The biggest problem independent personal trainers face is “How do I get more clients?” I guess you can go on the streets of NYC and pass your business cards, but do you really want to?

Your Instagram account IS your business card, and there are definitely more people on Instagram than people who will actually accept your business card on the street. It’s time to utilize Instagram as your business development tool, and these are the steps you should do right now.

“With over 700 million monthly users on the platform, Instagram offers businesses a huge potential audience.”

Caitlin Hughes, 6 Reasons Why Instagram Marketing is Important for Your Brand

1. Set up your Instagram Business Profile

It’s free and easy to do. You will start collecting insights on the performance of your posts because you can’t market or optimize your content without the data to support it.

It works the same way as looking at your client’s progress throughout his program. Well, you need to see how YOUR business is performing in order to make necessary changes in content to attract more customers.

Click here for a step by step guide on setting up your Instagram Business Account.

2. Sign up and download the app:

This is an analytic tool to gather the necessary information to optimize your posts, aka work efficiently so you can focus on what’s important in your life.

Click on the link on your laptop, and sign up using your Instagram account. It will start gathering data on the times your posts are getting the most engagement. This tool also allows you to upload and schedule your posts, saving you time.

3. Know your Social Media Audience

Ahhhh… did you know the number of followers you have is a vanity measure? Okay, that’s not a fact, but I caught your attention. I would rather have 4k followers that engage on my posts (re-post, comment, refer my page to their network) than 30k followers who don’t really care.

Ask yourself the following questions: Are my followers potential clients? What’s the likelihood they will share my content with their network? Do I provide value to my audience that makes them think, “I’m always learning something new from this trainer. Let me see what they’re up to on Instagram.”

4. Interact with your audience

The Direct Message feature is there for a purpose. Here is an example of how I reached out to two successful personal trainers.

@dougintolife and @trainerdaria on Instagram.

“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.”

Pam Moore, CEO and Founder of Marketing Nutz (@pammktgnut)

5. Treat Instagram as your gym. Keep it clean!

Instagram is now your gym space and your followers are the gym members. Create meaningful relationships. Write your followers a kind comment, send a direct message, but most of all, be genuine (learn how by reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People”).

Also, keep your gym floor clean! Instagram translation: don’t be visually messy and keep your personal photos separate. Your Instagram page is now your brand. It showcases your knowledge, your type of training, and a tool to justify the cost of your service.

“People want to do business with you because you help them get what they want. They don’t do business with you to help you get what you want.”

Don Crowther, Social Media and Online Marketer (@don_crowther)

Will these tactics get you more clients overnight? Of course not! You’re now wearing a marketing hat, and it’s better to create that mindset now before looking at your paycheck and say, “Wow. How am I going to get new clients?”

Think about it, our clients will not reach their goal overnight. Your business won’t grow overnight either. Set the necessary foundation now, and watch it evolve. You’ll thank yourself later.