How to Choose the Right Scheduling Platform For Your Business

One of the top questions I have seen in the last month is “what scheduling platform should I use?” Or, a variation of “I want to switch from my scheduling system which one do you use?” Whether it is the cost that is causing you to consider a new platform or your business has changed and the one you use no longer serves you, or, you’ve realized you lose too much precious time scheduling/rescheduling clients via text and keeping track of packages on our notes, picking the right platform for you is going to take research. Yep, I know, you probably came here for the answer to which platform you should pick. But, I promise, below I will give you tips to choose the best platform for your business. Ready to have a scheduling tool that literally grows you business by giving you time and options? Here we go!

First, write down EVERYTHING you want your business to do. One thing that will drive you nuts is if you choose a program based on price and what you do this month. But, don’t consider where you want your business to be next year. I know, why pay for something you’re not using yet. But, most programs allow you to add things on too. So consider EVERYTHING! Do you want to have merch, workshops, classes, privates, zoom? What about it talking to your mail server? I want you to dream big here! If you’ve been in business for a while you might already know the answers to this question. But, if you’re at a pivot point or starting out on your own think of this like you’re back in dating life and you’re dreaming up your perfect match. What qualities matter the most to you? What are “must-haves” and “nice to have.”

Second, what don’t you like about the platform, program or system you are using? If you’re using your calendar and your notes on your phone (yes we def gotta fix that) but what about this is a waste of your time? Btw, YES THIS IS A HUGE WASTE OF YOUR TIME! But, what would you like it to do for you? The tool and systems you use should allow you to have more time to do the things that bring you joy or make you money. Literally write down everything that you dislike so you can make sure you don’t swap and do all the work and end up with the same complaints.

Third, now you can ask people “why do you like the scheduling tool you use?” Or, “what platform do you use and what are the pros and cons?” Note, I did not say ask people “what program do you use?” I also made this third for a reason. If you go and ask people what they use and the pros and cons of it before you make your lists your idea of who they are, how well their business is doing, the story you tell yourself about them will sway you to like one program over another. Its just human nature.

So, do the work to list out what you love, need, deal-breakers, and makers. Then get some feedback with the why behind it. And then fourth, start contacting these service providers and get on the phone with them. Yep, old school. Tell them what you want, need and DEF DO NOT WANT. And they’ll try to prove themselves to you. And, because you’ve got your list you can’t be swayed by charm and deals.

Your time is money. Literally every minute. So, anything your platform doesn’t do that you do on a daily basis is costing you money now and in the future. Because it takes up brain space. And wasted brain space means time lost creating future money-making ideas.

And, before you go all in and let your clients in on it have a friend or family member try to sign up for all the things. Not you. Someone who doesn’t know what is supposed to happen when they sign up for a new session. A friend or family member who is similar to your clientele signing up for a package or canceling a session. See where they struggle so that when you go to train your current clients on the switch its a smooth-er transition (no one likes change but that should not stop you). Afterward, if you’re like YASS this is it. Then do the switch. Yes, it will be work. Yes, it will be frustrating. And yes it will take time. But if it solves all your problems then it should actually give you time and energy back!

Please do this sooner than later. Trust me when you are on the other side of this issue you’ll be like “why did I wait so long?!”

What are you looking for in a platform?

xx~LL

PS when you’re ready to talk dream work schedule (yes it exists) check out this course here and my blog here on making sure your schedule has your future goals in your present day.

Can You Make Money Teaching Pilates and Give Back?

The simplest answer is yes. Yes, you can make money and give back. For-Profit For-Cause businesses are not a new thing. But, they have become more popular as more and more small businesses are wanting to not just make money but impact the communities around them. So how can your Pilates or Fitness business make the money you want to make and give back to others? And, how can you have offerings that not only pay for the overhead you have, the equipment, continuing education, etc and also be affordable for those in your community who need it? Pilates is seen as very expensive. And, these days most fitness options are. Spin classes, treadmill classes etc all require expensive equipment. Teacher training is not cheap nor are they easy to get through. It is ok to need to charge your worth. But, I know you are wanting to also bring Pilates to more people. So, let’s talk about some of the easiest ways you can do that.

First, before we can get into the options its important that you know how much your hourly rate is. Without this knowledge not only may you not be charging enough to keep your lights on but it will make it impossible to give back to others. So, if you haven’t done this formula with me before please get out your calculator:

  • How much do you want to gross in a year?
  • How many weeks will you work (teach) in a year?
  • How many days a week?
  • How many hours in a day?

Take your gross income and divide it by the number of weeks, then the number of days then the number of hours and you get a number. That number is the lowest amount you can charge to make your gross income goals.

Now that we have this number its easy to figure out how we can give back.

You can give back as a simple donation to a local charity. For example, OPC was able to start giving a % of our weekly member subscriptions to Lunch on Me. We, unfortunately, we didn’t build that into the business model from the get-go. So as soon as we were able to hit a threshold we were able to add this in. However, you can take your hourly rate and add $1, $5, $10 to that and promote that x amount of every session or class goes to “insert charity here.” Your clients and members will love that for every session they do they are part of that donation. And, they’re less likely to hassle you on price increases and late cancel policies because they’d be taking away from that charity.

If you go this route again, set your prices, packages, memberships with the donation in mind. This          way it’s built into the price and update your clients and members every quarter or even every month            how much was given. If the charity has updates on who that money went to etc. You’ll truly build a                community around your cause.

