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How many followers does a fitness influencer need to make a living?

How many followers does a fitness influencer need to make a living?

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on June 8, 2023 ā€” Updated on November 14, 2023

A fitness influencer typically needs at least 10,000 followers in order to make a living as a fitness influencer. The more engaged their followers and the better the fitness influencer is as monetizing those followers then the less followers are needed to make a living. 10,000 highly engaged followers who will purchase what you are selling is much better than 100,000 followers who are unengaged followers who are at best, outside of the target demographic, or at worst, bots and spam accounts.

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In this article, we’ll explore how many followers a fitness influencers needs to earn a living (and how you can make more money as a fitness influencer or online fitness business owner and grow your own fitness brand by learning from what very successful large fitness influencers are doing), and then be sure and use the best software platform around for growing and managing your fitness business.

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Discover tips for growing your following, learning how to make money with fitness, and increasing earnings potential. Whether you need the best gym management software, the best personal training software, or the best fitness software for influencers, we’ve got you covered.

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The Rise of Fitness Influencers

In recent years, social media has become an increasingly popular platform for individuals to share their health and fitness journeys. With the emergence of platforms like Instagram and TikTok, it’s no surprise that fitness influencers have become a staple in the industry. A fitness influencer can be defined as a person who uses social media to promote health and wellness by sharing their workout routines, diet plans, and general healthy lifestyle tips.

The rise of fitness influencers has been driven by the desire for individuals to connect with like-minded people who are also on their own health journey. These influencers help motivate and inspire people through their personal journeys, while also promoting various products and services related to health and wellness.

The Importance of Social Media Presence for Fitness Influencers

Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate and connect with others. For fitness influencers, having a strong social media presence is essential in order to reach a wider audience and monetize their content. Most commonly used social media platforms include Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or Facebook.

A strong social media presence allows fitness influencers to showcase their personal brand identity as well as build credibility within the industry. By sharing engaging content regularly such as workout routines, healthy meal ideas or motivational quotes they can attract new followers that are interested in similar things.

Moreover, having an established presence on social media makes it easier for brands to discover them & offers opportunities for sponsorships or collaborations that can further expand an influencer’s reach & income potential. Therefore, growing your social media following is key if you want to make a living as a successful fitness influencer & establish yourself as one of the top players in this niche market.

The Basics of Making Money as a Fitness Influencer

Overview of Different Ways Fitness Influencers Can Earn Money

Fitness influencers have a variety of ways to earn money through their social media platforms. The most popular methods include sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and product sales. Sponsorships are when brands pay an influencer to promote their products or services on their social media accounts.

Affiliate marketing is when an influencer promotes a product or service and receives a commission for each sale made through their unique affiliate link. Product sales involve an influencer creating and selling their own products, such as workout programs, clothing lines, or supplements.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of earning potential. Sponsorships tend to be the most lucrative but also require the most work in terms of negotiating deals and producing high-quality sponsored content.

Affiliate marketing can be less time-consuming but earnings are dependent on how many sales are made through the affiliate link. Product sales can provide a reliable income stream but require significant effort in creating and promoting the product.

Explanation of How Much Money Can Be Earned Through Each Method

Sponsorship earnings can vary widely depending on the brand, campaign requirements, and influencer’s audience size and engagement rate. However, some estimates suggest that influencers with 100k-500k followers can earn anywhere from $10k-$50k per sponsored post. For those with over 1 million followers, earnings per post can reach upwards of $100k.

Affiliate marketing typically offers lower earnings per sale than sponsorships but can still be profitable if done correctly. Commission rates vary by brand but usually range from 5%-30% per sale made through an influencer’s unique affiliate link.

Product sales offer the most control over earnings but also carry more financial risk for the influencer as they must invest in creating and promoting their own products. However, successful product launches can result in significant profits and even passive income streams.

PJF Performance
I sold a workout program and matched my yearly salary of in-person training within two weeks of selling to my community!
Paul Fabritz
Founder and BS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, ACE, FMS, PJF Performance

With the Exercise.com software platform you can build your own custom branded fitness app, run fitness challenges, sell workout plans, and more, all so that you can build your own direct relationship with your fitness followers rather than relying on sponsored posts that will build some other 3rd-parties brand!

