Want More Clients? This Entrepreneur’s Oddly Simple Way to Attract Fitness Fans

I hear the same challenge from nearly every fitness entrepreneur and yoga teacher I speak with.

Even though their classes change lives…

While fitness teachers help people fix back problems, relieve stress, get strong…

Despite how they show humans how to take back their health and find new confidence…

The issue?

Despite the incredible reviews and heartfelt thanks, so many fitness teachers struggle with their words. If asked what they do or to explain a new workshop, they freeze. They are not sure how to express the benefits of their practice or are afraid of sounding salesy. And because they are deeply heart-centered people, the idea of “selling” people into classes and packages can feel so stressful. So let this be said, protein-shake-lover:

If you don’t know what to write on your website or Instagram captions, you’re not alone. 

In fact, this fear means something great.

If you aren’t sure what stories to tell, tips to give or how much marketing is “too much” →

This worry of appearing salesy simply shows how much you care about helping people and new clients. (As a certified yoga teacher myself, man do I get it)

Here is the beautiful news, rockstar.

You don’t need to be an English Lit degree or have a marketing background to find the right words to magnetize dream clients.

You don’t need famous endorsements or partnerships with famous yoga brands to book people.

The truth: You don’t need a celebrity client list or media logos. 

There’s only 1 thing people actually need to trust you.

In this world of constant marketing on social media, what humans now crave are people who show up uniquely as themselves.

Think about the entrepreneurs, fitness icons and actors/actresses/musicians you adore.

Are they the people who have perfect white teeth and Pinterest decor in every photo –

Or do you admire those who share ridiculous videos on Insta Stories and open up about hard things in their lives?

I’d bet my bottom dollar, Euro and yen that it’s the latter.

You can go beyond tips about back health & green smoothies.

You have the chance to be a new type of fitness icon that inspires people.  

I have a feeling you don’t even know how unique you are. The trips you’ve taken, the way you start your morning, there is so much about you that would blow minds and inspire others.

This is also an opportunity for you to be a rare light that is so needed in the world right now.

Almost no fitness entrepreneur taps into their personality and stories. YOU can.

Instead of focusing on simply “5 ways to lose weight” or “how to eat healthier”, you can share the stories about how backpacking Thailand led you to find yoga. You can reveal how you are a vegan but spend Saturday nights sipping Mountain Dew with vodka while watching slasher films. You get to show all the parts of you that make others go “Wow, that gives ME permission to be myself, too.”

When you show up as yourself, you give permission for others to see what’s possible – including their health and fitness.

When you speak to dream clients REAL wants (not what you “think” they want), they can’t help but adore you and want to buy from you.

So the next time you go to write an Instagram caption or put out an email to your list, will you give 5 tips for meditation and a picture of coffee…or will you share that story you told your bestie on the couch, speaking to your audience like they’re a human – not a follower?

Because the more openly you are YOU *which I know can feel truly difficult at first to step into, there are psychological reasons for that* – The more people will love and book with you.

 

Find this course here.

Power in the Pause

Have you ever stopped to witness the internal dialogue that is constantly going on in your head? One of my favorite authors, Michael Singer, calls it your inner roommate.

Not sure what I am talking about? Pause for a minute. Hear that voice in your head? Yah, that’s the one.

It’s currently 11:30 am on a Tuesday and my inner roommate is having a great debate around taking the time to PAUSE. Literally mid debate I could hear the voices of my family, friends and clients that seem to struggle with the exact same thing. Conceptually we all know that taking time out to PAUSE is a ‘good thing’ to do. Yet it is consistently the area that seems to trip us up the most.

Why? Because we live in a society and culture that is so CONDITIONED to believe that doing more will net the greatest return in our lives. How has that been working out for you? I know in my personal story the constant hustle and grind led to increased stress, anxiety, burn out and ultimately a physical dis-ease in my body. My rock bottom forced a PAUSE in my life. This was the PAUSE that ultimately led to my personal transformation journey.

Now, every time I work with a client the first thing we do is SLOW DOWN – CREATE SPACE – PAUSE. It is in these moments where we can finally hear ourselves think, connect back to who we truly are and move into flow states where creation and long term transformation occur.

