What Changes Can You Make to Up-level Your Business

Your business changes all the time. Even if you don’t like change, the people who engage with your business and the businesses you use change. It’s important that you’re in charge of your business and how your clients, or for studio owners, employees/renters engage with it. If you find yourself complaining about something more than once it’s a sign that you need to make some changes in your business.

I love facing complaints head-on. I wrote about some of my favorite complaints in a recent blog post and I think it’s key for your business to grow to listen to your complaints, the clients and others to see where you can make changes. 

Side note: Just because clients or others in your business complain doesn’t mean you need to make changes. You can’t please everyone. But, sometimes a tweak here and there can make your inbox lighter!

Looking at your schedule what do you find yourself complaining about? Is there a time slot you dread teaching? A client that drains your energy?

Write down all the things that you wish were different in your business.

How long have you been compiling about these things?

What if you did change them? What could happen?

Take one complaint this week and try to make adjustments in your business to get to the other side of it.

If you’re struggling with how to ditch these complaints know you are not alone. It’s really hard to figure out what to do when you’re in it. Which is why I offer coaching calls and my online coaching group AGENCY. After you have written your list if you want a second set of eyes and some ideas on what to do next then let’s chat. Comment below with what changes you wish you could make or contact me here.

xx~LL

How to Prepare for a New Client

First impressions are important. And, when it comes to a new client engaging with you or your studio it’s even more integral. When someone comes in for their first class or session 60% of the decision to start a new fitness regimen is made. All you have to do is help them decide that it is you. Here are my tips for scheduling and teaching a new client.

  1. Make it easy for them: Is it clear on your site what to do next? How to schedule? What you offer?
  2. Tell them what to do: Don’t offer them all the times in the world you have or ask them when they want to get started. Train them from the beginning to schedule their life around Pilates with you.
  3. Have a “what to expect” email: Whether they sign up over the phone, email or via text be sure to send them an email that tells them your policies, what to expect, wear, park etc..
  4. Know their why.
  5. Forget about selling Pilates. They just need to trust that you’re the person who can help them.
  6. Follow up even if they said they don’t want to do Pilates. Send them a thank you note.
  7. Remember that their first package is still the courting process. Hold them accountable to their sessions, consistency and goals.
  8. Train them how to treat you and the studio. If your policies are broken you have to uphold them. It’s not a fun convo but it’s most important in the beginning.
  9. Don’t take things personally. Whether a client loves Pilates, doesn’t, late cancels or quits it’s not personal. Read the 4 agreements. You’re not for everyone and that is ok.
  10. Know when you want to teach, where and whom. It’s your business and you’ll get more clients that inspire you when you’re clear on these things. Not everyone is for you and that’s ok.

It’s easy to get caught up on selling Pilates or the training  to the new client. But, the truth is you are the guide. Your studio is the community. If you are clear on who you are for, what you offer it makes it easier for your future clients to decide on you too. And, then help them out by making sure your site, how you schedule them and prep them makes it easy for them to know you are the expert at what you do.

For more tips on first time clients check out this blog and this course. For coaching on converting first time clients for you or your studio contact me here.

xx~LL

How to create more time, Make more money, and Have a Life

If you find yourself saying that you’re “too busy,” “don’t have enough time,” or, “don’t have enough money.” This blog is for you! I get asked often how do I “do it all?” And, “do you work all the time?” And, the answers are I do not do it all. And, I don’t work all the time. But, I do get a lot done strategically and you can too! Here are 3 tips to creating more time, which will make more money and give you a life.

