3 Reasons You Need to Be Writing Newsletters

Perhaps you have heard email is dead. But, do you really believe that? I mean, how many mornings is your email the first thing you look at? It’s ok. Statistically speaking most people check their email before they even get out of bed! Which means, they are interested in what’s in their inbox. And, they are not opening it to see what spam they got. Nope, they are looking to see what they need to know! What should they be buying, sharing or doing? And, if you’re sitting there wishing your clients came in more often, scheduled more regularly and thought about their Pilates practice as much as you do then you need to be in their mind’s eye as much as Amazon and their other email subscriptions.

Still not sure you need to be writing newsletters? Here are 3 (and trust me I could have gone on for an hour writing up other reasons) reasons why you need to be writing newsletters for your business:

  1. Email marketing is 40% more effective than Facebook and Instagram ads– With email you get to share more information, tell a longer story, engage in conversation and connect with your community. You have more control over who sees your message and you can reach out to them as often as you want. Because people gave you permission to send them email it means they want to hear from you. So, when they get an email from you they open it. On social media, you have less control over who sees it and who scrolls right on by!
  2. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you receive $44 in return– statistically speaking those who spend time making a living through email marketing earn a $43 return on every $1 they spend to market! That’s insanely awesome! As a Pilates teacher or studio owner your newsletter marketing will most likely be free to nominal in expenses depending on your list size. Which means your profits earned from reaching out to your list will be even better!
  3. Time efficient communication– you do not have the time or ability to have you or your team call, text or email every client you have had, or who have inquired about Pilates to get them the info they need. It’s not cost-effective to text every client about your vacation dates. And, worse, clients will slip through the cracks on those busy weeks! Sending regular communication to those past, current and potential clients not only allows you a touch point with your clients, but it also allows you the opportunity to share with them what they need to know!

If you are already sending newsletters and or building your list congrats! If you are not feeling they are effective, or, are wanting to start but don’t know what to write about or how often to send then my next webinar is for you! We’ll be spending one hour covering what to write about, how often to send, how to build your list and best tools to use. Snag your spot to watch live or receive the replay here.

xx~LL 

Fill Your Classes, Grow Your Community and More!

If you have classes on your schedule this week’s blog is for you! You know you need more people to attend and love your classes then you could possibly have room for if they all came. But how do you continue to fill and grow your classes? You’re busy too.  You have students who love your classes but life gets busy and they can’t always make it to your fitness class as consistently as they want. But, fliering up the neighborhood and posting daily on your Facebook feed is not as fruitful as one would like. And, you have better things to do than pollute your neighborhood and more fun things to share with those on your social profiles. So, how do you get those mats, reformers and other classes filled? You have to be a magnet! But, what does that even mean?

Definition of Magnet: a person or thing that has a powerful attraction.

I know, some of you are reading this and thinking “I am shy.” Or, “I don’t have time.” It’s easy for those who are outgoing or young to be a “magnet.”  But, if you have empty classes you have to take the time.  And whether you are shy or outgoing you can still create a powerful attraction for you and your classes. Because it’s not about shouting from the rooftops or walking up to strangers.

Answer these questions to guide you in sharing your attraction to the right people:

  1. How Known are you in your community? What events can you partner up with to share who you are and how you rock?
  2. Who do you want to come to your classes?
  3. Why should they come to your classes?
  4. What problems do you solve that they are searching for the answers to?
  5. What do you want to be a good example of?
  6. Who do you want to lead?
  7. Where can you lead your community?

Being a magnet is not the same as being instafamous or the most popular teacher at your studio or gym. It requires being consistent, authentic, vulnerable and not being afraid to share your gifts.

It’s not about discounts, coupons, perfect pictures or the best clothes and hair. People care about being seen. They care about their problems being solved. They care about what they care about.

How can you get them to see and feel how taking class with you will help them?

Answer that question and you will have discovered the keys to the kingdom of filling your classes no matter where you teach or even the time you teach!

For more tips on this join me and Erica Hood for a webinar on “being a magnet of attraction” at my next webinar. Or, send your answers to the questions above to me here. And, mark your calendars for upcoming webinars on newsletters and how to make the leap! All designed to help you become more known and do more of what you love-teaching Pilates!

Why Followers Don’t Matter When it Comes to Your Business

Do you need to have thousands of followers for your Pilates or Fitness studio business? You post, curate, spend hours thinking about what to write and what hashtags to use. You see that other “famous” fitness influencers have thousands if not tens of thousands of followers and hundreds of likes almost instantly. How? You are doing all the things to show up on Facebook, Instagram and maybe even Youtube. And, yet, your classes and schedule are not filling up as quickly as you need. And just when you get the hang of things the algorithms change.

