Is It Time to Make a Leap in your Business?

One of the questions I often answer is how do I go from my current job to teaching Pilates full-time? Sometimes, it isn’t even in the form of a question. It’s more of a wish or dream. “One day I will be able to teach fulltime. I don’t know when yet.” But, “leaps” can be more than just going from your old job, the one that paid the bills to dream job- TeachingPilatess Full time. I have been talking with many teachers lately about if they should quit teaching a particular class or if they should say yes to teaching a class at a different location. And, it’s not just teachers who are in wonder of what to do. Where to go! Studio owners also have to make choices. You may be reading this wondering if you should cancel certain classes, add others, raise rates, hire more teachers, etc. How do you know when it is time to make the “leap.”

Well, I wish I could promise you this blog would be able to give you specific dates, times, benchmarks to hit before you leap. But, I cannot do that. Every single one of you is a unique teacher, owner or apprentice. You have your own history, your own goals and your own vision for what your life will look like.

But, what I can do is give you some questions to ask yourself when you are wondering which way to go or what choice to make:

  1. If it’s 1, 2, or 5+ years from now would you still be doing ____? If you are currently teaching a class at 6am. And, in a year or two years you want to only be teaching 9-1am and your choices are to take on another 6am class or lose the one you have it may be time to let go of that class instead of doubling down. Sometimes we need a little push to force us to get closer aligned with who we want to be and what we want to do. There are always choices. You get to make a choice. Each choice is like a door. You can continue to walk through the door you know even though it leads you towards something that doesn’t rock your soul or pay the bills. Or, you can choose the door that more closely aligns with where you hope to be in the future. It won’t be easy but a year from now you’ll be closer to where you want to be.
  2. Filter through your vision. Have a 30k foot view of your life. Be super clear on this. If you are it won’t change all that much over time. Be firm in your goals/vision. But, be flexible in how you get there. Sometimes we are so firm in our vision that we are too firm in the path. We hire the wrong teachers, say yes to the wrong clients and take ourselves further from the actual vision. As you meet teacher you are considering to hire, interview for studios you are thinking of working for or meeting potential clients. If you filter the choice through your vision and it aligns go for it. If it doesn’t align be confident in saying ‘no.’
  3. Never discount yourself. If you discount yourself, try to compete with the discounted rates of the competition you will eventually be discounted. And, worse you may not be able to leave your other job, other locations or for the studio owners you may not be able to expand or stay open! Honor your value, charge your worth, raise your rates if you need to and feel confident in the awesomeness you are. The benefits of working with you are only felt when the energy exhange (rate for the session) is aligned with your worth. Otherwise, the client discounts your value and you eventually resent teaching for less than you should. Or worse, you can’t afford to teach and we lose and awesome teacher!

There are so many other tips I could give you to help you decide if it is time to leap. But, one more I will leave you with is that it doesn’t always need to be a leap or a free fall. It can be a bridge that you build. Create a pathway for you to go from where you are now to where you want to go. If you want to be teaching full-time book out the hours you can now and overtime pull back on your other gig. Have a clear idea of when you’ll have enough runway to leave the gig to teaching full time. If you want to be hiring teachers for your studio be clear on your studio vision and goals. Create the bridge by having set expectations, benefits, policies and procedures in place before you begin to interview. Show the “bridge” the studio goals to future teachers and see if they feel its a bridge they can cross.

As the holiday come upon us and the beginning whispers of “new years resolutions” begin it’s a good time to get clear on your big vision and evaluate what you’re currently saying yes to. Maybe it is time to leap!

If you want to get clearer on this contact me here. Think you need to raise your rates? Join me here!

xx~LL

3 Tips on How You Can Make Money Teaching Pilates

Can you make the money you want to make teaching Pilates? Absolutely! Is it easy? Is anything in life easy? The likelihood you will be “successful” as a Pilates instructor or studio owner truly depends on how much you think it is possible. I know that’s a bit woo woo but it’s true. Because if you believe it is possible to make the money you want to make teaching Pilates you will be able to think about the different ways you can.

Before we can talk about how much you should be charging or ways to make money teaching Pilates we have to make sure you know how much money you want/need to make. And, if it’s possible to do that by teaching alone.

Take the amount of money you want to make divide it by the number of weeks a year you can work and then divide that amount by the average dollar amount of your sessions. The answer is the number of hours you need to teach each week. If the answer is too high we will need to come up with some additional offerings. And, for that let’s chat here. If it’s about the same as you are currently teaching but you are not making the money you desire then it may be time to raise your rates.