  1. Time Block: I’ve talked about this before but it’s important to repeat again. I use a timer for projects. I stop working when the timer goes off. I make sure that I do a little bit on each project each week so that the needle is moving forward. When you wait to do something that has nothing to do with another thing you end up postponing that something until it’s too late. When you put deadlines on your tasks you realize how little time some things take. But, when you give them more time they take more time. I also make sure that before I scroll on IG or any other socials before I “consume” I create. So, I do the things that propel my business forward first. Grab your to-do’s and give time limits on projects. And, use a timer like this one to hold you accountable.
  2. Delegate: I know you think you can’t afford a VA, assistant, someone to do your grocery shopping or clean your house or studio but I promise you that hiring people to do the things that don’t bring you joy or don’t bring you money is essential to have more time and in your business time is money! I create all my content, write all my words on blogs, social media, YouTube, newsletters and more. But, I don’t edit my videos, schedule my newsletters or clean my house. The 3 hours my housekeeper spends each week between my house and studio costs me a session and a bit. It’s sooo worth giving her that money so that I can free up 1.75 hours where I can be doing work that brings in money. What tasks could you outsource?
  3. Recognize your complaints, frustrations, and fears. Call them out! What would happen if you got rid of your complaints? What could you get done if you didn’t spend time repeating your frustrations? What could happen if you weren’t in fear of ___? The time we waste on repeated complaints, talking in circles about frustrations or not doing the thing because we are afraid of what could happen is time that could be marketing your business, enjoying your life or doing something that you love. Take stock this week of the time you waste overthinking, talking yourself out of doing something, complaining or blaming. Make a note when you get in your own way and acknowledge when you are procrastinating by scrolling on social or sitting in imposter syndrome and thinking everyone else is doing it better than you. Then, take the next first step and see what happens. Take messy action!

Tip #4 will be released in my newsletter this week. Are you on the list

I want you to have the business and life you want. Because you can have it. In fact, when you go through the obstacles in your business (not around) you get to help more people! Isn’t that why you started teaching in the first place? Which of these tips will you try this week? Post in the comments below. And, tag me with your wins!

xx~LL

PS If these tips resonate with you and you’re tired of not moving the needle forward in your business then check out my online coaching group AGENCY. It’s the most supportive community of teachers from around the world who are taking action and creating incredible lives for themselves.

Our Best Pilates Business Blogs

Whether you’re looking into how to set up a social media plan for your Pilates business, get new clients, raise your rates or find the right Pilates school for yourself here is a round-up of our most-read Pilates business blogs. We’ve got over 300 blogs to read now but here are the best of the best voted on by our readers.

 

#1 How to Keep Clients Coming Back: Great read for client retention. And you want to know about this before you lose a client because it’s easier to keep them then to get a new one.

#2 My Top 3 Mistakes and What They Taught Me: Learn from the mistakes that taught me the most and why I never make them again.

#3 Top 10 Steps for Owning a Studio: Even if you are just getting started having this information in your mind is helpful.

#4 How to Become an Instructor: Send this one to a friend if you already are one!

#5 Should You Own or Rent: a question you should ask yourself if you’re really busy or if you live in a state that is changing their laws you may wonder should I own or be employed?

#6 How Often Do You Think About the Pebbles in Your Business?: Read this if you need more time or have goals you want to hit. It’s all about time management.

#7 Do You Need Social Media?: Some tips for those of you using social media.

Do you enjoy these round ups? If so, comment below with topics you wished all the blogs were “rounded up” for.

xx~LL

PS what’s blog above did you click on first?

How to Hire a Team

Nowadays it’s easier than ever to get help on the tasks in your business that you don’t like doing, don’t know how to do or don’t have the time to do. Studio owners you not only have to hire teachers but you also have to hire other team members to help you keep your studio clean and running smoothly. All of us, instructors and owners alike, should be considering what we truly need to be spending our time on and what we should be delegating out. So, hiring sooner than you think is key for the growth and health of your business. But, how do you hire a team?

Well, I wish I could give you a  step by step formula that you can copy, rinse and repeat. But, like Pilates, there is the ideal and then there is your clients ideal right? So, here are my tips for hiring. Try any or all of these! If you want more of a deep dive check out my course here or contact me for a coaching call.

