Top fitness influencers inspire and motivate global audiences through their aspirational social media content, enviable physiques, and incredible feats of athleticism. With over 7 million followers on Instagram and nearly one million YouTube subscribers, Australian Tammy Hembrow is one of the world’s most popular fitness stars, winning Cosmopolitan’s Woman Of The Year Award for social media fitness in 2017.
Tammy collaborates with notable brands including Good American, Fashion Nova, and Women’s Best. See how Tammy got her start on social media, her best business tips, how she works with brands, and more in our exclusive interview.
1. How did you develop an interest in fitness and what drove you to move that passion onto social media?
I began my workout journey when I wasn’t too happy with the way my body was going. I wasn’t living a very healthy lifestyle. It became more of a focus when I realized that I could look and feel my absolute best and that it was all controlled by how I ate and worked out.
My main motivation for sharing my own experiences online is to share what I’ve learned along my own journey with other women. Social media is a great platform to share knowledge, experiences, and expertise while motivating and inspiring others to take that first step into the gym or completing that final repetition during a workout.
2. In what way has social media most changed your life?
It’s given me a large platform of opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Also, the fact that people recognize me in public haha, that wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have such a large online following.
3. How does your thought process differ when creating content for Instagram versus content for YouTube?
I love YouTube because it shows different sides of my family and I. Like me without makeup, or when Wolf, my son, is throwing a tantrum. Instagram is just one portrayal of my life.
My vlogs are raw-er, I get to show a little more of myself that you wouldn’t see in a photo and you get to see more of my personality. Don’t get me wrong, YouTube is also a portrayal of my life. For example, you will never get the full story of when my kids are sick and I’ve been up all night with them, but it does give you more of a sneak peak.
4. What inspired you to start designing fitness programs and create your own clothing line?
I was continuously being asked what I did in the gym and how I achieved my pre and post-baby body, so I decided to put my programs together to offer people the chance to see how weight training and a healthy diet really can work. There is no smoke and mirrors, just long-term dedication to a healthy lifestyle, and it is hard work.
Since the beginning, I’ve always wanted my own clothing label. I pretty much live in gym clothes and wanted something that I would personally wear. With Saski Collection, I was able to marry fitness and fashion, it was the perfect match.
5. In launching both businesses what has been the most rewarding part?
The feedback! I still get so excited when I see girls wearing Saski, and I love the emails I get from girls who say my programs have really helped them to achieve their goals. That’s the most rewarding part of it all.
6. What are your long-term goals for your social media accounts and clothing brand?
I’ve got some big things in the works for Tammy Hembrow Fitness that I can’t talk about yet!
For Saski though, we have lots of new stuff coming like new colors and styles. I can’t wait to see what people think. For my social accounts I’m just going to keep being me, working with brands I truly love, and sharing my experiences.
7. When choosing whether or not to work with a brand, how do you decide? Which brand sponsorship(s) are you most proud of?
I only work with brands I truly love so I wouldn’t work with a brand just for money. I find it’s so important to be transparent with my online community. I feel an obligation to them because they trust me and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that.
I love Women’s Best, I have partnered with them for a while now and I personally use their products every day so it made sense to work with them. I also love Fashion Nova, they have so much to choose from and I love their jeans! If you scroll through my Instagram you will come across a lot of Fashion Nova because they have pieces for every occasion and I love that.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs or social media influencers?
Be authentic. With how saturated the market is right now, it’s important to be yourself, be honest, and focus on what you’re passionate about. People relate to other people.
Social media is only a segment of a person’s life but everyone is looking to connect to something and I truly believe that if you focus on what really makes you happy and create good content there is a chance people out there will be interested.
9. Lightning round:
Go-to healthy meal?
Oats and protein.
Go-to unhealthy meal?
Instagram or Snapchat Stories?
Favorite place in the world?
10. Any upcoming projects that your fans should get excited about?
I’m always on the go and constantly have something in the works. Right now, I’m working on a massive project (my biggest yet) for Tammy Hembrow Fitness. I’m bringing more collections to Saski Collection, expanding my teams, and working on some great collaborations over the next 12 months.
This week is also the launch of my collection with In The Style, a UK based brand. I’m really excited to be working with them because the clothing is affordable yet stylish and I can’t wait to see girls wearing the clothing.
11. Anything else you’d like to add?
Just how grateful I am for everything that has come my way the last couple of years. It feels really humbling to have girls say that you have inspired them on their own journeys and I’m truly thankful that I’m able to motivate them around something I’m passionate about.
This interview has been edited for clarity.