Have a Special Community Class on the Schedule. For this option again you want to go back to your formula and make sure that your rates for all your teaching hours cover this community class. For example if you want to offer a class each week to a special population for say $10/person or even “pay what you can.” That money can be donated to a charity that supports that population of people. The nominal fee can hold them accountable for showing up. And, yes, this can also be free. But then all your other teaching hours can subsidize this hour. So, if your rate is $80 and you only want to teach 15 hours a week. Then the 14 hours you are paid for by clients can be $86. Not only will this allow you to teach the number of hours you want. But, it also helps hold you accountable for filling those other 14 paid hours so you can offer this session.

Side note: Filling these community classes will take more than just putting them on a schedule and seeing people come. You’ll need to do the same kind of marketing to let people in the population you are hoping to support/reach hear about it.

Go into a community and teach a class. This is similar to the previous option. Your paid teaching hours would subsidize this option. And then you would travel to a community center, charity headquarters, school, etc. There are organizations that are already doing this and you can do some research to see how you can get involved. And, if teaching people who may not be able to afford Pilates is on your heart this option should be front and center. Yes, its less convenient for you. But, where your studio or class is may not be affordable for them to get to. Its truly important to consider meeting people where they are just like Pilates does.

Consider multi-level, multi apparatus, circuit-style classes. I love this option and have been doing it for a long time. It allows even the smallest of studios to have classes and have an offering that is affordable without lowering your hourly rate. You can learn more about this in this course. But essentially, you would channel Joe’s old studio in a sense. Clients would still come at a set time. But they each would have their own workout and you would help them when they need it. This way instead of only teaching Privates or duets at a rate that people might not be able to afford you can have three or four people working out at the same time. Their cost is less but you make your hourly rate or more.

This is literally just the beginning and hopefully gets your juices flowing. Please keep in mind that there are many reasons why someone cannot come to your studio that is not just money. So, if you’re really wanting to reach a community do the research to see how you can best support them. But, its also ok to have a profitable business. And you can truly give back and grow so that you not only pay yourself a wage but you help support the community you’re in as well.

You are the only person who can teach the way you teach to the people you teach. So your people need you to be able to pay your bills so you can continue to support them. Do the formula, get creative with your offerings, and do your homework to help support those who are on your heart.

xx~LL

 

Tips for Becoming Known Online

When you first started teaching you may not have had the goal of being known online. In fact, it’s only pretty recent that almost ANYONE could have their own digital products and be like the fitness dvd mavens anywhere in the world without being discovered by “as seen on tv.” But, now, due to social media, the growth and demand of online platforms and CV19 putting most of us out of our studios and offices and into our home-work and workout spaces online you might be desiring to explore being known online. How do you do that though? Is it even possible to become known online since everyone is online? Is there room for you? And, should you do it? Well, let’s talk about it!

A few years ago I launched my course “Becoming Known.” It was a three-part series. The first was all about becoming known in your community. The second two had a lot to do with what you needed to do on your website to help support the in real life community work you were doing. All the tips in these courses still apply. And, much of them can be translated to becoming known online. Make sure you watch my course and check out Blogging and Vlogging as well as “The Client Journey.”  And then add in the tips below.

Let’s talk about what else you need to do to become known online.

  1. Who are you wanting to lead in the online world? I know you think you are for anyone but you’ll get lost in the social media channels and the online world if you try to be for everyone. All my online products that were not tailored to a specific audience fell on deaf ears. But, the moment I got specific about WHO the product was for they sold. I know it’s scary but in the beginning, especially you HAVE to get super clear on WHO you want to follow, like, and buy from you.
  2. What do they NEED? People buy what they need help with. They buy what helps them escape “pain.” Pain can be physical and literal or it can be something that makes them feel better about who they are and what they do. People buy what they need or what they feel they need. You need to know this answer so you can create products and offerings that help solve what’s on their mind.
  3. How do you help them? If you can’t articulate this then it’ll be pretty hard to get known. Because how you help your people is literally what you are going to get known for. And, you want to get as CLEAR as you can on this. Super specific. I know, it’s going to be hard. Truthfully you might not have the answer to this right now. When I first started AGENCY I didn’t have the full clarity about how we help people. But as I kept talking about it and building it the clarity came. So don’t be afraid to get started and try things out to get the words out of your head and online.
  4. Patience and Consistency. You are going to have to practice both of these because you won’t likely go “viral” overnight. And, if you did (yay) but sustaining that is tricky. It’s better to start where you are, get the clarity and consistency going so that your people help you become known because they are superfans and not lukewarm followers.
  5. Read Story Brand.
  6. Yes, you need a website.
  7. Pick a social platform and go all in! I’m often asked which one. Do the one you love and be consistent on it. People need to hear about you at least 7-17x before they will buy from you. So, consistency wins always.
  8. Be a whole human. I know you just want to talk about what you LOVE to talk about. But, your people nowadays want to know ALL about you. So be honest with them. Share your favorite foods, your family, and your routine.
  9. Pick your lane. Sure every idea has pretty much been done. But not by you. So, what uniqueness do you bring to the idea? And how can you show up in that space as you? What do you bring to the room? Go all in on that and then as you grow your products and offerings can grow.
  10. Time management. This is key! Most of us don’t have all the time in the world. Even during quarantine to spend on all the things to launch your online products. So, grab a timer. And time block how much you’ll spend on social, content creation, your life, your other job etc. When the timer goes off its time to move on.
  11. Remember your WHY. There are going to be days or weeks when you doubt what you are doing. If anyone likes it, wants it, cares about it. And, the motivation behind you wanting to become known online will be key to keeping you going when the “going gets tough.”
  12. Start where you are. I know you want to be known online but the people who know like and trust you in your community are not in a bubble. They have friends in far and away places. So, take those local superfans and have them help you get to where you want to go.

