5 Ways to Cover Your Ass(ets) in your Fitness Business

There’s a secret that no one tells you about running a fitness business: being an instructor and being a business owner are actually two very different roles, requiring different hats, skill sets, and hours in the day. Or should I say, extra hours in the day.

I get it – your schedule is filled with sessions and classes with clients. When you have a break in the day, or some free time, you want to workout, take a nap, run some errands, spend time with your family… anything BUT dealing with the operations of your business, updating contracts, or reassessing how that money is flowing in and out of your accounts.

The good news is, you only need to nail down a few of these strategies to run a business that is operationally efficient, financially smart, and covers your (well-toned) behind in the event of an accident or issue. Make sure you can check each box off the below list to make sure you’re not making running your fitness business any harder than it needs to be.

1. Work with a legal and/or tax professional to determine if you should form an entity (like an LLC or SCorp) and decide which one is best for you: Business entities like LLCs and corporations provide a layer of legal protection between your business and your personal assets – yay! But did you know they also allow you to take advantage of more tax incentives, allow you to write off expenses differently, and make you eligible for different financial resources? Don’t let the annual registration fee, or the legwork of opening an entity, scare you away without having the conversation first and weighing the benefits.

2. Separate all business monies from your personal money by opening a separate business bank account and credit card. In addition to being illegal, mixing business and personal money (also known as commingling) creates a huge headache come tax season. Who has time to go through every account statement for the past year, tagging transactions and counting revenue? Not me, and definitely not you. Save yourself the time, headache and regret; head straight to the bank and open a new account for your business only if you don’t have one yet.

While all money coming in and out of your business should be moving through a business bank account, you will need a business tax ID number (called an EIN) to open a business bank account. If you’re an LLC or corporation owner, your entity should get this when you register with the state. If you’re a sole proprietor you have the option to open a regular bank account, or obtain a tax ID number and open a business bank account.

No more letting clients Venmo you, and you transferring money directly into your personal checking account; it’s a huge red flag to Venmo and banks to freeze the funds!

3. Know what you can (and CAN’T) deduct from your business expenses and keep track of them. My philosophy on tax deductions is simple – know exactly what, and how much, you can deduct, and do just that. Clients come to me on all ends of the spectrum regarding their deductions: some are afraid to write-off their travel expenses (of course you should be!) while others are talking to me about writing off their family’s grocery bill each month (seriously, don’t!).

Your eligible deductions are based on your business entity (that again!) and can include payroll taxes, contractor wages, equipment, marketing expenses, networking events, business coaching (like your membership in AGENCY, or coaching sessions with me)… the list is actually pretty substantial so make sure you’re not leaving money on the table, or worse, taking something you shouldn’t be!

4. Put it in writing. Your fitness business needs, at the bare minimum, a Liability Waiver and some sort of agreement with clients. Legally, the Liability Waiver just makes sense, but did you know that most states actually require a Client/Membership Agreement in writing? And if you’re a web-based business you’re also legally required to have a Privacy Policy if you collect any personal information (including email addresses!). If you’re winging it, riding on the trust with long-term clients, eating the cost of late-cancels that you aren’t charging for, dreading the lengthy process and expenses of finally getting it right, that stops here, today.

All financial and service-based transactions in your business should be in writing so you can be explicit in your expectations, policies and requirements. Not only do you want to ensure you’re never losing money with late-cancels and no-shows, your clients need to know what’s expected of them (don’t chew gum while working out, no cell-phones on the reformers), and how their information is being managed. If you offer teacher training programs or workshops it’s not enough to say “no refunds” on the registration page. If you have an independent contractor who rents space, you need to clearly state, and they need to agree to, your studio policies.

Agreements are just that – an agreement between the parties to follow the rules stated. Putting it in writing ensures that everyone’s on the same page.

5. Invest in your success and enlist help. The biggest mistake I’ve made in my own fitness business is deciding that I can do it all myself. Spoiler alert – I can’t, and I shouldn’t. Me trying to do it all alone meant that there were a lot of unnecessary holes in my business that easily could’ve been filled. For me, my email newsletters weren’t as great as they could be, and my website didn’t look as professional as the work I was doing. Because these are my marketing materials, I realized I was losing out on converting viewers to subscribers and subscribers to clients. Yes, I was losing money, but I was also doing the world a disservice by not doing a better job at sharing my message and magic, which I know needs to be shared.

