Asking the Right Questions to Make Them a Client For Life

I remember when I first became a Pilates instructor I was given a sheet with questions on it and told to have the first time Pilates client “fill them out.” And, the first time I did it the whole process felt so clinical. I know that for some people this form is personal and they would prefer to fill it out themselves. But, just because they gave me their emergency contact and history of injuries I still didn’t know them. And, here we are about to spend an hour together. At the end, they are hopefully going to fall in love with me and Pilates. But, it’s going to be a lot of “hope” if I don’t have some key info about them.

After that first client, I changed up how I did a first time session. I added questions to get to know them better not just their injuries or past issues. I wanted to know their goals, their plans for the future and a little bit more. But, I didn’t want to be an interrogator either. So, I had to come up with a plan for how to get to know them and their internal drives more and also allow them to move and experience Pilates.

  1. What’s their Why? Seriously, why did they come today? Why now? And, why You or Your Studio?
  2. Are you and what you offer the best for them? If so, share that with them! Brag a bit. If not, help them find the right teacher! Contact that teacher and let them know you’re sending them a client. They’ll remember you when you’re the right teacher for them
  3. You cannot sell Pilates. You can only sell yourself as a guide for them. Pilates is your tool but they are buying you and your expertise.

So, now that you know my 3 biggest things to keep in mind during your first time session you are probably wanting to know what questions I ask exactly. Well, for that you will have to join me for my webinar on “asking the right questions on Wednesday” or my course on “first-time to lifetime” and if you’re in Australia or New Zealand I will be teaching this workshop in person in November!

What questions do you know are key for converting a first time client?

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Boldly Brag Like You Never Have

On the first in-person day of my this new mastermind I joined to help me grow my businesses, even more, they asked us to take 60 seconds to brag big! I instantly felt a pang of fear. What would I say? I mean, what I have I done with bragging about? Not going to lie I felt a bit speechless and then I realized how dumb that all sounded. I mean, have you ever actually listened to some of the thoughts in your head? We all have stuff to brag about. So, why don’t we?

For the next hour I listened to 40 people share their big brags. I was number 30 so to say I sat there ready to share the whole time would be a lie. I had to keep reminding myself of all the crazy amazing big and small things I had accomplished. I took out my journal and began writing them down. I kept writing until it was my turn.

And for 60 seconds I share all the things I thought were worth bragging about.

I felt pretty awesome. I mean, I also felt like in comparison my brags were as big as others but for me they were big time brags.

Afterwards when we were all mingling people were coming up to me to talk about how cool some of my brags were! WHAT?!?!

So, it got me thinking, why don’t we take a moment to brag? Brag without qualifying. Brag without making our achievements from “luck.” Or, making my win small so others won’t feel bad.

This week, brag boldy! Brag BIG. If you don’t want to do it in person out loud as I did then comment below with your brags. Brag like no one is watching.

xx~LL 

 

How Do You Know If You Are Teaching Enough?

One of my AGENCY mastermind members recently said: “I think that if I feel busy I must be doing good numbers.” She was mistaking the fact that her schedule was full so she must be bringing in enough money. And, here’s the thing, a lot of instructors and studio owners make this error. They work so hard to fill all their classes and teaching hours because if they are busy or teach more then they’ll make more. But, what I often find when I look at their numbers is that while they are busy and some of them really busy they are not meeting the monetary goals and needs they have. And this is because they are confusing busy for successful.

Do you know your average hourly rate? If you’re a teacher this can be easier to figure out than a studio owner but either way you need this number.

Do you have a gross income goal for your business? If you’re a teacher at the end of the year what would you like to have made? Studios if all systems were working what would your gross income be?

If you don’t have these numbers then set aside some time to get super clear on these.

When I was running studios I had goals for the month and the year. Some sessions were privates, or duets etc. Every person had the option of buying single sessions vs packages. Not going to lie the first time I had to figure out how to see what the studio could do based on the schedule I thought my mind might explode. But, when I figured out some averages. Took a look at what was scheduled and compared it to the goal I could see how far away we were. I also could make a plan!