  1. Are you charging what you are worth? It’s easy to go with what the market in your area is charging. If you go on all the Pilates sites in your community and see everyone is charging $80/private you may be inclined to charge the same. But, you could be losing money. Clients do not choose a teacher based on price. They choose a teacher based on how they make them feel, the results they get and the quality of service.
  2. Are you teaching on the right days? Often Pilates teachers think they need to teach 6 days a week and most take Sundays off. But, is that ideal for your community? Do you have a demand for a day you are not teaching and almost no clients on a day you do teach? Maybe a shift in your schedule is needed?
  3. Host a community event or client workshop! Many teachers think workshops are just for teachers. But, the yoga world has been quite successful hosting workshops for their yogis! If you have a large class based business holding regular workshops for Pilates clients can be a great way to make more money doing more of what you love-teaching Pilates! And, it also gets the community together. You can also have wellness days or day “retreats” where other wellness professionals can come in and show off what they rock at and between your clients and their clients you can have a fun event that includes everything your clients would love.

This is just three easy things to think about for your Pilates business. There are plenty more and some that would be ideal only for a studio and others for an individual teacher. It really depends on what your goals are for your teaching business.

If you don’t know what those are then before you start tweaking your offerings take a moment to get a 30 thousand foot view of your teaching business. From there you can work backward. If you don’t want to teach classes but you work on promoting classes it will drain your inspiration and your energy. If you want to be teaching classes but built a private based business the same is true. So, get your goals out, then make adjustments based on your goals.

I know it’s tempting to do what looks successful in the Pilates market in your community. In Los Angeles, I see a lot of studios with the same deal $199/month for unlimited Pilates classes. If I were to have thought about that when I opened my studio I never would have opened my doors. I kept my Pilates business vision in mind and it has been good to me ever since.

What’s your vision for your Pilates business? Share in the comments below!

If raising your rates is necessary (side note if it has been more than a year then it probably is) then join me for my next webinar on raising your rates here.

xx~LL 

 

 

Hiring Pilates Instructors for Your Studio

So, you need Pilates instructors for your studio? You have clients who need a teacher, classes that need a sub and you need a break! But, how do you hire for your studio? Where do you find the right teachers? Is there a hub where all the instructors are hanging out?

When I was hiring for Pilates studios one thing I learned is that I was always looking for the best teachers to work at my space. Because you never know when you are going to find the right fit! But how do you keep an eye out for the right teachers constantly? Hint: You don’t just post an ad and hope for the best.

  1. Network within the Pilates community in your area: If you are cool with the other studios then if they pass on a teacher they can refer that teacher to you!
  2. Know the teacher training programs in your area: Make friends with the teacher trainers and let them know you are a space that has positions for new teachers if the Pilates shoes fit!
  3. Be Clear on your Goals and Expectations: If you know what the vision is for your studio it makes it easier to know who to hire and who to pass. Setting expectations and sharing them with potential new hires also makes it easier for you to hold employees accountable and allows the instructor to decide if you are the right fit for them as well.
  4. Take classes and sessions around town: No, I do not mean “poach.” But, rather introduce yourself and let the owner and manager know who you are. Then go back to the notes for #1.

Finally, and this I cannot say this enough, hire slow and fire fast! Take your time hiring. I know, you need a teacher, I know you needed the teacher yesterday! But, if you hire the wrong teacher for your space you’ll end up having to do extra work. Instead, hire someone whose goals align with your goals and hold yourself and your team accountable to the expectations and goals of your studio. It’ll pay off in the long run!

xx~LL 

Why Followers Don’t Matter When it Comes to Your Business

Do you need to have thousands of followers for your Pilates or Fitness studio business? You post, curate, spend hours thinking about what to write and what hashtags to use. You see that other “famous” fitness influencers have thousands if not tens of thousands of followers and hundreds of likes almost instantly. How? You are doing all the things to show up on Facebook, Instagram and maybe even Youtube. And, yet, your classes and schedule are not filling up as quickly as you need. And just when you get the hang of things the algorithms change.

Oh the algorithms! They change all the time! I spend a good amount of time following the people whose niche’s are Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc. They go around the world giving speeches on the best practices for each platform and even they have no idea how the algorithms work. But, while you need to have a presence on social media the emphasis on followers and likes is not only misguided it can take you down a rabbit hole in your business. And, worse, the pressure to be some sort of influencer on social media is causing anxiety, depression and deepening the feelings of not being “enough.”

