Notes 2 Inspire: How is this For You?

I know it’s easy to think “why me?” Or, to even think that the worst things are happening to you. And, while I don’t want to discount how painful some experiences are I do think it’s important to take a moment to think how an experience is for you. How is it helping you? What is it sets you up for?

 

xx~LL

Do You Know Your Businesses Seasons

Feeling the heat in more ways than one this summer? There are few guarantees in life but one of them is that when holidays, summer, spring break, and flu outbreaks are in season your business can feel the effects. But, that doesn’t mean you have to feel it in your wallet or your bottom line. Knowing your businesses seasons and working them is key for making money, and feeling in control of your business. Here are some questions I love to explore with anyone I am coaching:

Do you know your busy and slow seasons?

How much do you want/need to gross each year?

How many weeks a year do you work?

What is your average hourly wage?

When you have these answers then we can get really honest and clear. One studio might be in the suburbs where the calendar is pretty easy to follow. They are busy January-March and then spring break starts to distract people from consistency. Then April-May starts to level out. June-September is “slow.” September-mid November is consistent. And as the year winds down the cancellations wind up.

But, you may live somewhere where it’s busy 6-9 months a year and dead zone for 3 months. That shouldn’t freak you out. Instead, it makes it super easy and clear for you to know when you take your breaks, how much you need to be working those busy months. And enjoy a few months of you time. I think I would like that very much.

If you’re someone who has major seasonal influx and you’re not setting goals in your business to take advantage of the busy months then you will feel it during the slow months.

No business is the same as another. Take some time this week to look at your previous year. When were you the busiest? When were you the slowest? How many sessions a week do you need to come through your schedule/studio during the busy months vs the slow months? What weeks can you just take off?

I would love to hear what your answers are and help you create a plan to make the most of your busy seasons and live guilt free on the slow seasons. Hit me up here or post in the comments below.

xx~LL

Do You Need a Welcome Series?

You’re an independent contractor, a small home-based studio or a boutique space with the opportunity to expand and you’re wondering if you need a welcome series for anyone who joins your email list. You are not alone. I get this question and excuses or reasons why people believe they don’t all the time. But, the truth is, if you’re teaching as part of your income, this is not a hobby, then I believe you do!

I know, you’re busy, it’s another thing to do! But,  hear me out. You are busy. You don’t have time to respond to EVERY person who joins your list and share who you are, what you do and why you will rock their world! So, by having a welcome email series (did you think I was suggesting a discounted intro pack? I hope not) you can write up a wonderful series of emails (one time) that guides this newbie on a journey that you want so that they get to know you, trust you, see you as the expert in your area and when you say, “take a session from me” they hit that button so fast because they have been waiting for you to ask this whole time!

You have been part of many a “welcome series” or some call a “Nurture Series” and some totally get you excited and others fall flat or make you hit “unsubscribe.” And, while I could write a book about all the nuances and I am doing a webinar on this topic I thought a few quick and easy tips for you to get started today.

A welcome series should:

Introduce You as the guide to getting them where they want to go

Share some background to your awesomeness

Explain what you do

Why You do what you do

How it helps them!

Guide them from “hey, how are ya?” to “Buy my main offer.”

Be automated and spaced out over time until they are dumped into the main newsletter

Add value

A welcome series could:

Go on for months (I don’t recommend this for Pilates teachers or other movement instructors)

Have an offer or two in it that gets them to try you out before coming into the studio

Share pics or testimonials

Have a secret offer they won’t find on your site

Be as short as a few emails

Once you put your in place it should kick off as soon as they register for your list. And then when it’s done they should end up on your regular newsletter schedule. Because, a welcome series is a lot of things but it is not a replacement for connection or a consistent weekly, bi-weekly or monthly schedule.

I’d love to know what you wish clients new before setting up their session? How you want clients to see and experience you and your business and what you want to drive your future clients to buy? You can post in the comments below.

xx~LL

PS the next webinar on this will air June 26th 12pm pst and replay until July 3rd.