When you decide you can do it all alone, you put yourself in a vacuum, and you create unnecessary and unreasonable pressure on yourself. Does help cost money? Yes. But money is great, because you can always earn more. The time you spend? The hours you lose stressing for not having a Liability Waiver or efficient business best-practices? You’ll never get that time back. Sometimes covering your assets means enlisting the help of those who know how to do exactly that, and will make your investment worthwhile.

If you’re looking to learn more about:

– why you should consider forming an LLC for your business;

– best practices for managing your business’ money;

– maximizing deductible expenses;

– paying yourself and your instructors;

– what you business’ agreements should say;

– and how to generally run a more efficient and legit business;

Then make sure to check out my course: Covering Your Ass(ets), where I’ll teach you the basics of creating and growing an operationally efficient, legally sound and financially thriving business through basic operating procedures. With course viewer-only content like my “14 Tax Deductions that You Might Be Missing” checklist and “Compare: Do You Need to Update Your Agreements” quiz, the course will pay for itself tenfold and give you the peace of mind that you’ve been searching for.

Creating Social Content in Less Than 15 Minutes

Hello squad! Have you ever started your day feeling like you had no idea what you should post for the day? Or that all of your social media content has been used before? I get it. I get how you must feel when your business is growing, but your personal brand is having trouble keeping up. I get the feeling of needing to elevate your online presence, but not knowing what style will resonate with your audience, or mirror who you really are. I get how you feel. And this is where Girl Squad can come in and help you.

I can’t even count how many branding clients have come to me knowing that they needed some fresh, visual content, but then told me that they wouldn’t know what to do with their new photos afterwards! This is why I came up with the Girl Squad 9 Category Technique. This technique is a way to strategically create social media content faster, while making sure that your audience is still attracted to everything you post and share.

Did you know that your social media followers love when you post content that tells a story? Some audiences want to hear about how you started your business, how you grew it, and how you’ve gotten to where you are today. Some audiences want to follow along as you teach your fitness class, photograph an event, or watch your process as you design an art piece. It’s up to you to figure out what nine categories your audience wants to see most, and from there, you’ve got your formula to creating a great social media strategy that you can continue to rinse and repeat.

Don’t just listen to me talk about it, though. Take the course on How to Create Content in Less Than 15 Minutes – a short course where I explain my 9 Category Technique to you, so that you can start to create content that will elevate your online presence, your visibility, and your influence. We’ll provide the materials you need to sit down and map out your strategy. Find your 9 categories, and find what will work for you.

Now, more than ever, we should wake up everyday and try to be better than we were the day before. We should be thriving and immersing ourselves into the businesses we have sacrificed so much to build. There’s no time better than the present for you to stop guessing when it comes to your brand strategy. You deserve a look that captures your incredible potential, and your audience deserves to see you at your best.

Read more about the course here.

Pilates for the Future (Meaning… Kids!)

Pilates for the future, now more than ever, is the perfect time to think about adding kids to your client base. Most kids are not receiving the daily recommended physical activity. Some studies suggest that less than 3% of kids are engaged in the daily recommended activity.

I bet that you already have a fantastic client base, and I will bet some of those clients have kids.

In our current world, movement and health are more valuable than ever. Teach kids permission to get creative with your teachings. It also requires us to step outside our comfort zone and reach out to parents. Could you encourage them to get their kids moving?

Where do I start?

What do I need to know about teaching kids?

How do I plan a class for kids?

The best part about this is that you already have all the skills. Here is your chance to create something new and something meaningful that can impact a whole generation.

The first thing you need to get clear about is – why do you want to teach kids? What role do you want to play? What do you want the kids to learn and take away from the class? These are essential questions to ask yourself to get very clear about what to create. Some things to think about are engagement, accessibility, inclusion, and movement. The second thing you will need to consider is educating yourself on physical literacy. Kids are not just little adults; they are growing and changing individuals that require special considerations.

How do you educate yourself? How do you know what to create? Don’t worry, I’ve created a workshop just for you where we talk about resources and education opportunities on physical literacy.

Now the FUN begins; you will learn about FUN-damentals, Pilates, and how to bridge the gap to join the two together in a fun and exciting way. You will also learn about how to structure a class, relate to kids, and creative tools and tips to keep them coming back for more. Teaching children is an absolute joy and a responsibility that you should not take lightly. However, you also have a unique opportunity to influence our youth, so they fall in love with the movement and be lifelong movers.

