5 Things You Need To Be Doing In Your Pilates Business

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

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

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

xx~LL 

3 Tips to Get People to Read Your Newsletters and Blogs

You know you that you have to write blog posts, write newsletters and have a presence on social media to help market your Pilates business. But, it can feel like all your efforts on falling on deaf ears when you post or hit send and literally hear crickets. Or, worse, when you hear people say they didn’t know you offered something you just announced in a newsletter. Ugh so annoying.  You know, when you email about a rate increase and then a client swears you never told them. So, why does this happen? How come when you post on social, publish a blog or send a newsletter you aren’t getting through to your clients? Simple, you’re not speaking to them.

I know, you are writing words on a paper. You took hours out of your week, read and re-read every post and yet nothing. Nada. No response. You wonder if it was the algorithm on Facebook or the time you sent on MailChimp or Constant Contact. But, algorithms and perfect timing are not the biggest culprits. Nope, the biggest reason people are not reacting to your words is that you are not writing to them. You’re writing to a general, average person. No to you client Cindy who wants results but doesn’t come consistently. You’re writing to a group of people you can’t describe because it’s just a random group, not Bob who needs more flexibility but hasn’t started his Pilates practice yet. You’re writing words but they are not speaking to anyone because you’re trying to speak to everyone.

If you want people to feel like you are telling them something then try these three tips out on your next piece:

  1. Post on the social channels they are using! I often see lots of teachers sharing info about their classes but in forums that are not where their client or future clients hang out. Or, I see tons of tweets about class schedule changes but the classes are for a demographic that isn’t using Twitter. You don’t need to be on every social platform. Do the research and be on the channels and forums your clients and future clients are spending time in.
  2. Know what your clients do when they are not doing Pilates. These special interests will help you talk to them in your posts. For example, let’s say your clients love to surf. Share news about surfers who have raved about Pilates. Write blog posts about how Pilates helps surfers. Create tips for doing Pilates for surfers. Then when surfers are searching for ways to better their surfing your posts will come up!
  3. What are their pain points. I know you know the benefits of Pilates. And, you have them on your website. But, how do these benefits solve your clients and future clients problems? Write down your clients pain points, their problems and then how does Pilates with you help them. When you write, blog or post keep these pain points in mind. People will do anything to solve their problems. Make it easy, tell them about their pain point and how you help them. They’re going to listen so fast!

These are just three simple tips you can start with today. And, I truly hope you do. One of my favorite authors Daniel Pink said on a podcast that if you have a service or product that can help solve someone’s problems you have a moral obligation to tell them. But, most of us think we said it once and it didn’t work, no one listened or no one cared. Wrong! They didn’t hear you. You were talking to general.

You have to talk directly to your ideal client. And, it’s going to take these three tips and getting really clear on who your client is. Who is your client avatar?

If you’re ready to define this avatar, if you’re ready to finally be heard, if you’re ready to get your magic out there then you should join me on my next webinar.

Not ready yet? No worries! Start with these three tips and see how even these small steps will create big change in your business.

Share your gifts my friends. Your clients are ready and waiting.

xx~LL

3 Reasons You Are Not Teaching Your Ideal Client

It’s another week and you’re still teaching the same clients. You love them but you wish that you were teaching more athletes, more privates, more classes or just more inspiring Or, maybe you’re not teaching any session and you’re freaking out! How are you going to pay the bills? Was teaching a good idea? How come that teachers schedule is full? Whether or not your schedule is full or not has little to do with feeling fulfilled. You yearn to be teaching a particular group of clients and you feel like you’re ready and waiting but where are they? Why don’t they realize that you’re THE TEACHER for them?

#1 They don’t know you! I know, how is that possible? You’re posting away on the social channels, you’re going studio to studio teaching or trying to teach and you’re telling all your friends how much you love what you do. Why then does nobody, or at least the body’s that you are the best teacher for unaware of your magic? Simple, you haven’t told them. Sure, you told your friends and the platforms but you haven’t told the people who know your people. You haven’t blogged so the search engines can’t tell people who you are. You haven’t gotten out to the communities where your client is. And, if you have then you haven’t been clear about who you are what you do and why you rock at it!

