In a perfect world, clients would just grow on trees, right? But, while this world is pretty great clients instead come to us through variations forms of marketing. And, it’s important to know what these different routes to you are and use them to attract your ideal clients. Because even if your schedule is full someday you will need another client or few. Your favorite clients will move. You will move. And, so something you can guarantee you’ll need to have set up in your business is a way to consistently attract new clients to you. Here are 6 of my favorite tips for getting new clients.
Be Known in Your Community: This means getting outside your studio and going to networking events, community events, add meeting local business owners in your neighborhood. The more people know who you are, what you do, and whom you are for the more they can tell people who complain about not feeling good, having aches and pains, looking for a trainer that you are the rockstar teacher for them!
Add So Much Value: to your community, clients and if you’re a studio owner your teachers that people sing your praises! If you focus on your existing one or few clients truly feeling the benefits of Pilates with you they will feel the need to reciprocate and will share your good words to everyone!
Make Your Website Work For You: This means you have to have a website and keep it updated. One of the best ways to do that is to blog weekly (yes, weekly) about the top things people search on the internet that you can help with! Consistent blogging keeps your website updated, helps your SEO (the thing that drives traffic to your site) and shares who you are and what you do with those who come on your site.
Create an Email Campaign: this is something I cover in my courses “Client Journey” and “Take Your Newsletters to the Next Level.” This includes having something on your site that exchanges a potential clients email for something of value and then an email campaign that you write one time and it guides people to your core offering.
Client Referral Rewards Program: I am not a fan of discounts for new clients. I truly believe in rewarding existing clients for sharing how awesome you are. And, there are many ways you can do this. All depend on what your services are and their prices. For my business, I give a free late cancel, a sort of get out of jail free card, for every new client that buys a package. They have to buy a package for the reward to be kicked in. And, you’ll want to remind your clients of this reward program regularly.
Talk to Strangers: Yep, if you want new clients you got to get out there in the world and tell strangers who you are, what you do and whom you are for. You cannot wait for clients to walk by your doors and hand you their credit card. That doesn’t happen often enough to pay your bills. So, get out there, make eye contact. Get told no. It will help you refine your pitch and also who you are looking to talk to. If you are fishing in a pond of cheap fish switch ponds!
I would love to hear which of these tips you are going to try this week. Post your plan in the comments below.
Social Media, Funnels and Online Ads may be all the rage. You may even be considering things like Classpass, groupon and online marketing. But, before you do let me remind you that referrals are still the number 1 way Pilates teachers and Pilates studios are getting new business. And, not just drop-in’s but legit clients who come again and again! So, how do you get more referrals? Do you just hope that your clients tell all their friends about you? Are there ways to get other businesses to rave about your Pilates business? And, what about those doctors, PT’s and Chiropractors? How do we get them to tell their clients about you?
Be Referable: I know that seems obvious but what does that even mean? It means you have to prove you can deliver what you promise. So, that first or only client you have to make them your priority. Get testimonials and put them on your site. If they can attest to your awesomeness then others will feel good about referring your their peeps.
Be clear on who you want to be referred to you. I know, you may be thinking “but LL I want anyone right now!” The truth is you don’t want just anyone. So, who do you want to teach? Get clear on this so that when people talk about you they know what to say and to whom.
Always be open to Referrals. I know, you’re thinking, duh, but the truth is sometimes we don’t realize that we are closing the door on referrals because we are not actively talking to people about who we are what we do. Recently I blogged about things you can do today to improve your Pilates business. One of the tips was to tell 5 people who you are, what you do and whom you are for. Do you know how many people told me they would try that? TOO MANY! Even if you are booked and have a waitlist make sure you are telling people what you rock at. If you get peeps that are not for you-you’ll just refer them to the right teacher. Which people will LOVE!
