Social Media Strategies for 2021

When you hear about social media strategy does it make you want to curl up in a ball, throw your phone, and wish things could just be easier? Yeah, I hear you. But, before we all Roll like a Ball into our corners and miss out on teaching those clients who need us, let’s take moment to consider a world where social media marketing works for you. First, I don’t believe that social media is THE ONLY way to get clients. Nor is it THE WAY to get clients. It is A way. Let’s find a way that works for you.

Before we can talk social media, it’s important that you are clear on who you want to be helping. You are most qualified to teach the person you once were. So, think about why you love Pilates, what life was like before you found it and how it helped you. Make sure your website has your story, how you help people, and how people can work with you. Yes, a website! Because your social content should be driving traffic back to your site…more on that later.

Then, consider where this person/people you want to help hang out. What social platforms are they on? What social platforms do you enjoy using?

The goal is for you to find an overlap. Because if you’re not having fun, then you won’t enjoy posting there. And, if they are not on the platform you’re on, then what’s the point?

Next, what questions does your ideal client ask? What answers are they looking up? This information is what you need to be creating content around. Ideally on your site as a blog first and then using social media to drive traffic to your site.

Why? Why not just post to social? Great question. Because you don’t own any of your followers on social media. And at any time they can shut your account down. So you want to make sure that your social media drives traffic to your site so that you can collect peoples’ info, aka emails, so that you can draw them into your business.

Now, because social media is not the same as a search engine, you want to treat it as a way for you to connect with people. A way for them to experience you and your studio. So your posts should allow them to see who you help, how you help them, transformations and testimonials. It’s likely if they don’t know you, they will stumble on you from your site. They’ll be checking you out to see if you’re the person for them. Or, because a friend tagged them in a post.

You do not have to post ALL the time or everyday. It’s not about quantity of content. Like Pilates, it’s about quality.

Social media also wants you to be social on it! Aka, no posting and ghosting. I know you don’t want to get lost in the scroll.

  1. Make a list of businesses whose audience overlaps with yours but whose offering is different.
  2. Engage with them. Comment, like and share their content.
  3. Follow your clients, comment, like and share their content.

That strategy will help IG see who you want to see in your feed and also help you be social on social media.

In my new Social Media Strategy course I go over more on what to do on reels, IGTV, feed posts and stories. So if you want to go deeper on what kinds of posts to do definitely watch my course.

As mentioned above, it’s not important to be on ALL the platforms. So take some time to evaluate which ones are best for you. And, then grab a calendar. You can grab my new social media calendar tool. Look at your month and put in what days you will post. And then write in the theme of your posts on each day to help you organize.

For example, my blogs come out on Mondays. This means my social media that day will be about the blog. And then on Tuesdays, I’ll do another post that refers to a bullet point of the blog. Then on Thursday, I’ll post a quote from the blog. Maybe you have a class on Thursdays? Monday can be a sneak peek on what you’re planning on teaching. Tuesday can be about a win a client had last Thursday. And then Wednesday can be a pic of people taking a class and you sharing your story about why you teach. Notice how none of those are just promoting the class? But, they are all showing people who you are, what you do, and how you rock at it.

Because most of the time less than 1% of your followers will see your posts you don’t have to come up with 7 different posts a week. You can find different ways to talk about one or two things that will help your client. And if you’re doing it well then your post will get comments and then get pushed out to 4% of your followers. Technically that means your post went “viral.” Yep, 4%! So, that means most of your followers are not seeing what you post.

I believe that most people give up on their social media because they post about something one time and because it doesn’t get a lot of attention they stop. But, most people don’t book sessions in your comments. They are sitting, waiting, connecting, engaging and then when they are ready they are going to your site to book. Or perhaps dm’ing you.

It takes 7-17 touch points now to get one click. 7-17!! Your strategy isn’t to post a ton. It’s to post consistently around what you do and how you help people.

Homework:

  • Get clarity on your avatar.
  • Choose your platforms.
  • Write down all the questions you get asked by your client.
  • Write down all the pain points your person has and how you help them.
  • Grab a calendar (or this social media one) and plug in your topics on the days you will post.
  • Be consistent for 30 days and then review your analytics.
  • Do not worry about likes. Focus on comments and shares.
  • Be a detective and see what seems to be getting traction, what doesn’t. Make tweaks and plan the next month.

If you want more support around IG, FB, hashtags, what to look for in your analytics, dating in the dm’s, what to do and what not to do on social media, I want you to check out my latest course on social media strategies. I promise you’ll walk away with more confidence and clarity around your social media.

xx~LL

Find this course here.

5 Ways to Cover Your Ass(ets) in your Fitness Business

There’s a secret that no one tells you about running a fitness business: being an instructor and being a business owner are actually two very different roles, requiring different hats, skill sets, and hours in the day. Or should I say, extra hours in the day.

