My Top 3 Mistakes and What They Taught Me

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

How to Find Subs for Your Clients

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

200 No’s and Why You Should Talk to Strangers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

How I Prepare for a New Client

When you get a new client in your studio there are a lot of butterflies on both ends. Your new client is wondering if this, Pilates, Yoga, Fitness with you is going to be what they need to meet their goals or take away their aches and pains. And, you’ve got butterflies because you know you need more clients in your books to help you earn more money and help more people. So, how do you feel more confident when you have a new client coming in? Here are my go-to tips for when I have a new client.

1) Know your numbers! I’m very clear on my rates, my packages, and what each package equates to when it comes to helping a client hit their goals. If they are coming in for a specific goal and they have a date they want to achieve it by I know which package to offer them in order to help them achieve it. Of course, I hope they stay longer and truth be told they will but in the beginning their why is all they care about. Beyond their why is something I can tackle while they are a client.

2) Be clear on who your ideal client is. This is soo key, my friends. Sometimes I get a new client that I am not the right teacher for. Generally, I am able to weed them out and refer them to someone else before they come in for a first-time session but occasionally it happens. And, it’s important to be able to say no to them after the session. Because, if you are not the right person for them eventually it will not work out. So better to save both your times. And, also clients who are not your ideal client will not refer you more of your ideal client.

3) Tell them what to expect. I love to make sure they know everything about how to find my studio, where to park, where not to park, what to wear, how early to show up, how long the session is! EVERYTHING! I have a pre-written letter that I send out and I even link to it in a confirmation. This helps them feel more comfortable before they even come in. The more you can communicate like you’re already in a relationship the higher the chances of them feeling confident that they can trust you and buy future sessions with you.

4) Tell them when you will follow up with them. And, then make sure you do! No matter how the session goes I always follow up with my first-time client. I remind them of their goals, how Pilates will help them and if they scheduled another session I remind them of when it is, what the cancellation policy is etc. If they didn’t and I want them as a client I offer them times to come in, how long it will take to feel the benefits and ask them a question that requires a response.

5) I have everything ready for them when they arrive. Think of a first date. If the date was late would that make you feel good about how much they value your time? If the date was disorganized would that make you feel like they were an expert? That they could keep all your needs in order? That they could take you where you want to go? Pull out the red carpet for new clients. And by red carpet, I don’t mean discount signs.

I could go on and on but I don’t want to overwhelm you! Pick one or two of these that you are not doing and give them a try. Then add in another one or two. Until they become a habit and you have your own system. And, then, write it down! Then you can review your system before every new client comes in.

Which tip will you try? Post in the comments below.

xx~LL

6 Tips to Get More Clients

In a perfect world, clients would just grow on trees, right? But, while this world is pretty great clients instead come to us through variations forms of marketing. And, it’s important to know what these different routes to you are and use them to attract your ideal clients. Because even if your schedule is full someday you will need another client or few. Your favorite clients will move. You will move. And, so something you can guarantee you’ll need to have set up in your business is a way to consistently attract new clients to you. Here are 6 of my favorite tips for getting new clients.

  1. Be Known in Your Community: This means getting outside your studio and going to networking events, community events, add meeting local business owners in your neighborhood. The more people know who you are, what you do, and whom you are for the more they can tell people who complain about not feeling good, having aches and pains, looking for a trainer that you are the rockstar teacher for them!
  2. Add So Much Value: to your community, clients and if you’re a studio owner your teachers that people sing your praises! If you focus on your existing one or few clients truly feeling the benefits of Pilates with you they will feel the need to reciprocate and will share your good words to everyone!
  3. Make Your Website Work For You: This means you have to have a website and keep it updated. One of the best ways to do that is to blog weekly (yes, weekly) about the top things people search on the internet that you can help with! Consistent blogging keeps your website updated, helps your SEO (the thing that drives traffic to your site) and shares who you are and what you do with those who come on your site.
  4. Create an Email Campaign: this is something I cover in my courses “Client Journey” and “Take Your Newsletters to the Next Level.” This includes having something on your site that exchanges a potential clients email for something of value and then an email campaign that you write one time and it guides people to your core offering.
  5. Client Referral Rewards Program: I am not a fan of discounts for new clients. I truly believe in rewarding existing clients for sharing how awesome you are. And, there are many ways you can do this. All depend on what your services are and their prices. For my business, I give a free late cancel, a sort of get out of jail free card, for every new client that buys a package. They have to buy a package for the reward to be kicked in. And, you’ll want to remind your clients of this reward program regularly.
  6. Talk to Strangers: Yep, if you want new clients you got to get out there in the world and tell strangers who you are, what you do and whom you are for. You cannot wait for clients to walk by your doors and hand you their credit card. That doesn’t happen often enough to pay your bills. So, get out there, make eye contact. Get told no. It will help you refine your pitch and also who you are looking to talk to. If you are fishing in a pond of cheap fish switch ponds!

