Use this Question to get Unstuck and Grow Your Business

It’s pretty obvious that COVID has affected Pilates and fitness clubs dramatically. Whether you are a teacher, studio owner, or something in between the virus, the constant changes in how we can interact with our clients, and the restrictions that keep us from using our spaces the way we used to are causing strain, closures, stress and fear in so many. So if this is you you’re not alone. And, while there is no magic pill or tip to turn your situation around I do believe that there is a way to pause, get perspective and then have a new path to work towards to and yes, grow your business.

I want you to ask yourself if you were to start today What would you do? Seriously though if you were to start today, what would you do?

There’s a lot going on and you’re wondering what the heck?  How am I supposed to actually make money right now with all the restrictions? All the things going on, even if you’re in a country that’s got COVID thing under control there are closures and reopenings and closures again and it can feel like there’s not a lot in your control.

One issue that is causing this feeling of being stuck, or not seeing growth in your business is trying to fit the old business with the new restrictions. For example, maybe you have memberships and you’re thinking  “how can I do this with memberships?”, or “I only do classes and now I can only have x amount of people and that doesn’t allow me to make enough money.” I get it, costs don’t go down just because you can only use half your space.

I also see things like, “well, I can’t do that because my clients are x age and they won’t do virtual.”  Does this sound familiar? It easy right now to feel like you don’t know what to do, or feel really worried about the growth of your business. But, are you trying to fit your old business into today’s current climate?

If you are I don’t blame you. It makes the most sense right? To try to go back to the way things were with the restrictions because you don’t want to lose any clients. But, let’s be honest, was the old way you were doing business really working? Or was it just the way you always did things?

I know it just feels like there’s a lot of roadblocks, a lot of obstacles, a lot of people getting in your way, and not making things possible for you. And I hear you. I totally see you. Trust me. I had a studio too. And we had renters at my studio in LA. They subbed for me and took care of my studio when I was gone.

Like many of you I found out my studio closed through random sources and no one back in March knew how long this was going to be. We could not longer make money from renters, we canceled workshops or postponed to 2021, we postponed retreats to 2021, and just like that, we couldn’t do business the way we had before.  I’m not any different than you.

There are friends of mine who have studios who were on track to have their best year ever. And having their best year ever to be sidelined and some of them were closed for three or six or even seven or eight months, just like many of you.  And no matter where you are we are all trying to make up for lost time trying to figure out what do we do right now with what we’re allowed to do?

It’s ok to be worried, there are reasons to feel stuck and there are reasons to wonder if you are you supposed to be doing this.

I do believe all of you became teachers for a reason. We became teachers or owners for a reason.  All of this is happening for us. So many businesses out there that I coach were offering things because that’s what they thought the people in their community wanted. So many people opened up studios that were big with all these potential classes, but really people just want privates. Many of you thought you need to have these big beautiful studios with all these teachers but you don’t even like to manage people. And so you have this opportunity this year to ask yourself this question- If you were to start today, start over, what would you do?

And here’s the beauty, you get to bring all the things you know that you liked and didn’t like about your current business. What would you do? Knowing what I know how would I start today? I’d be exactly where I am right now because I asked myself this question back in March. We moved to Las Vegas in June after we made changes to what was left of our business. We were already 50% virtual and went 100% virtual. The studio was moved into our home here, and while I don’t teach in person right now I still teach the clients I had back in LA.

Your turn! If you were to start your biz today with all you know what would you do? What would you offer? And I want you to get really honest, are all the things you’re trying to make work the right thing for you, for how you want to show up?

I believe a lot of the stress and anxiety that a lot of people are feeling is because we’re trying to fit the old biz into the new way of life. It’s like taking a pair of our jeans from high school, high school is almost 20 years ago for me.  And we’re trying to make them fit today for our 20-year reunion. You know which pair of jeans you loved in high school, picture them there hanging on the door and you’re looking at them, and there is the feeling of wanting to wear the jeans, which sounds familiar and safe, but then there is the worry of whether they will fit, which leads to anxiety and even if they do get all the way on they tend to fall short.

