How to Not Work ALL The Time

Everyone wants to work for themselves. The idea of being your own boss has a lot of unicorns, rainbows, and freedom around it. But, if you’re not careful, when you work for yourself it’s easy to make your own business, your dream business, be just as much a slog as working for someone else. So, my Studio Owners, Independent Contractors, Home studio owners here are my best tips to not make your dream job just like every other job.

  1. Create your ideal schedule: Grab a blank calendar and put your personal life in it first. Then your personal practice and anything else that you want to make time for before you put work in. Then your teaching hours go in. This part of the calendar is key, the tasks that propel your business forward AKA marketing, networking goes in next. Last is the admin, the daily tasks that have to be done every day but don’t bring in the money. For more help on this catch my course on it or contact me for a one-on-one call.
  2. Set a timer: I use the cube timer but you can use your phone. Set a time for how long you’ll be in your inbox, on Instagram or work on any project. When the timer goes off move on to the next task. I know that means sometimes I didn’t finish a project but it does mean I can move on to the next and keep all the plates spinning. If you work on your email until the emails are all read you will never get to your blogs, contacting businesses to collaborate etc.
  3. Say no: to anything that isn’t an F yass! Seriously, say no to more things than you think. If “no” is too much for you then say “let me get back to you later.” Take some time to filter the opportunity through your goals. It’s easy to say “yes” to clients who want extra times. But, that could mean working at times you don’t enjoy and then you will feel like you’re working all the time.
  4. Have an accountability partner: I have 2 and I love them! We have weekly check in’s and set a timer for each person to share what they are working on, what went well, what didn’t go well and what we need support on. You never want to be the person who didn’t get their sh*t done. I recommend people who have businesses that are different than your own. And, try to keep it less 2-4 people but people who will not cancel on you last minute. So, maybe not your close friends. Those who are in my coaching group get me checking on them and their goals each week!
  5. Have your own goals: Be super clear on your own goals, share them with your accountability partners, me, and anyone else who you feel will help you get your goals accomplished. If you don’t have your own goals it’ll be super easy for someone else’s goals to become yours.
  6. Make dates: seriously, make a date with your person, make it a standing date if you can. Dates with friends, put vacations in the books even if you do a staycation. If you don’t then work will just take over and a year will go by and you’ll feel bummed that you “work too much” or that “time flies” but it’s because you didn’t put breaks in your calendar.
  7. Routines: I have a morning routine and a sleep routine. These are not only vital to me sandwiching life between moments of self-care it also helps me feel grounded and in control of my day and how I feel no matter what timezone I find myself in or what is happening. Everyone has to start their day in their own way but find a routine that works for you. I prefer to create before I consume so I try not to read emails or read notifications until I have written down what my goals are for the day. I also get my workout in before I teach others. You might prefer the reverse of all of this. Especially if you are not a morning person.

I could go on and on with more tips on how to not work all the time so if you need more ask in the comments below or set up a call with me. But, please don’t work all the time. I know that there are times in your business that require more of your hours but set a date for how long that excessive work time will last.

Working for yourself is pretty freaking cool but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, I find it’s harder. I have to hold myself accountable to arbitrary deadlines and since I won’t fire myself if I miss a deadline then what’s the problem right? Well, the problem is our businesses get more stressful when we are not achieving the goals we have when we want/need them. And then we think we have to say “yes” all the time, work more, do less Pilates, fewer trips, fewer days off. And then all of a sudden you’re working ALL the time!

My weeks look different every month so I have to be really clear about my time off and then I have to put more goals/deadlines in my calendar before my clients get options. That means I have to have clarity around my schedule at least a month in advance. If I don’t I’m racing to get work done, working on my days off, skipping yoga and my own Pilates practice.

You are too good at what you do. You are the only person who can do what you do and your clients and future clients need you to be clear on your goals, firm about your schedule and taking care of you so that you can teach them.

This week, what tips will you try and implement?

xx~LL 

 

Are You Doing This to Get Clients to Hear About You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL 

 

6 Reasons Why They Didn’t Buy Pilates From You

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you ready for that?