Here’s the things about social media that I have definitely said before in a webinar. It’s pretty much here to stay. At least for the foreseeable future. So, yes, you need to be part of it. But, you don’t need to be IT. You also don’t need to have tens of thousands of followers. Especially if you are a one-human-show or a brick and mortar. You just need to be KNOWN in your community.

Being infamous is not the same thing as being KNOWN

Having thousands of followers who don’t take your classes, don’t engage with your product and don’t live in a vicinity that could partake in your greatness doesn’t help you out in the day-to-day. Sure, it can feel awesome for a moment if a post gets a lot of engagement. But, are those likes and comments putting $$$ in your bank account. My guess is probably not.

So, you end up tired and emotionally drained and you have even less time to put into your self-care and your business.

Being KNOWN is so much easier than getting followers. You don’t have control over how Facebook or IG share your content. You may post the most amazing thing at 3 pm but every one of your followers was working and by the time they get off work that beautifully curated post is hours old and dead in the water.

And, sure you could do all the research on when to post and where to post. But, what if you spent that time finding out where your ideal client is?

What if you spent that time collaborating with fellow businesses in your community whose clients align with what you have to offer?

What if you spent that time promoting who you are and what you do with those who have access to your ideal client?

And, then, you can post the highlights of how you rock at teaching Pilates to those people!

I fully believe that your social platform should be a way for people to see that you walk your talk, that you are the teacher or not the teacher for them.

Do you see how that is different from having lots of followers or likes?

If you are ready to ditch the rat race of Social Media then check out how to become KNOWN in person with me in Milwaukee on December 9th, or take my online course here. Or, if you need some one-on-one attention you can contact me here.

How ever you slice it, this week, take some time to be in your community in real life.

xx~LL 

3 Reasons Why You Have to Say No to Grow Your Pilates Business

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to a client when you knew you should have said ‘no?’  Whether you are a Pilates teacher or Studio Owner having clients on your schedule and in your classes equals money. And, when you say ‘no’ to a clients session request it can feel like you are saying ‘no’ to money. But, what if I told you that if you want to grow your business beyond its current state you have to say ‘no‘ a whole lot more than you think.

  1. Self- Care: You cannot sustain teaching all different hours of a day, different times and days each week or working hours that are not ideal for you. At the beginning of your teaching career, it’s so easy to be excited, to want to grow your business you say ‘yes’ as often as you can. But, if you truly want to grow your teaching business into something that works for you and allows you to continue to have a life, a consistent self-practice and a schedule that inspires you each week you have to say ‘no’ to clients and session slots that do not serve you.
  2. Ideal Client Referrals: If you say ‘yes’ to clients that are not ideal for you, are not in your niche even if you can teach them they are going to have friends or acquaintances that are like them. So, their referral pot will be more clients like them. Which means instead of growing your business with your ideal client you take a different path.
  3. Better Results for Clients: If you are not available anytime your clients want to change their sessions they will protect their Pilates practice times more, be more consistent and truly reap the benefits of working with you. They will also respect your teaching as a business, honor you and your policies. It will make it easier for you to get paid your worth and on time. Also, they will be more consistent in coming which means you can better plan your income.

These are just a few reasons why you have to learn how to say ‘no’. But, how do you do it? How do you say ‘no’ without losing your ideal clients? How do you know when to say no? All this and more in my next webinar. You can join me here. Or, let’s set up a call to help you define who you are for, what you have to offer and how to get that information out to your ideal client!

xx~LL 

3 Reasons Why Blogging Helps Your Pilates Business

I know you think blogging is dead. I know you think you can’t write. Or, that you don’t have “time.” Maybe you believe you don’t know what to write about?! Well, whatever your reason for not blogging is I am here to tell you it’s not dead and so integral to attracting the clients you want, filling your schedule and your classes and making you known in your community. Ever wonder how people get discovered? It’s because of their website and it’s not because they pay for ad’s. It’s because the search engines (think Google etc) pull their site up. And they pull it up because of the words on the website aka blogs. And the most updated website.

You don’t need to revamp your site every year if you’re blogging consistently! More on this at my next webinar or on my course vlogging and blogging. But, for now here are 3 Reasons why you need to be blogging!

