It all started with basketball, a game she fell in love with since her school days and continued to play even during her MBA. Urmi Kothari, one of the leading fitness influencers of India has made her way up in a hard way. Coming from an affluent Gujarati family, odds were against her to be where she is today.
“I was the only girl among 15 other boys sweating it out literally every evening. That time itself I had objections from other teachers from school, some boys made fun of me, some of them spoke behind my back but I was very clear about what I wanted.” – Urmi
“When I decided to give up my corporate job to move to Kerala and pursue dance and martial arts full time, everyone was shocked and asked me how did it justify my MBA. I trained for close to 8 hours every day, learning and grasping all disciplines and new lifestyle. Living alone in an alien village with an alien language, away from home, dealing with PCOD which I had developed due to a very stressful year in MBA only added to my challenges. Learning Kathak, Kalarippayattu, yoga, music and performing all over the world with my guru … the five years have been so enriching, I would not trade them for anything else.” shares Urmi.
Upon returning, Urmi started up with her own brand Kinetic Living and started as a personal trainer. She continued to study and earned various fitness certifications. Since then she has collaborated with brands like brands like Nike, IFAA, Apple, and many more.
“It is the attitude that matters. When you have your goal in sight, every challenge is just like a project that needs to be dealt with to go ahead. Turning back is not an option, improvisation is.” – Urmi
You can follow Urmi on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Urmi’s favourite social medium is Instagram because of its ease of use, constant innovation in features, popularity, relevance to the industry, reach and penetration. Talking about how she manages her social media, Urmi comments: “What goes behind the scenes is work. I honestly don’t put content that is not genuine or is not close to my heart. When I have shared paid posts, they still resonate with me. The idea is to have fun. In terms of content, I filter it on the basis of certain parameters like scope, the benefit to the viewer, timing, relevance, uniqueness and a story behind it.”
Social media content tips for fitness influencers, by Urmi
Correct form for exercises
Sharing my failures and how I overcame them
Sharing different aspects of my life
Lessons from the gym/travel/ injuries that can be applied in real life
Tips for aspiring fitness bloggers: “Be honest with yourself. Do proper homework. Don’t just try to be a fitness trainer/professional. Find your own style of content and also try to explore topics that your audience would not even think of. Be your ‘kinetic’ self” – Urmi
A passionate fitness trainer, Urmi says, “It is evolving by the day, and the digital environment is fueling it and how! Recently, I could train with some great teachers in the aid Because I was following them on Instagram in the first place. How amazing is that!” The health and fitness category is extremely visual in nature and thus, social media like Instagram become one of the key channels for fitness experts to reach out to the world. Naturally, fitness influencers like Urmi are ranked as some of the most followed people on social media. Urmi, however, asserts a very crucial point in this regard: “However, influencers alone must not be mistaken as experts and that’s where I feel, digital environment has a lack of control or regulation. I don’t think it can do anything because everyone is free to share any content they like. But when it comes to fitness and Health which is based on science, how do we confirm and validate the unlimited content?”
Urmi believes that influencer marketing is already impacting the fitness landscape substantially, but she also feels that the quality needs to be more than just superficial. “We need to now focus on building more collaborative and integrative approach to influencer marketing. Inviting a social media celeb to experience your brand and do a post about it is soon going to be no longer enough.”, asserts Urmi.
On hitting a balance between ‘what the brand wants to communicate’ and ‘what your audience want to get’ in branded posts: “By developing content that is my speciality and that is special to the brand as well. It has to be synergistic.” – Urmi
When asked about the importance of influencer marketing platforms in India, Urmi shares, “They are the sculptors. Hope they don’t make it just another marketing gimmick and really use it where it matters and makes a difference to the brands.”
We hope Urmi keeps sprinting through at even higher pace from here on. The entire team of Greenroom Buzz wishes Urmi the best.
Picture Courtesy: Carl Spies