The fitness world has gone mainstream. Brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Crossfit, RXBAR, and Under Armour are making use of brand ambassadors in social media. These brand ambassadors on YouTube and Instagram enjoy perks like world travel, special events, and being featured in shoots for advertising campaigns. It’s no secret that the world of fitness is competitive.
After all, pushing yourself harder and farther is the name of the game! But how exactly did these fitness brand ambassadors get there?
How do you become a fitness brand ambassador?
Our guide to becoming a fitness brand ambassador will show you how step-by-step:
1. Create your personal brand as a fitness influencer
The online fitness world is all about content. Years ago that meant motivational quotes, memes, and workout loops. Today fitness brand ambassadors take things to another level. Because social media is so crowded, the most successful fitness brand ambassadors have developed unique positions that help them cut through the noise. You’ll never be right for everybody, but you can start with a specific audience and grow from there.
Pick a fitness brand ambassador niche that aligns with your passions
For example, you may find that your fitness interests align with technology. You may love wearing the latest gadget to measure your body response during an intense workout, or just track your health while you go about your day. Focusing on the latest tech like smart watches, heart rate monitors, and Bluetooth sports earbuds could be the best way for you to break into the business. Brands like Apple may be interested in utilizing you as a brand ambassador for the iWatch, AirPods or competing products from FitBit.
Alternatively, if fashion is your passion you could focus on fitness apparel. That may mean you’ll end up working as a fitness apparel brand ambassador in the near future. Don’t be afraid to pick a niche and stick to it. Brands need to be able to quickly identify you as an opportunity, and sometimes all you’ll get is a passing glance before they move on. Make it obvious through your Instagram images or YouTube videos what you’re all about.
2. Leverage Instagram’s fitness community by joining a pod
In a recent study of fitness brand ambassadors it was found that the average fitness influencer had over 20,000 followers on Instagram before getting their first offer. That’s a big number if you’re just starting out. So how do you get more fitness brand appeal? Instagram influencers typically use pods, or groups of like-minded Instagrammers that come to together and agree to like, share, and comment on each others’ posts. This has the effect of promoting all content to a wider audience, and even securing trending status. It’s extremely attractive to brands, and can help you start the conversation on the right foot.
Find or create your own fitness Instagram pods
Finding and joining pods in the fitness world isn’t the easiest thing in the world. You can pay services to help you, or you can also start your own. Gather a collection of fitness Instagrammers together on WhatsApp or other similar service and start coordinating your posts. Gradually add people to the group, and you may have a better way to grow your following in 6-12 months.
3. Practice what you preach as a fitness brand ambassador
Most fitness brand ambassadors have gone through changes in their lives. Those changes can be transformative or minor. Once you start down the path to becoming a fitness brand ambassador, you have to stick to it. That can mean months of hard workouts, tightly controlled diet, and health monitoring. At it’s core, fitness is about feeling and looking good on the inside and outside, so keep it tight!
That doesn’t just refer to fitness itself, but mental discipline as well. In the early stages of becoming a fitness brand ambassador, you may not have a lot of interest. “Going viral” isn’t really a thing these days – at least not in the way it used to be! Instead of swinging for home runs every time, focus on hitting singles. By earning a few fans at a time, you’ll end up building loyalty and engagement for the long term.
Tips to create the best social media workout:
- Post often as part of your routine, but not so often that you turn off new fans. Daily workouts, meals, and fitness ideas are good examples of how to keep things interesting. There’s no need for more than 2 Instagram posts per day if your following is under 1,000 people. Once you get more followers on Instagram you can scale up posts to make it work.
- Use a variety of Instagram hashtags. Go for fitness hashtags that fit your niche rather than the most commonly used. It will enable people with genuine interest to find your content and follow it. Keep things moving, and you’ll be on your way in no time.
- Find established fitness brand ambassadors and make it a daily habit to engage with their content. You may make a new relationship, or you may also find that other people see your comments and likes and check you out!
4. Get your social media aligned with your fitness goals
Understanding your audience is key to building an established fitness influencer brand. Make sure your social media profiles speaks to their unique interest and needs. For example, if you are focusing on Crossfit workouts, you might use acronyms like WOD to describe your content. But if your content focuses on transformations through daily habit changes, using acronyms may confuse and turn off fitness newbies.
Fitness brand ambassadors on YouTube
YouTube is more complex, and requires setup and categorization of videos under a fitness channel. Your channel should show off your unique angle, and it will take some time to set it up. Be sure to take the opportunity to include any links to websites that you own so that YouTubers can visit you offline. You can even share a link to your Instagram profile and vice versa to connect the two cleanly.