Make sure your clients know your offerings! This may sound obvious too. But, if you’re not consistently sending out newsletters it’s probably not obvious to your clients what else you do or offer. I write weekly newsletters and even still one of my clients just found out I have online mat classes (his wife reads the newsletters and clearly he doesn’t). I know you feel like a broken record but trust…they don’t know as much as you think they do.
Be Remarkable! Meaning, share and do things that make your clients talk nonstop about you.
Refer to others. Yes, give business away to competitors. You are not able to teach everyone. If people are looking for class-based pricing tell them who the best in town is. If they need to be in privates and you offer classes know the teachers in your area who excel at teaching privates. Trust me referring begets referrals.
Got these down? Ok, now you have to make a list of the businesses you love in your community. Find out how you can support them. Wait what?! Yep, find out what they need help in. Maybe they need a referral of someone you know? And, do you know what happens when you’re generous and you simply take the time to find out how you can support another business? They, in turn, want, desire to support you!
And, if you’re going, ok, got this, but how do I get those doctors, pt’s and other medical professionals to see that I am referable? Well, I’ve got a one hour webinar with Jessica Valant who is quite the expert in this area. Check out the deets here. And, while you wait for us to give our talk make sure you’ve got your 1-6 above all set.
Pilates Teachers, Pilates Studio Owners, and other Fitness Professionals there are not quick fixes in business. But, don’t let that stop you from reading this week’s blog post. I’ve got 5 things you should be doing in your business that I promise don’t cost money and just a bit of your time. If you’re ready to get out of your rut then keep reading!
Growing your newsletter list and writing to it: You don’t own the algorithms. So you might be posting daily on social but I bet 7% of your followers are seeing what you write. So, repurpose that content and make it a newsletter! If the Social Platforms disappear your reach won’t!
Networking with other businesses in your community: Get known my friends! I know it’s easy to be in your business and think your neighbors can’t help you, they are the competition and blah blah blah. But seriously, if you find out what other people are doing and tell them what you rock at then referrals begin to flow! So, go outside, bring some sugar just in case they need it.
Upholding Clear Policies: You should have clear policies on prices, payment, and cancellation policies. And, you also have to uphold them. If you don’t your clients won’t. This will affect your business and in a compounding way.
Not giving discounts: I know you think you need deals to get people in the doors, or that you cannot raise your rates to keep them there. But, I’d rather see you reward loyalty and referrals than discount yourself and try to compete in the race to the bottom on prices. Someone once told me if you discount yourself you will be discounted. And you’re too awesome for that!
Take a moment to check on all of these and how you are doing with them. Do you need help? I’ve got a 6th tip for those who get my weekly newsletter. If you want it (and ps my newsletters are free yo) then subscribe and be sure to opt in here.
It’s another week and you’re still teaching the same clients. You love them but you wish that you were teaching more athletes, more privates, more classes or just more inspiring Or, maybe you’re not teaching any session and you’re freaking out! How are you going to pay the bills? Was teaching a good idea? How come that teachers schedule is full? Whether or not your schedule is full or not has little to do with feeling fulfilled. You yearn to be teaching a particular group of clients and you feel like you’re ready and waiting but where are they? Why don’t they realize that you’re THE TEACHER for them?
#1 They don’t know you! I know, how is that possible? You’re posting away on the social channels, you’re going studio to studio teaching or trying to teach and you’re telling all your friends how much you love what you do. Why then does nobody, or at least the body’s that you are the best teacher for unaware of your magic? Simple, you haven’t told them. Sure, you told your friends and the platforms but you haven’t told the people who know your people. You haven’t blogged so the search engines can’t tell people who you are. You haven’t gotten out to the communities where your client is. And, if you have then you haven’t been clear about who you are what you do and why you rock at it!