Your old jeans, even your favorite most epic timeless jeans from back in the day are not the right jeans for where you are right now. And trying to make them be something they can’t be is going to leave you stuck, worried, frustrated. So, let’s get some new jeans. Let’s talk about how you would start today!!

And before you skip the answer and go right into the “how am I going to do this?” stop.

All you have to do right now is be honest with yourself.

What do you want to do with your workday?

What do you want to offer?

What do your future clients need? (not saying we ditch your old ones just saying don’t get stuck on the one or two clients who LOVE to share how much they don’t like change.)

When will you work? Where will you work?

The “how” is where everyone gets stuck because they get hung up on the fear of it not working. The fear of the unknown. The fear of failure, rejection and loss.

Don’t get caught up in the “how”. The “how” is actually really easy to solve. “How” is solved by people you know, people who know more than you, people who’ve been in your shoes.  The “How” is often answered by the universe if you saw my IG post. I wonder game.

It’s not woo woo either. If you are clear on what you want to do, we can get that how figured out.

I can’t wait to see the new “what’s” in the comments or feel free to dm me.

xx~LL

Are You Ready to Leap?

You will need to make leaps in your life and business often. It isn’t likely going to be easy. You are going to wonder if you are doing the right thing? Maybe even decide to not leap at all. I promise you though that when you stay where you doing the same thing over and over again you will feel like you are going crazy. Or worse, you’ll quit altogether and then we lose a great teacher. So, in this blog, I’m going to give you some blogs that will support your leap, the formula you need to know to make sure you can do the link, and also why your schedule is so important when it comes to leaping.

Know your numbers: You need to know how much money you need to make with other income streams so that you can replace the one you are wanting to give up for your leap. I talk about this a lot inside of AGENCY whenever anyone wants to talk about quitting a full-time job or starting a new project. Before I could leave my salaried job I needed to know how much money that job was paying me and the costs of any other benefits. Then I needed to know how many in my case private clients I needed in a week to make up for that annual income. So, if you are trying to give up at $60k/year job with benefits how much is that amount. Then how many private clients or units of a product, if you are selling something, do you need to make up that income? Once you know that information you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your dream needs to be in your schedule: I coach people on their ideal schedule A LOT! It’s essential that you have time in your schedule to work on the things that propel your business forward. In this blog, I discuss how to set up an ideal schedule that allows you to make time for you, your goals, and still the things that you feel you have to do.

Know where you want to leap to: so this might be obvious but often times the reason people don’t leap is they haven’t spent the time thinking about the place they want to land. This is something you need to do before you leap otherwise you are likely to go back or not leap at all because your situation won’t really change.

Trust yourself: If you can’t stop thinking about doing the thing ya gotta do the thing. And the thing that gets you to leap might not be your thing in the end. But, it might be the bridge to where you are going to go. So tell yourself you can’t make the wrong decision.

I leaped during a recession from a salaried job to teaching Pilates full time. I leaped from managing studios and leading teacher trainings to working for myself. I leaped from renting space to owning my own studio and recently we leaped from having a brick and mortar to being fully virtual. All of them scared the heck out of me. All of them I was as sure as I was nervous. All of them taught me more about myself and what I was capable of. Your first leap will scare the heck out of you. But then you start to get a leaping muscle.

The truth is your heart already knows its right, it’s your head that is worried. And for many of you reading this the truth is there really is no other choice right now but to leap. It’s also the best time. No hard feelings or hurt feelings. Covid made you do it.

Where are you wanting to leap to next?

xx~LL

PS my blog on burn out is also helpful here.