I can go on and on and I will in my coaching calls and AGENCY group and someday another course. But, until then please remember that everything that brought you to here will be a great foundation for where you want to grow. So, take what people say they LOVE about you, take your purpose for being on this planet and show people how its the key to what they are looking for. Be bold. Be brave. Show up! Consistently. And, try to have fun! It’s a journey my friends.

xx~LL

PS we are kicking off our AGENCY MINI program on July 29th AEST and in this 7-day program we can help you get your online knowness questions answered. Snag your spot here.

How to Quit a Client, Studio, Schedule and Make Your Leap

Feeling like you should downsize your studio, schedule or client list is normal. Desiring to work on your business instead of in your business should always be your goal. I get asked often “How did you go out on your own?” “How did you open your own studio?” “Why did you move your studio?” All these questions have one topic in common. “How do you make the leap?

The leap in your business is going to be scary. Let’s get that out of the way. But, the longer you avoid taking the leap that you need to make the harder it will be, and the worse it will feel. And also, the more likely you are to burn out and think about quitting teaching altogether.

So, if you are a teacher thinking about going out on your own keep reading. If you’re a studio owner wondering if you should downsize, upsize, go from having independent contractors to employees or moving your studio at home keep reading.

A leap can also be a switch, a shift, a change of plans. And yes people will wonder if you’re a bit crazy. Some people will not be shocked at all. And others will be inspired. Why? Because only you will know what is right for you. And you must teach the way you are called to teach. Oh, and that might change as you grow along the way. But, if you’re charging based on your goals and clear on your vision I promise that more leaps will be in your future and it gets easier to leap.

First ask yourself what you want for your future? Who is in it? Where do you live? What do you do each day? Pick a date in the future and get clarity around your day to day. This will be your filter. And, you’ll want to do this often. Because you’ll reach the date of the vision and you’ll need another future one.

Second, what in your business are you wanting to stop doing?

How much money does that bring you?

How much time is that?

Third, what is it that you want to be doing with that time? How much will you need to charge/work to replace the income of the thing you’re wanting to stop?

When you know how much you need to do/have to make the switch it becomes more real, more possible, and more tangible.

When I wanted to leave managing studios I figured out how much money I would be giving up when I let go of that job. I figured out how many hours of private clients that would be and the amount of time that would equal. I could replace that income I was getting in 30+ hours a week of work with 17 hours of privates. I figured I could add 8 hours to my current schedule but once those were full I would have to make the leap. Make the leap 9 hours shy of what I needed to replace the income. Yes, that was scary but I was about to gain 30 hours of time to go and find those other 9 hours of clients.

When I wanted to open my own personal studio I looked at how much I was paying in rent and then searched for a space that was close to my average rent. Yes, I had to buy my own equipment and take on the other bills for owning my own space. But, I saved on time spent figuring out if I could teach at this time or that time. I didn’t have to ask when I could film anymore and I could have days off instead of filming on days off because that was the only time that was available. Leap!

When CV19 happened and I lost all my workshops for 2020, my elderly clients passed on virtual I did what I told you above. I figured out how much money that was. I wrote down all the things I LOVE to do when I am working. I figured in how much of the things I loved doing I needed to remake that revenue. And then I leapt.

If you are wanting to quit teaching mornings, classes, running a studio or want to open your own you can! Wherever you are in this world, whatever your dream you will have to make a leap. And, it won’t be easy. But, you can do it smartly and have more confidence when you go and do it. Even if there are those people that question the leap you are making.

So, whatever you are thinking of doing there is a way to build a bridge to allow you space to successfully leap. What leap are you wanting to make?

xx~LL

Resources for Creating an Anti-Racist and Inclusive Pilates Experience

Pilates is seen as an elitist and often even racist fitness modality. And, while most of its teachers would like to disagree I believe the past week’s protests have more than shed a light on where we can all improve in the effort for equality. And, while you might think that racism is not happening in your studio. Or that, you see all people as equal. Now is the time to take a step back and see are you creating a studio space that not only teaches Pilates safely and effectively. But also how are the studio policies inclusive of all backgrounds that might come through your doors? Is your staff or are you aware of micro-aggressions that however innocent you might think they affect the teachers and clients that come through your doors?

The problem of racism in the US and other countries may seem too big for you to fix. But, the truth is if you are doing your part in your community to create change that has a ripple effect that has no ends. And so, below please find the books, podcasts, charities, and more that you can use to educate yourself.

Side note: I’m still learning, I will always be. I am listening and educating myself as best and quickly as I can so that I can continue to use this platform for its mission-helping you do more of what you love- Teaching Pilates.

Part of being able to do more of what you love is making sure that the studio space you are in allows for any client you may attract to feel safe, welcome, and included. For you to feel strong, confident, and aware not just of learning styles but of cultural differences and needs. And, for teachers in the BIPOC community to feel safe, welcome and empowered. I know I am still making my way through these lists. But, I hope they help you on your journey to bringing more Pilates to more bodies.

Books

Podcasts

Courses/Workshops

This is in no way a complete list. And, as I find more I hope to update this. And, please feel free to post more resources in the comments below.