As I worked through my own personal debate today I remembered that adding a PAUSE into my days is simply a non-negotiable. Having the clarity and alignment of why slowing down is critical in your life will support you when your inner roommate shows up in attempt to take you off course.

How are you creating space in your days, weeks, months and year to slow down? Is this an area you need to focus on?

If you are struggling to pause, to slow down, to create space then this is the course for you!

Much love,

Jackie

Find this course here.

Make Speaking Magical

Imagine a room full of clients excited to learn from you. Or a room full of teachers waiting to get all the gems you’re about to drop in your workshop. How does that make you feel? If you answered excited and nervous you’re not alone. I know that most teachers want to fill a room. Whether its a Pilates class room or a workshop room doesn’t matter. Its scary to stand in front of people and speak. Especially when you want them to love it so much they tell others. So, how do you present in front of a room and leave them wanting more?

This is literally why I asked Alex Street to lead a webinar for my AGENCY members. But before we get into that let’s talk about why you need to take time to study how to present so that you can feel confident.

  1. You are the only person who can do what you do and people won’t know until you speak.
  2. Imposter syndrome is real and the best way to beat it is to get confident in public speaking.
  3. Getting someone to buy from you the 2nd time is way easier than the first. If they feel you are talking directly to them in a room full of people they’ll be back.
  4. You want to be known! You get known from your teaching aka your speaking.
  5. You want to present workshops, lead retreats. The ability to capture people’s attention and hold it for long periods of time is a skill.

For most teachers its not the information that is the problem. I have yet to meet a teacher who doesn’t have enough information on the topic they are about to teach. But where they get stuck is on the organization of their presenting. And where many miss the boat teaching is getting their audience to be present during their presentation/class. Why? Because so many people are distracted and most presenters/teachers are nervous!

So, I brought in Alex Street to present on how to “make speaking magical.” And let me tell you, even though I had already presented several dozens of workshops I learned some amazing tips for keeping your audience with you the entire time.

His system is super easy to put into place and you can incorporate it whether you’re teaching a Reformer class, big studio class, workshop, or Private session.

If you want to be a more confident public speaker, make more sales, connect with more people, and make a lasting difference.  And you know you have something to say, but you’re afraid of not saying it well. This new course is for you!

In this workshop, Alex will show up with significant and simple steps you can take to prepare your next talk, so that you will be confident in yourself and certain your message will connect.

This simple structure and 5 tricks will give you all you need to communicate with confidence, transform your audience, and make speaking magical.

Find this course here.

My goal is to help you do more of what you love. And so bringing in speakers like Alex allows me to help you get past the obstacles in front of you doing what’s on your goal list!

If you have “present” or “teach a full class” or “grow my community” on your goals. This course is for you.

xx~LL

Optimizing Your Personal Finances

Are you afraid to look your money monster in the face?

You’re not alone.  In fact, many people avoid their finances and hope for the best.  Hope is not a strategy.  We know this, yet…..we continue to ignore the very resource that provides us freedom, opportunity and generational abundance.

Truth is, money is just a tool that allows you to live the life you deserve.  Your finances are telling you a story.  You cannot edit the story if you’re not looking at the story.

So, if you’re looking to start a new relationship with your money today.  One that empowers you to be a good steward of your hard-earned cash, then you belong in this workshop.

Grab a pen and cozy up!  After spending this hour with me you will have:

  • Tips to reframe your money mindset
  • Tools to manage your personal finances
  • Ideas to improve your personal profitability

Sounds good, yeah?   Cozy up and grab a pen.  Let’s get this money date started!

 

Find this course here.

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.

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.

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

Are You Ready to Leap?

You will need to make leaps in your life and business often. It isn’t likely going to be easy. You are going to wonder if you are doing the right thing? Maybe even decide to not leap at all. I promise you though that when you stay where you doing the same thing over and over again you will feel like you are going crazy. Or worse, you’ll quit altogether and then we lose a great teacher. So, in this blog, I’m going to give you some blogs that will support your leap, the formula you need to know to make sure you can do the link, and also why your schedule is so important when it comes to leaping.