I get it – your schedule is filled with sessions and classes with clients. When you have a break in the day, or some free time, you want to workout, take a nap, run some errands, spend time with your family… anything BUT dealing with the operations of your business, updating contracts, or reassessing how that money is flowing in and out of your accounts.

The good news is, you only need to nail down a few of these strategies to run a business that is operationally efficient, financially smart, and covers your (well-toned) behind in the event of an accident or issue. Make sure you can check each box off the below list to make sure you’re not making running your fitness business any harder than it needs to be.

1. Work with a legal and/or tax professional to determine if you should form an entity (like an LLC or SCorp) and decide which one is best for you: Business entities like LLCs and corporations provide a layer of legal protection between your business and your personal assets – yay! But did you know they also allow you to take advantage of more tax incentives, allow you to write off expenses differently, and make you eligible for different financial resources? Don’t let the annual registration fee, or the legwork of opening an entity, scare you away without having the conversation first and weighing the benefits.

2. Separate all business monies from your personal money by opening a separate business bank account and credit card. In addition to being illegal, mixing business and personal money (also known as commingling) creates a huge headache come tax season. Who has time to go through every account statement for the past year, tagging transactions and counting revenue? Not me, and definitely not you. Save yourself the time, headache and regret; head straight to the bank and open a new account for your business only if you don’t have one yet.

While all money coming in and out of your business should be moving through a business bank account, you will need a business tax ID number (called an EIN) to open a business bank account. If you’re an LLC or corporation owner, your entity should get this when you register with the state. If you’re a sole proprietor you have the option to open a regular bank account, or obtain a tax ID number and open a business bank account.

No more letting clients Venmo you, and you transferring money directly into your personal checking account; it’s a huge red flag to Venmo and banks to freeze the funds!

3. Know what you can (and CAN’T) deduct from your business expenses and keep track of them. My philosophy on tax deductions is simple – know exactly what, and how much, you can deduct, and do just that. Clients come to me on all ends of the spectrum regarding their deductions: some are afraid to write-off their travel expenses (of course you should be!) while others are talking to me about writing off their family’s grocery bill each month (seriously, don’t!).

Your eligible deductions are based on your business entity (that again!) and can include payroll taxes, contractor wages, equipment, marketing expenses, networking events, business coaching (like your membership in AGENCY, or coaching sessions with me)… the list is actually pretty substantial so make sure you’re not leaving money on the table, or worse, taking something you shouldn’t be!

4. Put it in writing. Your fitness business needs, at the bare minimum, a Liability Waiver and some sort of agreement with clients. Legally, the Liability Waiver just makes sense, but did you know that most states actually require a Client/Membership Agreement in writing? And if you’re a web-based business you’re also legally required to have a Privacy Policy if you collect any personal information (including email addresses!). If you’re winging it, riding on the trust with long-term clients, eating the cost of late-cancels that you aren’t charging for, dreading the lengthy process and expenses of finally getting it right, that stops here, today.

All financial and service-based transactions in your business should be in writing so you can be explicit in your expectations, policies and requirements. Not only do you want to ensure you’re never losing money with late-cancels and no-shows, your clients need to know what’s expected of them (don’t chew gum while working out, no cell-phones on the reformers), and how their information is being managed. If you offer teacher training programs or workshops it’s not enough to say “no refunds” on the registration page. If you have an independent contractor who rents space, you need to clearly state, and they need to agree to, your studio policies.

Agreements are just that – an agreement between the parties to follow the rules stated. Putting it in writing ensures that everyone’s on the same page.

5. Invest in your success and enlist help. The biggest mistake I’ve made in my own fitness business is deciding that I can do it all myself. Spoiler alert – I can’t, and I shouldn’t. Me trying to do it all alone meant that there were a lot of unnecessary holes in my business that easily could’ve been filled. For me, my email newsletters weren’t as great as they could be, and my website didn’t look as professional as the work I was doing. Because these are my marketing materials, I realized I was losing out on converting viewers to subscribers and subscribers to clients. Yes, I was losing money, but I was also doing the world a disservice by not doing a better job at sharing my message and magic, which I know needs to be shared.

When you decide you can do it all alone, you put yourself in a vacuum, and you create unnecessary and unreasonable pressure on yourself. Does help cost money? Yes. But money is great, because you can always earn more. The time you spend? The hours you lose stressing for not having a Liability Waiver or efficient business best-practices? You’ll never get that time back. Sometimes covering your assets means enlisting the help of those who know how to do exactly that, and will make your investment worthwhile.

If you’re looking to learn more about:

– why you should consider forming an LLC for your business;

– best practices for managing your business’ money;

– maximizing deductible expenses;

– paying yourself and your instructors;

– what you business’ agreements should say;

– and how to generally run a more efficient and legit business;

Then make sure to check out my course: Covering Your Ass(ets), where I’ll teach you the basics of creating and growing an operationally efficient, legally sound and financially thriving business through basic operating procedures. With course viewer-only content like my “14 Tax Deductions that You Might Be Missing” checklist and “Compare: Do You Need to Update Your Agreements” quiz, the course will pay for itself tenfold and give you the peace of mind that you’ve been searching for.

