With a multi-million dollar business and a 40% growth rate year after year, Tone It Up is a perfect example of a business built on hard work and social media prowess. The digitally-based healthy lifestyle and fitness community that has a current reach of over 5 million women worldwide on multiple platforms was founded by fitness trainers Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott. Since the initial launch of Tone It Up in 2009, these dedicated ladies have acquired over a million followers combined on both of their Instagram accounts, over half a million subscribers on their YouTube channel, and millions of users across social media using the #toneitup hashtag. Karena and Katrina are not only leading ladies in the fitness industry; with a thriving organic, non-GMO Perfect Fit Protein business, the launch of a second activewear collection in collaboration with BANDIER, a beauty line, and more, they are a tour de force in the health/food, beauty, and fashion arenas as well. Here’s what they had to say about their inspiring business.
Cliché: Tell us about the events in your life that lead you to decide to start your own business.
Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott: We’ve always been passionate about fitness and actually met each other at the gym. We became fast friends and decided we wanted to reach more women than we had been with one-on-one training. We started creating free YouTube workouts with the hope of inspiring women around the world. Everything naturally evolved from there!
How did you break through the clutter of the health and fitness industry?
There’s so much misleading information out there that we totally get how confusing it can be to try to do the best thing for your body. We both came up with our nutrition plan through intense research and by seeing what worked best for us and our bodies, which are whole, nutrient dense foods filled with antioxidants and vitamins.
In terms of marketing, do you focus more on social media or Google ads and SEO?
What matters the most to us is connecting with our community who look to us and to the rest of the team for motivation and encouragement. TIU girls are really active on Instagram and on Snapchat, so we use those platforms the most to connect, inspire, and even share a few of our real life moments, too.
What has been your most engaged platform?
Right now Instagram! The #TIUTeam hashtag has over 2 million posts!
What is the predominant problem women face in their fitness journey and how do you help them overcome it?
Women naturally put others first, placing our own needs aside. We’re natural caregivers, which is a great thing, but we sometimes mistakenly believe neglecting our health is the right thing to do. We help women realize that when you take time to love and take care of yourself, you end up having so much more love and energy to give those around you! Even if it’s just an hour in the morning to squeeze in a workout, you’ll see and feel a world of difference.
What did your dedication to your health and fitness teach you about the business world?
When you lead with passion, anything can happen!
Would you say it was challenging to have a business partner?
No, it’s really the best. We each have our strengths and weaknesses that balance out between us. We couldn’t do it without each other!
On days when you feel uninspired, what keeps you going?
Our community keeps us going! It’s amazing to see hundreds of thousands of women waking up early to workout, eat healthy, and share so much positivity with each other. There are really no words for how powerful the TIU community is.
What is the main thing about Tone It Up that keeps people coming back?
We strive to make healthy living a really fun part of life. We believe that balance is key… which means a glass of wine here and there is totally #TIUapproved!
What advice can you give women who are working towards their goals, be it fitness, business, or any other?
Dream big and know that you deserve whatever it is that you desire for yourself. Find someone to be your cheerleader and your accountability buddy, then check in with each other daily as you complete tasks that get you closer to your goals!
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Getting Fit with Tone It Up: Images courtesy of Tone It Up