How She Got 3.4 Million Followers: Instagram Superstar Kayla Itsines

Kayla-Itsines-InterviewA year and a half ago, a 23-year-old certified fitness trainer from Adelaide, Australia launched a company with a simple goal: to motivate women make the lifestyle changes needed to improve their bodies and confidence. It’s hardly a new concept, but something about Kayla Itsines’ approach grabbed the attention of the 3.4 million people who follow her (her body of fans grows by the day) and national publications like Marie-Claire and Cosmopolitan. Kayla also caught the attention of business and financial news giant Forbes, who recently covered the steps she took to turn her passion into a full-fledged multinational empire.

So how exactly did she do it?

It’s simple, really: Kayla used herself as the guinea pig, documented the (incredible) results of her diet-and-exercise choices on her Instagram account and built an entire product line around helping women translate her approach into their lifestyles: her followers quickly converted into customers for her Bikini Body Guides, nutrition and eating plans, recipe books, and workout equipment. She also features the before-and-after transformations of her virtual clients, demonstrating that what she preaches works for real women.

Kayla does her own Bikini Body Guides workouts three or four days per week, and walks or does sprinting workouts on her off days (minus the one day of rest she allows). She doesn’t believe in cutting out anything (except alcohol) unless it’s for an ethical or health reason, but her approach to eating has conditioned her to crave clean foods (she can cure her sweet tooth with a raspberry iced tea, which is truly inspirational for any fellow chocolate addicts reading this).

Why does it work?

It’s a no-frills, uncomplicated and affordable solution for the many women around the world who would love to be fit, but can’t find the time or the motivation to get started: Kayla’s approach focuses on 30-minute workouts that start out easy to execute, then ramp up to more challenging exercises. Small wins and quick results keep clients coming back for more, and the variety keeps them from plateauing.

Kayla told Forbes that the reason her approach has been successful is because it focuses on the journey, not the destination: “…I advocate a healthy and maintainable lifestyle which is not a quick fix or a fad. I never guarantee anything unless the client is willing to work hard.”

Judging by the sheer number of Instagram re-posts of formerly out-of-shape, now fit-and-happy clients, it’s clear that Kayla’s got a knack for inspiring her followers to change.

Written by Colleen Bordeaux.

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