6 Reasons Why They Didn’t Buy Pilates From You

You know you’re teaching is en pointe. You have a great space. You asked them their goals, your prices are competitive (maybe even a little too low) and you and this new client had a great session. But, at the end of the session, they said: “I’ll think about it.” Which leaves you feeling bummed, worried and wondering what you could have done differently. You may even think you’re not good enough to teach. Their objections to Pilates might have you creating “intro packages” or other discounts to get people to say “yes, I am in!” But, most of the time when new clients don’t buy Pilates it’s rarely due to the price.

The new data is in and it takes 12 touchpoints to get a client (customer) to go from hearing about a product or service to buying that product or service. 12! It used to be 6! People are so bombarded with information we have to stand out above the noise not add to it. Most often our efforts to share our love for Pilates is more noise than information.

If you’re constantly hearing objections or worse you’re not even getting new clients in to hear objections check out some things you might be doing that hurt your efforts to grow your business:

  1. You are trying to sell Pilates- clients don’t need the history day 1 they need to know WHY YOU?
  2. You have so many package options they have to “think about it.” People make decisions when they have fewer options. Make it easy on them to decide.
  3. You’re selling before they even know who you are. People don’t get married sight unseen. When you’re selling them a package before they’ve laid on a Mat you’re asking them to commit. Would you? No, you probably want to know who they are, why they’re the right person for you, how they can help you. There is a whole journey they need to go on! I’ll be chatting about that in my next webinar! Give people time to go from “hello, I am ___ and I am a Pilates instructor who ___.” Before you say “buy this membership or this package.”
  4. You’re too available. People want a busy restaurant. I promise. The more I try to fire a client the more they move their schedule around to fit mine.
  5. You don’t tell the client what to do. People don’t often know that they are supposed to come in a certain number of times, pay ahead of time, cancel in a certain number of hours. You’re the teacher. Teach them what to do next to keep Pilates with you in their life.
  6. You think that Pilates is expensive. Scarcity mindsets and money stories hold most teachers back. If you’re thinking with your wallet then you will not be able to build your business. If you see things for how much they cost and not for how much they are worth you’ll always struggle with building your business. You help people live better lives. How much is a better life worth?

I know you want to teach more people that inspire you. I know you want to work a schedule that allows you to have a life and keep Pilates in your body. I know you are trying so hard to make your magic happen.

If you are doing any one of those 6 things it’s time to make some changes. You are the only person who can do what you do. You are the only person who can teach how you teach. It’s time you systematically share who you are, whom you are for and what you do with the right people. Take them on a journey from “hey” to weekly consistent client.

Are you ready for that?

Comment below with what you want to change in your business!

xx~LL 

Asking the Right Questions to Make Them a Client For Life

I remember when I first became a Pilates instructor I was given a sheet with questions on it and told to have the first time Pilates client “fill them out.” And, the first time I did it the whole process felt so clinical. I know that for some people this form is personal and they would prefer to fill it out themselves. But, just because they gave me their emergency contact and history of injuries I still didn’t know them. And, here we are about to spend an hour together. At the end, they are hopefully going to fall in love with me and Pilates. But, it’s going to be a lot of “hope” if I don’t have some key info about them.

After that first client, I changed up how I did a first time session. I added questions to get to know them better not just their injuries or past issues. I wanted to know their goals, their plans for the future and a little bit more. But, I didn’t want to be an interrogator either. So, I had to come up with a plan for how to get to know them and their internal drives more and also allow them to move and experience Pilates.

  1. What’s their Why? Seriously, why did they come today? Why now? And, why You or Your Studio?
  2. Are you and what you offer the best for them? If so, share that with them! Brag a bit. If not, help them find the right teacher! Contact that teacher and let them know you’re sending them a client. They’ll remember you when you’re the right teacher for them
  3. You cannot sell Pilates. You can only sell yourself as a guide for them. Pilates is your tool but they are buying you and your expertise.

So, now that you know my 3 biggest things to keep in mind during your first time session you are probably wanting to know what questions I ask exactly. Well, for that you will have to join me for my webinar on “asking the right questions on Wednesday” or my course on “first-time to lifetime” and if you’re in Australia or New Zealand I will be teaching this workshop in person in November!

