Instagram Fitness Influencer
Owner at Kath O'Connell Fitness
About this episode [listen below]
Kath shares her experience as an Instagram Fitness influencer. She talked to us about growing her community on the platform, competing in fitness competitions and building her new online coaching business. Tune in to learn more!
"Just start reaching out to companies. If there's any brands that you're interested in or any products, I would just reach out to them and just express your interest in collaborating"
- Kath O'Connell
"Using their influence to promote products that they trust and believe in to their audience is not only a means of deriving an income...but it also adds value to their community."
- Kareena Mitsios
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GUESTS ON THIS EPISODE
Kath O'Connell has fostered a loyal Instagram community of over 27,000 followers with her hard work and dedication. As the Social Media Manager of Ryderwear and business owner of her own Online Coaching business, Kath O'Connell Fitness, Kath is an entrepreneur that's taking the fitness world by storm.
I didn't just wake up one day and I could do 10 or 20 pushups. I worked really hard to get here and I have been in that mental state where you just kind of stuck in a rut. You don't know where to start. You too nervous and afraid to go to the gym. I fully understand and I want to help others get out of that. Get over the fear and just get started.
- Kath O'Connell
WATCH THIS EPISODE
Kareena: [00:00:06] Hey there Loopers. Welcome to the first ever podcast episode of In The Loop. We are very excited to have you here. This is the launch of the podcast so we are going to be talking to you about everything from business to marketing, social media and influence trying to give you as much practical advice to help you on your journey to becoming a fitness influencer. I'm your host Kareena. And to start it off we have MissKath as she's commonly referred to on Instagram in for an interview. Now Kath O'Connell as her parents and friends like to call her is here to talk about how she has grown her social media following from zero to 22000 people. And she's going to be telling us a bit about her new online business which is an online nutrition and coaching program. So going to learn a bit about how Kath started out and how she got to where she's at at the moment. So we're going straight into the interview. HI KATH.
Kath: [00:01:02] Hey!
Kareena: [00:01:03] Welcome To IN THE LOOP. We are very excited to have you on our first podcast episode. So, why don't we kick it out by telling us what have you been working on lately.
Kath: [00:01:11] I work full time as a social media manager at the moment. I also work obviously a lot on my Instagram and workout videos and online coaching as well.
Kareena: [00:01:21] So tell us about your Instagram journey. How did you start?
Kath: [00:01:24] I started my Instagram journey I guess three years ago. That was three years ago. Yeah probably about six months after I started getting into the gym. So I kind of wanted to share my journey with everyone else. So I guess that's where it kind of started at as filmed my first workout video and uploaded it.
Kareena: [00:01:41] And how did your first workout video go?
Kath: [00:01:45] Not too bad. Good responses, only a few people but it was good.
Kareena: [00:01:52] What did you find was your biggest challenge when you were just starting out?
Kath: [00:01:54] I didn't know when I first started, how to use any equipment at the gym. So, I would kind of walk in there, probably looked really silly a lot of the time. But, I just would google it, I would look at other influencers what are they doing, or ask friends if they want to come with me and get help. That kind of way. I used to have a lot of friends that would come with me fairly often but now I usually train alone just because my workouts become a bit intense just for my comp prep and stuff like that but for a bit of fun it's really good to train with other people.
Kareena: [00:02:27] And when did you notice the most traction with the growth of your followers on Instagram.
Kath: [00:02:31] Probably about a year after I started. So until I got a decent amount of following anyway.
Kareena: [00:02:36] Do you find that it's quite a consistent growth or are there other factors that contribute to that?
Kath: [00:02:40] It kind of goes in waves. So, depending on what I'm up to at the time or what I'm uploading. So, whenever there's special events on with my sponsors and stuff like that we kind of tend to get more followers and bounce off each other because we're sharing each other's content and stuff like that. So yeah, it goes in waves and I guess it's gone pretty fast but also I upload an image probably always every day. So consistency is key. 100%.
Kareena: [00:03:13] Part of being a fitness influencer on any platform usually means that eventually brand sponsorships, partnerships or even ambassadorships become part of their fitness influencer business. Using their influence to promote products that they trust and believe into their audience is not only a means of deriving an income from what they do on a platform but it also adds value to their community by providing a unique insight into the products and services that they use themselves. So, Kath has successfully integrated brand sponsorships into her content. So, we asked her for a bit of advice on how she got brands to notice her - especially when you're just starting out.
Kath: [00:03:47] Depending on what kind of company it is. So, when I first started out I obviously didn't have enough followers to get any sponsors so if there were any brands that I liked I would purchase the products and just start posting workout videos in their gear or you know if it's a protein powder I would start using it. I do find that kind of helps, they know that you genuinely like and use the product which is really important with your sponsors. Just start reaching out to companies. If there's any brands that you're interested in or any products, I would just reach out to them and just express your interest in collaborating with them or just let them know that you like the product. Then you never know, they might want to collaborate or they might notice you later on and remember that you contacted them.
