5 Easy Ways To Find Fitness Influencers (Free & Paid)

October 16, 2023
11 min
Rochi Zalani
Content Writer, Modash
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Your fitness brand’s influencer marketing strategy is only effective if you have the right creator partners. But even when the market is saturated with influencers, finding the one creator who aligns with your brand can cause you to break a sweat.

Here are five detailed & actionable ways you can find tons of fitness influencers who fit your brand like a glove.

1: Use an influencer discovery tool (like Modash)

The easiest, quickest, and most scalable way is using an influencer discovery tool like Modash to find influencers. It’s paid, but the ROI of using a tool over doing everything manually is immense. You spend time doing the important high-value tasks, avoid guessing or asking for an influencer’s performance metrics  & audience demographics, and have their contact info readily available.

You can try it for free, or keep scrolling for the details.

Using Modash, you can find fitness influencers in two main ways:

a) search for creators using filters

b) find influencers who already follow you

a) Search creators using filters

When you log in to Modash, you first have to choose a social platform: Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. Next, you’ll see two kinds of filters: influencer filters and audience filters.

  • The former is what you want your ideal influencer to be like. Let’s say you’d like a female influencer based in the United States, interested in fitness, and has at least a 2% engagement rate. These become your influencer filters.
  • The latter is a filter related to your ideal influencer’s audience. For example, if your target customers are 20 – 40 year old females in the United States or Canada, you’ll apply this in the audience filter.

A useful tip: don’t apply these filters all at once. Apply 1-2 influencer filters, add influencers you like to a list, apply 1-2 more audience filters, and so on.

For fitness influencers in particular, I’d recommend adding fitness-related keywords, topics, bio, and hashtags influencer filters one by one and combing through the creators who come up.

⚠️ Note: We recommend using only one of the highlighted filters at a time. Why? Sometimes, these filters — when applied simultaneously — can clash a little and accidentally restrict your search too much.

The key is trial and error. Try different hashtags, bio keywords (etc.), and narrow down your list as you go.

You can analyze the profile of any creator you see — check their engagement rate, audience metrics, content performance, and more.

b) Find influencers who already follow you

Influencers keep their eye open for brands they like and can partner with in the future. 👀

Finding influencers who already know about you isn’t just convenient, it also makes the collaboration smoother — the creator outreach is simple, influencer negotiation has more wiggle room, and briefing is quicker.

Using Modash, you can find influencers who are following your brand within minutes. Log in, click “Find your fans,” enter your account username, and you’re done. It’s that simple.

From here, you can analyze influencer profiles, add labels, or save them to your list. How quick was that? 😁

My favorite thing about Modash though, is how easy it is to use. You log in and you start right away. Barely any learning curve. Everything is smooth as butter. Get a free trial to see for yourself.

2: Search niche fitness hashtags on social media

Hashtags work best to find a variety of influencers you would’ve otherwise missed. The critical thing here is to try a variety of hashtags — different permutations and combinations and different levels of popularity — to not miss out on any fitness creator who is perfect for you. All hashtags can be divided into four types.

Branded hashtags

Any hashtag with only a brand name is a branded hashtag. If you’re a small fitness brand, you might not have a branded hashtag or might not get a lot of traffic to your company name’s hashtag, even if you have one. Search for hashtags of tangent businesses that share a similar target customer. Let’s say you sell yoga equipment like Yogamatters. Your target customer is identical to Alo Yoga's — and their hashtag (#alogyoga) has over 1.1M posts. Search for Alo Yoga’s hashtag and you might find a fitness influencer you like.

Niche and interest-related hashtags

Hashtags related to your industry, your customer’s interests, and your products fall under this category. For fitness influencers, these hashtags maybe broad — like  #fitness and #workout — or narrow — like #pilatesathome or #standingdesks. There can be hundreds of interest-related hashtags within the fitness industry itself. Evaluate the popular and niche hashtags in the fitness category to unearth the best creators.

Expert or profession-related hashtags

Hashtags related to a certain profession are classified as expert hashtags. For fitness, these hashtags might be #fitnessinstructor or #nutritionist. Like in the interest-related hashtags, you can go as broad or niche as you like. Instead of fitness instructor, for example, you can search specifically for #yogainstructor. These hashtags are best to use when you want someone with added credibility to partner with your brand.

Location hashtags

If you’re targeting influencers only in a particular area, you’re practicing local influencer marketing and need creators who match your brand on the map. You can search broadly for London or specifically for #londonrunners to redirect it to fitness.

Try a lot of variants for each hashtag and keep your eyes open for the various hashtags other fitness influencers use in their posts. You can also follow certain hashtags to see more of the posts using that hashtag in your feed organically.

To keep everything organized, create a spreadsheet of the influencers you shortlist and the hashtags you find. Or, if you’d like to do it within social media itself: save posts on Instagram or make a playlist of creators whose videos you like on YouTube.

3: Use other native social media features (like search and lookalikes)

Apart from hashtags, there are three more ways to find fitness influencers via social media:

a) Finding influencer lookalikes

b) Trying various keywords in the search bar

c) Combing through comments and tagged posts of competing brands or mega-influencers

a) Finding influencer lookalikes

The easiest way to double down on any type of influencer is finding more influencers like them.

On Instagram and TikTok, a specific button next to every influencer's profile shows related accounts with a similar niche and audience demographic.