What questions do you know are key for converting a first time client?

xx~LL 

How Do You Know If You Are Teaching Enough?

One of my AGENCY mastermind members recently said: “I think that if I feel busy I must be doing good numbers.” She was mistaking the fact that her schedule was full so she must be bringing in enough money. And, here’s the thing, a lot of instructors and studio owners make this error. They work so hard to fill all their classes and teaching hours because if they are busy or teach more then they’ll make more. But, what I often find when I look at their numbers is that while they are busy and some of them really busy they are not meeting the monetary goals and needs they have. And this is because they are confusing busy for successful.

Do you know your average hourly rate? If you’re a teacher this can be easier to figure out than a studio owner but either way you need this number.

Do you have a gross income goal for your business? If you’re a teacher at the end of the year what would you like to have made? Studios if all systems were working what would your gross income be?

If you don’t have these numbers then set aside some time to get super clear on these.

When I was running studios I had goals for the month and the year. Some sessions were privates, or duets etc. Every person had the option of buying single sessions vs packages. Not going to lie the first time I had to figure out how to see what the studio could do based on the schedule I thought my mind might explode. But, when I figured out some averages. Took a look at what was scheduled and compared it to the goal I could see how far away we were. I also could make a plan!

In the teaching part of my business, I have a goal each week that is a “work week” on how many sessions I need to have in my schedule. The freedom this provides is incredible. Because, if I look ahead and my schedule is “full” meaning I have hit my # then I don’t need to add more clients to the week. I have time to spend focusing on my business in other ways. But, if you don’t know this number how do you know if you’re teaching enough?

The burn out is real and it sucks whether you are making enough money or and stings, even more, when you’re not.

Homework for you:

What’s your average hourly rate?

What’s your gross money goal for this year?

How many weeks will you work this year?

I’ll do giving the tips on what to do with these numbers in my newsletter this week. My course on “raising your rates” also goes over how to use this info to help you create a plan for you to make the money you want to make and not overwork yourself doing it.

What if instead of filling every hour you could teach you just taught the amount you needed?

xx~LL 

 

How Much Online Should You Be?

Do you have a love-hate social media? Totally cool! You don’t need to love it and most teachers don’t even need to use it. But, there is a level of web presence you need to have to make your ideal business grow and known. I know you want to teach Pilates. You only care about your clients and helping them get better, feel better and do more Pilates with you. But, let’s face it, even with referrals those future clients are going to look you up online. And while I do not believe you have to have likes and followers to make money doing what you love. I do believe you have to have some level of online presence. So, here we go!

Website! Yes, you need one. Please don’t think a yelp, facebook page or some other platforms landing page of you is going to do it. You need to own this domain. It needs to have some key things on it so that you can attract your ideal client and get them into your books asap. Check out this blog posts on websites here and my course on “What Your Website Needs.

Dive in or Don’t: If you’re going to use social media for your business then use it. If you’re not then don’t. But trying to do a little here and there will not only annoy you it’ll frustrate you and when people go from your site to your social media they’ll be confused. If you are going to use social media for your business link it on your site. If you’re not, or are not sure then don’t link it until you are. Wondering if you should be on social check out this blog on why and this one for more tips.

Keep it Simple! If all you do in the beginning is ace a website and tell people who you are and what you do and why you rock at it I promise you’ll get clients. Why? Because I still get the most clients through my website and from personal outreach. Meeting people in real life and referrals. Your website is your 24/7 assistant. USE IT! Make sure it’s clear what you do when they land on your site. Update it regularly with blogs. Be clear on who you teach and why you’re the best for them.

If you start out with a great site and clarity on who you are the rest will follow. I know, you’re thinking, “but everyone is bouncing of facebook and I’m not even sure how to use Instagram.” Here’s the thing I can promise you. There will always be a new thing to learn. That doesn’t mean you have to. In my next webinar, I’ll be going over how to use Facebook and Instagram for your business. You’ll learn if 1) you should 2) what to do 3) what not to do.