Know your numbers: You need to know how much money you need to make with other income streams so that you can replace the one you are wanting to give up for your leap. I talk about this a lot inside of AGENCY whenever anyone wants to talk about quitting a full-time job or starting a new project. Before I could leave my salaried job I needed to know how much money that job was paying me and the costs of any other benefits. Then I needed to know how many in my case private clients I needed in a week to make up for that annual income. So, if you are trying to give up at $60k/year job with benefits how much is that amount. Then how many private clients or units of a product, if you are selling something, do you need to make up that income? Once you know that information you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your dream needs to be in your schedule: I coach people on their ideal schedule A LOT! It’s essential that you have time in your schedule to work on the things that propel your business forward. In this blog, I discuss how to set up an ideal schedule that allows you to make time for you, your goals, and still the things that you feel you have to do.

Know where you want to leap to: so this might be obvious but often times the reason people don’t leap is they haven’t spent the time thinking about the place they want to land. This is something you need to do before you leap otherwise you are likely to go back or not leap at all because your situation won’t really change.

Trust yourself: If you can’t stop thinking about doing the thing ya gotta do the thing. And the thing that gets you to leap might not be your thing in the end. But, it might be the bridge to where you are going to go. So tell yourself you can’t make the wrong decision.

I leaped during a recession from a salaried job to teaching Pilates full time. I leaped from managing studios and leading teacher trainings to working for myself. I leaped from renting space to owning my own studio and recently we leaped from having a brick and mortar to being fully virtual. All of them scared the heck out of me. All of them I was as sure as I was nervous. All of them taught me more about myself and what I was capable of. Your first leap will scare the heck out of you. But then you start to get a leaping muscle.

The truth is your heart already knows its right, it’s your head that is worried. And for many of you reading this the truth is there really is no other choice right now but to leap. It’s also the best time. No hard feelings or hurt feelings. Covid made you do it.

Where are you wanting to leap to next?

xx~LL

PS my blog on burn out is also helpful here.

Preventing Burn Out and Overwhelm in your Fitness Business

“Do you ever have a bad day? A day that makes you question why you even do what you do?” I was asked that by a fellow Pilates teacher this week. And that question came after hearing from more than one teacher that they are overwhelmed, stuck, exhausted, and stressed out. Are you? Are you teaching more than you want but making less than you need? You’re not alone. It’s really easy when you are in a service-based business like teaching to say “yes” too often and try to be all the things to all the clients. It’s easy to put unreasonable pressure on who you should look like or what you should be saying. Let’s talk about some reason burn out happens in your business and ways you can prevent it (or at least catch it before its bad).

Here are some of the things I see teachers and studio owners do that leads to burn out and overwhelm:

  • saying ‘yes’ all the time.
  • teaching on their day off (even if its just one client).
  • marketing to everybody.
  • skipping their workout to teach a client or class
  • not charging enough (money is energy you give your clients energy that’s how they repay you).
  • not having a teaching schedule.
  • not having an ideal teaching schedule.
  • not having set time off that is off-limits for work.
  • letting clients contact them anytime and responding.
  • not upholding cancellation policies.
  • trying to market to everyone so they talk to no one and feel like no one is listening.
  • listening to too many people tell them what to do.
  • not having a community.
  • no accountability to their goals, boundaries or practice.
  • not having a consistent connection with those who support them.
  • a safe place to share what they are worried about.
  • not delegating.
  • trying to be the teacher, owner, ceo, marketer, janitor, social media expert, and website developer.
  • not firing clients who abuse the policies or are verbally or physically abusive.
  • have not taken the time to know their why and filter their goals through it. So they keep doing what everyone else is doing in the industry and wonder why it doesn’t make them happy.
  • do not have a clear list of whose opinions of them matter so then everyone’s opinion is weighted the same.
  • have a fixed and/or scarcity mindset.

I could keep going but that’s a good start. Which ones reflect where you are in your business?

Here are some things you can implement in your business or reflect on today that will help prevent burnout or at least will help you see when you’re on the road so you can catch it before you go too far down the path.