#2 You’re not clear on who you want to teach. As much as you want everyone to love you and what you do it’s not possible. And, I know it’s scary to niche down or turn people away but it’s better to only teach the clients you are right for. Because they will refer you more people like them! Say yes to the wrong clients and either they won’t sign up with you or they will and they’ll refer more people like them. And, sure, you’ll be busy but busy with peeps who drain you and make you wonder if teaching is right for you. Can you change your mind? Sure, will everyone in your schedule fit 100% into your box…nope. But, the clearer you are the more people who will hear your awesomeness and over time the more people who will light your fire and challenge your teachings.
#3 You’re not clear on why you rock. Maybe you don’t think you rock? Or, maybe you’re afraid to shout from the rooftops that you are really good at something. Perhaps you think people won’t need or like what you are the best at? And if your answer “LL, I’m brand spanking new how can I be the best at anything?” Well, my newbie, you do something great! Just ask those who you practiced teaching on why they kept coming back. They’ll tell you! And, take that feedback and run with it! Over time your other gifts will reveal themselves.
Did I call out your excuse? If I didn’t don’t worry, there can be endless reasons why you’re teaching your ideal client but don’t let all of them turn into excuses that you get to keep around. Let’s talk about what you are doing and what you can do be doing more.
I’ve heard there is no money in Pilates, Yoga, etc etc. WRONG! And, if you hear someone say that you send them to me. There is money in doing whatever it is you’ve been called to do. But, you gotta let people know! They are not mind readers. They’ve got a lot going on and they need you to shout loud and clear why you’re the person for them.
And an easy spot you can do this is your website! Do you have one? How’s it working for you? I’ve got a 1-hour webinar that will help you break down exactly what you need on your site (and what you don’t) coming up. Let’s make your website work for you! And, if you’re not sure to contact me here.
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:
How Known are you in your community? What events can you partner up with to share who you are and how you rock?
Who do you want to come to your classes?
Why should they come to your classes?
What problems do you solve that they are searching for the answers to?
What do you want to be a good example of?
Who do you want to lead?
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!
Thoughts often become facts. Have you heard that before? What about, “don’t believe everything you think?” I think these two often used statements are incredibly important to remember when you are running your own Pilates business. It doesn’t matter if you are a Pilates Studio owner or a Pilates instructor. It is easy to slip and fall into traps and beliefs that will more than likely hold you back or keep you from trying out new things that could grow your business. What are some of the myths that I think need busting?
The people here only want classes or only want privates: Last I checked no community got together and said: “let’s make sure all Pilates studios only offer us, classes/privates.” Clients want what will help them solve their problems. What is your future client’s problem? How do you solve that problem?
We can’t raise our rates because everyone is looking for a deal: Please see my response to Myth #1 and then take a good look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you offer value to your clients and deserve to be paid your worth. People are not choosing your competitor based on their prices. They are not going to the studio down the street because it’s cheaper. That studio is giving them something that they are looking for. How can you be the answer to your ideal client’s problem? You solve their problem they will reconfigure their budget to get to you! Want to consider raising your rates? Check out the latest webinar here.
There are so many Pilates studios here:Your competition is not going to kill your business. You not defining who you are, what you do and how you rock your clients’ worlds will. Too often we tell people what we think they should hear. We are not listening to what they need and showing them how we are the answer they have been looking for. That’s amazing that you won muscle competitions and have five certifications. I’m not discounting that. But, how do you help them? If you spend your time sharing with your community what you can do for them that is different than anyone else there can be ten studios on your block and you’ll still be successful!
You have to stick to the Pilates “business model”: First, I actually have no idea what this means. But, I think it refers more to having a studio that has lots of teachers, runs classes, privates and has teachers rent. People work 6 days a week and do morning and evening shifts. I’ll admit I thought I couldn’t own a studio because I didn’t want to manage any more teachers or manage a schedule. Glad I didn’t believe in this myth. Because now I have a great walk up studio with everything I need and it’s all by myself. The truth is you can run your Pilates business any way you want that is legal. If you want to be a solo-preneur go for it! If you want to only have classes only have classes. If you want to have privates only do that. Your business will be more successful when you create a space that highlights your strengths and how you want to offer your gift. Will it be difficult? Yep, but copying the studios in your neighborhoods business model isn’t any easier!