  1. Hire fast and fire faster. Yep, I used to say hire slow and fire fast. And, there is an art to hiring slow to make sure you’re not making an emotional hiring decision. But, if you’re clear on the jobs expectations, your needs and have a good filter in your interviewing system you will weed out a lot of people and be less likely to hire the wrong person.l But, let’s say you do. Fire them. I know you want give people the benefit of the doubt but spending more time trying to fix a bad hire will not only cost you money for paying them but your time for retraining etc.
  2. Be very clear what the job is, what your needs are and go over that in an interview. Have questions that there is no bad answer but that if they answer one way it reveals that they are not the right hire for you. For example, I’m a massive ideas person. When looking for my executive assistant I didn’t need another person with forward-thinking ideas. I needed an implementer. So, I asked her if she wants to be in on the brainstorming side of things or organizations and implementation. If she had chosen the first it doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. Just not the assistant I need.
  3. Hire sooner than you think. I find a lot of teachers building their own websites, doing their own bookkeeping, etc. You guys, unless these were jobs you had prior to becoming a teacher I promise you that you can hire someone to do these things for way less per hour than you make teaching! So, instead of “saving money” and doing it yourself hire people to do it. It’s their area of expertise and they will do it better and faster than you! Plus, the mistakes you make or the extra time it takes you will cost you money in the long run.
  4. Hiring someone to do things that do not bring you money or joy and cost you less than your hourly wage are key for creating more time in your day and growing your business.
  5. Know your strengths and hire your weaknesses! Together you will make a great team.

Behind the scenes, at my business, there are currently four other people! Four! Five if you include the bookkeepers and six if you include my CPA. Are many of them doing things I could do? Yep! But, the amount of time it takes them to do their jobs costs me way less than what I make teaching and coaching. And, they love what they are doing! Yep, I hired people who get to use their strengths to do the tasks. Without them, I couldn’t do what we do. They feel inspired at the end of their workday and I feel super good because I’m not constantly doing things that either I don’t like or that take me away from propelling my business forward.

What areas of your business are you going to finally hire out today?

Feeling like you’ve hired the wrong person? Wanting help on doing team reviews and developing your hiring or leadership goals then join me for a coaching call or bounce ideas of other studio owners and teachers in my online coaching group m

xx~LL

My Top 3 Mistakes and What They Taught Me

When I first started out as a Pilates teacher I made lots of mistakes. And, if you’re new, you will and should too! You will learn more from your mistakes then you will from the things that go the way you wanted. Especially in the beginning. Most mistakes you make in your business are great signs of things you need to work on. And rarely will derail your business. And, most mistakes are not as big a deal when you look back. However, I know that when you’re “int it” mistakes can feel like they are the worst thing that could ever happen. But, below are my top 3 mistakes that I made that I see a lot of Pilates teacher and studio owners make.

  1. Saying Yes to Every Client: When I first started out as a Pilates teacher I was also managing a high-end jewelry store in LA. I would teach Pilates 6 am, 7 am and 8 am and then race across town to open my store and work until 6:30 or 7:30 pm. And on many days I would go back across town to the studio to teach evening clients! I loved teaching and I was so excited that every new client I taught wanted at least two sessions a week that I kept saying yes. I didn’t even know I could say no! I was afraid also if I did that I would lose the client. But, in a short period of time, I found myself teaching 6 days a week and running my store 5 days a week. Which meant I didn’t have a single day off! You guys, this is not good! I know you may be reading this and be thinking “you need the money.” But, if you don’t own your schedule, get firm on your teaching times and protect your self-care time no one will! You’ll burn out faster than you think. And that would be sad because then the world would lose a great teacher.
  2. Not raising my rates sooner: I made up every excuse in the book to not raise my rates come year one. Then year two came around and my rent at both the studio and my house went up. The cost of gas was higher and I was at a point that I needed more continuing education. It was costing me money to do the exact same job. When I finally raised my rates sure a few people griped but they all stayed. If I had done it a year earlier that would have been more money in my pocket soon! I know you’re worried about this but I promise if you get on a schedule for raising your rates you will be grateful and your clients will expect it. You can learn more about how to do this on my course here.
  3. Teaching hours and clients that were not ideal for me: I know you think Pilates is for everyone so you can teach everyone. And, I am sure you can. But, the truth is we don’t all gel will everyone. There are clients out there who are best served by someone else. Not just personality-wise but time of day they prefer and personal goals or body needs. By saying “no” to clients that want times that you don’t thrive in you open up the opportunity to teach a client at a time you do! And, instead of being exhausted at the end of the day you will feel inspired, whelmed, content.

Honestly, I could go on and on about other mistakes I made. But these three at the beginning of my business all came back to bite me and caused me to have to make drastic changes in my business and life to allow me to not burn out!