Oh the algorithms! They change all the time! I spend a good amount of time following the people whose niche’s are Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc. They go around the world giving speeches on the best practices for each platform and even they have no idea how the algorithms work. But, while you need to have a presence on social media the emphasis on followers and likes is not only misguided it can take you down a rabbit hole in your business. And, worse, the pressure to be some sort of influencer on social media is causing anxiety, depression and deepening the feelings of not being “enough.”

Here’s the things about social media that I have definitely said before in a webinar. It’s pretty much here to stay. At least for the foreseeable future. So, yes, you need to be part of it. But, you don’t need to be IT. You also don’t need to have tens of thousands of followers. Especially if you are a one-human-show or a brick and mortar. You just need to be KNOWN in your community.

Being infamous is not the same thing as being KNOWN

Having thousands of followers who don’t take your classes, don’t engage with your product and don’t live in a vicinity that could partake in your greatness doesn’t help you out in the day-to-day. Sure, it can feel awesome for a moment if a post gets a lot of engagement. But, are those likes and comments putting $$$ in your bank account. My guess is probably not.

So, you end up tired and emotionally drained and you have even less time to put into your self-care and your business.

Being KNOWN is so much easier than getting followers. You don’t have control over how Facebook or IG share your content. You may post the most amazing thing at 3 pm but every one of your followers was working and by the time they get off work that beautifully curated post is hours old and dead in the water.

And, sure you could do all the research on when to post and where to post. But, what if you spent that time finding out where your ideal client is?

What if you spent that time collaborating with fellow businesses in your community whose clients align with what you have to offer?

What if you spent that time promoting who you are and what you do with those who have access to your ideal client?

And, then, you can post the highlights of how you rock at teaching Pilates to those people!

I fully believe that your social platform should be a way for people to see that you walk your talk, that you are the teacher or not the teacher for them.

Do you see how that is different from having lots of followers or likes?

If you are ready to ditch the rat race of Social Media then check out how to become KNOWN in person with me in Milwaukee on December 9th, or take my online course here. Or, if you need some one-on-one attention you can contact me here.

How ever you slice it, this week, take some time to be in your community in real life.

xx~LL 

3 Reasons Why You Have to Say No to Grow Your Pilates Business

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to a client when you knew you should have said ‘no?’  Whether you are a Pilates teacher or Studio Owner having clients on your schedule and in your classes equals money. And, when you say ‘no’ to a clients session request it can feel like you are saying ‘no’ to money. But, what if I told you that if you want to grow your business beyond its current state you have to say ‘no‘ a whole lot more than you think.

  1. Self- Care: You cannot sustain teaching all different hours of a day, different times and days each week or working hours that are not ideal for you. At the beginning of your teaching career, it’s so easy to be excited, to want to grow your business you say ‘yes’ as often as you can. But, if you truly want to grow your teaching business into something that works for you and allows you to continue to have a life, a consistent self-practice and a schedule that inspires you each week you have to say ‘no’ to clients and session slots that do not serve you.
  2. Ideal Client Referrals: If you say ‘yes’ to clients that are not ideal for you, are not in your niche even if you can teach them they are going to have friends or acquaintances that are like them. So, their referral pot will be more clients like them. Which means instead of growing your business with your ideal client you take a different path.
  3. Better Results for Clients: If you are not available anytime your clients want to change their sessions they will protect their Pilates practice times more, be more consistent and truly reap the benefits of working with you. They will also respect your teaching as a business, honor you and your policies. It will make it easier for you to get paid your worth and on time. Also, they will be more consistent in coming which means you can better plan your income.

These are just a few reasons why you have to learn how to say ‘no’. But, how do you do it? How do you say ‘no’ without losing your ideal clients? How do you know when to say no? All this and more in my next webinar. You can join me here. Or, let’s set up a call to help you define who you are for, what you have to offer and how to get that information out to your ideal client!

xx~LL 

3 Reasons Why Blogging Helps Your Pilates Business

I know you think blogging is dead. I know you think you can’t write. Or, that you don’t have “time.” Maybe you believe you don’t know what to write about?! Well, whatever your reason for not blogging is I am here to tell you it’s not dead and so integral to attracting the clients you want, filling your schedule and your classes and making you known in your community. Ever wonder how people get discovered? It’s because of their website and it’s not because they pay for ad’s. It’s because the search engines (think Google etc) pull their site up. And they pull it up because of the words on the website aka blogs. And the most updated website.