 

Notes 2 Inspire: Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty

When things don’t go as planned it can send you on a spiral that makes you feel like the whole world is against you! But, what would happen if you got comfortable with not being able to control things? What if you could bounce back faster? How would that affect your life, your business and more?

xx~LL

What is the Difference Between a Blog and a Newsletter?

Blogging vs Newsletter? This is a question I get often from fitness professionals, Pilates teachers, and Studio owners all the time! The follow up to this question is “which one do I need to do?” Or, “do I need to blog and write newsletters?” So, today I am going to explain the differences between a blog and a newsletter and answer if you need one, the other or both!

What is a Blog? Let’s get real for a moment when I started blogging about four years ago (wow 4 years of biz blogs for ya) I fought my biz coach and SEO pro’s on the need to blog. I thought blogging was dead, everyone wanted to find things on Social Media and that no one would read it. But, I was so so wrong! While I may not make a living as a blogger (although some people still do) blogging is still hands down the biggest help in people like you finding me. The search engines love blogs because they read words on the internet to help find articles (pages on websites) that answer peoples questions. They want your site to be the answer to peoples searches. If they provide the best answers to what people are searching for then those people will use their search engine all the time (aka they can hit them with ads). So, your blogs are free advertising for your biz because if your blog answers peoples questions Google and other engines will promote your site! How freaking cool is that?

Blogging also allows you to attract your ideal client. Instead of blogging about a basic answer to what Pilates is you can blog about how Pilates helps a particular ache, sport, hobby, demographics etc. Blogging allows you to show how you’re the expert in your area. And, allows future clients who land on your site to see how awesome you are!

Blogging also updates your website. Yes, you want this! It tells the internet that your site is fresh and being taken care of. If you thought you could make your site once and leave it alone until you raised your rates or updated your bio I hate to break it to you but your website might be a bit “dusty.” I write a blog every week on all my sites. This keeps my websites at the top of the searches! And, I didn’t pay for that.

I could go on and on about blogging, but I already have in this course about blogging. So, if you’re ready to dive into blogging for your biz please take it here.

What is a Newsletter? A newsletter is a direct communication between you and your peeps. Anyone who opts into your list can receive this newsletter. Yes, they should opt-in vs you adding them in especially if you do business with the EU. Newsletters should add value to your clients and are great ways to create communication with your past clients, current clients and future clients. Newsletters allow you to remind people about classes, holiday schedules, events, etc. Some businesses send daily newsletters. I enjoy sending weekly newsletters. And, while a monthly newsletter is also fine it may not have the same effect as something a little more frequent and consistent.

What you put in a newsletter is more current event like. It has CTA’s (call to action) and those who are on your list want to be on your list. They put their info in and said: “Yass, please talk to me.” And, like blogs, people do think emails are dead they are still wrong. Here’s why do you remember when FB and IG went down? Almost a whole day was lost and millions of dollars were lost in ad spend. If you rely simply on social media to share updates, events, etc not only are you betting your business on the whim of other businesses but what happens if any of these platforms decide to change the rules? What happens if they get shut down? As it is if you’re lucky only 6% of your followers see your stuff. Read that again, 6% of your followers might see your stuff. But, a newsletter goes directly into your client’s inbox and if you’re good with the subject lines they get opened, read and more!

Like a blog, newsletters must add value. If you are just telling me what workshop you’re selling this month I’m unlikely to get to the end and hit “sign me up.” But, if you share info (which can feel like a blog but it’s not because a blog is on your website) then tell me how the workshop or class you’re offering goes along with that added value I’m more likely to say “take my money.” Does that make sense?

What you put in your newsletters really depends on you and your business. If you want my newsletter 101 course contact me here. For those of you already writing newsletters who want to take them to the next level join me on my next webinar here. But, keep them fun, think of them as writing to a penpal. What would you say to a friend you haven’t seen in a week, month or year? Why do they need to hear this? How can they hear more?