I promise I’ll keep it simple and digestible. And, after you’ll know if you need to add either of these platforms to your business. In the meantime, how much online should you be? Website, website website! We’ll dive into the ever-changing social media beast together here.

xx~LL

Tips for Using Social Media for Your Business

You want to fill your classes, get more clients, fill those last two spots you have, sell your workshops, teacher trainer, merchandise or even retreats. And, you’re probably wondering how Social Media can help you. You’ve been posting, going live, liking others and feeling like you know less and less every day. On top of all of that, you’re busy. Are these posts even working? Or, maybe you’re sitting there reading this “thinking I don’t even want to do social media! Are you going to make me?”

Let’s get super real and clear for a moment. I will NEVER force anyone to market in a way that doesn’t resonate with them. And, so if you prefer to use your social media to show pictures of your pup, cat or food then stick with it! But, don’t complain that social media doesn’t help you fill your classes.

While we are being frank together I cannot stress enough that you do not need tons of followers. Unless you are trying to teach people all over the world you just need to be known in your community. So, when you look at your “insights” you should see that most of your followers are from your city. If you’re living in Nashville, TN and most of your followers are in Los Angeles you’re going to have a hard time getting us into a session with you! We don’t go outside a couple of miles radius.

Now that we got those things out of the way a little bit lets dive in a bit about what you need to be clear on before using social media for your business.

What do you want to happen after you post? Are you interested in people coming to take from you in person, in a class, online? People cannot read your mind. So, you need to make sure it’s clear what you want them to do in your post. And, so that you can measure if you’re getting what you want from your posts you need to be honest with what you want.

Do you want more followers?

More likes?

Conversion from post to your website to being on your mailing list and coming to class? (I hope you said yes to this).

Engagement? Maybe you want your community to talk within a post and get excited about a new class, workshop etc.

Once you have a clear idea about what you want to happen when you post then you need to be clear about your messaging. What do you want your clients to see, hear, be reminded about?

Finally, pick a platform and go deep! I am giving you full permission to not be on EVERY platform. Pick one and learn it, have fun with it and go really deep on that platform. I was coaching someone last week and their audience is businesswomen. She needs to be on Linkedin. But, if your studio is near a college campus and your clients are primarily 25-35 maybe Instagram is your jam?

You also need to pick the one that you’ll have the most fun with. If you’re not into it people will see that in your posts. You can, of course, hire out someone to handle your accounts. And while that won’t be cheap it can be a huge load off so if you know you need to be represented on social media and you hate it outsource it!

I would love to hear your favorite platforms and what your goal is for using them for your business in the comments below.

For me, I am mostly on Facebook, Instagram and sometimes post tutorials on Linkedin. But, mostly I am an IG girl. My goals are not to be instafamous. Instead, I love engagement. Which is why I ask a lot of questions on my posts. I want to talk to you. I love to share what’s on my mind in my posts to help you. My posts are meant to serve, inspire, remind and give permission to teachers and studio owners to do more of what they love- teach Pilates. Sure, I would love to show you how fun my dog is. But, if you’re on @profitablepilates you are probably wanting to know more about how you can make your teaching profitable?!

Now, that you have a clear idea of what your goals are, what platforms you want to use and what your messaging is you probably want to know how to beat the algorithms, best posting times, etc. And, while I wish I had all that data for you I promise you it would be changed by the next week. We cannot control the algorithms, and most often only 6% of your audience is seeing your posts. So, it’s super important that social media is an extension of your business. That you don’t rely on IG to fill tonight 6 pm class. But instead, as a way to create community and drive people to your website where they get on your email list. This way no matter what the algorithm is you can still get your message to your clients.

I will be sharing the most current info on stories, IG and FB what to do and most importantly what NOT TO DO on my next webinar. So, if you are wanting to dive deep on FB and IG then join me for this webinar. I’ll be doing another one on Youtube, blogging and other platforms later this year. But, in this webinar, we are picking just FB and IG because they are owned by the same person and most of your clients are on these platforms. We’ll be breaking down and through all the stuff to help you show up on the platform you want in a way that resonates with you and helps you achieve your goals.

What do you love about social media and what do you loathe? Share it with me and the other readers in the comments below!

xx~LL 

What is a Pilates Teachers Schedule?

