Instagram is action-packed with information, news, updates, media, posts, etc. Quite frankly, it can become overwhelming at times, which makes it important to be able to sift through and find what is most useful to you.
If you’re a personal trainer or strength coach, I’d imagine that you use Instagram primarily for two reasons: to learn more about other people doing awesome stuff in the field and to have a platform to share your educational information.
This article is going to focus on the former, which will help you as a new or up-and-coming coach properly navigate Instagram so that you’re being efficient with your time and gathering the most value in terms of knowledge.
The three most important aspects of finding quality Instagram accounts to follow are focusing on value, clarity, and solutions.
I’ve been using Instagram for a little over 5 years, and I’ve seen a LOT of turnover and changes since then. It’s a fast-paced environment that has ultimately turned into a marketplace. If you’re a personal trainer or strength coach new to the field, I can certainly understand how you might be blown into a whirlwind with the abundance of information on there.
A primary area of focus for you should be to sit down and really consider which Instagram account is worth following as it relates to the field. In no way, shape, or form am I suggesting for you to use Instagram as your primary, or even secondary, source of education. Those slots should be filled by current evidence in research, long-form articles and blogs. However, Instagram can be a useful avenue and gateway to learning more about current best practices, methods, and philosophies in the field of health and performance.
The goal is to consolidate the accounts that you follow so that each one provides you a quality level of value that is worth your time. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:
- Does this Instagram account provide education to me as a coach or trainer in a digestible manner that I can apply right away?
- Is the content informative, user-friendly, and easy to follow?
- Do I find the posts to be helpful and resourceful?
- Can I depend on this account as a consistent source?
Ultimately, your goal should be to answer ‘yes’ to all of the aforementioned questions above. If so, then I believe an Instagram account is worth following if your goal is to continue to learn, grow, and develop in this field.
Does the Instagram account have a clear and concise message?
Clarity is crucial since you as the consumer need to know what it is the account is trying to pass along and convey as the message. Otherwise, the message may come through as incomplete, convoluted, or simply disorganized.
I think there is a premium on Instagram accounts who take their time to properly curate and display quality information and content. Why? Well, this makes it much easier for the user (you) to follow, understand, read, and apply. Ultimately, that’s how it should all work: information is displayed in a clear and cohesive format; then, it is consumed by the end-user; lastly, it is then applied and put into action.
Additional areas to take note of as it relates to clarity would be trying to better understand whether or not the author(s) of the Instagram account ever show their face. They may not do so via the actual posts or stories on Instagram. However, at the very least, I do find it important for their face(s) to be seen on the website or link provided within their bio. This one is simple: people want to relate and also develop familiarity. By showing your face, you’re ultimately making it clear to the end-user who is “behind the scenes”.
If you feel as though you can relate to the author(s) of an Instagram account and that the message being conveyed is clear, then you have my personal thumbs-up since I believe it will provide value for you.
Which problem(s) are they helping to solve?
Which solution(s) are they providing?
These are two pivotal areas for each and every Instagram account to adhere to if the goal is to educate and inform the masses.
For example, I focus on strength training education and information that is both simple and user-friendly on my Instagram account. I try to make it very clear in my posts that the goal is simplicity and not complexity. I literally want you to take in the information and, if applicable to you, be able to utilize it that day in the gym.
I notice time and time again that some Instagram accounts try to use a heavy dose of scientific language and jargon to flex their brain muscle on the end-user. I wholeheartedly disagree with going about it this way since I believe that, in doing so, you may be missing the boat on reaching and relating to the masses. This goes back to knowing your audience and putting yourself in their shoes.
Make sure that it’s clear to your audience which problem(s) you are trying to solve, and also which solution(s) you are educating them about. These two areas may seem simple, but ultimately divide high-quality Instagram accounts from the others.
Over the years I have boiled it down to three key areas to hone in on when attempting to navigate Instagram as you look for quality accounts to follow: value, clarity, and solutions. Use these three key areas as your guide next time you’re scrolling through Instagram to make your process more efficient and useful.
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