  1. You Show off Who you are, what you do and why they should choose YOU! If you have been reading my blogs or working with me for a while you know I am all about the “elevator speech.” A few sentences that tell people why you rock! But, let’s say you are busy. While you are teaching your website is working for you and the blogs on your site tell potential new clients all about your expertise in your area!
  2. Keeps your Website Fresh! I know you think you built the site, the information is current so done and done right? Wrong! For epic SEO (search engine optimization) you need the search engines to pick your website as the answer to peoples questions. They pick websites based on so many things. Most in your control! One of those things is your blog. If you blog every time you post it updates your site telling those engines you are fresh and new! Plus, you can write a blog that is a direct answer to something your ideal client might be looking for online. Which is literally where everyone is getting their info! For more on SEO and what your website needs check out this course.
  3. Engage with Your Community! When you blog you can share what’s happening now, soon and share pics, testimonials and more. When people are going from one studio or teachers site to the next the more they get to know you and experience what you have to offer the more they connect with you. It means that when they come in for that first session they already feel like they know that you are the teacher for them!

This is just 3 reasons why! I could go on and on about why you should be blogging! And, I will be covering those other reasons as well as what to blog about, how to feel confident in your writing skills and more at my next webinar! If you are ready to attract your ideal client, make your website work for you and show how you are the expert in your area then join me here.

xx~LL

Ongoing Pilates Training for Instructors

Recently I saw a question by a very brand new instructor who was struggling to find continuing education to further her Pilates teacher training. And, it wasn’t the first time I come across this concern. In fact, I remember when I first became a Pilates instructor I knew I had a lot more to learn. I was hungry to learn it too. And, at the time searching for continuing education was not as easy as it is today. But, still, as lucky as we are to have so many ways to find out about continuing education it still is hard to know which workshops to choose! And, when to keep take a workshop or practice what you already know.

I actually, do wish there could be a one-stop hub for all continuing education for Pilates instructors. Wouldn’t that be amazing!? So, if in my list below I missed a really good hot spot of info please let me know in the comments and I will happily add it. But, before I go into the list of where to go for continuing education here are a few tips in helping you choose which workshops to sign up for:

  1. Choose workshops that relate to clients you currently have. If you only teach men signing up for a pre/postnatal workshop while informative won’t help you deepen the practice of your existing client base.
  2. Find workshops that sound interesting to you or will help your personal practice. If you are inspired you’ll continue to inspire your clients
  3. If you have the equipment at your ready or you are thinking of ordering a particular piece of equipment take the training and make sure you really want it before investing.
  4. Sessions go a long way! You can learn a lot by taking Pilates sessions from an instructor who has been teaching longer than you. I know for me I have had many eye-opening, a-ha moments in a session!
  5. If a teacher inspires you try to take consistent sessions with them. Or, if that’s not possible find out where they have workshops. You may have to travel to them. How fun!

Ok, here are some ideas and places you can continue to learn more about this amazing method we get to teach!

  1. Pilates Method Alliance posts workshops that offer CEC’s
  2. Pilates Anytime has online workshops. While not the same as being in person it does allow you to learn from so many teachers and then if you find one that really speaks to you look at their upcoming workshops!
  3. Pilates On Tour: Balanced Body hosts some amazing conferences all over the world!
  4. Social Media: While I am not a massive fan of sending anyone to forums to search for workshops because it can be like searching for a needle in a haystack or opposite being inundated with options. There are some forums that are only for posting workshops like Unpoliced Pilates Education and Training while others have specific rules about posting. But, you may find a forum that is for teachers in your region and that might yield some local workshops. You can also check out your favorite teachers on Instagram. If you are following the teachers that light your fire and challenge your thinking and teaching you will see lots of what they have to offer. Or use IG to find a teacher and then get on their mailing list! This way you are not at the mercy of the algorithms
  5. Do a google search. But, please do your research. Ask questions. Make sure the workshop is going to cover something you need.

There are so many other ways I find workshops! So, if you want more ideas contact me here or comment below. I do recommend getting out of your local space from time to time so that you are not waiting for a workshop to come to town. Seek out the knowledge you desire! Or, hire it in your space! Lots of teachers will travel their workshops. I know I do! So, if you are tired of waiting for a workshop to come around your way call that teacher and see how you can host.

There is so much to learn about the Pilates method. And, honestly, we can’t really know everything there is to know. But, we can know a lot more than we get in our first training. Never stop learning my friends and you will always be inspired.