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

Preventing Burn Out and Overwhelm in your Fitness Business

“Do you ever have a bad day? A day that makes you question why you even do what you do?” I was asked that by a fellow Pilates teacher this week. And that question came after hearing from more than one teacher that they are overwhelmed, stuck, exhausted, and stressed out. Are you? Are you teaching more than you want but making less than you need? You’re not alone. It’s really easy when you are in a service-based business like teaching to say “yes” too often and try to be all the things to all the clients. It’s easy to put unreasonable pressure on who you should look like or what you should be saying. Let’s talk about some reason burn out happens in your business and ways you can prevent it (or at least catch it before its bad).

Here are some of the things I see teachers and studio owners do that leads to burn out and overwhelm:

  • saying ‘yes’ all the time.
  • teaching on their day off (even if its just one client).
  • marketing to everybody.
  • skipping their workout to teach a client or class
  • not charging enough (money is energy you give your clients energy that’s how they repay you).
  • not having a teaching schedule.
  • not having an ideal teaching schedule.
  • not having set time off that is off-limits for work.
  • letting clients contact them anytime and responding.
  • not upholding cancellation policies.
  • trying to market to everyone so they talk to no one and feel like no one is listening.
  • listening to too many people tell them what to do.
  • not having a community.
  • no accountability to their goals, boundaries or practice.
  • not having a consistent connection with those who support them.
  • a safe place to share what they are worried about.
  • not delegating.
  • trying to be the teacher, owner, ceo, marketer, janitor, social media expert, and website developer.
  • not firing clients who abuse the policies or are verbally or physically abusive.
  • have not taken the time to know their why and filter their goals through it. So they keep doing what everyone else is doing in the industry and wonder why it doesn’t make them happy.
  • do not have a clear list of whose opinions of them matter so then everyone’s opinion is weighted the same.
  • have a fixed and/or scarcity mindset.

I could keep going but that’s a good start. Which ones reflect where you are in your business?

Here are some things you can implement in your business or reflect on today that will help prevent burnout or at least will help you see when you’re on the road so you can catch it before you go too far down the path.

  • Learn how to say ‘let me check my calendar and get back to you.” Before you say yes to a client who isn’t already in your calendar buy yourself some time. Look at your schedule and see how much you’re already teaching that day/week. And ask yourself if that time they want is an ideal teaching time for you. If it’s not then offer them a time that is. It’s ok to say ‘no.’ It’s easier to build a schedule around what you love then it is to move people around later.
  • Know how many hours a day/week you need to teach to make the money you want to make. Think about how much you want to gross in a year and divide that by how many weeks you want to work in a year (hint its not 52..it shouldn’t be more than 48). Take the and divide it by how many days in a week (not 7) and then hours in a day. The answer is how much you should be charging. And if you’re charging that rate then all you need to do is check to make sure all your teaching hours are filled. If they are for that week then the person who wants a session needs to book next week where there is a spot.
  • Create an ideal schedule. This schedule should begin with YOU! I have a whole course on how to create your schedule and fill it here. But, to get you started you need to make sure your schedule includes your practice, your family, and your sleep and days off first. Then the amount of teaching hours that when filled = the money you want to gross in a year and then hours where you will work on your biz but not in your biz.
  • Know whose opinions of you matter and tell them! If someone criticizes you then you can see it from their perspective but remember if they are not on your list then it doesn’t get to hold the same weight as someone who is on your list. So go talk to those people. Everyone needs a community, accountability a place to go, and share what’s on their heart and mind. To get feedback and support. It’s literally why I created my online coaching group AGENCY.
  • Keep your practice up! Whether it’s with some on-demand platform or hopefully someone else teaching you and seeing you. If you lose your practice time to your work you will eventually resent your clients. But it’s not their fault. You’re the one that didn’t uphold your boundaries.
  • Make notes in your calendar when you are feeling less than optimal. Notice if there is a pattern. I know if I don’t take off 3-4 days in a row every 4-6 weeks on top of my regular 2 days off a week I will start to feel like I’m running on steam. And if I push through…it just means I’ll need more time off or I’ll get sick.
  • Know the signs (it’ll take a few bouts) or ask those around you to tell you some things they noticed about you before your burn out happened so that you can start to see and recognize that you are going down a path to be overwhelmed, have an anxiety attack, feel like you’re so burnt out you have to take off time or worse…consider quitting.
  • have cancellation policies and systems in place for scheduling and canceling so that you’re not always available. And uphold them.
  • Remember that people are just being themselves but that doesn’t mean you have to let them walk all over you or be an energy vampire. You need to figure out what you need to be your self and have energy afterward. Then create the boundaries around this an uphold them.