You have to work a certain schedule: If you truly want to do Pilates as a business for the long haul I absolutely need you to teach the times that are best for you! Sure, in the beginning, you may be teaching all of the place and random times trying to figure out who you are as a teacher and what times work best for you. But, once you’ve got a good idea of when you are at your best it’s time to get some boundaries and set an ideal schedule and focus on filling that. It’s imperative for self-care, consistent growth in your business and for you to feel like your business works for you instead of the other way around!
There are so many more myths to bust! If I didn’t talk about one you’re curious about post it below in the comments are email me here. Aside from great advances in technology, there are some amazing tools out there that allow you to create the Pilates business that meets your needs. So, what beliefs are you willing to let go of?
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.
They say that your list is everything! “They” being the people who are trying to teach, coach, motivate and even sell products on how to grow your “list.” And, by list, they are talking about your newsletter list. And, I’ll be honest. I am not totally in disagreement. Your newsletter list is integral to the growth of your business whether you offer things online or in person only. Email is not dead. And, now more than ever a persons email is a worth so much more than you might think. When someone subscribes to your newsletter they are inviting you into their personal inbox. To their space to share what it is you want to share. So, is it personal when they unsubscribe?
If you don’t have a newsletter you may be getting ready to jump ship on this week’s blog. But, I truly hope you don’t. I hope you reach out to me so we can get your list started. Because, here’s the deal you do not control the algorithms of any social media platform I don’t care how good you are at hashtag’s or how many followers you have. If the rules change tomorrow your likes, comments, and even reach can disappear in a moment. But, your newsletter list is within your control.
How often you reach out to them is up to you. I would argue consistently. And consistently can be once a month, once a week or even daily. I am on a list that emails me twice a day. I actually don’t mind. I love what they send me!
But, if someone unsubscribes from your list is it personal? And, you can also insert if someone unfollows you is it personal?
Truthfully, I cannot answer that. I have seen many a people I do and don’t know subscribe and a few unsubscribe from my lists. I don’t pay attention to who unfollows me. I mean, who has the time to do that? But, every day I get an email that updates me on how many new email subscribers I get received that day and how many I lost, unsubscribed. I don’t often know why people unsubscribe. Sometimes they fill out the survey most times they don’t. But, I never ever take it personally and you shouldn’t either. Even if it is personal.
Read the Four Agreements its a fabulous book that will help you rock your life and business. An easy and quick read and one of the agreements is to not take anything personally. I know this isn’t easy but what motivates people to do things is really none of my business. You and I do not have time for that anyways. You have a path you’re on and their personal attack attempts are just a distraction. Plus, you cannot reach into the internet, grab them by the hands, look them in the eye and ask “why don’t you want my emails?” And, even if you could is it really worth trying to convince someone to want or like your stuff? Nope! There are 10 more people out there who are looking for what you offer. It’s worth your time to go looking for those people and not trying to convince people who don’t want what you offer to want what you offer.
Thank them for leaving! When you use a service like MailChimp, Constant Contact etc to email your list they charge you for the number of people on your list. I do not want you or even myself to pay for people who don’t want what you are offering. The more you only have people on your list who want what you got the better your open rates are the more fruitful your emails will be.
So what if it is personal? Honestly, it sucks when you see someone you know leave your list. You can’t help but wonder why. But, does it really matter? Not everyone will like, love or support what you are up to. And that is ok. Like I mentioned in my self-care video on PilatesAnytime (use LLOGAN if not a member to watch) you need to know the 5 people whose opinions of you matter. You need to tell them and then if you see other people you know leave your list and they are not one of those 5 people you need to let it go. Because you have a business to run, a life to live and a “why” that won’t happen on it’s own.