What is the next workshop you are going to?

xx~LL

PS side note: please remember my tips for choosing a workshop. It is easy to get on a workshop kick and go to every single workshop that you hear of. But, sometimes that means not having the time to absorb or try out the lessons you learned from the last one. Just like you do quality of reps and not a quantity of reps in Pilates keep that in your mind’s eye for taking workshops.

Finding Pilates Teachers for Your Pilates Studio

One of the most common questions I get is where do I find teachers for my studio? Or, sometimes it is not even a question, it’s a statement “there are no Pilates instructors in my area.” So, to help you all find the right teachers for your Pilates studio I am bringing in a fabulous Pilates instructor in her own right, a studio owner with her own teacher training program and ideas to help you studio owners find teachers for your studio! Here she is, Washington Avenue Pilates studio owner Hilary Opheim!


Are you a Pilates studio owner? Are you finding you have no time to do all that you need to do? Answering emails, returning calls, marketing, and all the studio business you have to take care of daily? Are you losing the passion that brought you not only to Pilates but, to opening up your own Pilates studio? Do you wonder where are the Pilates teachers you need? Do you have time for your own clients or even your own Pilates practice? Are you spending time and money trying to get teachers to cover for evenings and weekends or subbing? Can you even think of workshops and getting some continuing education now?

Owning and running a Pilates studio is not what I first envisioned when my doors first opened to clients. I didn’t realize that it would be so much more than just teaching Pilates to my clients and getting them in the door.  Soon I found that I was teaching Pilates to the point of possible burnout, paying bills and dealing with all the daily studio business such as marketing, apparatus maintenance, my schedule at the studio and trying to have a personal life.  My day did not begin with my first client and then end with my last. I no longer had weekends off, even if I had no clients. I found myself on a computer, on the phone and my husband wondering when would I have free time?

He was right! I found that I was having no time for me, no time to spend quality time with my husband, family, and friends. Even when I was away from the studio the work was always there. Emails to answer, text to answer, calls to return. Bills, studio business that you don’t think of when you decide to open a studio. All of this on top of my teaching was eating all the hours in my day, week and months. I found it was harder to find good teachers to help with the load at the studio than I imagined it would be. Soon I realized my passion for Pilates was getting eaten away with the hours of teaching, the running of the business and no time to recharge, breathe or even get my Pilates in for me. Vacations? Workshops? What? Even if I got away I  still was having to do the same work just not teaching clients. I was finding my mood was not what it used to be when I got to the studio or when I was at home that night.

I was losing my passion that led me to teach Pilates. I had no resource to help me with all of this. What should I do? Does this sound familiar to you?  

If only I had known then what I know now! What if I  I had been given a resource to help and guide me so that I would have not had to go through all the years of more work and energy and less joy in the studio. That it was easier than it was for me to get my studio running with good teachers so I could enjoy the work of teaching again. Focus on things I needed to and not be overwhelmed.

Do you find that this is happening to you? Maybe on a lesser scale or maybe a larger scale? Do you not have that extra money to get your Pilates workout in for you? Are you thinking how do I get back to the passion that led me down this path? Most importantly where are those Pilates teacher’s to help you with all those clients and give you that time?

Here are 3 things suggestions I have that you can do today to change that for you!

  1.  Talk to Teacher Training Programs in your area and see if they have any graduates they would recommend. If there are Programs or Schools in your area that you connect with in terms of teaching style, syllabus, what they cover in the program and you need now this is a great option for you!
  2.  Put the word out and see if anyone going through training would like to do an Apprenticeship at your studio. That way they can see how your studio runs, your clientele and you can see how they teach and their work ethic.
  3. Bring in a Teacher Training Program like mine. It doesn’t cost you the studio owner anything, everything needed is supplied such as manuals, homework, quizzes and more. You will be able to observe and see the teachers as they go through training at your studio.

~Hilary Opheim

Hilary has been in the fitness industry for over 25 years, and after a knee injury, she found Pilates. She immediately fell in love with classical Pilates and trained in Houston with John Gossett. Hilary taught in various clubs and the studio’s around Houston as well as managing and building a Pilates studio within the University Club where she was the Group Fitness Director for over 10 years. In 2005 wanting a studio that supported and had a positive effect on both teachers and clients she opened up WAPilates in Houston. The studio grew and moved to progressively larger studios until settling in the Art District of Houston. In keeping with her positive energy and passion for Pilates, she developed WAPilates Teacher Training Program, which is a PSAP Approved School and continues to share her passion with those who want to become teachers. She studied with Benjamin Degenhardt and his 360 Pilates Program, which is an immersion into the Traditional Pilates Method. In 2017 she was one of the Top 10 Finalist for the Next Pilates Anytime Teacher Competition.