Do you need a blog, a newsletter or both? Great questions! I am so glad you asked. I am going to say you need both. They serve two massively different purposes. Blogging attracts people to your site but once they are there the likelihood of them coming back is slim. Unless they become a client and have to come back to sign up for sessions or classes then any updates you make to your site, your schedule, your offerings may not be seen. So, having a newsletter that shares these updates is key to getting eyes on all your good stuff! If you just do a newsletter then your website won’t be able to be the best assistant you ever had. It can’t be the answer to peoples burning internet questions if you don’t have answers. How often you blog and send newsletters is up to you. I share a TON about these things in my online coaching group. And we can dive deeper into what’s the perfect combo for your business in there.

I know you are thinking how on earth will I have the time and also what the heck am I supposed to write about? Make sure you read my blog about “not working all the time” and take my blogging and newsletter courses. The answers to all this and more are definitely in there. But, if you want to do more of what you love and make a living doing it then I would find the time to make both happen consistently.

Now, you tell me, what are you going to blog about next? What will your newsletter subscribers hear about in your next newsletter? You can share in the comments below or hit me up!

xx~LL 

How to Not Work ALL The Time

Everyone wants to work for themselves. The idea of being your own boss has a lot of unicorns, rainbows, and freedom around it. But, if you’re not careful, when you work for yourself it’s easy to make your own business, your dream business, be just as much a slog as working for someone else. So, my Studio Owners, Independent Contractors, Home studio owners here are my best tips to not make your dream job just like every other job.

  1. Create your ideal schedule: Grab a blank calendar and put your personal life in it first. Then your personal practice and anything else that you want to make time for before you put work in. Then your teaching hours go in. This part of the calendar is key, the tasks that propel your business forward AKA marketing, networking goes in next. Last is the admin, the daily tasks that have to be done every day but don’t bring in the money. For more help on this catch my course on it or contact me for a one-on-one call.
  2. Set a timer: I use the cube timer but you can use your phone. Set a time for how long you’ll be in your inbox, on Instagram or work on any project. When the timer goes off move on to the next task. I know that means sometimes I didn’t finish a project but it does mean I can move on to the next and keep all the plates spinning. If you work on your email until the emails are all read you will never get to your blogs, contacting businesses to collaborate etc.
  3. Say no: to anything that isn’t an F yass! Seriously, say no to more things than you think. If “no” is too much for you then say “let me get back to you later.” Take some time to filter the opportunity through your goals. It’s easy to say “yes” to clients who want extra times. But, that could mean working at times you don’t enjoy and then you will feel like you’re working all the time.
  4. Have an accountability partner: I have 2 and I love them! We have weekly check in’s and set a timer for each person to share what they are working on, what went well, what didn’t go well and what we need support on. You never want to be the person who didn’t get their sh*t done. I recommend people who have businesses that are different than your own. And, try to keep it less 2-4 people but people who will not cancel on you last minute. So, maybe not your close friends. Those who are in my coaching group get me checking on them and their goals each week!
  5. Have your own goals: Be super clear on your own goals, share them with your accountability partners, me, and anyone else who you feel will help you get your goals accomplished. If you don’t have your own goals it’ll be super easy for someone else’s goals to become yours.
  6. Make dates: seriously, make a date with your person, make it a standing date if you can. Dates with friends, put vacations in the books even if you do a staycation. If you don’t then work will just take over and a year will go by and you’ll feel bummed that you “work too much” or that “time flies” but it’s because you didn’t put breaks in your calendar.
  7. Routines: I have a morning routine and a sleep routine. These are not only vital to me sandwiching life between moments of self-care it also helps me feel grounded and in control of my day and how I feel no matter what timezone I find myself in or what is happening. Everyone has to start their day in their own way but find a routine that works for you. I prefer to create before I consume so I try not to read emails or read notifications until I have written down what my goals are for the day. I also get my workout in before I teach others. You might prefer the reverse of all of this. Especially if you are not a morning person.