#2 You’re not clear on who you want to teach. As much as you want everyone to love you and what you do it’s not possible. And, I know it’s scary to niche down or turn people away but it’s better to only teach the clients you are right for. Because they will refer you more people like them! Say yes to the wrong clients and either they won’t sign up with you or they will and they’ll refer more people like them. And, sure, you’ll be busy but busy with peeps who drain you and make you wonder if teaching is right for you. Can you change your mind? Sure, will everyone in your schedule fit 100% into your box…nope. But, the clearer you are the more people who will hear your awesomeness and over time the more people who will light your fire and challenge your teachings.

#3 You’re not clear on why you rock. Maybe you don’t think you rock? Or, maybe you’re afraid to shout from the rooftops that you are really good at something. Perhaps you think people won’t need or like what you are the best at? And if your answer “LL, I’m brand spanking new how can I be the best at anything?” Well, my newbie, you do something great! Just ask those who you practiced teaching on why they kept coming back. They’ll tell you! And, take that feedback and run with it! Over time your other gifts will reveal themselves.

Did I call out your excuse? If I didn’t don’t worry, there can be endless reasons why you’re teaching your ideal client but don’t let all of them turn into excuses that you get to keep around. Let’s talk about what you are doing and what you can do be doing more.

I’ve heard there is no money in Pilates, Yoga, etc etc. WRONG! And, if you hear someone say that you send them to me. There is money in doing whatever it is you’ve been called to do. But, you gotta let people know! They are not mind readers. They’ve got a lot going on and they need you to shout loud and clear why you’re the person for them.

And an easy spot you can do this is your website! Do you have one? How’s it working for you? I’ve got a 1-hour webinar that will help you break down exactly what you need on your site (and what you don’t) coming up. Let’s make your website work for you! And, if you’re not sure to contact me here.

xx~LL 

3 Reasons You Need to Be Writing Newsletters

Perhaps you have heard email is dead. But, do you really believe that? I mean, how many mornings is your email the first thing you look at? It’s ok. Statistically speaking most people check their email before they even get out of bed! Which means, they are interested in what’s in their inbox. And, they are not opening it to see what spam they got. Nope, they are looking to see what they need to know! What should they be buying, sharing or doing? And, if you’re sitting there wishing your clients came in more often, scheduled more regularly and thought about their Pilates practice as much as you do then you need to be in their mind’s eye as much as Amazon and their other email subscriptions.

Still not sure you need to be writing newsletters? Here are 3 (and trust me I could have gone on for an hour writing up other reasons) reasons why you need to be writing newsletters for your business:

  1. Email marketing is 40% more effective than Facebook and Instagram ads– With email you get to share more information, tell a longer story, engage in conversation and connect with your community. You have more control over who sees your message and you can reach out to them as often as you want. Because people gave you permission to send them email it means they want to hear from you. So, when they get an email from you they open it. On social media, you have less control over who sees it and who scrolls right on by!
  2. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you receive $44 in return– statistically speaking those who spend time making a living through email marketing earn a $43 return on every $1 they spend to market! That’s insanely awesome! As a Pilates teacher or studio owner your newsletter marketing will most likely be free to nominal in expenses depending on your list size. Which means your profits earned from reaching out to your list will be even better!
  3. Time efficient communication– you do not have the time or ability to have you or your team call, text or email every client you have had, or who have inquired about Pilates to get them the info they need. It’s not cost-effective to text every client about your vacation dates. And, worse, clients will slip through the cracks on those busy weeks! Sending regular communication to those past, current and potential clients not only allows you a touch point with your clients, but it also allows you the opportunity to share with them what they need to know!

If you are already sending newsletters and or building your list congrats! If you are not feeling they are effective, or, are wanting to start but don’t know what to write about or how often to send then my next webinar is for you! We’ll be spending one hour covering what to write about, how often to send, how to build your list and best tools to use. Snag your spot to watch live or receive the replay here.

xx~LL 

Busting Pilates Business Myths

Thoughts often become facts. Have you heard that before? What about, “don’t believe everything you think?” I think these two often used statements are incredibly important to remember when you are running your own Pilates business. It doesn’t matter if you are a Pilates Studio owner or a Pilates instructor. It is easy to slip and fall into traps and beliefs that will more than likely hold you back or keep you from trying out new things that could grow your business. What are some of the myths that I think need busting?

