Fitness and lifestyle icon Casey Martin, who is a massive fitness influencer and who manages 1st Phorm’s 31-million strong Instagram influencers, says she wouldn’t be where she is today without the help and guidance of her mentors.

As many of the world’s most successful people will agree, mentorship is one of the keys to success. But choosing the right path is not always easy.

When I interviewed Casey Martin, she pointed out that her path had shifted majorly in her life. She faced a fork in the road that ultimately could have put her down a much different career and life path.

If you want to build a massive following or need help choosing the right path, you are definitely going to want to hear what Casey had to share with me.

A Failure Can Become Your Greatest Accomplishment

A perceived failure can be a lesson learned in disguise or a series of events that sets you down on the path you were best suited for.

In Casey’s case, she had been doing ballet since she was three years old, and at age 20, she arrived at a fork in the road. She was headed towards Juilliard to be in their ballet program, which was a childhood dream, but she realized two weeks before leaving home that she wanted to choose another path.

She realized that the life of a ballerina wasn’t for her anymore. And that realization set her down her higher path, which ultimately has led to something much bigger and more powerful than she could have ever imagined.

“I have always believed strongly that my greatest ‘failures’ were what became my greatest accomplishments,” said Casey.

How to Build a Massive Fitness and Lifestyle Following

One of the common objections that people make is that if they don’t look like a Casey or a Ray Diaz, nobody is going to follow them. While good looks is certainly a good thing, it’s not the only thing.

Casey is extremely well-versed in social media marketing, hence the fact that she is managing 1st Phorm’s 31M Instagram influencers.

Casey said, “The most important piece of advice I can share for anyone who aspires to build a following to create their own fitness platform would be to, firstly, find what aspect within the giant world of fitness that is most important to you (is it a particular sport, do you want to know everything you can about exercising, or how to become a bodybuilder, etc.) and then research, research, research!”

She pointed out that you have to research the actual sport/area of fitness you’re most interested in so that you feel comfortable and knowledgeable in the space.

Whether through a photo or a video, people can read whether you’re being genuine or not; you have to truly enjoy what you’re posting and feel good about the information you’re sharing. if you love what you’re sharing, people will feel that and want to be part of what you’re doing.

Casey continued to explain that searching for other people within the fitness world that inspire you and have reached similar goals to the ones you’re setting is a stellar idea. Research everything you can find on them. How did they begin? What are their daily practices? What worked or didn’t work for them?

Researching those who have done what you dream to do is one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to make leaps and bounds towards your goals.

Lastly, she pointed out, research yourself. This one may sound simple, but throughout the process of growth, you may find that your initial passion for a certain area of fitness slightly changed as you began collecting information and began implementing all the research into your own life. Never be afraid to change your direction!

People want to know your personal journey. Trying to stick to a path that doesn’t feel 100% ‘You’ will never pan out/make you feel the happiness and fulfillment of reaching your goals if somewhere along the line your goals changed.

How to Engage and Work with Influencers

Working with influencers is one of the fastest ways to become an influencer yourself. If you can get yourself into videos and pictures with other influencers, it will help build your trust and following that much faster.

One of the simplest ways, as Casey pointed out, is to contact them via their Instagram contact email. But the problem is, the bigger influencers get 100s or 1000s of emails and may not respond, or may be using a rarely checked email address.

“In this circumstance, you sometimes have to get a little creative if you’re trying to reach out to the influencer. If you’re unable to reach them through their DM or through Email, either get ready for what could be a long wait until the influencer hopefully finds his/her way to your message and responds or cash in some of your favors with friends.”

Casey continued, “If you have friends who are in the same industry that you know have worked with/do work with that specific influencer and see if you can arrange an in-person meeting with them or even just a quick connection between you two on the phone or through email, just to get your foot through the door,” said Casey.

You too can follow in Casey’s footsteps by heading some of her advice. I for one know that I am massively more inspired to grow my Instagram following and Influencive’s Instagram following after interviewing her. She’s living proof that brains and beauty combined are a powerful thing, but at the end of the day brains is more important.

Brian D. Evans

Brian is the Founder/CEO/Editor-in-Chief at Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures. Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising company in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington Post, Forbes and others.

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