Some of my Favorite Business Tips

When I first heard about podcasts I definitely didn’t know what they were, why they worked, and even that this many years later I would care so much about them. But podcasts literally are in my ears daily. I have some I listen to for laughs, some I listen to for inspiration and others for business tips. And, I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by several and their questions have allowed me to share my favorite business tips for you!

First, it might be helpful to know what a Podcast even is. Its similar to a radio show or even a talk show but pre-recorded and typically around a subject matter. You can listen to them on your phone, Spotify and some even share on YouTube.

I subscribe to several so that on my morning walks I can listen to a variety. Some that update me on the current events. A few that tell a story around a topic. Do you have a favorite podcast?

Now, before I give you a link to some of my favorite interviews I want you to consider how you can get on some Podcast, IG lives or local radio/news. You’ve heard me talk about how you need to know who your client avatar is. There was a recent blog here and our course. And while you can do social media to get your message out. It’s actually just one way to get your message out to your people. Another is to get interviewed on other people’s platforms- IG lives, podcasts, local news outlets (radio, tv, print). You can read more about collaborations and picking outlets that work for you in my recent blog post on collaborating.

Here are some of the interviews I’ve done in the past where I get to share my favorite business tips. They are free to listen to and if you like the hosts I hope you take time to listen to more of their guests.

Your Badass Journey: In this one Brad and I share tips for working together, and also how we pivoted and grew. She also did a follow-up episode (I love these that she does by the way) on giving direction to your new audience.

Net Worth It: In this episode I share a bit about my time without address and how I created the journey I am on today.

F It:  Amy Ledin had  me on her show to talk about accountability partners, support and more

Brand With Bite: I loved this interview. Allison is all about branding and she asked me how I create clarity around my brands.

Full Out: I do talk a bit about dating but mostly biz and a bit of Pilates.

I hope that you take moment to listen to any or all of these. You can even download them now and listen later. I know that some tips can hit differently when they come through a different medium. Let me know which one was your favorite in the comments below.

xx~LL

PS if you subscribe to my newsletter now only will you get links to my favorite podcasts that I am not in but also you’ll hear about the newest ones coming out this week.

 

Why You Should Collaborate and How to Start

Collaboration is key. You’ve heard that. And yet, you think its easier if you just do it on your own. And maybe you could do it on your own for a little bit but now you’re aware that you can only go so far on your own. I mean, picture a canoe and then picture a cruise ship. Those cruise ships can go around a continent! Would be pretty tough to do that on a one-man boat. In your business you can do a lot on your own, you can grow a lot on your own but eventually, you will hit a plateau. And especially during times like these we really are stronger together. So, what is a collaboration? Why should you collaborate? Who should Collaborate with and What/how does it work? Let’s dive in.

First, collaboration is when one or more people in this case businesses get together and team up on a goal. This could be a few teachers coming together like I do with my TCME partners Tasha Edwards, Mychele Sims and Erika Quest. We come together to teach an event around a topic that is important to us. You can also collaborate with people that have nothing to do with what you teach/do (more on that below).

Collaborating is key for growing your audience in a way that actually benefits you. We’ll talk about who you should choose to collaborate with in a minute. But, why you should collaborate is will determine who you choose to collaborate with. Collaborating allows you to be put in front of other people’s audiences and they get put in front of yours. Basically, you need people to know who you are and what you do. And collaborating allows you to show up as yourself and create awareness around that in front of an audience that trusts the person you are collaborating with.

Choosing who to collaborate with is key for a “successful” collaboration. You want to first think about who you are trying to reach. This would be your client avatar. And if you haven’t thought about who you are trying to reach then watch my course on client avatars. You don’t want to just collaborate with anyone. If you’re trying to reach women in their 30’s-40’s in your area and you collaborate with a PT who works with post-surgical athletes or the tux shop across the street. So get super clear on your ideal client and then look at who is also reaching that person. If you don’t know the business owner yet it might take some “dating” before you collaborate. This is a good thing. It allows you to learn more about them, how you can work together, and get clear on who is doing what and how you can help them and they can help you.

Once you have an idea of who you want to collaborate with and know what you are wanting to get out of it aka more followers on social, more people on your list, more people aware of your business etc then its time to decide on how you will collaborate. Here are some ways you can collaborate:

  • Instagram loops
  • Events- virtual or in person
  • Gift Certificates they can give away and vice versa

In an IG loop you and the other businesses would team up to do a giveaway. Everyone who wants to enter the giveaway needs to follow every business, like the picture and comment. Usually asking them to tag a friend (don’t give them too many things to do). Then you pick the number of winners and hopefully you and all the collaborators got some of each others followers and some new ones. SIDE NOTE: while this might get you more followers remember followers do not translate to $$$. But, it is a great way to see if you like working with someone with very little investment.

Events require a bit more commitment but people LOVE a shared experience and better than a loop because they get to experience YOU. So, they skip several steps of awareness and get more connected with you and what you offer. I’ve seen this done in many ways. A studio offers a class, then a nutritionist gives a talk and massage therapist teaches on something, etc etc. People buy a ticket for a nominal price (gets them to commit to showing up). Each business would invite their clients/list and everyone wins. And because each person in the collab is trying to reach the same people your marketing for it goes farther.

Years ago when I moved studios the studio owners offered the shop next door 50% off a first time session to anyone that spent x amount of money in the shop. The shop was able to email all their clients and have a reason to entice them to come in and buy something. And the studio got their name in front of all the people on the list and then those who got the gift certificate heard about the studio another time and were more likely to try it because they had that gift certificate/coupon. I love these because you can get some of these offers from other businesses trying to reach your clients and give those away for referral rewards instead of discounting your services.

We’ve got one more how. How do you ask someone to collaborate with you? Well, first you need to know what you bring to the table. What can you offer these other businesses? If you’re wanting to do a loop and you have 450 followers and they have 45k followers it might be mutually beneficial to them to partner with you. But if you’ve got a coffee shop looking for reasons to reach their clients who can’t sit indoors right now and you have space to do a class outside they would LOVE to bring their coffee to your people and invite their people to the class for a community event. So, when you ask people tell them why you love them/what they do etc, tell them what you want to work on and what you are offering. Then ask if they would like to get on a call and talk about it. Keep the ask simple. They should be able to read it on their phone screen. And, be specific why you like them. People can smell a copy and paste collab ask. Take your time to personalize 3-5 sentences.

