A gym in Singapore took to Facebook to expose a lifestyle blogger who sought personal training and money in exchange for social media promotion.
In her post on Monday, Daphne Maia Loo shared screenshots of the blogger’s proposal, which “deeply offended” her as a professional trainer.
“This evening, we received an email from an someone who was looking for a personal trainer,” wrote Loo, who works at Strength Avenue on Kampong Bahru Road. “Let me correct that. I mean, a ‘lifestyle influencer’ was looking for a FREE personal trainer who would PAY HER to get trained.”
“I want to say that as a personal trainer, I am deeply offended that someone would approach a professional whom she believes can do a job well, but refuse to pay for their services.”
While Loo did not name the influencer, photos in the screenshots revealed that it was Serene Martin — a wellness coach, motivational speaker and writer with 32,000 followers on Instagram.
In her proposal, Martin explained that she needs a trainer to help her prepare for the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro Bikini competition, which she expects to be held in October.
In exchange for a minimum of 36 sessions, Martin planned to promote the gym and her trainer on her social media platforms.
However, on top of the personal training, she also sought $3,000 Singapore dollars (around $2,220), which the gym must pay ahead of the collaboration.
“As a former social media manager and marketing manager, I am highly amused that this is how low influencers will go to get free products and services from companies,” Loo continued.
“I’m also deeply concerned, being part of a small gym, a small business made up of three trainers who do our best every single day for our clients. We keep hustling, doing what we do best, so that people learn and train safely, while achieving their fitness goals. I’m also concerned because someone out there is going to read this proposal and feel desperate enough to take it up. Because the fitness industry is tough; it’s really tough to survive in it.”
Loo went on to point out that social media exposure will not put food on the table and demanded those who need services to “stop being sh*t.”
“Yet, there are people out there who prey on us, and want us to help them achieve their successes and Instagram moments, by asking us to give our services for free.
“‘Yes, but …’ I hear you say, ‘but she’s giving you exposure!’
“Well henny, exposure ain’t gonna pay the bills we have nor feed the families we have. And don’t forget, she’s asking to be paid as well, for the exposure.
“Which comes to my final point: Stop being sh*t, folks. PLEASE PAY THE PEOPLE WHOSE SERVICES YOU NEED.”
Loo’s post of Martin’s proposal triggered angry comments from users.
In response to the backlash, Martin penned a lengthy Facebook post explaining her side of the story.
According to the influencer, Loo “selectively misrepresented” her email, which never asked for “free personal training sessions.”
“The email was a business inquiry sent to their business account with a social media marketing proposal which detailed what was the work that would have been done for the charges proposed. No part of the email requested for ‘free personal training sessions,’” Martin wrote.
“If what was proposed was not aligned with the gym’s beliefs, they could have simply rejected it. Most of the gyms either responded by requesting for more information or politely stated they would not be keen, with the exception of this gym.”
In her comeback, Martin shared a screenshot of Strength Avenue’s reply — from Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Andyn Kadir — which basically consisted of three laughing-in-tears emojis.
“Every personal trainer I have worked with previously including the President of IFBB Singapore — Alex Michael Betts — was paid,” she added.
Martin confirmed that she sought a charge but highlighted that what she proposed was an “exchange.” She also shared screenshots of comments about her “veering on the edge of bullying.”
“Yes, I did state a charge. As a matter of fact, I concur with one of the points brought up in that post, especially about ‘hustling’’ which applies to every business/ entity/individual who is working, which includes me too. I know there is no such thing as a free lunch, which is why this was proposed as an exchange.
“This one email misrepresentation has led to an onslaught of personal attacks on my appearance, profession and values across social media — veering on the edge of bullying — something I do not stand for and none of you should.”
Featured Image via Instagram / @serene_martin