Growing Your Instagram Following as a Personal Trainer

How Do Personal Trainers Get Clients on Instagram?


Many eyes are turned to Instagram now as the platform is growing in followers and with social distancing measures increasing consumers’ use of social media sites.  We’ve all heard of the hacks to gain more followers – like buying users – but how do you grow a real following on Instagram that engages with your content? And what tactics are the latest and greatest for 2020?

We broke down the latest strategies to grow your Instagram following.

Your Bio Has Never Been More Important

With so many people on Instagram now, many accounts blur together and it’s hard to get people’s attention in the clutter. Your bio will be one of the first things users see about your profile.  Make sure its professional, fits your personality, has fun use of space or emojis or hashtags, attention-grabbing, to-the-point, and accurately depicts what will be featured on your account. Don’t offer misleading descriptions and don’t underestimate the value of drafting up the perfect bio.

Link Everything

Users like a one-stop platform that they can access everything as they search for more and more ease.  Be one step ahead and link all of your platforms.  Your bio should include links to your website, as well as other significant sites you would like your followers to check out.  Similarly, make sure your website, emails, or other social platforms all tie back to your Instagram.  This way someone who stumbles across your website, can now be gained as an Instagram follower and see the exciting things you are up to on social.

Build a Strong Personality

Instagram is a competitive environment and accounts now pay for professional photographers or editors to keep their pictures and videos fresh. To be competitive, your account needs to capture eyes, when they see your page.  Ensure that you have a strong personality that comes through with each post and users can tell why they want to follow YOU in particular.  Don’t just throw together posts for the sake of time, but rather try to build a cohesive image of the account.  Likewise, color schemes work wonders.  If possible, try to take pictures/videos that aesthetically look similar, so that your Instagram page becomes its own branded platform.


Hashtags are a very common way to gain followers because this is how many people discover new accounts.  Be sure to utilize hashtags in every post and Instagram lets you use 30 hashtags, so use as many seem fitting to get the highest amount of reach on your posts.  For a fun twist, create your own branded hashtag that your followers can use to build a community around your work and create a fun trend.

Engaging Captions

Captions are not only your time to be informative or witty, but also opportunities to engage with your audience.  Ask your followers a question or for their point of view in your posts to get more comments.  By getting higher engagement on your platform, the Instagram algorithm will see there is action on your posts and place them higher up on general feeds.  Also, it’s good to form relationships with your followers.  Additionally, Instagram captions are increasing in length steadily and this will continue into 2021.  Utilize character space to offer longer content on your page.

Participate in Important Topics

Is your industry going through something exciting? Is there a cause you are avid about? Do you want to take a stance on something? Using your Instagram to speak out about big topics offers an opportunity to grow your followers to other like-minded individuals and spread the topics you cover or audience.  If you are discussing something that others care about, they will feel inclined to pay attention to your content.  Also, be sure to leave comments or share the work of others that you would like to speak on.  By engaging in broader conversations, you open up the door to form new relationships on your social media and take a bigger stance.

Check What You Are Tagged In

Are you being tagged in photos or mentioned? Check who’s mentioning you and engage with them to increase your exposure.  Or if there is something you are being associated with that you would like to avoid, be sure to manage what you are tagged in to not be seen on posts you do not approve of.  Social media can get messy, so be sure to stay on top of what you are tagged in.


People are growing more focused in accounts that are growing near them and focusing on locals.  Tag your locations to be associated with your local community and use any relevant local hashtags to further immerse yourself in the local social media community to gain the support of locals!


Influencer marketing is being tapped into by companies of all sizes and offers extreme reach.  Followers take influencer recommendations seriously and avidly lookout for their content.  By joining forces with influencers – big or small – you increase awareness of your account and become more established.


Instagram Ads are growing in usage and not too expensive to utilize.  To increase your exposure, purchase ads to get your content onto the right screens, and grow your following.


IGTV Is fairly new to the Instagram world.  It allows users to post long video content as part of a separate IGTV community. By posting on IGTV you expand the repertoire of your social posts and can put out new exciting content.  Also, your long videos on IGTV can be exposed to many users watching video content on the platform.  You can even create an IGTV series to build videos off of each other and build an exciting ritual around your video content.


Reels are the newest addition to Instagram and are the platform’s response to Tik Tok.  Thousands of users are testing out the exciting new Tik Tok-esque feature that is available right on Instagram.  This tool will only grow in the future, so be sure to test out Reels to spice up your content with fun short videos and get on board the newest trends.

Follow Similar Accounts

As always, follow similar accounts to join your larger community, show up on user’s suggested accounts (if they are interested in the topic you cover), and gain similar accounts as followers.

Stay Engaged

No one wants to follow an account that isn’t engaging and feels drawn to one that they have a personal connection with.  Likewise, no one will be introduced to your content if you do not show your face to as many people as possible.  If someone likes your content – like theirs or give them a follow.  If someone comments – reply or comment on their posts.  If someone follows you – engage with their content, follow back, or send them a message. Like posts, comment, share, posts from your followers and on your discover page. Instagram is also friendly to engaged accounts and will serve your posts more through the platform’s algorithm.

Highlight Stories

Instagram stories are another fun way to post content on Instagram.  However, the new highlights tool allows you to put your stories into different folders on your profile for people to be introduced to who you are.  Don’t miss out on posting stories or using highlights, for additional reach, but also to build a stronger account that people want to follow.

More Video

Instagram is becoming more and more video-centric.  Not only with IGTV, but simple short videos.  Engagement rates with video are increasing and accounts posting video content are similarly growing.  Stay on top of video and don’t let your account fall behind.  By focusing on more video, your account is more enticing to users and can stand out in the midst of accounts that are still just posting pictures.

More Pics of You

Instagram is becoming more personalized and people want to see the real human you.  Post pictures of yourself to make your social media feel more relaxed and individualistic.  By seeing you, followers feel more welcomed to follow.


Memes have transitioned into the Instagram space and become now a fundamental part of the platform.  Memes are a fun way to relate to people and bring a more lighthearted side to your account. Join in on the fun and don’t be afraid to make your own memes.  This is not only a good way to bring variety to your posts, but also avid meme fans will be introduced to your platform.

Steps to Starting a Training/Coaching Career

Check out this list of fitness careers that let you follow your dreams which includes what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.

Is your re-certification coming up? Learn more about earning your CEU credits. You can find the full list of CEU courses here.

If you are ready to start your online personal training or coaching business, don’t forget to learn more about our online coaching course.

One of the most popular and fastest ways to get started working with clients while you travel is to coach/train online. You will want to learn more about GymGo. GymGo lets you work with clients and make money in different ways: online, live-streaming virtual training & on-demand training. Use our link to get yourself a free 14-day trial >>> http://www.gymgo.com/nesta

Remember, NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites!

That’s it for now. Take action!

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PS: Click here to see many helpful business/career resources

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NOTE: When you take your fitness business home, you can also work with clients outdoors as you operate your business from your kitchen table and even coach clients online from home.