As I’m about to dive into my newest webinar on Group Pilates classes I thought it only fitting to have Joel Crosby owner of Vitality Method in Atlanta, GA shares the importance of multi-level group classes. Afterall, I know many teachers do not often have the space for group classes or perhaps you only have one piece of each apparatus? Offering group classes can be essential for getting more students in a room, offering options for clients to get more sessions in a week and for some at rates they can afford. But, are you limiting yourself by offering classes where everyone does the same exercises at the same time?
Running your Pilates business isn’t the easiest task out there. Couple that with moving your business and starting fresh and you’ve got yourself a challenge. But, wouldn’t it be great if you already had experience trying to do something challenging? Wouldn’t it be easier to attempt to start over if you knew from experience that with consistency, dedication, and curiosity you would get where you desired to go? I mean, wouldn’t it just be awesome if something already existed in our lives helping us with one of the biggest challenges, our business? Oh, wait, practice Pilates much?
This week’s guest blogger shares her story of moving her studio, starting over from scratch and allowing her Pilates practice to be her business guide. Here is Nicole Martin of Ritual Pilates…
Before you think I’m going to suggest you let your clients talk during the whole Pilates session let me just say that this is not about being a therapist or friend to your client. This post is about listening for key clues that help you teach them better, grow your business more and retain your clients for a lifetime. Rest assured you will not have to be the shoulder they cry on (although that can happen) or their dating advice expert. But, what you will hear when you are truly listening (and sometimes not with your ears) will be what sets you apart from the rest. Having good listening skills can be the difference between someone giving up Pilates when tough times hit. Good listening skills can mean client referrals and a healthy, thriving business vs one that is constantly trying to get more new clients to replace the ones that “got bored,” or “became too busy.” Think you listen well?
One of my clients is getting ready to go off to college. I have been teaching her since she was thirteen years old. I can’t believe that her slots will be open in just a few weeks. Losing a client to college or moving away isn’t anything I can control. In fact, that is an amazing opportunity worth celebrating and a lucky Pilates instructor will be gaining a wonderful client. But, what about those clients who come do a package or two and then miss a session, go on a vacation and then when we follow up…crickets. Where did they go? Why did they go? Was there something I could have done to retain them?
There are people you meet in this teaching world that bring joy to you and your world! This week’s guest blogger Noam Gagnon is one of those people. I was fortunate to meet him before we were both accepted into Jay Grimes and Vintage Pilates program “The Work.” This lead us on a journey together for all of 2016 and now beyond. I cannot express how much love I have and how excited I am for you all to read his advice on the art of teaching. Without further ado here is Noam Gagnon!
Yes, I am a Pilates business blogger. No, this blog post isn’t about your personal looks. But, I used to write dating blogs and give out dating advice. And, the truth is a lot of that advice crosses over to running your Pilates business. So, before you roll your eyes or think this isn’t the advice for you don’t swipe left just yet! Stay with me and see if any of these tips help your business get more looks, hits and if there was an app for finding a Pilates studio some swipe rights.
I hear you! You are trying to grow your business, fill your classes and teach when you want to teach. You think that you can’t turn anyone away because it’s not like there’s a line around the corner, yet.
The trouble with not having a clear idea on who you are for, who your ideal clients are and what inspires you to do what you do is that you feel like you are getting nowhere fast. You’ll burn out or at the very least feel like you have a job but not a career.
We are so lucky to be able to teach Pilates. Not just because we help people but because there is a lot of flexibility (no pun intended) in Pilates. There are different styles you can teach, so many pieces of equipment and endless exercises and then you add the clients in. Clients are not all created equal. You’ve got healthy bodies, pre/post-natal, athletes, seniors, PT, women, men, children, those with specific needs and so much more. You can start out as a new teacher who is ready to teach almost any healthy body and then along your teaching journey you begin to find interests. Types of injuries, issues, conditions, goals that are calling to you. And, when they call it’s so important you answer. Continue reading
They say everything happens for a reason! Well, while sometimes I wish that wasn’t the case in this instance I am so darn glad it did. I was one of ten Pilates instructors up for PilatesAnytime.com’s “next Pilates instructor.” I wanted to win so badly (I mean who wouldn’t) and I lost. Lost by more than a few. But, I lost to this week’s guest blogger and boy am I so glad I did! Julie Drivers bright light is magnetic and I think you’ll see why in her blog below. Also, you’ll see why I can’t wait to teach with her in London in September. Without further ado here is Julie’s guidance on finding your Why!
