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

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 join me on my back by demand webinar all about newsletters here.

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

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 touch points 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! Join me for a course or webinar to uplevel your work.

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 

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 

 

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 

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 

Your Busy-ness is Bad for Your Business

It seems like whenever you ask someone how they are doing they somehow insert how “busy” they are. They use busy as why they can’t hang out with you. They are too busy for Pilates. Teachers and studio owners are too busy to do the work to get new clients but not teaching enough or making the money they want to make. Being “busy” is not just an excuse for why you’re not in contact with people. It’s now this badge of honor that somehow to make people feel proud of. I mean, if you’re busy you must be doing something right, right?

Wrong!

Being Busy is actually impacting you more than your personal life. Sure, you’re sooo busy you can’t see your friends. But, that probably means a lot of other things are falling to the way side. And, worse, you are most likely wasting time. Afterall, studies show we take as much time to do a task as we give it.

Wondering if your busy is affecting your business?

Do you find yourself do all the things all of the time? Multi-tasking is also a new badge of honor in the self-employed world. But, here’s the deal, the data is in, we cannot multi-task. It’s better for you to do one thing at a time. I know, you’re list is long. But, for one week give single tasking a try. See if you feel less stressed and more productive.

Are you trying to do too many things? We often overestimate what we can do in a day an underestimate what we can do in a year. So, give things time to do them right the first time.

Do you think that being busy equals being successful? Truth is, being a master of your own time means being truly successful!  I was listening to a podcast with the uber-successful entrepreneur Caterina Fake. She manages her time ferociously. She even has a list she calls WNO-when next online. So, instead of hopping on the internet whenever she has the urge to look something up or she remembers something she has to do. She writes it in her journal and does it during her blocked out time. This allows her to spend more time working on her ideas, growing her business and reading.

I know, you have a lot to do. You are the teacher, the accountant, the marketer, the blogger, the newsletter writer, the scheduler, a partner and/or parent and friend. You’re busy! But, I don’t want you to be busy doing busy work. I don’t want you sweating the small stuff. I don’t want you to start working on your admin and before you know it 3 hours have gone by.

My desire for you is to be the master of your schedule. To be in charge of when you teach, make the most of the time when you admin and put yourself first. When your cup is full you can pour into others. But, when you are so busy your cup is shaking and vibrating it’s spilling the goodness that is you and not actually helping anyone.

If you’re looking for tips on how to be ferociously in charge of your time and actions and implementations for self-care I’ll be sending those tips in my next newsletter. If you’re on the list you’ll be getting them. For now, I want you to take a good hard look at how busy you are. Is it working for you?

xx~LL   

 

Why You Need a Substitute Teacher and Where to Find Them

Having someone else teacher your clients for you while you’re away on a trip or training might strike a chord of fear. I know, most teachers are not keen on letting someone else teach their clients. I mean, what if your client likes them better? I bet reading that out loud made you realize just how funny that sounds. Your clients love you. And, if they are willing to go to a sub or guest teacher you are amazing at what you do! Most clients don’t like change and would rather miss their Pilates than take from someone else. But, you should want your clients to take from a guest teacher. It’s good for your business and for clients!

Before we talk about where to find these guest teachers or subs let’s cover three reasons why you should want and be cool with having your clients take from someone else:

  1. Consistency is key! If you take a week off Murphy’s law would almost guarantee your client will be missing the week before or after. By aranging a sub for them you can ensure they only miss what they would have on their vacation. Allowing them to remain consistent, keeping Pilates in their schedule and you feeling guilt-free about taking some much deserved time off.
  2. They’ll realize just how good you are! When another teacher works with your client they will finally hear what you have been trying to get them to understand this whole time. They will also be excited to share (or lament if that’s their personality) about what they did with the other teacher. This is not an “I liked them more” convo but just a “look what I remember, I was a good student” share time.
  3. Clients who take from other teachers hear new things because every teacher has a different pair of Pilates eyeglasses on. It’s easy overtime for clients to tune us out. By hearing a new analogy, new cues or just a new voice they’ll listen to you better the next time you teach them.

Now that I’ve got you convinced that your clients will not leave you for the sub or guest teacher, in fact, they will probably last longer how do you go about finding this person?