I will also discuss special considerations, classroom management, and fun themes to incorporate into a session.

You will also receive your very own Kids Class Planner to help you get started and guide you on this journey.

If you think it is time to expand your business, I promise you will never regret teaching kids! I always learn so much more from them than I could ever teach them. And as Joseph Pilates said, “First, educate the child.”

Click here for the PILATES FOR THE FUTURE workshop.

Baby Steps To Your BadA$$ Vision

Too many people have goals, MISS their goals, beat themselves up over missing their goals, and write the SAME goals for another month. Is this you? Maybe your goals sound like action items, a TO-DO list of tasks to get done. A checklist if you will. Maybe this is you? And some have this bada$$ vision in mind, but can’t figure out how to make that vision happen FOR REAL. Does this sound like you? Maybe you have too many goals, and you don’t know how to BEGIN tackling them? If you raised your hand, if you said, “Oh – that’s me”. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is more common than you think. You’re stuck in this vicious cycle of repeating the same process, the same programming over and over – because this is what you know.

How would you feel if I told you there is another way? You: No way! Me: Yes way! It’s what I do in my corporate career as a Program Manager. I’ve managed multiple projects for different teams using different project methodologies/frameworks, which are just fancy words for how to get shit done. I’ve learned what has worked best, and I’ll share it with you. And here’s the kicker: what I’ll share not only works if you have a “Mt. Everest” vision at 30,000 feet/9,000 meters, but also for your vision at 10,000 feet/3,000 meters, and would you believe, even for your vision of how you see your life. Ah-mazing!

How do I know? Because this is how I’ve applied it to massive changes in my life – working full-time while getting my MBA part-time, working full-time while planning a family move cross-country, working full-time while strategizing my promotions and managing my career, working full-time while going through my Pilates Teacher training, working full-time while teaching Pilates part-time, and throughout my life, I have maintained a successful, enjoyable, and fun-filled life of balance. I even applied it to create this course for you. Yes, YOU! I see you. Did it happen overnight? No. Was it easy? No. Is it accessible? Yes. Is it work? Definitely yes. But is it worth it? Oh, you betcha!

It’s a 3-step process.

  1. It begins with a roadmap where you begin with your vision (this could be years away!), and you break up this vision into bite-sized chunks. Manageable pieces that can be targeted in time. These bite-sized chunks continue to be broken down until you have some tasks that you can start working on today. Baby steps.To stay on track with your vision, there is a review and feedback loop:
  2. You need to actively engage with your process at set intervals. This is your opportunity to review what you’ve done, look back objectively, and see how to use that feedback to look forward.
  3. You use that feedback to make refinements, such as your next steps, your schedule, your goals, your timelines, what you work on vs. delegate/outsource.

This constant loop will help you make improvements in small or big changes, more often, that will allow you to track your progress in a meaningful way, and allow you to evolve quicker and sooner so you’re able to address and manage those twists and turns that come up without them sneaking up on you.

This constant loop will not only keep you on track with your goals and vision but also help maintain a life of balance so that one thing won’t tip the scales too much in one direction. Or if it does, you’ll notice it sooner, and can course correct, allowing you to keep dialing in to find the sweet spot for you, which let’s be honest, can vary from one week to the next.

If you’re struggling with your goals…

If you’re struggling with your time…

If you’re struggling to fit everything into your schedule…

If you’re struggling with the next step…

If you’re struggling with the first step…

This course is for you.

If you want to accomplish your goals…

If you want to manage your time better…

If you want a better schedule with your priorities…

If you want to define the next step…

If you want clarity on what is your first step…

This course is for you.

Intro to Building an Inclusive and Anti-Racist Pilates Culture

Imagine walking by a studio with a “help wanted” sign. As you look up, you see their advertising for the first time. In their advertising, you only see people who look nothing like you. Their marketing celebrates the exact opposite of you. As you scan inside the studio, more of the same. Not one person looks like you. Would you feel comfortable walking into that studio? Would you feel safe as people start to stare at you, keenly aware of how different you look?

Imagine taking the chance to walk inside and grab an application. As you do, you hear a cold voice say, “You must be looking for the studio across town. I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable there.” Or, you hear nothing at all as no one comes to greet or help you. Or worse, you’re threatened or attacked.