In the teaching part of my business, I have a goal each week that is a “work week” on how many sessions I need to have in my schedule. The freedom this provides is incredible. Because, if I look ahead and my schedule is “full” meaning I have hit my # then I don’t need to add more clients to the week. I have time to spend focusing on my business in other ways. But, if you don’t know this number how do you know if you’re teaching enough?

The burn out is real and it sucks whether you are making enough money or and stings, even more, when you’re not.

Homework for you:

What’s your average hourly rate?

What’s your gross money goal for this year?

How many weeks will you work this year?

I’ll do giving the tips on what to do with these numbers in my newsletter this week. My course on “raising your rates” also goes over how to use this info to help you create a plan for you to make the money you want to make and not overwork yourself doing it.

What if instead of filling every hour you could teach you just taught the amount you needed?

xx~LL 

 

Notes 2 Inspire: Toxic Love

Ever wonder why someone is in your life?

You know that annoying person at work who you swear is talking bad about your behind your back?

Or maybe it’s a family member who doesn’t get you, likes to tear you down!

Toxic people are in your life for a reason.

I know, so annoying!

But, here’s the thing, these toxic people are here to help you figure out what you need to work on.

And, even better, these toxic people are going to help you spot future toxic people. Yep, it’s like practice. You learn how to overcome the toxic people in your lives now in the future you’ll spot them sooner before they get in and try to block you from your truth!

So, this week, find a way to love the toxic people in your life so you can get past them and onto where you are supposed to headed!

xx~LL

How Much Online Should You Be?

Do you have a love-hate social media? Totally cool! You don’t need to love it and most teachers don’t even need to use it. But, there is a level of web presence you need to have to make your ideal business grow and known. I know you want to teach Pilates. You only care about your clients and helping them get better, feel better and do more Pilates with you. But, let’s face it, even with referrals those future clients are going to look you up online. And while I do not believe you have to have likes and followers to make money doing what you love. I do believe you have to have some level of online presence. So, here we go!

Website! Yes, you need one. Please don’t think a yelp, facebook page or some other platforms landing page of you is going to do it. You need to own this domain. It needs to have some key things on it so that you can attract your ideal client and get them into your books asap. Check out this blog posts on websites here and my course on “What Your Website Needs.

Dive in or Don’t: If you’re going to use social media for your business then use it. If you’re not then don’t. But trying to do a little here and there will not only annoy you it’ll frustrate you and when people go from your site to your social media they’ll be confused. If you are going to use social media for your business link it on your site. If you’re not, or are not sure then don’t link it until you are. Wondering if you should be on social check out this blog on why and this one for more tips.

Keep it Simple! If all you do in the beginning is ace a website and tell people who you are and what you do and why you rock at it I promise you’ll get clients. Why? Because I still get the most clients through my website and from personal outreach. Meeting people in real life and referrals. Your website is your 24/7 assistant. USE IT! Make sure it’s clear what you do when they land on your site. Update it regularly with blogs. Be clear on who you teach and why you’re the best for them.

If you start out with a great site and clarity on who you are the rest will follow. I know, you’re thinking, “but everyone is bouncing of facebook and I’m not even sure how to use Instagram.” Here’s the thing I can promise you. There will always be a new thing to learn. That doesn’t mean you have to. In my next webinar, I’ll be going over how to use Facebook and Instagram for your business. You’ll learn if 1) you should 2) what to do 3) what not to do.

I promise I’ll keep it simple and digestible. And, after you’ll know if you need to add either of these platforms to your business. In the meantime, how much online should you be? Website, website website! We’ll dive into the ever-changing social media beast together here.

xx~LL

Notes 2 Inspire: Go Ahead, Disappoint People

I made a lot of decisions growing up because I wanted to make sure my family was proud of me. Sound familiar? People from my hometown understand graduating with high honors and getting promoted, working up the corporate ladder.

One day with a year left of college I went home to see my sister graduate. I ran into a girl I knew from growing up and when she saw me she told me all about her life. She was so excited about it. When I told her what I had been working on “graduating next year, running my own stores and living by the beach” she said, “that it?”

That’s IT!

Inside I wanted to scream at her. Did she even know how hard I was working? How many hours I was working each week? How I was carrying 17 units and running a store while managing a staff of 15?