I could go on and on with more tips on how to not work all the time so if you need more ask in the comments below or set up a call with me. But, please don’t work all the time. I know that there are times in your business that require more of your hours but set a date for how long that excessive work time will last.

Working for yourself is pretty freaking cool but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, I find it’s harder. I have to hold myself accountable to arbitrary deadlines and since I won’t fire myself if I miss a deadline then what’s the problem right? Well, the problem is our businesses get more stressful when we are not achieving the goals we have when we want/need them. And then we think we have to say “yes” all the time, work more, do less Pilates, fewer trips, fewer days off. And then all of a sudden you’re working ALL the time!

My weeks look different every month so I have to be really clear about my time off and then I have to put more goals/deadlines in my calendar before my clients get options. That means I have to have clarity around my schedule at least a month in advance. If I don’t I’m racing to get work done, working on my days off, skipping yoga and my own Pilates practice.

You are too good at what you do. You are the only person who can do what you do and your clients and future clients need you to be clear on your goals, firm about your schedule and taking care of you so that you can teach them.

This week, what tips will you try and implement?

xx~LL 

 

How to Get Past the Objections

It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching Pilates, Fitness, Barre or selling make-up, cars or coffee. You will hear objections to your offers. And, it’s so easy to take these objections personally isn’t it? I mean when someone tells you it’s too expensive you may feel like they are saying “you’re not worth it.” You may wonder or be tempted to offer a discount. Tell yourself, “just this once” and believe that a lower priced package will get them to fall in love and see the value of what you offer. And, that’s just one of the objections we hear. There are so many others. And, if you want to grow your business you are going to have to get really good and overcoming them. Let’s talk about how you can do that.

  1. Price objection: this one is probably the most often used. I mean, I’ve even used it places to get out of doing something or buying something. And, it’s rarely true. What is true is that I don’t really want the thing or want the thing right now but I want to end the convo so I say its the price because everyone can understand this objection and no one is going to argue with me. Right? You know you’ve done this too. So, how do you overcome this? First, be upfront with your prices. Put them on your site. Or tell people before they come in. Then you and the client both don’t waste a first time session. If they can’t afford you even if they love you they can’t afford you. Second, make sure your first time session or intro packs are aligned with your regular prices. Third, be sure you are fishing in the right pond. If you want people who can afford ___ rate then advertise at places they hang out.
  2. Time Objection: A great objection for the person who is not ready to commit. Or, never likes to commit. When setting them up for a session be sure to ask them questions that will help you get clear on their availability to add something new into their life. If they say they work 6 days a week and commute an hour each way and you tell them they have to come in 3x a week they are going to believe they don’t have time. But, if you hear all that and then ask them to come on their day off or on their way into work once or twice a week as they feel the benefits of working with you they will start to see how they can add more sessions in.
  3. “I need to think about it” objection: This also is often the one where they need to talk to their spouse or parent. Again, I find this to be an easy excuse in life to use because who is going to argue with that? Couple ways to get around this is on your intake forms on your site or in person ask them if they have ever invested in their fitness before. If they have you are less likely to hear this objection. If they haven’t then keep in mind this is not just a financial or time commitment this is a big step in their life. They’ve not spent money on something that isn’t tangible like jeans, a car etc. So, remember to help them see that you’re the guide for them, the person they can trust to help them get to their why. Do not worry about selling them Pilates. Focus on connecting them to their why with you.

What are some objections you’ve heard? Share them in the comments below and I’ll be back to check and give you some tips for overcoming them!

Remember, if you think that people will think Pilates is too expensive then they will. If you think you’re too far away or it takes too long for people to “get” Pilates all this will come true. But, if you spend more time thinking about why Pilates with you then people will have no problem saying YAAS!

xx~LL

Notes 2 Inspire: Your Mess is Your Message

I have heard “your mess is your message” for years! I have no idea who I heard it from first. But, a few years ago I heard it on a podcast, then I heard it through Lori Harder and Jen Gottlieb and again on a podcast. And while I nodded along as if they were preaching to the choir I really didn’t digest that phrase. It resonated and left. Kind of like a great brownie. A moment on the lips and then you drink some milk and the deliciousness is gone.