  1. The people here only want classes or only want privates: Last I checked no community got together and said: “let’s make sure all Pilates studios only offer us, classes/privates.” Clients want what will help them solve their problems. What is your future client’s problem? How do you solve that problem?
  2. We can’t raise our rates because everyone is looking for a deal: Please see my response to Myth #1 and then take a good look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you offer value to your clients and deserve to be paid your worth. People are not choosing your competitor based on their prices. They are not going to the studio down the street because it’s cheaper. That studio is giving them something that they are looking for. How can you be the answer to your ideal client’s problem? You solve their problem they will reconfigure their budget to get to you! Want to consider raising your rates? Check out the latest webinar here.
  3. There are so many Pilates studios here: Your competition is not going to kill your business. You not defining who you are, what you do and how you rock your clients’ worlds will. Too often we tell people what we think they should hear. We are not listening to what they need and showing them how we are the answer they have been looking for. That’s amazing that you won muscle competitions and have five certifications. I’m not discounting that. But, how do you help them? If you spend your time sharing with your community what you can do for them that is different than anyone else there can be ten studios on your block and you’ll still be successful!
  4. You have to stick to the Pilates “business model”: First, I actually have no idea what this means. But, I think it refers more to having a studio that has lots of teachers, runs classes, privates and has teachers rent. People work 6 days a week and do morning and evening shifts. I’ll admit I thought I couldn’t own a studio because I didn’t want to manage any more teachers or manage a schedule. Glad I didn’t believe in this myth. Because now I have a great walk up studio with everything I need and it’s all by myself. The truth is you can run your Pilates business any way you want that is legal. If you want to be a solo-preneur go for it! If you want to only have classes only have classes. If you want to have privates only do that. Your business will be more successful when you create a space that highlights your strengths and how you want to offer your gift. Will it be difficult? Yep, but copying the studios in your neighborhoods business model isn’t any easier!
  5. You have to work a certain schedule: If you truly want to do Pilates as a business for the long haul I absolutely need you to teach the times that are best for you! Sure, in the beginning, you may be teaching all of the place and random times trying to figure out who you are as a teacher and what times work best for you. But, once you’ve got a good idea of when you are at your best it’s time to get some boundaries and set an ideal schedule and focus on filling that. It’s imperative for self-care, consistent growth in your business and for you to feel like your business works for you instead of the other way around!

There are so many more myths to bust! If I didn’t talk about one you’re curious about post it below in the comments are email me here. Aside from great advances in technology, there are some amazing tools out there that allow you to create the Pilates business that meets your needs. So, what beliefs are you willing to let go of?

xx~LL 

3 Tips on How You Can Make Money Teaching Pilates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Being infamous is not the same thing as being KNOWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL 

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

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

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

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

xx~LL 

Ongoing Pilates Training for Instructors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the next workshop you are going to?

xx~LL

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

Do You Have Your Policies and Procedures In Place?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

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

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

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

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Pilates Business

Sometimes I am grateful I didn’t know what I didn’t know when I started my Pilates teaching business. Although to be fair, I had eight years retail experience with seven years in management and a degree in communication so I wasn’t coming into the business side of things without experience in business. But, I know that my background is not normal. And, that many Pilates instructors come from a variety of experiences and that can mean starting out as a teacher and feeling lost and unsure. And, feeling alone. I mean, even if you are teaching in a studio with a bunch of other Pilates teachers when you are new you don’t always feel like you can ask about the business side of things. So, there is a lot of learning as you go into this Pilates world. Which was the impetus to my book but I do hope that this week’s blog post with contributions from teachers and studio owners far and wide gives you some insight and some comfort.

I will start off this what I wish list! I wish I knew that there was no one way to offer sessions, packages, and classes. I wish that ten years ago I knew then what I know and absolutely believe now…that when you know what you want you create the business that aligns with the way you are inspired to offer your services.

I wish I knew that you can say no. I learned very quickly, of course, the hard way and I am a massive proponent that you say no to every session or client that doesn’t align with your goals and soul.

I wish I knew in the beginning that there would be enough time to take all the continuing education. And, instead of signing up for EVERY workshop I was a bit pickier with my time and money.