This scenario will be far too familiar if you identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color), TGNC (Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming), or have a disability. If you identify as cisgender, white, and able-bodied, the chances are you have not had such an experience. The truth is, that scenario is a small fraction of what historically marginalized communities face. The question I pose to you is this: do you have the courage to take a stand for equity and justice?

Whether you answered yes, no, or I don’t know, Intro to Building an Inclusive and Anti-Racist Pilates Culture will take you on a journey of (un)learning. It will help you make that stand. You will learn how Pilates came to cater to the rich, white, and athletic and unlearn the truths about race and bias. Real-life stories will give you a better understanding of BIPOC experiences. The six principles of Pilates even have a role to play!

Take a raw look at how race and bias affect something that is supposed to heal, strengthen, and stabilize. Ask (and answer) tough questions. Be vulnerable. Learn how you can begin to create more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming spaces. In the comfort and safety of your own home, you can start building the knowledge and skills to be a part of the solution. By the time you complete the course, you will have a wealth of resources to choose from and five simple steps for where you can begin.

The world is in a state of civil unrest. Uncomfortable conversations about police violence, racial inequities, and systemic racism have become the norm. Local and federal governments are actively fighting to strip away LGBTQ+ rights and the rights of those with disabilities. The pandemic is still raging. It’s all so chaotic, and it’s the perfect time for some (un)learning.

Find this course here.

Use this Question to get Unstuck and Grow Your Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you want to do with your workday?

What do you want to offer?

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

When will you work? Where will you work?

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

Why You Should Collaborate and How to Start

Collaboration is key. You’ve heard that. And yet, you think its easier if you just do it on your own. And maybe you could do it on your own for a little bit but now you’re aware that you can only go so far on your own. I mean, picture a canoe and then picture a cruise ship. Those cruise ships can go around a continent! Would be pretty tough to do that on a one-man boat. In your business you can do a lot on your own, you can grow a lot on your own but eventually, you will hit a plateau. And especially during times like these we really are stronger together. So, what is a collaboration? Why should you collaborate? Who should Collaborate with and What/how does it work? Let’s dive in.

First, collaboration is when one or more people in this case businesses get together and team up on a goal. This could be a few teachers coming together like I do with my TCME partners Tasha Edwards, Mychele Sims and Erika Quest. We come together to teach an event around a topic that is important to us. You can also collaborate with people that have nothing to do with what you teach/do (more on that below).

Collaborating is key for growing your audience in a way that actually benefits you. We’ll talk about who you should choose to collaborate with in a minute. But, why you should collaborate will determine who you choose to collaborate with. Collaborating allows you to be put in front of other people’s audiences and they get put in front of yours. Basically, you need people to know who you are and what you do. And collaborating allows you to show up as yourself and create awareness around that in front of an audience that trusts the person you are collaborating with.

Choosing who to collaborate with is key for a “successful” collaboration. You want to first think about who you are trying to reach. This would be your client avatar. And if you haven’t thought about who you are trying to reach then watch my course on client avatars. You don’t want to just collaborate with anyone. If you’re trying to reach women in their 30’s-40’s in your area and you collaborate with a PT who works with post-surgical athletes or the tux shop across the street. So get super clear on your ideal client and then look at who is also reaching that person. If you don’t know the business owner yet it might take some “dating” before you collaborate. This is a good thing. It allows you to learn more about them, how you can work together, and get clear on who is doing what and how you can help them and they can help you.

Once you have an idea of who you want to collaborate with and know what you are wanting to get out of it aka more followers on social, more people on your list, more people aware of your business etc then its time to decide on how you will collaborate. Here are some ways you can collaborate:

  • Instagram loops
  • Events- virtual or in person
  • Gift Certificates they can give away and vice versa

In an IG loop you and the other businesses would team up to do a giveaway. Everyone who wants to enter the giveaway needs to follow every business, like the picture and comment. Usually asking them to tag a friend (don’t give them too many things to do). Then you pick the number of winners and hopefully you and all the collaborators got some of each others followers and some new ones. SIDE NOTE: while this might get you more followers remember followers do not translate to $$$. But, it is a great way to see if you like working with someone with very little investment.

Events require a bit more commitment but people LOVE a shared experience and better than a loop because they get to experience YOU. So, they skip several steps of awareness and get more connected with you and what you offer. I’ve seen this done in many ways. A studio offers a class, then a nutritionist gives a talk and massage therapist teaches on something, etc etc. People buy a ticket for a nominal price (gets them to commit to showing up). Each business would invite their clients/list and everyone wins. And because each person in the collab is trying to reach the same people your marketing for it goes farther.