You are the only person who can teach the way you teach.. You are the only person who can help the people that you help. So, get super clear on when you want to teach, who you want to teach and how often you will raise your rates and you’ll have a great foundation to grow your business on. Will you make mistakes? Yep, and me too! Sometimes I think the universe sends me clients that test my boundaries and makes sure I’m still putting my goals first.

Feeling like you’re stuck in one of these mistakes and don’t know how to get out? Check out my online group coaching called AGENCY. Members get to ask me and the other members for support and accountability so they can finally put their goals first.

xx~LL

How to Find Subs for Your Clients

One thing harder than finding clients to teach is finding subs to teach your clients when you travel! Whether you are an independent contractor or studio owner keeping your clients consistent when you leave town is key for client retention. And, for studio owners, having clients comfortable working with a sub is a great way to retain a client even if you lose a teacher. So, its a win-win for the client, teacher, and owner for clients sessions to run as usual each week. And, you will feel great going on vacation knowing that your clients are not just waiting around for you to get back. But, where do you find these subs? And, how can you set it up so you and your client can trust them?

  1. Are you an Independent Contractor or Employee? If you are not the studio owner then you want to know the answer to this question. If you are an employee check with your studio owners policies for subbing out your clients. If you are an independent contractor or a studio with independent contractors it’s important you check with the laws where you live. For me to sub my clients out when I travel I cannot pay the teacher out of the client’s package. The client and the teacher agree on the time and the client pays them directly.
  2. If you are at a studio try to partner up with other teachers in the studio. Your clients are used to seeing them in the studio and will feel comfortable with them. People don’t like change so having a teacher they can say they’ve at least said “hi” too then you’ll more likely to convince them to take a sub and not miss their sessions.
  3. Find subs who can keep the client at the same place and time. Again, people don’t like change so if the client has to go to another studio or come at a different time or day they are less likely to say yes to a sub. When clients miss their sessions they get out of the habit and then it’s easy for them to think Pilates doesn’t work for them.
  4. Go and take Pilates from other teachers! If you don’t have teachers in the space that you teach that you can turn to then go out and get in the Pilates community in your area. Take classes from other people and the ones you like ask them out for coffee. Or set up a time to talk and inquire if they are ok with subbing clients from time to time.
  5. Have client cards you can easily share with subs. Clients are more likely to take a sub if they know the teacher has their workout plans.
  6. Make sure the subs know your policies and procedures and adopt these rules. You don’t want a sub that isn’t going to charge a late cancel that you would charge. Create a expectations sheet for subs to review and even sign (contact me if you want help on this) and you may even want a contract between you and the sub as to how much they will get paid from each client and who their role is.
  7. Have the sub come and observe you teach. This way they feel comfortable taking on your clients while you travel.
  8. Don’t give up! It took me many years to get my clients to take a sub. Then, when my traveling picked up they finally gave in. Now they each have a sub they love more than another. It takes several times of suggesting a “guest teacher” to your clients to get them to say yes. But, don’t let that stop you.

If you have taken all the classes you can in your area and still haven’t found a sub you love then it’s time to get creative. How can you create a workout for your clients to do at home on your own while you or even they are away?

Which of these tips are you going to try before the next time you go away?

xx~LL

How to Make Your Goals a Reality

Goal setting for your Pilates or Fitness business is key. I know a lot of people think sometimes setting goals can be on the “woo” side or put unnecessary pressure on your business. But, if you don’t have an idea of where you want to grow it’s easy for other peoples goals to become your goals. These can be your client’s goals, another teacher, studios and more. Goal setting doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. But, taking the time to set some and start working on them will help you refine and develop your vision.

When I first set goals for my business I thought I was thinking big! I thought it would take me 10 years to do what I wanted to do. But, as I started to do the things I will share with you below it became clear that my vision was going to happen sooner. And, it revealed opportunities that I didn’t even know were possible. Some of the goals on my sheet I ended up crossing off without achieving. That’s ok too! Sometimes goals sneak on our plate that sound good just not for us today or ever.

If you already have your goals handy you can skip the first part. But, you may want to do it anyways.

  • Take some time to go for a walk and clear your head or get away from any distractions. If you bring your phone with you put it on airplane mode.
  • Pick a date in the future and picture where you are. I often like to pick my birthday but you can pick any day. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? If you are celebrating you what are people saying about you?
  • What does a week in the life of you look like?
  • write it all out! Seriously, brain dump away. Don’t let any thoughts stop you. You have endless amounts of time and money in this exercise.