No, she didn’t. And, even if she did it wouldn’t have impressed her.

That’s when I realized no matter what you do you will disappoint people!

So you may as well get started!

This week, how many things can you do to disappoint anyone but you?

Try it out!

It’s kind of refreshing.

Make decisions based on how you will feel about yourself at the end of the day and not who you’ll disappoint. And, by the way, you’re going to disappoint people who truly see and care about you. It’s just not possible.

xx~LL

Tips for Using Social Media for Your Business

You want to fill your classes, get more clients, fill those last two spots you have, sell your workshops, teacher trainer, merchandise or even retreats. And, you’re probably wondering how Social Media can help you. You’ve been posting, going live, liking others and feeling like you know less and less every day. On top of all of that, you’re busy. Are these posts even working? Or, maybe you’re sitting there reading this “thinking I don’t even want to do social media! Are you going to make me?”

Let’s get super real and clear for a moment. I will NEVER force anyone to market in a way that doesn’t resonate with them. And, so if you prefer to use your social media to show pictures of your pup, cat or food then stick with it! But, don’t complain that social media doesn’t help you fill your classes.

While we are being frank together I cannot stress enough that you do not need tons of followers. Unless you are trying to teach people all over the world you just need to be known in your community. So, when you look at your “insights” you should see that most of your followers are from your city. If you’re living in Nashville, TN and most of your followers are in Los Angeles you’re going to have a hard time getting us into a session with you! We don’t go outside a couple of miles radius.

Now that we got those things out of the way a little bit lets dive in a bit about what you need to be clear on before using social media for your business.

What do you want to happen after you post? Are you interested in people coming to take from you in person, in a class, online? People cannot read your mind. So, you need to make sure it’s clear what you want them to do in your post. And, so that you can measure if you’re getting what you want from your posts you need to be honest with what you want.

Do you want more followers?

More likes?

Conversion from post to your website to being on your mailing list and coming to class? (I hope you said yes to this).

Engagement? Maybe you want your community to talk within a post and get excited about a new class, workshop etc.

Once you have a clear idea about what you want to happen when you post then you need to be clear about your messaging. What do you want your clients to see, hear, be reminded about?

Finally, pick a platform and go deep! I am giving you full permission to not be on EVERY platform. Pick one and learn it, have fun with it and go really deep on that platform. I was coaching someone last week and their audience is businesswomen. She needs to be on Linkedin. But, if your studio is near a college campus and your clients are primarily 25-35 maybe Instagram is your jam?

You also need to pick the one that you’ll have the most fun with. If you’re not into it people will see that in your posts. You can, of course, hire out someone to handle your accounts. And while that won’t be cheap it can be a huge load off so if you know you need to be represented on social media and you hate it outsource it!

I would love to hear your favorite platforms and what your goal is for using them for your business in the comments below.

For me, I am mostly on Facebook, Instagram and sometimes post tutorials on Linkedin. But, mostly I am an IG girl. My goals are not to be instafamous. Instead, I love engagement. Which is why I ask a lot of questions on my posts. I want to talk to you. I love to share what’s on my mind in my posts to help you. My posts are meant to serve, inspire, remind and give permission to teachers and studio owners to do more of what they love- teach Pilates. Sure, I would love to show you how fun my dog is. But, if you’re on @profitablepilates you are probably wanting to know more about how you can make your teaching profitable?!

Now, that you have a clear idea of what your goals are, what platforms you want to use and what your messaging is you probably want to know how to beat the algorithms, best posting times, etc. And, while I wish I had all that data for you I promise you it would be changed by the next week. We cannot control the algorithms, and most often only 6% of your audience is seeing your posts. So, it’s super important that social media is an extension of your business. That you don’t rely on IG to fill tonight 6 pm class. But instead, as a way to create community and drive people to your website where they get on your email list. This way no matter what the algorithm is you can still get your message to your clients.

I will be sharing the most current info on stories, IG and FB what to do and most importantly what NOT TO DO on my next webinar. So, if you are wanting to dive deep on FB and IG then join me for this webinar. I’ll be doing another one on Youtube, blogging and other platforms later this year. But, in this webinar, we are picking just FB and IG because they are owned by the same person and most of your clients are on these platforms. We’ll be breaking down and through all the stuff to help you show up on the platform you want in a way that resonates with you and helps you achieve your goals.

