When Kirk and Monica Black met, they realized they both had a love for fitness. After their marriage that love continued but they also realized they were in a cycle of sabotage when it came to their diets. Done with the cyclical lifestyle, Kirk and Monica got serious about what they needed to do to make practical, lasting changes. They weren’t looking for a quick fix. Instead they wanted something that would work for their lives then and in the future.
They made changes to the foods they ate and kicked the workouts up a bit. Eventually the pair lost over 60 lbs. and has kept it off for three years. In the midst of it all, they started sharing their journey on Instagram. Though they had no intentions, they started to grow a steady, but loyal following. People were devouring their content and seeking advice to jumpstart their own fitness journeys. To answer the call, the couple formed the Team Black Lifestyle brand.
Now, not only do they share their fitness journey, but they manage to also use their content as a way to earn income. The couple has published e-books and offer affirmation based apparel that their audience proudly sports all over instagram. So how did this unassuming couple from Dallas turn their hobby into a money-maker?
I asked them that very question. Keep reading for their answer.
Dwaynia Wilkerson: When did you realize that your content was attracting a following that was active and engaged?
Team Black Lifestyle: We realized our content was attracting more followers when our direct messages and follower count increased. We were asked to submit our transformation story on several popular Instagram pages. We hired Prose & Pens to write that story. Once we started receiving more exposure, our following continued to grow.
DW: What type of content does your audience seem to like best?
TBL: Our audience seems to respond best to workouts, meal preps, and transformation photos.
DW: Why do you think your followers are attracted to your story and brand? What makes them stay “tuned in”?
TBL: We believe our followers are attracted to our story and brand because we are relatable and authentic. We are every day people with full time jobs, a family, and we still manage to make health and wellness a priority. They also stay tuned because we are consistent and engage with our followers. We show up nearly everyday and when we receive comments or questions, we always answer.
DW: Have you found it difficult at any point to share bits of your personal lives on Instagram because you not only include fitness, but marriage and family?
TBL: We haven’t necessarily found it difficult to share our personal lives. Although we are selective about what we share, we do believe that being transparency is important. We are not perfect and have some of the same struggles as everyone else.
DW: When did you realize there was an opportunity to monetize your audience and what were your first products?
TBL: For years we’ve shared free tips, meal prep ideas, and workouts. Once our following grew we realized there was a demand for nutritional guidance and that’s when we created our first e-book Eating Well. The Taste of Healthy Recipe Book followed next.
DW: What is your vision for Team Black Lifestyle over the next few years?
TBL: Our vision is to continue to be a source of inspiration for individuals who are on their journeys to a healthier lifestyle. In the future, we plan to expand our brand into our local area by hosting local events geared towards couples. And of course, we want to continue to try and show a positive, but realistic reflection of marriage, parenting, family, and faith.
DW: What has been the greatest challenge in building your brand?
TBL: Our greatest challenge building a brand has been juggling our day-to-day obligations along with making sure we have good/relevant content and that we engage with our followers.
DW: Is the challenge about a lack of time? Have you ever faced burnout? If so, how do you deal with it?
TBL: Yes, we’ve faced burnout. When we feel that way we simply take a social media break to recharge. Typically, we take a 2-3 week break as needed. Since we are exclusively online at the moment you can easily spend hours scrolling through social media, which is not very productive.
DW: What has been the greatest reward?
TBL: Our greatest reward is hearing people say that our journey has inspired them to live healthier. It’s also rewarding to hear people say that they love our relationship and that it gives them hope to find love.
DW: One last question. What advice would you give to others who are looking to build a brand via Instagram?
TBL: For anyone looking to build a brand on Instagram, we’d tell them to be authentic. Be consistent with your posts and the type of content. Engage with current followers and other accounts similar to yours. Don’t focus on what everyone is doing; don’t compare your journey to others. And do not focus on followers.
About Dwaynia Wilkerson: Dwaynia is the owner of Prose & Pens, a ghostwriting service that creates written content for professionals, businesses, and brands.