are well-considered and speak to the common man and woman, fueling the fact that success isn't merely for the exceptional, but for anyone willing to work for it.Zenith also cleverly sub-titles much of its Instagram content with "Rehabilitation and Weight Loss." This small text below their brand name ensures that they specify what they do best, effectively stamping themselves thought leaders in those respective genres.Teaching, inspiring, and providing a visual representation of positive physical and mental well-being serves as your primary function. Pour into your clients your many years of schooling and personal knowledge until they're overflowing. Give them insights, focus on the details, and make sure they're learning whether they ever step foot in your door or not. Simply, approach your social media marketing as if you were a public servant, and you're duty-bound.PLANOLY-Blog-Post-SMB-Fitness-Image-3-2

    Fitness Trainer Content Strategy

    Personal training has traveled an eventful course. Traversing gym chains across the country to now an industry that features independently wealthy entrepreneurs working with some of the biggest stars in sports and film, personal training, one could say, has been vastly enriched by the internet age.The growth of this industry found much sticking power through the advent of social media influencers. Platforms like Instagram have been a springboard for trainers to brand themselves or their business. The concept of social media intimacy allows fitness experts to build a deeper connection with new and existing clients.

    Who's Doing it Right & Why

    Kaisa Keranen, the personal trainer and social media influencer behind her eponymous brand, Kaisa Fit, has mastered the art of leveraging Instagram to promote physical health and how its funneled through her business. Keranen's content has the ability to inspire because she, herself, is inspiring.Starring in many of her workout videos - utilizing both her IG Grid and for longer clips, IGTV - Keranen smartly amplifies the tangible marketing benefits of her body. In a way that's playful yet intentional, Keranen celebrates her chiseled yet fem frame through a lens of self-love and self-respect. By doing so she's prioritizing physical and mental well-being. Truly, KaisaFit is about loving yourself enough to want to better yourself.That overarching brand narrative developing through a content lens is as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one. Self-love requires action. Be it hiring a personal trainer or, say, blitzing the entire personal fitness industry through the new phenomenon that is Classpass.PLANOLY-Blog-Post-SMB-Fitness-Image-4-2Conceptually, Classpass strikes a bond with its users by giving them the freedom of choice. With access to any gym or training facility of your choosing, Classpass limits the anxiety of committing to just one by providing the joy of attending many.The brand's approach to social media follows a similar narrative. Outfitting its page with a host of inspiring facilities across the country, strategically, this feeds directly into the empowering notion of choice. Want to train with a friend at a cycling class in Austin? Or maybe at a famed Pilates studio in Los Angeles? Any option is yours to have and make your own. Their Instagram content leans thoughtfully into the users' ability to explore boundless possibilities.Classpass, in addition, follows a color theme centered around a primary blue that outfits their brand logo. Warming yellow, green, and orange hues properly contrast the foundational shade to perfection, creating a vibey allure that brings completion to the engaging feed.PLANOLY-Blog-Post-SMB-Fitness-Image-5-2

    Cost: Outsourcing vs. DIY

    Paying for social media marketing as a small business owner can feel liberating or like a crushing reminder of your lacking monetary circumstance. The former, while ideal, in theory, speaks to a certain level of financial independence most upstarts lack in their infancy.Hiring a social media manager can run you anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 annually – depending on your region and that manager's level of expertise. Conversely, outsourcing your efforts to Fiverr or Google Ads or even a part-time independent contractor can cost upwards to $500-$1,500/monthly.Truth be told, managing your social media marketing in the early stages is essential. No one will care about your business quite like you. Nor will they understand your audience better than you do. So before reaching economic liberation and potentially outsourcing social media marketing, you must first create the brand narrative and social trends you want to be replicated by that employee or contractor. Again, if you don't set those markers yourself, how can you expect anyone else to uphold those ideals?In the world of DIY social media marketing, there are plenty of worthy tools at your disposal. PLANOLY represents the best end-to-end social media marketing manager, allowing you to do much of what an employee can at a fraction of the cost. Certainly, no app can take the place of a human being. At its core, PLANOLY is not meant to. PLANOLY promotes the best of you, and helps manage your thoughts and ideas once you've put them out into the world.


    Your efforts won't stop at providing an excellent service to your existing customers. You'll need to both retain them and use your marketing outreach to generate new business. For industries like physical therapy/rehabilitation and fitness, word of mouth tends to operate as a hype machine. Your Instagram content is engaging and brings in a new customer. They're happy with your service and, in turn, recommend you to a friend.In a vacuum, this powerful cycle starts with first being seen, being visible to the world so that ideas can begin to form around your work or about your product. The thoughtfulness of your Instagram marketing is central to this entire process. So is analyzing your performance after you've presented these ideas and thoughts to your audience.

    Reaffirming Your Position

    So what are your small business marketing goals on Instagram? Increased sales? Brand awareness? New customers? No matter the reason for your brand's entry point to social marketing, planning will always be the most significant path to success. Plan your strategy, plan your goals then, finally, plan your content. Now you can stand firm in your ability to succeed. As you've planned it, envisioned it.

    Download the free PLANOLY Instagram Worksheet for Fitness Trainers and Physical Therapists

    The PLANOLY mobile app and web platform simplifies social media marketing by allowing you to visually plan, schedule, and analyze your Instagram and Pinterest content.

    Learn more about Darren Griffin, on PLANOLY

    Darren Griffin

    Darren Griffin was a contributing Senior Writer at PLANOLY. His expertise includes culture, fashion, and social media marketing.

    More by Darren Griffin


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