But, recently it stuck. I heard “your mess is your message” when in a coaching session with my mastermind and I blurted out my mess and immediately realized how it is SOOO my message!

So, my challenge to you this week is to brain dump your mess. How can you share what you are trying to clean up the most to help others?

xx~LL

3 Reasons Your Newsletters Are Not Effective

Writing Newsletters takes time, and it is one of those things that most teachers and studio owners would prefer to not do. Convince themselves that email is dead. It’s not. And, while email marketers are seeing that its harder to get the ROI they used to get you are not an email marketer. You’re using your newsletters to engage with your clients, past clients and future clients (because people forward emails that are worthy).  Your newsletters remind clients of why you’re amazing. They offer a way for clients to email you back, create a conversation. But, you feel they are not worth it. And, it’s because you’re not writing effective newsletters. People get an average of 142 emails a day. So, why are yours being trashed with the others?

  1. You are only “selling.” Yes, we want clients to sign up online, to create standing appointments. To get get info about new classes or the schedule changes. But, if all you do is sell to them in newsletters you’re going to totally be flagged by their emails as “promotions” and you won’t even make it in their real inbox. And, your clients don’t open emails to be sold at (unless it’s cyber Monday) they open because they are want to hear more about what they care about. They want valuable information that will make them better.
  2. You are not consistent. You send a newsletter once a month then you miss a month and then you do two in a month. It’s erratic. Humans like predictable. Be consistent. Try to get send a weekly newsletter if possible but if you’re only going to do monthly ADD LOTS OF VALUE and never miss.
  3. Your subject lines are boring. Yep, it’s really all about the subject line. “Monthly Newsletter” is not sexy. Not exciting. It doesn’t make me want to open it. I still might but it’ll be the rare bird. Have fun with your subject lines, grab their attention. You want to stand out amongst the email crowd. One of my best open rates came from my newsletters “the biggest mistake I ever made.”

I know you know you need this newsletter. I know you know you need to stay top of mind with your clients. I know you want to have a way to reach out to old clients and inconsistent clients. Newsletters do that!

Take the time to write a consistent newsletter, that gives away information they can share with their friends. Add value to their life. Have a call to action. Maybe it’s a question they should answer, maybe they should share the newsletter with a friend? Ask them to do something. People don’t do things without a call to action. Have fun with your subject lines.

If you’re wanting more support and advice around newsletters first of all YAY! You’re a rockstar! I can help you. Contact me here for a one on one coaching call or watch my course all about newsletters here.

What will your next newsletter talk about? Share in the comments below!

xx~LL

Notes 2 Inspire: Some Meetings are Just For a Moment

About 6ish years ago I was leaving my relationship, home, totaled my car and the studio I taught my clients was closing. A friend of mine wanted me to meet someone. And, honestly, I wasn’t feeling super excited to make a new friend. It wasn’t like I didn’t want to but you know when you’re going through stuff, it’s hard to make space or start something new.

Anyways, I met the friend of a friend and within a few more hangs she introduced me to a guy who I am now married to. And, the girl, who is amazing (I’m eternally grateful) and I are more like social media friends. Our relationship was more for a season (as far as we know…the future has yet to unfold).

My point is, sometimes you meet people for one tiny moment. A conversation that will teach you something you need to know, an intro to your future partner, or someone who can help you with your dream.

And, it’s ok to let those meetings be for a moment. Don’t make them longer than they are designed. Allow them to be what they are to be and that may even mean letting go of some people who have been in your life longer. Have you been keeping friendships longer than maybe they were meant to be kept?

This week, take inventory of those chance encounters that were stepping stones to where you want to be. It’s a pretty fun experiment. What’s one of the most random encounters you have that made a difference in your life?

xx~LL