Homework: write down who you are trying to reach? What you are wanting to bring more awareness to? Then make a list of businesses who are working with your ideal client and would like those same awarenesses. Then go for it! You’ll get plenty of no’s. I have been told no from many collabs and I have told many people no. Its not personal. It could be the timing, the offer etc. Its not you.

So, who are you going to collaborate with next?

xx~LL

10 Reasons They Are Not Coming to Your Class

Most of the time I hear that there are too many classes, too many teachers, too many studios and that’s why a teacher or studio is having trouble filling their classes. But, to be completely honest that is a lie. Because as often as I hear there are too many there is another teacher or studio complaining that they are the only ones and so no one knows who or what Pilates is. So, if saturation isn’t the issue (trust me its not!!) then what is? Well, below are some of the top reasons I have found most people are not saying “yes” to you. They are saying “yes” to someone or something. Which one of the reasons below might be your issue?

  1. They don’t know what Pilates is.
  2. They don’t know how it solves their problems.
  3. They don’t see the value in Pilates (because they don’t know how it solves their problems).
  4. They don’t see themselves on your websites/social.
  5. You’re selling the process.
  6. Your site doesn’t allow them to book.
  7. You have too many options and so they need to think about it.
  8. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
  9. You don’t tell them how to work with you.
  10. There’s no sense of urgency to act now.

Got an idea of which problem you need to solve?

If people don’t know what Pilates is it doesn’t matter how great of a teacher or beautiful your studio is they will walk by and keep on walking by. But, the common fix for this is to talk about Pilates. The mistake here is that you are marketing Pilates. Which is helpful for EVERYONE. Focus on what Pilates is when people work with you and specifically how Pilates with you helps them!

Most people think Pilates is an Ab workout where others think its a PT based workout. But maybe with you its all about posture or horses. Well, if you don’t work on telling people how you solve their problems whenever you say Pilates they are going to hear what they know (if anything) about it. You gotta be selfish a bit in how you talk about Pilates. What is Pilates with YOU and how does it HELP THEM?

When people say that potential clients think they are too expensive I know its not the price. Its the fact that the teacher or studio has yet to show their value. And people cannot place value on something if they don’t know what it is and how it helps them.

Which is why your website is so important! It needs to be mobile friendly because most people use their phones and ipads to search for things. But, it also needs to show people that look like them doing Pilates with you. They need to hear less on how many trainings and certifications you’ve done (trust me that is not a differentiator) they need to know that you get them, you understand their pain and you can help them. Your site also needs to allow them to book. Yes, it’s important! If they are ready to try you out you want to remove as many barriers to entry as possible. And, by the way, your time is worth it! You don’t want to be booking people all the time. And, if you have too many offerings people don’t know what to do when are ready to book. Do they book the intro session, package, classes, duets, semi privates, mat classes, express session…? Make it clear what a new client needs to do first.

Look at your recent posts, how many times did you post your upcoming classes and workshops? When you post “Pilates tonight 6pm” that’s selling the process. And few people will go “Yass sign me up” unless they already know like and trust you. New people need to hear how you’re the guide. What will they get by working with you? Sell the results!!

Let’s say your site is clear on how to work with you…how clear is it in your social media? Do you talk a lot about Pilates but not how to work with you? How to set up a session? What happens when they work with you? Again, shouting out your love for teaching and the method is awesome…but it doesn’t tell the person who is loving what you’re throwing down know what to do next.

Why should people act now? What do they get (please no discounts) for acting now? Why should they start working with you tomorrow instead of next month? You need to spell it out for people. I know it sounds obvious to you and me that the sooner they start with you the sooner they get the results but you need to tell them that. You need to paint that picture.

For example, I can tell you to watch this course to learn how to fill your classes and workshops. And you are now aware that the course exists and what it does. But, if I just leave it at that maybe one or three of you will be tired of trying to figure out how to make your classes fill and you’ll buy it. Or I can talk about how you’ve got 15 spots in your classes and currently, you’re averaging 5 people. And every week you go without putting my tips into place you’re not just missing out on helping 10 people. Which of course is important. I mean, its why you got into teaching. But, what if you did take this course today? Well, you would spend about $99 sure. But, if you started implementing the tips then in a week what if you had 8 people in the class? And those two people told two friends so that next week they had 12 people in class. And by the following week, you had a waitlist. And not only does that mean you’re helping 15 people a week you’ve sold out! And, you’ve made the investment back on the course in less than a month. So you can wait a week or so to buy that course. But, you’d be literally leaving money on the table and your people would wait longer to get your help.

Look, I’m not saying filling your schedule or your classes is easy. But, what I am saying is that too often teachers and studio owners use excuses as to why their classes are not filled. When there are actually a few reasons that are totally solvable…if you want to solve your problems…that can change the direction of your business in an instant.

So, which reasons are you going to work on this week?

xx~LL

 

Why You Need an Ideal Client Avatar and How to Define Yours

You’ve heard that you need to talk to your “Ideal Client Avatar” aka your ICA either from me or from other business marketing experts. But, you know that you can teach anybody. I mean, Pilates is for everybody right? And, yes, you probably have been trained well and can teach all types of people. And Pilates meets everyone where they are. But, that doesn’t mean you get to talk to everybody. In fact, you can’t. You literally cannot write a post on any social, a newsletter, blog, or journal and talk to everyone and get attention. Even big brand names like Coke, Pepsi, or think of any big brand talk specifically to one person. Why? Because people need to feel like you see them, you get them, you understand them. They need to know that no matter their pain, problem or goal you can help them specifically. So, does this mean you only get to have one ICA? How do they do it and still appeal to so many people?

A simple answer is yes you can have more than one avatar. But, you still cannot talk to all of them at the same time. So, sure, you can have 3 avatars (I would keep it to 3 tops if you really can’t narrow down) but you still have to have total clarity around each one and know which one you’re talking to when you are promoting who you are, what you do and why you rock.

How do you know who your ideal client is?

This gets more complicated but it doesn’t have to be. I find that many teachers and studio owners struggle with this because they think about all the clients they have that they like. But, if I ask them if they would want 20 of that person they quickly remember that the client they like is late all the time, doesn’t want to pay their rates and is inconsistent.