You don’t need to revamp your site every year if you’re blogging consistently! More on this at my next webinar or on my course vlogging and blogging. But, for now here are 3 Reasons why you need to be blogging!

  1. You Show off Who you are, what you do and why they should choose YOU! If you have been reading my blogs or working with me for a while you know I am all about the “elevator speech.” A few sentences that tell people why you rock! But, let’s say you are busy. While you are teaching your website is working for you and the blogs on your site tell potential new clients all about your expertise in your area!
  2. Keeps your Website Fresh! I know you think you built the site, the information is current so done and done right? Wrong! For epic SEO (search engine optimization) you need the search engines to pick your website as the answer to peoples questions. They pick websites based on so many things. Most in your control! One of those things is your blog. If you blog every time you post it updates your site telling those engines you are fresh and new! Plus, you can write a blog that is a direct answer to something your ideal client might be looking for online. Which is literally where everyone is getting their info! For more on SEO and what your website needs check out this course.
  3. Engage with Your Community! When you blog you can share what’s happening now, soon and share pics, testimonials and more. When people are going from one studio or teachers site to the next the more they get to know you and experience what you have to offer the more they connect with you. It means that when they come in for that first session they already feel like they know that you are the teacher for them!

This is just 3 reasons why! I could go on and on about why you should be blogging! And, I will be covering those other reasons as well as what to blog about, how to feel confident in your writing skills and more at my next webinar! If you are ready to attract your ideal client, make your website work for you and show how you are the expert in your area then join me here.

xx~LL

Questions to Ask All New Pilates Clients

When I first became a Pilates instructor I only knew to have new clients fill out the “New Client Intake Form” sign a liability release form and then do my best to show them that I and Pilates were exactly what they needed! Does that sound familiar to you? It wasn’t too long into my teaching career that I realized I needed to know even more than an intake form asked. And, while I am sure you are sitting there, reading this and nodding your head with me I should say that I’m not talking about their body.

Not that more info about their body isn’t necessary! But, for the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to talk more specifically about other things that give integral info for taking a new client into a regular client. Here are just a few that I like to ask new clients during their first session.

  1. What do they think Pilates is?
  2. Where have they done Pilates in the past?
  3. Have they ever paid for a fitness instructor before?
  4. How much time each week they can devote to doing Pilates?
  5. Why are they coming to do Pilates?
  6. What other workouts do they do and how often?
  7. When do they expect to see results

Often times these questions lead to other questions as I dive deeper into who they are, what motivates them, how strong their commitment to their body and goal is, how realistic their expectations are and more. See, I believe that in a first session clients are not going to fall madly in love with Pilates. And, while I know that it is possible, I was someone who totally did fall head over heels for Pilates halfway through my first class every client is different. Some clients are so disconnected from their bodies that they are not going to feel most of Pilates. So, rather than overcorrect them and spend time telling them everything they are doing wrong. I spend my time trying to connect to them, find out how Pilates can fit in with their life today and then potentially change it for the better.

It does require being a little more conversational and being like a detective. But, by the time their session is over, you’ll be able to confidently tell them a Pilates workout regimen that will fit in with their life and their goals. For example, if someone wants to have a full on body makeover by their wedding in 6 weeks and you find out they travel for work every other week you can confidently share with them what you are capable of doing by their wedding if they come every day they are in town. It allows you to be more honest and authoritative without being condescending. Or, if someone needs to do Pilates three times a week but they have been sharing with you that they have never paid for a fitness instructor before you’ll have that knowledge in your head. You’ll be able to say “I know that it’s a big leap to go from never working out to three times a week Pilates practice. But, your goals for coming here were ___ and your body needs more ____ so a consistent practice three times a week will help you get to your goal by ___ _. Or we can do twice a week and potentially get close to your goal by ____.”

You are a great body reader as a Pilates instructor but psychic’s and mindreaders we are not! However, by asking these questions and more you’ll be a fabulous detective that will help every person that comes looking for Pilates find the plan that works for them and for you.

For more on this subject join me on August 30th for my next webinar “Ask the right questions for Client Conversion and Client Retention.” We will be discussing how to layer these questions in, follow up questions and questions to ask after they have become a client to continue client retention.