When I first became a Pilates instructor I was teaching clients and classes every weekday morning from 6 am to 9 am then racing to my other job across town to manage a jewelry store. And then on most weeknights, I would race back across town and teach one or two more clients. And then I also taught clients on my day off from my store gig. I thought it would take forever to build my business up but it didn’t and so within a few months I was quickly burning the candle at both ends. But, I had no idea at the time that what I was doing wasn’t the best idea. I mean, every other teacher I knew who was building their business and even some who had grown their businesses were working the weirdest schedules. One day after working an almost 70 hr week I wondered what is a Pilates teachers schedule?

Should I be teaching mornings and evenings? Did I need to teach six days a week? And, even though people said I should teach when clients wanted it was that really the best answer?

Over the last 10+ years of teaching, I have changed my schedule almost as often as the wind changes. And, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. What it has allowed me to do is see that there is almost no hour where a client doesn’t want a session! Before you think I am wrong I have taught people at their 3:30 am, I have taught people as early as 5 am in person, and then there are the clients who have requested 8:30 pm or even 8 am on a Sunday! I love changing my schedule because every time I do it I dial it in even more to fit the nature of the life I enjoy living.

If you have ever taken a workshop with me you know that I believe your goals and life go in the schedule first. But, this is not how most people set up their teaching schedule. Instead, they put their clients in first. Admit it, how many times have you not said yes to having lunch with a good friend, going out of town for the day or not scheduling a personal session with another teacher because you had to teach?

I’m not saying just move people around willy nilly. But, I do believe that you should be super clear on your goals and what you want out of life and then create your teaching schedule.

After working with a lot of teachers I have found the ones that are super firm and clear on when they are available to teach no only are booked they also know exactly how much money they will make each week, month because it’s clear when they look at their schedule what slots are empty. And, their clients are also better trained to keep a standing appointment or cancel in the appropriate time. The teachers who let clients tell them when they want to come in typically have clients who are inconsistent. This means they are not truly getting all the benefits of Pilates and will probably disappear for portions of time if not longer. These teachers also will feel like they don’t have control over their schedule and will see a “swiss cheese” schedule. Sessions all over the place, empty slots all over but not big enough to do anything on so they are working for their business instead of the other way around.

I know, that sounds a bit harsh but teachers I love you! I am you. I have done all the mistakes of letting clients tell me when they want to take. And, that quickly lead to me not wanting to be a teacher. The moment I learned the phrase “I have this time or I have this time.” And, “I’m not available then but I do have ___.” My life-work balance became mine! It was under my control.

What is your schedule like?

Do you like it?

What would you change about it?

I was recently asked what a day or a week in my life looked like? How do I structure my days?

To be honest, since I travel I make some changes to the schedule often but the basic structure is there.

5-6 days a week I workout first thing in the morning. That is the time when no one is awake. I can run with my dog and listen to a podcast. I then often go to a fitness class around 6 am and workout with my friends. Afterward, I’ll begin my teaching day. I teach 5 mornings a week for 3-4 hours. Then I use the middle of the day for whatever I want. Sometimes I do Pilates classes other times I catch up on emails or spend a little time on social media. I take calls or watch webinars, read a book, get a facial etc. The middle of the day is mine for whatever I want it to be. Then, on Mondays, I’ll allow 2 more clients in the late afternoon. Tues-Thur I teach a couple of evening clients whom I adore and have been with me for years! The other days of the week I am either off or have called it a day before the afternoon.

As far as how much I teach I follow what I share with many other teachers. I have a goal dollar amount (gross) in mind for the whole year. I divide that number by my average hourly session rate and then by the number of weeks of the year I will teach. I will only teach that amount of clients in a week. If people ask for a session and I have hit that number they go on a waitlist for any cancellation. I promise you unless I had a couple of weeks where I didn’t teach the average amount I do not add additional hours on. It’s important you don’t do this either. Waitlists are great things to have. And, you train your clients to schedule early!

My schedule works for me, I never force how I like to work on anyone and that means you too. I would love for you to watch my course on goal setting if you haven’t yet. And also my course on client scheduling. Then get super clear on the times of days that light your fire. If you’re not a morning person don’t teach in the morning. I promise you there are enough clients to go around! We can find your clients for the afternoon or evening.