 

Follow Hilary on Instagram and Facebook

Social Media and Your Pilates Business

Social Media isn’t going anywhere! But, it’s a massive beast with many experts in it (more expert than I) who are also in the dark when it comes to the algorithms. So, if they don’t know when changes are happening how are you supposed to? And, is it truly necessary for your Pilates business to have a massive following, tons of likes and shares?

Yes, no and maybe so….

I know, not the most precise answer!

But, the truth is every single Pilates business is different. And, the sooner you acknowledge that your business is different than the Pilates studio down the street the sooner you will also be able to improve your Pilates business because you will stop doing what every Pilates business is doing and focus more on what rocks your Pilates business.

Do I think people need to be able to find you on social media?

Yes.

Do I think you will get clients from social media? I don’t know. My Pilates business does get clients from social media. But, my friends and many, many instructors and studio owners I know do not get a single client because of their social media. I think your website and SEO is worth more than your IG following.

Do I think you need to promote your Pilates business on social media?

If you are a studio owner with multiple teachers, classes then it is something to consider. You need more than 30 people to love you. But, if you are just trying to fill your own personal schedule then I think you should spend more time in your community.

Do I think if you post and promote on social media you won’t need to promote and collaborate in person?

No! Unless you are a multi-location brand I believe you will catch more clients by being out in your own community. Telling people how you are the guide for them from where they are today to where they are going!

I have so many things to say about using social media to grow your business and so many things to say about ditching social media so you can grow your business.

So much to say that I created a webinar on the topic! And, am bringing on a guest to help me. Julie Driver is an incredible teacher who won the Next Pilates Anytime Instructor competition, beating me and many others who were posting all over the social media channels. Between the two of us, we’ll help you navigate the niceties of social Social media

We’ll be sharing tips on how to use social media (if you choose) to help get your name out and how to see if it’s working or worth your time.

Until our webinar here are three tips

  1. Know who your client is
  2. Know how you are the guide for them
  3. Know what makes taking Pilates from you unique because you are the only person who can teach the way you teach!

I would love to hear your answers!! Share them below.

See you at the webinar my friends!

Let’s find a way to use social media instead of being used by social media.

xx~LL

Is it Personal When Someone Unsubscribes From Your List?

They say that your list is everything! “They” being the people who are trying to teach, coach, motivate and even sell products on how to grow your “list.” And, by list, they are talking about your newsletter list. And, I’ll be honest. I am not totally in disagreement. Your newsletter list is integral to the growth of your business whether you offer things online or in person only. Email is not dead. And, now more than ever a persons email is a worth so much more than you might think. When someone subscribes to your newsletter they are inviting you into their personal inbox. To their space to share what it is you want to share. So, is it personal when they unsubscribe?

If you don’t have a newsletter you may be getting ready to jump ship on this week’s blog. But, I truly hope you don’t. I hope you reach out to me so we can get your list started. Because, here’s the deal you do not control the algorithms of any social media platform I don’t care how good you are at hashtag’s or how many followers you have. If the rules change tomorrow your likes, comments, and even reach can disappear in a moment. But, your newsletter list is within your control.

How often you reach out to them is up to you. I would argue consistently. And consistently can be once a month, once a week or even daily. I am on a list that emails me twice a day. I actually don’t mind. I love what they send me!

But, if someone unsubscribes from your list is it personal? And, you can also insert if someone unfollows you is it personal?

Truthfully, I cannot answer that. I have seen many a people I do and don’t know subscribe and a few unsubscribe from my lists. I don’t pay attention to who unfollows me. I mean, who has the time to do that? But, every day I get an email that updates me on how many new email subscribers I get received that day and how many I lost, unsubscribed. I don’t often know why people unsubscribe. Sometimes they fill out the survey most times they don’t. But, I never ever take it personally and you shouldn’t either. Even if it is personal.

