Aren't All PTs influencers? How to Find the Right Role Models Online
Just for a fun experiment, how much time do you think you spend on Instagram daily?
To give you a rough idea, as of June 2018, there were nearly 1 billion monthly active users - and the Like button is hit an average of 4.2 billion times per day.
Yes, that is a lot - if you ask me. At the Health Bloggers Community, most of our members will ask us about how to improve their Instagram strategy, as well as ways to better share their content on Instagram - which only proves to me that influencers and professional are using Instagram as a way to share information and educate their audience.
However, there is no such thing as the Instagram police - not yet, at least.
We are currently relying on the audience being receptive and “calling out” raising awareness publicly - however, the real magic comes from education and knowledge from all parties - including the PTs and fitness professionals sharing online.
I asked the community what they thought about the topic, and here’s what they had to say:
“My advice for anyone looking to find inspiring individuals is to first find what really ignites your own fire, what truly matters to you, and what is it that you seek the most to feel fulfilled. Once you have established your own desires, you are better able to distinguish influencers/bloggers/celebrities that echo those aspirations you are aiming for” shares Sarah Leanne (@thegrowingbutterfly)
Sometimes, the true game-changer is the relationship you build with fellow influencers, just like Wendy suggests (@beetrootface): “I find I need to click with the influencer before I have an interest. There's usually something about them that I can relate to personality wise. They need to be able to explain things at a level that anyone can understand, have a sense of humour and not be arrogant enough to think it's their way or the highway. If they can be challenged on something (in a constructive way) then that shows a human side and a realisation everyone has something more to learn.”
Slightly different conversation, but I love what Chiara had to say when talking about ‘What I eat in a day’ posts:
“(...) what I really don't want to do, as a firm believer in the anti-dieting approach, is sharing what I eat as an example of perfection that you should follow even if you don't feel it truly YOURS (and btw, I'm NOT perfect!). That's why I avoid doing those "what I eat in a day" kind of posts. I have done one of them during the first year of my business because I was receiving many requests about my "ideal day" but, as it often happens to business owners, moving on you adapt your strategy and the content you share” (full post here)
There are a few ways that you can get a quick idea if a fitness professional is worth a follow:
Check their qualifications: it sounds very basic and obvious, but who did they study with? Was it a school, an online course, a full-time curriculum?
Are they part of an association or a regulating body? Who is monitoring their online content, and what kind of training did they receive?
They wording: what is the message they are trying to share, and does it resonate?
Their affiliations: who do they endorse and partner with?
The type of advice: do you feel the exercises and form are thoroughly explained? Would you feel safe doing the exercise or workout? Use the whole feed as a reference, a good mix of workouts, guides and more knowledge-worthy posts are key.
Is their content out of remit? Are these people sharing content they are not qualified to share? Are they a qualified pre or post natal PT for example?
Are they sharing their journey, or providing you with tips to use in your own life?
Is this in line with your ethos? Depending on what you believe in, your ethos and, more you’ll be able to realise whether this influencer speaks your language.
The dream solution goes way beyond the audience’s responsibilities. I believe it’s essential to have a regulating body that can create standards and set expectations, which is something the Register of Health & Wellness Influencers is aiming to create by bringing awareness to the masses.
The current lack of industry-specific legislation has meant that consumers (that is you) have been responsible in holding wellness brands and ambassadors accountable. The truth is, this is not fair. There needs to be a balance between the needs of industry partners, professionals and the rights of consumers to have credible information.
That is where ROHWI comes into play. I love celebrating people, and to me the idea of recognising the qualifications and expertise of influencers and bloggers within the wellness industry is as important as setting standards for those on the register to adhere to.
All in all, I do not believe you should do all the hard work - this is why fitness professionals should be responsible for providing credible content and align with the best partners.
Hopefully my questions can help you looking at your Instagram in a different way, and spending that daily time with people who truly inspire you.