The key to a successful business is knowing why you’re doing it, who you are and what you want! So, take a look at your schedule. Is it a good reflection of the life you want to live? Not sure how to make it one? Contact me here. Let’s talk!

xx~LL 

Tips to Work Less, Make More and Options for Passive Income Streams

We are in the business of exchanging time for money – we teach a class or session and we are paid for our time. But what happens when we get sick or injured and can’t physically teach? What if we want to go on vacation? How do we save? How will we ever retire? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in good company! The most common questions my clients ask are always about money – how do I make more, how do I keep more of it, how I can work less and still earn money.

Lucky for you guys, this is my area of expertise! I’ve put together my top financial strategies and passive income earners for both studio owners and instructors. Ready to get to work? Keep reading below!

For Studio Owners

  1. Raise your rates: I recommend raising rates annually, $5-$10 for session or $15-$20/month. Inflation alone is going to drive your operations expense up 3% annually; you want to make sure you are keeping up with it. Clients expect a small annual increase and will be less likely to bat an eye over small, predictable, annual changes, than a massive increase out of the blue.
  2. Stick to the Late Cancel/No Show fees: You put these policies in place – enforce them! These fees won’t break the bank, but they will still account for a decent amount of income each month for the studio.
  3. Studio Use Fees for Inactive Times: When the studio isn’t being used for set classes or sessions, let someone else use it! Other trainers are always looking to rent space (more on that below), and brands are always looking to do photoshoots or host promotional events.

          If you’re interested in renting out studio space I recommend you 1) figure out available times for                    studio use and pricing for use, and 2) having your Rental Agreement with rates + terms ready to go                for when potential renters or partners approach you.

  1. Rent Space to Instructors: If you have space (or time) in your studio that you aren’t using, make it available for someone else to use! You can rent the space to an instructor, a massage therapist, a stretch therapist, movement specialist, the options are endless.
  2. Host Workshops: Your clients already love spending time with you and trust you; they’ll be more than thrilled to learn more from you. Each attendee will buy a ticket for admission. You can ask speakers to donate their time and brands to donate refreshments, products, and giveaways. The first workshop might take a bit of extra work to get the swing of things, but once you get the hang of scheduling, it’ll be an easy and profitable way to engage your community!
  3. Host Teacher Trainings: These are money makers for the instructors teaching the training and the studio hosting the training. If your studio has its own teaching method, put together a teacher training program. Spend 2-4 days teaching the method, and follow it up with hands-on learning opportunities such as instructor shadowing, mic practice, and mock classes. Even if you aren’t in the market to hire new instructors, many members and fitness-minded individuals will be interested in learning more about your method. The first training might take some work to put together, but once you have the formula down, it’s a repeatable, scalable and very profitable.

          If you are a studio that does NOT teach its own method, you can still be the host studio for a teacher              trainer. You might not make as much money, but you also have way less work to do. And workshop                hosts usually let you sit in on the workshop for free, so double win for you.

For Pilates Instructors:

  1. Keep track of ALL business expenses:   I mean everything – professional liability insurance, certifications, trainings, educational workshops or webinars, marketing materials, etc.  At the end of every year, you can write off these business expenses. More write-offs = less taxes!
  2. Ask for a raise or raise your rates: We can’t earn more money if we’re not willing to ask for more! Plain and simple. If you’ve been teaching at a studio or training clients for at least 6 months, it’s time to reassess your rates.

           If you teach at a studio – set a time to talk with your manager and the owner, go in with your stats                   (class attendance, reviews, client feedback) and propose a fair and reasonable raise. If they aren’t                   able to accommodate your request, where can they meet you? Additional employee perks? Can they               give you a timeline when they’d be willing to sit down again to discuss compensation?

 

           If you set your own rates as a private instructor, consider a reasonable increase ($5-$10 session), set             the price, and notify all clients in writing prior to their next sessions. And while you’re reaching out               to all of your clients you can remind them of your late cancel/no show policies and fees.

  1. Passive Income Streams Online: So many fit-pros are utilizing their online communities and social media to make extra money. I think it’s one of the easiest and accessible forms of passive income because you already have a captive audience who see you as an expert in your field.

         E-Books and Online Training Guides: If you are known for your workout posts or people are always               asking you how to workout smarter, put together an online training guide. Start small with a 4-week             guide offering workouts 3-4x week.