I also wish I had been comfortable in my own teaching abilities from the beginning. If you are new to teaching you are exactly where you need to be! Keep practicing, observing and asking questions.

Now, I probably could go on for pages but how about hearing from some of you!

Rae Snyder of Infinity Pilates and Yoga:  Finding your Niché: When I was first branding my business (in 2009) I thought Pilates wasn’t well known enough in Waco and that my studio needed a little help from Yoga! Everyone had heard of yoga but not everyone had heard of Pilates so I thought combining the 2 would be a win-win! I was sadly mistaken! Maintaining both a specialized Yoga space and Pilates space proved to be too much! I was serving 2 very different markets and was trying to be too many things for too many people! After a few failed hiring attempts, where Yoga instructors and I did not mesh, I decided to focus solely on Pilates! I really wish someone had told me about finding your niché and going hard in that one area before I decided on a name for my business, Infinity Pilates and Yoga!

For the past 4 years, I have focused solely on Pilates and my business has grown steadily in the direction I have always wanted it to grow!! I now have dedicated clients who schedule their lives around their Pilates appointments and actually want to learn what I have to offer!! I am sure a rebranding is in my future!”

The Pilates Pod “I wish I had known how hard it was to find good teachers”

B Pilates and Training “I wish I had promoted myself as well as the studio I worked for. I never really thought of doing that. Also, that I had been firmer with my schedule, I was too available in the beginning.”

Brooke Tyler of CoreSelf and Clasique   “Wish I knew…it will never “level out” and thinking it will, expecting it to get super smooth and ‘stressless’ is actually the greatest source of stress. Expect instead that running a business will never be level, calm, and comfortable. It’s the essence of life well lived and a business continually evolving. It’s uncomfortable. And that’s part of the passion, the hustle, and the creative entrepreneurship.”

And, two more from Rae: “Socially Isolated: When I began my business adventure, Facebook was all the rage! I knew social media was a fun way to stay connected with friends and family, but I never really grasped the impact it could have on my business! And not in the way you might think! I started a Facebook page for the studio and that was about it. I rarely posted anything, because being on the internet constantly made me feel guilty like I was neglecting my clients and teaching! In the beginning, my studio mostly grew by word of mouth and I never gave my studio page much thought. Honestly, marketing on social media was never necessary for me.

Fast forward 8 years and I started an Instagram account to keep up with other instructors in the Pilates community! After attending my first PMA conference I realized how beneficial an online presence could be for connecting with other instructors and sharing ideas! For me, social media was less about marketing myself and more about sharing ideas with like-minded individuals! I didn’t know what I was missing by being inactive on my accounts! I am so thankful I started reaching out to other teachers in this way! No one tells you how lonely being a studio owner can be. Having a community is crucial to preventing burnout and helping you feel grounded in your work.”

“Competition: When I started my studio I shared my space with another instructor. We were separate businesses, but we worked together really well and for a while, we were the only Pilates instructors in Waco! She and I eventually outgrew our space so we decided to part ways. We had 3 clients who had all pursued their teaching certifications while training with us so before we she and I stopped working together, we tossed around the idea of all 5 of us joining forces and creating 1 really awesome studio! My idea didn’t appeal to everyone so we all did our own thing and one of the newer instructors decided to stay with me! I was so nervous about this new level of competition, but we worked really hard to keep a relationship going between us all and honestly, there has been no change in my business and it’s been 4 years now! I still would love to have 1 big studio, but the Pilates scene in Waco is still fairly new so that might be something that happens later!  I wish someone would have warned me that competition will come and go and it’s really not anything to worry about and that when someone rejects a business plan, not to take it personally because you can’t know what everyone is working toward! I originally felt like I was being rejected and that my business wouldn’t make it with so many other studios around! If I had known, then, how it was going to work out I would have saved myself a whole lotta stress!!”

I know there are a thousand times ten more “wishes I would have known” but I had to end it on the big wish I hope you all know. Don’t sweat the competition. Embrace it, no one can be YOU! And, if you read my “notes to inspire” from the other day there is always room for you if you are being your amazing unique self. There is no room for copycats.

Don’t see your wish you here? I would love to hear it! Comment below! Or, share your high fives with one of our contributors.

xx~LL 

PS It’s really ok to not know what you don’t know. But, its even more ok to ask for help!