So, first, you need to not worry about what will happen to the current clients you have. You might be a lucky person and have a client who is your total ICA. But, you might now. And that’s ok. We’re going to dive into what you need to know about your ICA and how to talk to them in this blog.

  1. Think about why you got into teaching in the first place. Was it to solve a problem you had? Was it because of how Pilates made you feel? Many times our ICA (or one of them) is us before we discovered Pilates.
  2. What do you like learning more about? I see a lot of teachers take workshops on anything. But, those who dive into something more specific will find a path that leads to working with more people that light their fire and allow them to flex their muscles a bit more. Look back at some workshops at see which ones lit you up so much you wished you could take hours more on that topic? Who does that information help?
  3. What are some non-negotiables in your business? Do you prefer to teach privates or groups? Do you want to teach more people or fewer people? Are there days and times that you will teach or won’t teach?

There are a ton more questions to answer about your ICA. But before we can get to them I want you to answer the above. Because these answers will really define a lot about your ICA’s. If you don’t want to teach mornings we need to own that and keep that in mind as we define your ICA. And its easy to get in the scarcity mindset as we dive even deeper into who your ICA is and start to bend your own rules.

Now that we know what information lights your fire, why you got into what you do and what you non-negotiables are we can start to dive even deeper into your ICA. And remember, the reason we need to be specific is so that when we market who we are and what we do we are speaking directly to our clients (future and current) so they feel SEEN! Everyone needs to feel seen.

Let’s get specific:

  • where do they live
  • when do they workout
  • where do they work/do they work
  • where do they workout
  • how much money do they make
  • what do they do for a living
  • what do they do in their free time
  • where do they get their information
  • what social media (if any) do they enjoy
  • what books do they read
  • what magazines/blogs do they read
  • what groups are they part of
  • what do they like to eat/drink
  • what does a normal day in their life look like

Now, let’s talk about why they need you:

  • what are their pain points
  • what keeps them up at night
  • what would they do anything to have a solution to their problem
  • what do they wish they had more of

How do you help them (hint don’t just write “with my Pilates sessions.”):

  • what about what you do specifically helps them
  • what are your ideal client’s program/how often do they need to see you
  • what do past and current clients say you do
  • what protocol do you want your ideal client doing with you

What are their objections:

  • what will keep them from saying yes to you
  • who will stop them from saying yes to you
  • why might they not say yes to you

Ok, you ready to take all this information and put it together to talk to your ideal client and make them feel seen?

If you know how your future client wants to feel every day and you know what their objections will be then you can literally say: “Hey ___, I know you’re tired of feeling tired and you can’t fathom taking time out of your day for your self-care. But, I also know that back pain isn’t going to go away on its own. You know that too. And, I know that if I was able to work with you each week not only would your pain lessen but you would have more energy. Plus, one day a week we can do it while you’re at your office so you don’t lose time coming to see me in the studio.”

The woman I was picturing was someone who works 12 hour days, is working hard to “get ahead” and so she is sacrificing herself. But, she wants more. She wants to feel good and have more energy. So I know I can get her to come in person once a week but that won’t help her so I am going to also see her the second time online because then she can see that I believe in what I do so much that I will meet her where she is.

Notice how I didn’t write: “hey ___, you’re tired, you’re busy, you may have back pain or neck pain, or postnatal problems. And yeah, I can do posture and pt too!! I like to see my clients 3x a week but we can do once or twice or whatever you want. What do you think?”

Does the person above have pain or posture problems? I don’t know. And does this teacher sound confident in how they do what they do? Nope, they are willing to see their client whenever the client wants…

Going back to the first question: Can you have more than one avatar? Yes, as I mentioned you can. But, you have to go through all the prompts above for each avatar. And, every post or piece of marketing you do you need to make sure you know which avatar you are talking to. On OPC we have three avatars. But, lately, I have only been talking to two of them. And, I only talk to one at a time.

And, if you do this really well do you know what happens. The person you are speaking to so well, the one that feels so seen comes to you, takes from you, and tells their friends. And, there’s a high chance that some of their friends are not just like them. So, by talking super specific you still end up attracting other clients. Your business grows and its because you’re mostly teaching the clients that light your fire!

I’d love to hear who your ideal client is. You can share it with me in the comments below. And, for more support defining your ideal client and how to market to them check out my avatar course here, becoming known, and the client journey. These courses will help you go from an idea to an in-person/online client!

xx~LL

 

Tips for Launching Your Workshop, Classes or Online Course

You know that your new class, workshop, online course or product is a good idea. In fact you believe its a great idea. But, you’ve posted about it and crickets. Or, just a few people and you’re feeling like “nothing works.” Or maybe you are just at the beginning stages and you don’t really know what to do beyond creation of the idea. Here are tips for launching your idea and getting people to see the value that you see in it.

Before we get into the tips its important to ask yourself a few questions (I promise the tips are coming up fast).

  1. Are people asking you for this? If the answer is yes then the tips below will be easier to implement. If the answer is no then you’ll need to make sure that you’re warming people up for this idea. For example, when I created OPC it was because my clients were asking me for classes since I was traveling so much. But when I created AGENCY the first time (it wasn’t called that then) I heard crickets. Literally nothing. I had to go back to the drawing board and warm up my audience for the program I believed in. Which now is call AGENCY and 90% full.
  2. How much do you believe in this? Whenever we launch something new there is going to be a period of time where it feels like no one cares. Like we are talking into a black hole. And its going to be your drive, your belief in this product, workshop or service that sees it through. Seth Godin calls it “the dip”: a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. If you just like this idea but don’t know that you would fight for it even when no one is listening then it’s ok to park it for a while and hold out until you have an idea you can’t stop talking about.
  3. Do you know how it helps people? People buy what the believe will solve their problems. If you don’t know how your workshop, service, or idea solves a person’s problems keep diving deeper before you launch.

Ok, now here are some tips for launching, filling and selling your service or product.