I saw an ad the other day in a magazine. It read “Business as Usual.” Boring! Your business is anything but usual. Teaching Pilates is a unique career choice. One that requires you to wear many hats. You have to teach clients, market your business, some have to manage teachers, manage a schedule, reschedule, keep copious notes, study movement, study Pilates, do Pilates etc etc etc.
Pilates teachers and studio owners don’t clock in and clock out and leave it all at the “office.” We are inspired by our own practice, other fitness modalities a random billboard or in the case of this week’s article an advertisement. The business of Pilates is anything but usual.
So, why do so many teachers and studios seem to follow a mold? Do business per the usual?
The studio on the other side of town, down the street or even right next door might seem like they have it all. They may have bright lights, busy classes or offer other fitness modalities. The other studios in your town or even online (because it’s hard to not compare) may seem to have it all and so when you’re trying to make the magic happen, trying to bring in the money it can be easy to do business like others before you, do business as usual. To follow the mold. But, if you are not clear with who you are as a teacher/studio, whom you teach and what you offer and stick to that…then there is another mold you’ll fall into. The one where a studio closes its doors.
If you heard the podcast interview I did with Pilates Unfiltered I was asked why I don’t own a studio? It’s not because I don’t think I can run one. It’s not because I don’t think it’ll be fruitful and it’s not because I don’t want it. The truth is my goals for my business and my personal life does not align with owning my own brick and mortar today. So, I run my business so that it continues on the path to my own desires.
Last week I went live about Pilates being my side hustle and not doing your Pilates business in the usual way. But instead doing your business your way. I know you’re thinking easier said than done. Yes, totally easier to say than to do but so is Pilates! Check out those videos above and then sit down and think about the teacher you want to be. Who do you want to teach? When do you want to teach? Where do you want to teach?
It takes longer to grow your business your way but it feels so good to go to work day in and out and when it’s your business and not you trying to fit into a mold or doing what you think worked for someone else.
I’d love to hear your goals and any questions or celebrations on how you are running your Pilates business. You can share them in the comments below or contact me here.
This week we have a deep dive in Social Media ads, going LIVE, trolls, and scheduling. You may wonder if you need to use social media for your marketing or if it’s even working. We will be talking about that starting June 22nd so register for this webinar here. Or, check out our entire summer series. Because I am so dedicated to you running your Pilates business your way we have one hour online LIVE workshops on developing and marketing your Niche, Group Fitness Classes, Having a life and Teaching Pilates, Converting First-time clients, a Q & A and more. Click here for all the deets. If you missed last week’s webinar and you want the entire series go ahead and sign up and I’ll make sure you get it.
Ditch Business per usual and start doing business per YOU!
Pilates Pro’s as you know I love teaching and traveling! But, this week’s guest blogger Roxy takes teaching and traveling to a whole new level. She has a wonderful story to share and tips for you to take your Pilates teaching around the world. I’m going to let her take it from here!
I’m always a bit surprised when I meet people that are fascinated by what I do and where I’ve lived, only because I believe everyone has a fascinating story and I’ve met so many amazing people with interesting lives.
At the end of the day, if you’re serving the world in a healthy manner with something you’re passionate about, I would say that’s special and exotic regardless of your geographical location. However, if you’ve been stung by the ‘travel bug’ or just curious about what it’s like to teach Pilates and live in different locations around the world than I’d love to share a bit of my story with you.
I could write a novel on this subject with chapters that cover; living in one place for an extended period, guest teaching short-term, teaching at retreats, working with a hotel chain, on a cruise ship or moving somewhere new and starting your own business. They are all very different experiences. There’s a difference between working with someone for a week vs. a month vs. 2 or 3 years. There’s a difference between being a guest or living in that environment.