I would love to hear which of these tips you are going to try this week. Post your plan in the comments below.

xx~LL

How to Get Past the Objections

It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching Pilates, Fitness, Barre or selling make-up, cars or coffee. You will hear objections to your offers. And, it’s so easy to take these objections personally isn’t it? I mean when someone tells you it’s too expensive you may feel like they are saying “you’re not worth it.” You may wonder or be tempted to offer a discount. Tell yourself, “just this once” and believe that a lower priced package will get them to fall in love and see the value of what you offer. And, that’s just one of the objections we hear. There are so many others. And, if you want to grow your business you are going to have to get really good and overcoming them. Let’s talk about how you can do that.

  1. Price objection: this one is probably the most often used. I mean, I’ve even used it places to get out of doing something or buying something. And, it’s rarely true. What is true is that I don’t really want the thing or want the thing right now but I want to end the convo so I say its the price because everyone can understand this objection and no one is going to argue with me. Right? You know you’ve done this too. So, how do you overcome this? First, be upfront with your prices. Put them on your site. Or tell people before they come in. Then you and the client both don’t waste a first time session. If they can’t afford you even if they love you they can’t afford you. Second, make sure your first time session or intro packs are aligned with your regular prices. Third, be sure you are fishing in the right pond. If you want people who can afford ___ rate then advertise at places they hang out.
  2. Time Objection: A great objection for the person who is not ready to commit. Or, never likes to commit. When setting them up for a session be sure to ask them questions that will help you get clear on their availability to add something new into their life. If they say they work 6 days a week and commute an hour each way and you tell them they have to come in 3x a week they are going to believe they don’t have time. But, if you hear all that and then ask them to come on their day off or on their way into work once or twice a week as they feel the benefits of working with you they will start to see how they can add more sessions in.
  3. “I need to think about it” objection: This also is often the one where they need to talk to their spouse or parent. Again, I find this to be an easy excuse in life to use because who is going to argue with that? Couple ways to get around this is on your intake forms on your site or in person ask them if they have ever invested in their fitness before. If they have you are less likely to hear this objection. If they haven’t then keep in mind this is not just a financial or time commitment this is a big step in their life. They’ve not spent money on something that isn’t tangible like jeans, a car etc. So, remember to help them see that you’re the guide for them, the person they can trust to help them get to their why. Do not worry about selling them Pilates. Focus on connecting them to their why with you.

What are some objections you’ve heard? Share them in the comments below and I’ll be back to check and give you some tips for overcoming them!

Remember, if you think that people will think Pilates is too expensive then they will. If you think you’re too far away or it takes too long for people to “get” Pilates all this will come true. But, if you spend more time thinking about why Pilates with you then people will have no problem saying YAAS!

xx~LL

3 Reasons Your Newsletters Are Not Effective

Writing Newsletters takes time, and it is one of those things that most teachers and studio owners would prefer to not do. Convince themselves that email is dead. It’s not. And, while email marketers are seeing that its harder to get the ROI they used to get you are not an email marketer. You’re using your newsletters to engage with your clients, past clients and future clients (because people forward emails that are worthy).  Your newsletters remind clients of why you’re amazing. They offer a way for clients to email you back, create a conversation. But, you feel they are not worth it. And, it’s because you’re not writing effective newsletters. People get an average of 142 emails a day. So, why are yours being trashed with the others?