  1. Before you create it know who it is for. I mean truly who it is for. ALL the dirty details! Too often people make mistakes by creating the product or service and then deciding who its for. But, I promise you tears will be saved, classes will be filled and you’ll have a much easier time if you start with who you are creating something for in the first place FIRST! Who is it for? How does it solve their problem and what will their objections be? What will their life look like after they come to your class or workshop?
  2. Get people excited! Before you spend the time and energy creating the entire product get people excited by “teasing” them a bit. Ask them questions that would help you really fine tune your product, class or workshop for them. Make them feel like they are part of the creation process. Think of movie trailers. They don’t just put a movie out there. They put out ‘teasers’ aka trailers for people to get excited and countdown the days to opening night.
  3. Sell people on the results not the process. This is key! Too often I see teachers and studio owners selling the workout or the workshop but not the things people get by going. Instead of “sign up for class this week” which says nothing about the class, what people get and why they should come. Talk about the results that they get by coming! What will life look and feel like?
  4. Share how you are the expert, the guide. Why should people buy or take from you? How are you the expert? People don’t buy Pilates or whatever you are teaching or offering. They buy from people they trust. So you need to share your story. How you got to where you are. Why this means so much to you! People don’t need you to be perfect. They need someone who they can trust to solve their problems. So be sure to regularly be sharing your journey!
  5. Talk directly to your people. I know you want to talk to everyone. I promise you this is a bad idea. While I write this I am specifically thinking of the two people who asked me this question last week. I know that it will help more than just them but I try to talk to anyone out there who could be creating something then I promise you that you won’t have gotten this far. The more you dial in and talk directly to your person you are wanting to serve the more they will actually respond. Look at some of the influencers that you follow. Look at how they write anything. I bet you that it feels like you’re in conversation with them. Now, look at your posts. If you’re getting lots of comments and engagement chances are you’re dialed in. If you’re not then time to get more vulnerable and more specific.
  6. Tell people daily how you help them. Yes, daily. I know this feels like a lot. This doesn’t mean you sell to them daily. Nope. This means you simply find different ways to share who you are, what you do, and how you help THEM.
  7. Give yourself the time it takes. Too often I see people create an offering and then give it one week and if it doesn’t sell then they throw the idea away. You need to give people time. 15 seconds on a story isn’t enough time for someones brain to say “yes I want that.” Remember tips 5 and 6 and then add in social proof. Testimonials, before and after’s. Your people need to see themselves in your posts.
  8. Tap into your network.  Who do you know who shares the same clients but offers something different? How can you collaborate? Do a live or go on their podcast? What can you offer their people that they can’t? How does that add value to them?
  9. Have clear steps on what people need to do and when to do them. Its easy to think that just because you told everyone clearly about your new product or service that they will then know what to do. But, pretend they just don’t. I mean, people are humans and they have a lot going on. So, what should they do if they are interested? Tell them and then tell them again.
  10. Yes you need a list, yes you need to email and post regularly and yes you can do this! I know it seems like there are a lot of people in a space. But there are also 7+ billion people on this planet. Focus on the ones you want to serve and then serve them!

There are actual steps to a launch of any kind. And this is something that I coach people on and we can do it when you know that you have answered questions 1-3 and you have started really adding value to your audience. Because to do a true launch it will feel very overwhelming if you don’t have the list, are not posting, don’t have practice talking to your audience, and haven’t created a network. So, if you’re ready to go full launch mode then contact me here. If you’re more in the needing more clarity on your ideal client check out this course, getting people on your list this course, and solid tips on creating, marketing, and filling a workshop this course is for you.

Where ever you are I promise you that you are the only person who can teach who you want to teach the way you teach them. So, share your story, share it often, get to know your people deep down and then create the service/product that will help solve their problems. Launching will be easier if you do.

What are you hoping to launch? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

xx~LL

Tips for Getting New Clients and Rebuilding Right Now

Whether your studio has opened or not doesn’t mean you cannot be growing your business. Let me say that again, it does not matter if your physical studio space doors are open. You can still be growing your business right now. Four months into this pandemic I have seen more teachers and studios in all fitness modalities pivot, grow, change their offerings, raise their rates, and more. This can be you! And I know some of you are hanging your hat on your studio doors being able to open whether you have a brick and mortar or home studio. But, waiting until that moment happens will be fairly anti-climatic because what those who have opened can tell you is when you do get to “reopen” you’re looking at maybe 25% of your original client base. And, I know I don’t have to tell you that 25% is not enough. It’s not growth. So, how do you rebuild, get new clients, and more than survive this time?

Before I go into these tips I need you to promise yourself that you will have an open mind and be willing to try at least one of these things. And more than once. You likely couldn’t do the Teaser on the first try but you didn’t let that stop you. So, if you get a ‘no’ in your business or don’t get the results you’re expecting day one or after the first attempt, you need to remember how long it took you to do the Teaser. AND, I bet you know now that had you done more practice sooner and often you could have seen your Teaser improvements faster. This is not the time to wait and see. This is the time to put your foot on the gas, be brave AF, and not take no for an answer. Are you ready?