         Accountability Coaching: If you are organized and empathetic you would be an excellent                                  accountability coach to your clients for the other 23 hrs a day they aren’t training with you. You will              check-in daily to check their nutrition/meals for the day, prescribe workouts, and encourage them to            stay on track. Clients will retain you for a monthly fee and you will realize that you’re already doing                most of this work for them as their trainer anyways.

       Affiliate Partnerships: Brands are always looking to partner with influencers in health and wellness              field, and many pay instructors to promote their products in addition to gifting free or heavily                          discounted samples.

I approach brands that I already know, use and love and ask them if they have an affiliate program. Some brands will give me a discount, others will gift free products, others will give me a percentage of sales I drive their way. I look at my partnerships as 1) an opportunity to save money on goods I would already buy, or 2) an opportunity to make some extra cash raving about a brand I already love. However you look at it, they are wins for my wallet and my relationships!

I challenge every one of you to put ONE of these tips in action today! Start planning the conversation to get a raise. Brainstorm hosting workshops or teacher training at your studio. And join Lesley and me on April 3 as we dive deeper into these topics and answer any question you might have about financial planning, and owning your worth and value to give yourself the security and success you deserve!

Xx, D


Connect with Danielle Stead Blanton here. And, join us for this epic webinar that will help you take charge of your finances and get tips on passive income streams on April 3rd webinar replay will be available for one week. Join herexx~LL 

Your Busy-ness is Bad for Your Business

It seems like whenever you ask someone how they are doing they somehow insert how “busy” they are. They use busy as why they can’t hang out with you. They are too busy for Pilates. Teachers and studio owners are too busy to do the work to get new clients but not teaching enough or making the money they want to make. Being “busy” is not just an excuse for why you’re not in contact with people. It’s now this badge of honor that somehow to make people feel proud of. I mean, if you’re busy you must be doing something right, right?

Wrong!

Being Busy is actually impacting you more than your personal life. Sure, you’re sooo busy you can’t see your friends. But, that probably means a lot of other things are falling to the way side. And, worse, you are most likely wasting time. Afterall, studies show we take as much time to do a task as we give it.

Wondering if your busy is affecting your business?

Do you find yourself do all the things all of the time? Multi-tasking is also a new badge of honor in the self-employed world. But, here’s the deal, the data is in, we cannot multi-task. It’s better for you to do one thing at a time. I know, you’re list is long. But, for one week give single tasking a try. See if you feel less stressed and more productive.

Are you trying to do too many things? We often overestimate what we can do in a day an underestimate what we can do in a year. So, give things time to do them right the first time.

Do you think that being busy equals being successful? Truth is, being a master of your own time means being truly successful!  I was listening to a podcast with the uber-successful entrepreneur Caterina Fake. She manages her time ferociously. She even has a list she calls WNO-when next online. So, instead of hopping on the internet whenever she has the urge to look something up or she remembers something she has to do. She writes it in her journal and does it during her blocked out time. This allows her to spend more time working on her ideas, growing her business and reading.

I know, you have a lot to do. You are the teacher, the accountant, the marketer, the blogger, the newsletter writer, the scheduler, a partner and/or parent and friend. You’re busy! But, I don’t want you to be busy doing busy work. I don’t want you sweating the small stuff. I don’t want you to start working on your admin and before you know it 3 hours have gone by.

My desire for you is to be the master of your schedule. To be in charge of when you teach, make the most of the time when you admin and put yourself first. When your cup is full you can pour into others. But, when you are so busy your cup is shaking and vibrating it’s spilling the goodness that is you and not actually helping anyone.

If you’re looking for tips on how to be ferociously in charge of your time and actions and implementations for self-care I’ll be sending those tips in my next newsletter. If you’re on the list you’ll be getting them. For now, I want you to take a good hard look at how busy you are. Is it working for you?

xx~LL   

 

Why You Need a Substitute Teacher and Where to Find Them

Having someone else teacher your clients for you while you’re away on a trip or training might strike a chord of fear. I know, most teachers are not keen on letting someone else teach their clients. I mean, what if your client likes them better? I bet reading that out loud made you realize just how funny that sounds. Your clients love you. And, if they are willing to go to a sub or guest teacher you are amazing at what you do! Most clients don’t like change and would rather miss their Pilates than take from someone else. But, you should want your clients to take from a guest teacher. It’s good for your business and for clients!

