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How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Learn how to create a bodybuilding influencer plan that's easy to execute

With 3% of the influencers making up the fitness category, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the top names if you’re an up-and-coming bodybuilding influencer. 

Names like YouTuber Sam Sulek, or the youngest IFBB pro bodybuilder Jeff Seid or Ms Olympia Andrea Shaw probably make you think about how you don’t fit in this crowded social media landscape.

But there is a way to carve out a fresh perspective to connect with your audience. It’s having an iron-clad influencer fitness strategy behind you.

Whether your goal is to be a micro, macro or mega influencer, we’ll spill the tea on all the steps to help you grow your audience and monetize your brand.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Building an Influencer Marketing Strategy

Before we dive deep into the best body-building influencer strategies to crush it out there, let’s talk about the elephants in the room—virality and platforms.

You’re probably thinking, “Is going viral on YouTube better than TikTok for bodybuilders?”

And “Do you really need a website and newsletter to make this marketing strategy work?”

You may not realize it, but a lot goes into becoming a fitness influencer. It’s not enough to go viral on TikTok—or YouTube—to ‘make it big’ and secure your own sportswear line. 

Similarly, to build a consistently profitable business, you must adopt a holistic marketing approach instead of only having a website or an Instagram shop. 

1. Building a Strong Brand Presence

Starting a marketing strategy for your new fitness brand starts with the message you put out for your audience.

Just look at how Robin Arzón, fitness icon and Peleton’s VP of Fitness Programming, built a laser-focussed audience. 

She created a personal brand that’s both relatable and engaging by sharing her traumatic past of being held hostage at a Manhattan bar while fostering honest conversations. This instantly made her relatable and wildly engaging.

By connecting with people through her bestselling books and The Pivot newsletter, Robin became a major voice in wellness and fitness.

Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Robin generated over 1 million followers on Instagram with a strong, unique selling point behind her brand.

No one would have bought her books or merch without some connection to her heroic journey after a tragic event.

Similarly, Sam Sulek wouldn’t have blown up on YouTube if he didn’t have polarizing views that sparked heated discussions with people talking about him.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

If you want similar results, think about how you want to connect with your audience. Cook up that story angle, prune it with the right messaging and season it with your personality to stand out. 

  • Transformation journey: Document your fitness competition journey from start to finish. Show the highs and lows of a bodybuilding routine, bulking diet, and the mental stamina needed

  • Unique training methods: Show your training methodology that you've developed or use unconventional tools like yoga, ballet, or parkour to bulk up

  • No holds-bar personality: Share your unfiltered truths around fitness and bodybuilding and debunk myths or call out ineffective hacks or diets

Developing a Consistent Brand Identity

Getting that booka money from a large audience depends on whether that audience remembers you. 

And that comes down to having a consistent brand identity. If you look at the photos of Ms Olympia, you see she likes to keep her hair down during competitions. 

On the other hand, Robin likes to put her hair into braids when working out.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

It can be as simple as how you style your hair or standing up to what you believe in like bodybuilder Joey Swoll does to create a consistent identifiable brand.

He often comments on stories of gym shaming and harassment and uses his brand and platform to stand up for those victims.

Don’t be afraid to stick to a font choice, use a logo, or have a signature color associated with your brand and personality to make it memorable.

2. Creating Engaging Content

Keep up the momentum with the right type of content your audience will scoop up.

Whether you share real-life success stories, conduct myth-busting sessions, or collaborate with other influencers or experts on the spot, it all begins with what your audience wants.

Understanding Your Target Audience

Before you post your deadlift battle video and share it with your audience, is this the type of information your audience will enjoy?

You don't want to give a beginner the same advice you’d give a seasoned gym-goer. Drop a question on X (formerly Twitter) or if Instagram is a mainstream option for you, then post a story with the question sticker to get more responses.

Keep an eye on trends within your audience’s demographic to stay relevant and get more views.

For example, author, personal trainer, and podcaster Mike Matthews often asks questions on X to understand his audience and create content just for them.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

And to deepen your connection and gain valuable insights into your audience, do what Arnold Schwarzenegger does. He often shares inspiring stories from subscribers of his Pump Club newsletter and app.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

These insights into Arnold's subscribers help him tailor content effectively and strengthen his brand identity of overcoming challenges.

Developing a Content Strategy

A strong content strategy will help you develop consistency around creating, optimizing, and publishing content—something a fitness influencer has locked down and mastered.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Begin by mapping out your content calendar. You can use a tool like Trello—or print out a calendar to use—and add what types of content you want to create on what days.

Focus on building out your month with short content, longer content, and images. A content schedule for TikTok might look like posting 3x a day Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For example, this is the plan I made that you can follow too.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Why Trust Me: For the past decade, Elna Cain has been a content writer for forward-thinking SaaS brands in ecommerce and marketing. She's also in the content creator space with a Youtube channel, email list and digital products. 

Building off that, tap into your audience with polls, Q&A sessions, and feedback requests in your stories to understand their current interests and challenges. 

For instance, after sharing a new lifting technique with your audience, ask them what they struggle with or want to learn next. This ongoing dialogue helps your content remain relevant and highly targeted.