There are plenty more including hiring and delegating but let’s start with those. Which ones will you implement first? Side note: Don’t try to implement 5 of these at once. That will just overwhelm you more. Pick one or two to implement then one or two more until you’ve got your business working for you.

One more thing, just because you have your perfect work schedule, policies, the ideal client, and charge your worth doesn’t mean you won’t have a bad day or feel overwhelmed. These things simply help you have fewer of them, feel in control and reveal when one is coming. And, sometimes bad days or overwhelmed weeks reveal to us where we need to make changes. When I have them now its because I am doing a role in my business that is not the role I want to play. This requires me to make some new changes, maybe bring on another team member or hire someone to do some things that don’t need to be done by me.

But, if you do all focus on teaching your ideal schedule, upholding your policies and boundaries, and are clear on your why you’ll be able to take pauses, breaks, see possibility and potential on those days when you’re wondering “why am I doing this?” It’s more productive.

Let me know if you need support in creating policies, raising rates, firing clients, and more. Always here to help you do more of what you love.

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

When Should You Hire Help and How Much Should You Pay Them?

Believe it or not the answer to when you should hire someone is sooner than you think and before you are ready. Whether you are working for yourself or you’re running a studio the truth is no matter how awesome you are you cannot do it all. At the beginning of your business, you have to “bootstrap it.” In fact, even if you have the money to hire all the people there is a lot to be said for focusing on doing only what you need and doing most of the work yourself. In the book “Power of Broke” Daymond John explains how so many businesses did better by not having the funds to do everything at one time. But, at some point, your badass skills will fall short of being able to do all the things well. Or, lack of time to do all the things will get in the way of your growth. So, how do you know when to hire? And, then how much do you pay them?

First, let’s talk about how to know when you need to hire. Believe it or not its less about when you have “enough money” to hire someone and more about when you lack of hiring someone is actually costing you money and growth.  Most people make the mistake of hiring people for the job they needed months ago and not for where they are going to grow. For example, you know you need to have your website updated, you have been writing blogs but they are inconsistent because once you get in a groove then you realize your social media marketing isn’t where it should be. And before you know it you’re overwhelmed and not doing any one thing well. You’re tired, frustrated, and wondering why do any of it. You end up not growing your business as fast as you want or could. And, you put off the dreams and goals you have because you “don’t have time.”

I get asked all the time how I “do it all.” And I am really honest; I have a team. And I didn’t start out with a team nor could I afford my entire team at the beginning. I barely could afford my first hire. But, I also knew that the more she did for me the more I could teach aka make money. Hiring my first assistant was scary and also the light I needed under my arse. And yours will be too. Because, when you have people you’ve got to pay you start to see opportunities to make more money in more ways. You also stop feeling like you charge to much or worry about charging for a late cancel. You have a team to pay for.

How did I know when to hire? Great question. There were things I wasn’t doing not just because I didn’t have time but because I dreaded doing them. They literally made me annoyed. Frustrated. And awful person to be around. They actually took longer than they should because they were not my strengths. Which was costing me money because I could have been doing other things in that amount of time I was wasting. So, I decided I needed an assistant. Someone to do the things that were taking too much time.

Step one: Write down ALL the things you currently do, need to do, and want to do in your business.

Yes, that will take time and you should take the time to write these things down. Just brain dump it all. EVERYTHING. Even the changing of the toilet paper. Once you have this brain dumped list then I want you to take anything that doesn’t require YOU and put them in either a “F yes” column or a “no” column.