  • Learn how to say ‘let me check my calendar and get back to you.” Before you say yes to a client who isn’t already in your calendar buy yourself some time. Look at your schedule and see how much you’re already teaching that day/week. And ask yourself if that time they want is an ideal teaching time for you. If it’s not then offer them a time that is. It’s ok to say ‘no.’ It’s easier to build a schedule around what you love then it is to move people around later.
  • Know how many hours a day/week you need to teach to make the money you want to make. Think about how much you want to gross in a year and divide that by how many weeks you want to work in a year (hint its not 52..it shouldn’t be more than 48). Take the and divide it by how many days in a week (not 7) and then hours in a day. The answer is how much you should be charging. And if you’re charging that rate then all you need to do is check to make sure all your teaching hours are filled. If they are for that week then the person who wants a session needs to book next week where there is a spot.
  • Create an ideal schedule. This schedule should begin with YOU! I have a whole course on how to create your schedule and fill it here. But, to get you started you need to make sure your schedule includes your practice, your family, and your sleep and days off first. Then the amount of teaching hours that when filled = the money you want to gross in a year and then hours where you will work on your biz but not in your biz.
  • Know whose opinions of you matter and tell them! If someone criticizes you then you can see it from their perspective but remember if they are not on your list then it doesn’t get to hold the same weight as someone who is on your list. So go talk to those people. Everyone needs a community, accountability a place to go, and share what’s on their heart and mind. To get feedback and support. It’s literally why I created my online coaching group AGENCY.
  • Keep your practice up! Whether it’s with some on-demand platform or hopefully someone else teaching you and seeing you. If you lose your practice time to your work you will eventually resent your clients. But it’s not their fault. You’re the one that didn’t uphold your boundaries.
  • Make notes in your calendar when you are feeling less than optimal. Notice if there is a pattern. I know if I don’t take off 3-4 days in a row every 4-6 weeks on top of my regular 2 days off a week I will start to feel like I’m running on steam. And if I push through…it just means I’ll need more time off or I’ll get sick.
  • Know the signs (it’ll take a few bouts) or ask those around you to tell you some things they noticed about you before your burn out happened so that you can start to see and recognize that you are going down a path to be overwhelmed, have an anxiety attack, feel like you’re so burnt out you have to take off time or worse…consider quitting.
  • have cancellation policies and systems in place for scheduling and canceling so that you’re not always available. And uphold them.
  • Remember that people are just being themselves but that doesn’t mean you have to let them walk all over you or be an energy vampire. You need to figure out what you need to be your self and have energy afterward. Then create the boundaries around this an uphold them.

There are plenty more including hiring and delegating but let’s start with those. Which ones will you implement first? Side note: Don’t try to implement 5 of these at once. That will just overwhelm you more. Pick one or two to implement then one or two more until you’ve got your business working for you.

One more thing, just because you have your perfect work schedule, policies, the ideal client, and charge your worth doesn’t mean you won’t have a bad day or feel overwhelmed. These things simply help you have fewer of them, feel in control and reveal when one is coming. And, sometimes bad days or overwhelmed weeks reveal to us where we need to make changes. When I have them now its because I am doing a role in my business that is not the role I want to play. This requires me to make some new changes, maybe bring on another team member or hire someone to do some things that don’t need to be done by me.

But, if you do all focus on teaching your ideal schedule, upholding your policies and boundaries, and are clear on your why you’ll be able to take pauses, breaks, see possibility and potential on those days when you’re wondering “why am I doing this?” It’s more productive.

Let me know if you need support in creating policies, raising rates, firing clients, and more. Always here to help you do more of what you love.

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

 

Tips for Launching Your Workshop, Classes or Online Course

You know that your new class, workshop, online course or product is a good idea. In fact you believe its a great idea. But, you’ve posted about it and crickets. Or, just a few people and you’re feeling like “nothing works.” Or maybe you are just at the beginning stages and you don’t really know what to do beyond creation of the idea. Here are tips for launching your idea and getting people to see the value that you see in it.

Before we get into the tips its important to ask yourself a few questions (I promise the tips are coming up fast).

  1. Are people asking you for this? If the answer is yes then the tips below will be easier to implement. If the answer is no then you’ll need to make sure that you’re warming people up for this idea. For example, when I created OPC it was because my clients were asking me for classes since I was traveling so much. But when I created AGENCY the first time (it wasn’t called that then) I heard crickets. Literally nothing. I had to go back to the drawing board and warm up my audience for the program I believed in. Which now is call AGENCY and 90% full.
  2. How much do you believe in this? Whenever we launch something new there is going to be a period of time where it feels like no one cares. Like we are talking into a black hole. And its going to be your drive, your belief in this product, workshop or service that sees it through. Seth Godin calls it “the dip”: a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. If you just like this idea but don’t know that you would fight for it even when no one is listening then it’s ok to park it for a while and hold out until you have an idea you can’t stop talking about.
  3. Do you know how it helps people? People buy what the believe will solve their problems. If you don’t know how your workshop, service, or idea solves a person’s problems keep diving deeper before you launch.

