How to Manage Teachers in Your Studio and Not Go Crazy

Managing a retail store was never a goal of mind. It kind of just happened to me and I was really good at it. So, when I quit retail, became a Pilates instructor and within six months was managing a studio, hiring teachers and making the studio business grow it was an easy transition. Now, I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and tell you managing teachers was easy. No, it’s not. It’s so freaking hard. And you studio owners have a big glass to fill each day. But, if you’re teachers are driving you crazy I’ve got some tough love in this blog for you. It’s because of you. So, let’s make it not your fault!

  1. Be extremely clear about your studio policies. And hold teachers accountable. Yep, this means writing teachers up, giving warnings and maybe even firing them. I had to fire some epic teachers because they just couldn’t follow the rules. If you don’t have rules then you can’t get mad or frustrated that people don’t take care of your studio. And, if you do have rules but you don’t enforce them then you’re just asking for yourself to go crazy.
  2. Know your goals for your studio and know your teachers’ goals before you hire them. This is HUGE! If your goals are to have a small staff that creates a family/community vibe at your studio and all the teachers support the clients. But you bring in a teacher who only wants to work one day a week, can’t sub and just wants to come and go because their real goal is to be a writer, actor or influencer then you can’t get mad at them for not supporting your goals. People will not do things that they don’t want to do. So, their goals have to intersect with your goals. If you had the same goal above and you met a teacher who is looking for a studio where they can grow their business and only work at one studio that’s a teacher to consider hiring. Their goals align with your goals.
  3. Read the 4 agreements and practice them. I meet studio owners all the time who are upset that their teachers don’t do blah blah blah. They are frustrated that they (the owner) is the only one who can sell Pilates. And, when I ask them if they have asked the teacher why they are not converting new clients? If their staff has questions about how to get a new client to fall in love with Pilates? If they have regular (monthly to at max quarterly) meetings with their team to go over what they are doing well and where they can improve they stop complaining. Because the truth is they may have done a meeting here and there where they told the teacher what to do. But, they are assuming what they are saying makes sense. They are assuming that the teacher doesn’t see that the new clients they are being offered grow on trees and they don’t need to convert them. In the 4 agreements you one of these agreements is to make no assumptions and another is to not take anything personally. The majority of your teachers (if not all) are not trying to hurt your business or take you and your studio for granted.
  4. So meet regularly with your team. I know, you’re busy, but you actually cannot afford not to meet with your teachers on an individual basis. People want to know what they are doing well. They want to know where they can improve. They want to know how they help the studio. And, if you have a monthly 15min-30min meeting there will rarely be a surprise. Because I met with my team every month I knew when their personal goals or lives had changed. I was able to give constructive criticism and also praise. When you don’t meet with your team regularly you often only meet with them when they are in trouble. So, whenever you go to talk to them they will think they are not good. No one will thrive if they don’t feel good where they are. Also, if you are meeting regularly it will never be a shock to them if you do have to part ways. And, often, they’ll make that decision for you. And, you can still be friends.
  5. Stop doing everything for everyone. Period. Hire people to do things that don’t bring you joy and that don’t bring in money.

Ok, I could go on for hours! I could literally do a few webinars on managing your teachers and not going crazy. But, why don’t we start there? Try these ideas out. And, if you need help putting them into practice please don’t wait, let’s do a coaching call. Seriously, we can make your life and studio better even in just one call. You don’t have to do it alone.

xx~LL

Notes 2 Inspire: What Are You NOT Doing?

Recently I launched a product and during the launch, I could tell that things were slowing down. We had exhausted all the avenues we planned. I was trying to figure out how I could keep things going. I was at a plateau…

And, here’s the thing, plateau’s happen. You’ll be working on your goal and it can be exciting at first and then it gets to the part where it’s work, it’s the unknown it’s hard. And, you’ll start to think you need to do MORE. And, what we all tend to do is do more of what we are already doing. But, making something happen is not always about doing more of the same it’s often about figuring out what you’re not doing.

What else can you do? What are you Not Doing?

This week, instead of doing more of what you’ve been doing try to do something you’re not doing.

xx~LL

Are You Doing This to Get Clients to Hear About You

During my last workshop in Poland there was a question about how to market oneself if you are able to teach kids, pre-post natal, elderly, women, men…basically, how can they market themselves to EVERYONE! And I said you can’t market yourself to everybody at the same time. When you tell people what you do when you try to advertise your work do you try to talk to everyone? The truth is, in every business not just Pilates it’s important to know who you are for and why you are the teacher for them. And, then, you have to start with making them aware. Are you taking the time to make people aware of you?

I’m sure you think you are. You post pics of you on Instagram and Facebook. You tell your friends and family. But, are you actually taking the time to meet your future clients where they are?

Getting a new client doesn’t happen overnight or even randomly. On occasion, you’ll randomly meet someone who will hear what you do and sign up. But, I’d bet they’d done Pilates before in the past and were so stoked to hear about you because they’d been thinking they want to do Pilates. The average person needs to hear about your offering 12x. That’s what the new data says.

So, if you’re telling people about what they can buy from you or what classes they can take that’s skipping a step. You’re not starting with awareness.

Awareness is like making eye contact with someone at a party. Think about the last time you made eye contact with someone you didn’t know what happened next? I know for me the last time I did that I smiled. And then I went back to my conversation. But, about 20 min later I saw that person again. Eye contact. Smile. Back to the conversation with someone I knew. An hour later we ended up at the food table together and we said hi, introduced ourselves and a conversation started.

But, we didn’t exchange phone numbers until the end of the night.