I have lived and taught Pilates in Paris, throughout Turkey, Thailand and Canada, as well as guest, taught or presented in London, Greece, Spain, Beirut, and Germany (not to mention the occasional client in Monaco or Nice).
How did I end up in all of these places? A clear intention.
For me, a sense of travel has always been innate, and it was through dance that I was introduced to Pilates. When I finally decided to hang up my dance leotard and make my lulu leggings (aka Pilates career) primary, I went to work. I sent out dozens of CV’s and cover letters to various headquarters for cruise ships, resorts, and touring companies, not to mention talking to colleagues and friends. I was determined to travel and teach; I didn’t even entertain the idea of finding a temporary job.
This was back in 2005, and at that time Pilates was in the midst of exploding worldwide. I knew there was a window of opportunity for lucrative positions in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Mind you; I didn’t do it for the money – I was looking from a perspective that I could earn money doing what I’m passionate about and explore new places without going broke. I also knew that this window of opportunity wouldn’t remain open for long. Teacher training programs were expanding and creating instructor trainers that could lead and develop trainers in their own language and their own countries. Naturally. Hence, why Pilates is a household name.
My Pilates training centre has a Job Postings page, and at the time opportunities were ranging from Iceland to Jakarta. The posting for Istanbul, Turkey, caught my eye. A 3-month contract; perfect for my commitment phobia self. Within two weeks I was flown to New York for an interview/audition (teaching a class) and immediately afterward I was offered the position. I immediately accepted. I had decided before the interview that if I were offered the job, I would take it. Then it was signing contracts (this particular contract covered accommodation, airfare, stipend and a monthly salary), getting the tickets, packing and then off I went less than two weeks later.
I was off to a country that I knew absolutely nothing about. I wouldn’t have done it any other way – I went to Turkey with no pre-conceived notions or expectations, I was completely open.
Nowadays, I wouldn’t recommend that, especially with our current state of affairs, it’s always a good idea to know even a little bit about where you’re going.
That was the beginning of this adventure, an adventure that branched out to more opportunities, mentors, beautiful friendships, life lessons, new perspectives and philosophies, enhanced trainings and evolving as an instructor.
It’s an adventure that hasn’t ended.
So you may be thinking ‘I don’t even know where to start or how to find a job outside of my own country.’
No problem. First off – use all of your Profitable Pilates networking and business skills and talk to your colleagues when you’re at conventions and retreats. You’d be surprised who you may meet and never underestimate when that chance meeting can come back to you, think of it as planting seeds of ideas. Some seeds grow, some don’t, and some take time. Secondly – check out the websites of the Teacher Training programs, many of them have classifieds with studios all over the world looking for instructors.
There are many different options for teaching Pilates abroad, you may be hired for a particular studio or hotel chain, or your family may be relocated due to your partner’s job. In that case, you could reach out to studios about teaching possibilities before or after you arrive. Another option is to join various community and expatriate groups and offer your services.
Here are few things to think about before you embark on your traveling Pilates journey.
Everything starts with a why. Your why gives you clarity and the foundation with which to make decisions that will enhance your experience. There’s no right or wrong answer, is it simply to say that you ate a croissant under the Eiffel Tower while you worked in Paris? Did you want a new experience and want to embrace working in a different culture? To learn a language? Save money? Escape a relationship(s)? To cross off a line on your bucket list?
Knowing what drives you will help you determine if you want an experience that’s short-term, long-term, in a warm climate, under what circumstances and working conditions and whether it’s feasible for the present moment or in the future. Going back to your why when you hit any obstacles will keep you motivated.
2) LOOK AT YOUR LIFE & BE REALISTIC
I’ve met instructors from all walks of life ranging from retiree’s to the young and single to families with young children that make it work. That’s why it comes down to your intention. If you’ve recently opened a studio, then it’s probably not the right time to go and teach abroad for six months. If one of your why’s is just to travel and explore, then you may be better off just taking a plain old vacation or attending a retreat or convention. That may end up being more worthwhile for you. If you’re in a committed relationship can and will your partner travel and work abroad as well? Anything is possible and at any phase of your life, but you do need to be smart about it, and it should be financially viable. You don’t want to end up abroad losing money and/or working crazy hours only to be too tired to enjoy the experience.