Got a question that you like to ask? Share it with our readers by commenting below!

xx~LL

New Strategies to Regional Rockstar Status

I’ll never forget the day I heard people talking about my Pilates mat class while washing their hands in the bathroom! And, the best part was we are all at a restaurant bathroom blocks from where I taught weekly classes. I knew while I was in that stall that my classes were going to start filling up in no time. With students like those telling their friends about me, I wouldn’t have to do the marketing alone. And, that’s what being a Regional Rockstar is all about!

Last year I led a webinar and then created a course on becoming known. And, it has been helping so many teachers and studio owners change up how they market their Pilates business. Instead of trying to be one of the most liked or followed people online they focus their efforts where their community is. And, that has paid off!

So, how do you begin to get known?

1) Know who you are, what you do and whom you are for!
2) Know where your ideal clients spend their time!
3) Be the answer to the questions they are asking!

Do you know whom you for? Where your ideal clients are hanging out? And how you are the answer to their questions?

If you do but need help translating that information from knowledge to clients and referrals than check out my course here on Becoming Known and my one on blogging and vlogging. Or, join me LIVE to get down and dirty on how to take all this info to the next level!

If you don’t then I recommend taking some time to sit down and think about the clients that rock your teaching soul. They may seem very different on the outside but there is a common thread amongst all of them. What is that thread? What questions do you often find yourself getting asked over and over? If you could have any client in the world that you would like what would they be doing when not taking Pilates with you? Why are they coming to you?

Take some time today to answer those questions! 

Next, take a look at your website…I know you don’t want to. You hate dealing with it you’re not into tech and all those things. But, guess what! Even your local peeps are going to be looking at your website. Does it truly represent who you are? Who you teach? What you have to offer? Is it easy for a newbie to go through and figure out what they need to do next? Ask a friend or family member to try, preferably someone who has never been to your site or studio before. Take their feedback and make those changes!

And, if you are ready to grow your business more strategically then, join me for my webinar on New Strategies for Becoming Known in your community. I truly believe it is important to give back to your community. If you are ready for people to ask you to come present and teach at community events, colleges, schools, marathons etc then it’s time to get known in your community for what you are the best at! If you are ready for clients to be calling you instead of you posting away trying to get their attention then it’s time to take an hour and get the tips and steps you need to get your talent out there! I truly believe when you are out there in your community it changes your business.

xx~LL

3 Powerful Ways to Promote the Awesomeness of Pre & Postnatal Pilates

This week’s guest blogger Alison Marsh of Your Pregnant Core might be the best person to discuss this week’s blog topic! If you have been reading my blogs or taking my courses you know I am a massive fan of nicheing out! And if you are passionate about Pilates for women before, during and after their pregnancies that is a niche. Check out Alison’s tips for marketing to this group of women.


You’ve attended a thorough pre and postnatal Pilates teacher training, and can’t wait to start teaching this very special population!

In today’s age, women are getting pregnant later in life, and tend to be hyper-aware of their health during pregnancy. Taking care of themselves becomes a priority.

These are the women who need your transformational pre and postnatal Pilates services. And they are more likely to have the ability to afford ongoing sessions, whether that be through mat classes or privates, or both!

The following tips will get your skills in-front of the women who need them!

Establish Yourself as the Pre & Postnatal Pilates Expert in Your Community

 

 

Volunteering your services is the best way to fast-track credibility in your community. It allows you the opportunity to practice, as you build confidence in teaching this population.

Joseph Pilates had a dream that all people would practice Contrology. It is our responsibility, and honor to share this practice with pre and postnatal women who wouldn’t otherwise get this specialized training.

Where to Seek Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Women’s Wellness Centers,
  • Library District,
  • Women’s Shelters, and
  • Hospital Health and Wellness Centers
  • YMCA or other Community Fitness Centers

Example:

In Las Vegas (where I live), we have University Medical Center’s Healthy Living Institute where they offer free classes to the community. I volunteered my time via a workshop, teaching pregnant moms how to safely move through their everyday activities to reduce low-back pain and other ailments that come with pregnancy. Then we went through a 15-minute Pilates-inspired session with a basic dining room table chair that they could do at home.

I made up a hand-out with the tips we went over, and then added my contact information. This has been a great way to not only give back to my community, and build my reputation as the expert in this area, but have gained private clients this way as well.

Build Relationships with Local OBGYN’s, Midwives, and Doulas

Start with your personal OBGYN.

When you have your annual visit, and they ask “Do you have any more questions?” Tell them about what you do, and the services you offer. Have a card or flier ready!