Creating Social Content in Less Than 15 Minutes

Hello squad! Have you ever started your day feeling like you had no idea what you should post for the day? Or that all of your social media content has been used before? I get it. I get how you must feel when your business is growing, but your personal brand is having trouble keeping up. I get the feeling of needing to elevate your online presence, but not knowing what style will resonate with your audience, or mirror who you really are. I get how you feel. And this is where Girl Squad can come in and help you.

I can’t even count how many branding clients have come to me knowing that they needed some fresh, visual content, but then told me that they wouldn’t know what to do with their new photos afterwards! This is why I came up with the Girl Squad 9 Category Technique. This technique is a way to strategically create social media content faster, while making sure that your audience is still attracted to everything you post and share.

Did you know that your social media followers love when you post content that tells a story? Some audiences want to hear about how you started your business, how you grew it, and how you’ve gotten to where you are today. Some audiences want to follow along as you teach your fitness class, photograph an event, or watch your process as you design an art piece. It’s up to you to figure out what nine categories your audience wants to see most, and from there, you’ve got your formula to creating a great social media strategy that you can continue to rinse and repeat.

Don’t just listen to me talk about it, though. Take the course on How to Create Content in Less Than 15 Minutes – a short course where I explain my 9 Category Technique to you, so that you can start to create content that will elevate your online presence, your visibility, and your influence. We’ll provide the materials you need to sit down and map out your strategy. Find your 9 categories, and find what will work for you.

Now, more than ever, we should wake up everyday and try to be better than we were the day before. We should be thriving and immersing ourselves into the businesses we have sacrificed so much to build. There’s no time better than the present for you to stop guessing when it comes to your brand strategy. You deserve a look that captures your incredible potential, and your audience deserves to see you at your best.

Read more about the course here.

Pilates for the Future (Meaning… Kids!)

Pilates for the future, now more than ever, is the perfect time to think about adding kids to your client base. Most kids are not receiving the daily recommended physical activity. Some studies suggest that less than 3% of kids are engaged in the daily recommended activity.

I bet that you already have a fantastic client base, and I will bet some of those clients have kids.

In our current world, movement and health are more valuable than ever. Teach kids permission to get creative with your teachings. It also requires us to step outside our comfort zone and reach out to parents. Could you encourage them to get their kids moving?

Where do I start?

What do I need to know about teaching kids?

How do I plan a class for kids?

The best part about this is that you already have all the skills. Here is your chance to create something new and something meaningful that can impact a whole generation.

The first thing you need to get clear about is – why do you want to teach kids? What role do you want to play? What do you want the kids to learn and take away from the class? These are essential questions to ask yourself to get very clear about what to create. Some things to think about are engagement, accessibility, inclusion, and movement. The second thing you will need to consider is educating yourself on physical literacy. Kids are not just little adults; they are growing and changing individuals that require special considerations.

How do you educate yourself? How do you know what to create? Don’t worry, I’ve created a workshop just for you where we talk about resources and education opportunities on physical literacy.

Now the FUN begins; you will learn about FUN-damentals, Pilates, and how to bridge the gap to join the two together in a fun and exciting way. You will also learn about how to structure a class, relate to kids, and creative tools and tips to keep them coming back for more. Teaching children is an absolute joy and a responsibility that you should not take lightly. However, you also have a unique opportunity to influence our youth, so they fall in love with the movement and be lifelong movers.

I will also discuss special considerations, classroom management, and fun themes to incorporate into a session.

You will also receive your very own Kids Class Planner to help you get started and guide you on this journey.

If you think it is time to expand your business, I promise you will never regret teaching kids! I always learn so much more from them than I could ever teach them. And as Joseph Pilates said, “First, educate the child.”

Click here for the PILATES FOR THE FUTURE workshop.

Baby Steps To Your BadA$$ Vision

Too many people have goals, MISS their goals, beat themselves up over missing their goals, and write the SAME goals for another month. Is this you? Maybe your goals sound like action items, a TO-DO list of tasks to get done. A checklist if you will. Maybe this is you? And some have this bada$$ vision in mind, but can’t figure out how to make that vision happen FOR REAL. Does this sound like you? Maybe you have too many goals, and you don’t know how to BEGIN tackling them? If you raised your hand, if you said, “Oh – that’s me”. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is more common than you think. You’re stuck in this vicious cycle of repeating the same process, the same programming over and over – because this is what you know.

How would you feel if I told you there is another way? You: No way! Me: Yes way! It’s what I do in my corporate career as a Program Manager. I’ve managed multiple projects for different teams using different project methodologies/frameworks, which are just fancy words for how to get shit done. I’ve learned what has worked best, and I’ll share it with you. And here’s the kicker: what I’ll share not only works if you have a “Mt. Everest” vision at 30,000 feet/9,000 meters, but also for your vision at 10,000 feet/3,000 meters, and would you believe, even for your vision of how you see your life. Ah-mazing!