I know the hardest thing in life is to not take things personally. But, sometimes we have to remember, it’s not always about us. Why they unfollowed you, left your list has a lot more to do with what they want in their life, their inbox, their goals and their business. And, while it may not be you that is a-ok. Because, as I mentioned earlier there are 10 more people who are looking for your list. So, spend more time getting your work in front of those who are looking for it and less time wondering why that person doesn’t want it. Dive deeper into articulating what you have to share. Find unique ways to get your message out to those who you want to hear it. And, worry less about those who don’t want what you have. They are not your audience.
Have you ever had a negative review on one of those review sites? Luckily for me, my Yelp reviews are all positive. But, that isn’t the only place where people give us Pilates teachers and studio owners reviews. With the age of social media upon us every single post you put out there is open for interpretation and many people find it there life’s journey to tear us down. To say something not nice. People can now critique you publicly in so many ways. So, it’s important to know how to handle it! Not just because it hurts personally but also because some of those critiques can affect our business.
Here are 3 ways to handle the bullies, critics, and feedback:
Decide if you need to respond: If it’s on a Yelp or site that reviews services a response is probably necessary. But, you will most likely not win them back. However, others coming to the site will see how positively you handle the situation. It is also a good idea before you respond to see if they truly were a client (more on this in my next webinar). If the negative comment is on social media it may not be necessary to respond. And, remember you can always block or delete. There are people who like to spend their time tearing others down. Spend your time engaging with those who want to create a community with you. Lastly, we are not perfect humans (I know, it’s true) and sometimes negative reviews are opportunities for us to review ourselves and our services and see if there is room to improve.
Decide how you want to respond: If after doing your research you decide to respond to the comment you can take the conversation offline and direct message them to try and resolve it. Then go back to the public space and do an “update” on the situation.
Respond immediately: I know! You have a million things to do but it’s important if you are on the review sites or you have forums where people can post comments about you that you stay on top of reviews or responses. If you cannot have someone else monitor them. Referrals are key to our businesses and online referrals are often how we get many new clients. So, while you cannot control everyone it’s important that you save time in your admin hours to show just how awesome you are and respond to reviews.
We will never be without those people who want to say something not so nice. There will always be someone who needs to remind us that they are there or that they may know more than we do. And, there will be those clients who come in and complain about things that are out of our control like parking, traffic etc. But, what we can control we should and if you are reading this it means you care about how you run your business. So, it’s super important that you don’t take these negative reviews personally. But, that you do use them as an evaluation and to see if you are still doing business in line with your goals. If you are, then the review is nothing more than an annoyance. If someone complains that you don’t have classes and your goals are to only teach privates than it’s not a negative review. It simply informs people of what you are, a private session studio.
Do you have a negative review story you want to share? What happened and how did you handle it?
I’ll be talking more about handling negative reviews and feedback in my next webinar. Join me here.
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.
As a Pilates teacher or Studio Owner do you feel like you are alone? Like you are doing all the things are your own! And, even though there are probably other Pilates studios nearby instead of feeling like you can team up with them it feels like they are the competition? Or, maybe you have a team of teacher you work with but everytime you hear of another Pilates studio open or a new fitness business coming on the block you worry you may lose clients to them?
I get it! When I used to run a Pilates studio I not only worried that the other studios could entice my clients away but that they could also entice my teachers away. When I heard of a new fitness studio I worried that my clients who came three times a week would drop to two times a week because they were adding in a new workout!
All that worry was trying to consume me and I discovered it was keeping me from growing my own Pilates business. In fact, it made me feel like there was never enough clients or teachers. It wasn’t until I did a reach out to the other studios that I realized just how wrong I was.
About three months into taking over a Pilates studio I had an opportunity to go to a wellness event and while I was there I found myself talking to the other Pilates managers in my area. And, you know what? They were not evil, nasty or the enemy. In fact, we had so much to share, to talk about and to learn from each other. We took the time to talk about what each of their spaces was focused on. Whom were they for? What did they offer? When did they offer it and how were we each different.
