Every YouTube vlogger says consistency, flexibility, and dedication to what works are keys to success — much like physical fitness, right?
With a focus on Instagram and weekly YouTube videos, the Love Sweat Fitness brand has experienced significant growth in just a few years.
You might remember Facebook’s 2014 campaign dubbed “Facebook Fit” which aimed to educate small businesses on the marketing advantages of Facebook products.
In the same era, a young woman shared a simple Instagram pic of her 45-pound weight loss. Then came lots of hard work and shortened weekends, and a lifestyle brand was soon born.
Love Sweat Fitness’s leader, Katie Dunlop, told Small Business Trends that she’d like to reach as many women as possible and wants to see the LSF brand as an industry leader, creating more experiences for the #TeamLSF community and bringing new ideas to them.
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Small Business Trends: Let’s go back the beginning. Did you launch on every platform?
Katie Dunlop: When I launched Love Sweat Fitness, it was on Instagram @lovesweatfitness. I was originally only sharing workouts with my local barre workout class for the days that I did not teach. After sharing my 45-pound weight loss transformation photo, I started to find more women who wanted the workouts I created.
Now, LSF is on virtually every platform. I focus mostly on Instagram and YouTube, where we have over 315,000 subscribers and new videos every Monday.
I love being able to connect with my audience on YouTube — it’s much more personal, and through video, they can get to know me a lot better.
Small Business Trends: Choosing a catchy three-word brand can be so effective. How did you come up with the name Love Sweat Fitness? And let’s talk about your brand’s use of Instagram Stories and IGTV.
Katie Dunlop: When I was first starting on Instagram, I tried to think about what the keys to my personal journey were and what I wanted to share with others. Love for me represents the first part of anyone’s lifestyle change, finding the ability to love yourself.
Sweat was the work that I put in, not just the physical part, but mental sweat work as well and of course fitness is the most obvious.
When IGTV was released, we jumped on it and got some content up quickly; I’m a big believer in trying out new platforms and being as close to first as possible.
We had to give it a try. Personally, I like IG Stories much better as they are in the moment, raw and authentic. I create tons of new IG Stories each day and we have really started to use it as a completely new and complementary place to engage the community.
IGTV still has a bit to prove to me, I’m not sure that long-term it’s going to take off or compete with YouTube in a meaningful way. Do people want to watch vertical videos at length on their phone? I’m not so sure.
Small Business Trends: As a certified trainer, where are you extra cautious in terms of sharing information? And I mean not just in workouts, but nutrition too.
Katie Dunlop: It’s a big responsibility for sure. I think people trust us more than ever, and so what I put out there has to be right. Being a [NCCPT] certified personal trainer and someone who has a lot of experience in both fitness and nutrition, I feel confident that what I’m saying is going to help those in the LSF community.
That being said, everybody is different and there are so many factors that go in to what type of workout is right for someone or not … same goes for how they feed their body. I never profess to have the one magic answer — to me that is dangerous and not responsible. This is where all the fad “diets” go wrong, trying to convince people that their way of eating is perfect for anyone; it’s simply not true.
Instead, I focus on sharing what has worked for me and I purposefully stay away from supplements like fat burners, pre-workout, etc. They can have some seriously scary side effects.
Small Business Trends: I’ve vowed to include more tech and how-to questions in 2019. What products help you stay on top of your game?
Katie Dunlop: We were interviewed on a podcast in 2018 and we mentioned the Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens, the Canon 24-70mm lens, specific lighting kits, specific mics and more as products that work well for us.
Give it a listen because we discussed a lot more than products. Just like in fitness, a tech product that might be average for one person could work great for another person.
Pictured: Katie and Ryan Dunlop
Images: Love Sweat Fitness
More in: Branding
Katie’s story is inspiring. It is really astonishing and surprising to see that she has made a successful brand just with the help of Instagram and YouTube. Don’t they have any website? And what about the other social mediums like Google+, Pinterest and Facebook?
That’s a good question. There are ways to populate your website with mostly your IG account — that type of approach is a time-saver and it’s recommended on the small business reality series “Small Business Revolution”. You can also redirect a .com domain (or any domain really) to your IG account or anywhere.
A minor point I forgot to add is that Google+ is unfortunately going away in April so it makes no sense to invest time in it.
Many fitness brands do this. Aim to change people’s lives and don’t be contented with just doing any type of content.
The LSF brand is extremely in-tune as far as listening to its community members’ preferences. When you do this and deliver, you win.