Years ago when I moved studios the studio owners offered the shop next door 50% off a first time session to anyone that spent x amount of money in the shop. The shop was able to email all their clients and have a reason to entice them to come in and buy something. And the studio got their name in front of all the people on the list and then those who got the gift certificate heard about the studio another time and were more likely to try it because they had that gift certificate/coupon. I love these because you can get some of these offers from other businesses trying to reach your clients and give those away for referral rewards instead of discounting your services.

We’ve got one more how. How do you ask someone to collaborate with you? Well, first you need to know what you bring to the table. What can you offer these other businesses? If you’re wanting to do a loop and you have 450 followers and they have 45k followers it might not be mutually beneficial to them to partner with you. But if you’ve got a coffee shop looking for reasons to reach their clients who can’t sit indoors right now and you have space to do a class outside they would LOVE to bring their coffee to your people and invite their people to the class for a community event. So, when you ask people tell them why you love them/what they do etc, tell them what you want to work on and what you are offering. Then ask if they would like to get on a call and talk about it. Keep the ask simple. They should be able to read it on their phone screen. And, be specific why you like them. People can smell a copy and paste collab ask. Take your time to personalize 3-5 sentences.

Homework: write down who you are trying to reach? What you are wanting to bring more awareness to? Then make a list of businesses who are working with your ideal client and would like those same awarenesses. Then go for it! You’ll get plenty of no’s. I have been told no from many collabs and I have told many people no. Its not personal. It could be the timing, the offer etc. Its not you.

So, who are you going to collaborate with next?

xx~LL

10 Reasons They Are Not Coming to Your Class

Most of the time I hear that there are too many classes, too many teachers, too many studios and that’s why a teacher or studio is having trouble filling their classes. But, to be completely honest that is a lie. Because as often as I hear there are too many there is another teacher or studio complaining that they are the only ones and so no one knows who or what Pilates is. So, if saturation isn’t the issue (trust me its not!!) then what is? Well, below are some of the top reasons I have found most people are not saying “yes” to you. They are saying “yes” to someone or something. Which one of the reasons below might be your issue?

  1. They don’t know what Pilates is.
  2. They don’t know how it solves their problems.
  3. They don’t see the value in Pilates (because they don’t know how it solves their problems).
  4. They don’t see themselves on your websites/social.
  5. You’re selling the process.
  6. Your site doesn’t allow them to book.
  7. You have too many options and so they need to think about it.
  8. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
  9. You don’t tell them how to work with you.
  10. There’s no sense of urgency to act now.

Got an idea of which problem you need to solve?

If people don’t know what Pilates is it doesn’t matter how great of a teacher or beautiful your studio is they will walk by and keep on walking by. But, the common fix for this is to talk about Pilates. The mistake here is that you are marketing Pilates. Which is helpful for EVERYONE. Focus on what Pilates is when people work with you and specifically how Pilates with you helps them!

Most people think Pilates is an Ab workout where others think its a PT based workout. But maybe with you its all about posture or horses. Well, if you don’t work on telling people how you solve their problems whenever you say Pilates they are going to hear what they know (if anything) about it. You gotta be selfish a bit in how you talk about Pilates. What is Pilates with YOU and how does it HELP THEM?

When people say that potential clients think they are too expensive I know its not the price. Its the fact that the teacher or studio has yet to show their value. And people cannot place value on something if they don’t know what it is and how it helps them.

Which is why your website is so important! It needs to be mobile friendly because most people use their phones and ipads to search for things. But, it also needs to show people that look like them doing Pilates with you. They need to hear less on how many trainings and certifications you’ve done (trust me that is not a differentiator) they need to know that you get them, you understand their pain and you can help them. Your site also needs to allow them to book. Yes, it’s important! If they are ready to try you out you want to remove as many barriers to entry as possible. And, by the way, your time is worth it! You don’t want to be booking people all the time. And, if you have too many offerings people don’t know what to do when are ready to book. Do they book the intro session, package, classes, duets, semi privates, mat classes, express session…? Make it clear what a new client needs to do first.

Look at your recent posts, how many times did you post your upcoming classes and workshops? When you post “Pilates tonight 6pm” that’s selling the process. And few people will go “Yass sign me up” unless they already know like and trust you. New people need to hear how you’re the guide. What will they get by working with you? Sell the results!!