To my teachers out there reading this. If you see something do something. My interview guest Yunny on IG said this. And, it’s important that you stand up if you see a policy at a studio or a client whose actions are racist or micro aggression. Change happens first where we are.

To my studio owners, in these days after quarantine, it’s never been more important to make sure the culture at your studio represents the inclusivity you believe in. Now that clients are more aware of online services and follow teachers on social media you cannot afford to lose a good teacher because your policies or clients create an environment that negatively affects another person. Check out the interview I did with Kristen here.

Big thanks to those of you who sent me resource tips on Instagram and to Crooked Media who shared Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein’s list. You can see the full list here

Why You Need a Reopening Plan Too

As communities all over the world begin to open up we are all taking the time to get to know more about what we can and cannot do in our businesses than probably EVER before. And, while I know you are eager to get back to your studio, clients, and figuring out how to have classes I think it is super imperative that YOU yourself have a reopening plan. Have you taken the time to make sure you are keeping the parts of quarantine that you loved and not bringing in parts of your old life that you didn’t enjoy?

  1. Your Schedule: Now is the time to truly dial this in. If you have found that you no longer want to teach mornings as you plan your reopen how can you keep your mornings for you? Do you have space in your day for your workout, marketing, meditation? You can blame all changes to the schedule on CV19. And, if you need to you can always add things back in but taking things away will be harder later than it is now. So, put your dream schedule together! Here is a course on how to fill it when you do.
  2. Your Offerings: If pre CV19 you were teaching classes but you prefer privates how can you reassess your offerings and only offer privates? Or, if you have been loving teaching virtual do you really need to go back into the studio? What about the size of the packages you offer? Do you need all of those? How can you make your life simpler and your business work for you?
  3. Your clients: Do you want all of them back? Yep, I said it. Sometimes we keep clients around because they have been with us for a long time. Or, they are sort of consistent. But, if they drain you to teach, or are always nagging you about prices, times, wanting to move their session around do you need to reopen with them?
  4. Your Self Care: This may be the MOST important thing I need to you plan and consider during this time. After talking with many teachers who have already been able to open one thing that they are finding is that yes there is excitement and gratitude but there is also fear, stress, and extra cleaning to do. So, while you may have taught 4-5 hours in a row before CV19 you may now feel tired or drained after just 3. As teachers we hold so much space for our clients already. This reentry includes even more. Go slower than you may think. Remember, you can always add things back in. But, give yourself space to see how you feel getting back into the studio.

Some tips for Self Care when you can’t do the normal self care rewards like massages, spa treatments etc:

  1. Make more time for meditation.
  2. Have a fun book to read
  3. Turn your phone off.
  4. Thera gun massages
  5. A buddy you can call and share how your day was without having to filter.
  6. A Routine!
  7. A therapist. Side note I think Therapy needs a rebranding. You can get one on Betterhelp that you can do a call or text as you need.
  8. Uplifting podcasts while going for a walk.
  9. Your regular practice.
  10. Eating healthy
  11. Crafting
  12. Cooking (not just for others but for fun)!
  13. Boundaries!
  14. Morning pages
  15. insert your favorite thing here

Self-care is not a reward for hitting a goal. It shouldn’t be at least. It is a total necessity. And, as you start to reopen and your clients come back and they are super excited to see you, bummed about the changes, and you have more cleaning and listening to do it is extremely necessary that YOU take the time to create your own reopen strategy. When you will work and when you won’t. Who you’ll teach and who you won’t. And what you truly want to be doing.

What will you make sure you put in your weekly schedule to ensure that you are taken care of?

xx~LL

 

Should You Charge Different Prices For Virtual or In-Person Sessions?

How to price your services is a question that has been asked since the dawn of the service industry. And the going advice is “look at what other people are doing and then charge the same or a little less or a little more.” Most often people charge a little less. Which is the wrong thing to do because it’s a race to the bottom. Who can charge the least amount someone will always win. But, you’ll likely be the one who loses. And then, because of CV19 every fitness, Pilates and Yoga instructor had to go virtual. And thus the imposter syndrome pricing began. Enter discounts or free sessions virtually and burnout. So, what should you charge for your services that were in-person and are now virtual?

The short answer is the same.

The long answer, you are not defined by the equipment that surrounds you. Your worth is not determined by how many Rerformers you have access to or which brand equipment you have. Your value comes from your knowledge and what you know doesn’t change based on your surroundings.

How much do you want to gross a year?

How many weeks a year will you work?

How many days a week will you teach?

How many hours in a day will you teach?

Take your gross annual desired income and divide it by the number of weeks you will work and divide that by the number of days in a week and the number of hours in a day. The answer is the lowest amount you can make in a teachable hour.

If you’re a studio owner how much do you want the studio to gross in a year? Divide that by how many weeks the studio is open and then the number of days it’s open and then the number of hours its open. The answer is the lowest amount the studio can make in an hour it’s open.

How much should you charge for virtual sessions? The same!

If your clients balk you be honest. For most of us, our bills didn’t change just because we are virtual. I still have to pay studio rent, utilities, internet etc. Even if in the future I get rid of my studio and stay 100% virtual I still have my continuing education, and bills to run my business from home.

You are a business. Not a charity!

It’s ok to make a profit from helping people feel better.

Do you need that repeated?