This is exactly how I built a great relationship with our now “in-house” OBGYN Nurse Practitioner, Paige Cook, who not only refers clients to us, but reviews all of our materials to ensure they are safe for pre and postnatal women.

Visit women’s birthing centers where the services of Midwives and Doulas are offered.

Prepare information about the services you provide and offer to come speak with their staff and give them a short presentation of your services.

Or, invite them to one of your free events that you have planned in the community. Always have plenty of cards and/or fliers to leave!

Build a Presence on Social Media

Begin building a following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – whatever you are most familiar with (and you don’t have to use them all! )

One way to gain clientele in this area is to start a free Facebook group for pre and postnatal women in your area. Or, if you plan to do virtual training, open the group to pre and postnatal women around the world!

You could do a weekly Facebook Live video, sharing tips on how to take care of themselves during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Maybe a five-minute routine a week. Whatever fits best for you!

The POWERFUL thing about a Facebook group is that you can really get to know this clientele’s pain points – what they worry about most – and frame your marketing around helping them resolve these issues.

For example – During Pregnancy:

Many women fear to gain too much weight. You can be the advocate who encourages them to eat healthily, moderate their exercise routine by giving them mini-Pilates sessions, and embrace healthy weight gain, as this is a healthy part of pregnancy.

And For Postnatal: You will be there to help new moms be patient with their healing bodies by offering safe, healing-inspired Pilates sessions, and encourage moms not to rush back into high-intensity workouts.

Click here to print out the Body Patience After Pregnancy guide for your clients, to help them understand the healing that their body is going through. And don’t forget to put your contact information on the handout!

Other Tips for Marketing:

  • Pick a Niche – Topics include Diastasis Recti, Incontinence, Twin Pregnancy, HIgh-Risk Pregnancy (which is more prevalent due to women having babies well into their 40’s), In Vitro pregnancies.
  • Example: My niche is diastasis recti, and I am now known in my community as the Pilates Instructor to see if a woman has DRA, or wants to prevent a non-healing DRA (abdominal separation)
  • Use positive, encouraging language in your marketing.
    • Example: Rather than talking about how to stay slim during pregnancy (which is not healthy advice), talk about how to help mom keep her energy up and reduce or eliminate the aches and pains of pregnancy.
    • Again, this is where pre and postnatal specific Facebook group can help. Using the language that this population uses will help your marketing resonate with the right women.
  • Collect success stories from past clients, and use them in your marketing materials.
    • If you are just starting out, find a few pre and/or postnatal moms, and help them for a reduced rate, or simply as a trade for sharing their experience with you. One trade that I do is offer sessions in exchange for permission to video the sessions and use them for my educational and marketing materials.
    • Sharing success stories of clients with a focus on the client’s transformation is a powerful sales tactic.
  • Believe in the services you offer!
    • When you are confident in your abilities, and the services you offer, you are excited to promote your amazing services.
    • You have an obligation to let this population know that you can help them.
    • Pregnant women and new moms NEED your services, for the well-being of themselves, and their families!

Your Turn:

There are pre and postnatal women who need you RIGHT NOW!

Follow the steps below to get started on getting your awesomeness out to those women!

  1. Pick 1 of the 3 marketing ideas above.
  2. Take one of the action steps below (corresponding to your chosen marketing idea):
    1. Establishing Yourself as the Expert in Your Community: Visit or call one of the centers on the list – library, health center, medical center, YMCA, and introduce yourself and what you have to offer.
    2. Build a Relationship with Local OBGYN’s, etc: Find the closest facility to your studio, visit and introduce yourself and your services.
    3. Build a Presence on Social Media: Take the steps to make a Facebook page, Facebook group, etc. If you already have one, do a live video introducing yourself, with an exercise or health tip for mom.
  3. Visit our Your Pregnant Core Facebook page and share that you have taken action on marketing your awesome pre and postnatal skills!

You are awesome!

Now go rock your fresh, new marketing skills and start helping the women who need you!


 Thank you, Alison Marsh! For more info on what Alison is doing check her out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her website! Or, comment below!

xx~LL

Paying It Forward: How Community Changes a Business

I love to introduce every guest blogger! And, I know I always say I am excited to share the words of the author but on this day I am beyond honored and grateful to share the words of this weeks guest author. She is a brilliant woman, artist, incredible Pilates teacher and dear friend to me. I could go on and on about all the things that Anula does that make me smile. Her generosity knows no bounds. And, perhaps that is why she is the best person to talk to you about building a community. I’ll let Anula Maiberg take it from here!


