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Influencer Called Out For Asking For Discount From Personal Trainer In Exchange For Content

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In this digital age, the line between work and recreation has become profoundly blurred.

This has made business transactions a more delicate arrangement then they would’ve been even ten years ago.

What happens when there isn’t an understanding of whether a request is a favor or a business deal?

This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Nana0Nana when she came to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA) subReddit for clarity.

She asked:

“AITA for asking my personal trainer to give me a discount?”

She outlined the people involved. 

I (26-Female) am a full-time content creator (or as other people like to call it, influencer).”

“I’ve been very lucky to have had a few of my videos go viral and grew an Instagram following in the 6 figures range; many of my followers are located in the general area I live in.”

“With the following I have, I am able to make an income from doing brand partnerships and sponsored posts.”

Then she gave a background for context, 

“I wanted to work on my health and hired a highly recommended personal trainer (30sF) in the area.”

“I did NOT tell her that I was a content creator when I hired her.”

Before getting into the problem itself.

After my first session, she posted some videos of me on her own Instagram page (she has about 10k followers), and some of her followers recognized me in her comments.”

“That’s how she discovered my Instagram page.”

It began with a request.

When this happened, she called me and asked if I could tag her in my IG stories whenever I am practicing the workouts she gave me.”

“She also asked me as a favor if I could create a before and after video to show my progress, post it on my Instagram, and then tag/mention her in the video.”

“She told me that she is in the process of pitching a TV segment and her agent told her that having a bigger IG following would help her secure the deal.”

“Normally, for a series of IG story tagging and a dedicated IG video, I charge about $3000 dollars.”

Before turning to negotiations.

“I told her about my rate but since I really did like the workouts, I would be happy to do all of this if she could give me $1500 off her workout package.”

“I also emphasized to her that I am more than happy to pay her full, regular rate but I didn’t want to feel obligated to create content for her on my page if that was the case.”

“She told me she would think about it and then hung up.”

Everything was fine until…

“She later texted me and said she felt very insulted that I would ask her for a discount for her services and that a few IG tags and IG video isn’t that much to ask for.”

OP was left to wonder, 


Concerned by her trainer’s reaction, OP came to Reddit for a ruling. 

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: NTA

Some were surprised.

“As a personal trainer I was all ready to call you the AH but after reading the whole story, NTA. She’s ridiculous to ask for free promotion especially from someone with such a large follower base.”

“You said you were happy to pay full price so I don’t see how she could be insulted.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t ask to be reimbursed for using a video of you on her page without permission (unless you signed something authorizing media release when you hired her).”~attabe123

Others were very direct.

“NTA she wants full price for her profession but wants you to do yours for free” ~Peachfuzz_thegreat

The unprofessional nature of the request struck a cord. 

“NTA. She’s asking you to do something that you normally get paid for. You pay her for her services, she should pay for yours. A discount is the very least she could do.”

“Edit: a lot of people are saying YA BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT READING.”

“Or they do not understand that what you are doing is marketing a business.”

“Marketing is something that companies pay billions for and your 3k price with 6figure followers is expected.”~OriHOEme

The situation subverted expectations.


“I was ready the second I saw the title to vote Y-T-A but upon reading the post I agree with you.”

“OP didn’t go into this offering her services as a influencer she was approached to promote the trainer and then offered a reasonable compromise which makes a big difference.”~Dragonpixie45

People drew interesting parallels.

“It reminds my of the model vs photographer/artist dynamic.”

“Both have a lot of entitled people looking to get free use of their talents.”

“But every time I see a photographer complaining about people expecting free work, there’s lots of support and shitting on people that want to pay in ‘exposure’, especially when it’s aspiring models.”

“But then those same photographers will turn around and put out calls for ‘volunteer’ models to help them with their ‘artistic vision’ and no one sees anything wrong with it and think models are being entitled for expecting payment.”

“People are very willing to shit on things they associate with vapid women.”

“Especially if they get ‘uppity’ and expect to actually be compensated for the work they’ve put into these skills that have been dismissed as a vanity when others wish the reap the benefits that come with it.”~terraformthesoul

OP did return to clear up some possible confusion.

“EDIT: I think some people are confused so wanted to clarify: I had already planned on paying her full, regular rate when I started working with her.”

“I never planned on asking for a discount until she asked me for the IG story tags and to create a video post for her.”

“I am 100% happy to pay her full rate as long as there is no obligation for me to post about her on my personal IG page.”

“Edit 2: Some people are commenting accusing me of taking credit for her work on my IG page and that is not true at all.”

“I have not posted anything at all regarding my workouts nor was I planning to.”

“My Instagram page is centered around a specific topic and I create skits and tutorials related to my experience in this topic.”

“Posting about my fitness/health journey would not be directly relevant to my normal content.”

The digital world has changed the way many of us conduct business.

It isn’t always business suits in meeting rooms anymore, it can be sweatpants in the park.

Nevertheless, we should always remember that when we ask for professional services, we should expect to pay professional compensation.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.