  1. Who do you know who would like ‘this?’ Notice that I didn’t say ‘do you know anyone who would like my classes?’ I said, “WHO DO YOU KNOW…” Our brains do not like open loops. And they don’t need to answer it right then. And, you need to ask them again and again. And who are the people you are asking? The 25 % or 10% or 40% of your clients who are joining you for zoom or in your studio now. These people LOVE you! They are braving these weird times and showing up for you now. Ask them. Contact the clients who you’ve not seen since March. I know you’ve already contacted them a couple or few times. Do it again. Remember, their life was upended too. They also are trying to navigate these times. Be patient but be consistent. Be personal. Be human. But, if you want to remain open be persistent. Who will you ask today “who do they know” that could use your teaching?
  2. What other businesses share the same clients? These businesses are in the same place you are. I don’t care what you think you see on IG. They are also trying to find creative ways to get clients to buy their dresses, their coffee their pies. Two minds are better than one as we know. So, how can you all team up and create a virtual or socially distanced day, event, summit etc that allows them to have something exciting for their people to look forward to attending and attend? And, maybe there is some bonus for those who get their friends to sign up.
  3. Don’t be so quick to ditch virtual.  I know so many teachers and clients are not loving the virtual teaching options. BUT, remember, your walls are not limited virtually AND people can attend from all over the world. I started taking a class that is in Houston because I saw my friends taking it. Even though their studio has reopened they’ve kept us, virtual takers, online and they now have double the students in a class and that virtual option has no limits.
  4. Your discounts and sales are not what gets you new clients. I know you think you need to offer a sale to get people to try you out. But, you’re not making dresses where the markup is 2-5x and you have the margins to do that. A dress doesn’t even help people past the time they wore the dress. You are helping people feel better in their skin, stronger in their muscles, and be able to pick up a 6-gallon jug of water on their own at Costco because now they can’t have someone help them. I literally just got that info from one of my online students. I mean, she doesn’t care if I have a sale or not she just wants me to keep showing up so she can remain independent! You do that for people. Never discount that gifts that give beyond the Mat, Reformer or studio. People are not searching google for prices of classes in their area. They are searching for the person/studio who is soo enthusiastic, confident and consistently showing up to help them.
  5. People over Product. Looking back on what you post, market, “advertise” notice how often you are talking about the people you help vs the product you offer. What I see often is that teachers and studios are talking about their product or the sale on their product and not the people they help. I know you help people. But, your future people DON’T. So, be obsessed with how you help people and they will see your enthusiasm (#4) and buy from you because they want to feel like those people you’ve already helped.
  6. Pivot. Look, you may be known for your 12 person classes and now people are not feeling super safe in 12 person classes. So, revamp your offerings, create Semi-Privates, and change your prices to reflect that. Yes, you can make the same with 3-4 people as 12 people. Does that mean you have to find new clients…yep probably, but remember those who used to come to your class know how awesome you are. And you need to tell them why for now, fewer people is the best thing for them. Used to teach Privates but now you need to get more clients what the clients that still come to see you can bring their partners, roommates, and family members? They are already living together so coming to work out together is same same. And, they each can pay a little less than a private, you make more in that hour than you did when it was a one-on-one and you don’t need to teach the same amount of hours to make the same or more amount of money.
  7. Shift your perspective!!! If you are seeing and talking about how many studios are closing, if you are focusing on what other studios are selling or how many local businesses are closing you will see more and more of that and your brain will likely think “if they can’t make it how can I?” Or, “everyone is struggling so I’m gonna have to struggle too.” WRONG. You can absolutely thrive during and after this time. It requires you to believe in yourself. You to pour into people how you help them. You to show up every day and show people how you are what they should be investing in.

My friend, I’m not in denial that studios and businesses will close. But, I do believe that more people will have stronger, better businesses because of this time we are in. You may have to get more creative than ever before. But, for those who believe and take action the path will reveal itself, the clients will appear and the growth will happen. I know. I have seen it every day during this time with those in my AGENCY community. What will you do today to take action and grow your business?

 

xx~LL

How to Choose the Right Scheduling Platform For Your Business

One of the top questions I have seen in the last month is “what scheduling platform should I use?” Or, a variation of “I want to switch from my scheduling system which one do you use?” Whether it is the cost that is causing you to consider a new platform or your business has changed and the one you use no longer serves you, or, you’ve realized you lose too much precious time scheduling/rescheduling clients via text and keeping track of packages on our notes, picking the right platform for you is going to take research. Yep, I know, you probably came here for the answer to which platform you should pick. But, I promise, below I will give you tips to choose the best platform for your business. Ready to have a scheduling tool that literally grows you business by giving you time and options? Here we go!

Loving what you’re reading? Download our checklist for how to choose a scheduling software by signing up for our email list.

First, write down EVERYTHING you want your business to do. One thing that will drive you nuts is if you choose a program based on price and what you do this month. But, don’t consider where you want your business to be next year. I know, why pay for something you’re not using yet. But, most programs allow you to add things on too. So consider EVERYTHING! Do you want to have merch, workshops, classes, privates, zoom? What about it talking to your mail server? I want you to dream big here! If you’ve been in business for a while you might already know the answers to this question. But, if you’re at a pivot point or starting out on your own think of this like you’re back in dating life and you’re dreaming up your perfect match. What qualities matter the most to you? What are “must-haves” and “nice to have.”

Second, what don’t you like about the platform, program or system you are using? If you’re using your calendar and your notes on your phone (yes we def gotta fix that) but what about this is a waste of your time? Btw, YES THIS IS A HUGE WASTE OF YOUR TIME! But, what would you like it to do for you? The tool and systems you use should allow you to have more time to do the things that bring you joy or make you money. Literally write down everything that you dislike so you can make sure you don’t swap and do all the work and end up with the same complaints.

Third, now you can ask people “why do you like the scheduling tool you use?” Or, “what platform do you use and what are the pros and cons?” Note, I did not say ask people “what program do you use?” I also made this third for a reason. If you go and ask people what they use and the pros and cons of it before you make your lists your idea of who they are, how well their business is doing, the story you tell yourself about them will sway you to like one program over another. Its just human nature.

So, do the work to list out what you love, need, deal-breakers, and makers. Then get some feedback with the why behind it. And then fourth, start contacting these service providers and get on the phone with them. Yep, old school. Tell them what you want, need and DEF DO NOT WANT. And they’ll try to prove themselves to you. And, because you’ve got your list you can’t be swayed by charm and deals.

Your time is money. Literally every minute. So, anything your platform doesn’t do that you do on a daily basis is costing you money now and in the future. Because it takes up brain space. And wasted brain space means time lost creating future money-making ideas.

And, before you go all in and let your clients in on it have a friend or family member try to sign up for all the things. Not you. Someone who doesn’t know what is supposed to happen when they sign up for a new session. A friend or family member who is similar to your clientele signing up for a package or canceling a session. See where they struggle so that when you go to train your current clients on the switch its a smooth-er transition (no one likes change but that should not stop you). Afterward, if you’re like YASS this is it. Then do the switch. Yes, it will be work. Yes, it will be frustrating. And yes it will take time. But if it solves all your problems then it should actually give you time and energy back!

Please do this sooner than later. Trust me when you are on the other side of this issue you’ll be like “why did I wait so long?!”

What are you looking for in a platform?

xx~LL

PS when you’re ready to talk dream work schedule (yes it exists) check out this course here and my blog here on making sure your schedule has your future goals in your present day.

Can You Make Money Teaching Pilates and Give Back?

The simplest answer is yes. Yes, you can make money and give back. For-Profit For-Cause businesses are not a new thing. But, they have become more popular as more and more small businesses are wanting to not just make money but impact the communities around them. So how can your Pilates or Fitness business make the money you want to make and give back to others? And, how can you have offerings that not only pay for the overhead you have, the equipment, continuing education, etc and also be affordable for those in your community who need it? Pilates is seen as very expensive. And, these days most fitness options are. Spin classes, treadmill classes etc all require expensive equipment. Teacher training is not cheap nor are they easy to get through. It is ok to need to charge your worth. But, I know you are wanting to also bring Pilates to more people. So, let’s talk about some of the easiest ways you can do that.

