Nesa Rassouli, a good friend of mine and a constant source of inspiration, is the first to be featured in my interview series, which will highlight some of the incredible achievements made by entrepreneurial women. We will learn about how these lovely ladies use technology, their ups and downs and may even get some insider tips!
"I am a Calisthenics coach and fitness instructor in Dubai, UAE. I work in a gym as well as freelance conducting both group training and private sessions. For the last two years I have used Instagram to monitor my own progress as an athlete, as well as aiming to inspire my followers on their fitness journey as well."
How do you use technology in your day to day?
I like to post images on Instagram at least once a day, whether it be addressing a certain topic or issue, talking about an experience or just putting up an inspirational quote, I like to stay as active as possible on my account to make sure I maintain a high level of engagement with my followers. I also try and stay active through the use of Instagram stories by posting workouts, food or just updates about what I’m up to throughout the day.
How do you use technology to propel your business?
I mainly use Instagram, since I work in the fitness industry most brands, clients or potential employers want to be able to see your skill set and personality through your tone in your profile, as well as images and videos to see what you are physically capable of, so Instagram helps me meet all of these requirements.
Would your role/business be possible without the use of technology/social media?
It would, but it would be much more difficult. I wouldn’t be able to gain as much exposure as quickly. Instagram has made it very easy to immerse myself within the fitness industry and community in Dubai, by being able to connect with other professionals through the platform, as well as gaining exposure through being reposted on pages that have a substantial amount of following. Instagram has somewhat replaced the traditional CV for the fitness industry in Dubai, since most employers or potential sponsors or brands looking to collaborate just ask to view your Instagram profile.
Pretty much, I did get advice from friends that had been using Instagram based on how to take photos and what not, but it was all a learning process on creating a profile that was unique to my personality and my journey, while taking examples from profiles that I enjoyed following.
What have been your best learning resources?
Probably just referring to accounts that I felt appealed to me, and seeing how they posted, how they wrote their captions and how they engaged with their audience. Who has been your biggest support throughout your journey so far?
My partner has been the biggest help on my journey. He’s been a huge part of not only helping me find my “online voice” and how to reflect, advise and address certain topics on my account, but has been a huge help in always taking my photos for me and giving me advice on how to make my profile aesthetically pleasing to attract as wide of a demographic as possible.
As a woman, do you think you have faced any challenges that a man would not face in your position?
Not so far.
What HAS been your biggest challenge so far?
Probably just the sheer amount of competition within the Instagram/Fitness community in Dubai. There are so many people that post the exact same thing as me, so being able to stand out amongst incredible and talented athletes on Instagram has been difficult at times.
Do you think in the future you will have to rely on technology more or less? Probably more. To date, all of my opportunities have been given to me through my Instagram account. From job opportunities, to clients, to brand collaborations- pretty much everything has stemmed from being contacted from the individual seeing my profile, so it has been a huge part of my career and journey and I think it will continue to grow.
What’s your favourite piece of advice to offer entrepreneurial women?
1. Follow your Instinct. I was constantly told that as an athlete I was too diverse and needed to focus my training as well as my profile on one thing and excel in that. But that wasn’t what I wanted to do, every sport or activity I did was to aid another, and I followed my instinct to carry on with every activity I did rather than limit myself to one. It may have taken a while, but I have recently been offered ambassador roles for companies such as Go Sport, Stadium and Adidas based on the fact that I am a well-rounded athlete.
2. Try not to let money cloud your judgment. Many opportunities will arise, which will be extremely beneficial in the long run, but will not have any pay- go for it. And there will also be many opportunities that will not serve you, but will pay, make sure these are roles or positions that you believe in, rather than just accepting them based on what they will give you financially.
Thank you so much Nesa for taking the time to write those answers! Nesa can be found at https://www.instagram.com/nesarassouli