Before we talk about where to find these guest teachers or subs let’s cover three reasons why you should want and be cool with having your clients take from someone else:

  1. Consistency is key! If you take a week off Murphy’s law would almost guarantee your client will be missing the week before or after. By aranging a sub for them you can ensure they only miss what they would have on their vacation. Allowing them to remain consistent, keeping Pilates in their schedule and you feeling guilt-free about taking some much deserved time off.
  2. They’ll realize just how good you are! When another teacher works with your client they will finally hear what you have been trying to get them to understand this whole time. They will also be excited to share (or lament if that’s their personality) about what they did with the other teacher. This is not an “I liked them more” convo but just a “look what I remember, I was a good student” share time.
  3. Clients who take from other teachers hear new things because every teacher has a different pair of Pilates eyeglasses on. It’s easy overtime for clients to tune us out. By hearing a new analogy, new cues or just a new voice they’ll listen to you better the next time you teach them.

Now that I’ve got you convinced that your clients will not leave you for the sub or guest teacher, in fact, they will probably last longer how do you go about finding this person?

If you are a studio owner chances are you have some options to turn to. If you’re an independent contractor it gets trickier. Or, if you work out of your own home or solo at a studio, like an independent contractor finding a sub or guest teacher isn’t as easy.

  1. Talk to your legal expert to make sure the payments for these sessions is kosher. I’ve got a great one if you need just contact me here. She is a fitness instructor who also is a lawyer!
  2. Take from other teachers in your community. When you find one that teaches like you inquire if they are interested in subbing when you travel. If so, is it possible for them to teach at your space? Clients are more likely to take from a sub if all they have to do is show up like usual.
  3. Make sure your client cards are up to date. This makes it easy for a guest teacher to step in, teach the session your client is used to and go.
  4. Follow up Check in with both the teacher and the client to see how it went. The first time might be awkward fro all parties. But, eventually, it’s easy and natural.

If you are a studio owner and the clients are studio clients I highly recommend that clients take from more than one teacher as a policy if they come more than two times a week. This makes it easier and more natural for clients to take from other teachers when their primary teachers are away or sick.

For my independent contractor in a studio with other teachers be sure to introduce your clients to other teachers when they are in for their session so that when you offer up the guest teacher it’s not a random teaching stranger but rather someone they are used to teaching.

Are you ready for your next trip? Whose going to sub for you?

xx~LL 

 

How to Be Referable

Social Media, Funnels and Online Ads may be all the rage. You may even be considering things like Classpass, groupon and online marketing. But, before you do let me remind you that referrals are still the number 1 way Pilates teachers and Pilates studios are getting new business. And, not just drop-in’s but legit clients who come again and again! So, how do you get more referrals? Do you just hope that your clients tell all their friends about you? Are there ways to get other businesses to rave about your Pilates business? And, what about those doctors, PT’s and Chiropractors? How do we get them to tell their clients about you?

  1. Be Referable: I know that seems obvious but what does that even mean? It means you have to prove you can deliver what you promise. So, that first or only client you have to make them your priority. Get testimonials and put them on your site. If they can attest to your awesomeness then others will feel good about referring your their peeps.
  2. Be clear on who you want to be referred to you. I know, you may be thinking “but LL I want anyone right now!” The truth is you don’t want just anyone. So, who do you want to teach? Get clear on this so that when people talk about you they know what to say and to whom.
  3. Always be open to Referrals. I know, you’re thinking, duh, but the truth is sometimes we don’t realize that we are closing the door on referrals because we are not actively talking to people about who we are what we do. Recently I blogged about things you can do today to improve your Pilates business. One of the tips was to tell 5 people who you are, what you do and whom you are for. Do you know how many people told me they would try that? TOO MANY! Even if you are booked and have a waitlist make sure you are telling people what you rock at. If you get peeps that are not for you-you’ll just refer them to the right teacher. Which people will LOVE!
  4. Make sure your clients know your offerings! This may sound obvious too. But, if you’re not consistently sending out newsletters it’s probably not obvious to your clients what else you do or offer. I write weekly newsletters and even still one of my clients just found out I have online mat classes (his wife reads the newsletters and clearly he doesn’t). I know you feel like a broken record but trust…they don’t know as much as you think they do.
  5. Be Remarkable! Meaning, share and do things that make your clients talk nonstop about you.
  6. Refer to others. Yes, give business away to competitors. You are not able to teach everyone. If people are looking for class-based pricing tell them who the best in town is. If they need to be in privates and you offer classes know the teachers in your area who excel at teaching privates. Trust me referring begets referrals.