Comment below with what you want to change in your business! Join me for a course or webinar to uplevel your work.

xx~LL 

Asking the Right Questions to Make Them a Client For Life

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL 

How Do You Know If You Are Teaching Enough?

One of my AGENCY mastermind members recently said: “I think that if I feel busy I must be doing good numbers.” She was mistaking the fact that her schedule was full so she must be bringing in enough money. And, here’s the thing, a lot of instructors and studio owners make this error. They work so hard to fill all their classes and teaching hours because if they are busy or teach more then they’ll make more. But, what I often find when I look at their numbers is that while they are busy and some of them really busy they are not meeting the monetary goals and needs they have. And this is because they are confusing busy for successful.

Do you know your average hourly rate? If you’re a teacher this can be easier to figure out than a studio owner but either way you need this number.

Do you have a gross income goal for your business? If you’re a teacher at the end of the year what would you like to have made? Studios if all systems were working what would your gross income be?

If you don’t have these numbers then set aside some time to get super clear on these.

When I was running studios I had goals for the month and the year. Some sessions were privates, or duets etc. Every person had the option of buying single sessions vs packages. Not going to lie the first time I had to figure out how to see what the studio could do based on the schedule I thought my mind might explode. But, when I figured out some averages. Took a look at what was scheduled and compared it to the goal I could see how far away we were. I also could make a plan!

In the teaching part of my business, I have a goal each week that is a “work week” on how many sessions I need to have in my schedule. The freedom this provides is incredible. Because, if I look ahead and my schedule is “full” meaning I have hit my # then I don’t need to add more clients to the week. I have time to spend focusing on my business in other ways. But, if you don’t know this number how do you know if you’re teaching enough?

The burn out is real and it sucks whether you are making enough money or and stings, even more, when you’re not.

Homework for you:

What’s your average hourly rate?

What’s your gross money goal for this year?

How many weeks will you work this year?

I’ll do giving the tips on what to do with these numbers in my newsletter this week. My course on “raising your rates” also goes over how to use this info to help you create a plan for you to make the money you want to make and not overwork yourself doing it.

What if instead of filling every hour you could teach you just taught the amount you needed?

xx~LL 

 

What is a Pilates Teachers Schedule?

When I first became a Pilates instructor I was teaching clients and classes every weekday morning from 6 am to 9 am then racing to my other job across town to manage a jewelry store. And then on most weeknights, I would race back across town and teach one or two more clients. And then I also taught clients on my day off from my store gig. I thought it would take forever to build my business up but it didn’t and so within a few months I was quickly burning the candle at both ends. But, I had no idea at the time that what I was doing wasn’t the best idea. I mean, every other teacher I knew who was building their business and even some who had grown their businesses were working the weirdest schedules. One day after working an almost 70 hr week I wondered what is a Pilates teachers schedule?

Should I be teaching mornings and evenings? Did I need to teach six days a week? And, even though people said I should teach when clients wanted it was that really the best answer?

Over the last 10+ years of teaching, I have changed my schedule almost as often as the wind changes. And, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. What it has allowed me to do is see that there is almost no hour where a client doesn’t want a session! Before you think I am wrong I have taught people at their 3:30 am, I have taught people as early as 5 am in person, and then there are the clients who have requested 8:30 pm or even 8 am on a Sunday! I love changing my schedule because every time I do it I dial it in even more to fit the nature of the life I enjoy living.

If you have ever taken a workshop with me you know that I believe your goals and life go in the schedule first. But, this is not how most people set up their teaching schedule. Instead, they put their clients in first. Admit it, how many times have you not said yes to having lunch with a good friend, going out of town for the day or not scheduling a personal session with another teacher because you had to teach?

I’m not saying just move people around willy nilly. But, I do believe that you should be super clear on your goals and what you want out of life and then create your teaching schedule.

After working with a lot of teachers I have found the ones that are super firm and clear on when they are available to teach no only are booked they also know exactly how much money they will make each week, month because it’s clear when they look at their schedule what slots are empty. And, their clients are also better trained to keep a standing appointment or cancel in the appropriate time. The teachers who let clients tell them when they want to come in typically have clients who are inconsistent. This means they are not truly getting all the benefits of Pilates and will probably disappear for portions of time if not longer. These teachers also will feel like they don’t have control over their schedule and will see a “swiss cheese” schedule. Sessions all over the place, empty slots all over but not big enough to do anything on so they are working for their business instead of the other way around.