If I sound like I am on the pulpit I kind of feel like I am today. I just finished leading our webinar for our AGENCY MINI program which leads people to our AGENCY program that is an ongoing coaching group. And, this question kept coming up. How much should I charge? Even after we did the whole formula. I believe businesses can thrive during this time. I believe people are spending money. You don’t have to discount your already priced too low services. You need to find your people who will pay what you’re worth and value what you offer.

So, what is your lowest hourly rate?

Is that something you’re charging now?

Is it higher than what you’re charging now?

Do you need support for this?

You can check out my course on “how to raise your rates” and “talking to your ideal client.” And, if you want more ongoing support then check out AGENCY. It’s hard to do this business thing alone. You need a community that reminds you when you’re down how much you’re worth.

xx~LL

Short Cuts to Getting Clients, Getting Paid and Getting Known

Before when you were busy teaching, studying, running around from class to class, studio to studio or client to client it was easy to put off making that website, writing that blog or newsletter, and launching that new product or service. Now, you have time. So, with that excuse removed what is really keeping you from doing the thing you’ve been wanting to do? Let’s explore some short cuts to taking messy action and doing what you have wanted to do “when you have more time.”

Website: Look I am a massive fan of a good website. I absolutely believe you should have a website that allows you to take emails, schedule your clients, take the money!!! And really share your expertise. But, if you don’t have a website already and are in a pinch for cash to build it then here are some options:

  • A templated website like those you see on Squarespace etc.
  • Buy the URL and hire someone on Upwork or Fiverr to put your virtual class times, Venmo info, and a contact form.

Keep in mind these will be stopgaps but social media can only take you so far. Google cannot crawl your insta stories. You need a website. It needs to have key info so you can be found. But today with the support of contractor services like those on Upwork and even videos on YouTube you should make getting something online that you own priority!

And, for more info on what your website needs check out this course with a website developer who happens to be my husband but it will get you started with all the SEO you need to know.

But seriously, seriously, you need a website!

If you already have a website you’re congrats. Do a “walk through” of it and make sure its up to date with what you are offering now and what you want to be offering. 

Money: So you don’t have a scheduling system? No worries! I get it. They cost money and you might not be in a place to invest in that right now. Or, you might be needing to cancel yours but not sure how to take the money! Venmo, Cash App, Google, and Apple Pay, as well as the old go to Paypal and Stripe, are at your assistance.

(side note Venmo is not supposed to be used for businesses)

You can post about your virtual pop up and put your info for getting the money and then when they pay you can send them your zoom link! Yes, there are fees to some of these options. But, that’s something you factor into creating your prices. You are not a charity nor a hobbyist. Having a business means there are fees, taxes, and bills. And, that’s honestly ok! In fact, it will help you stand up for your worth because you have to make sure you have enough to cover your needs and the bills that come with it.

There’s no reason to make taking money complicated. If you’re sitting there trying to figure out how to let people’s friends take a class or session with you have them send you the money through one of these apps. Keep it simple!

Marketing: If you don’t talk about who you are and what you do people will not find you. Especially right now. There is a lot of noise out there. And, you can’t just post one time and then think “well no one signed up so just gonna quit.” Or, worse sulk and think you’re not good enough. NO! You have to tell people who you are and what you do 7-17x before they check you out. yes, that many!

Start with those who know and love you. Tell them what you are doing, why you’re excited, and who it’s for. Invite them and ask them to invite their friends. Ask them to share it with their friends via text or email. Seriously, get that old school. The people who already know and love you will do a way better job than the algorithm. As you teach them and get them excited snag their testimonials, ask them to post, get that “user-generated content” aka social proof.

Sure, we are more online than ever before but you don’t have to be getting peeps from all over the world to know you first. You start close to home and then allow the referrals to bring you out further and further.

People want to hear from their friends who they should be taking from. How can you get their friends to talk about you?

And, also be shameless. Seriously, talk about what you are doing more often than you think and then talk about it some more!

Tell stories! People love stories. How can you talk about why you rock with a story?

I’m gonna stop there because those are the 3 areas that everyone gets stuck and then says they couldn’t do x because they didn’t have y. Well, if you have a landing page with your offerings on it and are talking about your classes and sessions and able to take the money then you’ve got the basics covered. Then when you’re feeling like you have some money flowing in we gotta invest it back into your business so you can continue to grow.

Which one of these areas will you be starting with?

xx~LL

PS my AGENCY MINI program is back! May 11th-17th Brad and I are giving you 7 days of what AGENCY members get with coaching, webinars, a private group and a group coaching call. Get more info about it here. It’s $22 if you sign up before May 6th and the entire week is valued over $400. What are you waiting for?

Why You Shouldn’t Discount Your Services

Depending on where you live in the world the date your competitors started teaching for free may differ from me. But, for now, we’ll agree that sometime in March the fitness industry and especially many Pilates teachers started teaching live workouts on every social media platform they could and doing it for free. In fact, the morning after my studio was closed indefinitely I felt like every teacher in the So cal community who used to charge $20+/class and had a waitlist started teaching for free. EVERYWHERE. And, not only did this leave them exhausted it also left them more worried than those I know that didn’t do this. In fact, discounting your services or offering them for free not only will hurt your bottom line it will leave you fill drained and on your way to burn out. Why? Let’s review why discounting hurts your business and some things to do instead.

First, discounting your services not only leaves you taking home less than what you need. And, lets get real, were you charging your worth before? Were you? Probably not. So, now not only are you making far less than you were before which already wasn’t enough to have a runway to get through this unprecedented time. But, you’re also telling people that what you were charging before was likely too much. And, when we are on the other side of this how will you go back to your pre-rona prices?