How do I know? Because this is how I’ve applied it to massive changes in my life – working full-time while getting my MBA part-time, working full-time while planning a family move cross-country, working full-time while strategizing my promotions and managing my career, working full-time while going through my Pilates Teacher training, working full-time while teaching Pilates part-time, and throughout my life, I have maintained a successful, enjoyable, and fun-filled life of balance. I even applied it to create this course for you. Yes, YOU! I see you. Did it happen overnight? No. Was it easy? No. Is it accessible? Yes. Is it work? Definitely yes. But is it worth it? Oh, you betcha!

It’s a 3-step process.

  1. It begins with a roadmap where you begin with your vision (this could be years away!), and you break up this vision into bite-sized chunks. Manageable pieces that can be targeted in time. These bite-sized chunks continue to be broken down until you have some tasks that you can start working on today. Baby steps.To stay on track with your vision, there is a review and feedback loop:
  2. You need to actively engage with your process at set intervals. This is your opportunity to review what you’ve done, look back objectively, and see how to use that feedback to look forward.
  3. You use that feedback to make refinements, such as your next steps, your schedule, your goals, your timelines, what you work on vs. delegate/outsource.

This constant loop will help you make improvements in small or big changes, more often, that will allow you to track your progress in a meaningful way, and allow you to evolve quicker and sooner so you’re able to address and manage those twists and turns that come up without them sneaking up on you.

This constant loop will not only keep you on track with your goals and vision but also help maintain a life of balance so that one thing won’t tip the scales too much in one direction. Or if it does, you’ll notice it sooner, and can course correct, allowing you to keep dialing in to find the sweet spot for you, which let’s be honest, can vary from one week to the next.

If you’re struggling with your goals…

If you’re struggling with your time…

If you’re struggling to fit everything into your schedule…

If you’re struggling with the next step…

If you’re struggling with the first step…

This course is for you.

If you want to accomplish your goals…

If you want to manage your time better…

If you want a better schedule with your priorities…

If you want to define the next step…

If you want clarity on what is your first step…

This course is for you.

Intro to Building an Inclusive and Anti-Racist Pilates Culture

Imagine walking by a studio with a “help wanted” sign. As you look up, you see their advertising for the first time. In their advertising, you only see people who look nothing like you. Their marketing celebrates the exact opposite of you. As you scan inside the studio, more of the same. Not one person looks like you. Would you feel comfortable walking into that studio? Would you feel safe as people start to stare at you, keenly aware of how different you look?

Imagine taking the chance to walk inside and grab an application. As you do, you hear a cold voice say, “You must be looking for the studio across town. I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable there.” Or, you hear nothing at all as no one comes to greet or help you. Or worse, you’re threatened or attacked.

This scenario will be far too familiar if you identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color), TGNC (Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming), or have a disability. If you identify as cisgender, white, and able-bodied, the chances are you have not had such an experience. The truth is, that scenario is a small fraction of what historically marginalized communities face. The question I pose to you is this: do you have the courage to take a stand for equity and justice?

Whether you answered yes, no, or I don’t know, Intro to Building an Inclusive and Anti-Racist Pilates Culture will take you on a journey of (un)learning. It will help you make that stand. You will learn how Pilates came to cater to the rich, white, and athletic and unlearn the truths about race and bias. Real-life stories will give you a better understanding of BIPOC experiences. The six principles of Pilates even have a role to play!

Take a raw look at how race and bias affect something that is supposed to heal, strengthen, and stabilize. Ask (and answer) tough questions. Be vulnerable. Learn how you can begin to create more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming spaces. In the comfort and safety of your own home, you can start building the knowledge and skills to be a part of the solution. By the time you complete the course, you will have a wealth of resources to choose from and five simple steps for where you can begin.

The world is in a state of civil unrest. Uncomfortable conversations about police violence, racial inequities, and systemic racism have become the norm. Local and federal governments are actively fighting to strip away LGBTQ+ rights and the rights of those with disabilities. The pandemic is still raging. It’s all so chaotic, and it’s the perfect time for some (un)learning.

Find this course here.

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Use this Question to get Unstuck and Grow Your Business

It’s pretty obvious that COVID has affected Pilates and fitness clubs dramatically. Whether you are a teacher, studio owner, or something in between the virus, the constant changes in how we can interact with our clients, and the restrictions that keep us from using our spaces the way we used to are causing strain, closures, stress and fear in so many. So if this is you you’re not alone. And, while there is no magic pill or tip to turn your situation around I do believe that there is a way to pause, get perspective and then have a new path to work towards to and yes, grow your business.