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The Profitable Path: Fitness Influencers’ (Engaged) Follower Count

Overall, the earning potential for fitness influencers is vast and largely dependent on their individual approach to monetizing their social media presence, but having a highly engaged audience is the biggest predictor of potential fitness influencer revenue. By understanding the different methods and their respective earning potentials, influencers can tailor their strategies to maximize their income.

The Importance of Engagement Rate over Follower Count

For fitness influencers, having a high number of followers on social media can be a sign of success. However, the true measure of success lies in the engagement rate.

Engagement rate is the percentage of followers who interact with an influencer’s content, such as liking or commenting on posts. Having a large number of followers does not necessarily equate to high engagement.

In fact, it is common for fitness influencers with smaller followings to have higher engagement rates than those with larger followings. This is because engaged followers are more likely to trust and act on recommendations from their favorite influencers.

A smaller but engaged audience will also provide more value for brands seeking to work with fitness influencers. Brands are looking for meaningful connections between an influencer and their audience, rather than simply exposure to a large number of people who may not be interested in their products or services.

Why Having a Smaller but Engaged Audience Can Be More Profitable Than Having a Larger but Unengaged Audience

Fitness influencers with smaller but engaged audiences can actually earn more money than those with larger but unengaged audiences. This is because they have built trust and credibility with their followers, making them more likely to purchase products or services recommended by the influencer. In addition, having engaged followers makes it easier for fitness influencers to secure sponsorships and partnerships with brands.

Brands are looking for influencers who can effectively communicate the benefits of their products or services to potential customers, and having an engaged audience allows influencers to do just that. While having a large following may seem impressive on paper, it is important for fitness influencers to cultivate an engaged community that values their content and trusts their recommendations.

Examples of Successful Fitness Influencers With Different Follower Counts and Engagement Rates

Kayla Itsines, Fitness Influencer
Kayla Itsines, Fitness Influencer

One example of a successful fitness influencer with a relatively small following is Kayla Itsines, founder of the Sweat app. Despite having just 12.7 million followers on Instagram (compared to other fitness influencers with over 20 million), Itsines has a highly engaged audience who trust and rely on her for fitness advice and motivation.

This has allowed her to monetize her brand through sponsorships, product sales, and app subscriptions. And to be clear, the single biggest way that Kayla has monetized her fitness audience is by building her own fitness app.

Sweat App by Kayla Itsines
Sweat App by Kayla Itsines

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Des B Fit
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On the other hand, there are examples of fitness influencers with large followings but low engagement rates who struggle to make a living.

Jen Selter, Fitness Influencer
Jen Selter, Fitness Influencer

For instance, Jen Selter has over 12 million followers on Instagram but consistently receives low engagement rates on her posts. This makes it difficult for her to secure partnerships with brands looking for high engagement rates from their influencer campaigns.

These examples highlight the importance of engagement rate over follower count when it comes to making a living as a fitness influencer. Building an engaged community of followers who value your content and trust your recommendations is key to monetizing your brand effectively in the long term.

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Factors that Affect Earnings

Being a fitness influencer is not just about having a large following, but it also depends on several other factors. It’s essential to understand how niche and target audience affect earnings potential and how location and demographics also play a role in earnings.

Discussion on how niche and target audience affect earnings potential

As with any business, being specific about your niche is crucial as it sets you apart from the rest of the competition. The narrower your niche, the more defined your target audience will be.

Therefore, you’ll have a better understanding of what products or services they want and need. With this knowledge, you can create content that resonates with them, leading to higher engagement rates and conversions.

For example, if you’re a fitness influencer who focuses on women’s postpartum health, you will attract a specific group of followers interested in getting back into shape after giving birth. Your content should cater to their needs by providing advice on nutrition and workouts that can help them achieve their goals.

Additionally, your target audience’s purchasing power has an impact on your earning potential. The more money they have to spend on fitness-related products or services, the more likely brands will want to work with you as an influencer.