Here is what Yoga got right: it went from a spiritual practice a massive cultural mammoth. The branding of the Yogic lifestyle did not happen overnight. Like it or not Yoga is multi-million dollar industry. Certification programs are 200 hours or less (Pilates can go up to 800). Class sizes are only restricted by physical space and can easily be held outdoors where space isn’t even an issue. Between retail sale of water bottles, mats, apparel tied in with oils, crystals, jewelry, hemp/chia/flax power bars laced with water blessed by a shaman in a hilltop by the side of the Himalayan mountains blessed by a single sourced, fare trade butterfly of complete inner peace and spirituality, you’ve got something pretty good going on business-wise.

Pilates, on the other hand, is staunchly Germanic. Its a workout regime for those who like rules. A Pilates teacher may give modifications but a group class is rarely framed through the lens of: you could go into your Teaser practice or hang out in Child’s Pose. That’s not the common style. Sometimes this formula lends itself to an astringent reputation. We all sort of know what the vibe of a Yoga studio can be like. But what’s the vibe of a Pilates studio? When we ask people who have never tried Pilates before they often reference a more clinical environment. That obviously has so much to do with extremely knowledgeable teachers using their skills for rehabilitative purposes. This part of the Pilates industry is amazing and wonderful. There’s another aspect that is sometimes missed: community.

You thought I was gonna say merch? Well, I’m not. Studios can obviously sell what they want but often that isn’t what keeps students coming back.

Group classes are either done on mats (which are often raised from the ground), on Tower units or Reformers. This lends itself to a sense of separation between students. Some people love it and some people don’t. In this webinar, we’re going to explore a segment of the population that may be yearning for a sense of connectivity. We’ll be discussing how to tap into a market that may want to feel in touch with their fellow neighbors to the right and to the left. We will go over some strategies of how we can warm up our overall reputation and how to make Pilates indispensable to a group class goer. Group class is the most financially un prohibitive way to practice Pilates. How do we take the group class from a luxury to a necessity? (and if not a necessity to an event that should seldom be missed). The short answer: create a community. The longer answer is how.


For the “How” on this join Anula and me for a one hour webinar on May 17th 12pm pst for a live discussion with tips and actions you can take to create community. And, if you can’t join us live the replay runs for one week. Snag your spot here. For questions please feel free to comment below or contact me here.  Oh, and my Pilates pro’s you don’t have to be a group class teacher to create a community. You can create community in your private based studio too! So, are you ready?

See you at the webinar!

xx~LL

 

 

Check out more awesomeness from Anula on Facebook and Instagram 

Discover How to Market Your Pilates Teachers

I know you are so excited when you hear a teacher of yours is taking a well-deserved vacation but inside you also feel that tugging on your gut…how many sessions am I losing while she/he is on that trip?

Or, you maybe you find yourself needing to teach less, run your studio more and you want to pass some of your clients off to another teacher or a new teacher at your studio? Or, you need to make room for more clients, need to grow your Pilates business, and retain your clients.

Maybe, you rent space somewhere and you want to take some time off but you don’t want you, clients, to lose their rhythm?

Do any of these sounds like you? Then you are in luck! This week here are some tips to “sell” another teacher to your clients. All these tips and suggestions will help you manage your clients and grow your Pilates business.

First, if you are in any of these positions or one I haven’t mentioned but requires the same action pat yourself on the back. This is a good thing! You’re getting busier, your business is growing, you are able to grant or take vacations. All, of this, is a sign you are doing well. But, none of these situations should hinder a clients growth or Pilates practice. And, that is what is at the heart of all of these scenarios. Teacher A needs to teach less, change their schedule or take time off. Clients of Teacher A need a temporary or new Teacher. Enter Teacher B, C and maybe even D. But, how do we get Teacher A’s clients to want and trust any of these other teachers? And, does it matter if clients take a break when a teacher does?

Let me address the latter question first. Yes, it does matter if clients take time off when the teacher takes a break. Rarely in life does it work out that a client and their teacher pick the exact same days to take a break. My week of this past spring was right after my client’s kids spring break. So, if I let them take a break when I was gone they would have missed two weeks. And, then wouldn’t you know it when I came back they had the flu. By the time I saw them again, it was three weeks. But, luckily I have teachers up my sleeve in my community and the studio I rent at that could take care of my clients for me. So, they only missed the weeks they were gone.

But, how did I get them to want to take from someone else? Patience, consistency, and honesty were key as well as:

  • Introducing fellow renters in the studio whenever I could
  • Constantly encouraging clients to make up sessions they lost or were going to lose when they took a trip
  • Regularly reminding them of their goals and how far they had come since they began Pilates

How can you do this for your team or for your clients?

