How to Go Viral & Grow Your Business: Kayla Itsines Case Study


  • Community creates virality (aka the possibility of your content going viral) and your followers are the key driver of your success

  • Tell your followers exactly how to engage with you by asking them to tag you or by creating a branded hashtag

  • Celebrate your followers and their success by republishing their posts on your Instagram feed

Kayla Itsines is an influencer, author, trainer, and one of the most successful fitness entrepreneurs of all time. She started selling e-books of her workouts online in 2014, and in July 2021, Itsines sold her workout platform, Sweat, to iFit for a reported $400 million. So, how did Itsines build an empire in a record seven years? She recognized the power of viral content marketing.

The framework Itsines used to build her business is one that can be replicated for success. In this article, we’ll break it down for you step-by-step.

Community Creates Virality

Istines evolved her skills over time, starting with her fitness e-book, and eventually launching her personal training app, Sweat. What she figured out throughout her journey was that community creates virality.

Sweat is a fitness app designed for women, and as you can see below, Sweat’s Instagram page is dedicated to empowering and inspiring its community of women:

When community members are highlighted through these feed posts, the comments section is full of women cheering each other on:

Community — particularly through Instagram — is the key driver of Itsines' business success. As a fitness entrepreneur, you can create great financial success for yourself by helping other people become successful.

Here’s What You Can Learn From This:

  • Understand that your business is about more than just you: It’s about your customers — the people who can help drive the virality of your business.

  • Create a habit loop: Itsines did this by letting her followers know that if they share their success stories with her, she will repost to her community. Keep reading to learn how to create one of your own!

  • Let your fans and followers market your business for you: When you repost someone to your community, they will be inclined to reshare on their own page, exposing you to all of their followers (who are all potential customers!).

The bottom line is that you create virality when you learn to build a community.

How to Create Virality

  1. Ask your followers to tag you in their posts: In doing so, they are marketing you to their community. The more you can get your followers to tag you, the more likely you are to grow.

  2. Reshare community posts to your Instagram feed: While you can also add to Stories, we’ve found it’s more impactful to publish these community posts to your feed.

  3. Encourage community posts in your Facebook group: Put the call-to-action in your Facebook group, as well! Ask your followers to share photos and videos of themselves doing your workouts in the group to encourage one another.

  4. Add community to your email marketing campaigns: Each time you send out an email update, select a community member to highlight! Not only will you make someone’s day, you’ll create more incentive for users who may have dropped off to sign back up for your app.

Encourage Engagement by Creating a Habit Loop

  1. Provide a cue: First, you need to ask your followers to engage with you.

  2. Create a routine: Let your followers know how to engage with you. For example, “Tag me in your posts!” or “I want to see you sweat! Use #YourNameFitFam to share your posts” are great calls-to-action for engagement.

  3. Provide a reward: When a follower takes the action and tags you in their Stories or feed posts, you then celebrate their achievements by reposting them to your own account. This reward through social recognition is key!

  4. Repeat!

To learn more about how to make marketing your app a habit, click here!