I know, that sounds a bit harsh but teachers I love you! I am you. I have done all the mistakes of letting clients tell me when they want to take. And, that quickly lead to me not wanting to be a teacher. The moment I learned the phrase “I have this time or I have this time.” And, “I’m not available then but I do have ___.” My life-work balance became mine! It was under my control.

What is your schedule like?

Do you like it?

What would you change about it?

I was recently asked what a day or a week in my life looked like? How do I structure my days?

To be honest, since I travel I make some changes to the schedule often but the basic structure is there.

5-6 days a week I workout first thing in the morning. That is the time when no one is awake. I can run with my dog and listen to a podcast. I then often go to a fitness class around 6 am and workout with my friends. Afterward, I’ll begin my teaching day. I teach 5 mornings a week for 3-4 hours. Then I use the middle of the day for whatever I want. Sometimes I do Pilates classes other times I catch up on emails or spend a little time on social media. I take calls or watch webinars, read a book, get a facial etc. The middle of the day is mine for whatever I want it to be. Then, on Mondays, I’ll allow 2 more clients in the late afternoon. Tues-Thur I teach a couple of evening clients whom I adore and have been with me for years! The other days of the week I am either off or have called it a day before the afternoon.

As far as how much I teach I follow what I share with many other teachers. I have a goal dollar amount (gross) in mind for the whole year. I divide that number by my average hourly session rate and then by the number of weeks of the year I will teach. I will only teach that amount of clients in a week. If people ask for a session and I have hit that number they go on a waitlist for any cancellation. I promise you unless I had a couple of weeks where I didn’t teach the average amount I do not add additional hours on. It’s important you don’t do this either. Waitlists are great things to have. And, you train your clients to schedule early!

My schedule works for me, I never force how I like to work on anyone and that means you too. I would love for you to watch my course on goal setting if you haven’t yet. And also my course on client scheduling. Then get super clear on the times of days that light your fire. If you’re not a morning person don’t teach in the morning. I promise you there are enough clients to go around! We can find your clients for the afternoon or evening.

The key to a successful business is knowing why you’re doing it, who you are and what you want! So, take a look at your schedule. Is it a good reflection of the life you want to live? Not sure how to make it one? Contact me here. Let’s talk!

xx~LL 

Tips to Work Less, Make More and Options for Passive Income Streams

We are in the business of exchanging time for money – we teach a class or session and we are paid for our time. But what happens when we get sick or injured and can’t physically teach? What if we want to go on vacation? How do we save? How will we ever retire? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in good company! The most common questions my clients ask are always about money – how do I make more, how do I keep more of it, how I can work less and still earn money.

Lucky for you guys, this is my area of expertise! I’ve put together my top financial strategies and passive income earners for both studio owners and instructors. Ready to get to work? Keep reading below!

For Studio Owners

  1. Raise your rates: I recommend raising rates annually, $5-$10 for session or $15-$20/month. Inflation alone is going to drive your operations expense up 3% annually; you want to make sure you are keeping up with it. Clients expect a small annual increase and will be less likely to bat an eye over small, predictable, annual changes, than a massive increase out of the blue.
  2. Stick to the Late Cancel/No Show fees: You put these policies in place – enforce them! These fees won’t break the bank, but they will still account for a decent amount of income each month for the studio.
  3. Studio Use Fees for Inactive Times: When the studio isn’t being used for set classes or sessions, let someone else use it! Other trainers are always looking to rent space (more on that below), and brands are always looking to do photoshoots or host promotional events.

          If you’re interested in renting out studio space I recommend you 1) figure out available times for                    studio use and pricing for use, and 2) having your Rental Agreement with rates + terms ready to go                for when potential renters or partners approach you.