First, before we can get into the options its important that you know how much your hourly rate is. Without this knowledge not only may you not be charging enough to keep your lights on but it will make it impossible to give back to others. So, if you haven’t done this formula with me before please get out your calculator:

  • How much do you want to gross in a year?
  • How many weeks will you work (teach) in a year?
  • How many days a week?
  • How many hours in a day?

Take your gross income and divide it by the number of weeks, then the number of days then the number of hours and you get a number. That number is the lowest amount you can charge to make your gross income goals.

Now that we have this number its easy to figure out how we can give back.

You can give back as a simple donation to a local charity. For example, OPC was able to start giving a % of our weekly member subscriptions to Lunch on Me. We, unfortunately, we didn’t build that into the business model from the get-go. So as soon as we were able to hit a threshold we were able to add this in. However, you can take your hourly rate and add $1, $5, $10 to that and promote that x amount of every session or class goes to “insert charity here.” Your clients and members will love that for every session they do they are part of that donation. And, they’re less likely to hassle you on price increases and late cancel policies because they’d be taking away from that charity.

If you go this route again, set your prices, packages, memberships with the donation in mind. This          way it’s built into the price and update your clients and members every quarter or even every month            how much was given. If the charity has updates on who that money went to etc. You’ll truly build a                community around your cause.

Have a Special Community Class on the Schedule. For this option again you want to go back to your formula and make sure that your rates for all your teaching hours cover this community class. For example if you want to offer a class each week to a special population for say $10/person or even “pay what you can.” That money can be donated to a charity that supports that population of people. The nominal fee can hold them accountable for showing up. And, yes, this can also be free. But then all your other teaching hours can subsidize this hour. So, if your rate is $80 and you only want to teach 15 hours a week. Then the 14 hours you are paid for by clients can be $86. Not only will this allow you to teach the number of hours you want. But, it also helps hold you accountable for filling those other 14 paid hours so you can offer this session.

Side note: Filling these community classes will take more than just putting them on a schedule and seeing people come. You’ll need to do the same kind of marketing to let people in the population you are hoping to support/reach hear about it.

Go into a community and teach a class. This is similar to the previous option. Your paid teaching hours would subsidize this option. And then you would travel to a community center, charity headquarters, school, etc. There are organizations that are already doing this and you can do some research to see how you can get involved. And, if teaching people who may not be able to afford Pilates is on your heart this option should be front and center. Yes, its less convenient for you. But, where your studio or class is may not be affordable for them to get to. Its truly important to consider meeting people where they are just like Pilates does.

Consider multi-level, multi apparatus, circuit-style classes. I love this option and have been doing it for a long time. It allows even the smallest of studios to have classes and have an offering that is affordable without lowering your hourly rate. You can learn more about this in this course. But essentially, you would channel Joe’s old studio in a sense. Clients would still come at a set time. But they each would have their own workout and you would help them when they need it. This way instead of only teaching Privates or duets at a rate that people might not be able to afford you can have three or four people working out at the same time. Their cost is less but you make your hourly rate or more.

This is literally just the beginning and hopefully gets your juices flowing. Please keep in mind that there are many reasons why someone cannot come to your studio that is not just money. So, if you’re really wanting to reach a community do the research to see how you can best support them. But, its also ok to have a profitable business. And you can truly give back and grow so that you not only pay yourself a wage but you help support the community you’re in as well.

You are the only person who can teach the way you teach to the people you teach. So your people need you to be able to pay your bills so you can continue to support them. Do the formula, get creative with your offerings, and do your homework to help support those who are on your heart.

xx~LL

 

Tips for Becoming Known Online

When you first started teaching you may not have had the goal of being known online. In fact, it’s only pretty recent that almost ANYONE could have their own digital products and be like the fitness dvd mavens anywhere in the world without being discovered by “as seen on tv.” But, now, due to social media, the growth and demand of online platforms and CV19 putting most of us out of our studios and offices and into our home-work and workout spaces online you might be desiring to explore being known online. How do you do that though? Is it even possible to become known online since everyone is online? Is there room for you? And, should you do it? Well, let’s talk about it!

A few years ago I launched my course “Becoming Known.” It was a three-part series. The first was all about becoming known in your community. The second two had a lot to do with what you needed to do on your website to help support the in real life community work you were doing. All the tips in these courses still apply. And, much of them can be translated to becoming known online. Make sure you watch my course and check out Blogging and Vlogging as well as “The Client Journey.”  And then add in the tips below.

Let’s talk about what else you need to do to become known online.

  1. Who are you wanting to lead in the online world? I know you think you are for anyone but you’ll get lost in the social media channels and the online world if you try to be for everyone. All my online products that were not tailored to a specific audience fell on deaf ears. But, the moment I got specific about WHO the product was for they sold. I know it’s scary but in the beginning, especially you HAVE to get super clear on WHO you want to follow, like, and buy from you.
  2. What do they NEED? People buy what they need help with. They buy what helps them escape “pain.” Pain can be physical and literal or it can be something that makes them feel better about who they are and what they do. People buy what they need or what they feel they need. You need to know this answer so you can create products and offerings that help solve what’s on their mind.
  3. How do you help them? If you can’t articulate this then it’ll be pretty hard to get known. Because how you help your people is literally what you are going to get known for. And, you want to get as CLEAR as you can on this. Super specific. I know, it’s going to be hard. Truthfully you might not have the answer to this right now. When I first started AGENCY I didn’t have the full clarity about how we help people. But as I kept talking about it and building it the clarity came. So don’t be afraid to get started and try things out to get the words out of your head and online.
  4. Patience and Consistency. You are going to have to practice both of these because you won’t likely go “viral” overnight. And, if you did (yay) but sustaining that is tricky. It’s better to start where you are, get the clarity and consistency going so that your people help you become known because they are superfans and not lukewarm followers.
  5. Read Story Brand.
  6. Yes, you need a website.
  7. Pick a social platform and go all in! I’m often asked which one. Do the one you love and be consistent on it. People need to hear about you at least 7-17x before they will buy from you. So, consistency wins always.
  8. Be a whole human. I know you just want to talk about what you LOVE to talk about. But, your people nowadays want to know ALL about you. So be honest with them. Share your favorite foods, your family, and your routine.
  9. Pick your lane. Sure every idea has pretty much been done. But not by you. So, what uniqueness do you bring to the idea? And how can you show up in that space as you? What do you bring to the room? Go all in on that and then as you grow your products and offerings can grow.
  10. Time management. This is key! Most of us don’t have all the time in the world. Even during quarantine to spend on all the things to launch your online products. So, grab a timer. And time block how much you’ll spend on social, content creation, your life, your other job etc. When the timer goes off its time to move on.
  11. Remember your WHY. There are going to be days or weeks when you doubt what you are doing. If anyone likes it, wants it, cares about it. And, the motivation behind you wanting to become known online will be key to keeping you going when the “going gets tough.”
  12. Start where you are. I know you want to be known online but the people who know like and trust you in your community are not in a bubble. They have friends in far and away places. So, take those local superfans and have them help you get to where you want to go.

