Name: Anna Reich
Job title: Personal Trainer
Time in current role: 9 years
Anna is a self-employed personal trainer. Visit her website here.
Why did you decide to go freelance?
I’m often in my own little world (thinking about health, fitness and people’s spirits (in a non-hippy way may I add). I just like seeing people content and empowered and I worry if I think they’re not, so being freelance was definitely the best for me. In a nutshell, fitness made me happier than my past life working in PR.
What are the key functions of your role?
To create fitter and healthier people through igniting an interest and enjoyment in exercise and nutrition. Ultimately though, I think it’s my role to create independent exercisers, so when I’m not there, they can sustain their new lifestyle for life.
Talk us through your typical working day
No week is ever the same because people go on holidays, have meetings, get sick and need to swap appointments. I’m in a perpetual state of change and action. Generally I’m up at 5.45am and I train from 7am – 9am. Then I have a few lunchtime sessions from 12pm – 2pm, then between 4pm – 7pm I train myself for 60 – 90 mins and then dash home to walk the dog. In the evenings from about 8pm – 9.30pm I try to catch up on admin, and there’s more than you would expect when you’re self-employed. There’s invoices, programming, social media (urgh!) and new business opportunities to consider. Remember if you don’t work, you don’t earn.
Your favourite part of the job?
When a client does something they once promised they would ‘never be able to do’. It’s a special moment – a mutual high.
…and the part you could do without?
Clients asking you to forgive a late cancelation. You have to be stern with this. It’s your livelihood and not having a 24-hour cancellation notice can be detrimental to your career. Be firm but fair.
How would your clients describe you in three words?
Top, enthusiastic and punctual.
Plans for the future?
I’m always looking for new business opportunities within this industry – I won’t be this buff and able forever. Well I might, but if not I love writing and doing my PR stuff so more of that would be great.
I’m opening up a new studio in Cardiff this year and I’m giddy at the thought of it! Freelancers will be able to hire the space to train their clients, so I’ll have no involvement in their business dealings. I’ll only pipe up if they make a mess or do something I deem to be a health and safety risk.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring freelancers?
Talk to people in your industry and ask them for their top tips on how to get started and survive. They know things you don’t, but should. Get busy on building a social media presence. I’m a bit crap at this but I know very well it can make a ginormous difference to your visibility and thus success.
Get a website made – even if it’s a simple landing page. It shows that you mean business.
Be relentless – because it’s competitive out there for any freelancer. You can have too many clients one day, and none the next.
Lastly, it can be isolating even if your actual job is person to person. Make an effort to see at least one friend a week. LLY