Second, Your business bills didn’t get discounted. So, now you have to teach even more just to make the same amount. And, yes, while people now have more time than before to workout they are still not picking up the phone and trying out a random teacher. They are taking the classes they did before even if it’s been a year or two. Or, they are asking their friends. So, you need to be nurturing your current clients and asking them to help you get their friends to class. But, if you discount your services to get these new clients in its not rewarding the loyalty of the clients who love you and want to support you. Also, you’re left with the issue of raising your prices on these new clients when “life goes back to normal.” Something very few teachers enjoys doing.

Third, most people are not researching “discounted Pilates near me.” Or, “free Pilates.” They literally are asking their friends and then looking you up online. Even more of a reason to have a stellar website for when they stalk you. So, discounting your services doesn’t bring you a slew of new clients just because you put a slash through the price.

Fourth, and maybe one of the more important reasons, when you discount or offer for free you definitely make it harder for every other teacher in your community, and the world to charge their worth. When you discount your work you devalue it. Devaluing the amazingness of Pilates doesn’t mean you’ll have more. It means everyone will have less. Why would anyone want to do a workout that lacks confidence in itself to charge its worth?

So, what can you do instead of discounting your work?

Take this time to get your business organized. Go over all your website copy, your social media bios etc. Are you talking to your ideal client? Are you telling them how you help them? Why they should work with you?

Evaluate how people can work with you. Maybe you used to sell 10, 20 or 30 packs of sessions. Maybe you keep your prices the same but you change the size during Covid 19 times only. For example, if you normally charge $1000 for a 10 pack of privates you charge $300 for 3 or $500 for 5. They are still paying the same price but less at the front end. Be clear that this is for this particular period of time. I stopped selling my ten packs for now because the reality is myself or my clients could get sick. I wanted to have less sessions on my books to have to worry about owing people. So, my clients pay one at a time for classes (they pre-pay) and they pay either a single session price that is more than a 5 pack session price. But, the 5 pack is at the cost of my 10 pack.

If you were doing only privates maybe you teach duets or semi’s and everyone can pay a bit less for the session but you make more for the hour. This is a great way to start to work less and make more! Everyone wins there. (All examples are considering virtual sessions but keep these in mind for when you are teaching IRL).

It’s a CV19 world! You can change your offerings, schedule and how you teach clients to however WORKS FOR YOU! But, that doesn’t mean you’re worth less just because you are teaching less or not teaching in your studio.

Focus on the VALUE. Take the time to go through all the testimonials. What do clients say about why they take Pilates or fitness with you? People don’t care about Pilates or Barre or HIIT. They care about how you help them. The value you bring to their life which they pay you for with money. You teaching them =energy. They repay that energy with money aka energy. But, you have to tell them WHY YOU! What do you offer them (that’s not a discount).

LOVE YOUR SELF! If you take this time to do some deep self-work, why you do matter? Why you are worth charing more etc.? You will see massive growth in your business when we are on the other side of this. Maybe you need to see a therapist right now or read some books that will help you see how amazing you are and help work through whatever is causing you to feel like you need to discount yourself or teach for free to be relevant. We have been given a gift to get to know ourselves more than ever. That famous quote “Wherever You Go There You Are” has never been more true. Do not try to run from this time. Instead, dive in deep. What do you want out of life? How can you use this time to create the space to make that happen?

My fitness pro, I freaking love you. Prior to CV19 I saw what discounting services did to many peoples businesses. It wasn’t pretty and it doesn’t work. If you base your business of a price and that’s your focus for getting clients it will be a race to the bottom. Someone out there will always be able to go cheaper than you. Focus your efforts on who you want to serve, why your rock so much and charge your worth. You’ll be able to thrive on the other side of this.

xx~LL

PS if you need to talk more about this please contact me for a coaching call or join AGENCY and get the support of an entire community!

5 Ways to Use This “Time” to Grow

Tired of calling this the “new normal?” Yeah, me too! But, alas here we are. A new normal for our lives, business and the hours in between. In almost every corner of the world, you have been in “shelter at home” for at least a week if not longer. You may be teaching virtually, struggling to teach virtually, feeling grief, depression, anxiety or worry. All are normal. But, at its integral for your mental health and future that you find a way to move through these feelings and get proactive. Here are 5 ways to use this time to more than “get through” this time. You could even grow!

Books: I know reading isn’t a very unique use of time but let’s get super honest. When’s the last time you had the time to read for business or pleasure? Ok, that’s what I thought. Here are some books that I have always promoted and a few new ones I am loving.

  • Traction– a biz book but super great for right now. Basically learn how to do a 1-page business plan that helps you know what to do when to do it and even how to hire to make it happen.
  • Inquire Within– a spoken word poetry book that will get you thinking.
  • Braving the Wilderness– Brene Brown is epic and while this book came out a couple of years ago it’s thesis is as important now as ever. We must be out there listening, and bring communities together.
  • Building a Story Brand– I tell everyone I coach or who is in AGENCY to read this book and follow the steps.
  • The 4 Agreements– even if you’ve read it. Re-read it! It’s that good!

E-learning: Now is the time to take that course you’ve signed up for, to get ahead in your online CEC’s. To learn something new. Maybe you want to hand letter or learn how to write a good blog! Pick something and put time in your calendar to login and press play.