Ok, now here are some tips for launching, filling and selling your service or product.

  1. Before you create it know who it is for. I mean truly who it is for. ALL the dirty details! Too often people make mistakes by creating the product or service and then deciding who its for. But, I promise you tears will be saved, classes will be filled and you’ll have a much easier time if you start with who you are creating something for in the first place FIRST! Who is it for? How does it solve their problem and what will their objections be? What will their life look like after they come to your class or workshop?
  2. Get people excited! Before you spend the time and energy creating the entire product get people excited by “teasing” them a bit. Ask them questions that would help you really fine tune your product, class or workshop for them. Make them feel like they are part of the creation process. Think of movie trailers. They don’t just put a movie out there. They put out ‘teasers’ aka trailers for people to get excited and countdown the days to opening night.
  3. Sell people on the results not the process. This is key! Too often I see teachers and studio owners selling the workout or the workshop but not the things people get by going. Instead of “sign up for class this week” which says nothing about the class, what people get and why they should come. Talk about the results that they get by coming! What will life look and feel like?
  4. Share how you are the expert, the guide. Why should people buy or take from you? How are you the expert? People don’t buy Pilates or whatever you are teaching or offering. They buy from people they trust. So you need to share your story. How you got to where you are. Why this means so much to you! People don’t need you to be perfect. They need someone who they can trust to solve their problems. So be sure to regularly be sharing your journey!
  5. Talk directly to your people. I know you want to talk to everyone. I promise you this is a bad idea. While I write this I am specifically thinking of the two people who asked me this question last week. I know that it will help more than just them but I try to talk to anyone out there who could be creating something then I promise you that you won’t have gotten this far. The more you dial in and talk directly to your person you are wanting to serve the more they will actually respond. Look at some of the influencers that you follow. Look at how they write anything. I bet you that it feels like you’re in conversation with them. Now, look at your posts. If you’re getting lots of comments and engagement chances are you’re dialed in. If you’re not then time to get more vulnerable and more specific.
  6. Tell people daily how you help them. Yes, daily. I know this feels like a lot. This doesn’t mean you sell to them daily. Nope. This means you simply find different ways to share who you are, what you do, and how you help THEM.
  7. Give yourself the time it takes. Too often I see people create an offering and then give it one week and if it doesn’t sell then they throw the idea away. You need to give people time. 15 seconds on a story isn’t enough time for someones brain to say “yes I want that.” Remember tips 5 and 6 and then add in social proof. Testimonials, before and after’s. Your people need to see themselves in your posts.
  8. Tap into your network.  Who do you know who shares the same clients but offers something different? How can you collaborate? Do a live or go on their podcast? What can you offer their people that they can’t? How does that add value to them?
  9. Have clear steps on what people need to do and when to do them. Its easy to think that just because you told everyone clearly about your new product or service that they will then know what to do. But, pretend they just don’t. I mean, people are humans and they have a lot going on. So, what should they do if they are interested? Tell them and then tell them again.
  10. Yes you need a list, yes you need to email and post regularly and yes you can do this! I know it seems like there are a lot of people in a space. But there are also 7+ billion people on this planet. Focus on the ones you want to serve and then serve them!

There are actual steps to a launch of any kind. And this is something that I coach people on and we can do it when you know that you have answered questions 1-3 and you have started really adding value to your audience. Because to do a true launch it will feel very overwhelming if you don’t have the list, are not posting, don’t have practice talking to your audience, and haven’t created a network. So, if you’re ready to go full launch mode then contact me here. If you’re more in the needing more clarity on your ideal client check out this course, getting people on your list this course, and solid tips on creating, marketing, and filling a workshop this course is for you.

Where ever you are I promise you that you are the only person who can teach who you want to teach the way you teach them. So, share your story, share it often, get to know your people deep down and then create the service/product that will help solve their problems. Launching will be easier if you do.

What are you hoping to launch? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

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.