If you are a studio owner chances are you have some options to turn to. If you’re an independent contractor it gets trickier. Or, if you work out of your own home or solo at a studio, like an independent contractor finding a sub or guest teacher isn’t as easy.

  1. Talk to your legal expert to make sure the payments for these sessions is kosher. I’ve got a great one if you need just contact me here. She is a fitness instructor who also is a lawyer!
  2. Take from other teachers in your community. When you find one that teaches like you inquire if they are interested in subbing when you travel. If so, is it possible for them to teach at your space? Clients are more likely to take from a sub if all they have to do is show up like usual.
  3. Make sure your client cards are up to date. This makes it easy for a guest teacher to step in, teach the session your client is used to and go.
  4. Follow up Check in with both the teacher and the client to see how it went. The first time might be awkward fro all parties. But, eventually, it’s easy and natural.

If you are a studio owner and the clients are studio clients I highly recommend that clients take from more than one teacher as a policy if they come more than two times a week. This makes it easier and more natural for clients to take from other teachers when their primary teachers are away or sick.

For my independent contractor in a studio with other teachers be sure to introduce your clients to other teachers when they are in for their session so that when you offer up the guest teacher it’s not a random teaching stranger but rather someone they are used to teaching.

Are you ready for your next trip? Whose going to sub for you?

xx~LL 

 

How to Be Referable

Social Media, Funnels and Online Ads may be all the rage. You may even be considering things like Classpass, groupon and online marketing. But, before you do let me remind you that referrals are still the number 1 way Pilates teachers and Pilates studios are getting new business. And, not just drop-in’s but legit clients who come again and again! So, how do you get more referrals? Do you just hope that your clients tell all their friends about you? Are there ways to get other businesses to rave about your Pilates business? And, what about those doctors, PT’s and Chiropractors? How do we get them to tell their clients about you?

  1. Be Referable: I know that seems obvious but what does that even mean? It means you have to prove you can deliver what you promise. So, that first or only client you have to make them your priority. Get testimonials and put them on your site. If they can attest to your awesomeness then others will feel good about referring your their peeps.
  2. Be clear on who you want to be referred to you. I know, you may be thinking “but LL I want anyone right now!” The truth is you don’t want just anyone. So, who do you want to teach? Get clear on this so that when people talk about you they know what to say and to whom.
  3. Always be open to Referrals. I know, you’re thinking, duh, but the truth is sometimes we don’t realize that we are closing the door on referrals because we are not actively talking to people about who we are what we do. Recently I blogged about things you can do today to improve your Pilates business. One of the tips was to tell 5 people who you are, what you do and whom you are for. Do you know how many people told me they would try that? TOO MANY! Even if you are booked and have a waitlist make sure you are telling people what you rock at. If you get peeps that are not for you-you’ll just refer them to the right teacher. Which people will LOVE!
  4. Make sure your clients know your offerings! This may sound obvious too. But, if you’re not consistently sending out newsletters it’s probably not obvious to your clients what else you do or offer. I write weekly newsletters and even still one of my clients just found out I have online mat classes (his wife reads the newsletters and clearly he doesn’t). I know you feel like a broken record but trust…they don’t know as much as you think they do.
  5. Be Remarkable! Meaning, share and do things that make your clients talk nonstop about you.
  6. Refer to others. Yes, give business away to competitors. You are not able to teach everyone. If people are looking for class-based pricing tell them who the best in town is. If they need to be in privates and you offer classes know the teachers in your area who excel at teaching privates. Trust me referring begets referrals.

Got these down? Ok, now you have to make a list of the businesses you love in your community. Find out how you can support them. Wait what?! Yep, find out what they need help in. Maybe they need a referral of someone you know? And, do you know what happens when you’re generous and you simply take the time to find out how you can support another business? They, in turn, want, desire to support you!

And, if you’re going, ok, got this, but how do I get those doctors, pt’s and other medical professionals to see that I am referable? Well, I’ve got a one hour webinar with Jessica Valant who is quite the expert in this area. Check out the deets here. And, while you wait for us to give our talk make sure you’ve got your 1-6 above all set.

How referable do you feel right now?

xx~LL