Studio Owners:

  • Be aware of all the teaching styles, personalities, and client personalities
  • Know teachers availability at least a month in advance
  • Slide clients into the same timeslot with the best fitting teacher and then let the client know that they are “all set up with teacher B and if they need to reschedule to let you know by ___ day.”
  • Create a teaching space where the clients experience more than one teacher if they come more than twice a week.
  • Have client cards that teachers fill in so clients feel that they don’t have to explain injuries, issues or goals with a sub.

Renters:

  • Introduce your clients to the teachers you know and trust that you would want to sub for you
  • Train your clients to schedule their life around Pilates and tell you in advance when they are traveling
  • Have client workouts, goals and injuries written down and shared with the sub so all your client has to do is show up.
  • Pay the teacher out of your client’s package so again the client just has to show up

The reality is you are going to have to be patient. Especially if your clients have only worked for you for a long time. But, be honest with them. Tell them why you need for them to try out Teacher B, C or D. “I love teaching you three days a week, but my schedule is changing and I don’t want you to lose your third session each week. So, Monday and Thursday you are with me and Saturdays you are with Teacher B. You’re at the exact same time and he/she knows your goals, workouts and favorite exercises.”

Give them an opportunity to try out the other teacher and have them give you feedback on how it went.

Be patient, no one likes change. Put yourself in their shoes. What if your instructor told you the same thing. How would that make you feel?

Don’t give up!

If they don’t go for Teacher B maybe Teacher C or D is going to work. Whether you are a studio owner, manager or instructor looking to share your clients it is integral to the success and future of your business to work on this. You can’t teach everyone every hour they want. Your teachers in your studio need to make enough money to live and want to teach at your studio. If they are busy doing what they love it gives you time to grow your business, take time off and really empower and support both your teachers and your clients.

If you are a renter or independent contractor having teachers who can cover for you means your client’s Pilates practice stays consistent. They continue to hit their goals and feel the benefits of Pilates. Which means you can take your trips and not worry about losing clients because of it.

Client retention has a lot to do with clients feeling they are getting the benefits of Pilates. And benefits come with consistency. But, that doesn’t mean you are at the beck and call of your client’s availability.

So, when is your next trip? Have you set up your subs yet? Got a new teacher on your team? What clients get to try them first?

xx~LL 

How to Attract More Men to Pilates

It’s only ironic to those of us in the Pilates industry that the originator of Pilates was a man, who created ‘Contrology’ for men and then it became THE workout that women love and men who are are not in the know don’t think twice about. The truth is Pilates is great for anybody, women, and men! But, one of the questions I am often asked by instructors and studio owners is how to attract more men to their Pilates studios.

For decades celebrities have been sharing their love of Pilates and that gets Pilates everywhere attention and press. And, while we teachers knew that it’s not just great for women it is amazing for men too. There wasn’t a lot of men touting its benefits.

Until recently!

For several years now many athletes have been sharing their love for Pilates as the reason they perform better! Check out these seven NFL players sharing the reasons Pilates is integral to their performance. Of course, even earlier than this article there were other pro athletes talking about Pilates being the secret weapon. And as more and more men share the benefits of Pilates more non-pro athletes are starting to look at adding Pilates to their repertoire.

But, how can you attract them to your studio? How do you get the men in your community to take your classes? And do you have to change the way you teach? All these questions and more will be answered when my client Michael Myers (you know him on IG as Michael Myers Fit). Join me live to answer your questions. Until then here are some things you can do today to help you gain more male clients.

1) What’s your Copy Say? I spend a lot of time on teachers and studios websites and the constant thing I see is benefits of Pilates that are more attractive to women than most men. Or, there is the story about being a dancer and using Pilates to rehab from injury. None of these things are wrong by the way. It’s your website and your story and you should share how it resonates with you. But, if I’m a healthy male and I see “long, lean muscles” I may not be running to your class. Consider adding blog posts and benefits your Pilates provides to potential clients. You can even have a male read it and see if it would entice him to click “book now.”

2) Men only Classes: If you already have a few male clients have a “gentlemen’s class” and let them invite the friends. The music you play, props you use and cues you give can be tailored to just them. Real Pilates in NYC has a men’s only class and Carrie Pages has a men’s only class at her studio. They are easy to market because you are speaking to a specific demographic. Which is always better than trying to talk to everyone!

