March 11, 2016

Case Study: Instagram influencer and fitness entrepreneur, Kayla Itsines

If you have an Instagram account (and a body) you’ve probably heard of Kayla Itsines. The 24-year old fitness mogul has made a lasting impression on the fitness scene, becoming a worldwide household name with a massive social media following, an official nod from EY Australia, and a multi-million dollar company under her belt.

Last year’s Instagram Performance Report revealed Itsines topped the charts for both followers (at 4.6 million and counting) and follower engagement in Australia. She and her boyfriend/business partner, Tobi Pearce, won the “Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year” category at EY’s annual awards earlier this year. Her BBG community includes over 10 million women who are raving fans, enough to warrant multiple global ‘boot camp’ tours. Many fans have even created BBG specific accounts to track their progress and encourage and engage with others on the journey.  Itsines’ recent app (bugs and all) went straight to the number one spot in health and fitness apps on App Store charts. She has also extended her brand further, entering into merchandise with the latest drop, ankle weights, happening just this week. All things considered, Kayla Itsines is an incredibly successful woman.

So, how did she do it? Girl power aside, Itsines’ success is due to some serious marketing strategies.

She is everywhere

Social media plays a huge role in her campaign, but Kayla also writes regular blogs on her website and has an EDM strategy in place too.  Team this with her e-book guides and recent app, and Kayla can be found on basically every online platform. This validates her brand and provides more and more ways for her audience to interact and engage. She is everywhere, all the time, making sure she is on your mind as much as possible.

However, simply creating yourself a few accounts isn’t going to cut it. Kayla posts about seven times a day on her Instagram account with links to her guides or app around 70% of the time. She is also careful with what content goes where. “You don’t want to upload the same thing on everything. You don’t want to have the photos on Instagram, and the same photos of Facebook, and same photos on Pinterest,” she said in a recent Business Insider article.

She got help when she needed it

It’s hard to believe it now, but when Kayla first started, she didn’t even know how Instagram worked. “I didn’t even think about it at the time. I used Instagram and had my own blog but, I know this sounds stupid, but I didn’t know people could see what I was uploading,” she said. People were responding to Kayla’s posts before she had a formalized guide or company behind her. When followers began requesting an e-book, Kayla’s first attempt was a disaster. So many people tried to download the guide that her site kept crashing, and Kayla couldn’t keep up with the slew of emails from fans.

Instead of calling it quits, she enlisted a digital marketing company (set up by her boyfriend, Tobi) to help manage the technical side of things, while she continued in her strengths. If you have gaps in your skills, it’s a good idea to recruit people to help you.

She posts valuable content

Kayla has always listened to her social media followers. “Relatable and engaging content is fundamental for the continued growth and a loved social media account,” she said in a Forbes interview last year. “It’s so important to listen to exactly what your clients want and create a product or service that directly relates to their needs in order for them to feel happy, satisfied and confident.” Kayla’s products and services have always had her followers in mind – they were the ones to originally request her infamous e-book, which kickstarted her career and fandom.


Find out what your audience wants and give it to them. When you produce valuable content, posting seven times a day on Instagram isn’t annoying, it’s welcomed.

She is consistent

She is consistent in her posting. She has become someone her audience can rely on. They will always know that Kayla will post transformations, gym selfies, workout videos and helpful tips. This is reinforced every time she posts.

No matter what schedule you can keep, it is important to maintain consistency. If you can only post once a day – make it count. You want to be easily found by your audience. If they are logging in every day after work at 5:30 pm you want to have a post waiting for them. If they are checking their emails at night before bed, make sure your email is there too.

She utilises user generated content

Producing valuable content can be very hard and time-consuming, particularly when you are running a business yourself. While Kayla carefully curates her Instagram account, “we are very picky with who we upload because we don’t want to upload an account that just has one transformation, we want to watch their body change” many of her posts are ‘regrammed’ from her followers, tagging them in the comments. This kind of content creation extends her brand further, establishes and secures her fan base and reaches new potential followers without having to think of something new and engaging herself. “I strive to focus my account on the inspirational transformations of my clients, rather than it always being about me and my life,” she quoted to Forbes.


The Itsines empire is showing no signs of slowing down. Tobi Pearce was quoted saying “At the moment we provide weight-loss advice and body confidence advice … we plan to move into coaching for other goals” in a Smart Company article.” We’ll be keeping our eyes on it, but right now we are busy getting bikini bodies courtesy of Queen Kayla.