I want you to ask yourself if you were to start today What would you do? Seriously though if you were to start today, what would you do?

There’s a lot going on and you’re wondering what the heck?  How am I supposed to actually make money right now with all the restrictions? All the things going on, even if you’re in a country that’s got COVID thing under control there are closures and reopenings and closures again and it can feel like there’s not a lot in your control.

One issue that is causing this feeling of being stuck, or not seeing growth in your business is trying to fit the old business with the new restrictions. For example, maybe you have memberships and you’re thinking  “how can I do this with memberships?”, or “I only do classes and now I can only have x amount of people and that doesn’t allow me to make enough money.” I get it, costs don’t go down just because you can only use half your space.

I also see things like, “well, I can’t do that because my clients are x age and they won’t do virtual.”  Does this sound familiar? It easy right now to feel like you don’t know what to do, or feel really worried about the growth of your business. But, are you trying to fit your old business into today’s current climate?

If you are I don’t blame you. It makes the most sense right? To try to go back to the way things were with the restrictions because you don’t want to lose any clients. But, let’s be honest, was the old way you were doing business really working? Or was it just the way you always did things?

I know it just feels like there’s a lot of roadblocks, a lot of obstacles, a lot of people getting in your way, and not making things possible for you. And I hear you. I totally see you. Trust me. I had a studio too. And we had renters at my studio in LA. They subbed for me and took care of my studio when I was gone.

Like many of you I found out my studio closed through random sources and no one back in March knew how long this was going to be. We could not longer make money from renters, we canceled workshops or postponed to 2021, we postponed retreats to 2021, and just like that, we couldn’t do business the way we had before.  I’m not any different than you.

There are friends of mine who have studios who were on track to have their best year ever. And having their best year ever to be sidelined and some of them were closed for three or six or even seven or eight months, just like many of you.  And no matter where you are we are all trying to make up for lost time trying to figure out what do we do right now with what we’re allowed to do?

It’s ok to be worried, there are reasons to feel stuck and there are reasons to wonder if you are you supposed to be doing this.

I do believe all of you became teachers for a reason. We became teachers or owners for a reason.  All of this is happening for us. So many businesses out there that I coach were offering things because that’s what they thought the people in their community wanted. So many people opened up studios that were big with all these potential classes, but really people just want privates. Many of you thought you need to have these big beautiful studios with all these teachers but you don’t even like to manage people. And so you have this opportunity this year to ask yourself this question- If you were to start today, start over, what would you do?

And here’s the beauty, you get to bring all the things you know that you liked and didn’t like about your current business. What would you do? Knowing what I know how would I start today? I’d be exactly where I am right now because I asked myself this question back in March. We moved to Las Vegas in June after we made changes to what was left of our business. We were already 50% virtual and went 100% virtual. The studio was moved into our home here, and while I don’t teach in person right now I still teach the clients I had back in LA.

Your turn! If you were to start your biz today with all you know what would you do? What would you offer? And I want you to get really honest, are all the things you’re trying to make work the right thing for you, for how you want to show up?

I believe a lot of the stress and anxiety that a lot of people are feeling is because we’re trying to fit the old biz into the new way of life. It’s like taking a pair of our jeans from high school, high school is almost 20 years ago for me.  And we’re trying to make them fit today for our 20-year reunion. You know which pair of jeans you loved in high school, picture them there hanging on the door and you’re looking at them, and there is the feeling of wanting to wear the jeans, which sounds familiar and safe, but then there is the worry of whether they will fit, which leads to anxiety and even if they do get all the way on they tend to fall short.

Your old jeans, even your favorite most epic timeless jeans from back in the day are not the right jeans for where you are right now. And trying to make them be something they can’t be is going to leave you stuck, worried, frustrated. So, let’s get some new jeans. Let’s talk about how you would start today!!

And before you skip the answer and go right into the “how am I going to do this?” stop.

All you have to do right now is be honest with yourself.

What do you want to do with your workday?

What do you want to offer?

What do your future clients need? (not saying we ditch your old ones just saying don’t get stuck on the one or two clients who LOVE to share how much they don’t like change.)

When will you work? Where will you work?

The “how” is where everyone gets stuck because they get hung up on the fear of it not working. The fear of the unknown. The fear of failure, rejection and loss.

Don’t get caught up in the “how”. The “how” is actually really easy to solve. “How” is solved by people you know, people who know more than you, people who’ve been in your shoes.  The “How” is often answered by the universe if you saw my IG post. I wonder game.

It’s not woo woo either. If you are clear on what you want to do, we can get that how figured out.

I can’t wait to see the new “what’s” in the comments or feel free to dm me.

xx~LL

Are You Ready to Leap?

You will need to make leaps in your life and business often. It isn’t likely going to be easy. You are going to wonder if you are doing the right thing? Maybe even decide to not leap at all. I promise you though that when you stay where you doing the same thing over and over again you will feel like you are going crazy. Or worse, you’ll quit altogether and then we lose a great teacher. So, in this blog, I’m going to give you some blogs that will support your leap, the formula you need to know to make sure you can do the link, and also why your schedule is so important when it comes to leaping.