  1. Read the Four Agreements its a fabulous book that will help you rock your life and business. An easy and quick read and one of the agreements is to not take anything personally. I know this isn’t easy but what motivates people to do things is really none of my business. You and I do not have time for that anyways. You have a path you’re on and their personal attack attempts are just a distraction. Plus, you cannot reach into the internet, grab them by the hands, look them in the eye and ask “why don’t you want my emails?” And, even if you could is it really worth trying to convince someone to want or like your stuff? Nope! There are 10 more people out there who are looking for what you offer. It’s worth your time to go looking for those people and not trying to convince people who don’t want what you offer to want what you offer.
  2. Thank them for leaving! When you use a service like MailChimp, Constant Contact etc to email your list they charge you for the number of people on your list. I do not want you or even myself to pay for people who don’t want what you are offering. The more you only have people on your list who want what you got the better your open rates are the more fruitful your emails will be.
  3. So what if it is personal? Honestly, it sucks when you see someone you know leave your list. You can’t help but wonder why. But, does it really matter? Not everyone will like, love or support what you are up to. And that is ok. Like I mentioned in my self-care video on PilatesAnytime (use LLOGAN if not a member to watch) you need to know the 5 people whose opinions of you matter. You need to tell them and then if you see other people you know leave your list and they are not one of those 5 people you need to let it go. Because you have a business to run, a life to live and a “why” that won’t happen on it’s own.

I know the hardest thing in life is to not take things personally. But, sometimes we have to remember, it’s not always about us. Why they unfollowed you, left your list has a lot more to do with what they want in their life, their inbox, their goals and their business. And, while it may not be you that is a-ok. Because, as I mentioned earlier there are 10 more people who are looking for your list. So, spend more time getting your work in front of those who are looking for it and less time wondering why that person doesn’t want it. Dive deeper into articulating what you have to share. Find unique ways to get your message out to those who you want to hear it. And, worry less about those who don’t want what you have. They are not your audience.

xx~LL 

 

 

Do You Have Your Policies and Procedures In Place?

Do you remember the first time you had to charge someone a late cancel? How did it go over? Were you nervous? Did you worry if they would quit working with you so you didn’t charge them? What about policies over cell phones, scheduling, talking during the class? Whether you are an employee, studio owner, independent contractor or group class teacher if you don’t have clear set rules and policies in place then you can’t expect clients to follow what’s not there or worse what’s there but not enforced.

The truth is no matter how hard it is, uncomfortable or weird it is to enforce a policy it’s integral to the growth and sustainability of your Pilates business. I’ll never forget the client that I lost due to another client’s constant cell phone use. I know, some of you may think that if I or any teacher this happens to were good at what they were doing then our clients wouldn’t notice the person on the reformer next to us talking on their phone. But, the truth is, it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. All it takes is one or two clients not listening to modifications being called out because they can’t hear the teacher due to the person next to them having a conversation and they get hurt.

While no fitness class, Pilates studio, or private session happening next to another teacher’s private session is happening in a library it’s important that the clients get the information they need to have a successful workout so they continue to come back. And, I am sure you can remember a time when a client joined a class and treated it like it was their own session. How hard was that for you the teacher? Imagine being on the other side of the footbar?

Talking and cell phone use are the least of the policy problems that can affect a business. If you or your studio is not enforcing your cancellation policy, payment policies and prices this can lead to a slippery slope that eventually devalues your business and not only causes strain and stress but it can also be the thing that takes the inspo right out from under you!

Here’s the thing about charging for late cancels whether it’s for a private or a spot in a class it’s part of maintaining the value of your work and your studios work. Daniel Stead Blanton is a fitness business coach in Los Angeles, CA who spent her time before being a fitness coach as a corporate attorney “commonly see studios that do not enforce their LC/NS policy. They are afraid of upsetting their clients and will let the client’s bad behavior slide (not charge them for no-shows, allow them to stroll into class 15-20 mins late). When management does decide to enforce timeliness and charge fees, the clients lash out because they’ve gotten away with their bad habits for so long.” 

I’ll never forget the first client I had who said: “my last Pilates instructor never charged me for late cancels.” It put me in a position where I had to defend myself, my policies and not just for me but for the future Pilates instructors this person encountered. If you listened to the latest Pilates Unfiltered Podcast episode “Words with Friends” I was interviewed in with some of my friends we discussed how if you charge what you’re worth it allows other teachers to charge what they are worth. The same goes for policies. If you enforce your policies it allows the next teacher to be able to do the same.

As instructors, studio owners, studio managers we not only teach people Pilates we also teach them how to treat us, how to value their time in our space and this not only helps them get the true benefits of Pilates but it also allows you to stay inspired, feel valued and continue to share your gift with the next client.