I can go on and on and I will in my coaching calls and AGENCY group and someday another course. But, until then please remember that everything that brought you to here will be a great foundation for where you want to grow. So, take what people say they LOVE about you, take your purpose for being on this planet and show people how its the key to what they are looking for. Be bold. Be brave. Show up! Consistently. And, try to have fun! It’s a journey my friends.

xx~LL

PS we are kicking off our AGENCY MINI program on July 29th AEST and in this 7-day program we can help you get your online knowness questions answered. Snag your spot here.

Should You Charge Different Prices For Virtual or In-Person Sessions?

How to price your services is a question that has been asked since the dawn of the service industry. And the going advice is “look at what other people are doing and then charge the same or a little less or a little more.” Most often people charge a little less. Which is the wrong thing to do because it’s a race to the bottom. Who can charge the least amount someone will always win. But, you’ll likely be the one who loses. And then, because of CV19 every fitness, Pilates and Yoga instructor had to go virtual. And thus the imposter syndrome pricing began. Enter discounts or free sessions virtually and burnout. So, what should you charge for your services that were in-person and are now virtual?

The short answer is the same.

The long answer, you are not defined by the equipment that surrounds you. Your worth is not determined by how many Rerformers you have access to or which brand equipment you have. Your value comes from your knowledge and what you know doesn’t change based on your surroundings.

How much do you want to gross a year?

How many weeks a year will you work?

How many days a week will you teach?

How many hours in a day will you teach?

Take your gross annual desired income and divide it by the number of weeks you will work and divide that by the number of days in a week and the number of hours in a day. The answer is the lowest amount you can make in a teachable hour.

If you’re a studio owner how much do you want the studio to gross in a year? Divide that by how many weeks the studio is open and then the number of days it’s open and then the number of hours its open. The answer is the lowest amount the studio can make in an hour it’s open.

How much should you charge for virtual sessions? The same!

If your clients balk you be honest. For most of us, our bills didn’t change just because we are virtual. I still have to pay studio rent, utilities, internet etc. Even if in the future I get rid of my studio and stay 100% virtual I still have my continuing education, and bills to run my business from home.

You are a business. Not a charity!

It’s ok to make a profit from helping people feel better.

Do you need that repeated?

If I sound like I am on the pulpit I kind of feel like I am today. I just finished leading our webinar for our AGENCY MINI program which leads people to our AGENCY program that is an ongoing coaching group. And, this question kept coming up. How much should I charge? Even after we did the whole formula. I believe businesses can thrive during this time. I believe people are spending money. You don’t have to discount your already priced too low services. You need to find your people who will pay what you’re worth and value what you offer.

So, what is your lowest hourly rate?

Is that something you’re charging now?

Is it higher than what you’re charging now?

Do you need support for this?

You can check out my course on “how to raise your rates” and “talking to your ideal client.” And, if you want more ongoing support then check out AGENCY. It’s hard to do this business thing alone. You need a community that reminds you when you’re down how much you’re worth.

xx~LL

Short Cuts to Getting Clients, Getting Paid and Getting Known

Before when you were busy teaching, studying, running around from class to class, studio to studio or client to client it was easy to put off making that website, writing that blog or newsletter, and launching that new product or service. Now, you have time. So, with that excuse removed what is really keeping you from doing the thing you’ve been wanting to do? Let’s explore some short cuts to taking messy action and doing what you have wanted to do “when you have more time.”

Website: Look I am a massive fan of a good website. I absolutely believe you should have a website that allows you to take emails, schedule your clients, take the money!!! And really share your expertise. But, if you don’t have a website already and are in a pinch for cash to build it then here are some options:

  • A templated website like those you see on Squarespace etc.
  • Buy the URL and hire someone on Upwork or Fiverr to put your virtual class times, Venmo info, and a contact form.

Keep in mind these will be stopgaps but social media can only take you so far. Google cannot crawl your insta stories. You need a website. It needs to have key info so you can be found. But today with the support of contractor services like those on Upwork and even videos on YouTube you should make getting something online that you own priority!

And, for more info on what your website needs check out this course with a website developer who happens to be my husband but it will get you started with all the SEO you need to know.

But seriously, seriously, you need a website!

If you already have a website you’re congrats. Do a “walk through” of it and make sure its up to date with what you are offering now and what you want to be offering. 

Money: So you don’t have a scheduling system? No worries! I get it. They cost money and you might not be in a place to invest in that right now. Or, you might be needing to cancel yours but not sure how to take the money! Venmo, Cash App, Google, and Apple Pay, as well as the old go to Paypal and Stripe, are at your assistance.

(side note Venmo is not supposed to be used for businesses)

You can post about your virtual pop up and put your info for getting the money and then when they pay you can send them your zoom link! Yes, there are fees to some of these options. But, that’s something you factor into creating your prices. You are not a charity nor a hobbyist. Having a business means there are fees, taxes, and bills. And, that’s honestly ok! In fact, it will help you stand up for your worth because you have to make sure you have enough to cover your needs and the bills that come with it.

There’s no reason to make taking money complicated. If you’re sitting there trying to figure out how to let people’s friends take a class or session with you have them send you the money through one of these apps. Keep it simple!

Marketing: If you don’t talk about who you are and what you do people will not find you. Especially right now. There is a lot of noise out there. And, you can’t just post one time and then think “well no one signed up so just gonna quit.” Or, worse sulk and think you’re not good enough. NO! You have to tell people who you are and what you do 7-17x before they check you out. yes, that many!