Got these down? Ok, now you have to make a list of the businesses you love in your community. Find out how you can support them. Wait what?! Yep, find out what they need help in. Maybe they need a referral of someone you know? And, do you know what happens when you’re generous and you simply take the time to find out how you can support another business? They, in turn, want, desire to support you!

And, if you’re going, ok, got this, but how do I get those doctors, pt’s and other medical professionals to see that I am referable? Well, I’ve got a one hour webinar with Jessica Valant who is quite the expert in this area. Check out the deets here. And, while you wait for us to give our talk make sure you’ve got your 1-6 above all set.

How referable do you feel right now?

xx~LL 

 

5 Things You Need To Be Doing In Your Pilates Business

Pilates Teachers, Pilates Studio Owners, and other Fitness Professionals there are not quick fixes in business. But, don’t let that stop you from reading this week’s blog post. I’ve got 5 things you should be doing in your business that I promise don’t cost money and just a bit of your time. If you’re ready to get out of your rut then keep reading!

  1. Communicating with your clients and community regularly: this can be blogging and newsletters.
  2. Growing your newsletter list and writing to it: You don’t own the algorithms. So you might be posting daily on social but I bet 7% of your followers are seeing what you write. So, repurpose that content and make it a newsletter! If the Social Platforms disappear your reach won’t!
  3. Networking with other businesses in your community: Get known my friends! I know it’s easy to be in your business and think your neighbors can’t help you, they are the competition and blah blah blah. But seriously, if you find out what other people are doing and tell them what you rock at then referrals begin to flow! So, go outside, bring some sugar just in case they need it.
  4. Upholding Clear Policies: You should have clear policies on prices, payment, and cancellation policies. And, you also have to uphold them. If you don’t your clients won’t. This will affect your business and in a compounding way.
  5. Not giving discounts: I know you think you need deals to get people in the doors, or that you cannot raise your rates to keep them there. But, I’d rather see you reward loyalty and referrals than discount yourself and try to compete in the race to the bottom on prices. Someone once told me if you discount yourself you will be discounted. And you’re too awesome for that!

Take a moment to check on all of these and how you are doing with them. Do you need help? I’ve got a 6th tip for those who get my weekly newsletter. If you want it (and ps my newsletters are free yo) then subscribe and be sure to opt in here.

xx~LL 

Pilates Teachers, What Should You Write About?

You became a Pilates teacher because you want to help people the way Pilates has helped you! And, then you found out you have to do a ton of other things to grow your Pilates business, get new clients and fill your classes and schedule. You get your website up and then you find out blogging isn’t dead and you have to write. And, you hear email isn’t dead and you have to send newsletters. What?! No one teaches these things in Pilates teacher training programs. What on earth are you supposed to write about?

Before you get writing let’s make sure you have a few things in place

  1. Your website lets you blog
  2. How often will you blog?
  3. Who are you blogging too?
  4. Your website captures emails and you have an account to send emails with something like MailChimp or Constant Contact
  5. How often will you send a newsletter?
  6. Who are you writing too?

Once you have those answers or at least some ideas then you can implement the following:

A: Write about what you are constantly answering. If people are asking you these questions they think you’re the expert and they are also asking the search engines these things.

B: Write about what you like to teach. If you don’t teach athletes don’t write about how Pilates is great for athletes. You want to write about what you feel you’re knowledgeable in and how you want to show up and teach each day.

C: The first paragraph is key! It needs the keywords that your clients and future clients are putting into the search engines. Give the good stuff away in the beginning and get them hooked.

Alright, I know you’re sitting here reading this and nodding your head and then slowly freaking out. This all sounds easier said than done. So, if you’re wanting to know how to blog watch my course here. If you’re needing help on newsletters, defining who you are writing to watch my course “The Client Journey.” And, then dive into my Newsletters 1.0 course. Your time is extremely valuable and we can get super clear on who you are writing to each week! It will make writing easier. I promise.

What are you going to write about this week? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

xx~LL