Then, once you can see how you spend your time in the future and what people are celebrating you for write out all those things as a goal. For example, if in three years I am living in an airstream six months of the year traveling the states and teaching classes then I would have the deadline three years from now a) live in an airstream b) teach pop up classes. Which means that 30 months from now I probably should have purchased the air stream already. Two years from now I should have a good list of people around the country to visit and help me create pop up classes. A year from now I should be offering up opportunities that add value to people around the states. Six months from now I should try bopping around and doing road trips and making sure I like driving around and being somewhat nomadic. Next week I am planning a road trip somewhere to teach a class and try this goal on for size.

See how I did that?

Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share your goals and reverse engineered plan below. If you’re struggling to see the roadmap. Don’t worry. This is something I work on with almost every member in my online coaching group AGENCY. I’m happy to help you see if the group or a one-one-one call is what you need to take the first next step towards your personal goals!

Tips For Going Live on Social

Connecting to your audience is key in marketing online these days. And, with millions more people following Instagram stories, and Facebook stories depending on your audience and goals it could be necessary for you. Going Live on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms is not new. But, lately, I have been receiving lots of questions about this topic. So, below find my go-to tips that will not only help you go Live but feel comfortable doing it.

Choose the Platform: There are many platforms you can use for going Live. It’s important that you pick the one (or ones) that your ideal client or audience is on. Use your analytics to show you who your followers are, ie. gender, age, location etc. The one that has more of your ideal client on it is the one I would do these lives on. If you love Tik Tok but your clients are above the age of 50 going you’d be shouting from the rooftops in a deserted city.

Announce it: I don’t often have time to pre-announce my lives but when I do I always have more viewers. So, even if you do it an hour or so before on your socials it would help you feel like you are actually talking to people.

Have a Topic in Mind: What do you want to go Live about? What do you want those watching to do after they go live? Nothing feels more awkward than going live, having just a couple live viewers and not feeling ready. Even if you just want to answer peoples questions have some questions in your mind you can answer so that you’re not just hanging out there.

Ask people to comment: Tell people what to do so that they stay engaged.
Giveaway the good stuff at the beginning: Like a blog, people want to know if it’s in it for them. So, tell them the “answer” at the beginning and then go into the what and how after.

Collaborate: Go live with another teacher or client! On many platforms, you can go live with other people from different locations. I love to call into people’s IG’s and answer questions from their audience.
Look at the dot: Yeah, the dot on your phone is the eyes of your viewer.

Smile more than you think!

Capture it correctly: If going Live on IG it’s a vertical video. If you go live on FB you can do both horizontal or vertical. But, if you plan on posting your live on Youtube you’ll want to film it horizontally.
Have fun! The first time you do it will be weird. Delete it if you don’t love it. And, then try again the next day. The more you do it the easier it gets. Think about teaching for the first time.

Do you need to go live? Nope, not at all. Again, it depends on your goals for your business and your audience. But, it is a fun way to engage with your audience and hopefully, your audience is a lot of people in your community.

Where do you like to go live? I’d love to hear your favorite platforms and what you like to talk about below.

If you want more support on choosing the right platform and what to talk about then contact me here. Let’s set up a game plan for you!

xx~LL

My Best Advice For New Pilates Instructors

Recently in an interview, online a viewer asked me one of my favorite questions “What is my advice for new Pilates Instructors?” I love this question because I wish more new instructors had support, tips, and tangible advice to start their teaching career with confidence.

  1. You won’t always know what your niche is from the start. So, be open to teaching all kinds of people, even special cases (ideally have a teacher you can go to for support or advice) so that you can learn even more and find where your voice is, what clients you are drawn to and what clients are drawn to you.
  2. It’s ok to say no. As much as I want you to get out there and teach as much as you can I want you to maintain a work schedule so that you don’t hit burn out.
  3. Talk to everyone about who you are and what you do! I find most new instructors have more clients from the get-go because they are so fired up. So take advantage of your newbie months!
  4. Yes, you need to learn more but you don’t need to take EVERY workshop that comes your way. Teach more bodies don’t just collect information.
  5. Read my book!
  6. Watch this masterclass course
  7. Don’t worry about being so new. Most clients won’t care how long you’ve been teaching. They care more about how you can help them!
  8. Get a website but don’t obsess about social media
  9. Talk to your CPA about being and LLC or Scorp as independent contractors are taxed higher.
  10. Maintain your Pilates practice!!! This will keep you learning and staying inspired.

