Hello again readers!
Before I was here writing this post, I was having my post workout morning coffee and doing the usual social media check. Its a little morning ritual that I have going on and helps me keep in touch with the people in my life and to see if there are any breaking news stories that I should be paying attention to (My thoughts are with the firefighters in New South Wales <3).
I'm sure most of you reading this have an Instagram account. Its a social media outlet that lets users share pictures and videos of just about anything. Mostly food, Starbucks lattes, hot bodies and cute animals. I follow a few accounts that focus on eating healthy and exercise. These accounts are run by women who share with us their daily workouts, eats, motivation and inspiring images that might help to motivate us, their followers and fellow Instagram users.
While mostly the pictures are just pure fluff about their daily smoothie or an exercise they show via video, sometimes there is a picture thrown in there that makes me think 'probably not the best place to share that thought...'
I will give you an example. One well known, local South Australian trainer had the following picture:
And then she proceeded to describe one of her clients in a negative way. She didn't name the client but the fact that she was talking negatively about someone who has placed their whole trust in her sends out a warning flag to me. Number one rule in personal training is YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT YOUR CLIENTS. She may have been using her client as an example about what not to do to other potential clients. And I get that. You want people to understand that you're dedicated to helping them, and that you're knowledgeable. I feel that the trainer could have presented this in a better light, without mentioning her 'askhole' of a client. As a professional trainer you are going to get clients who want to get fitter, stronger and healthier. You are going to get some clients that are in a pretty desperate time in their life. They have come to you to loose weight and improve their self esteem. It comes as no surprise that they might do some pretty shocking things to try and loose weight such as doing a 'detox', taking diet pills, taking laxatives, drinking only diet shakes and drinking special 'weight loss' or 'metabolism booster' teas. They will do whatever it takes despite warning from yourself and health professionals telling them not to. All you can do is warn them of the dangers and refer them to professional help if you feel that they are struggling with these behaviors.
What I'm trying to say is professionalism matters. As a personal trainer you are SELLING yourself. You are selling your body, the way you look, how you present yourself and how you conduct yourself in a public setting. The above example is just one of MANY I see daily on Instagram that reflects poor conduct of the user posting it. You have to remember that with so many people having instant access to social media then there will be a few feathers ruffled if you say something with seemingly good intentions but it comes out completely the wrong way.
If I was looking for someone to train me, personally, I would want someone who is encouraging, positive and would keep all sessions private and confidential. It doesn't matter that in the above example there were no names of clients mentioned as the post came off judgmental and negative. If it were me and I saw that posted on a popular Instagram account I would be mortified that my trainer thought of me in that way. And I would promptly fire her. Some people might think that I'm 'butt hurt' and have over reacted to something that on the surface seems harmless and may be beneficial to some. But guarantee there are more people like me who would get offended. I'm all for stirring the pot and opening up somewhat controversial topics to debate, but not at the expense of another person.
Think before you post, as you don't want to put off potential clients or loose current clients over something as silly as a picture posted onto Instagram.