Let’s say your site is clear on how to work with you…how clear is it in your social media? Do you talk a lot about Pilates but not how to work with you? How to set up a session? What happens when they work with you? Again, shouting out your love for teaching and the method is awesome…but it doesn’t tell the person who is loving what you’re throwing down know what to do next.

Why should people act now? What do they get (please no discounts) for acting now? Why should they start working with you tomorrow instead of next month? You need to spell it out for people. I know it sounds obvious to you and me that the sooner they start with you the sooner they get the results but you need to tell them that. You need to paint that picture.

For example, I can tell you to watch this course to learn how to fill your classes and workshops. And you are now aware that the course exists and what it does. But, if I just leave it at that maybe one or three of you will be tired of trying to figure out how to make your classes fill and you’ll buy it. Or I can talk about how you’ve got 15 spots in your classes and currently, you’re averaging 5 people. And every week you go without putting my tips into place you’re not just missing out on helping 10 people. Which of course is important. I mean, its why you got into teaching. But, what if you did take this course today? Well, you would spend about $99 sure. But, if you started implementing the tips then in a week what if you had 8 people in the class? And those two people told two friends so that next week they had 12 people in class. And by the following week, you had a waitlist. And not only does that mean you’re helping 15 people a week you’ve sold out! And, you’ve made the investment back on the course in less than a month. So you can wait a week or so to buy that course. But, you’d be literally leaving money on the table and your people would wait longer to get your help.

Look, I’m not saying filling your schedule or your classes is easy. But, what I am saying is that too often teachers and studio owners use excuses as to why their classes are not filled. When there are actually a few reasons that are totally solvable…if you want to solve your problems…that can change the direction of your business in an instant.

So, which reasons are you going to work on this week?

xx~LL

 

Why You Need an Ideal Client Avatar and How to Define Yours

You’ve heard that you need to talk to your “Ideal Client Avatar” aka your ICA either from me or from other business marketing experts. But, you know that you can teach anybody. I mean, Pilates is for everybody right? And, yes, you probably have been trained well and can teach all types of people. And Pilates meets everyone where they are. But, that doesn’t mean you get to talk to everybody. In fact, you can’t. You literally cannot write a post on any social, a newsletter, blog, or journal and talk to everyone and get attention. Even big brand names like Coke, Pepsi, or think of any big brand talk specifically to one person. Why? Because people need to feel like you see them, you get them, you understand them. They need to know that no matter their pain, problem or goal you can help them specifically. So, does this mean you only get to have one ICA? How do they do it and still appeal to so many people?

A simple answer is yes you can have more than one avatar. But, you still cannot talk to all of them at the same time. So, sure, you can have 3 avatars (I would keep it to 3 tops if you really can’t narrow down) but you still have to have total clarity around each one and know which one you’re talking to when you are promoting who you are, what you do and why you rock.

How do you know who your ideal client is?

This gets more complicated but it doesn’t have to be. I find that many teachers and studio owners struggle with this because they think about all the clients they have that they like. But, if I ask them if they would want 20 of that person they quickly remember that the client they like is late all the time, doesn’t want to pay their rates and is inconsistent.

So, first, you need to not worry about what will happen to the current clients you have. You might be a lucky person and have a client who is your total ICA. But, you might now. And that’s ok. We’re going to dive into what you need to know about your ICA and how to talk to them in this blog.

  1. Think about why you got into teaching in the first place. Was it to solve a problem you had? Was it because of how Pilates made you feel? Many times our ICA (or one of them) is us before we discovered Pilates.
  2. What do you like learning more about? I see a lot of teachers take workshops on anything. But, those who dive into something more specific will find a path that leads to working with more people that light their fire and allow them to flex their muscles a bit more. Look back at some workshops at see which ones lit you up so much you wished you could take hours more on that topic? Who does that information help?
  3. What are some non-negotiables in your business? Do you prefer to teach privates or groups? Do you want to teach more people or fewer people? Are there days and times that you will teach or won’t teach?

There are a ton more questions to answer about your ICA. But before we can get to them I want you to answer the above. Because these answers will really define a lot about your ICA’s. If you don’t want to teach mornings we need to own that and keep that in mind as we define your ICA. And its easy to get in the scarcity mindset as we dive even deeper into who your ICA is and start to bend your own rules.