  1. Rent Space to Instructors: If you have space (or time) in your studio that you aren’t using, make it available for someone else to use! You can rent the space to an instructor, a massage therapist, a stretch therapist, movement specialist, the options are endless.
  2. Host Workshops: Your clients already love spending time with you and trust you; they’ll be more than thrilled to learn more from you. Each attendee will buy a ticket for admission. You can ask speakers to donate their time and brands to donate refreshments, products, and giveaways. The first workshop might take a bit of extra work to get the swing of things, but once you get the hang of scheduling, it’ll be an easy and profitable way to engage your community!
  3. Host Teacher Trainings: These are money makers for the instructors teaching the training and the studio hosting the training. If your studio has its own teaching method, put together a teacher training program. Spend 2-4 days teaching the method, and follow it up with hands-on learning opportunities such as instructor shadowing, mic practice, and mock classes. Even if you aren’t in the market to hire new instructors, many members and fitness-minded individuals will be interested in learning more about your method. The first training might take some work to put together, but once you have the formula down, it’s a repeatable, scalable and very profitable.

          If you are a studio that does NOT teach its own method, you can still be the host studio for a teacher              trainer. You might not make as much money, but you also have way less work to do. And workshop                hosts usually let you sit in on the workshop for free, so double win for you.

For Pilates Instructors:

  1. Keep track of ALL business expenses:   I mean everything – professional liability insurance, certifications, trainings, educational workshops or webinars, marketing materials, etc.  At the end of every year, you can write off these business expenses. More write-offs = less taxes!
  2. Ask for a raise or raise your rates: We can’t earn more money if we’re not willing to ask for more! Plain and simple. If you’ve been teaching at a studio or training clients for at least 6 months, it’s time to reassess your rates.

           If you teach at a studio – set a time to talk with your manager and the owner, go in with your stats                   (class attendance, reviews, client feedback) and propose a fair and reasonable raise. If they aren’t                   able to accommodate your request, where can they meet you? Additional employee perks? Can they               give you a timeline when they’d be willing to sit down again to discuss compensation?

 

           If you set your own rates as a private instructor, consider a reasonable increase ($5-$10 session), set             the price, and notify all clients in writing prior to their next sessions. And while you’re reaching out               to all of your clients you can remind them of your late cancel/no show policies and fees.

  1. Passive Income Streams Online: So many fit-pros are utilizing their online communities and social media to make extra money. I think it’s one of the easiest and accessible forms of passive income because you already have a captive audience who see you as an expert in your field.

         E-Books and Online Training Guides: If you are known for your workout posts or people are always               asking you how to workout smarter, put together an online training guide. Start small with a 4-week             guide offering workouts 3-4x week.

         Accountability Coaching: If you are organized and empathetic you would be an excellent                                  accountability coach to your clients for the other 23 hrs a day they aren’t training with you. You will              check-in daily to check their nutrition/meals for the day, prescribe workouts, and encourage them to            stay on track. Clients will retain you for a monthly fee and you will realize that you’re already doing                most of this work for them as their trainer anyways.

       Affiliate Partnerships: Brands are always looking to partner with influencers in health and wellness              field, and many pay instructors to promote their products in addition to gifting free or heavily                          discounted samples.

I approach brands that I already know, use and love and ask them if they have an affiliate program. Some brands will give me a discount, others will gift free products, others will give me a percentage of sales I drive their way. I look at my partnerships as 1) an opportunity to save money on goods I would already buy, or 2) an opportunity to make some extra cash raving about a brand I already love. However you look at it, they are wins for my wallet and my relationships!

I challenge every one of you to put ONE of these tips in action today! Start planning the conversation to get a raise. Brainstorm hosting workshops or teacher training at your studio. And join Lesley and me on April 3 as we dive deeper into these topics and answer any question you might have about financial planning, and owning your worth and value to give yourself the security and success you deserve!

Xx, D


Connect with Danielle Stead Blanton here. And, join us for this epic webinar that will help you take charge of your finances and get tips on passive income streams on April 3rd webinar replay will be available for one week. Join herexx~LL 

Your Busy-ness is Bad for Your Business

It seems like whenever you ask someone how they are doing they somehow insert how “busy” they are. They use busy as why they can’t hang out with you. They are too busy for Pilates. Teachers and studio owners are too busy to do the work to get new clients but not teaching enough or making the money they want to make. Being “busy” is not just an excuse for why you’re not in contact with people. It’s now this badge of honor that somehow to make people feel proud of. I mean, if you’re busy you must be doing something right, right?

