From zero to hero: How The Body Coach became a global phenomenon

You may have seen his mop of brown curls and muscular physique. You may have heard him shouting about ‘midget trees’.* Or you may have attempted one of his HIIT workout videos.

His name is Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, and chances are you recognise him. And that’s just the way he likes it.

Joe was once a personal trainer, no more famous than your average personal trainer at the local gym. Just a few years later, thanks to his clever use of social media, he has become a global phenomenon.

Joe claimed he was sick and tired of people going hungry on fad diets. He wanted to show that you can be strong, lean and healthy whilst still eating proper meals.

His campaign to super-stardom began in 2014 when he started posting 15-second video clips of recipes on Instagram.

Fans soon caught on to his quick, easy recipes and quirky catchphrases and it wasn’t long before the hashtag #Leanin15 was born.

Now, 500 people sign up to his 90 Day SSS Plan every day- a personalised, paid three-month nutrition and exercise plan.

In countless interviews, Joe has claimed he never knew he could make money from Instagram.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he said: “I never realised you could monetise Instagram. I just wanted to help people.”

There is no doubt social media has propelled Joe’s career into the stratosphere and it could be argued his social media channels are the best PR he could ever need.

Now you know a bit about him, if you didn’t already, let’s see how his different posts fit in with PR’s PESO model.

PESO stands for Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned.

Here’s how Joe fits in with PESO:

Paid- This includes promoted posts, advertising, advertorials, endorsements and pay per clicks.

This has the ability to create brand awareness and let people know you’re out there.

Joe has deals with Leon Restaurants, Uncle Ben’s and Sainsbury’s.

He teamed up with restaurant chain Leon to launch a food range and a string of HIIT videos so that customers could get ‘LEAN WITH LEON’.


Earned- This includes editorial and media relations.

Earned media can create good SEO (search engine optimisation).

Joe has been interviewed by a number of newspapers, magazines and websites. Various media outlets including Grazia, The Sun and Business Insider, have put the interviews onto their websites and social media channels, all leading to more coverage for him.

He appeared on the cover of Men’s Fitness magazine in September 2015.

The Body Coach's Men's Fitness cover.
The Body Coach’s Men’s Fitness cover.


Shared- This includes word of mouth, mentions, retweets and reviews.

The best way Joe uses shared media is through his clients’ transformations. People using his 90 Day SSS Plan post before and after pictures, mentioning him on Twitter and Instagram. Joe also shares these transformations on his own social media. Getting people to share their journey allows for greater reach and engagement with your audience.

A transformation picture from The Body Coach's Instagram thebodycoach
A transformation picture from The Body Coach’s Instagram thebodycoach

Owned- This includes websites, blogs, emails, print and apps.

This allows full control of what you are saying, but can sometimes be seen as less credible.

Joe’s website includes information about his fitness plans and books. He also has a blog with a range of posts, including guest recipes, FAQ’s, tips and motivational messages.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about go to follow Joe on Twitter @thebodycoach and Instagram thebodycoach

*(By the way, ‘midget trees’ are Joe’s nickname for broccoli).


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