Now that we know what information lights your fire, why you got into what you do and what you non-negotiables are we can start to dive even deeper into your ICA. And remember, the reason we need to be specific is so that when we market who we are and what we do we are speaking directly to our clients (future and current) so they feel SEEN! Everyone needs to feel seen.

Let’s get specific:

  • where do they live
  • when do they workout
  • where do they work/do they work
  • where do they workout
  • how much money do they make
  • what do they do for a living
  • what do they do in their free time
  • where do they get their information
  • what social media (if any) do they enjoy
  • what books do they read
  • what magazines/blogs do they read
  • what groups are they part of
  • what do they like to eat/drink
  • what does a normal day in their life look like

Now, let’s talk about why they need you:

  • what are their pain points
  • what keeps them up at night
  • what would they do anything to have a solution to their problem
  • what do they wish they had more of

How do you help them (hint don’t just write “with my Pilates sessions.”):

  • what about what you do specifically helps them
  • what are your ideal client’s program/how often do they need to see you
  • what do past and current clients say you do
  • what protocol do you want your ideal client doing with you

What are their objections:

  • what will keep them from saying yes to you
  • who will stop them from saying yes to you
  • why might they not say yes to you

Ok, you ready to take all this information and put it together to talk to your ideal client and make them feel seen?

If you know how your future client wants to feel every day and you know what their objections will be then you can literally say: “Hey ___, I know you’re tired of feeling tired and you can’t fathom taking time out of your day for your self-care. But, I also know that back pain isn’t going to go away on its own. You know that too. And, I know that if I was able to work with you each week not only would your pain lessen but you would have more energy. Plus, one day a week we can do it while you’re at your office so you don’t lose time coming to see me in the studio.”

The woman I was picturing was someone who works 12 hour days, is working hard to “get ahead” and so she is sacrificing herself. But, she wants more. She wants to feel good and have more energy. So I know I can get her to come in person once a week but that won’t help her so I am going to also see her the second time online because then she can see that I believe in what I do so much that I will meet her where she is.

Notice how I didn’t write: “hey ___, you’re tired, you’re busy, you may have back pain or neck pain, or postnatal problems. And yeah, I can do posture and pt too!! I like to see my clients 3x a week but we can do once or twice or whatever you want. What do you think?”

Does the person above have pain or posture problems? I don’t know. And does this teacher sound confident in how they do what they do? Nope, they are willing to see their client whenever the client wants…

Going back to the first question: Can you have more than one avatar? Yes, as I mentioned you can. But, you have to go through all the prompts above for each avatar. And, every post or piece of marketing you do you need to make sure you know which avatar you are talking to. On OPC we have three avatars. But, lately, I have only been talking to two of them. And, I only talk to one at a time.

And, if you do this really well do you know what happens. The person you are speaking to so well, the one that feels so seen comes to you, takes from you, and tells their friends. And, there’s a high chance that some of their friends are not just like them. So, by talking super specific you still end up attracting other clients. Your business grows and its because you’re mostly teaching the clients that light your fire!

I’d love to hear who your ideal client is. You can share it with me in the comments below. And, for more support defining your ideal client and how to market to them check out my avatar course here, becoming known, and the client journey. These courses will help you go from an idea to an in-person/online client!

xx~LL

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step three: Know how much your hourly rate is.

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

I knew my hourly rate!

Here’s how you figure out yours:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 5: Set them Up for Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

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

 

Pivoting: Tips for Instructors and Studio Owners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

What will you try next?

xx~LL

 

Tips for Getting New Clients and Rebuilding Right Now

Whether your studio has opened or not doesn’t mean you cannot be growing your business. Let me say that again, it does not matter if your physical studio space doors are open. You can still be growing your business right now. Four months into this pandemic I have seen more teachers and studios in all fitness modalities pivot, grow, change their offerings, raise their rates, and more. This can be you! And I know some of you are hanging your hat on your studio doors being able to open whether you have a brick and mortar or home studio. But, waiting until that moment happens will be fairly anti-climatic because what those who have opened can tell you is when you do get to “reopen” you’re looking at maybe 25% of your original client base. And, I know I don’t have to tell you that 25% is not enough. It’s not growth. So, how do you rebuild, get new clients, and more than survive this time?