What do you love about social media and what do you loathe? Share it with me and the other readers in the comments below!

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Break the Pattern

Did you know that 95% of your decisions each day are unconscious? That’s insane, isn’t it?

Only 5% of the decision you make each day are conscious decisions.

Which means, 95% of the things you do, you’re doing because of a pattern you created. And you could have created that last year, five years ago or even when you were a little kid!

So, if you’re wanting a change, you want something new you have to make new decisions. Conscious decisions. You have to break the pattern.

And, here is the thing, when you break the pattern it won’t feel good. It will feel like you lost a part of you. Especially the longer you’ve had it around.

You may not be doing your dream because the pattern you use to make decisions with believes you are not good enough or you are too much.

What’s something you can do differently this week? Something crazy? Out of the ordinary?

Before you can talk yourself out it, use an old pattern, break it. Give it a while.

It won’t be easy. But, wouldn’t be cool to see what life is like when more of your decisions each day are conscious?

xx~LL

What is a Pilates Teachers Schedule?

When I first became a Pilates instructor I was teaching clients and classes every weekday morning from 6 am to 9 am then racing to my other job across town to manage a jewelry store. And then on most weeknights, I would race back across town and teach one or two more clients. And then I also taught clients on my day off from my store gig. I thought it would take forever to build my business up but it didn’t and so within a few months I was quickly burning the candle at both ends. But, I had no idea at the time that what I was doing wasn’t the best idea. I mean, every other teacher I knew who was building their business and even some who had grown their businesses were working the weirdest schedules. One day after working an almost 70 hr week I wondered what is a Pilates teachers schedule?

Should I be teaching mornings and evenings? Did I need to teach six days a week? And, even though people said I should teach when clients wanted it was that really the best answer?

Over the last 10+ years of teaching, I have changed my schedule almost as often as the wind changes. And, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. What it has allowed me to do is see that there is almost no hour where a client doesn’t want a session! Before you think I am wrong I have taught people at their 3:30 am, I have taught people as early as 5 am in person, and then there are the clients who have requested 8:30 pm or even 8 am on a Sunday! I love changing my schedule because every time I do it I dial it in even more to fit the nature of the life I enjoy living.

If you have ever taken a workshop with me you know that I believe your goals and life go in the schedule first. But, this is not how most people set up their teaching schedule. Instead, they put their clients in first. Admit it, how many times have you not said yes to having lunch with a good friend, going out of town for the day or not scheduling a personal session with another teacher because you had to teach?

I’m not saying just move people around willy nilly. But, I do believe that you should be super clear on your goals and what you want out of life and then create your teaching schedule.

After working with a lot of teachers I have found the ones that are super firm and clear on when they are available to teach no only are booked they also know exactly how much money they will make each week, month because it’s clear when they look at their schedule what slots are empty. And, their clients are also better trained to keep a standing appointment or cancel in the appropriate time. The teachers who let clients tell them when they want to come in typically have clients who are inconsistent. This means they are not truly getting all the benefits of Pilates and will probably disappear for portions of time if not longer. These teachers also will feel like they don’t have control over their schedule and will see a “swiss cheese” schedule. Sessions all over the place, empty slots all over but not big enough to do anything on so they are working for their business instead of the other way around.

I know, that sounds a bit harsh but teachers I love you! I am you. I have done all the mistakes of letting clients tell me when they want to take. And, that quickly lead to me not wanting to be a teacher. The moment I learned the phrase “I have this time or I have this time.” And, “I’m not available then but I do have ___.” My life-work balance became mine! It was under my control.

What is your schedule like?

Do you like it?

What would you change about it?

I was recently asked what a day or a week in my life looked like? How do I structure my days?

To be honest, since I travel I make some changes to the schedule often but the basic structure is there.