3) Your Cueing: As teachers, it is easy to get in the habit of using the same imagery to describe exercises we teach often. But, some cues are fairly gendered specific. “Lift your heels like you’re standing in a high heel,” “curl where your bra strap is,” “pelvic floor” to just name a few are all cues that might make your male client, even on a subconscious level, feel like you’re not the right teacher, or worse that Pilates is not right for them. What I have found great about teaching men is that you can often say the thing you want them to do and then they will do it (I’ll explain this more when I’m joined with Michael).

4) Keep them Moving: This is actually something I believe for all healthy clients. Pilates is not always pretty and it’s not perfect. Keep them moving, safe and focus on the connections, not the ideal. They have their whole life to “get it.”

Look, it’s nothing new that Pilates is great for men and for women. And, men may not be your ideal client and that is ok! But, if you are looking to attract more men to your studio do some self-reflection. What do your website and studio say about you? Then, how do you communicate what you want your clients to do when they are working with you? These are simple things you can start with today.

If you’re looking for more join me and Michael for an hour-long conversation on attracting, challenging and retaining male clients for your Pilates business.

Got tips you want to share with our readers? Post them in the comments below!

The more people who fall in love with Pilates the better it is for all of us teachers.

xx~LL

PS read more about why Michael Myers does Pilates here.

Pilates: Your Elevator Pitch & Why It’s Important

How do you describe what it is that you do? I’m sure you’ve been in a conversation that goes similarly to this “What do you do? I’m a Pilates Instructor! I’ve heard of Pilates, but I haven’t done it. What is it?” And you say what? To fill your schedule, increase your income and reach your Pilates business goals you need a business and marketing strategy. A Pilates elevator pitch is a great thesis for these strategies.

I was at a Pilates conference, and there were about thirty Pilates instructors waiting for the elevators. This hotel guest asked a teacher next to him “are you all here for the same thing?” She said, “yes, we are here for a Pilates convention.” Which of course prompted the “I’ve heard of Pilates. But what is it?” And that’s when she froze. I don’t blame her. There are so many teachers standing around, listening to her every word. Many who had been teaching for decades and everyone was listening to this conversation. She gave him a reasonably general not very attractive description of what Pilates is.

It was then that I realized the problem is not that people haven’t heard about Pilates is that they don’t know what Pilates is. And while many would argue with me that because Pilates instructors cannot agree on what Pilates is the public cannot agree on what Pilates is. I don’t think that is the issue. At all. Because the public doesn’t know that teachers do not always agree on what is Pilates. The public doesn’t know what Pilates is because we teachers are not explaining what Pilates is to us, with us and how it helps them in our individual markets.

For you to attract more clients, to fill your classes and studio you don’t need the Pilates community to agree with what Pilates is.  You need to know what Pilates is in your studio. What do clients who come to your Pilates classes and sessions love, hate and benefit from? What is it that you do for your students? Or, what is it that you want to do for your students? You need a Pilates Elevator Pitch.

These answers are the basis for my next webinar! If you want to be excited when you look at your schedule, inspired by your students, attracting clients who value you and what you do then this webinar is integral to creating that business. If you find yourself wondering how to get the person who is walking by your studio or on your website to say YASS, book me tomorrow and here’s my credit card for a ten pack then you need to elevate yourself as the person, and studio clients are attracted to.

This is not a webinar requiring you to ride elevators or talk to strangers after (although I hope you feel more confident when those situations come up). This is not a webinar about being on social media more (after all many times you’re just talking to more Pilates instructors). This webinar is about elevating your value, your uniqueness and giving you the tools and helping you articulate in your own words what Pilates is with YOU! Why you are the teacher for their needs (which will also help them realize if you are not the person for them).

It’s time to focus on promoting the benefits of doing Pilates with you; it’s time to elevate what you do for your clients and future clients.

It’s time for YOU Elevated!

What things do you wish the potential clients in your area knew about you and your Pilates?

Why do you want to teach?

How are you unique in what you do and how you do it? Side note: this doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. We are all unique humans. How you teach the same exercises I teach is unique to you. What are those differentiating qualities?

Are these answers on your website, in blog posts, in how you describe what you do when you are at a party or in line for coffee? These answers plus a few more we will discuss in the webinar will help you create your own personal elevator pitch that will help you market and promote your Pilates business without selling yourself in a way that feels uncomfortable.

xx~LL

PS click here to register for your spot for the next webinar. We will be breaking down how to show off YOU and elevate how you build the business that you desire. One hour life workshop and replay good for one week.