Explanation on how location and demographics also play a role in earnings

Location plays an essential role in determining the earning potential for fitness influencers. For example, living in major cities may lead to higher income streams due to increased brand partnerships opportunities compared to influencers living in rural areas. Additionally, different countries value wellness trends differently depending on cultural norms; hence some locations may offer better opportunities than others.

Demographics such as age groups should be considered when determining earning potential as well since different age groups favor different products or services. For example, millennials are more interested in health food options while older generations may be more interested in supplements and fitness equipment.

Understanding how niche, target audience, location, and demographics impact earning potential is crucial for fitness influencers. It allows them to tailor their content to the needs of their followers, attract the right brands, and secure higher income streams.

Tips for Growing Your Following and Earnings Potential

Strategies for increasing engagement rate

The key to growing your earnings potential as a fitness influencer is to increase your engagement rate. This means that you need to create content that resonates with your audience and encourages them to interact with you. One strategy is to post consistently, so your followers know when to expect new content from you.

Another strategy is to incorporate interactive elements into your posts such as polls, quizzes, or asking for opinions from your followers. Another way to increase engagement is by leveraging the power of hashtags.

Hashtags help categorize content and make it easier for users who are interested in a particular topic or niche to find it. By using relevant hashtags, you can increase the visibility of your posts and attract new followers who are interested in the same topics you cover.

Always respond promptly and authentically to comments on your posts. By engaging with your followers in a genuine way, you can build stronger relationships with them and encourage continued engagement.

Tips for building relationships with brands and securing sponsorships

One of the most lucrative ways for fitness influencers to earn money is through brand partnerships and sponsorships. However, building relationships with brands requires more than just having a large following on social media. Here are some tips for cultivating strong relationships with brands:

Firstly, be authentic in promoting only products that align with your values and interests. Secondly, actively engage with the brand’s content on social media by commenting on their posts or responding when they reach out to you.

Also, demonstrate value by creating high-quality content that showcases how their product fits into an authentic part of life – not just being advertisement but also value-added information about the product. Network at events where there will be other influencers or representatives from companies related/interested in fitness which may lead further opportunities.

Advice on Diversifying Income Streams

While sponsorships and brand partnerships can be a reliable source of income for fitness influencers, it’s important to diversify your income streams to mitigate risk. One way is through affiliate marketing.

With affiliate marketing, you earn a commission for promoting someone elseā€™s product. This can include promotions through your social media channels but also on your website or blog where you can add affiliate links to suggest certain products.

Another option is to create digital products such as workout guides or nutrition plans that cater directly to the needs of your audience. This type of product creation allows an influencer to showcase their expertise in a specific area that resonates with their followers; while also providing value-added content.

Donā€™t forget about monetizing YouTube videos using Adsense revenue alongside other content creation options. By diversifying income streams, you can ensure that you’re not solely dependent on one source of income and are better protected from any potential changes in the market or brands’ needs.

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Build an Engaged Audience

Fitness influencers can make a living from social media with varying follower counts and engagement rates. While having a large following may seem like the key to success, an engaged audience is what truly matters.

The methods of earning money as a fitness influencer include sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and product sales. The target audience, niche and location are some factors that affect earnings potential.

Becoming a successful fitness influencer can be challenging, but it is possible with focus and dedication. To increase earning potential, it is essential to focus on building relationships with brands while maintaining authenticity in content creation. Diversifying income streams through multiple methods such as product sales or online courses can help secure financial stability.

Consistency in posting quality content is crucial for developing an engaged following. Becoming a fitness influencer requires time and hard work but can lead to exciting opportunities and financial rewards for those who treat it as a business rather than just a hobby.

It’s important to keep in mind that there isn’t one set formula for success and each influencer has their own unique journey. By understanding the basics of making money as an influencer and focusing on building an engaged following while creating quality content consistently, anyone can make a living as a fitness influencer with time and dedication.

Tony Gentilcore
Exercise.com makes my life easier by providing an all-in-one solution and the opportunity to help those who otherwise would never have access to my programming!
Tony Gentilcore
Founder, Core Online

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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