5-6 days a week I workout first thing in the morning. That is the time when no one is awake. I can run with my dog and listen to a podcast. I then often go to a fitness class around 6 am and workout with my friends. Afterward, I’ll begin my teaching day. I teach 5 mornings a week for 3-4 hours. Then I use the middle of the day for whatever I want. Sometimes I do Pilates classes other times I catch up on emails or spend a little time on social media. I take calls or watch webinars, read a book, get a facial etc. The middle of the day is mine for whatever I want it to be. Then, on Mondays, I’ll allow 2 more clients in the late afternoon. Tues-Thur I teach a couple of evening clients whom I adore and have been with me for years! The other days of the week I am either off or have called it a day before the afternoon.

As far as how much I teach I follow what I share with many other teachers. I have a goal dollar amount (gross) in mind for the whole year. I divide that number by my average hourly session rate and then by the number of weeks of the year I will teach. I will only teach that amount of clients in a week. If people ask for a session and I have hit that number they go on a waitlist for any cancellation. I promise you unless I had a couple of weeks where I didn’t teach the average amount I do not add additional hours on. It’s important you don’t do this either. Waitlists are great things to have. And, you train your clients to schedule early!

My schedule works for me, I never force how I like to work on anyone and that means you too. I would love for you to watch my course on goal setting if you haven’t yet. And also my course on client scheduling. Then get super clear on the times of days that light your fire. If you’re not a morning person don’t teach in the morning. I promise you there are enough clients to go around! We can find your clients for the afternoon or evening.

The key to a successful business is knowing why you’re doing it, who you are and what you want! So, take a look at your schedule. Is it a good reflection of the life you want to live? Not sure how to make it one? Contact me here. Let’s talk!

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: What Did You Do?

How often do you end your day or week thinking “I didn’t do_____.”

I noticed that I would end my day before dinner lamenting over all the things I didn’t do. And, the effort it took me to acknowledge what I did do was more energy than I had at that hour.

My lamenting and un-ending to-do list began to annoy me. And one night I caught myself. I had been running through all the things I didn’t do and then I found myself saying “But I did do ___.”

That but broke the spell.

I fell lighter, more excited and even proud.

After that, I kept going. But I did do this and I did do that and I also did those things I started yesterday!

This week, when you hear yourself saying all the things you didn’t do finish the sentence and add But I did do____.

You got this!

xx~LL

Tips to Work Less, Make More and Options for Passive Income Streams

We are in the business of exchanging time for money – we teach a class or session and we are paid for our time. But what happens when we get sick or injured and can’t physically teach? What if we want to go on vacation? How do we save? How will we ever retire? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in good company! The most common questions my clients ask are always about money – how do I make more, how do I keep more of it, how I can work less and still earn money.

Lucky for you guys, this is my area of expertise! I’ve put together my top financial strategies and passive income earners for both studio owners and instructors. Ready to get to work? Keep reading below!

For Studio Owners

  1. Raise your rates: I recommend raising rates annually, $5-$10 for session or $15-$20/month. Inflation alone is going to drive your operations expense up 3% annually; you want to make sure you are keeping up with it. Clients expect a small annual increase and will be less likely to bat an eye over small, predictable, annual changes, than a massive increase out of the blue.
  2. Stick to the Late Cancel/No Show fees: You put these policies in place – enforce them! These fees won’t break the bank, but they will still account for a decent amount of income each month for the studio.
  3. Studio Use Fees for Inactive Times: When the studio isn’t being used for set classes or sessions, let someone else use it! Other trainers are always looking to rent space (more on that below), and brands are always looking to do photoshoots or host promotional events.

          If you’re interested in renting out studio space I recommend you 1) figure out available times for                    studio use and pricing for use, and 2) having your Rental Agreement with rates + terms ready to go                for when potential renters or partners approach you.

  1. Rent Space to Instructors: If you have space (or time) in your studio that you aren’t using, make it available for someone else to use! You can rent the space to an instructor, a massage therapist, a stretch therapist, movement specialist, the options are endless.
  2. Host Workshops: Your clients already love spending time with you and trust you; they’ll be more than thrilled to learn more from you. Each attendee will buy a ticket for admission. You can ask speakers to donate their time and brands to donate refreshments, products, and giveaways. The first workshop might take a bit of extra work to get the swing of things, but once you get the hang of scheduling, it’ll be an easy and profitable way to engage your community!
  3. Host Teacher Trainings: These are money makers for the instructors teaching the training and the studio hosting the training. If your studio has its own teaching method, put together a teacher training program. Spend 2-4 days teaching the method, and follow it up with hands-on learning opportunities such as instructor shadowing, mic practice, and mock classes. Even if you aren’t in the market to hire new instructors, many members and fitness-minded individuals will be interested in learning more about your method. The first training might take some work to put together, but once you have the formula down, it’s a repeatable, scalable and very profitable.