 

Creating, Marketing and Leading Workshops

In the last couple years of coaching Pilates and Fitness professionals one of the repeated projects I’ve worked on with others is how to create, fill (market) and lead a workshop. But, before I dive into all that info let me cover a couple questions I often answer in my DM’s-

Do I have to teach workshops? No, if you don’t want to please don’t! I’m not saying that because the space is filled or that you won’t be good at it. I am saying that because I firmly believe that as teachers and other fitness professionals its important to have offerings that are aligned with how we want to show up as teachers, the types of clients you want to teach and your goals/vision. If you don’t feel the desire to stand up in front of an audience and teach a workshop. You don’t have to. And, the beautiful thing is you’re still an awesomely amazing human and teacher! Leading workshops does not determine your knowledge or ability to rock and grow your Pilates business.

Can I have people teach workshops in my space? Absolutely! There are plenty of teachers who travel around and share their wisdom. You don’t have to be the teacher if that’s not in your wheelhouse. In fact, a great way to bring your clients, community or teachers to your studio is to bring in a guest teacher. If that’s something you’re interested in still read the tips below so you choose an instructor who answers the questions you are asking, and whose message speaks to those who will be attending.

How do I know my workshop will be what people want? Warning! Another non-answer. You don’t, and I don’t! But, if you feel you have something to share and to say and you know who should hear it and you’re willing to put in the work then you should do it and it will be what it will be. Then you’ll learn from that, make some changes and go from there.

Do I have to be a teacher trainer or create a workshop only for other teachers? Nope! In fact, I think more workshops for clients are a great idea! And, you don’t need to be a teacher trainer or “famous” to lead them. The more you prepare and create a workshop in line with your strengths and passions the more successful you will be and the more excited those who attend will be before, during and after.

I want to teach workshops but I haven’t and no one has hired me to do it. If you want to truly teach workshops create the workshop you want to teach (follow my info below and lets talk) and do the legwork in getting some people there. Get some testimonials and do it again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you cannot manifest a workshop.

When a first started teaching Pilates I was asked about 6 months in to lead my first workshop. It was on how to “Convert First Time Clients.” It’s been almost ten years since that workshop and my workshop has changed as I have changed. But, I have to admit that I felt beyond nervous to present and also had so much self-doubt. Who was I, this baby instructor, to be leading a workshop to teachers who have been teaching years longer than me?!

Well, while they could school me all day on the method there was one area where I had knowledge that could help them. I couldn’t take a new client without turning them into a two, three or even four times a week client. And, people noticed. So, the first workshop was birthed because I was asked, there was a need. Which leads me to my first tip-

What questions are you constantly answering? This will help direct you to what workshop topics to work on.

After that workshop, I went home and thought about what I thought went well and what I wanted to change. I made those notes right then and there. I didn’t want to forget them. Then a couple months later when I was asked to present the same workshop I did it with the new changes. This leads to my second tip-

Don’t try to create the PERFECT workshop! Create what you can, practice it on some close friends or clients, make changes and do it again. Your workshop will forever be adding, deleting and changing as you do and as your audience does.

Over the years my workshop line up grew because I started seeing other areas where my strengths could support my community. I didn’t set out to have a line up of ten or more workshops. I simply followed my curiosity. What and how was I doing things in my business that could be helpful to others?

Which brings me to my final tip for today- What or how does your idea help those who you want to come to your workshop? And, who are “those” people?

Just like I talk about in “Attracting Your Ideal Client” and “Becoming Known” it’s not about trying to get everyone to come to any workshop. It’s about knowing who your workshop is for and how it helps them.

If leading workshops are calling your name, if you have on your business goals to teach a workshop or you’re looking to add to the different revenue streams of your teaching business and the tips above got your juices flowing then join me for my webinar Create, Market and Lead your own Workshops. Or, contact me here for a one on one coaching session that takes you from where you are now to where you want to grow. Maybe you’re already creating and leading workshops but are stuck on the marketing? Both the webinar and my one on one coaching are great for you! Choose the kind of learning that works best for you.

What will you create next? I’d love to hear from you! You can comment below or here for more information on taking your workshops to the next level.

xx~LL