When you think of some of the most popular and most valuable attributes of society in the 21st century, hands down you can guarantee that health and fitness is pretty much near the top. In fact, I’d be pretty surprised if it was not in the number one spot. These days, there is an immense culture surrounding eating well and exercising; as a result a number of people joining the community of gym junkies and and Trader Joe’s frequenters. But, perhaps one of the most popular influencers and personalities within the realm of fitness, especially for women, would have to be Kayla Itsines. Kayla is a personal trainer and self-made entrepreneur known worldwide for her “Bikini Body Guide”, commonly referred to as “BBG” for short. This guide claiming that in just 12 weeks, following her fitness plan and food guide will get you the bikini body of your dreams — each workout just being 28 minutes long, 3 times a week. From starting off with a small following online, (just reposting photos of her clients on social media), to having 6.6 million followers on Instagram and a cult following worldwide, Kayla Itsines has launched herself to social media stardom. Through her strong and (no-pun intended) active presence on social media, Kayla Itsines has proven that using those tools to cultivate a brand for herself can lead to incredible success.

Kayla offers a range of products; from workout equipment to her infamous guides that help women achieve their fitness goals.

As I am writing this, a quick peek at her Instagram will tell me that she has made 6 posts within the last 24 hours; ranging anywhere between 12k-40k likes and 100–200 comments. Similarly, on her tumblr page she has posted the same 6 posts, her facebook page shows the same, and her twitter page displays the same messages as her captions. Clearly we have got some hootsuite or other social media management site at play here! But the major thing to take away from this is that Kayla and her obvious marketing and social media team immensely prioritize and carefully curate the content that they post on her behalf. With a following as massive as hers on virtually every social media site (Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to name a few) it is crucial that the messages and posts are universal. Otherwise, confusement and disconnect ensues between her brand and her followers… which has definitely not been an issue here. Kayla even has her own website; and to make things more impressive, her own fitness app — in which the public can pay $20 a month to gain access to her guides as well as nutrition tips and other cool resources; made to keep you on the path to success in your fitness journey! The creation of her app was really a milestone in regards to her branding and marketing strategy, as this allowed her to monetize her products even more and reach a broader demographic — not just selling her guides and other products on her website and almost forcing the public to adopt to her now subscription-based service. On all her social media platforms previously mentioned, there should generally be a big ad for her “Sweat With Kayla” app or her new book: The Bikini Body 28 Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide; easy ways to create urgency and interest within whomever is seeing these promotional headers. Which has obviously proven to be quite effective considering that her following only continues to grow with time with her universal bio reading, “join over 10 million women and get healthier, fitter and more confident with my workouts and recipes! Download my app and start your free 7 day trial now;” telling whoever is viewing her page that her brand and products must be (for lack of a better term) ‘legit’ — since at least 10 million other women have had success stories.

Speaking of success stories, perhaps what also has been a catalysts for Itsines’ tremendous success with the release of her Bikini Body Guides has been her constant reposting and showcasing of her ‘clients’ worldwide. As a long-time follower of the fitness mogul, every single day without fail I can concur that a majority if not half of Itsines’ posts are dedicated towards shoutouts of those in her “BBGarmy;” girls who have used/are using her guides and have posted transformation photos on Instagram. Instagram is probably Kayla’s most successful platform as this is where most of her success has stemmed from. As Kayla began to post more and more photos of girls online with astonishing results, the reputability of her guides became more prominent; subsequently causing the “BBGfam” to grow exponentially within a short-time frame. “Encouraging participants of her programs to post before and after photographs to her blog is also a clever (and free) way of marketing her brand,” (kodiemccan 2015) as time and time again this has benefitted both parties — those who post the original transformation photo, and then Kayla who reposts the photo. Those who Kayla reposts almost always gain a huge following in turn; the instigator going from say a few hundred followers, to thousands in one night.

A really great way to make it seem like Kayla is personally training all 10 million of her ‘clients’ are her short little workout videos that she posts to her Instagram; providing incentive for her followers to not only workout, but also to correctly be educated on how to perform certain workout moves properly. A great way to break up static photos and to make her pages a bit more interactive, these mini clips (which are also posted to her other social media platforms, not just Instagram) are a strategic way to instill a greater sense of engagement and activity to her page — reminding followers that she is as active as she projects herself to be. Alongside these mini clips, you can also find motivational quotes, beautifully arranged food (that’s healthy obviously), and multiple selfies of Kayla herself showing off her impressive set of abs. This pattern is kept in rotation in combination with a few random personal posts (rightfully so considering it is her personal profile), but it is a calculated measure that does not seem to bore followers or turn them away.

Her aesthetic if you will, motivates the public with each post; the overall look and feel of her feed oozing with positivity and encouragement. Going off of this, it is not hard to see that the ideals associated with her brand are acceptance, self-love, and the importance of community — that women don’t have to tear each other down to be successful but can build each other up. This is such an important movement considering that girls generally speaking can be very hurtful and extremely judgemental; so Kayla’s platform is so innovative and smart in the way that it highlights how important accepting and celebrating others is when people are expressing themselves in such vulnerable ways — like transformation photos for example. By encouraging a sense of community, this makes her followers feel proud to be a part of such a brand. For example, multiple types of accounts have been created as a result of the BBG movement: community-based accounts solely for recognizing and uplifting girls who are just starting to use the Bikini Body Guides, accounts solely for connecting women together to share similar stories, and even accounts that are dedicated to just providing some motivation to those in the BBG community.

This community is the foundation of her success; as without it, Kayla would not have the opportunity to have grown as profitably as she has — as workout products, her ‘bootcamps’ and her community ‘meetups’ have allowed her fans to have a concert-like experience with their idol. Synonymous with a celebrity being on tour, Kayla has also gone on various tours in the past few years ‘performing’ various workouts and having her audience members join her in working out — selling out as if she was Beyonce according to Popsugar (2016).

This ingenious way of breaking that fourth wall with her followers shows relatability and that Kayla is actually down-to-earth in the way that she goes out of her ways to take photos and meet her fans and that she isn’t just pretending to care online but she’s carrying out that persona in person in a really authentic and genuine way.

Kayla’s social media presence and content can be described holistically as unique, dynamic, and unwavering. As a viewer and follower, you can tell that a majority of her team’s efforts are dedicated to her social media presence and this has paid off tremendously. At the end of the day, this entrepreneur just wants to keep the conversation of health and fitness going on with the world, and is succeeding with every post, comment, tweet, like, and follow. I strongly doubt we will see a decrease in her social media activity online, as she recognizes that this is what originally propelled her to international acclaim. All in all, Kayla Itsines and her knockout product the Bikini Body Guide will continue to dominate the world of health and fitness and be a reminder to other entrepreneurs that social media can be a powerful resource if you wield it correctly!


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