  • Skillshare: I’m not affiliated with them but I’ve heard amazing things. You can learn animation, or how to write business info! Why not? They’ve got a free trial and you’ve got at least another month so what if you binged out on that trial?
  • Pilates Business courses: shameful plug but seriously, you’ve said you wanted to learn how to write a newsletter or blog or finally get your website together. We have tons of courses including how to teach multi-level classes, doing video, virtual teaching and more.
  • Chris Harders Money Course: Chris and his wife Lori are biz coaches for Brad and I and they are having a sale on his money mindset course. If you’ve got money mindset issues (aka you think you don’t have any or can’t) take this course.

Podcasts: I’m obsessed with podcasts but during this time I have intentionally looked up some podcasts that help me focus on the future or make me laugh.

  • Staying In
  • For the Love of Money
  • Earn Your Happy
  • Oprah Super Soul Sundays (I mean we all need a little Oprah)
  • Lovett or Leavit (political comedy)
  • Hall of Shame (sports but funny AF)
  • Hysteria (female lead political and life commentary podcast)

Workout! : You want your clients to go virtual. You should too! What if you got out of this “time” in better health than you went in it? I swear I’m feeling as in shape as when I was in “the work” with Jay Grimes and my original apprenticeship!

  • Schedule facetime workouts with friends. Catch up and workout together at the same time.
  • Online Pilates Classes: another shameful plug but hey you get online community with this one too! Also, of course my friends at PilatesAnytime.com you get 30 days free with LLOGAN.
  • Live Pop Ups: if accountability is what you need join me for a live pop up and stay for the virtual community hang.
  • Try new workouts online. Maybe you do a virtual couch to 5k, 30-day challenge with a barre, hit or fitness instructor.
  • Go for a walk! Wear a mask but get your move one. I’m aiming for 12-15k steps a day!

Goal Set: I know it’s hard to think about the future when we don’t know how long this will last. But, the truth is if you’re healthy, you should be using this time to think about what you want to be doing when this is over. Was there something on your list for “when you had time?” If you’re out of work but can’t file for one of the government loans or unemployment what can you do now to never be in this situation again?

It’s easy to think “why is this happening to me?” But, after week 2 or 3 of being in this “new normal,’  your clients and future clients need you to show up. They need you to step up. They need you to be a keystone in their ground-hog day.

Maybe you were teaching group classes all over town but you wish you had a home studio? Now is the time to snag some equipment from studios that might have extra. Maybe you own a studio but have always wished to work from home? Now is the time to figure out your options for downsizing. Maybe you always wanted to have more people in a class but your space only allowed for 4 people. Now is the time to sell out your virtual classes so in the future you can have people who are in person and people who are virtual. Oh yeah, Pilates, Pelaton style!

Whatever you decide to do with your time remember things can happen to you, for you or with you. I got that from one of my AGENCY members Instagrams. I like to think that everything, even the “bad” things are happening for me. And, as long as we are healthy and able to dream we better dream big and take action.

So, what will you do with this time?

xx~LL

How Much Should You Charge For Virtual Sessions?

Like it or Loathe it online teaching is here in full force. Studios across the world are closed or in limited operation these days due to CV19 and if you’re in a position like me it’s indefinitely closed. And, now you’re faced with either going online or not teaching at all. Teaching is your gift, your outlet, your dream and for almost all of us our livelihood. So, how much do you charge when you go from in-person sessions to Zoom, Skype, etc sessions?

For those of you who have been reading my blogs for some time, following me on IG and are in my AGENCY group you know how adamant I am about knowing your numbers. Knowing how much to charge for your offerings in general. This time may feel different in the world but the difference in how the world feels does not mean you throw your numbers out the window. Or, that you need to charge what everyone else is charging. Or, discount yourself. To know how much to charge you need to know your numbers. Here’s how to figure out yours:

How much do you want to gross in a year?

How many weeks a year will you realistically work?

How many days a week will you work?

How many hours in a day?

Take your annual gross divide it by the weeks you’ll work, divide that by the days you’ll work and then divide that by the hours in a day. The answer is the lowest you can go for your hourly rate.

So, how much do you charge for your virtual sessions? The amount you got above is a good starting point.

It’s also the starting point for IRL sessions. I know you’re thinking everyone is doing all these free lives and offering deep discounts. But, when you start teaching virtually and your clients start taking virtually you all will see and feel that virtual is anything “less” than real life. In fact, it’s harder!

And, you need to use this time to be planning for how you want your business to be operating when we are allowed back in our studios.

Discount your time now and it’s harder to charge more for it later. Your LIVE time is the same no matter if you’re in a studio or behind the camera.

If people cannot afford your privates now is a great time to group people off in duets and semi-privates. They can save on the hour, you make more for it and you can work less. This way you do not discount your time. Also, when we are back in the studio if a client is traveling they will likely book their online private session. But, if you discount it now, how will you handle it in the future. Are you going to refund them the difference when they are running late and decide to do their session from home? No, you’re not. So, maintaining your prices but offering options for people to share the session with one or two others can help them “save” on the session. And, they can invite their friends, family or co-workers to these virtual sessions. And, now! Check that out you’re growing your client list!

What about class prices? I am getting this question a lot. Especially from people who either never offered Mat Pilates classes or if they did they offered them at a discounted price from equipment. In my opinion, all classes should be the same price in a studio. Pilates on equipment or off is the same value. But, since we can’t go back in time and change your set up I recommend going back to the equation above and having a baseline price to go off of.