I could go on and on and on! If you’ve got a question you can contact me here or comment below.  I’m excited for you!

xx~LL

200 No’s and Why You Should Talk to Strangers

My parents drilled in my head that I should never talk to strangers. But, once you’re not a young child no one tells you that talking to strangers is a good thing. Talking to people you don’t know can help you get directions, help you meet other people you need to know, help you grow your business, help you make friends and other relationships. I mean, could you imagine if you still only talked to those who you grew up with?  If you want to grow your business you need to talk to strangers. And, you need to hear ‘no’ a lot!

The other day Brad and I were sitting in one of my favorite cafes in Siem Reap Cambodia. Two ladies were next to us and about to pay their bill. They both pulled out their wallets and it was the same wallet style as Brads. To me, this wasn’t that big a deal. But, to Brad, it was so cool. So he grabbed his wallet and went up to them and started a conversation about wallets with 2 strangers. 

What came out of that conversation was a relationship with an NGO in Siem Reap that will rent our house for their volunteers. That conversation lead to a meeting which lead to some other conversations that allowed our goals to match up with their goals.

Could we have done this via email? Maybe, but highly unlikely. People want to know you, they want a relationship. It takes more than one email to create a working relationship. And this applies to your business too.

If you’re wanting new clients but you are waiting for referral or people to email you or call you then it’s going to be some time before you have a full schedule. But, if you share who you are, what you do and how you help people you will build your business so much quicker.

Will everyone you talk to say ‘yes?’ Nope, and that’s ok! In fact, ‘no’s’ are a good thing. They help you get better at knowing who you are for. They help you refine how you talk about what you do. And, they help you see who you are not for.

In my online group coaching community AGENCY, Brad and I were talking with a few members who need new clients but have only told about a dozen people in one month-is what they do. He shared how he would go for 200 no’s. That he would find ways, sort of like a game, to talk to people and direct the conversation to what he was selling at the time. And he would count the ’no’s’ because they all got him closer to the few ‘yes’s’ he needed.

See, most of us don’t need EVERY client we come across. We need a solid group of consistent clients. And, that comes from being picky and being clear on who you are for and how they should work with you.

So, how many people can you share what you do with this week? I’d love to hear about your ‘no’s’ and how you got to have a conversation with a stranger. Because chances are you don’t know your future client yet.

xx~LL

What Should You Be Blogging About

Since blogging is far from dead (it really is) you’re probably more worried about what to blog about than anything. Because of my blogs, I have thousands of hits on my site every month. And you can have that too. But, you have to be writing blogs that answer the questions your ideal client is asking the search engines. So, how do you figure that out and then what do you blog about? Well, luckily I’ve got a list of ideas below you can use!

Personal Blog Topic Ideas

  • 10 things most people don’t know about you/your studio/your teaching
  • How you prepare for ___
  • What’s in your Pilates bag
  • Five things/exercises you can’t live without
  • What you love about teaching, Pilates, your clients
  • How you became a teacher, studio owner
  • Behind the scenes
  • Your top 10 favorite things/exercises/props
  • Go to leggings, exercises, books etc

Your Product or Service Blog Topic Ideas

  • 10 reason to fall in love with—
  • How to pick the right product or service you offer
  • 10 things think about when starting Pilates
  • Spotlight your product/service
  • 5 ways your service helps ___
  • Faqs are great blogs!!!
  • Top 10 questions you get asked
  • What clients have said
  • What to look for in a teacher/studio/class
  • What it looks like to work with you
  • Client interview
  • why are people not hiring you

Put these on a doc and start brainstorming. The ones that you can’t stop writing about are the ones you should use and toss the rest or save them for another time. Pick a blog schedule you can keep up with and get to blogging. For more tips on how blogs get your clients check out my client journey course and blogging for your business.

xx~LL