3) BE OPEN BUT KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES
In general, you want to be open to the various opportunities out there, but you’ve got to be clear about your non-negotiables. Be clear about what your maximum hours are, the lowest you’ll accept as a salary and any other job expectations that you’re willing to do. It’s easy to get excited about a job opportunity in an exotic place and then later realize the expectations are not suitable for you. Remember to breathe and take a moment to really think about any offers. It’s not always about money either, you may work for less pay for an area you’ve always wanted to go to, or there may be other perks to the job that outway a less ideal aspect (example free high-quality training for CEC’s or other modalities). And remember to follow your intuition, if something doesn’t feel right, honor that feeling and explore it further. You may decide, ‘I don’t care, I want the adventure, I want to go with the flow’ that’s cool too, just always know that you made that choice. I’ve done that a few times, but now I’ve been in the game long enough and my current life priorities are different – so I’m much pickier. I can’t even count the number of people I’ve met that went on a holiday to a new place, fell in love with the city or a person, took a leap of faith and have never looked back. Anything is possible.
4) HAVE A CONTRACT
Make sure you have a contract, and you read through the whole thing. If you’re offered a job in a distant land, and they are not clear about the logistics or don’t want to use contracts – trust me, nine times out of 10 it’s going to be a headache for you. Some companies want a year or 2-year commitment, and the contract may have a clause that if you break the contract you have a penalty fee or you reimburse the company for certain expenses (work permit, etc.).
5) KNOW YOUR TAX EXEMPTIONS IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY
This is especially important if you live and work abroad long term. Each country is different and has their rules and regulations. You don’t want to be in trouble with the ‘tax man’ at any point.
There you have it, a few things to get you started. Adventures are fun and you never know where your life will take you. Teaching around the world has been invaluable to my growth not only as a human being but as an instructor. I’ve met amazing people as clients, friends, colleagues and I even met my husband abroad.
Roxy Menzies, originally trained in STOTT® Pilates is based between Istanbul and Toronto. Currently developing programs for Michael King Pilates she has taught dance and various movement modalities for the Canadian Educational system, professional dance companies, and Cirque du Soleil. She has presented, guest taught or performed in London, New York, Paris, Beirut, China, Turkey, and Thailand.
Got the travel bug? Or, just ready to try out a new location on for size? Be sure to comment, share and check out more from Roxy on her handles below. Thank you Roxy for your wonderful tips and beautiful story.
And, one last note from our dear Roxy
“The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck”.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
I am a total podcast junkie! In fact, I’m a self-proclaimed podcast addict and I have no intentions of letting go of my deep love for podcasts. It’s not like they take away from my daily life. On the contrary, they spice it up, they inspire me and even challenge me. It should be noted I do not own a TV so reading and pods are my “tv time.”
So, when I heard about a podcast by a Pilates instructor for Pilates instructors I subscribed without even giving it a second thought. Jenna Zaffino the host and creator of Pilates Unfiltered was already a friend of mine on Facebook. So, you know what that means…haha I had not had the pleasure of meeting Jenna yet in person but since we were FB buds and I had seen her on PilatesAnytime.com I hit that subscribe button.
Then finally our paths crossed in real life at the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) conference in 2016. She, of course, was as cool in person as I had hoped she’d be. But, alas we still didn’t get a chance to connect and become fast friends…yet.
I’ll speed this story up to the present. Pilates Unfiltered invited me onto their Season 3 line up and I happily showed up. I am not sure what I was more excited about being on the podcast or having over an hour of uninterrupted conversation with an incredibly talented, creative and thought provoking friend.
Was I nervous? Yes. Did I have fun? Oh yes. Should you listen? YAAS!!!!
This episode covers my Pilates journey, what is Profitable Pilates, my Pilates retreats and yes, there is lots of yummy Pilates business tips in there all gratis. So, what are you waiting for? Get your listen on here. And hear LL Cool J!
Can’t wait to hear what your thoughts are! Check out Pilates Unfiltered on Facebook and Instagram as well.