Know your numbers: You need to know how much money you need to make with other income streams so that you can replace the one you are wanting to give up for your leap. I talk about this a lot inside of AGENCY whenever anyone wants to talk about quitting a full-time job or starting a new project. Before I could leave my salaried job I needed to know how much money that job was paying me and the costs of any other benefits. Then I needed to know how many in my case private clients I needed in a week to make up for that annual income. So, if you are trying to give up at $60k/year job with benefits how much is that amount. Then how many private clients or units of a product, if you are selling something, do you need to make up that income? Once you know that information you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your dream needs to be in your schedule: I coach people on their ideal schedule A LOT! It’s essential that you have time in your schedule to work on the things that propel your business forward. In this blog, I discuss how to set up an ideal schedule that allows you to make time for you, your goals, and still the things that you feel you have to do.

Know where you want to leap to: so this might be obvious but often times the reason people don’t leap is they haven’t spent the time thinking about the place they want to land. This is something you need to do before you leap otherwise you are likely to go back or not leap at all because your situation won’t really change.

Trust yourself: If you can’t stop thinking about doing the thing ya gotta do the thing. And the thing that gets you to leap might not be your thing in the end. But, it might be the bridge to where you are going to go. So tell yourself you can’t make the wrong decision.

I leaped during a recession from a salaried job to teaching Pilates full time. I leaped from managing studios and leading teacher trainings to working for myself. I leaped from renting space to owning my own studio and recently we leaped from having a brick and mortar to being fully virtual. All of them scared the heck out of me. All of them I was as sure as I was nervous. All of them taught me more about myself and what I was capable of. Your first leap will scare the heck out of you. But then you start to get a leaping muscle.

The truth is your heart already knows its right, it’s your head that is worried. And for many of you reading this the truth is there really is no other choice right now but to leap. It’s also the best time. No hard feelings or hurt feelings. Covid made you do it.

Where are you wanting to leap to next?

xx~LL

PS my blog on burn out is also helpful here.

Some of my Favorite Business Tips

When I first heard about podcasts I definitely didn’t know what they were, why they worked, and even that this many years later I would care so much about them. But podcasts literally are in my ears daily. I have some I listen to for laughs, some I listen to for inspiration and others for business tips. And, I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by several and their questions have allowed me to share my favorite business tips for you!

First, it might be helpful to know what a Podcast even is. Its similar to a radio show or even a talk show but pre-recorded and typically around a subject matter. You can listen to them on your phone, Spotify and some even share on YouTube.

I subscribe to several so that on my morning walks I can listen to a variety. Some that update me on the current events. A few that tell a story around a topic. Do you have a favorite podcast?

Now, before I give you a link to some of my favorite interviews I want you to consider how you can get on some Podcast, IG lives or local radio/news. You’ve heard me talk about how you need to know who your client avatar is. There was a recent blog here and our course. And while you can do social media to get your message out. It’s actually just one way to get your message out to your people. Another is to get interviewed on other people’s platforms- IG lives, podcasts, local news outlets (radio, tv, print). You can read more about collaborations and picking outlets that work for you in my recent blog post on collaborating.

Here are some of the interviews I’ve done in the past where I get to share my favorite business tips. They are free to listen to and if you like the hosts I hope you take time to listen to more of their guests.

Your Badass Journey: In this one Brad and I share tips for working together, and also how we pivoted and grew. She also did a follow-up episode (I love these that she does by the way) on giving direction to your new audience.

Net Worth It: In this episode I share a bit about my time without address and how I created the journey I am on today.

F It:  Amy Ledin had  me on her show to talk about accountability partners, support and more

Brand With Bite: I loved this interview. Allison is all about branding and she asked me how I create clarity around my brands.

Full Out: I do talk a bit about dating but mostly biz and a bit of Pilates.

I hope that you take moment to listen to any or all of these. You can even download them now and listen later. I know that some tips can hit differently when they come through a different medium. Let me know which one was your favorite in the comments below.

xx~LL

PS if you subscribe to my newsletter now only will you get links to my favorite podcasts that I am not in but also you’ll hear about the newest ones coming out this week.

 

Why You Should Collaborate and How to Start

Collaboration is key. You’ve heard that. And yet, you think its easier if you just do it on your own. And maybe you could do it on your own for a little bit but now you’re aware that you can only go so far on your own. I mean, picture a canoe and then picture a cruise ship. Those cruise ships can go around a continent! Would be pretty tough to do that on a one-man boat. In your business you can do a lot on your own, you can grow a lot on your own but eventually, you will hit a plateau. And especially during times like these we really are stronger together. So, what is a collaboration? Why should you collaborate? Who should Collaborate with and What/how does it work? Let’s dive in.