And remember, take the time to review your engagement rates, follower growth, and the feedback you receive to refine your approach. 

Your audience may respond better to video demonstrations than a podcast format, or they may engage more with posts about competitions and less with basic workouts. Use this data to tweak your strategy for better results.

3. Content Creation and Distribution

Now comes the fun part—creating and distributing your fitness and bodybuilding content. From books to newsletters, TikToks to Instagram Reels, which pieces of content should you focus on?

But before that, which social media platform should you use to grow your fitness brand?

Wellness Creative Co. suggests looking at your audience and your fitness title to decide which social platform to focus on.

  • Corporate audience: Use LinkedIn to create expert leadership content

  • Younger audience: Use Instagram and TikTok for shorter attention spans and higher engagement rates

  • Older audience: Use Facebook. It's familiar to what they know

  • Personal trainer: Use Facebook and Instagram to interact with clients via Messenger or DMs

  • Fitness blogger: Use YouTube and Pinterest to gain traffic to your website

Of course, you don't have to follow this guideline but it can help you figure out which social platform to start with. Wellness Creative Co., also recommends using one platform for a while before adding another platform to not overwhelm yourself.

Next, to grow your views and audience quicker, follow the standard benchmarks for posting frequencies.

  • TikTok: Between 3-4 times a day

  • Instagram: 3-5 times per week of mixed media (stories, reels carousels, photos, etc.)

  • YouTube: Depending on the length of your videos, post daily or once a week

  • Facebook: 1-2 posts a day

  • Pinterest: 4-10 pins per day

Once you pick a platform and decide how often you'll post, use video, photos, and written content to grow your brand.

If you're new to creating any type of online content, take direction from Jon Finkel, author, fitness enthusiast, and the popular Books & Biceps newsletter creator. 

Jon knew nothing about gaining an audience and marketing his brand, so what did he do? He copied other successful entrepreneurs who were doing what he wanted to do.

"When I first started, I knew authors who had newsletters, and I figured I wrote a lot of books, so I should start one. It began as me copying Tim Ferriss, like here are five things I saw this week. I think 50% of authors do this when they start a newsletter."

Take these recommendations as inspiration for you to use for your body-building influencer strategy.

Video Content

Working out and bodybuilding is a highly visual process, making video content a focal point in your marketing strategy. 

According to research done by Livestream and New York Magazine, 82% of people prefer live video from a brand rather than social posts.

And with the popularity of short-form videos, it's tempting to keep things quick and snappy, but don’t underestimate the power of YouTube for longer content.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

YouTube

Long-form videos still have a place in your influencer marketing strategy. According to Wistia, videos longer than five minutes generate higher conversion rates. 

If you start monetizing with sponsored content, affiliate products, or creating your own product (these will be discussed shortly) your audience will have no problem trusting your content and clicking on your links.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Today people want to engage with authentic content—something that goes beyond a quick clip.

With YouTube, you can dive deeper into your exercise routines, explain the why and the how like Stefi Cohen does, and connect with your audience personally.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Whether it’s sharing a full workout session, a day in your life, or even a deeper analysis on the successes of Mr or Ms Olympia, with YouTube you build that trust and rapport that only comes from spending more time with your viewers.

TikTok and Instagram Reels

With short-form videos having the highest engagement over longer videos, capitalize on creating a binge-worthy mini-series content plan.

  • Micro workouts: Create a series where each video focuses on a specific muscle group with quick, effective exercises. For example, "Arm Day in 60 Seconds" could feature a combination of exercises that target different parts of the arm

  • Exercise breakdowns: Take a single exercise and create a mini-series around it. Start with the basics, then advance to common mistakes and how to fix them, and finally, add variations of the exercise for different skill levels or impacts

  • Fix your form: Dive into common workout mistakes in each video— think squats, deadlifts, or presses. Show what not to do, explain why it’s risky, and teach the right way to do it

  • Ingredient spotlight: Each episode focuses on a key bodybuilding supplement like creatine or whey protein. Break down the science behind its benefits, how to add it to your diet, and challenge your viewers to whip up and share their own recipes featuring the ingredient

Photography and Visual Content

While you might think video is THE only content to create, don't underestimate photos as part of your influencer marketing strategy. 

42% of user-generated content are photos and when TikTok added photo posting to grow a broader audience, it highlighted the ongoing relevance of still images. 

Tianna Weymouth, the IFBB bikini pro winner, often shares photos with hashtags on TikTok to gain a wider reach and from the looks of her views, her photos are doing slightly better than her videos. 

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Instagram Feed, Pinterest & Facebook

With Instagram and YouTube being the most popular platforms for fitness influencers, an up-and-coming influencer can make their mark and stand out by leveraging photo content on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Create high-quality, eye-catching photos to capture attention and convey your fitness journey, workout results, or meal prep in an instant.

Plus, content on these platforms can lead back to a link in bio, video, product store, or lead magnet to grow your email list.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Written Content

Both Robin Arzón and Jon Finkel used beehiiv to massively grow their fitness community with a newsletter. People want to feel connected with an influencer, and there's no better way than to deliver top-notch exclusive newsletters straight into their inboxes.