Wrong!

Being Busy is actually impacting you more than your personal life. Sure, you’re sooo busy you can’t see your friends. But, that probably means a lot of other things are falling to the way side. And, worse, you are most likely wasting time. Afterall, studies show we take as much time to do a task as we give it.

Wondering if your busy is affecting your business?

Do you find yourself do all the things all of the time? Multi-tasking is also a new badge of honor in the self-employed world. But, here’s the deal, the data is in, we cannot multi-task. It’s better for you to do one thing at a time. I know, you’re list is long. But, for one week give single tasking a try. See if you feel less stressed and more productive.

Are you trying to do too many things? We often overestimate what we can do in a day an underestimate what we can do in a year. So, give things time to do them right the first time.

Do you think that being busy equals being successful? Truth is, being a master of your own time means being truly successful!  I was listening to a podcast with the uber-successful entrepreneur Caterina Fake. She manages her time ferociously. She even has a list she calls WNO-when next online. So, instead of hopping on the internet whenever she has the urge to look something up or she remembers something she has to do. She writes it in her journal and does it during her blocked out time. This allows her to spend more time working on her ideas, growing her business and reading.

I know, you have a lot to do. You are the teacher, the accountant, the marketer, the blogger, the newsletter writer, the scheduler, a partner and/or parent and friend. You’re busy! But, I don’t want you to be busy doing busy work. I don’t want you sweating the small stuff. I don’t want you to start working on your admin and before you know it 3 hours have gone by.

My desire for you is to be the master of your schedule. To be in charge of when you teach, make the most of the time when you admin and put yourself first. When your cup is full you can pour into others. But, when you are so busy your cup is shaking and vibrating it’s spilling the goodness that is you and not actually helping anyone.

If you’re looking for tips on how to be ferociously in charge of your time and actions and implementations for self-care I’ll be sending those tips in my next newsletter. If you’re on the list you’ll be getting them. For now, I want you to take a good hard look at how busy you are. Is it working for you?

xx~LL   

 

Why You Need a Substitute Teacher and Where to Find Them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL 

 

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

How to Fix the Problems in Your Pilates Business

If you are looking at your week ahead and about to have a freak out about how o earth you’re going to get it all done you are so not alone! As Pilates instructors and studio owners, wives, husbands, partners, human beings there is a ton to do. You’ve got your clients, all the tasks that go along with that and you’ve got your life and all that happens in that. And, oh, that tiny thing like making money and propelling your business forward. How on earth can you do it all without freaking out?

  1. Know what your problems are and ask yourself why that problem exists.
  2. Create a plan of action that addresses this problem
  3. Hold yourself as accountable as you hold your clients
  4. Hold your clients accountable to the policies you told them about when they started
  5. Worry about what you can do and let others worry about the rest.

See, it’s so easy! F

Ha! Wouldn’t that be awful if I ended the blog there? “Here are you 5 tips for a week where you get it all done. Ok, GO!”

Look my fellow fitness pro you have a freaking ton going on. But, the first part of getting your business running the way you want it is to know what the problems are and why you have them.

Problem: You’re not making enough money

Why aren’t you making enough money?

-You are not teaching enough

-you are not charging your worth

-you’re not charging for late cancels

Fix: Set a goal that helps fix the problem. If you are not teaching enough but you are charging enough and holding others accountable then we got to get you known! We have to get your website working for you! We have to get your more clients.

If you are not charging enough we need to figure out how much you need to make, how many hours you want to work and find an average rate that will take all those sessions to add up to what you are desiring to make this year. I do this a lot when I coach others and in my AGENCY group.

If you are not holding people accountable to your policies then this is the week you remind people of what those are and you stick to them! Not only will you feel more respected but people will value their sessions with you more too!

See how these 5 steps help you solve your problems? What problem do you feel you have? Why is that problem occurring? What steps can you take this week to fix that problem and help you grow your business?

If you’re not sure then please contact me here. Let’s figure out a plan together that is possible. There are enough clients to go around and your tribe is awaiting your arrival.

xx~LL