What happened was not an in-person battle but instead a collaboration of efforts. As you know, you cannot teach every person in your community and nor do you want too! So, knowing how you are unique from the other teachers, studios and fitness facilities is key to rocking exactly what you want!
And, your unique abilities, your niche teaching skills is what helps you become known as the regional Pilates rockstar that you are. Networking with other Fitness professionals helps you create a community and even a mastermind.
Communities and Masterminds are essential for growth and feeling supported. In the last ten years, I have a couple different masterminds. Some no longer meet and others continue to meet. And, there are so many ways these days to create communities, network and join masterminds.
In fact, I believe being part of a few communities is essential. As we know there isn’t just one right way to do anything. You may create a community with all the fitness professionals in your zip code, you may introduce yourself to all the business owners in your neck of the woods and you might also have an internet tribe where you get on the phone once a week or month and are there to celebrate, rant and support each other.
The key to feeling like you are part of something is not waiting for the invitation. Go out, introduce yourself to those who are in the same biz as you, create an event where you invite business owners, doctors or neighbors whose clients are your niche market. Or, if you are too shy to invite strangers over to your space or go up and introduce yourself go, volunteer! Pick a charity in your neighborhood that lights your fire and/or is aligned with your niche and show up. You will meet others who are just like you and while they may not be Pilates teachers they are in your niche and so you will have lots to talk about.
If you are tired of feeling like the only one on your island, the only one who has to do all the things it’s time to find a community, build a network and create a mastermind. It’s the key to becoming known.
If you want help doing this then click here. I’ll be leading a one hour webinar on not only why you need to network and mastermind but more importantly how to do it to grow your business.
This week’s blog post comes from a guest blogger and Personal Trainer Tyler Spraul! I love it because I am a big fan of not spending your hard earned dollars on marketing. And, below he not only gives you 4 tips on what to do he also gives you actions to take to make it work! Cannot wait to hear how these work for you. Take it away Tyler!
In this article, I’m going to show you some simple ways to get new customers without having to pay for advertising.
It’s all too common for a fitness business owner to take one chance at getting someone to sign up, and then never try again. It’s like we don’t want to offend people or come off as “salesy,” but the truth is that we are doing potential clients a disservice if what we have to offer will truly make their lives better!
It’s easy to dig into the things you enjoy the most about your business, like learning how to be a better coach and connect with clients, or continuing education to expand your toolset, or spending that quality hands-on time with your clients. But sometimes this fun stuff comes at the expense of the not-so-exciting portions of your business, like building efficient systems, implementing processes that are easy for new hires to follow, spreading the word about your business through marketing, and more.
When it comes time to grow and scale your business, it’s the not-so-exciting things that make or break your chances of success, so you can’t afford to ignore them.
Call them habits or systems — whatever you’d like — implementing just one of the following tactics on a regular basis will help grow your business consistently over time.
1. Find something to give away before you ask for anything from potential customers.
People love free stuff! Offer something your ideal customer can’t resist before they have to give you anything. To keep this simple, you can offer a “free sample” type of session on a regular basis.
This session would provide a low barrier of entry for potential customers to meet you and see what you have to offer.
It also provides an easy way for your current clients to invite their friends. They don’t have to think about selling their friends on your service but can simply invite them to give it a test run themselves, totally obligation-free.
Offer a FREE sample class or two every week on a day that fits your schedule. To keep it really simple, you can start with once a month.
2. Make it easy for existing clients to promote you.
What if your favorite clients went out of their way to hunt down more potential clients for you? What if they were excited to do it? This can be a huge win if you have never gone out of your way to ask for referrals.
You may even want to go as far as incentivizing those referrals.
Part 1: Make sure clients know the best way to refer their friends to you.
Do they just need to give you the correct contact information so you can reach out?
If not, where should they send potential referrals?
To your email or mailing list?
To your website?
To your once-a-week class that’s 100% free?