PS there are tons of amazing episodes so after mine keep on listening. Get your Pilates Unfiltered fix on.
Join me for 1 or all of these webinars Live from where ever you are or watch the replay (each webinar will be up for 3 days for those who cannot view live. Buy one at a time, or if you buy 3 you’ll get automatic access to the “Converting First Time Clients webinar. If you buy the whole summer series (link below) you get the Converting webinar and the Q & A automatically! Buy more and save. Make this summer your Pilates business summer!
Let’s Get SOCIAL with Your Pilates Business (Part 1) June 8th 12:00pm PST
You might already be using social media in life and trying to use it for your Pilates business. But, is it giving you the return you’re hoping for? This first part of our webinar series will cover the basics and then some! So, whether you know about social media or not starting with this webinar will help you answer questions:
-when to post
-where to post
-should you have separate socials for personal and professional
-What handles you should have…what the heck is a handle anyways
-Do you measure your worth by “Likes” and “Follows”
plus: homework that will get you moving in the right direction
Buy this one all by itself here
Let’s Get Social with Your Pilates Business (part 2) June 22nd 12 pm
In this webinar, we will dive deeper into the many options Social besides just posting comments. Like “What’s LIVE got to do with it?” and How about IG, is it the OG and what’s the deal with “Stories.” And something I’ve become super passionate about is “handling Social trolls.”
If interested in only a la carte go here
The Riches are in the Niches 7/6 12 pm pst
You’ve heard the saying “if you’re talking to everyone you’re talking to no one.” This applies to trying to teach everyone too! Niche-ing out can seem like you’re limiting yourself. But, in this webinar, we will discuss how to discover your niche, define your niche and refine your niche.
Snag your spot here
Attracting New Pilates Clients 7/20 12pm
It’s part of the business…making sure that new business is finding its way into our studios and on our schedules. In this webinar, we will discuss how to maximize your marketing efforts without throwing money at it. Also, bonus! We will discuss how to attract your ideal new client!
Ditching the Churn-Client Retention 8/3 12 pm
It’s cheaper to keep and existing client then it is to get a new one. So, how can you keep your existing clients coming back week after week and month after month and of course…year after Pilates-loving year!
How to have a life as a Pilates Instructor 8/12 1 pm pst
You got into teaching because you loved Pilates! You have been working your heart away and then you realize one day you don’t seem to have a much of a life. Or, your friends and family just don’t seem to understand why you can’t take off vacations like they can. And, what about time for yourself and your Pilates practice?! This webinar will cover all things to balance your love for teaching and your love for a living!
Group Classes 8/17 12 pm pst
So, you offer or want to offer group classes. But, how much do you charge? When do you offer them and how do you fill them? This webinar is all about the groups baby. We will also discuss if group classes are right for you and techniques in teaching (note this is not an exercise list but rather a skills list).
BONUS EPISODE: Converting First Time Clients 8/31 4 pm pst
When a new client comes into the studio for their first session it’s huge! They don’t grow on trees and it’s not every day they are banging on your door. So, how you teach them is important and it’s also unique. This webinar will cover how to teach a first time client to get them coming back again and again. It’s been a hit in the past and here’s one past attendee experience: “I tried my new client’s why into our session and asked a lot of questions from her intake form and limited my corrections. She bought a 10 pack of classes without hesitation!”
$75 if buy it a la carte or free if purchasing 3 or more Summer Session Webinars. Go here to purchase your three a la carte and we will email you to give you access to this one.
Q & A 9/7 12pm pst
While all webinars are all about you Pilates teachers this webinar is literally all about YOU! Send in your questions ahead of time or ask them live (note if watching the replay send questions in ahead of time so they are answered). Any Pilates biz question you’ve got and any question you’re just not sure who to ask…If I can’t answer it I’ll tell you who probably can.
$60 a la carte or free if you buy the summer series
(Cost of all 9 =$630 if bought individually) If you buy 3 or more you get the Converting First time clients for free ($75 savings). If you buy the whole series at once its $495 and you get the Q&A and Converting first-time clients free ($135)
Which webinar’s will you be at?