Lockdown has led to many people reassessing lifestyle choices, sparking huge uplifts in web and social searches for home workouts, exercise equipment and healthy recipes. Good news for fitness and wellbeing influencers.

Here, we catch up with Instagrammer and food blogger Vicky Coates (@cleanleanbakes), on a typical week as an influencer and the process behind the posts on her feed.

How long have you been an influencer for? What inspired you to start?  

I started my Instagram account around five years ago to document my health and fitness journey. I had just started getting into fitness and was doing PT sessions at the time, which in turn inspired me to create healthy recipes. A friend suggested that I start sharing my ideas on Instagram and after getting good responses there, I launched my blog (www.cleanleanbakes.com).

What are you best known for amongst your followers? 

I’m best known for my high protein breakfast and snack recipes. I love weight training and learnt early on that you need to support your body by providing it with enough protein, beginning with the first meal of the day.

What does a typical week look like for you? 

Being an influencer is purely a hobby. Full-time I work as a speech and language therapist for the NHS. I typically use my time in the evenings and weekends to create my recipes and in the future, I’d love to go part-time to dedicate more time to my blog.

Lockdown has spurred many people to improve their health and wellbeing, has this increased traffic to your blog and social feed?

At the beginning, a lot more people were spending time on Instagram scrolling for inspiration. There was a big surge in people wanting to eat healthily, searching for home workouts and baking tips. At what was a very challenging time, many people turned to ‘self-care’ and I hope that this trend continues post-lockdown!

From start to finish, what is the process behind each post on your Instagram grid?

I take inspiration from different sources such as Instagram, Pinterest and recipe books. I’ll choose a traditional recipe, such as a carrot cake, and work out ways to make it healthier. I test a recipe a few times before photographing it and uploading the recipe to my blog and Instagram. A lot of my time is also spent engaging with like-minded Instagrammers, which has been key to the growth of my account.

Which has been your most successful post to date and why?

It was a vegan protein scone recipe. I think this was down to the images really standing out. The success of an Instagram post is typically down to aesthetics, which can be tricky with food! This can also be frustrating as a creator, as you may feel you have a great recipe you want to share, but if the photo isn’t right, the post won’t do well.

Influencer cleanleanbakes vegan scones

What advice would you give to brands looking to work with influencers?

My advice would be to ensure the product and influencer are a good match. I have a lot of companies message me to promote products which don’t fit with my page or ethos. I say no to these partnerships as it’s important to be true to yourself and your followers, otherwise you risk losing trust. As many of my recipes feature protein, l was approached by Purition, to join its ambassador scheme. So far, I have shared Purition-based recipes and giveaways with my followers too.

Influencer cleanleanbakes Purition recipes

Celebrities and influencers have come under fire for promoting fad diets and supplements via social media – what are your thoughts on this?

I would never promote anything I wouldn’t personally use myself, however I think some celebrities will often promote anything for the right price. I find this really frustrating as they have the biggest audience and could be influencing people to buy or use something that isn’t suitable for them.

Influencer cleanleanbakes