And to widen your reach, you can link your newsletter or to any other assets you might have like a blog post or webpage. 

To gain subscribers, offer them an incentive, or lead magnet like a guide, challenge, or free course.

Try out these fitness lead magnet ideas to attract the right audience.

  • Supplement timing guide: Break down the best times and combos of supplements to boost results and recovery, tailored for beginner-level bodybuilders

  • Transformation challenge: Provide a weekly challenge covering everything someone needs for both gym and home workouts, detailed guides on macros and nutrition, plus exclusive cardio and ab routines

  • Healthy fitness free course: Create detailed lessons with tools like fitness trackers, nutritional guides, and workout equipment recommendations to live a healthier lifestyle

And remember, get more out of your content by repurposing it across various formats. 

Turn a detailed newsletter into a series of Instagram posts, a YouTube video, and even a podcast episode discussing the topic in depth. 

Or take that TikTok educational video and use it for a thought leadership LinkedIn post to help establish your expertise and expand your reach. 

4. Building and Engaging Your Community

Building and engaging your community isn't just about throwing content into the world and hoping it sticks. It's about creating a space where people feel valued, heard, and connected. 

So, how do you do that?

Leveraging Social Media Platforms

To influence an audience, you have to go where they hang out, and that's social media.

When selecting platforms that provide the best ROI, TikTok, boasts an average engagement rate of 3.3%, making it highly interactive and perfect for viral content. 

YouTube is another powerhouse, with an average of 43.8k views per video, ideal for in-depth storytelling and building a loyal subscriber base. 

Lastly, don't overlook Instagram, despite its modest 0.8% growth rate, as it remains a top platform for brand visibility and direct engagement through posts and stories.

Collaborating with Other Influencers

Teaming up with other health and fitness influencers can introduce your content to potential new followers who already trust and engage with your collaborator.

The right collaboration can open doors for sponsorships and lead to book deals or TV shows.

For example, fitness influencers Joe Wicks and Cassey Ho teamed up for a series of workout videos and social media challenges.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Their collaboration not only helped grow their audience reach but also attracted attention from major brands looking for influential partnerships. 

Joe Wicks secured a series of book deals, which became bestsellers, and his TV show, "The Body Coach," aired in the UK. 

Cassey Ho has also expanded her influence with book deals, including "Cassey Ho's Hot Body Year-Round," and continued partnerships with leading sportswear and health brands.

5. Monetizing Your Influence

With an audience that holds on to every sentence you say, it's time to gain income for all the time you put into becoming a fitness influencer.

A popular monetization method most fitness influencers incorporate is sponsored content.

Sponsored content is when a company pays you to create content that highlights their product or service. 

It’s a partnership where your brand and their brand come together in a post, video, or other piece of content that you share with your audience.

Consideration

Explanation

Brand Alignment

Ensure the brand's values and products align with your personal brand and audience interests.

Compensation

Negotiate fair compensation based on your audience size, engagement rates, and the scope of the partnership.

Transparency

Clearly disclose sponsored content to maintain trust and credibility with your audience.

Content Quality

Ensure sponsored content is high-quality, relevant, and provides value to your audience.

When integrating a brand into your content, do it in a way that fits seamlessly into what you're already doing.

If you're showcasing a workout, explain how a particular supplement from a sponsor enhances your performance or recovery.

Affiliate Marketing

As an influencer, you can use affiliate marketing to promote a product or service through your social media channels or with a newsletter and get a commission for every sale that comes from your referral link. 

With this monetization strategy, pick products that you genuinely like and would recommend. This way, you’re not just pushing random stuff; you’re sharing products you believe in, keeping everything authentic and in line with your brand.

Drop your unique affiliate link in your content— a Facebook post, link in bio or a YouTube video. 

You get a small kickback when your followers click through and buy a product. 

And like with sponsored content, honesty is key, so always let your followers know when you’re using affiliate links.

Developing Your Products 

Many fitness influencers see the pinnacle of all their work by creating a product for their audience. It can be sportswear, a nutritional supplement, or a fitness app.

This happened to Hanna Öberg, a fitness model and Swedish social media celebrity. 

She began her influencer journey by taking a job managing social media for a company while building an audience on Instagram. During that time, she had about 100,000 followers, which served as a solid foundation.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Hanna then started a YouTube channel, focusing initially on Swedish audiences before switching to English to reach a global audience. 

Her brand grew to over 200,000 followers and she quit her job to grow it full-time.

With her success in digital products, Hanna turned to physical products by launching OWNU Fit, her activewear line.

The line includes leggings, sports bras, tops, and more, each crafted to meet the demands of various physical activities.

How to Build a Remarkable Influencer Strategy for Bodybuilders

Create, Share, and Influence

With this, you have the tools to become wildly successful in the fitness community as an influencer.

But why stop there? Start your newsletter to extend your influence and deepen your connection with your audience. 

Share exclusive content, tips, and personal insights directly with your followers, keeping them engaged and committed to their fitness journeys.

Check out our case studies, where fitness influencers have successfully launched and grown their newsletters, creating a subscriber base and enhancing their brand's reach. 

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