Understanding your fitness audience
Examine your Instagram profile from the perspective of a viewer to understand if it makes sense for a fitness audience. Show your face in your profile picture, and be sure to write a complete description of your overall goals. Becoming a fashion brand ambassador is as much about advertising who you are as producing content and engagements. Make sure you set up an email account that can be easily reached, and switch your Instagram profile to a business page to enable contact buttons and analytics. That way you can track your progress and understand which type of content getting you engagement.
5. Reach out proactively to fitness brands and their PR agencies
Most established fitness brands are working with a fitness public relations firm. These PR agencies provide a services to connect brands to journalists at popular magazines like Men’s Health, as well as popular online publications like Shape. Beyond that, PR agencies have taken on the task of identifying fitness influencers that fit their clients’ image. It’s common for fitness brands to be working with hundreds, if not thousands of fitness brand ambassadors. Keeping on top of them all means constantly adding fresh faces to the lineup.
Outreach to fitness public relations companies
Outreach to PR agencies can be done by email. Head to the PR firm’s website and find the contact page, then fill out a form or type up an email. Let the PR firm know who you are, where to find you online, and what kind of brand you want to partner with. You may even want to list a brand that fits from their client list assuming you know the company and enjoy the product. These types of outreach emails can be done in your downtime, and you really can’t do too many of them.
Wait about a week before following up so you don’t bombard the agency with content. Alternatively, you can make a list of your favorite fitness brands and search for relevant company employees on social networks like LinkedIn. Be warned: These employees likely receive hundreds of emails and inquires weekly, so don’t expect immediate results. Keep trying and you may just get lucky!
Reaching out to fitness brands about becoming an ambassador
As a side note to contacting brands and agencies, follower count matters here. Recall that 20,000 may be the minimum number to get any real interest unless you have a very specific fitness niche. You may want to hold off on direct brand outreach until you get a bit closer to that goal, so that the first time the brand sees your content it’s through a positive lens. Once you get in with a brand, the deals can keep coming as new products are released and new campaigns ramp up.
6. Don’t be afraid to pivot into a more general message
Once you get started, you may learn more about yourself. Creating fitness content every day for Instagram can be mentally exhausting. If you find yourself getting burned out on fitness, you may want to diversify and add lifestyle content to the mix. Lifestyle can mean food, travel, and general wellness topics that are important to you. Think of it as a lifecast of interesting moments in your daily grind.
Extending fitness blogging to lifestyle blogging
Lifestyle bloggers often start with one topic like food, fitness or fashion and branch out as they discover what really interest them in social media. Once the world gets a bit bigger, you may find it easier to come up with content ideas that look and feel more authentic and striking. You may also open yourself up to more brands looking for lifestyle influencers to help them grow. Maintaining a focus on fitness can still be accomplished, but introducing other ideas into your feed can help you make more connections, use new hashtags, and generally get wider exposure.
7. Engage with your fitness audience and earn follows and subscribers
Engagement can be offline, too! Events like The Crossfit Games offer opportunities to connect with followers in the real world and do what you do best. The community of fitness brand ambassadors is surprisingly small, so you may find that you make friendships around a common goal. This can help in the formation of your own Instagram pod, or group of fitness brand ambassadors that all comment, like, and share each others’ content. Doing this can mean you are able to help more people find your content, and therefore get more followers quickly.
Local fitness events are major opportunities to engage
Look in your local area for events and opportunities to connect with the fitness community. Even your local gym can be a source of connections if you mention, hashtag, and even offer to work with them to promote their facility. Take care not to post Instagram pictures from the gym without the consent of everyone featured, even if they are in the background. Many gyms also have no photo policies that ban Instagram altogether.
Can’t find fitness events? Start them yourself!
You may even try to start your own fitness events with a small group of people. If you have the skills to teach a fitness class, offering free lessons can be a game changer and start you down the path to fitness influencer. Weekly morning yoga classes in a park or free gathering area could kickstart something much bigger. Fitness clothing brand lululemon is famous for using stores to offer free classes taught by fitness apparel ambassadors that ultimately led them to build a billion dollar brand.
Conclusion: Becoming a fitness brand ambassador is like any good thing, it takes time
Nobody said becoming a fitness brand ambassador was going to be easy. That’s because everybody wants to live the dream of travel, fun, and modeling for fitness brands. The reality is often less glamorous in the beginning, so you’ll need tenacity and hard work to stick it out. That said, there are more brands than ever before looking for fitness talent to represent their clothing, meal supplements, gadgets, and workout gear than ever before. Once you start, it’s only a matter of time before you get your first inquiry. So get off the couch, get on the grind, and start working for your goal!