Before I go into these tips I need you to promise yourself that you will have an open mind and be willing to try at least one of these things. And more than once. You likely couldn’t do the Teaser on the first try but you didn’t let that stop you. So, if you get a ‘no’ in your business or don’t get the results you’re expecting day one or after the first attempt, you need to remember how long it took you to do the Teaser. AND, I bet you know now that had you done more practice sooner and often you could have seen your Teaser improvements faster. This is not the time to wait and see. This is the time to put your foot on the gas, be brave AF, and not take no for an answer. Are you ready?

  1. Who do you know who would like ‘this?’ Notice that I didn’t say ‘do you know anyone who would like my classes?’ I said, “WHO DO YOU KNOW…” Our brains do not like open loops. And they don’t need to answer it right then. And, you need to ask them again and again. And who are the people you are asking? The 25 % or 10% or 40% of your clients who are joining you for zoom or in your studio now. These people LOVE you! They are braving these weird times and showing up for you now. Ask them. Contact the clients who you’ve not seen since March. I know you’ve already contacted them a couple or few times. Do it again. Remember, their life was upended too. They also are trying to navigate these times. Be patient but be consistent. Be personal. Be human. But, if you want to remain open be persistent. Who will you ask today “who do they know” that could use your teaching?
  2. What other businesses share the same clients? These businesses are in the same place you are. I don’t care what you think you see on IG. They are also trying to find creative ways to get clients to buy their dresses, their coffee their pies. Two minds are better than one as we know. So, how can you all team up and create a virtual or socially distanced day, event, summit etc that allows them to have something exciting for their people to look forward to attending and attend? And, maybe there is some bonus for those who get their friends to sign up.
  3. Don’t be so quick to ditch virtual.  I know so many teachers and clients are not loving the virtual teaching options. BUT, remember, your walls are not limited virtually AND people can attend from all over the world. I started taking a class that is in Houston because I saw my friends taking it. Even though their studio has reopened they’ve kept us, virtual takers, online and they now have double the students in a class and that virtual option has no limits.
  4. Your discounts and sales are not what gets you new clients. I know you think you need to offer a sale to get people to try you out. But, you’re not making dresses where the markup is 2-5x and you have the margins to do that. A dress doesn’t even help people past the time they wore the dress. You are helping people feel better in their skin, stronger in their muscles, and be able to pick up a 6-gallon jug of water on their own at Costco because now they can’t have someone help them. I literally just got that info from one of my online students. I mean, she doesn’t care if I have a sale or not she just wants me to keep showing up so she can remain independent! You do that for people. Never discount that gifts that give beyond the Mat, Reformer or studio. People are not searching google for prices of classes in their area. They are searching for the person/studio who is soo enthusiastic, confident and consistently showing up to help them.
  5. People over Product. Looking back on what you post, market, “advertise” notice how often you are talking about the people you help vs the product you offer. What I see often is that teachers and studios are talking about their product or the sale on their product and not the people they help. I know you help people. But, your future people DON’T. So, be obsessed with how you help people and they will see your enthusiasm (#4) and buy from you because they want to feel like those people you’ve already helped.
  6. Pivot. Look, you may be known for your 12 person classes and now people are not feeling super safe in 12 person classes. So, revamp your offerings, create Semi-Privates, and change your prices to reflect that. Yes, you can make the same with 3-4 people as 12 people. Does that mean you have to find new clients…yep probably, but remember those who used to come to your class know how awesome you are. And you need to tell them why for now, fewer people is the best thing for them. Used to teach Privates but now you need to get more clients what the clients that still come to see you can bring their partners, roommates, and family members? They are already living together so coming to work out together is same same. And, they each can pay a little less than a private, you make more in that hour than you did when it was a one-on-one and you don’t need to teach the same amount of hours to make the same or more amount of money.
  7. Shift your perspective!!! If you are seeing and talking about how many studios are closing, if you are focusing on what other studios are selling or how many local businesses are closing you will see more and more of that and your brain will likely think “if they can’t make it how can I?” Or, “everyone is struggling so I’m gonna have to struggle too.” WRONG. You can absolutely thrive during and after this time. It requires you to believe in yourself. You to pour into people how you help them. You to show up every day and show people how you are what they should be investing in.

My friend, I’m not in denial that studios and businesses will close. But, I do believe that more people will have stronger, better businesses because of this time we are in. You may have to get more creative than ever before. But, for those who believe and take action the path will reveal itself, the clients will appear and the growth will happen. I know. I have seen it every day during this time with those in my AGENCY community. What will you do today to take action and grow your business?

 

xx~LL