Danielle and I will be discussing more about How Policies and Procedures Improve the Customer Experience‘ in my next webinar on September 13th 12 pm pst (replay available for one week). To snag your spot and get a chance to ask Danielle an incredible fitness instructor, yep, someone who is actually in your studio shoes who also has experience in the legal side of things register here. 

If you cannot join us live but you have a burning question about policies, procedures client or employee/contractor wise then feel free to send them in ahead of time to me lesley@profitablepilates.com. We will answer them live on the webinar.

Below is more information about this upcoming webinar and my guest, Danielle!

I cannot stress enough how important it is that you as a teacher or studio owner set your self up for success. Growing your business isn’t always about getting more clients. It’s about providing a space that allows your current clients, teachers and yourself to grow and flourish. And, as they do they will send you more awesome business of people who follow your policies and treat you with the respect you show them.

xx~LL

Join Danielle and LL on September 13th 12pm pst for: How Policies and Procedures Improve the Customer Experience

“The foundation of a good customer experience and a customer-centric business is a clear set of policies and procedures. Being consistent in letting your customers know what to expect from you, and in turn what you expect from them, is absolutely essential. In this webinar, we discuss common customer experience scenarios studios and online businesses face and what solutions owners can implement to address them. We encourage you to come ready to discuss customer experience issues that have arisen in your business operations so we can discuss them as well.”

Danielle Stead Blanton is a fitness business coach in Los Angeles, CA. She is a studio consultant and investor, having her hand in running the day-to-day of a successful HIIT studio. Danielle is also an ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor, specializing in teaching HIIT, Strength, and Megaformer Pilates classes. In her past life, she was a collegiate athlete turned corporate attorney, practicing corporate + real estate law for years before choosing to leave big law. She then started her own consulting agency, providing accessible legal and business services to small businesses, fitness professionals, artists, and independents.

What is the Perfect Teaching Schedule?

I was recently asked for a podcast what I wish I had known sooner. And, I said, “I wish I knew it was ok to say ‘no’ to a client session request sooner.” And, not because I didn’t want to teach. On the contrary! I absolutely LOVE teaching Pilates. And, if I had two or three of me I would teach even more than I do!  But, as far as I know, there is only one of each of us. And the beauty in that is that there are only one you and one me. And, because teaching Pilates requires more than telling people to bend and straighten their limbs. It requires you the teacher being at your best. And, so, you can’t say ‘yes’ to everyone and you can’t teach every day or hours that are not ideal for you. Not only will you exhaust yourself you will probably lose inspiration to continue teaching and that would be the worst! Because there are clients out there that only you can teach!

So, what is the perfect teaching schedule?

Is there even such a thing?

As I mentioned a briefly above I wish I had learned how to say ‘no’ because instead what I did do was say ‘yes’ to every client session that came my way. I quickly was teaching any hour I had available outside my ‘real’ job. And, one day I was able to say I could leave my salaried job and just teach Pilates. But, I was walking into a schedule that made no sense. One of my teacher friends called it the “swiss cheese schedule.” I’ll never forget talking to other teachers about the “best” hours to be available, how many hours in a day I could/should teach, and figure out what was “full-time?”

Here’s the easy and maybe even non-answer about what the “perfect” schedule is. There is no such thing as the perfect teaching schedule. Because there is no such thing as perfect. So, FREEDOM! You can teach whenever you want to teach! The tougher answer is actually in the ‘how.’ How do you create your teaching schedule?

If your answer is ‘whenever clients want sessions” then you’re not wrong…but you may be putting your clients first and your schedule last. Here’s the deal about schedules, teaching schedules are a lot like “store” or “office” hours. Every store has hours that they are open. Most businesses have set office hours. Your teaching schedule can be treated and created the same way. And, because it’s your business and life you should be the one to decide:

What days do you teach?

What hours do you teach?

How many hours a day will you allow yourself to teach?

So, if you were to take a blank calendar out and you were not to consider any clients what days would you be available for sessions? What times on those days would you be able to take clients?

This, in a nutshell, is how you create your ‘perfect’ schedule. If you are sitting there reading this and rolling your eyes are a little bit or think this might work for others but it doesn’t work for you then it’s time we have a talk! If you want to dive deeper into how to create and fill your ideal schedule you can check out our course here.

We are all different, and what works for me or the teacher at the Reformer next to you may not work for you. Some of us can teach 4 hours in a row and do 6 hours in a day. Others may need a 15-minute break every couple of clients. It’s your business, create your own teaching hours!

xx~LL