On YouTube, related content is at the right side of every video from more creators with the same niche.

Again, a tool like Modash can make this lightning-fast. The influencer lookalike feature lets you search for any username and Modash does the job of finding hundreds (if not thousands) of similar creator accounts for you.

b) Trying various keywords in the search bar

Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have a search engine algorithm of their own that's continually evolving. Popular creators' posts will pop up if you search for what your target audience is searching for. You can find plenty of influencers you might've missed by trying various terms with different keywords.

For example, on Instagram, you can search for “workout” and influencers with fitness in their bio will appear. Similarly, when you search for a long-tail keyword, like “full body workout at home,” various posts will appear from different creators.

You can do the same thing on YouTube and TikTok. Get creative and search for various keywords related to your industry and product. Think, “what would my target audience search for?” and type those keywords in the search bar.

c) Combing through comments of mega-influencers’ posts to find smaller influencers

Scrolling through comments is extremely manual, so you don’t need to do it as a starting strategy. But keep your eyes open when you see a mega-influencer’s post in your industry. Fitness influencers are a tight-knit community and often comment on each other’s posts — especially the smaller influencers comment on the bigger influencer’s posts.

For instance, I was scrolling through the comments of one of mega-influencer Amanda (Meixner) Rocchio’s posts and found four fitness influencers — some nano, some micro, some macro — who had interacted with her.

Two easy ways to comb through comments quicker:

  • Spot blue ticks — influencers often get or buy these to stand out
  • Spot usernames with keywords in them — these are likely niche creators

Once you find these influencers, you can mix and match various methods. For example, you find a micro-influencer in the comments. You go to their profile and look for suggested similar influencers. Then, you find a new and niche hashtag in the third influencer’s profile and search for it to find another creator.

Hunting for fitness influencers manually won’t look like a straightforward line, and it will likely be tedious and time-consuming. But it’s free and might be just what you need to get from zero to one.

4: Scour through Reddit and fitness podcasts

For a billion-dollar industry like fitness, there’s endless communities and podcasts. Use these to uncover well-liked creators. For example, I Googled “home workout fitness creators reddit,” and there were a plethora of threads on the topic. People share unfiltered opinions here that can help you not only find a loved creator, but also verify if your chosen influencer has a bad reputation in the fitness community.

In one of the threads, people swapped recommendations for the fitness influencers they liked and followed. Others chimed in with their opinions, why they like/dislike a particular creator, and the conversation kept going.

You can follow particular subreddits dedicated to the topic — like r/fitnessinfluencers or r/healthymeals — to keep up with what people are saying and continue discovering new fitness influencers. The best part is Reddit is the place for niche discussions — you’ll likely find the match-made-in-heaven creator for you here sooner or later.

Similarly, fitness is a hot topic for podcasts too. I searched for the top podcasts in the fitness industry and discovered Natasha Wakefield’s Girl Fit Method. She’s a women’s fitness and nutrition coach with a sizable following — making her the perfect candidate for a fitness influencer. And the cherry on top is she often interviews other fitness enthusiasts on her podcast who are also fitness influencers. That’s how I discovered Jake Kocherhans, a gut health fitness influencer.

Simply go on any podcast platform of your choice (I use Spotify) and search for podcasts and shows related to fitness. You don’t have to put in the time to listen to any episode if you don’t want to. Search for the hosts and the guests they invite. If you like their profile, start a conversation with them.

5: Garner inbound interest (through communities, events, and ambassador programs)

One way to get fitness influencers to come to you (instead of the other way around) is to create a brand ambassador program. You can promote it on social media and ensure it displays in Google search results to help fitness creators discover you.

The one way you can keep everything organized and professional in your ambassador program is having a landing page — like Body & Fit. Use it to share details on who you’re looking for, how they can apply, and the perks they get in return.

If you aren’t ready to recruit brand ambassadors just yet, you can also generate inbound interest via creating or joining a fitness community. Gymshark has its community in a Facebook group where fans share stories and motivate each other. You can create a similar one to invite fitness influencers. Or you can join these established fitness communities and search for the right creator partners within them.

⚠️ Note: if you join other communities, respect their protocol and ensure you contribute to help the members.

Lastly, if you can afford to go the extra mile, host or join in-person fitness events in your area. House of Fitness had an event, for example, that Cass (a health and fitness influencer) posted about. Influencers often post about these events when they are invited, so it’s a great way to get some organic posts from influencers.

But even if you don’t host an event, you can join one in your community. Various fitness creators will likely make an appearance and meeting them in-person can start off the influencer relationship on the right foot.

Finding fitness influencers without breaking a sweat

Finding the right fitness creator often reminds me of using dating apps. You see someone by the algorithm’s mercy, swipe right, have a flirty conversation, and go on a first date. It’s a hit or a miss. Maybe there’s a spark, perhaps they get you, maybe they are the one. But mostly, they aren’t (unless you get lucky 😉).

Only when you understand what you truly want and start filtering out the wheat from the chaff will the app show you partners who are an excellent fit for you.

In the influencer marketing world, it works the same way. You understand the kind of fitness creator you want, apply those filters in Modash, and voila — a list of incredible creator partners awaits.

Try Modash today at no charge to find your ideal fitness influencer. It might take a bit of trial and error, but you’ll find the one.

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