Start with those who know and love you. Tell them what you are doing, why you’re excited, and who it’s for. Invite them and ask them to invite their friends. Ask them to share it with their friends via text or email. Seriously, get that old school. The people who already know and love you will do a way better job than the algorithm. As you teach them and get them excited snag their testimonials, ask them to post, get that “user-generated content” aka social proof.

Sure, we are more online than ever before but you don’t have to be getting peeps from all over the world to know you first. You start close to home and then allow the referrals to bring you out further and further.

People want to hear from their friends who they should be taking from. How can you get their friends to talk about you?

And, also be shameless. Seriously, talk about what you are doing more often than you think and then talk about it some more!

Tell stories! People love stories. How can you talk about why you rock with a story?

I’m gonna stop there because those are the 3 areas that everyone gets stuck and then says they couldn’t do x because they didn’t have y. Well, if you have a landing page with your offerings on it and are talking about your classes and sessions and able to take the money then you’ve got the basics covered. Then when you’re feeling like you have some money flowing in we gotta invest it back into your business so you can continue to grow.

Which one of these areas will you be starting with?

xx~LL

PS my AGENCY MINI program is back! May 11th-17th Brad and I are giving you 7 days of what AGENCY members get with coaching, webinars, a private group and a group coaching call. Get more info about it here. It’s $22 if you sign up before May 6th and the entire week is valued over $400. What are you waiting for?

Why You Shouldn’t Discount Your Services

Depending on where you live in the world the date your competitors started teaching for free may differ from me. But, for now, we’ll agree that sometime in March the fitness industry and especially many Pilates teachers started teaching live workouts on every social media platform they could and doing it for free. In fact, the morning after my studio was closed indefinitely I felt like every teacher in the So cal community who used to charge $20+/class and had a waitlist started teaching for free. EVERYWHERE. And, not only did this leave them exhausted it also left them more worried than those I know that didn’t do this. In fact, discounting your services or offering them for free not only will hurt your bottom line it will leave you fill drained and on your way to burn out. Why? Let’s review why discounting hurts your business and some things to do instead.

First, discounting your services not only leaves you taking home less than what you need. And, lets get real, were you charging your worth before? Were you? Probably not. So, now not only are you making far less than you were before which already wasn’t enough to have a runway to get through this unprecedented time. But, you’re also telling people that what you were charging before was likely too much. And, when we are on the other side of this how will you go back to your pre-rona prices?

Second, Your business bills didn’t get discounted. So, now you have to teach even more just to make the same amount. And, yes, while people now have more time than before to workout they are still not picking up the phone and trying out a random teacher. They are taking the classes they did before even if it’s been a year or two. Or, they are asking their friends. So, you need to be nurturing your current clients and asking them to help you get their friends to class. But, if you discount your services to get these new clients in its not rewarding the loyalty of the clients who love you and want to support you. Also, you’re left with the issue of raising your prices on these new clients when “life goes back to normal.” Something very few teachers enjoys doing.

Third, most people are not researching “discounted Pilates near me.” Or, “free Pilates.” They literally are asking their friends and then looking you up online. Even more of a reason to have a stellar website for when they stalk you. So, discounting your services doesn’t bring you a slew of new clients just because you put a slash through the price.

Fourth, and maybe one of the more important reasons, when you discount or offer for free you definitely make it harder for every other teacher in your community, and the world to charge their worth. When you discount your work you devalue it. Devaluing the amazingness of Pilates doesn’t mean you’ll have more. It means everyone will have less. Why would anyone want to do a workout that lacks confidence in itself to charge its worth?

So, what can you do instead of discounting your work?

Take this time to get your business organized. Go over all your website copy, your social media bios etc. Are you talking to your ideal client? Are you telling them how you help them? Why they should work with you?

Evaluate how people can work with you. Maybe you used to sell 10, 20 or 30 packs of sessions. Maybe you keep your prices the same but you change the size during Covid 19 times only. For example, if you normally charge $1000 for a 10 pack of privates you charge $300 for 3 or $500 for 5. They are still paying the same price but less at the front end. Be clear that this is for this particular period of time. I stopped selling my ten packs for now because the reality is myself or my clients could get sick. I wanted to have less sessions on my books to have to worry about owing people. So, my clients pay one at a time for classes (they pre-pay) and they pay either a single session price that is more than a 5 pack session price. But, the 5 pack is at the cost of my 10 pack.

If you were doing only privates maybe you teach duets or semi’s and everyone can pay a bit less for the session but you make more for the hour. This is a great way to start to work less and make more! Everyone wins there. (All examples are considering virtual sessions but keep these in mind for when you are teaching IRL).

It’s a CV19 world! You can change your offerings, schedule and how you teach clients to however WORKS FOR YOU! But, that doesn’t mean you’re worth less just because you are teaching less or not teaching in your studio.

Focus on the VALUE. Take the time to go through all the testimonials. What do clients say about why they take Pilates or fitness with you? People don’t care about Pilates or Barre or HIIT. They care about how you help them. The value you bring to their life which they pay you for with money. You teaching them =energy. They repay that energy with money aka energy. But, you have to tell them WHY YOU! What do you offer them (that’s not a discount).

LOVE YOUR SELF! If you take this time to do some deep self-work, why you do matter? Why you are worth charing more etc.? You will see massive growth in your business when we are on the other side of this. Maybe you need to see a therapist right now or read some books that will help you see how amazing you are and help work through whatever is causing you to feel like you need to discount yourself or teach for free to be relevant. We have been given a gift to get to know ourselves more than ever. That famous quote “Wherever You Go There You Are” has never been more true. Do not try to run from this time. Instead, dive in deep. What do you want out of life? How can you use this time to create the space to make that happen?

My fitness pro, I freaking love you. Prior to CV19 I saw what discounting services did to many peoples businesses. It wasn’t pretty and it doesn’t work. If you base your business of a price and that’s your focus for getting clients it will be a race to the bottom. Someone out there will always be able to go cheaper than you. Focus your efforts on who you want to serve, why your rock so much and charge your worth. You’ll be able to thrive on the other side of this.

xx~LL

PS if you need to talk more about this please contact me for a coaching call or join AGENCY and get the support of an entire community!