And that is just a potential friendship! Not, a potential client. No money was being exchanged. So, think about your future client. If it took me several eye contact moments, a whole party and several texts to get a coffee date with someone. How long will your future clients need to make your eye contact, hear about you and get touch points from you to give you money and time? Well, the average is 12 x.

So, I know that sounds like a lot but you can do this. It’s all in your control. If you’re out in your community meeting other businesses owners and collaborating with other future clients will see and hear you. If you’re posting blogs, sharing testimonials that’s a touch point. If you meet someone in a line at a Starbucks and then follow up with them and they run into them again at Starbucks those are all touch points. And, even better, if their doctor tells them to do Pilates that’s a touch point. If their friends are doing Pilates and talking about it that’s a touch point.

You don’t have to be ALL the touch points but if you are taking the time to share the very basics of your teaching…make eye contact. Post to share who you are and not to sell a spot in your class. Those are all going to be little moments of eye contact.

Our clients are on a journey to get to us. There are specific stepping stones for them to be on before they will commit to you.

They have to become aware of you first, hear about who you are and what you do and why you’re for them. They then need to be able to dabble a little more without a major commitment financially. Like a first time session or assessment. Then they can be swayed to buy a membership or a package. It’s a journey. Are you skipping some stones when you are trying to get new clients? Don’t worry, so many people are.

The first step, start with knowing who you are what you do and why you’re the teacher for them. Then start with awareness. Tell a story. People love learning about people through story. Start with the awareness part. The rest of the stones are going to be more work. And I’ll be talking about them in my next webinar.

If you want more new clients if you want it to be easier to get new clients you have to take them on the journey.

Are you ready? My latest webinar will help you discover the journey you need to take your future clients on. Join me here. Until then, what are you doing to create awareness?

xx~LL 

 

6 Reasons Why They Didn’t Buy Pilates From You

You know you’re teaching is en pointe. You have a great space. You asked them their goals, your prices are competitive (maybe even a little too low) and you and this new client had a great session. But, at the end of the session, they said: “I’ll think about it.” Which leaves you feeling bummed, worried and wondering what you could have done differently. You may even think you’re not good enough to teach. Their objections to Pilates might have you creating “intro packages” or other discounts to get people to say “yes, I am in!” But, most of the time when new clients don’t buy Pilates it’s rarely due to the price.

The new data is in and it takes 12 touchpoints to get a client (customer) to go from hearing about a product or service to buying that product or service. 12! It used to be 6! People are so bombarded with information we have to stand out above the noise not add to it. Most often our efforts to share our love for Pilates is more noise than information.

If you’re constantly hearing objections or worse you’re not even getting new clients in to hear objections check out some things you might be doing that hurt your efforts to grow your business:

  1. You are trying to sell Pilates- clients don’t need the history day 1 they need to know WHY YOU?
  2. You have so many package options they have to “think about it.” People make decisions when they have fewer options. Make it easy on them to decide.
  3. You’re selling before they even know who you are. People don’t get married sight unseen. When you’re selling them a package before they’ve laid on a Mat you’re asking them to commit. Would you? No, you probably want to know who they are, why they’re the right person for you, how they can help you. There is a whole journey they need to go on! I’ll be chatting about that in my next webinar! Give people time to go from “hello, I am ___ and I am a Pilates instructor who ___.” Before you say “buy this membership or this package.”
  4. You’re too available. People want a busy restaurant. I promise. The more I try to fire a client the more they move their schedule around to fit mine.
  5. You don’t tell the client what to do. People don’t often know that they are supposed to come in a certain number of times, pay ahead of time, cancel in a certain number of hours. You’re the teacher. Teach them what to do next to keep Pilates with you in their life.
  6. You think that Pilates is expensive. Scarcity mindsets and money stories hold most teachers back. If you’re thinking with your wallet then you will not be able to build your business. If you see things for how much they cost and not for how much they are worth you’ll always struggle with building your business. You help people live better lives. How much is a better life worth?

I know you want to teach more people that inspire you. I know you want to work a schedule that allows you to have a life and keep Pilates in your body. I know you are trying so hard to make your magic happen.

If you are doing any one of those 6 things it’s time to make some changes. You are the only person who can do what you do. You are the only person who can teach how you teach. It’s time you systematically share who you are, whom you are for and what you do with the right people. Take them on a journey from “hey” to weekly consistent client.

Are you ready for that?

Comment below with what you want to change in your business!

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Be So Imperfect it Drives People Crazy

You know how much I think perfectionism is just procrastination? If you don’t then let me introduce myself. Hello, I am LL and I used to be a perfectionist. And, then I realized I was just being a procrastinator. And, really, who wants to be a procrastinator?

Now, I know there is plenty of chatter about how some procrastination is a good thing. It allows ideas to percolate. And, I would agree with that. But, I am not talking about the percolating kind of procrastination. I am talking about the delay, make excuses, dream of it but never pull the trigger, kind of procrastination. The deep belief that it needs to be perfect before you can share it with anyone.

Let me just tell you that you will always be tweaking things.

ALWAYS

There are more guarantees in life than death and taxes.

Updating your website will be a constant task.

So, launch it! You can make changes as you get feedback and learn how your users are using it.

Share that blog. You can always write and update or edit it later.

Give that speech!

Paint that picture.

Post that video.

You don’t get good by thinking about it.

You get better and better by doing.

The author of “the happiness project” said in an interview she’d rather have that get together then plan the perfect dinner party that never happens.

So, press “go”, “publish” or “play!”

Because the more you share who you are and care less about being so perfect the more you’ll drive people crazy for you!

Being you is more attractive than being curated.

What will do imperfectly today?

xx~LL 

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