Kareena: [00:04:36] Instagram is inundated with fitness related posts and profiles. The hashtag fitness presently stands at over 280 million posts alone. So, how does an aspiring fitness influencer stand out in this space? What content helps them differentiate themselves from other people on the platform?
Kath: [00:04:55] I definitely think my videos are what separates me from a lot of people. A lot of people don't upload as many videos as I do. They are definitely my most popular post. A lot of people will save my videos for their own workouts.
Kareena: [00:05:12] So Kath, how have you found the response from your community on Instagram?
Kath: [00:05:14] The response I guess has been that they want more. They want more new ideas and new workout videos. I guess that's what I'm trying to give; to be more creative in my workout videos and give people ideas.
Kareena: [00:05:28] Who are the influences or fitness influences specifically that you aspire to?
Kath: [00:05:32] Whitney Simmons is probably number one. Her videos are amazing. I love her YouTube and her Instagram they're both really good.
Kareena: [00:05:41] What has been the best part about being a fitness influencer.
Kath: [00:05:45] It's amazing. I guess just the people I've met along the way I just didn't think you'd be out to meet people through social media and actually meet up and share experiences with them. It's awesome.
Kareena: [00:05:57] Your least favourite part?
Kath: [00:05:59] You just always have to ignore the negative comments. No matter what you're always going to get them. So, no matter who you are if, even if you're Kylie Jenner, you're always going to get negative comments so you just gotta ignore it and just keep doing what you're doing.
Kareena: [00:06:14] What's a piece of advice you have for people that are aspiring to be fitness influences at the moment?
Kath: [00:06:19] Be prepared. Be prepared for haters because you'll get them.
Kareena: [00:06:27] Kath recently competed in the WBFF competition which is the world World Beauty Fitness and Fashion comp. While her experience was probably unlike most others she had such a positive attitude about it. We just wanted her to share her process from start to finish and what went down.
Kath: [00:06:44] So, my last comp was WBFF. So a week before the show my bikini was actually stolen. It was a nightmare but the company I got through replaced it straight away. It was very stressful.
Kareena: [00:06:57] What is the process when you choose to compete in something like WBFF?
Kath: [00:07:00] Basically, when you first start prepping you want to grow your muscles so you usually be on a higher calorie, higher protein and higher carb. And then as soon as you get closer to the comp you go more on a bit of a low calorie but still with a lot of carbs, a lot of protein and still very healthy. You don't want to do it and you don't want to have any really harsh restrictions or anything like that so it's an unhealthy prep. So depending, everyone is different. So, for me, my last competition I only had a 6-8 week prep. Only because I'd been maintaining it for a long time. But some people do 17 week preps. As long as you have a good coach, you'll be fine.
Kareena: [00:07:45] So Kath, why did you decide to start competing.
Kath: [00:07:47] I would have to say social media. Only because I'd see other people competing in their photos and it just looks so fun. I guess the challenge as well. Yeah it's a great feeling once you've achieved it.
Kareena: [00:08:01] And now that you've finished that last comp do you think you'll do another one again?
Kareena: [00:08:05] I don't know. I might do another comp in the future, but, I think for now I just want to focus on my online coaching. So, focus on other people rather than myself for now.
Kareena: [00:08:16] Kath recently launched her own online training and nutrition program where she helps individuals by creating customized programs tailored to their needs. So we asked her a little bit about that and how she has gone about building that side of her business.
Kath: [00:08:29] I have a few different options. You can choose just the work out programs or nutrition as well. So basically, you can email me 24/7 for any advice or tips. I just make you a customized training program or nutrition program.
Kareena: [00:08:45] Do you recommend doing both the nutrition and training program or can people do one or the other?
Kath: [00:08:51] I definitely recommend both. Just a nutrition program on its own if you're already a very active person would probably be okay. But, both of them to get results as quickly as possible.
Kareena: [00:09:01] Now for those people that haven't come across your profile just yet, tell us, what would you like them to know about you?
Kath: [00:09:06] That I started from somewhere as well. So, I didn't just wake up one day and I could do 10 or 20 pushups. I worked really hard to get here and I have been in that mental state where you just kind of stuck in a rut. You don't know where to start. You too nervous and afraid to go to the gym. I fully understand and I want to help others get out of that. Get over the fear and just get started.
Kareena: [00:09:35] That is it Loopers. That concludes the first ever podcast of In The Loop. We would like to Kath for taking time to share her experience with us. If you're keen to follow Kath and her Instagram journey as a fitness influencer, you can find her under the handle @misskath. That actually goes across any social platform. We will be back every Friday to keep you In The Loop with fitness, health and wellness influencer interviews that help you learn more about the business side of being an influencer. We will also be delving into marketing, social media and branding practices that help you grow in this space. So, if you've got a question that you'd like us to discuss on the show just hashtag "In The Loop" across any social platform and we will take a look. Make sure you subscribe to our podcast so you get notified every time we release a new episode. And, feel free to comment - we'd love to know what you thought. We look forward to sharing more with you next week. Catch you then.