For example, to put a video of mine up on Youtube it has to be filmed, edited, the copy has to be written, and then it is uploaded to Youtube. Of these tasks I love filming and writing! But, do not love editing and uploading. And truthfully the only one of these tasks that requires me to do anything is filming. The writing could even be outsourced.

Here’s another one, teaching a client. To do this they need to be scheduled, they need to pay or their package needs accounting for, then they need to be taught, maybe a reminder has to be sent. Of these tasks the only one that is an F yes for me is teaching. I can do all the other things. And you may even be thinking “But LL most of those things don’t take that long.” True, they might only take one or two steps. But, I don’t want to do those things. They don’t light me up and therefore those steps not only waste my time, they cost me money. I could be doing something else with that time.

Step two: Whatever is on the “No” list that doesn’t bring you money you have to hire for.

Anything that doesn’t bring you money that isn’t a F yes column is literally a drain on your headspace and your business growth. Trust me. I know you think, “But if it doesn’t bring me money, paying someone to do that is really costing me money.” Yes, it does cost you money to hire for these tasks, but I promise you if you use the formula below you will see how – in the same amount of time – someone can do the work that doesn’t bring you money and doesn’t light you up literally allows you to make more money.

Step three: Know how much your hourly rate is.

When you first go out to hire people for your business some people might ask you “what is your budget?” This question may have you worried. Or even thinking that they’ll cost you too much. But, if you know your “hourly rate” then you’ll know how much you can spend on a new team member. Side note most people will just say how much they charge per hour. But for websites and some projects, they may want to know what your ballpark is and we can talk more about this together if you need. But another way is to have a detailed list of what you want need and then get quotes on the same project from several people. Let them pitch themselves to you. But for someone working for you hourly like an assistant etc you’ll want to have an idea of how much you’re willing to pay for the job. As I mentioned my first hire was an assistant. And I decided that I could pay about $5 more than min wage so I could get a person who would be dedicated during those hours. But, I also could only afford that person to work 5 hours a week for me. How did I come up with that?

I knew my hourly rate!

Here’s how you figure out yours:

What is the amount of money you want to gross in your business in a year?

Divide that amount by the number of weeks you will work in a year.

Divide that number by the number of days you will work in a week.

Then take that number and divide it by the number of hours you will work in a day.

The answer is how much you must be charging at minimum for your time. And, that means anyone you hire that is less than that is saving you money.

So, I knew that I was able to take on one more hour of teaching a week and that gave me 5 hours for my assistant each week. I literally created 4 hours of time for myself each week by hiring her.

And, then when the results of her working for me began to take effect we were able to bring on another assistant to do other tasks on my “no” list. And that meant I taught one more hour a week, got another 5 hours out of another person. And thus had 8 hours extra. What would you do with an extra 8 hours?

Step 4: Create a job description from the “no” list.

In this podcast episode with Kareen Walsh she goes over how to know who to hire. And not just who but literally write the job description that saves you from hiring the wrong people. Too often people finally decide to hire but they don’t have a clear job description. So they hire the wrong people. Which will literally waste your time. AKA money. And then you’ll say “LL I tried to hire and it just didn’t work.” And you’d be right. But, you went about it the wrong way. When you look at the list of the things you love you create your own job description according to Walsh. And the stuff you don’t want to do creates the job descriptions of who you are hiring.

Step 5: Set them Up for Success

Training people to do the work better than you would is not easy but it is possible. There are some great tips for creating systems that are foolproof in the book “The Replaceable Founder” But, maybe you don’t have a system yet because its something you need but you haven’t done or haven’t had a chance to create a good system. Then first be sure to hire someone whose strengths and desires are related to the job. Don’t hire your friend just because they need work and will take what you will pay them. And be sure to take the extra time needed (and you will need it) tell them what you like that they did and why as well as what changes you would make and why. For example, say you’re hiring someone to write your newsletters and they do and you like the first two. And you say “oh I love these.” But then the third and fourth come out and you’re like “ugh these are not what I was expecting.”