          If you are a studio that does NOT teach its own method, you can still be the host studio for a teacher              trainer. You might not make as much money, but you also have way less work to do. And workshop                hosts usually let you sit in on the workshop for free, so double win for you.

For Pilates Instructors:

  1. Keep track of ALL business expenses:   I mean everything – professional liability insurance, certifications, trainings, educational workshops or webinars, marketing materials, etc.  At the end of every year, you can write off these business expenses. More write-offs = less taxes!
  2. Ask for a raise or raise your rates: We can’t earn more money if we’re not willing to ask for more! Plain and simple. If you’ve been teaching at a studio or training clients for at least 6 months, it’s time to reassess your rates.

           If you teach at a studio – set a time to talk with your manager and the owner, go in with your stats                   (class attendance, reviews, client feedback) and propose a fair and reasonable raise. If they aren’t                   able to accommodate your request, where can they meet you? Additional employee perks? Can they               give you a timeline when they’d be willing to sit down again to discuss compensation?

 

           If you set your own rates as a private instructor, consider a reasonable increase ($5-$10 session), set             the price, and notify all clients in writing prior to their next sessions. And while you’re reaching out               to all of your clients you can remind them of your late cancel/no show policies and fees.

  1. Passive Income Streams Online: So many fit-pros are utilizing their online communities and social media to make extra money. I think it’s one of the easiest and accessible forms of passive income because you already have a captive audience who see you as an expert in your field.

         E-Books and Online Training Guides: If you are known for your workout posts or people are always               asking you how to workout smarter, put together an online training guide. Start small with a 4-week             guide offering workouts 3-4x week.

         Accountability Coaching: If you are organized and empathetic you would be an excellent                                  accountability coach to your clients for the other 23 hrs a day they aren’t training with you. You will              check-in daily to check their nutrition/meals for the day, prescribe workouts, and encourage them to            stay on track. Clients will retain you for a monthly fee and you will realize that you’re already doing                most of this work for them as their trainer anyways.

       Affiliate Partnerships: Brands are always looking to partner with influencers in health and wellness              field, and many pay instructors to promote their products in addition to gifting free or heavily                          discounted samples.

I approach brands that I already know, use and love and ask them if they have an affiliate program. Some brands will give me a discount, others will gift free products, others will give me a percentage of sales I drive their way. I look at my partnerships as 1) an opportunity to save money on goods I would already buy, or 2) an opportunity to make some extra cash raving about a brand I already love. However you look at it, they are wins for my wallet and my relationships!

I challenge every one of you to put ONE of these tips in action today! Start planning the conversation to get a raise. Brainstorm hosting workshops or teacher training at your studio. And join Lesley and me on April 3 as we dive deeper into these topics and answer any question you might have about financial planning, and owning your worth and value to give yourself the security and success you deserve!

Xx, D


Connect with Danielle Stead Blanton here. And, join us for this epic webinar that will help you take charge of your finances and get tips on passive income streams on April 3rd webinar replay will be available for one week. Join herexx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Team Up with the Fear

Have you ever noticed how much harder it is to ignore what scares you?

Years ago I was so afraid to make a decision. So, I avoided it. It got worse. Not only did the problem not go away, it got bigger. It became harder to make the decision I should have made months before.

Then, it got scarier, insert more fear!

When I finally just gave into the fear the problem was wrapped around so many parts it took longer to deal with.

I got through the mess and my lesson from that is whole fiasco was that I should have done the scary thing sooner. It would have been easier!!

Here’s the thing about Fear, you run from it. It gets more power. You lean into it, call it out and the fear will dissipate.

This week, what scary thing can you team up with?

xx~LL