  1. You are only “selling.” Yes, we want clients to sign up online, to create standing appointments. To get get info about new classes or the schedule changes. But, if all you do is sell to them in newsletters you’re going to totally be flagged by their emails as “promotions” and you won’t even make it in their real inbox. And, your clients don’t open emails to be sold at (unless it’s cyber Monday) they open because they are want to hear more about what they care about. They want valuable information that will make them better.
  2. You are not consistent. You send a newsletter once a month then you miss a month and then you do two in a month. It’s erratic. Humans like predictable. Be consistent. Try to get send a weekly newsletter if possible but if you’re only going to do monthly ADD LOTS OF VALUE and never miss.
  3. Your subject lines are boring. Yep, it’s really all about the subject line. “Monthly Newsletter” is not sexy. Not exciting. It doesn’t make me want to open it. I still might but it’ll be the rare bird. Have fun with your subject lines, grab their attention. You want to stand out amongst the email crowd. One of my best open rates came from my newsletters “the biggest mistake I ever made.”

I know you know you need this newsletter. I know you know you need to stay top of mind with your clients. I know you want to have a way to reach out to old clients and inconsistent clients. Newsletters do that!

Take the time to write a consistent newsletter, that gives away information they can share with their friends. Add value to their life. Have a call to action. Maybe it’s a question they should answer, maybe they should share the newsletter with a friend? Ask them to do something. People don’t do things without a call to action. Have fun with your subject lines.

If you’re wanting more support and advice around newsletters first of all YAY! You’re a rockstar! I can help you. Contact me here for a one on one coaching call or watch my course all about newsletters here.

What will your next newsletter talk about? Share in the comments below!

xx~LL

Are You Doing This to Get Clients to Hear About You

During my last workshop in Poland there was a question about how to market oneself if you are able to teach kids, pre-post natal, elderly, women, men…basically, how can they market themselves to EVERYONE! And I said you can’t market yourself to everybody at the same time. When you tell people what you do when you try to advertise your work do you try to talk to everyone? The truth is, in every business not just Pilates it’s important to know who you are for and why you are the teacher for them. And, then, you have to start with making them aware. Are you taking the time to make people aware of you?

I’m sure you think you are. You post pics of you on Instagram and Facebook. You tell your friends and family. But, are you actually taking the time to meet your future clients where they are?

Getting a new client doesn’t happen overnight or even randomly. On occasion, you’ll randomly meet someone who will hear what you do and sign up. But, I’d bet they’d done Pilates before in the past and were so stoked to hear about you because they’d been thinking they want to do Pilates. The average person needs to hear about your offering 12x. That’s what the new data says.

So, if you’re telling people about what they can buy from you or what classes they can take that’s skipping a step. You’re not starting with awareness.

Awareness is like making eye contact with someone at a party. Think about the last time you made eye contact with someone you didn’t know what happened next? I know for me the last time I did that I smiled. And then I went back to my conversation. But, about 20 min later I saw that person again. Eye contact. Smile. Back to the conversation with someone I knew. An hour later we ended up at the food table together and we said hi, introduced ourselves and a conversation started.

But, we didn’t exchange phone numbers until the end of the night.

And that is just a potential friendship! Not, a potential client. No money was being exchanged. So, think about your future client. If it took me several eye contact moments, a whole party and several texts to get a coffee date with someone. How long will your future clients need to make your eye contact, hear about you and get touch points from you to give you money and time? Well, the average is 12 x.

So, I know that sounds like a lot but you can do this. It’s all in your control. If you’re out in your community meeting other businesses owners and collaborating with other future clients will see and hear you. If you’re posting blogs, sharing testimonials that’s a touch point. If you meet someone in a line at a Starbucks and then follow up with them and they run into them again at Starbucks those are all touch points. And, even better, if their doctor tells them to do Pilates that’s a touch point. If their friends are doing Pilates and talking about it that’s a touch point.