All of our team works remotely so when we are having them take on a task of ours we will film what we do and have them create the “system” for it. This system then lives somewhere we can keep so if we ever need to hire anyone to do it they can follow the last person’s system for it. But, before we keep it as a true system we do have another person (in our case on our team but you could use a friend) to follow the system. It should be easy for anyone to follow their steps.

We give feedback often on what we liked and again WHY we liked it. And if we would change something we say why. This way they can start thinking like us.

Step 6: Have a plan for the time they are giving back to you.

If you are like I was in the beginning the people we hired allowed for me to do more things that would propel the business forward aka make more money how many hours is it giving you and exactly what are you doing. If you’re not clear on this you will easily fill it with other busywork. Now, almost three years after our first hire many of our hires actually give us time off. Yep, time to live life. What will you do with those hours?

Finally, I leave you with this reminder, hire for where you are growing. It is so easy to hire for the business you had yesterday. But then you’ll always feel like you’re not growing. And that you’re always playing catch up. Where do you want to grow your business? What jobs would be a “no?” Who are you hiring first?

xx~LL

Ps if you need help with hiring and firing here is a course that gives you more tips on this topic.

 

Pivoting: Tips for Instructors and Studio Owners

Pivoting, I am sure you have heard this word more often than you want during the Corona Virus Shut Down, Re-open, and potential re-closures. And, maybe you have even pivoted once or twice already? I know you struggle to know if you should pivot now? Is it too late? What if things “go back to normal?” And, even wondering if it’s too late and you missed the Pivot Plane. Truth is pivoting may be more than just what helps you survive this time. It might actually take your business to a level you hadn’t thought about. Or, even become more than a band-aid to the times and be the way you help people for years to come. Pivoting doesn’t have to be a last resort or a “bad thing.” It could literally be the thing that sets you free of what you thought you “should be doing.” So, whether you have already made some pivots or are just getting started here are some tips for Pivoting.

First, it’s important you recognize that pivoting is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean you failed. When gyms and studios were forced to close ClassPass lost 95% of its revenue. OVERNIGHT. The entire fitness industry was sent into a freefall. You are not alone. And, there are tons of success stories already out there where pivots have more than saved a business. There are many that are looking at their future primary product being virtual. You can be (and I hope all reading this will be) saying something similar.

Now that you have let go of feeling like you’re “failing” by changing what you offer or how you show up. Let’s talk about some ideas.

Pre-Rona you or you studio were limited to who could get to your studio. People who lived or worked in the area. You were limited to your ideal client being “nearby.” Now, EVERYONE understands how to use their computer or device to zoom, Facetime, or Google Hangout. And, while some people weren’t as excited to workout online in March many are jumping on board now.

Virtual Classes For Always: In-real-time classes not only feel like “old times” you can easily charge your normal in-person rates. You are not limited to the walls of your studio. People are now used to buying fitness equipment so you can put together kits they can buy from you for your classes. You are also only limited to time zones issues. Your existing clients can help you promote your classes and bring their friends and family from all over the world. Which is where you should start. With people who know like and trust you. And when the time comes to move back inside you can still keep your in-real-time virtual attendees. I take a step class every week with about 28 other women from all over the country. And, the teacher is in a big warehouse with 20 in-person students. That’s 48 on a random night. Their studio could only fit 32. No longer are their profits limited by occupancy rules.

Courses: what questions does your studio or you get asked often? Nowadays creating online courses has never been easier. There are platforms like Teachable and Kajabi and others that make it easy for anyone to film a course put it up online and sell it. Now, I promise you just because you build it doesn’t mean it will be a success overnight. You still will have to promote this product. But, it is another income stream that now without having as many hours spent driving around to go from class to class or to the studio you can finally write, film and sell that course you’ve been wanting to put together. And, go ahead niche down and answer the specific question your ideal client is asking. Your ideal client has back issues do a course on things they can do at home. Maybe there is a level 1, 2 and 3? And, because they will trust you so much after doing the course maybe they join your virtual classes or in-person offerings when that happens for you.