Wherever it is, make sure that you communicate it clearly and it’s as simple as possible for your clients!
Part 2 (optional): Figure out a sustainable way to reward your clients who refer customers.
You can position it as a fun monthly contest or challenge to see who can refer the most new customers.
You can then offer prizes and rewards to your top referrers. You can announce your winners each month or once per year.
If you just want to keep it super simple, that’s no problem. You can offer a discounted month or class voucher for each new customer a current member refers.
3. Make the most of your existing lists with a regular “ask.”
Your lists can be any social media channel, email newsletter, physical mailing list, etc.
Wherever you’re providing value through your content, you need to be consistent with your “ask.”
You must have a clear call to action (CTA) that prompts your ideal customer to get out of his or her routine and come do business with you. Before we get too carried away, we don’t want to make the mistake of using these tools to only sell all the time.
80% of your content should be helpful material to enhance your customers’ lives. Then once you’ve provided value consistently, you can point them to your specific calls to action.
Example: If you post 5 days a week on Instagram, one of those posts should be a CTA, while the others should be adding value, sharing client successes, etc.
What makes a good call to action? I was hoping you’d ask!
A good CTA:
Only asks for one clear action. Don’t ask for a comment, and a share, and a like, and a text message to friends and loved ones.
Provides the exact steps needed to take action.“Enter your email below.” “Call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx to book your appointment.” “Click this link to book your spot in our FREE Saturday session: [LINK]”
Gives a reason to take action now instead of later.“Our first 3 reservations each month receive a free water bottle.” “Book today, and we’ll include a free session voucher.” Don’t abuse this one, though. If you have a deadline, stick to it, and don’t make up pretend deadlines for the sake of having one.
Brainstorm 5-10 CTAs you can plug into regularly scheduled programming for social media, emails, etc. Make sure each one checks all the boxes for the requirements above.
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
Now that you’re giving value before asking for anything, incentivizing referrals, and moving people to take action with clear CTAs, it’s time to create a regular follow-up system.
How many times have you had a hot prospect get cold feet and duck out of a commitment, only to never see them again? You know your service would increase their quality of life, but it just didn’t work out the first time.
Do you say, “Oh well!” and give up all hope of getting them signed up?
Your follow-up system will help you make the most of the people who already know about your business and have expressed an interest, but aren’t currently paying members.
We are going to separate these follow-ups into 2 categories:
For leads who expressed interest recently
To follow up: Call them within 2 days of their most recent contact. If you don’t hear from them within a week, try again. For the first month, follow up once per week. Once they’re on your “1 Month+” list, give them a call once per month until they sign up or request that you stop calling.
Previous customers and any others you haven’t heard from in a long time
Determine the best way for you to make a personal follow-up with these people who already know about you but haven’t gotten on board just yet.
Keep it simple! It can be as easy as a Facebook message, but the key is to keep it personal. Check in with them, let them know you’ve been thinking about them, and ask how they’re doing.
We don’t want to just copy and paste a sales message with a link here — that’s not what I’m saying at all.
Whether it’s a phone call, handwritten note or postcard, or even just a Facebook message, following up while staying polite and persistent will keep you on the radar and let your potential clients know you care.
So, now that we’ve gotten through the list of these action ideas and examples, it’s time for a call to action of your own!
Pick one of these ideas right now (start small), and set aside 1 hour to work on it this week. Make sure to block off the time on your calendar!
Leave a comment below with the action you have planned. I’ll read every one!
Tyler Spraul is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and the Head Trainer at Exercise.com. He played college soccer, then coached the men’s soccer team for five years at Columbia International University, overseeing all aspects of strength and conditioning. Over the years, his focus has shifted from performance first to moving well and getting stronger without injury. He loves helping people and encourages them to practice mindfulness. The little things matter, and consistency is key!
Big thanks to Tyler for sharing these tips and actions you can take! I second Tyler leave a comment below telling us what action you will take this week.