 

Let’s say your baseline hourly rate has to be $100. Look at your client list. How many can you guarantee will show up? 6? 3? 10? Your challenge is to get honest with the number of people you know will show up. And, that minimum should cover your costs. AKA gets you to that baseline or above it. Then everything over that is bonus. And, during a time like this making up for the hours you are not working anymore.

So, before you load up your schedule with 10 live virtual mat classes consider having 6 and making the equivalent of 10.

I know you’re scared. I know this is weird, bizarre, upside down and you’re worried. Havard Business Review wrote a great article about how what we are feeling is grief. So, please definitely feel your feelings. But, now is not the time to discount yourself so that you feel like you’re working. Being busy does not equal being in business.

Your clients WANT to SUPPORT YOU TOO! They need us now more than ever. And, I am not saying you need to exploit that. No, not at all. But, they need you to more than survive this period of time. Your clients need you to be able to teach, be in business when we are able to go back outside and into studios.

So, how much will you charge for your virtual sessions?

If you’re still struggling with how to streamline virtual sessions, wondering about different platforms, taking payment, lighting and more my webinar on “how to lead virtual sessions and classes” is now a course. It’s helped so many studios around the world entire this online world.

Remember, you are the only person who can teach the way you teach to the people you are supposed to teach.

xx~LL

When Your Business Goals Go Out the Window

As CV19 spreads across the planet and fear of the unknown rises it can feel even harder than usual to run your business. And, you might be looking at canceling plans of workshops, retreats or events that you have been planning for a year. Or, wondering if you should? And, its frustrating because you were on track to hit your goals, level up your business, you had just been getting your systems in place. So, what do you do when LIFE gets in the way of your best-laid plans?

Be Proactive! I wrote about the Circle of Concern vs the Circle of Influence in my online coaching group AGENCY: “Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about: health, children, problems at work. Reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. things over which they have little or no control: The national debt, terrorism, or the weather. “In times like these, it is easy to let the Circle of concern rule our daily lives, our goals, or more. I’m not gonna lie. With all that is happening my daily positivity, focus on the circle of influence life has been challenged.

Spend More Time Focusing on What YOU CAN DO. This will also help your clients mindset too. But, these past two weeks as one of my events was on, then off, then on, then off but maybe on, then on, then off but with an option. The best I felt was when I had a plan. The in-between is torture. Make a decision, take action. You’re not a brain surgeon, if it doesn’t work you can do something else. You can try the other thing.

Your goals are not RUINED: I think it’s truly important to not think “its over!!!” It’s not over until it is. Until you choose for it to be over. We live in a time where there are infinite options and a lot of things can be trialed for free or relatively low cost. So, look at what you wanted to do. Why did you want to do it? What was the result you wanted? The feeling? Do you still want it? If so then let’s make a new plan? Maybe we need new dates? Maybe that allows you to clarify your marketing, your client avatar or your offering? Maybe you get to work on a future goal sooner! I know it’s hard to stomach and a bit frustrating to hear but everything really does happen for a reason! I wrote about this story on Instagram the other day. But, my wedding venue was canceled 5 weeks before the wedding! We still had a wedding and the venue we had was the coolest!!! Our wedding was even published!

Take a moment to reassess. What can you do today, tomorrow and this week? What has to be postponed until ____ date. Fill that date in and set a reminder. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. Or, with it! I’ve been doing virtual sessions for quite some time. And, while I never offered them to my in-person clients while I was in Cambodia hearing that offices were closing and schools were closing in my town and my meditation place was doing all classes for the rest of March virtually.  I offered all my in-person clients the same virtual sessions. All of them in the past might not have been interested but they are this week! And super appreciative of it.

Grab the list of things you were going to do “when you have time.”  You know that list of things you keep putting off until “you have time.” Well, now you likely do. Take advantage of this. Sure, you might feel like you want to binge out on Netflix, Hulu etc. And, I’m not saying don’t. But, that ideal work schedule you’ve wanted or already had…keep it! Use the “free time” to do get ahead in your blogs, social media content, newsletters, etc.

Remember You Will Get Through This. And when you do how do you want to feel. Did you know that during the 2008/9 recession the fitness industry didn’t suffer like everything else. Zumba took off and so did so many other boutique studios. Yep! It’s true. So, you can use this time to think that the world or virus is against you. Or, you can use it as a time to GSD! Get stuff done. What do you want to have done, where do you want to be when they have things “under control.”

The reality is my friend you never had full control over your goals. You just thought you did. We all only have the time right now, and the control of how we react to everything that is happening. So, you can worry about things you cannot handle. Or, you can focus on the things you can affect. Like your family, friends and your local community.

I’ve have received so many emails from companies about things they are doing to help during this time. One food delivery company told me she can deliver during this time so not to worry if the stores are empty! The meditation studio moving virtually actually allows me to go almost daily now. Zoom is working with schools to help them offer virtual classes. This is a time when we can all come together and offer what we can.

Maybe you have been wanting your mat classes to fill and now they are dwindling. Move them to online and I bet you get people from all over your town who couldn’t make it in time. If you’re wanting help going virtual I am leading a call on this inside AGENCY there will be replay for members.

Get support! Seriously, its really easy to feel like you are alone. That no one really understands. To worry you’re going to lose everything and no one gets it. My online coaching community does have a few spots available right now and they want you in it. We are stronger together.

Lastly, your goals are only out the window if you open that window and let them fly off without you. It’s your life, it’s your decision. Action is the antidote to fear and clarity comes from action. So, what action will you take?

xx~LL