You don’t have to be ALL the touch points but if you are taking the time to share the very basics of your teaching…make eye contact. Post to share who you are and not to sell a spot in your class. Those are all going to be little moments of eye contact.

Our clients are on a journey to get to us. There are specific stepping stones for them to be on before they will commit to you.

They have to become aware of you first, hear about who you are and what you do and why you’re for them. They then need to be able to dabble a little more without a major commitment financially. Like a first time session or assessment. Then they can be swayed to buy a membership or a package. It’s a journey. Are you skipping some stones when you are trying to get new clients? Don’t worry, so many people are.

The first step, start with knowing who you are what you do and why you’re the teacher for them. Then start with awareness. Tell a story. People love learning about people through story. Start with the awareness part. The rest of the stones are going to be more work. And I’ll be talking about them in my next webinar.

If you want more new clients if you want it to be easier to get new clients you have to take them on the journey.

Are you ready? My latest webinar will help you discover the journey you need to take your future clients on. Join me here. Until then, what are you doing to create awareness?

xx~LL 

 

6 Reasons Why They Didn’t Buy Pilates From You

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you ready for that?

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

xx~LL 

Asking the Right Questions to Make Them a Client For Life

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL 

Why You Need a Substitute Teacher and Where to Find Them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL 

 

3 Tips to Winning Your Clients Back

Have you had a client go on vacation, have the best time and then come back to their life but not to their Pilates schedule? Or, that client that came 2x a week religiously, got sick, took a break and you haven’t seen them since. There’s a whole lot of feelings when situations like these happen. First, you’re worried? Are they ok? But, you see on social their totally fine. So, then, frustration and feeling rejected ensues. I mean, they loved class with you. Why aren’t they back? Did you do or say something wrong? Should you call them? Ugh, but it’s been weeks, so now it feels awkward! Am I right? When did running your Pilates business feel like dating?

Here’s the thing, we are not the right teacher for everyone all of the time. Sometimes it’s good for clients to take a break. But, what if it’s not. What if it’s the right client and teacher and you know that life has just gotten to them and you want to be there to bring them back, to return them to life? Can you get an old client back?

Yep, and here are three tips to winning clients back:

  1. Contact them! Ok, before you roll your eyes and stop reading this blog hear me out. You probably connected them once when they were supposed to return, maybe even twice. And then you stopped reaching out. I get it. It feels awkward. But, you don’t know what’s going on with them. You may have emailed them the day they got bad news. They saw your email but just couldn’t respond. So, call them, say hi, if you can help them with anything. Don’t ask them to come in just be supportive.
  2. Have a Newsletter: Yes, this works! If you were already writing a consistent newsletter and making sure all your clients opted into it then your love notes would be hitting them regularly. I have two clients that travel a ton and always respond to my newsletters when they are going to be back in LA.
  3. Create a Community at your space. Yes, you can do this even if you teach Privates only and even if you’re an independent contractor. So many of my clients are friends because they pass each other between sessions. That little 5 min break where I am washing my hands and using the ladies they are gabbing away. If you have classes this is easier if you introduce people and encourage them to say hi to their neighbor in class etc. But, the accountability of the others knowing they are missing class keeps them coming back. For those of us who mostly teach privates introduce your clients to each other as they pass. Over time they get quite comfortable gabbing away. They usually start by lamenting over how you torture them! It’s fun!

Here’s the thing, clients are going to disappear. But, there are some key things you can be doing in your business to mitigate those disappearances. And, here’s the thing, getting a new client costs a lot. It costs time and money and those are two things I don’t want you to waste. So, setting your clients and your business up to strengthen your retention is key. If you want to get clients back and also prevent losing the good ones be sure to join me on my next webinar.

In the meantime, go ahead, call them! What’s the worst thing that happens they block you? They don’t call you back? Ok, that’s at least an answer and so not the end of the world. You’ll feel free to go ahead and fill there spot with a client who is more dedicated.

xx~LL