First, collaboration is when one or more people in this case businesses get together and team up on a goal. This could be a few teachers coming together like I do with my TCME partners Tasha Edwards, Mychele Sims and Erika Quest. We come together to teach an event around a topic that is important to us. You can also collaborate with people that have nothing to do with what you teach/do (more on that below).

Collaborating is key for growing your audience in a way that actually benefits you. We’ll talk about who you should choose to collaborate with in a minute. But, why you should collaborate will determine who you choose to collaborate with. Collaborating allows you to be put in front of other people’s audiences and they get put in front of yours. Basically, you need people to know who you are and what you do. And collaborating allows you to show up as yourself and create awareness around that in front of an audience that trusts the person you are collaborating with.

Choosing who to collaborate with is key for a “successful” collaboration. You want to first think about who you are trying to reach. This would be your client avatar. And if you haven’t thought about who you are trying to reach then watch my course on client avatars. You don’t want to just collaborate with anyone. If you’re trying to reach women in their 30’s-40’s in your area and you collaborate with a PT who works with post-surgical athletes or the tux shop across the street. So get super clear on your ideal client and then look at who is also reaching that person. If you don’t know the business owner yet it might take some “dating” before you collaborate. This is a good thing. It allows you to learn more about them, how you can work together, and get clear on who is doing what and how you can help them and they can help you.

Once you have an idea of who you want to collaborate with and know what you are wanting to get out of it aka more followers on social, more people on your list, more people aware of your business etc then its time to decide on how you will collaborate. Here are some ways you can collaborate:

  • Instagram loops
  • Events- virtual or in person
  • Gift Certificates they can give away and vice versa

In an IG loop you and the other businesses would team up to do a giveaway. Everyone who wants to enter the giveaway needs to follow every business, like the picture and comment. Usually asking them to tag a friend (don’t give them too many things to do). Then you pick the number of winners and hopefully you and all the collaborators got some of each others followers and some new ones. SIDE NOTE: while this might get you more followers remember followers do not translate to $$$. But, it is a great way to see if you like working with someone with very little investment.

Events require a bit more commitment but people LOVE a shared experience and better than a loop because they get to experience YOU. So, they skip several steps of awareness and get more connected with you and what you offer. I’ve seen this done in many ways. A studio offers a class, then a nutritionist gives a talk and massage therapist teaches on something, etc etc. People buy a ticket for a nominal price (gets them to commit to showing up). Each business would invite their clients/list and everyone wins. And because each person in the collab is trying to reach the same people your marketing for it goes farther.

Years ago when I moved studios the studio owners offered the shop next door 50% off a first time session to anyone that spent x amount of money in the shop. The shop was able to email all their clients and have a reason to entice them to come in and buy something. And the studio got their name in front of all the people on the list and then those who got the gift certificate heard about the studio another time and were more likely to try it because they had that gift certificate/coupon. I love these because you can get some of these offers from other businesses trying to reach your clients and give those away for referral rewards instead of discounting your services.

We’ve got one more how. How do you ask someone to collaborate with you? Well, first you need to know what you bring to the table. What can you offer these other businesses? If you’re wanting to do a loop and you have 450 followers and they have 45k followers it might not be mutually beneficial to them to partner with you. But if you’ve got a coffee shop looking for reasons to reach their clients who can’t sit indoors right now and you have space to do a class outside they would LOVE to bring their coffee to your people and invite their people to the class for a community event. So, when you ask people tell them why you love them/what they do etc, tell them what you want to work on and what you are offering. Then ask if they would like to get on a call and talk about it. Keep the ask simple. They should be able to read it on their phone screen. And, be specific why you like them. People can smell a copy and paste collab ask. Take your time to personalize 3-5 sentences.

Homework: write down who you are trying to reach? What you are wanting to bring more awareness to? Then make a list of businesses who are working with your ideal client and would like those same awarenesses. Then go for it! You’ll get plenty of no’s. I have been told no from many collabs and I have told many people no. Its not personal. It could be the timing, the offer etc. Its not you.

So, who are you going to collaborate with next?

xx~LL

Preventing Burn Out and Overwhelm in your Fitness Business

“Do you ever have a bad day? A day that makes you question why you even do what you do?” I was asked that by a fellow Pilates teacher this week. And that question came after hearing from more than one teacher that they are overwhelmed, stuck, exhausted, and stressed out. Are you? Are you teaching more than you want but making less than you need? You’re not alone. It’s really easy when you are in a service-based business like teaching to say “yes” too often and try to be all the things to all the clients. It’s easy to put unreasonable pressure on who you should look like or what you should be saying. Let’s talk about some reason burn out happens in your business and ways you can prevent it (or at least catch it before its bad).