Downsizing: this option is brilliant and I know that maybe it doesn’t feel brilliant in the beginning trust me everything is happening for you. Maybe you have a big studio, you’ve got lots of teachers or you’ve struggled to find enough “good” teachers? You opened the studio so that you could help people. You saw that most people opened with 3+ Reformers, towers, chairs etc. But, the truth is you don’t love managing people and you want to focus on other things. Maybe you want to travel, be with your family more, or simply have a business that is smaller, more manageable? What if you rented out your excess equipment, moved to a smaller studio space, or create a home studio as I did. Truth is most teachers can have a very profitable private business with 20ish clients working 46 weeks a year if they charge their worth. Your clients who are unsure about returning in-studio can rent the extra equipment from you and when they are done you can sell or re-rent it out.

Poll Your People: I’m often asked how come I moved to Vegas or decided to have a home studio? And honestly, I’ll answer the question about Why Vegas another day its a longer story than a bullet point on a blog. But, that part that helps you is I polled my clients who stuck with virtual. I asked them if when things “reopened” what they wanted? Were they going to be going back to their offices, other gyms etc. They all said they were LOVING virtual and were even doing more sessions. They didn’t have traffic, parking, or worry about a meeting running late. Because I knew that they were not planning on coming back it allowed me to explore other options.

Sell the Results, not the Process: maybe your business doesn’t need a pivot but your marketing does. I often see teachers and businesses selling the process. Meaning they sell class times or equipment classes. But they don’t sell what matters to people- how you help them. How does “Pilates Mat class tonight with LL 6 pm” solve their back pain, their lack of self-confidence, their stress level lowering or simply being part of a community? Right, it doesn’t. It sells the process. But, what if you talked about the results? What if you shared with people the big picture, the feeling they will have when they show up? Give this tip a try all week long and see if the engagement on your posts changes.

Stop wallowing: What does wallowing have to do with pivoting? A lot actually! If you add a new offering, discontinue ones you cannot offer, and even do any of the things I have mentioned above but you are still living in the “woe is me” mindset I promise you you’ll get to continue living in this place you are in. You’ve got to stop feeling like this is happening to you and that you’re the only one. And this one is a big one, You have GOT to stop believing that “no one wants to do virtual mat classes and pay for them.” Or “no one will pay for this class I offer because they are used to x, y or z.” You need to believe in yourself. You need to show up every day asking yourself how can you reach the people you were meant to help today? You need to because you are the only person who can teach who you teach the way you teach.

What pivots are you going to make? What are you going to commit to?

Couple things I need you to keep in mind as you make your changes:

  1. Insurance: you gotta make sure your insurance covers you for the on-demand aka pre-recorded content you are offering.
  2. City/County policies: I am LOVING the ideas of studios teaching in their parking lots, parks or beaches. Do you have permission?
  3. Your waivers: anytime you add something you have never done before you gotta make sure your waivers cover you! This is not something you can borrow from a friend download off the internet.
  4. Who is it for? Why do they need it? What do they get after doing it? Remember the results not the process is what they care about.
  5. You gotta market it. More often than you think. More times than you can dream up.
  6. Which is why you gotta love it, believe in it and go for it.

 

Look, I’m not gonna lie, times are WEIRD AF. But, let’s be honest, people are thriving during this time and it’s not because they are finding ways to benefit from a pandemic. No, these are Pilates teachers, Personal trainers, gyms and studios that have decided to get creative, show up and be ready to fail. Yep, failing is inevitable and it gives you Feedback! So, fail fast and you’ll actually fail forward. AKA make mistakes, learn from them, and try again tomorrow. Now is the time to get creative, try new things, and go for it.

What will you try next?

xx~LL

 

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.