Here are some of the things I see teachers and studio owners do that leads to burn out and overwhelm:

  • saying ‘yes’ all the time.
  • teaching on their day off (even if its just one client).
  • marketing to everybody.
  • skipping their workout to teach a client or class
  • not charging enough (money is energy you give your clients energy that’s how they repay you).
  • not having a teaching schedule.
  • not having an ideal teaching schedule.
  • not having set time off that is off-limits for work.
  • letting clients contact them anytime and responding.
  • not upholding cancellation policies.
  • trying to market to everyone so they talk to no one and feel like no one is listening.
  • listening to too many people tell them what to do.
  • not having a community.
  • no accountability to their goals, boundaries or practice.
  • not having a consistent connection with those who support them.
  • a safe place to share what they are worried about.
  • not delegating.
  • trying to be the teacher, owner, ceo, marketer, janitor, social media expert, and website developer.
  • not firing clients who abuse the policies or are verbally or physically abusive.
  • have not taken the time to know their why and filter their goals through it. So they keep doing what everyone else is doing in the industry and wonder why it doesn’t make them happy.
  • do not have a clear list of whose opinions of them matter so then everyone’s opinion is weighted the same.
  • have a fixed and/or scarcity mindset.

I could keep going but that’s a good start. Which ones reflect where you are in your business?

Here are some things you can implement in your business or reflect on today that will help prevent burnout or at least will help you see when you’re on the road so you can catch it before you go too far down the path.

  • Learn how to say ‘let me check my calendar and get back to you.” Before you say yes to a client who isn’t already in your calendar buy yourself some time. Look at your schedule and see how much you’re already teaching that day/week. And ask yourself if that time they want is an ideal teaching time for you. If it’s not then offer them a time that is. It’s ok to say ‘no.’ It’s easier to build a schedule around what you love then it is to move people around later.
  • Know how many hours a day/week you need to teach to make the money you want to make. Think about how much you want to gross in a year and divide that by how many weeks you want to work in a year (hint its not 52..it shouldn’t be more than 48). Take the and divide it by how many days in a week (not 7) and then hours in a day. The answer is how much you should be charging. And if you’re charging that rate then all you need to do is check to make sure all your teaching hours are filled. If they are for that week then the person who wants a session needs to book next week where there is a spot.
  • Create an ideal schedule. This schedule should begin with YOU! I have a whole course on how to create your schedule and fill it here. But, to get you started you need to make sure your schedule includes your practice, your family, and your sleep and days off first. Then the amount of teaching hours that when filled = the money you want to gross in a year and then hours where you will work on your biz but not in your biz.
  • Know whose opinions of you matter and tell them! If someone criticizes you then you can see it from their perspective but remember if they are not on your list then it doesn’t get to hold the same weight as someone who is on your list. So go talk to those people. Everyone needs a community, accountability a place to go, and share what’s on their heart and mind. To get feedback and support. It’s literally why I created my online coaching group AGENCY.
  • Keep your practice up! Whether it’s with some on-demand platform or hopefully someone else teaching you and seeing you. If you lose your practice time to your work you will eventually resent your clients. But it’s not their fault. You’re the one that didn’t uphold your boundaries.
  • Make notes in your calendar when you are feeling less than optimal. Notice if there is a pattern. I know if I don’t take off 3-4 days in a row every 4-6 weeks on top of my regular 2 days off a week I will start to feel like I’m running on steam. And if I push through…it just means I’ll need more time off or I’ll get sick.
  • Know the signs (it’ll take a few bouts) or ask those around you to tell you some things they noticed about you before your burn out happened so that you can start to see and recognize that you are going down a path to be overwhelmed, have an anxiety attack, feel like you’re so burnt out you have to take off time or worse…consider quitting.
  • have cancellation policies and systems in place for scheduling and canceling so that you’re not always available. And uphold them.
  • Remember that people are just being themselves but that doesn’t mean you have to let them walk all over you or be an energy vampire. You need to figure out what you need to be your self and have energy afterward. Then create the boundaries around this an uphold them.

There are plenty more including hiring and delegating but let’s start with those. Which ones will you implement first? Side note: Don’t try to implement 5 of these at once. That will just overwhelm you more. Pick one or two to implement then one or two more until you’ve got your business working for you.

One more thing, just because you have your perfect work schedule, policies, the ideal client, and charge your worth doesn’t mean you won’t have a bad day or feel overwhelmed. These things simply help you have fewer of them, feel in control and reveal when one is coming. And, sometimes bad days or overwhelmed weeks reveal to us where we need to make changes. When I have them now its because I am doing a role in my business that is not the role I want to play. This requires me to make some new changes, maybe bring on another team member or hire someone to do some things that don’t need to be done by me.

But, if you do all focus on teaching your ideal schedule, upholding your policies and boundaries, and are clear on your why you’ll be able to take pauses, breaks, see possibility and potential on those days when you’re wondering “why am I doing this?” It’s more productive.

Let me know if you need support in creating policies, raising rates, firing clients, and more. Always here to help you do more of what you love.

xx~LL